What’s In a Name?

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One of the wonderful – and sometimes one of the not-so-wonderful things – about living in the Bay Area is the sheer eccentricity of the place. Each day there are as many events, happenings, gatherings and mobs as there are people. For example, today is the Gay Pride parade, led as usual by Dykes on Bikes. Then, there’s the monthly Critical Mass ride or the ever-popular Bay to Breakers race with its naked runners. These are certainly not the sorts of events that take place in heartland spots like Wichita and are part of what makes the place a sort of happily (or hippily) warped version of America.

You’d expect the newspapers in a place like this to be a little eccentric too, and the San Francisco Chronicle is no exception. Their assortment of odd news and political coverage gives way to descriptions of the cultural landscape every Sunday when “the Pink” arrives on the doorstep. For me, one of the joys of this weekly read are the advertisements for bands appearing at thousands of local venues. As I read them, I try to think of what sorts of images each one conjures up. Here are some of my favorites from today’s edition:

  • Death By Stereo – Who am I to criticize, but isn’t this precisely what a band should avoid? There’s really no profit in a steadily declining fan base.
  • El Pus – Well now, that’s just gross.
  • Femi Kuti – I know this is actually this Nigerian’s name, but was his father terrorized by little pig-tailed girls in grade school? You’ll get the joke, read his name real sloooow.
  • Dionsaur Jr. – They used to be called Dinosaur. Sadly, they’re another unfortunate victim of downsizing.
  • Fountains of Wayne – To me, this sounds a tad pornographic, but then I did live in the heartland for awhile.
  • Zepparella/Babarella – I’ll just let the band’s actual promo speak for itself, “The all-female Zeppelin tribute band provides an all-Zep soundtrack to the movie Barbarella.” Their Yahoo Mailing List describes them as, “a four-piece, double-rated ASTRONAVIGATRIX earth band”. Hummina, hummina, bzzzzzSNAP!
  • Alabama Thunderpussy – Is this the new Bond Girl I’ve heard so much about?
  • Gogol Bordello – If I’d have been Gogol, I’d have been hanging out at the bordello too. I don’t think he was exactly a chick magnet.
  • Rosen Coven Dance Review – Well, what else could they be? Why the “world’s premiere pagan lounge ensemble”! I’m thinking this isn’t a very crowded genre.
  • Split Lip Rayfield – They’re new CD will be entitled, “Should Have Seen it Coming”. Sorta like this name I think. Also, you gotta love a band that sells souviner carpenter pencils.

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