The Pick Six this week is: “Things To Avoid When Coming Up With a New Band Name…”
This may have been fashionable in the late 1990s with bands like Sum 41 and SR71, but doing this now just makes the band name sound like a teenager’s AOL address or some sort of crazy mathematical proof. Note that numbers at the beginning of a name are fine; in that case the larger the number is, the better. This is important in order to scare off the smaller-numbered bands, and the exact reason that no one has heard of the arguably-better music of 9,998 Maniacs.
No one wants to have to keep typing some random piece of punctuation that one or more lunatics decided to put in their band’s name. As a result, it is largely dropped when people reference the band (see Blink-182, Against Me!, O.A.R, etc.). Worse, combining a random hyphen with numbers at the end could cause people to confuse the band with a 1950s-style phone number (see Klondike5-6739).
Face it: placing two dots over a random vowel does not make a band name cooler. It makes it seem like the band is group of guys in a pretentious prog-rock group, possibly from a Germanic country. Unless, of course, the band does actually consist of a bunch of pretentious, prog-rocking Germans. In that case, at least one umlaut in the name is obligatory as a warning to potential listeners of what they are about to hear.
This is included in the list just because it has been done to death over the last few years. There needs to be a moratorium on bands referencing days of the week in their name until someone comes up with a suitably-ironic new use of them. For example, something like “Three Days Past Two Tuesdays Ago” may have a good ring to it.
People love to abbreviate band names (especially on the interwebs). As such, care must be taken by a band to make sure what they think is an awesome name does not lose its luster when fans start using an acronym to refer to it. This is why no one has decided to use the name “Crazy Redneck Alterno-Punks” yet, as awesome as it may seem at first glance.
There are several really good bands with witty, explicit names. That being said, none of those bands are terribly popular. The reason? Because no matter how great the band is, no matter how hard they work, the bottom line is that no one wants to casually mention something like, “I love ‘Putrid Shit-Stained Ass Rags'” to his or her friends.