SXSW is a good time to sit back and reflect on all the dumbass band names that people come up with.
Oh, and there are a lot of them.
Take for instance the SXSW crowd favorite Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All.
What does this mean!? It’s not even a dark and brooding sentence like most ridiculous band names. It’s like they did the old Bowie trick and put some words into a hat. What’s so odd about the future, huh? And why does Mozart have to be wrangled in to your poor naming skills? Leave him alone! And don’t go making him killing everybody! Mozart was a good man. He wrote ‘The Magic Flute’ and I kind of like it.
I will not listen to this band purely based off of their name. There. You lost a potential listener due to your inability to come up with a winning band name (absolutely nota Charlie Sheen reference). Same goes for most of these bands below. Your band names suck and here is why….
Tell me your favorite dumbass band name!
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (or CYHSY)
Where the name came from: According to thisLAist article, the band was performing in Brooklyn and had no name, so they did what any intelligent hipster set would do and scoured the bathroom walls for inspiration. So in other words, some other asshole came up with the sentence “clap your hands say yeah” and these guys stole it. Sounds like the typical hipster code of ethics: find something irreverent, witty, and/or weird that you did not come up with and make it your own.
Why it’s dumbass: This will be the first of two bands that has the word “yeah” in the name. Why is “yeah” such a popular word? It’s not even a good word. Why not ‘Clap Your Hands Say, Aye!’ or ‘Clap Your Hands Say, Indeed!’ I like those band names much better. Also, maybe I don’t want to clap my hands to your music. Maybe I just think you’re a total ripoff of David Byrne. Maybe you should change your band name to “Clap Your Hands If You Think I Sound Like David Byrne, Because I Do….Yeah!”
…And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead (or Trail of Dead or …AYWKUBTTOD…or not)
Where the name came from: Wikipedia says that the name comes from a Mayan chant. It also says it’s similar to an Egyptian chant. It also says it’s a joke. Whichever one it is, they all blow hard. Not that Mayan or Egyptian chants blow. In fact, they’re kind of cool, but assuming a phrase that implies you leave heaping mounds of rotting flesh wherever you go is lame. I’m not even sure you leave a trail of happy listeners?
Why it’s dumbass: Why are so many sentence band names super dark? I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness, This Will Destroy You, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, These Arms Are Snakes… do you want us to feel like shit before we even listen to you? I’d like to point out the completely unnecessary use of the ellipsis and the fact that this band is ten words long. The word “unnecessary” seems to be a common theme in most of these band names. Also, the acronym looks like a dyslexic rephrasing of the sentence “awkward butt wad’.
Does it Offend You, Yeah? (or DIOY, Y?) recommended by Joel Buchanan
Where the name came from: Band member Dan Coop says that they took their name from the first things they heard when they turned on the television: Ricky Gervais saying, “Does it offend you, yeah? My drinking?” Dan Coop is also quoted as saying that he put zero thought into the band title. That is kind of obvious.
Why it’s dumbass: Every time I hear this band name I think of shirtless Austin Powers rubbing his massive rug of chest hair and prodding the question. I don’t like this visual. In fact, it kind of makes me scrunch up my face when thinking about it. I don’t like a band asking me questions either. I just want to listen and enjoy- not worrying about whether or not I’m being offended. If you really want to know DIOY, Y?, then yes, your stupid ass band name not only offends me, but makes me throw up in my mouth a little.
I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness (or ILYBICD)
Where the name came from: For SXSW last year, lead singer Chris Goyer states on Spinner, “I didn’t come up with it. It’s a full sentence that I think speaks for itself.” I have no comment on this.
Why it’s dumbass: Anyone who answers that question seriously needs to be taken out behind the barn. “It’s a full sentence that I think speaks for itself.” Yeah, it says that you’re a raging douchebag, that is what. I must admit that at one point I thought your band name was kind of cute and clever, but after reading your answer, I’m like, “I’ve chosen darkness because you made me go there with your stupid answer. Now I will have to leave a trail of dead. Does that offend you? Yeah? YEAH?!” The sad thing is, this is another band from Austin. Two bands from Austin made this list. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised…?
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin (or SSLYBY) recommended by Jennifer Sinski
Where the name came from: Frontman Phillip Dickey told Spinner that they wanted a light and happy name and Boris Yeltsin was really getting dumped on by the media at the time, so they decided to combine happy with former Russian bureaucracy. If that is the formula for a good hipster band name, then my next band will be called, “I Will Have Your Baby, Putin”.
Why it’s dumbass: This has to be the most admirable of the dumbass band names. At least they’re trying to lift the spirits of a fallen president. Dickey said that he felt bad for Yeltsin who was “disgraced and life was in ruins”, but he thought somewhere in the world someone loves good ol’ Boris. Well, Boris, wherever you are, a band from Missouri kind of likes you. Oh wait, you’re dead, aren’t you? Never mind.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor (or GY!BE)
Where the name came from: Wikipedia states that the band got their name from a 1970’s Japanese black-and-white documentary by Mitsuo Yanagimachi about biker gangs. Of course they did. Again, following the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah rule of finding something clever that you did not come up with yourself and making it your own.
Why it’s dumbass: Because this sounds like a name my highly pretentious NYU film school graduate roommate would come up with. Everything about this band name screams, “I’m more cultured than you because I’ve actually seen a 1970’s black-and-white Japanese documentary about biker gangs and you haven’t!” Well, I hate to break it to you, Godspeed You!, but I’ve seen some Kurosawa films, yeah. So I see what you’re getting at and I’m not impressed.