Maybe it’s kind of gimmicky, but coming up with a weird band name can be key to drawing in new fans. Or drawing in me, anyway. I guess I can’t speak for the general population of music listeners, but when I’m aimlessly wandering through music blogs, I’m much more likely to click on a song by a band called something like Killer Japanese Peace Lily than I am to click on a song by a band called Laundry Detergent. (Actually, scratch that. I would totally be intrigued by a band called Laundry Detergent. Just insert a more mundane band name back there instead.) Anyway, some of the strangely-named bands floating around have inspired this quiz: Can you pick out which of the following 12 names are real bands? (And no, I’m not going to help you out by clarifying the ratio of real to fake bands.)
- Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head
- Irreverent Praying Mantis
- Too Obscure for the Internet
- We Were Promised Jetpacks
- Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
- Stay Off My Lawn, You Kids!
- Mord Fustang
- The F***ing Invincible Teenagers
- The We Shared Milk
- Freak Gasoline Fight
Answers after the break.
Okay y’all, here are the real bands:
1. Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head (Seattle band that now goes by Brite Futures, most likely because Natalie Portman’s head hasn’t been shaved since V for Vendetta.)
4. We Were Promised Jetpacks (Scottish band pictured above who, quite disappointingly, can’t remember how they came up with their band name. In fact, in an interview with Spinner, singer guitarist Adam Thompson said, “We don’t even care about jetpacks. In fact, I hate jetpacks.” So is this like a Batman thing, where the band named itself after the thing it fears/loathes the most?)
5. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti (Ariel Pink is a dude, not a Disney princess, and when he’s not doing solo work, he releases music with a band called Haunted Graffiti. It’s actually quite straightforward. And the idea of street art being haunted is awesome.)
8. Mord Fustang (Solo electronic act/DJ from Estonia. Says part of the appeal of being called Mord Fustang is that he can use MF as a logo.)
10. The We Shared Milk (Portland band that seems like a product of Portlandia but is actually a real thing.)
12. WHY? (Alternative hip-hop/indie rock band based in Cincinnatti. Nothing like naming your band after a one-word existential question and then putting it in all caps so it’s like you’re screaming. They also have some pretty great song titles, like “Berkeley by Hearseback”.)
On a last personal note, my hypothetical band is tentatively called Safety School, although it sometimes switches to Vincent Priceless. I originally wanted to go with Hooks for Hands, but apparently there is actually already a band called We All Have Hooks for Hands. Figures.