It's that time of year again! It's time for The Inundation. Do yourself a favor and take a drive out to the airport and idle through the arrival deck and watch them file in. So much people-watching in one place--the baggage claim at Bergstrom Airport is THE choke point for the legions of SXSW-goers, streaming in like so many lemmings towards their irresistible fate. Well-studied experts in outwardly-expressed ennui, be they industry types who hold all the cards or aspiring rockers just waiting for a seat at the table or turistas here to watch the game. What will be this year's preferred style of sunglasses? Who amongst them will don an ironic t-shirt? Will you understand the depth of that irony? How many times will each walk up and down South Congress Avenue? How many will purchase rolled-up straw punk rock cowboy hats? What percentage of locals will pray for a deluge of biblical proportions to wash their sunny fantasies of Austin away... perchance to dissuade them from relocating here?
It is also time for the much anticipated... Soup Peddler South By Southwest Band Name Revue! Huzzah. Here goes.
As usual, our old friend the Grim Reaper heads up the list in popularity... our number one band name category this year is Death. A mere sampling yields such entries as: Airborne Toxic Event, Annihilation Time, Antietam (sic), Blood on the Wall, Blunt Force Trauma, Care Bears on Fire, Casket Salesmen, another year of Die! Die! Die!, Eat Skull, Let's Go To War, Mr. Lewis and the Funeral 5, Necropolis, My Dad is Dead, The Toxic Avenger, The Fatal Flying Guilloteens (sic), Drop Dead, Gorgeous, and Karaoke Apocalypse. Another great showing for Death this year! Let's hear it for Death!
Backpedaling just a bit in terms of direness, we have the Merely Deeply Gloomy category of band names... this year headed up by such entries as The Cynics, Darker My Love, and Bible of the Devil. For those keeping score, Darker My Love is competing for the forlornly pessimistic fan base of Austin band I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness, who recently discovered that they are no longer so morbidly downhearted as they were when they named the band.
I often enjoy, however, the less cliched, perhaps more positive direction of band names. The intellectual bent... we have a fair to middling representation (no, I'm not referring to this year's punny band Fair to Midland) of literary names: Descartes a Kant, Hecuba, Captain Ahab, Hearts of Darknesses, and the more contemporary Nymphets. I'm also quite pleased with the entries in this year's Cute Category: Best Friends Forever, Best Fwends, Blitzen Trapper, Oh No! Oh My!, Peekaboo Theory, Faux Fox, and Hello Seahorse! and we have had a surprising showing in two of the Cute Subcategories: Frightened Rabbit, Gram Rabbit, and Roxy Cottontail, and then Droids Attack, Free the Robots, and Ghenghis Tron.
A solid showing in this year's Food Category: Bowling for Soup, DJ Scotch Egg, Dark Meat, Scrambled Eggs, Ketchup Mania, and Pig Out. Classism made its way into the band names this year, with Middle Class Rut, The High Class Elite, and the return of The Victorian English Gentlemen's Club.
But now it's time for last year's champion, Crapulence, to turn over the virtual award to this year's winner... in Third Place we have Muck And The Mires! Congratulations Muck! In Second Place... we have the inimitable Scissors For Lefty! Up with lefties, thank you Lefty. And this year's 2008 Winner of the Soup Peddler Best SXSW Band Name Contest... let's give it up for... Phil And The Osophers! Woohoo!