Last week I was at the DMV getting my new plates. Since it's only $36 annually to have a personalized license plate in Nevada I thought hey! Why not. The customized plate I've always wanted is HRUDUDU, which was the word for car in the rabbit language in the children's novel "Watership Down". This led to confusion with the DMV girl and her supervisor, because they have to screen all license plate names to make sure nothing offensive gets through, and they weren't convinced that HRUDUDU was harmless. After all, said the DMV girl, it sounds a lot like "doo doo".
I didn't end up getting the plate, because after all the fuss, it turns out someone already has it. (the bastard) But that night at home, I did a google search for HRUDUDU to see if I could have proven my case (that the name wasn't offensive) on the internet.
I could have guessed what would happen. Some fucking band has co-opted the name HRUDUDU, just as every other sweet, whimsical name from my childhood has been similarly stolen, all so some lame-ass group of kids can cash in on the perceived currency of this sweet memory and thus marginally enhance the overall image of their weak, weak musical enterprise.
I've had it with these pretentious, look-how-obscure-we-are, nostalgia-thieving band names, and I seethe at the audacity of these bands who think a cool name can somehow salvage weak music, or make up for the prestige and imagination that the songs themselves lack.
This isn't the first time a google search has steered me away from what I was looking for, and landed me among dozens of band-related pages. And I always end up having the same thoughts:
1) Whenever friends of yours or classmates or people who know have started a band, have you ever had the sneaking suspicion that these guys were really just getting off on the idea of "being in a band" rather than being driven by a desire to make music? Maybe it was the sheer time spent deciding on a name, or coming up with an "image", or excessive fantasizing about what they'd do when they hit it big. Am I the only one who was suspicious?
2) Don't you think it is sheer arrogance to assign yourself a pretentious or bold or ironic or commanding band name before you've proven yourself musically? Shouldn't you have to demonstrate your ability as a band-entity before you can call yourself "Hrududu factory"?
I mean come on. Husker Du? Veruca Salt?
Maybe my perspective on this is unique since I don't listen to any bands whatsoever. But if I were to somehow form a band, it would not be named by some sort of desperate irony-grab into my past to find some cred among the pop-culture litter of that era. It wouldn't be called Papa Smurf or Bugs Meany.
AHA! I just did a search for those two. Bugs Meany is a band! You can read about them here: http://www.starcityscene.com/FeatArchive/FeatBugs.html
Papa Smurf is not a band, thank God. However, it does seem to be a drink made from Grenadine and Blue Curacao. (add some whipped cream to give it a "beard")
No, if I had a band, the emphasis would be solely on the music. If there were three of us, and we lived in San Ysidro, I'd be fine with: The San Ysidro Trio. Boring? Yes! That's the beauty. An utter lack of pretention. We bring you music! Not ego!