Fiction Friday: That Would Be A Great Band Name by Alex Snider

Ever string together a few words into a statement and someone suggests that would be a great band name? Like if I said, "wow, the sound of that child screaming really pains my uterus," and then you would say, "hey, Painful Uterus would be a great band name!" And then we'd both laugh at the dumb hipsters and their ridiculous band names and then lament for the days when a band's name meant something and then we'd shake our fists and tell the damn kids to get off the lawn. Ah, what a fun time we will have had! 

Really, though, those enbandulated youths shouldn't stress too much about coming up with an ironic name, they should just peruse their local library's fiction section. Fiction is rife with kick-ass band names. So, inspired by my amazing friend Fjóla's string quartet, Portrait of a Lady, here is a short list of some novel titles and the types of bands they'd make.

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner -- Picture a waifish lead singer. She's not necessarily 'beautiful' but she has an ethereal quality and she wears a lot of gauzy dresses which are perfectly lit up by the stage lights. She has trouble making eye-contact, as does her band of long haired, be-skinny-jeaned, possibly heroin-addicted, androgynous  boys. Picture a lot of bad posture. Exploring the dark side of whimsey, the music would be what an angsty mermaid would listen to while all her friends are listening to Pussy, King of the Pirates.

Children of Gebelawi by Naguib Mahfouz -- A pair of unidentified Parisian DJs who will sell their turntables and buy guitars and be accompanied by three dub-step dancers. You're gonna need to keep hydrated for this one.

The Song of Igor's Campaign (12th c. Russian epic) -- Drone metal for the win! Imagine the show to be a lot of flashing white lights and three dudes who look like they've been dead for three days, slumped on stage making your ears bleed in the best possible way. A lot of throat singing and chanting and cloaks, oh, the cloaks!

Pussy, King of the Pirates by Kathy Acker -- All girl group with matching, Technicolor beehives who sing the kind of poppy cheerleading music that inspires a lot of Charlie Brown's Christmas-style dancing. But just as you're about to write them off, listen closely to the lyrics - that shit is dark!

Ten Little Indians by Sherman Alexie -- Not much to say about the music as it would sound like every other 'indie' band out there but, man oh man, would that shit be earnest. Band would consist of a bunch of attractive rich white kids sporting ridiculous civil war era mustaches, one of whom took an introduction to Aboriginal studies course in university so they're not racist, ok? They're being ironic! Topher's (the bassist) great-grandmother was a Mohawk princess! They don't see skin colour! We live in a post-race society anyway!

Delicate Prey by Paul Bowles -- Could this be the band name of any band other than a Japanese metal group?? No! Three guys and a female drummer who rocks like it's the last gig in the history of the world. They would have masks on, maybe American politicians? Reagan and Nixon and Bush and Clinton? She would Nixon.

Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais -- All this girl-boy team needs is a mic, a keyboard, fluorescent cycling caps and a gift certificate for American Apparel. They will try to cover for their contrivedness by blurting out words like vagina without realizing that vagina as a shock word is pretty contrived in itself. Expect an awkward show that might be akin to walking in on your teenaged brother jerking off. 

Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges -- The next big thing out of Montreal, an ever fluctuating sized group of Canadian musicians and every instrument imaginable who count their influences in folk, polka, opera, whale sounds and Indian zither music. Soon everyone will be asking "who are those fugly people? Rebecca Black should've won most inventive and original artist in the history of music!"

Happy Friday!

Alex Snider is a Toronto-based writer, a Contributing Editor for the Little Red Umbrella and the co-creator of the Once Again, To Zelda blog, which is where a version of this post originally appeared. You can read the rest of her posts here.


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