Monday, February 1, 2010

Name is The Game: Band Names

"There's a thin line between clever and stupid." Nigel Tufnel

Band names.

The right one is iconic. The wrong one is stupid. Band names brand your tribe. Your fans will paste it on their cars, windows, bar bathrooms, clubs, telephone poles, guitar cases, Trapper Keepers, wear it on panties, t-shirts, hats, etc. There are many types of band names:

1. The (Your Name Here) Band, Group or Duo,Trio, Quartet, Quintet, Sextet, Octet or Explosion or Experience or Unit or what have you.

The easiest, most direct way to name a band. Jazz groups love this. It's also because jazz groups usually have leaders or feature players-those leaders are the band. The leader of the group could be dead, but it's still his or hers band. Rock bands that use this type of moniker like to, dare I say, jazz it up with funky adjectives for "band".
Ex: The Miles Davis Quintet, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The Sonny Rollins Trio, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Jazz/Funk Unit, The Charles Mingus Big Band. James Brown & the Famous Flames, Hootie & the Blowfish. A personal favorite of mine-Rock Stardom & the Fashion Jerks. I was a Fashion Jerk

By the way, I actually like the name-The (Your Name Here) Band. Your welcome, use it.

Here is a list of eponymous band names

2. The name that defines your primary influence. Sometimes the name is spelled different, sometimes it's a combination of things boiled down to a couple of words or phase. Something that is important to the band or the leader of the band. A style of music or philosophical world view or a song or another band.

Ex; The Rolling Stones, Soul Track Mind, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Doors

3. The made-up name or phrase

Pretty simple in concept, whether it's intentional or found in a dream. Sometimes words are just cool together

Ex: Aerosmith, Metallica, Arctic Monkeys, Audioslave, Air Supply, Nine Inch Nails.

4. The obvious name.

A common word or phrase, sometimes in a different language.

Ex: The Eagles, The Police, The Band, The Cure, Helmet, No Doubt, Yo La Tengo, Pantera, The Time

These are just a few types of band names. There are some many reasons and choices bands make about their names. I keep a list of band names, song titles with me all the time. Ever time I think of one, I write it down.

Here is a list of band names and their origins from Wikipedia.

My favorite band names: Radiohead, Soundgarden, Living Colour, Sly & The Family Stone, The Jam, The Clash, The Sex Pistols, Bad Brains, Public Enemy, Pearl Jam, Screaming Headless Torsos, Massive Attack, Led Zeppelin, Funkadelic.

The name I choose for my new instrument group is The Quart of Blood Technique. Here are the reasons:

1. I like a name that can be shorten by a fanbase-perhaps the QoBT, The Technique, etc. Like the The Rolling Stones go by the Stones a lot.

2. The music of the group will be live, experimental jazz, funk/R&B, rock, sound texture stuff. Original music, arrangements of music from movie soundtracks-TV Themes and riff heavy music (reworking hard rock and jazz tunes). I ultimately want some of the original music used with film. I wanted a name to reflect film, so I wanted something from a film.

3. I wanted a name to reflect my mindset. I have an absurdist, subversive sense of humor. It's why I love the human condition. The absurdity of situations, even the tragic ones. It's how I deal with stress,

4. One of my favorite movie scenes ever is from Trading Places. The first time I saw this scene I was hyperventilating. I was a kid, but the fact the Billy Ray Valentine could bullshit so much just tickled me to no end. What he says is so absurd, yet his jailbird minions hang on ever word of his heist story.

So be on the lookout for updates on my group The Quart of Blood Technique. The next step will be filling out the line-up.....