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A Look at SXSW Band Names

From Steaming Wolf Penis to Holy Shit!

As you read this, Austin is inundated with hundreds of bands looking for that magic carpet ride to stardom. They will play in greasy dives on Sixth Street and points beyond, hoping to be discovered by some drunken A&R slouch. These bands all need their hook, their special quirk that makes them stand out against every other garage-gospel-dub trio from Brooklyn or Portland or wherever it is that they come from. Some go to great lengths to hone a truly original sound and vision; others develop enigmatic and distinct stage shows; still others name themselves Steaming Wolf Penis and sit back at the merch table hoping for the best.

Band names are a critical part of becoming a successful force in music. While this won't be the ruler by which a group is ultimately judged, it is perhaps how it will be ridiculed. While planning my trip to the capital city, I perused the list of bands and I was startled by some of the names. I wondered about their motives. How do you tell your mom that you have to drop out of school to tour with your band, The Psychedelic Horseshit? When your scene kid niece asks for a band shirt, what do you do?

Some of these bands are pretty decent and do actually kick ass. Some just have funny names. You can decide which is which.

Rebuilding the Rights of Statutes -- Sounds like what happens when you pick random words out of a legal dictionary.

Holy Shit! -- Playing on an electrifying double bill with Holy Fuck! I'm not kidding.

Psychedelic Horseshit-- I think this moniker was more of a label given to the band by pissed-off neighbors -- "Hey!! Turn that psychedelic horseshit down!! My kids have school in the morning!!"

SHAT -- With its System of a Down-style metal, and the chin-strap dildos they don onstage, SHAT is sure to be this year's SXSW success story. Their song "Vagetarian" is, shall we say, extremely "vaginal."

Steaming Wolf Penis -- The mental picture that comes to mind with this name makes my eyes water and my nose run, kind of like mace for your ears.

The Misfats -- This is an obese-centric Misfits cover band that covers the classic punkers, with songs like "I Turned into a Lardass" and, of course, "Butter" (Danzig's "Mother," in a dairy mood).

I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House-- You just know whiskey and speed are probably involved. I'm going to this party.

Lesbian -- The word "lesbian" looks pretty cool in that black Goth font that no one can read. I bet it looks gnarly on a T-shirt, too.

Tia Carrera -- I got excited because I thought that she was getting the band from Wayne's World back together, but no, there are no foxy Cantonese babes here. It's just three dudes with moustaches.

The 1900's, 1986, 1997 -- Screw '90's nostalgia. What about 20th century nostalgia? Remember The Wright Brothers, Scott Baio and Pogs? Man, the 20th century rocked so hard. Let's name our band that!

Turbonegro -- What? Is that too rough for you, Mary? Would you prefer their original name, which was NaziPenis? Turbonegro sounds way better now, doesn't it?

 
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