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Two Huxleys, two Burroughs, two Plaths
December 9, 2008 11:02 AM   Subscribe

Fine edition used book blog Bookride has a list of Literary Rock Band Names which make a pleasant diversion. A list which just may be expanded in the comments.
posted by shothotbot (32 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
No wonder I hate Collective Soul; they're Objectivists!
posted by Madamina at 11:08 AM on December 9, 2008


Death In Vegas is my favorite, not listed there.
posted by shmegegge at 11:08 AM on December 9, 2008


So they have a listing for Shub Niggurath, a terribly produced metal project, but no mention of the band H.P. Lovecraft? Horrifail.
posted by FatherDagon at 11:11 AM on December 9, 2008


The Grateful Dead (1908)
posted by stbalbach at 11:16 AM on December 9, 2008


Clearly its our duty to help.
posted by shothotbot at 11:16 AM on December 9, 2008


Is the band that wrote "I Wanna Sex U Up" really named after a Plath poem? Really? This seems, for some reason, somewhat unlikely.
posted by chairmanroflmao at 11:27 AM on December 9, 2008


Flock of Seagulls is named after Johnnathan Livingston Seagull?

I ugh. I ugh so far away.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:41 AM on December 9, 2008


Moloko is not necessarily from "Clockwork Orange," as it is the Russian word for milk.
posted by artfann at 11:56 AM on December 9, 2008


I enjoyed that just for the Color Me Badd/Plath reference...it's a joke. Right? Who would take that seriously?

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2008/11/in-the-news-pop.html

If it's true, of course, that's even better.
posted by theefixedstars at 12:13 PM on December 9, 2008


There was an indie band called The Plath in Toronto during my formative indie years. I never actually saw them, but I did see them sticking flyers in all the riot grrl sections at HMV a few times.
posted by yellowbinder at 12:15 PM on December 9, 2008


So a list of actual rock-bands with literary names is pretty cool. Sometimes, though, what you want is a list of fictional rock bands. A few years ago I got my copy of Illuminatus! and copied out the names of all the bands that appear at the Walpurgisnacht festival:

The American Medical Association
Clark Kent and his Supermen
The Wrathful Visions
The Cockroaches
The Senate and the People of Rome
The Ultra-Violet Hippopotamus
The Thing on the Doorstep
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
The Glue Sniffers
King Kong and His Skull Island Dinosaurs
The Howard Johnson Hamburger
The Riot in Cell Block Ten
The House of Frankenstein
The Signifying Monkey
The Damned Thing
The Orange Moose
The Indigo Banana
The Pink Elephant
Frodo Baggins and His Ring
The Mouse That Roars
The Crew of the Flying Saucer
The Magnificent Ambersons
The House I Live In
The Sound of One Hand
The Territorial Imperative
The Druids of Stonehenge
The Heads of Easter Island
The Lost Continent of Mu
Bugs Bunny and His Fourteen Carrots
The Gospel According to Marx
The Card-Carrying Members
The Sands of Mars
The Erection
The Association
The Amalgamation
The St. Valentine's Day Massacre
The Climax
The Broad Jumpers
The Pubic Heirs
The Freeks
The Windows
Mick Jagger and the Trashers
The Roofs
Moses and Monotheism
Steppenwolf
Civilization and its Discontents
Poor Richard and his Rosicrucian Secrets
The Wrist Watch
The Nova Express
The Father of Waters
The Human Beings
The Washington Monument
The Thalidomide Babies
The Strangers in a Strange Land
Dr. John and the Night Tripper
Joan Baez
The Dead Man's Hand
Joker and the One-Eyed Jacks
Peyote Woman
The Heavenly Blues
The Golems
The Supreme Awakening
The Seven Types of Ambiguity
The Cold War
The Street Fighters
The Bank Burners
The Slaves of Satan
The Domino Theory
Maxwell and His Demons
The Acapulco Gold-Diggers
The Epic of Gilgamesh
The Second Law of Thermodynamics
Dracula and His Brides
The Iron Curtain
The Noisy Minority
The International Debt
Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex
The Cloud of Unknowing
The Birth of a Nation
The Zombies
Attila and his Huns
Nihilism
The Catatonics
The Thorndale Jag Offs
The Haymarket Bomb
The Head of a Dead Cat
The Shadow Out of Time
The Sirens of Titan
The Player Piano
The Streets of Laredo
The Space Odyssey
The Blue Moonies
The Crabs
The Does
The Grassy Knoll
The Latent Image
The Wheel of Karma
The Communion of Saints
The City of God
General Indefinite Wobble
The Left-handed Monkey Wrench
The Thorn in the Flesh
The Rising Podge
SHA-ZAM
The Miniature Sled
The 23rd Appendix
The Other Cheek
The Occidental Ox
Ms. and the Chairperson
Cohen Cohen Cohen and Kahn
The Joint Phenomenon
The Wonders of the Invisible World
Maule's Curse
The Jesus Head Trip
Ahab and His Amputation
The Horseless Headsmen
The Leaves of Grass
The Gettysburg Address
The Rosy-Fingered Dawn
The Wine-Dark Sea
Nirvana
The Net of Jewels
Here Comes Everybody
The Pisan Cantos
The Snows of Yesteryear
The Pink Dimension
The Goose in the Bottle
The Incredible Hulk
The Third Bardo
Aversion Therapy
The Irresistible Force
MC Squared
The Enclosure Acts
Perpetual Emotion
The 99-year Lease
The Immovable Object
Spaceship Earth
The Radiocarbon Method
The Rebel Yell
The Clenched Fist
The Doomsday Machine
The Rand Scenario
The United States Commitment
The Entwives
The Players of Null-A
The Prelude to Space
Thunder and Roses
Armageddon
The Time Machine
The Mason Word
The Monkey Business
The Works
The Eight of Swords
Gorilla Warfare
The Box Lunch
The Primate Kingdom
The New Aeon
The Enola Gay
The Octet Truss
The Stochastic Process
The Fluxions
The Burning House
The Phantom Captain
The Decline of the West
The Duelists
The Call of the Wild
Consciousness III
The Reorganized Church of Latter-Day Saints
Standard Oil of Ohio
The Zig-Zag Men
The Rubble Risers
The Children of Ra
TNT
Acceptable Radiation
The Pollution Level
The Great Beast
The Whores of Babylon
The Waste Land
The Ugly Truth
The Final Diagnosis
Solution Unsatisfactory
The Heat Death of the Universe
Mere Noise
I Opening
The Nine Unknown Men
The Horse of Another Color
The Falling Rock Zone
The Ascent of the Serpent
Reddy Willing and Unable
The Civic Monster
Hercules and the Tortoise
The Middle Pillar
The Deleted Expletive
Deep Quote
LuCiFeR
The Dog Star
Nuthin' Sirius
Preparation H
posted by grobstein at 12:42 PM on December 9, 2008 [13 favorites]


(In order of mention.)
posted by grobstein at 12:43 PM on December 9, 2008


Pretty simplistic list, I thought - with lots of errors. For instance, it's X-Ray Spex, not X-Ray Specs, Joe Strummer admitted that the 101ers name had nothing to do with the torture room in 1984, and so on. Where's the Fall?
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 12:51 PM on December 9, 2008


grobstein, the only way that would be better is if it were cross-referenced with bands which have actually existed. This sounds like a job for Perl + Wikipedia...
posted by brennen at 1:10 PM on December 9, 2008


Yeah, I bet that would be an easy project, too, but it involves at least one thing I'm not sure how to do, and there's this exam I'm cramming for. . . .
posted by grobstein at 1:14 PM on December 9, 2008


I emailed a Sylvia Plath expert I know* and he says, to my complete lack of surprise, that there is no such Sylvia Plath poem, as can be seen from the index of works on his website.

My suspicion is that this is something like a dictionary compiler including a fake word to catch out plagiarists.

*Now watch as I produce Marshall McLuhan from behind this potted plant.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 1:14 PM on December 9, 2008


Love and Rockets
posted by Chuffy at 1:26 PM on December 9, 2008


Yeah, I bet that would be an easy project, too, but it involves at least one thing I'm not sure how to do, and there's this exam I'm cramming for. . . .

I, on the other hand, am merely at work. Here is an extremely naive first pass. Obvious false positives, but it got a few right.
posted by brennen at 1:31 PM on December 9, 2008


Nice work, sir! The general source of false positives is that many of the bands are named after real things that are themselves Wikipedia-notable, and the string "band" turns up too often. A tempting solution is to append "_(band)" to the Wikipedia article titles. However, there may be bands which don't have the "_(band)" designation on their article titles, and there may be bands that are not wikipedia-notable in themselves but might be mentioned in the article for the parent concept (both cases that are picked up by the present scheme).
posted by grobstein at 1:47 PM on December 9, 2008


The Soft Boys, a conflation of Burroughs’s Soft Machine and The Wild Boys

somehow i read this as "conflagration" and liked it better that way.
posted by snofoam at 2:14 PM on December 9, 2008


Good suggestions. I will add some refinements when I get a few minutes free; I think it would be better to check things which indicate the likelihood of something being a band (music-related categories, say) and assign a score.

Probably there are better data sources than Wikipedia anyway. Last.fm or something, maybe?
posted by brennen at 2:18 PM on December 9, 2008


The Shipping News. First thing I looked for. Not there. Pulitzer Prize winner, too.

Neither is June of '44, (The band's name refers to June Miller, wife of author Henry Miller, and the year author Anaïs Nin began writing about June in her diaries.)

Cool find though. Some of those I had no idea of. Some were a total "A-HA! moment as well.
posted by paddysat at 2:22 PM on December 9, 2008


Given the quality of the list, I suppose I shouldn't have expected them to mention Editors.
posted by mandal at 2:38 PM on December 9, 2008


Also, The Go-Betweens and The Triffids curiously absent.
posted by mandal at 2:47 PM on December 9, 2008


Weirdly enough, I found another error moments ago when I opened up my newly-arrived copy of 23 Skidoo's "Seven Songs" on CD - newly expanded on LTM Records. What does the list say?

23 Skidoo, the title of chapter 23 of Crowley’s Book of Lies

What does it say in the liner notes of said CD?

"Their chosen name, 23 Skidoo, was borrowed from the experimental Illuminati trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea . . ."
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 2:48 PM on December 9, 2008


Both are wrong so far as I know. Illuminatus! was influenced by Crowley, so he might have been one of their sources for 23 Skidoo. However, 23 Skidoo's first life was as a bizarre popular catchphrase in the 1920's. I had a math prof who said it a lot, probably because he remembered it from his youth (I don't think he was into Satanism).

(But I guess on the matter of the band's subjective inspiration, your liner notes must be authoritative.)
posted by grobstein at 2:55 PM on December 9, 2008


A list which just may be expanded in the comments.

I can only think of one addition: Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde
posted by hydrophonic at 3:17 PM on December 9, 2008


Both are wrong so far as I know. Illuminatus! was influenced by Crowley, so he might have been one of their sources for 23 Skidoo. However, 23 Skidoo's first life was as a bizarre popular catchphrase in the 1920's. I had a math prof who said it a lot, probably because he remembered it from his youth (I don't think he was into Satanism).


Both aren't wrong; in the liner notes, the band mentions the earlier existence of the phrase. But the 1920s catchphrase is not the source from which their name originates - it's as stated above.

It's sort of like naming one's child Anna after a grandmother - the earlier existence of earlier Annas doesn't change the fact that the girl was named after her grandmother.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 3:49 PM on December 9, 2008


Sotweed Factor (John Bart's fat novel)

That would be the Sot-Weed Factor by Barth.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 3:50 PM on December 9, 2008


Updated that file with grobstein's list, annotated a tiny amount more cleverly.
posted by brennen at 4:00 PM on December 9, 2008


Tolkien names such as Nazxul, Shadowfax, Cirith Ungol, Galadriel, Gandalf, Gollum,

Ha. I kind of love that there are too many (presumably metal) bands with nerdy Tolkein names to actually list them all.

I also sincerely hope to never hear any of them.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:18 PM on December 9, 2008


It's sort of like naming one's child Anna after a grandmother - the earlier existence of earlier Annas doesn't change the fact that the girl was named after her grandmother.

Yes, I meant to acknowledge this with my parenthetical last sentence. Sorry if that came across as sarcastic or something.
posted by grobstein at 5:13 PM on December 9, 2008


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