Sunday, December 27, 2015

December 27, 2015

The post-Christmas club listings provide very slim pickings this week, so it's time for a retrospective post. Thanks are due to Kyle Ryan at A.V. Club and to my brother and bandmate Neal Kosaly-Meyer, who shared Ryan's article "When Bundled Bowels met Gruesome Toilet: The 2015 year in band names." I had previously blogged about at least seven of the 300-plus on this list. Here's what I had to say:

Car Seat Headrest
(from January 10, 2015) Naming a band for a prosaic, unsexy object shines a spotlight on the mundane and brings it some glory. I'm also old enough to remember when car seats didn't have headrests, so there's a little nostalgia factor. I also like how this one thing has a name that's a list of three nouns (four, if you break up "head" and "rest"). 

Fit for an Autopsy
(from November 23, 2013) Not what you want to hear at your annual check-up.

Good Willsmith
(from August 12, 2012) I like the word overlap that turns the meaning in the middle from a movie into an actor.

Make Do and Mend
(from May 17, 2014) This is how I was raised and how I run my household. In rock band terms, "use more duct tape."

Mild High Club
(from May 23, 2015) The sly wordplay makes this a more accessible club for late-life beginners who dislike air travel, especially if you live in the land of legal weed.

(from January 13, 2014) Full disclosure -- a relative is a co-founder of this group, formerly of Whidbey Island, now based in upstate New York. I like the name for its implicit raunchiness and explicit innocent silliness. (And the new EP is pretty good, too).
(Now operating under the name Doubles.)

Wizard Rifle
(from July 21, 2013) Now, that just seems unfair. Magic and firearms, too?

Saturday, December 19, 2015

December 19, 2015

A holiday week usually means slimmer pickings in the club listings. My first pass yesterday came up dry -- every name that stood out was one I'd written about in the past. A fresh look this morning revealed a sleighload of possibilities, narrowed down to these five gifts:

Broken Trail
I like when one word has two nearly opposite meanings. Breaking trail clears the way for those coming after. But a broken trail could also be a path in poor condition, rough, overgrown or intermittent.

The Keynote Speakers
Part of an excellent sound system that people would pay to hear. It also reminds me of a busted old stereo speaker that was transformed by abuse into an awesome feedback machine and duly named Speaker of the House.

Lonesome Rhodes & the Good Company
Classic X and the Y structure, in beautiful complementary balance.

Sacred Signs
This one would have fit into last week's holiday-themed post. The carol "Love Came Down at Christmas" includes this puzzling line: "Worship we our Jesus: But wherewith for sacred sign?" I've never really understood what Christina Rossetti meant by that, but it's always a line I look forward to singing because when else do I get to say "wherewith"?

I rarely write about big-name acts, but I will make an exception for X, as I have been a fan of both their name and their music since the '80s. The bare-bones, almost illiterate simplicity seems like the essence of punk. It is at once a signature, a deletion, a vote.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

December 12, 2015

Finding myself less than two weeks from Christmas, I'm going to attempt a holiday-themed post without having chosen explicitly Christmas-y band names. Here we go!

Deer Leader
It looks like a cute play on what they call North Korea's supreme leader. It's actually about Rudolph.

Electric NoNo
A warning to pet owners: be sure to keep your cats, dogs, hamsters, wombats, etc. from chewing on the tree lights!

Gentle Bender
This one makes a neat turn from beloved animal star to a lonely Christmas Eve, listening to Darlene Love and drinking toasts to absent friends until you quietly pass out under the tree.

Glacier Veins
Not exactly festive, but ice and cold are seasonal (some years). You'd have to have glacier veins not to be moved by the tale of the gentle bender, or perhaps by a sentimental old carol.

season of strangers 
My husband was sure the sentimental old carol "Dear Little Stranger" was a favorite beloved of all. So far, we haven't found anyone else who knows it, including me. But this is the season to welcome strangers who can't find room at the inn.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

December 5, 2015

My garage-rock fairy tale St. Rage (now being wrestled into shape with help from the insightful editors at Pankhearst) takes place in a lightly fictionalized Seattle, complete with a lively and varied music scene. I have a feeling my made-up bands would feel at home with everybody on this list:

Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albertans
Regular readers know of my fondness for the classic X and the Y band-name structure. That goes double when there's a funny rhyme involved.
The Doubleclicks
Speaking of going double, I celebrate the unapologetic nerdiness advertised in both their name and genre, "Folk/Rock/Comedy/Dinosaurs/Books/Superheroes." And they're a duo, sisters, no less. Two-piece sibling bands rule!

It might not be a drug reference. It might the shape of someone's head.

More nerd appeal! But really, what else could you choose if you're going to rap about Metroid? She makes that odd concept into something wonderful.

Sky Colony
An idea from that same future with the jetpacks and the flying cars.