You know when you really want to name your band after a pair of pants but nothing sounds just right? The Khakis, Corduroy Mayhem, Denimator...
How about going less literal and more making-up-your-own-homonyms-for-foreign-languages? Let's open our textbooks to Zoobombs and refer to how they morphed the Japanese word for "trousers" into a perfect foil for their indefatigable, sweat-drenched funk/alt-blues stew of a sound.
So, to review: they took "Zubon"/trousers, messed with the syllables and came up with Zoobombs. There's a band name formula in there, and not just Japanese/English linguistic alchemy...
1) Khakis = (Japanese) "Kakisu" = Cocky Sue
2) Jeans = (Spanish) "Pantatlones" = Panther Loners
3) Bell Bottoms = (Italian) "Bottoni Di Campana" = Button Up The Camper Van
4) Corduroy = (French) "Velours Côtelé" = Velour Cut N' Lay
Okay, it needs a little work. Let's take a break and get into the Zoobomb gang:
They've been around since 1994 and they play every live show like it's their last. It hasn't been proven, but they could probably sustain entire cities with their energy, if there was a way to hook up a adrenaline-powered battery. Oh yeah, and since they're Japanese, they're genetically disposed to filter and transform North American pop culture into something weirdly amazing.
Here's further proof we could do away with fossil fuels, power plants and whatever other environmentally-unfriendly energy source by simply hooking these guys up to a big ol' Rock N' Roll turbine:
This week's entry was an impromptu one, and obviously not under the best circumstances. On May 17th, Chris Cornell was found in his Detroit hotel room, post-triumphant-Fox-Theater show, without vital signs and with a band around his neck.
Soundgarden was formed in 1984 by then-drummer/vocalist Chris Cornell, bassist Hiro Yamamoto and guitarist Kim Thayil. The band named themselves after a wind-channeling pipe sculpture in Seattle titled A Sound Garden. Scott Sundquist joined in 1985 to allow Cornell to concentrate on vocals. In 1986, Sundquist left the band to spend time with his family and was replaced by ex-Skin Yard drummer Matt Cameron.
The band signed to Sub Pop, and the label released Hunted Down in 1987 as the band's first single. The band released the 'Screaming Life' EP in 1987 and the 'Fopp' EP in 1988. A combination of the two was issued as the Screaming Life/Fopp LP. They signed to SST Records in 1988 and released their full-length (and Grammy-nominated) debut, Ultramega OK. Louder Than Love followed in 1989, further honing their Zeppelin-meets-Sabbath-with-a-dash-of-Voivod sound.
Then came the Grunge Era, with Pearl Jam, Nirvana and others kicking the doors down and replacing hairspray and leather with plaid and Doc Martens. Although they were way more prog-metal, they were from Seattle, and fit in perfectly with their 1991 (with new bassist Ben Shepherd) album Badmotorfinger's sound balancing the tightrope that was, at the time, alt-rock and heavy metal.
Then in 1994 came the ultramega (see what I did there?) hit that was Superunknown. Five-times platinum, Grammy-nominated, debuting at #1 on the Billboard charts... Soundgarden became one of the biggest bands in the world. On top of Spoonman and Black Hole Sun, 'The Day I Tried To Live', 'My Wave' and 'Fell On Black Days' became rock classics.
And not only do they have an educational name, they graced their presence on an episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy!!
After 13 years together and 5 albums, the band acrimoniously broke up in 1997. The fifth album, Down On the Upside, had been released in 1996 and was a big part of the implosion, where the guys were at odds over the musical direction of the album and the band in general. Chris formed the supergroup Audioslave with everyone from Rage Against The Machine except for Zach DaRocha, while the other Soundgardeners took on various projects...
... until 2010, when the band got band together to jam, start recording, and adding a previously unreleased song to the (remember this?) Guitar Hero video game. 2011 saw them contribute a new and quite solid tune to the Avengers' movie soundtrack, and 2012 brought their first album in over 16 years, the like-we-never-left gem of an album, King Animal.
In 2015 they began putting together a new album, and close to half of the tracks had been completed by summer 2016.
They began to tour in 2017, with a late-fall album release in the works.
Which leaves us where we are right now.
R.I.P. Chris. You are deservedly in the (a deservedly-used word here) pantheon of truly great rock voices: Plant, Mercury, Springsteen, Joplin et al. But what made you truly unique is your ability to wail like a banshee and yet also sing like a troubadour. That is why you will never be forgotten.
What comes to mind when you hear the words, "Russian Circles"?
- Crop circles found in the Krasnodar region that may have been made by aliens?
- The upper echelons of the Bratva ie. the Russian mob?
- Being under surveillance by the KGB?
- An ice hockey practice drill?
- An overwhelmingly loud post-rock three-piece out of Chicago named after an ice hockey practice drill?
If the last two thoughts were bouncing around in your cranium, give yourself a lollipop!
The group formed in the early Aughts, and in the struggle to come with a band handle (bandle?) before their first show, guitarist Mike Sullivan and drummer Dave Turncrantz remembered a drill they did during high school hockey practice. The drill was introduced to the world by the 1980 Soviet hockey team.
The band's aim is to create sonic environments that envelop the listener - much like Mogwai, but a tad more aggressive.
Long story short... if you like epic, face-melting instrumental rock with your Iron Curtain hockey trivia, PLEASE go see them.
Okay, kiddies! Today we are learning about the link between Scottish new wave bands, horse racing, and the War To End All Wars. Ahh... I thought that might get your curiosity piqued!
Scottish dance-rock band Franz Ferdinand is named after a racing horse who is named after an Austrian Archduke whose assassination triggered World War One. Got all that? Good.
Franzie's offing aside, World War One was essentially a family feud that just happened to involve around 70 million people and 16 million casualties. If that doesn't make you think war is stupid, nothing will.
Let's look at the creepy relationship between the main players, shall we?
- German Kaiser Wilhelm II was the cousin of Russian Tsar Nicholas II and the King of England at the time, George V.
After Ferdinand's assassination, Tsar Nick and King George ended up against Kaiser Willy and it blew up from there...
But there's a band to talk about here! Franz Ferdinand shot to fame in 2004 and have built up a nice little career ever since. They watched a racehorse of the same name and started looking into the Archduke. The alliterative sounding name stuck and has become a cool accoutrement to their lively, dancefloor-worthy rock, complete with nods to the Russian avant-garde art movement.
They even formed a New-Wave-Voltron-like supergroup with pop legends Sparks in 2015. No word on who was the yellow lion.
And since they've gone and written a song about some U.S. president who may or may not use a weasel in place of hair, who's to say that 20 years from now a band named Donald Trump is taking the world by storm with their chart-topping song, "Miss You Bigly" (apologies to anyone who just threw up a little in their mouth after reading that)?
Many apologies... we can't end things off like that. How about more of this!?!
Happy May The 4th Be With You Day!
In the fictional universe of the Star Wars franchise, a "nerf" is a domesticated bison-like quadruped. In The Empire Strikes Back, Princess Leia insults Han Solo by giving nerfs and those who herd them, a bad name...
At face value, the name sounds perfect for an eccentric indie band, but once you add in the Star Wars connection, you are the nerd band of all nerd bands, and Nerf Herder from Santa Barbara doesn't disappoint. They achieved solid (but nowhere near the level of the band who inspired the song) radio airplay back in 1997 with their hit "Van Halen"...
'How geeky/nerdy are they? Let me present the evidence:
5) They appeared in the finale of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer TV show (oh yeah - they wrote the bloody theme song!)
4) They have a song titled 'Doctor Who'.
3) They have a song about about the ill-fated Ghostbusters III:
Have to admit - the line, "You're never gonna be my Zuul" is pretty solid.
But I digress.
2) They have a song about comic book conventions. Heck, they even play at conventions.
1) They have a song about Spock.
So there you have it. Could there be a nerdier band out there or to ever come along? As the esteemed Vizzini in The Princess Bride said, "Inconceivable!" Could there a nerdier reference to prove a point than the previous sentence? Inconcei... sorry.
But this is May the Fourth, and Nerf Herder is a Star Wars-influenced band, so until there's a rock band named Boba Fate or a rap group that goes by Millenium Falconz, the Nerfs take the crown.
Hold on!! What about a death metal band called Dark Helmet!?!
Sorry. Someone please help me.
The officially unofficial blog of Faux Rawk. Everything you read is true, although some of what you read is 100% false. Whoa... trippy, man.