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March 02, 1995 - Image 19

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-02

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i

an Daily - Weekend etc. - Thursday, March 2, 1995 - 7

Rock, rock, boe-bock, banana fa

Matt Carison
Part I: The ancient ritual called
Dumb Dumb
I'm flipping through the good ol'
FM band on my car stereo the other
day when I just happen to tune in to
this hyper-than-thou DJ spinnin' the
latest rock junk that the kids are really
diggin' these days. You know the
type of talking head - the 40-year-
old pops with a smooth used-car sales-
man voice and youthful exuberance
up the wazoo.
"Awlrighught! That was the
bruthers Van Halen with their latest
chart scorcher that everyone's callin'
in for. That's goin' out to my man
Cliff in Ann Arbor. Comin' up after
the traffic situation from my man Jack
P. in the copter, we have the latest from
Hootie and the Blowfish! Stay tuned,
my man!"
Excuse me? Hootie and the Blow-
0 fish? I had never heard such an exotic
rock 'n' roll group name before in my
life. I was mesmerized. I was en-
thralled. I was sick to my stomach. I
mean Hootie and the Blowfish? For
Elvis' sake, that's worse than Toad
the Wet Sprocket. Can groups with
such abominable names expect to be
taken seriously? At least Toad the
Wet Sprocket took their moniker from
Monty Python (even though the group
is unfortunately deadly serious; in a
just world, wouldn't you like to see
Toad wear Kiss make-up or take lots
of speed and just go freakin' nuts with
pyrotechnics and lyrics like "The ex-
alted wizard extracted the protracted
fire-sword from the wench's womb
and boiled the blood of the unforgiven
in the ancient ritual called Dumb
Dumb?" That would be more like it.)
* Part I: Doctor Rock and the
over-intellectual syndrome
But the name game is a bit more
serious in most cases.
"Doctor Rock," said Nurse Joan
Smith (who used to suffer from the
pseudonym case #450245 Jett),
"there's a group here ailing from over-
intellectualizing syndrome. They call
themselves Jethro Tull. It's a sad sight
Doctor."
Choosing their name from an 18th-
century inventor who created a ma-
chine for sowing seed, the Tullsters
committed a grave name error -sepa-
rating their name from their lower-
class teen audience so much that all
the poor kids could do is say "Huh?",
forget what the Tull was all about and
rock along anyway (even though a
majority of their audience always were
Ofarm boys, I seriously doubt they had
any inkling of who this mighty farm
man of American history was).
Other groups plagued by such lofti-

ness include REO Speedwagon (after
a fire engine designed by Ransom Eli
Olds), the Communards (named for
French revolutionaries in 1871),
Durutti Column (after an anarchist
brigade in the Spanish Civil War), the
Grateful Dead (after a folklore motif
used to name a specific English folk
ballad), Poi Dog Pondering (after the
Hawaiian slang term for a mongrel),
Steely Dan (after a steam-powered
dildo from William Burrough's "Na-
ked Lunch") and Pere Ubu (after the
play, "Ubu Roi," by French absurdist
Alfred Jarry).
Eventually, one has to ask "Who
cares?" The names certainly don't

denote any meaning inherent to the
band's sound. They're only created in
most cases to sound like the weirdest
name you've ever heard or to make
the band look intellectual. In some
cases, this bombastic streak goes way
too far.
Part III: I'm a pepper, you're a
pepper
Bombasticism. Ha ha. Woop
woop. Yawn.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dead
Hot Workshop, Green Apple Quick
Step, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, Quick-
silver Messenger Service, Blue Oys-
ter Cult, Camper Van Beethoven,
Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Nine

nna foe ...
Inch Nails, Grand Funk Railroad, Mott
the Hoople, the New Bomb Turks,
Man or Astroman?, the Armageddon
Dildos, Pop Will Eat Itself, Hootie
and the Blowfish, Toad the Wet
Sprocket, Stone Temple Pilots.
'Nuff said.
Part IV: The road to Nirvana,
or Polvo!?!
Polvo. The word just falls off your
tonguelike a globule of lumpen cream.
Polvo. Spanish for dust, polvo doesn't
float in the air tranquilly, it crashes
with a hard thud. Polvo. The word not
only is the worst name in the history
See HOOTIE, Page 10

v.'
a9
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Here we see Hootle and the Blowfish. Spooky-weird name, Isn't It, guvenor?

Groceries

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29
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