Red Sky at Night, Samely and Trite

Nothing has less character than a clear sky.

Some of life’s most dramatic, scary, exhilarating, dangerous, and beautiful moments happen just above us, in the troposphere, and are completely taken for granted.

Each event is unique and grand in scale.

People think you only talk about the weather when there’s nothing else to talk about, but I can’t think of anything else that’s more interesting to talk about first.

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Every band name you’ve ever thought of has been taken. Ever!

Sorry, you’re too late. There aren’t any band names left. Every possible band name you could ever think of has been used!

Okay, so that’s not true, but sometimes it seems like it.

Who hasn’t heard an interesting word or ironic phrase that sets off the alarm, “that would make a great band name!”?  I do it to a fault, sometimes with OCD passion. But with the collective conjury of search engines, it often feels like there isn’t an original thought of any kind left. Short of random letters, numbers, and symbols, just about anything you search for has already been used, and often many times over.

Twitter’s version of the band name experiment is found with the hashtag #bandnames. Some recent favorites include “Second Breakfast” (Hobbit-related), “Confused Dads with White iPods”, and “Judd Nelson’s Nostrils”. I have Tweetdeck set to relentlessly pop these up all day long, and it never gets old.

Early on the web, there was a site that collected what they called “Stoopid Band Names”. The idea was to combine several band or musician names into a new name, with bonus points for irony and wordplay. From simple amalgamations like “Gwarbage” (Gwar + Garbage) and “Wall of Voodoobie Brothers” (think Jeopardy’s Before & After), to consonant substitution like “Lemmy Kravitz” (booo!), and the downright ridiculously complex “MC 900ft Liquid Jesus Lizard and Mary Chain Jones” (wuh duh fuh?). I can’t find the original web site any more, but that list lives on in this Google group. I find it totally infectious, and it’s taking an incredible amount of life force to not spend the next couple hours grubbing for more.

Sadly, band name creation has slowly devolved into a sea of automatic random word generators. Just search google for “band name generator“.  It definitely takes the soul out of the process. But if all you’re looking for is a simple random adjective and noun combination, I guess it isn’t a bad way to go…

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A Boy Band Stole My Name

dfn_babyImagine the surprise when I looked at my Reverb Nation listing and saw that I was scheduled to play some gigs in southeast England!

I started using the name “Departure From Normal” as a pseudonym to create music with in 2007. It’s a wordy weather term that’s awkward to say and hard to remember. I honestly didn’t think anyone else would ever use it for music. But leave it to the Brits!

A quick search turned up an English boy band from Brighton UK, and I think you’ll agree that Daniel, Kane, Jordan and Pete are positively dreamy! No picture of Pete yet? Drummers never get any respect.

Their online presence has grown a lot since I first discovered them, but it looks like they’re still playing mostly high school gigs. They’re not selling out Wembley just yet, but maybe they’ll come looking for the .com version of the domain when they blow up stateside in a few years. Or maybe they’ll have real jobs by then and departure from normal will go back to being just a weather term.

In the meantime, go buy a DFN T-Shirt for your baby. Only 17 quid!

Obviously Reverb Nation is creating show listings based on an automatic search. It seems like that feature should be turned off by default given the inevitability of these kinds of mistakes. But this isn’t the only place where our information is being mixed up, so I’m going back to using my own name for now.

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