Name that band

February 25, 2002|By Josh Shaffer | Josh Shaffer,NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

Thanks to Isabel Rucker, the world may soon be singing along with Streptococcus and the Household Germs.

Rucker's Web site, www.shrimp meat.net, offers names for fledgling bands, ranging from zany to obscure to profane. Staple Finger. The Flame Retardants. Monsieur Fromage and the Stinks.

"It's a general public service to musicians," says Rucker, whose site is based in San Francisco. "Purely for fun."

There comes a time in all musicians' lives when they gather in some dank basement and decide they are more than four sweaty friends with a handful of three-chord songs. They are a band, lacking only a name.

Ideas fly around like darts. A dog the drummer once owned ... graffiti the guitarist saw in a coin-laundry restroom ... the singer's name spelled in pig Latin ... anything.

Take Pimpadelic, a rap-rock outfit.

"We were looking through some dirty magazines," says Madison Winchell, the drummer. "There was an advertisement for an old movie called Pimpadelic in Wonderland. Not as cool as Motley Crue, but there you go."

Legend has it that soul stars the Commodores agreed to flip open a dictionary, point to a word and name themselves after the random choice. One inch higher and they would have been The Commodes.

This indecision brought shrimpmeat.net to life. Rucker's friends formed a band and bickered endlessly about the name.

"I told them that I could come up with millions of names," she said. "I e-mailed them a list of 20."

Rucker began to tinker with Web page design, and soon gathered a long list of her friends' favorite band name offerings.

"One of my friends only gave ape and monkey names," she said. That would explain DJ Opposable Thumbs and Ape or Astroape.

Now the names are broken down into categories.

There are political names (Bureaucracy of Noisy, Suspicious Gentlemen), pop culture references (Jerry's Dead, Shave Your Head) and more filed simply under "other." Icelandic Imbicels fall in this category.

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