Where have all the good band names gone? These days, the pop charts are littered with uninspired group handles. Lady Antebellum? Mumford & Sons? Big Time Rush? Muse? Maroon 5? Florence and the Machine? It's bad when the Little River Band sounds edgier than everything out there. • Maybe the problem is that the music industry is just too chaste in the 21st century. Seriously. Back in the '60s and '70s, every other band name was a sly nod to boudoir antics: the Lovin' Spoonful, 10cc, Steely Dan. Juvenile? Maybe. Awesome? Absolutely!
There are a few solid new band names. I think Jack White starts side projects only because he has a pale head full of cool names: the White Stripes, the Raconteurs, the Dead Weather. The Black Keys have swagger in their title. And Kings of Leon is the best band name of the decade. But for the most part, blah.
For the past couple of years, this column's secret weapon has been incandescent designer Holly Braford. And for as long as Holly has been making me look good, the two of us have been talking about helping fledgling bands find a good name — or at least helping them not get stuck with a lousy one.
So we've come up with a few band names that new groups can have free of charge. Seriously!
When creating our band names, we strived for bold, daring verbiage. A band name should say: Look at me, I'm going to rock your world!
Or at least: Look at this awesome iron-on decal on my denim jacket!
I'm not sure about the legalities of this band-name bazaar, but as far as I'm concerned, if you're the first to claim one of these 10 totally rockin' names for your group, it's all yours. Just don't drag Holly and I into court, okay? Have fun and rock on. You sound good — and your new band name sounds even better!
Possible genre: Blue-collar glam rock, neo-disco for the working man who has dirt under his fingernails . . . and garters under his overalls.
Onstage getup: Muddy work boots, bejeweled Westar Energy shirt, flannel thong. Accessorize with twirly tornado pasties.
Compared to: Scissor Sisters, T. Rex, Elton John in that Donald Duck getup from the '70s.
Fans are called: WTFs (Wichita Trannie Faithful)
Beard of Fat
Possible genre: Jammy roots-rock with a side of grits . . . and a beer chaser . . . and something 100-proof in a red cup.
Onstage getup: No shoes, torn jeans, no shirt, torn Stuckey's cap. Hairy beer bellies if possible; maybe after first tour?
Compared to: Zac Brown Band, Dave Matthews Band, Eric Church and pretty much any band followed by easygoin' fans who have no need for shoes or Irish Spring — but could use a lil' bail money now and then.
Fans are called: Fatties
Running for Sausages
Possible genre: Obnoxious but lovable ska-pop that is played seconds before the fraternity party gets broken up by the cops.
Onstage getup: Classic black suits . . . with kielbasa neckties.
Compared to: Fishbone, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Dropkick Murphys and pretty much any of those bands beloved by genuine Red Sox fans (a.k.a. those who know who Jim Rice is).
Fans are called: Brats (or, strangely enough, "Los Chorizos" in Madrid)
More free band names!
Sacrithrice (screamo death metal)
Metalsome (whimsical death metal)
Chub Rub (raunchy Dirty South hip-hop)
Cut Me Mick (smart-alecky rock 'n' roll; band named after Rocky dialogue and yet lead singer mimics Mick Jagger)
Doomsday Oddsmaker (Radioheady Brit-pop band with extreme Nostradamus infatuation that still manages to date supermodels)
Buckberry Chickens (all-female swing band, one of whom will probably date Vince Vaughn)
Victorious Hand (the next Nickelback — sorry)