What’s emoer emo than emo? We are! Get it? Emo-er?
I’ve got da muzak at work. Satellite radio piped in through the intercom, the same play list every day. Lite rock—the Phil-Collins-thrice-daily kind of lite rock. And, every morning, nigh onto 7:55 or so (that’s right: I come in early), “I Knew I Loved You” by Savage Garden whimpers through the halls.
Let’s go back to, say, 1997, when I was in the dorms, watching a lot of MTV, and the VJ announced that a video from this new band named Savage Garden would be debuting after the commercial. I didn’t exactly spring from my seat and pump my fists, but given the name, I expected something along the lines of other mostly excrescent late ‘90s rock—not Creed bad, but maybe like Collective Soul or the Verve Pipe. Nope. Nope, nope, nope.
And it gets me to wondering: is there a more misleadingly-named band than Savage Garden? I thought of a few candidates.
. . . And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead: A band with a name like this should rock and possibly threaten your soul. And, yeah, they’re loud, but in a whiny, my-older-brother-used-to-blow-his-nose-with-my-comic-books way. If you’re going to claim such a name, you should be confident, usually clad in leather pants, and always, always wearing spiked wristbands.
The Killers: . . . And You Will Know Us times infinity. I really don’t think I need to get into what a gross misappropriation of a band name this is. Do I? While we’re here, how about a few more “metal names stolen by wuss bands”: Dead or Alive. Massive Attack. Smash Mouth. Wham! (As in, “Wham! I just smashed yo face into a wall!”) Come on, people. Any progressive society depends on a fair distribution of resources!
Tool: The polar opposite of “metal names stolen by wuss bands.” Maybe they could have traded with Savage Garden. And then traded again with Wham! There—the universe is in order.
Ben Folds Five: I hated—hated—Ben Folds for ten years because of this name. Math was hard enough before you started blatantly tricking me. Don’t lie to me through numbers, man.
Keb’ Mo’: I’ve never actually heard him, but from my understanding, he’s not a rapper. He’s a bluesman, which means he probably predates hip-hop, which just makes his name an unfortunate coincidence. Bet he gets booked for a lot of shows that end in comical misunderstandings backstage.
Living Colour: I just thought, you know, they’d be British. Or at least Canadian.
Cannibal Corpse: With a name like that—come on—don’t you have to expect at least the occasional ballad? I’m not asking for some sappy song describing George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher’s first love—but how about a folksy number contemplating what it’s like to be that cannibal corpse? The missed opportunities, the lost nights? The stinking viscera? But no. It’s just “Meathook Sodomy” this and “I Cum Blood” that. Very disappointing. To have the chance the really speak for an entirely unrepresented demographic and pass it up so blatantly . . . just sad.
And then, a few bands that sound exactly like what they’re called: The Jayhawks. The Libertines (only in behavioral terms). Megadeth. Queen. Travis.
Anyone have any better misleading names? Let me know so I can misappropriate them into my rants.