Pleased to meet you, won’t you guess my name
Today’s Wall Street Journal includes an article about the alleged dwindling supply of short-and-punchy band names, which notes:
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.
The article goes on to suggest that in the past, great names like The Beatles were available, but no longer. Today, we are doomed to a future of Them Crooked Vultures. (Or perhaps, to augment the article, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, or The Airborne Toxic Event).
Except that easily available evidence directly contradicts the conclusion, doesn’t it? The past decade alone has seen the rise of lots of chart toppers: The Killers, The Fray, Pink, 50 Cent, Kid Rock, Evanescence, Nickelback, Train. Train! The landscape is officially not bare if a band called Train can break onto the scene and achieve national success within the past decade. Whatever one thinks of each group’s music, they’re all clear, short, punchy, and memorable names.
It’s true that if someone is stubborn or uncreative enough to insist on a band called Bliss or Rain or Caligula, then they’re out of luck. The relatively short window in which anyone could be The Who is past. But there’s always room for a Led Zeppelin, or a Creedence Clearwater Revival, or — even in this past decade! — a Pink.
Now, I’m going to go listen to The Calling and The Script for a little while, while I sit and Muse.