Thursday, June 07, 2007

Mixtape (thank god it's not) Monday!

Choosing a name for your band is not easy. It is the very first impression you will likely make on anyone. While it is possible to randomly overhear music without knowing who the artist is (a dangerous situation in which one can find oneself bopping along to Stars Are Blind, because I DIDN’T KNOW IT WAS A PARIS HILTON SONG, OK, AND IT’S DAMN CATCHY AND YOU KNOW YOU LIKE IT TOO. Ahem.) it's rare. So when it comes time to pick a name for your band, you want something generally short, not already in use by any other of the 8 billion bands on MySpace and of course somewhat evocative of your sound. Well, sometimes two out of three is the best you can do.

Death Cab for Cutie – Marching Bands of Manhattan
Think back to when you first heard of Death Cab. Oh shut up, hipster troll, my reader(s) and I first heard of Death Cab because they were Seth Cohen’s favorite band. And come on, with the word Death in the title, I know I was not the only one surprised by the band’s vaguely-castrati sounds.

Acid House Kings – Do What You Wanna Do
Recently discovered from one or another of the awesome mp3 blogs I like to crawl through. I remember thinking to myself, ugh, there is no way I will like this band. Clearly the expectation here is psychedelic/dance/electronica, like a raver tripping at Woodstock. Imagine my delight to get happy, jangly pop, complete with handclaps!

Teddybears – Cobrastyle
On the other end of the spectrum, we have a band name that sounds like they should be playing PopFest on a double bill with the Pipettes. While there are handclaps present here as well, the vibe is more synth-Shaggy. Also, you have heard this song before. It has been featured in several commercials and movie trailers, and most prominently (at least in my house) on the soundtrack to FIFA 2006 for Sony Playstation.

The Damnwells – Kung Fu Grip Kiss
Wow, double whammy here. The name to me sounds like an angry and unwashed punk band, but the Damnwells actually play indie/alt-country rock that’s more rocking live than some of their tracks would lead you to believe. Strike two is the song title. I almost demoted this song back down to 3 stars after an initial 4-star rating, simply because I couldn’t believe I would like a song with such a ridiculous name. Well, suffice to say the song has actually made the incredibly rare leap to a FIVE star rating, and their concert (note: NOT my photos) kicked some serious ass (in a hygienic and non-punk way).

Rigby Lane – link to their MySpace page
This pains me in a way, because I know these guys and they are awesome people. The band’s previous incarnation was called Catherine St. and while everyone agrees that was a basically acceptable name, numerous changes in the lineup dictated an entirely new band name for the remaining members. Here is the problem: they are not, I repeat NOT, actually a Beatles tribute band. I know, right?

Has anyone else noticed that I fluctuate between listing the songs title first vs. band name first? Yeah, it annoys me too. In this post, listing the band name first made sense as that was the thematic thread tying together the mix. But I feel like my default is song title first, then artist name, like reading left to right in iTunes. I need to do some research on music blog standards. OR if you have a preference one way or the other, do tell.

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