possibly the only post you’ll read this year involving savage garden

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. 


8 thoughts on “possibly the only post you’ll read this year involving savage garden”

  1. You hear that Savage Garden song every morning around the same time? Does that mean the Muzak never changes? On your way to the water cooler around 10, are you assured to be swaggering down the hall to “Mambo #5”? Is it about lunchtime when you hear that touching Kid Rock-Cheryl Crow ballad? Or what about that guy from Kid Rock’s posse…Uncle Kracker? Is Uncle Kracker your afternoon snack?

  2. you are uncannily close to the truth. do you work under the muzak, too?

    it’s worse than you know, though. not only is it the same every day, but the playlist only runs for half a day . . . so it’s the same every day, TWICE a day.

    all i know is i went skydivin, i went rocky mountain climbin, i went two point seven seconds on a bull named fu manchu . . .

  3. How about Cream (wuss name), the Hooters (all dudes and no hooters), Kiss (definitely a wuss name), Spandou Ballet (wuss band, violent name), and the coup de grace: Slaughter (no need to elaborate).

  4. hmm . . . i always assumed “cream” referred to either (a) them considering themselves the “cream of the crop” (arrogant bastages) or (b) something like wham! . . . as in, ima cream ya in the mug.

    i wouldn’t call Knights In Satan’s Service a wuss name for fear of angering the Big Pitchfork . . .

    slaughter. yep. good one.

    and holy crap, how’d i forget spandau ballet? when i found out what that name meant, i was, for one of the few times in my life, actually appalled.

    yes . . . these are excellent selections . . .

  5. I can’t take credit for actually knowing what “Spandau Ballet” meant until someone very familiar with this blog explained it to me.

  6. I play this game at work…I hold out on pulling out my iPod shuffle until I hear…NICKLEBACK…that usually happens within the first hour of work. At least today they switched to the 80’s station. But of course, they waited until the last two hours of work (TONE-LOC got me pumped for the weekend!)


  7. Ah, all those discussions of Cannibal Corpse we’ve had finally come to fruition.

    I have to admit that I only found out what Spandau Ballat means about 2 years ago. “True” doesn’t seem to sparkle quite like it used to.

    Other candidates: The Pixies (could be a twee acoustic duo), Cat Power (I expected some sort of shrieking/fist pumping to be invovled), Big Star (more ironic than anything), 10,000 Maniacs (again, more fist pumping), and of course, Hall and Oates (what were they thinking?)

  8. raoulie: thanks!

    somehow i missed tone-loc. jen heard it too and was all excited. it made her friday . . .

    i have to fire up the ipod first thing to drown out american idol/biggest loser recap. oy.


    cannibal corpse, upon discovering we were the only two people in the world who ever talked about them, offered me a small stipend to mention them monthly in the national evil.

    i suspect cat power is secretly a cat hater, and she uses the name as a big “up yours” to catkind everywhere. like, you gots no power, kitties. and you gets no love. the pixies, yes. big star, yes . . . 10,000 maniacs? more like maybe 7. maybe.

    and hall and oates . . . don’t get me started. what two things played absolutely NO part in their music? hint: it’s in their names.

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