Apr 152010

As a way of developing conversation around today’s new poll, please feel free to expand on your answers to the poll here.

Which form of band name is the most reliable indicator that the music of said band will stink?

  • Band name is nothing but a city or state name (eg, Boston but NOT New York Dolls, in which “New York” functions as a modifier).
  • Band name is composed of nothing more than three or more band members’ surnames (aka, “law firm” format).
  • Band name is a phrase of four or more words.
  • Other, which I will discuss in this thread.

  18 Responses to “Bad Band Name Indicators”

  1. I was listening to NPR’s “All Songs Considered” podcast, a SXSW edition. In that podcast, Sleater Kinney member/blogger Carrie Brownstein mentioned that she hates band names that come from book titles. This immediately made me think of “The Shipping News,” which I think is a terrible band name.

    The “law firm” format, for me, shows a complete lack of creativity and also indicates a battle of egos. They don’t want to be Supertramp, where nobody can name any band members. They want everyone to know who is in the band and then, of course, comes the question of whose name goes first.

    Also, I think band names that are not clear in their pronunciation are stupid. Think, “Live,” “INXS” or “!!!.”

    But then, there are exceptions to all of these guidelines.

  2. pudman13

    Band name is spelled incorrectly (either on purpose or not.)

  3. I just wanted to say that Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe were pretty popular with my marching band pals in high school. ABWH is what kids in the know called ’em. I bought a few old Yes albums around this time, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never knowingly heard a note of ABWH.

  4. bostonhistorian

    Named after a continent sucks as well: Asia. Seriously, are there any bands with place names which *don’t* suck?

  5. What about band or musician names that become a registered trademark??

    like, have you ever noticed that Billy Joel is a registered trademark??

    I think it is going too far to have a little copyright logo next to your name on your LP covers.

  6. misterioso

    Band is named after a character in a play by a French absurdist.

  7. Mr. Moderator

    pudman13 wrote:

    Band name is spelled incorrectly (either on purpose or not.)

    To this day I’ve avoided hearing a lick by The Beatles for just this reason! 🙂

  8. i don’t like numbers in a band name.
    The Delta 72
    The Three 4 Tens
    Matchbox 20
    Spacemen 3
    Asteroid #4
    Death From Above 1979
    .38 special
    3 doors down
    10,000 maniacs
    blink 182
    eve 6
    maroon 5
    powerman 5000
    seven mary three
    sum 41
    third eye blind
    three dog night
    i like some of the bands i’ve mentioned, but i don’t like their names.

  9. exception:
    Dave Clark Five
    Jackson 5

    like when it tells you how many dudes are in the band.

    Also, ive said this before, if your band has animals in the name or the word animal in the name, you can forget it.

  10. “Europe” and “America” are two bands that don’t do much for me.

    How about GTR? Steve Howe seems to weave his way in and out of a handful of these bands…

  11. BigSteve

    Even The Animals?

  12. Animals, Troggs, Beatles…anything from before 1990 gets a pass…hahaha how fucking arbitrary huh?

  13. I still love the Rolling Stone Album Guide’s review of that GTR album: “Ttl sht.” Classic.


  14. pudman13

    ooofff….the Byrds too! I guess I should say “any band formed after 1970???”

  15. general slocum

    The opening band for us Friday was one of those current “an adjective 3 times, and a noun 1 time” bands. I forget the words, but you know. And yes, I’m saving the schematic version for myself, gents.

  16. general slocum

    Fave place name band, maybe, Nazareth. Fave “law firm” band: Giles, Giles & Fripp.
    Misspelling that made a peacable man think of dope-slapping: Fingerprintz.

  17. BigSteve

    The British band Texas is a good counter-example. Stupid idea for a name, sure, but good music.

  18. BigSteve

    Not to mention Manitoba (Dan Snaith) who had to change his nom de disque to Caribou to avoid being sued by Handsome Dick. Up in Flames, issued before the name change, was one of the best albums of the 00s.

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