Big Pun: Top 5 Pun-Based Bands
We all love a good pun. Ok, maybe not all of us, but some of us at least. Well I can only actually vouch for myself on this, so at least 0.00000001% of the world's population love a good pun. Every week my fellow HMVers and I are tasked with coming up with puns for new releases, with the latest example for The Hunger Games being "Battle Royale with Cheese," so I'm hoping that this gives me some kind of valid opinion on what a good pun is. However, that isn't to say that my own pun creation skills are any good. In fact I'm sure many will testify that they are atrocious. With that mind, here are my top 5 pun-based bands:
The Be Sharps
"We need a name that's witty at first, but that seems less funny each time you hear it." Alright, so perhaps it's cheating a little bit choosing a fictional band, and it could have so easily been Kathleen Turner Overdrive sitting pretty at the top instead. But Homer, Apu, Seymour and Barney definitely deserve to be mentioned amongst the big boys of pun bands. Delve deeper into the pun, and below the simple word play lies extra credit due to The Simpsons writers, as the B sharp does not appear on a typical chromatic scale, giving it a little cherry on top. Now, with that baby on board, on with the rest...
Famed for 1980s hits 'Funky Town', the disco dancing Minnesotans sit comfortably on this list, for the genius simplicity behind their name. They can also boast that they are the most successful of the pun-based bands. In all my research and inner debating, it was a difficult task to find a group or artist who had similar levels of success as well as matching the quality of their name. The only one that popped up, who exceeded them in terms of success was Girls Aloud, but the pun is so unimpressive, they didn't deserve to be included.
The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Definitely the darkest name on the list. For those unfamiliar with their 1970s South American history, Jonestown was the location of a mass murder/suicide in which 907 members of the Peoples Temple died from cyanide poisoning. So definitely one of the cheerier band names, but to combine it with Rolling Stones' guitarist Brian Jones was a stroke of genuine brilliance. Active since the early 90s and still making records today, it seems that they're still happy with their pun creation.
Ok, there's no comedic or historical pun value to this one. In fact it's not even a great pun, but Peter O'Grady deserves a mention. Making some of the most exciting dance music today, he shares little else with Roy Orbison, except for the nine letters. Included for some credibility as opposed to presenting readers with a chuckle.
Propping up the list and keeping the likes of The Dandy Warhols at bay is one that most people may be familiar with the name, but not with the music. Straight outta Brooklyn (that's me pretending I'm down with the kids), the name allegedly came about when a friend of lead singer Honor Titus dropped a slice of pizza on a train track and then picked it up. In reply to to Titus' "that was ballsy," his friend said "cerebral ballsy!," at least according to the internet.
Adverts and music go together like cold and flu medicine. You don't really want either of them but they're sometimes shoved down your throat anyway, and if you consume them recreationally there's probably something wrong with you. The trend recently has just been for TV commercials to half-inch a recognisable tune - whether it's the 'YMCA' or the Oompa-Loompa song - and simply sing the companies name to the tune. [read more]
It makes a weird kind of sense that actors would give music a try. Surely, being successful in one sector of show business means diversifying should be a doddle! Enough of them certainly try, and I emphasise the word "try"; seems that it's a fair bit harder than it looks. Maybe more of them should try, I don't know, being trapeze artists. Then we wouldn't end up with Juliette and the Licks. [read more]
The posse cut: a rap song form sprung from the street corner/lunch table cyphers, which is becoming increasingly consigned to hip hop's golden past. Recent examples are few and far between (the best probably coming from the Odd Future camp in the form of OF Tape Vol. 2 closer 'Oldie'), but the showmanship and verse interplay of the style was once a de rigueur addition to any self-respecting rap album. [read more]