Your Favorite Bands: How To Correctly Pronounce Their Names
Back in December 1998, when Eminem was just hitting MTV and rap radio, we remember people pronouncing his name as "Eee-mine-im," and not the candy-inflected way it actually was. We even made the mistake during our first viewing of "My Name Is" late at night on the video channel and calling a buddy to ask him if he knew who the hell this scrawny white dude was.
Little did we know that Eminem would be a household name in just a few months. A few years later, at the end of 2003, "Caney" West was getting pretty popular, confounding potential fans who hadn't heard his name out loud yet. In less than a decade, his name would be either be "Asshole" or "Genius," sometimes used in the same sentence by the same person.
Since we can remember, the correct pronunciation of a band's name and even their album titles has been a topic of nerd discussion. Sometimes you waited for older and smarter people to say the name first before you uttered the name around them as to not look like a neanderthal. By the way, Grateful Dead's Aoxomoxoa is pronounced "ox-oh-MOX-oh-AH." We know you were all waiting for clarification, stoned out of your gourds.
Not every group makes it as easy on their potential fans as Lynyrd Skynyrd. Here's a list of commonly mispronounced band names and their phonetic pronunciations, which hinge on whether or not you speak pure, white-bread white-people English. Otherwise, screw these names up as much as you want.
Mas Musica! featuring La Gusana Ciega, Porter, Siddhartha
TicketsSun., Oct. 2, 6:00pm
Nothing But Thieves presented by Ones To Watch
TicketsSun., Oct. 2, 7:00pm
Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats
TicketsMon., Oct. 3, 7:00pm
THALIA - Latina Love Tour
TicketsMon., Oct. 3, 8:00pm
TicketsTue., Oct. 4, 7:00pm
Some people still think that Bouncy Knowles was in Destiny's Child and is married to DJ Jay-Z Jeff. Maybe we did mess up even some of the pronunciations ourselves, and maybe you should get back to work and stop reading a music blog.
Bon Iver: "Bone eev-AIR"
Alternate: "I have something in my eye. Get me a beer."
Sufjan Stevens: "Soof-YAWN Stevens"
Alternate: "Yawn Yawn"
Husker Du: "Whoo-SKER Doo"
Alternate: "I thought this was the Replacements..."
Kanye West: "Khan-YAY West"
Alternate: "Arrogant Asshole"
Alternate: "(tongue click), (tongue click), (tongue click)"
Ray LaMontagne: "Ray LUH-mon-TAIN"
Alternate: "Chicks are crying in the bathroom"
Deadmau5: "Dead Mouse"
Alternate: "When did raves come back? The fuck?"
Sigur Ros: "SEE goo-ROSS"
Alternate: "Bless you!"
Alternate: "I lost my virginity listening to what?"
David Garza: "Dah-VEED Garza"
Alternate: "Cool house show, brah."
Alternate: "GIVE THE MAN BACK HIS BOOKS ALREADY."
Alternate: "Mom and Dad's bedroom door is locked again."
Alternate: "Just say Sam-hain and shut up."
Einsturzende Neubauten: "Ein-STUR-zen-duh NOI-bout-en"
Alternate: "Just point at the album and smile politely."
Yngwie Malmsteen: "Eeeng-VAY Mahlm-STEEN"
Alternate: "Not Eddie Van Halen"
Alternate: "Playskool My First Punk Band"
Alexisonfire: "Uh-LEK-sis On Fire"
Alternate: "Man, Warped Tour makes me feel old now."
Avett Brothers: "EH-Vett Brothers"
Alternate: "Is this Dawes/Fleet Foxes/Mumford & Sons?"
The XX: "The Ex Ex"
Not Acceptable: "The 20"
Alternate: "Is that a fake ID, because if it is you can't put glitter on me there."
Alternate: "Pitchfork said so."
Alternate: "That one band that you only own the first album from."
Alternate: "(blood-curdling scream)"
Alternate: "The band from the Six Flags commercial, right?"
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.