There’s a kind of interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal about the difficutly of coming up with a name for a band these days. Not the most pressing problem in a world of problems, I agree, but one that is no doubt real for a lot of people:
When former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones recently formed a new rock band, the music flowed easily. The struggle: inventing a name for the group.
Between takes in a recording studio, Mr. Jones brainstormed about names with his new band mates, including former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, then checked them online. Their first choice, Caligula, turned up at least seven acts named after the decadent Roman emperor, including a defunct techno outfit from Australia. Eventually the rockers decided on Them Crooked Vultures. The words held no special meaning.
“Every other name is taken,” Mr. Jones explains. “Think of a great band name and Google it, and you’ll find a French-Canadian jam band with a MySpace page.”
The available supply of punchy one- or two-word band names is dwindling. So, many acts are resorting to the unwieldy or nonsensical.
Among more than 1,900 acts expected in March at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, are bands with the names And So I Watch You From Afar, and Everybody Was In the French Resistance…Now! The f-word is part of 100 band names in a media database maintained by Gracenote, a unit of Sony Corp. that licenses digital entertainment technology.
…The last decade’s digital revolution not only transformed the way people listen to music, it changed the way bands establish identities. In the past, identically named acts often carved out livings in separate regions, oblivious or indifferent to one another. Now, it takes only moments for a musician to create an online profile and upload songs, which can potentially reach listeners around the world.
Lawyers say that has raised the stakes in trademark disputes, which almost always hinge on which band first used the name commercially, and where.
As noted, the Supergroup in question become Them Crooked Vultures, which as names go, isn’t too bad.
I must admit that I’ve had some recent experience with the matter when my 13-year old son announced the other day that he and a couple of friends had formed a band and that they needed a name. Even though my first suggestion — Toxic Assets — was rejected out of hand (pout), it started to look more attractive to them as name after name they punched into Google came up already used.
At this stage they have settled on The Cozwecans, which I quite like, and which, I guess is now going to be archived in Google, thus depriving some other aspiring supergroup the use of it.
Anyway, I was thinking it might be fun to pick the brains of the Crikey demographic and see if you have any suggestions for band names. Maybe you already have a band, in which case it would be interesting to hear it and how you came up with the name. Maybe you fantasise about rock stardom and have had a cool name hidden away somewhere that you might want to share. Maybe you’ve just got a bunch of good ideas for names.
Whatever, let’s hear them….