Ladies and Gentlemen, the Group of Death!

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When it comes to vacation days, WNYC has a "use it or lose it" policy, and with the end of the fiscal year approaching on June 30, I'm about to lose a few days. So today I'm at home, currently watching Euro 2012, the European soccer championships.  I started while Portugal was beating Denmark, but incompatibility issues between my home computer and the Soundcheck website mean that I’m finally finishing it during the marquee matchup between Germany and Netherlands.  All four teams are ranked in top 10 of the world, and are all in the same group of four, which is why all the commentators are referring to it as the "Group of Death."

Which would be an awesome name for a band.

We've talked before on the show about how hard it is to find a good name for your band, how so many names are already taken, and how badly some bands are named. Of course, a bad band name to one person is a stroke of genius to another. I happen to like the Austin,TX-based group called I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness (ILYBICD for short), but my wife thinks it's a stupid name. Brooklyn's And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead (Trail of Dead for short) is a band whose music I like more than their name, but I can't say why I think that's cumbersome and ILYBICD is not.

Then there’s the band Fun. (Fun-with-that-stupid-and-unnecessary-period-at-the-end for short), whose name makes any sentence containing it an unexpected challenge to read (or write).  Given the success of their current hit, “We Are Young,” that’s a lot of sentences. And don’t get me started on Panic! At The Disco.

I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t mind the full-sentence band name (subject, verb, object), but the willfully weird punctuation band name actively annoys me.  (Maybe I’ll except the band !!!, since I like their music…)  (Nah.)  But of course names like Fun. and Panic! At The Disco certainly seem to work for lots of other people.  For me, they belong in the Group of Death.

When it comes to band names, there’s a fine line between Creative Thinking and Desperate Disaster.  So throw out an unusual band name – one that you think rocks, or one that you think deserves to die a quick death.  And let’s see what the reaction is…