A Good Name Helps

LedZeppelin1973_GruenThere’s a lot to think about so far this week and very little of it is good.

There’s that Donald Sterling thing and tornadoes and Ukraine and continuing beef between Jay Z and Drake. Life is rough business right now.

But hey, real quick- here is what Jay Z recently rapped on the DJ Khaled track, “They Don’t Love You No More,” that is allegedly about Drake: “Haters wanna ball let me tighten up my drawstring, wrong sports boy, you know you soft as a lacrosse team.” Some background- Drake made fun of Jay by saying he wasn’t probably watching basketball, he was probably eating fondue. Why hate on fondue, Drake? Fondue is delicious and fun! Drake also hated on Jay’s art collection and penchant for rapping about it. Jay responded by saying that hey, at least he’s rapping about shit he owns. I don’t know what that means. But back to the aforementioned quote- has Jay Z ever seen a lacrosse game? I’d call a lacrosse team a lot of things, but soft is definitely not one of them

So come on Jay, hate on Drake but hate correctly, sir.

Moving on…

Let’s talk about band names because that’s a fun topic for a not-so-fun week.

Band names are a slippery slope and they flat out suck to try and come up with. You want to sound cool, which is a tall task. You don’t want to sound preachy and you want something that will look good on a club’s marque. My cousin was in a band called Free Weed once. Stupid name? Yes. Good band name, though? Totally. A band name should be memorable. A band name should give people an idea what you’re about before they even hear your music. It shouldn’t sound like you’re trying to hard, though- trying to sound too cool, too smart. So like I said, a slippery slope.

Slippery Slope would be a terrible band name.

I’ve lost track of how many band names I’ve come up with. Coming up with each one was it’s own little death march through deliberation hell. My favorite names of bands I’ve been in are the Ho Down Warriors, B Side Prophets and Sidecar Radio, the last one being my number one.

Now my favorite band name, probably of all time, is Manifest Nexto Me. Manifest was a hip hop band from Burlington, Vermont in the early 2000’s. You can listen to their debut album Victim Oblivion on Spotify. The name Manifest Nexto Me sums up everything that I feel makes for a good band name in that it’s memorable, cool, catchy and interesting. It’s clever as hell. I don’t think I’ll ever forget about the band because of how their name will always stick with me, which I think should be every band’s goal.

What are some other great band names?

Giddy Up America’s 30 favorite band names, listed in no particular order:

Led Zeppelin – one of the toughest names out there

Beastie Boys – the Beasties were the kind of cool almost every band strives for

Sublime – sums up the band perfectly

Rage Against the Machine – ditto

Velvet Underground – a great phrase

Gang Starr – my favorite hip hop duo/band name

The Black Keys – classic sounding

De La Soul – my second favorite hip hop duo/band name

The Roots – they could be called by no other name

The Delfonics – legend award

Dispatch – how had no one thought of this before?

The Temptations – also classic sounding

Grateful Dead – in the Great Phrase category

The Rolling Stones – also in the Great Phrase category

The Hold Steady – ditto

Buena Vista Social Club – it sounds like a great place to hang out, drink sangria and play bocce

Rogue Wave – great use of the singer’s name (Zach Rogue)

Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra – they’ve shortened it to Antibalas, but it’s still a great sounding name

Jimi Hendrix Experience – all-time winner for best name of a musician and his backing band

Local Natives – like Dispatch, how had no one thought of this before?

Outkast – simple and perfect

Nirvana – they also couldn’t be called anything else

A Tribe Called Quest – super cool

Smashing Pumpkins – we all did it or at least thought about doing it

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – a tough version of the Buena Vista Social Club

The Allman Brothers Band – best “brothers” band name

Creedence Clearwater Revival – this could be so many things

Widespread Panic – in the Great Phrase club

Black Flag – menacingly tough

In a separate category…

Giddy Up America’s favorite and the band names, also listed in no particular order:

Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes

Elvis Costello and the Attractions

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears

Bob Marley and the Wailers

and because playlists are fun…

Giddy Up America’s Favorite Band Names Playlist






Categories: Music

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2 replies


  1. Average White Band | GIDDY UP AMERICA
  2. No Losing Sleep Here | GIDDY UP AMERICA

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