Folks, this job just gets harder every hear. At this point, my eyes are literally swimming (don't you love when people over-liberally use the word "literally"? Like, "I literally died of embarrassment." Really. Who is speaking to me? A ghost? (more on ghosts later))* (*note the nested parentheticals... I strongly believe they should be included in the APA style guide. It's time.) with pixels and show listings and silly band names. The scale is phenomenal. This festival long ago jumped the proverbial shark, before even the phrase "jumped the shark" jumped the shark. With unforeseen advances in the algorithms behind online random band name generators, we've seen an exponential increase in all categories, but most strikingly in the Just Plain Silliness subtype. But our job is to continue doing our Austin thing, whatever the cost. It is our job to continue to be charming and kind and cute and brilliant and lowbrow. All that in mind, without further ado, here is The Soup Peddler's 18th Annual SXSW Band Name Revue (SPASXSWBNR)... As always, 2013 is a great year for death and death's favorite color. Our friends The Death Set, Mostly Dead, Dead Leaf Echo, Dead Angle, The Dead Girls, Dead Gaze, The Dead Ships, The (perhaps redundantly) Dead Skeletons, Left For Dead, Die!Die!Die!, The Deadly Buzz, Dead Strangers, Deadly Buzz, Dead Love Club, Unstoppable Death Machines, Murder By Death, (previous SPASXSWBNR winners) Bass Drum Of Death, Awesome Death, Ringo Deathstarr, Eagles Of Death Metal, and up-and-comers Deathrow Tull are just a few of the musical collectives who seek to lift our spirits with their lovingly-crafted patterns of air compressions and rarefactions. They, along with the Black And White Years, Black Angels, Black Atlantic, Black Bone Child, Black Drawing Chalks, Black Earth, Black Lillies, Black Lips, Black Moon, Black Pistol Fire, Black Taxi, Black Tusk, Black Violin, Black Chords, and Blackstone Rangers, are doing their part this year to vibrate our tympanic membranes in a memorable, lasting, and hopefully eventually profit-making way.
What goes best with death and darkness? Why, the spirit world, of course! What would SXSW be without Your Friendly Ghost, (best band name candidate) Ghostbunny, Hungry Ghosts, Roadkill Ghost Choir, River Ghost, TV Ghost, Ghost Dance, Golden Ghosts, Ghost of Venice, Ghost Beach, Ghost Police, Caches The Ghost, Ghostward, Austin's favorite phantom band The White Ghost Shivers, Ghosts of Texas, and the charmingly-named and quite loquacious Ghostface Killah.
And speaking of charming... We turn to the part of our list that results from the sad convergence of family dysfunction, unchecked teenage angst, possible illicit drug use, and what can in no other terms be described as sociopathy: The Your-Parents-Must-Be-So-Proud category of the SPASXSWBNR. This list is not for everyone, so you may wish to avert your eyes/skip to the next paragraph. The most charming band names I could find: Diarrhea Planet, DJ John Vomitnoise, bind.torture.kill, Nuklear Blast Suntan [sic], Whore Of Bethlehem, The Crackpipes, Youthful Masturbation Techniques, Sex Bruises, Headcrusher, and Traumahelikopter. "Hey everyone, thanks so much for coming tonight, we're Traumahelikopter and we want to remind you to tip your bartenders and don't drink and drive... or we'll see you again later on!"
Moving on... Perhaps an indication of slowing cultural crosstalk between forms, this was not a big year for culinary band names. I could only find The Poi Pounders, The Avocados, Posole, and Rend. And that last one is pushing it...
In a solid turnout for the wildlife category, we have leading the herd the lovely band from Spitzbergen, Goatwhore! Not to be confused with The Goatbangers. We have Sunbears! Bipolar Bears, Gold Bears, Reignwolf, Speedwolf, Littlewolf, Peanut Butter Wolf, The Gospel And The Wolf, Ghost Wolves, Tiny Horse, Whitehorse, Mail The Horse, the oddly funny APD Horse Budget, Horse Opera, Band Of Horses (I've heard of these guys!), Dangerous Ponies, and the category winner, Poof Pony!
Let's just move on to the finale of the show here... these bands have stunned audiences worldwide by turning ordinary electricity into hair-raising sound right before their ears, and now they are here to compete for the prestigious SPASXSWBNR title! The envelope, please... Our finalists are Bipolaroid, Blah Blah Blah, The Creepy Creeps, Seizures! (simply for the insertion of the exclamation mark... it makes seizures so much more fun), Earl Sweatshirt, The Harpoonist And The Axe Murderer, Amnesia Babies, Venomous Maximus, Why?, Poopoo Platter, Cosmic Suckerpunch, Urban Achievers Brass Band, Red Goes Faster, Quitters, Classy Nude, Blacklung And The Smokestacks, Mom Jeans, ACXDC, Shivery Shakes, and The Useful Idiots.
Down to the last few! The few, the proud, the final finalists! The Lone Bellow. Skewered By Elephants. Dewey Decibel System. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs.
And the winner, picked for conciseness, cultural relevance, cuteness, cleverness, possibly even eclipsing 2006 winner Crapulence on all these metrics... I bring you... the 2013 SPASXSWBNR Winner...
Gentlemen and/or perhaps ladies, you should be proud of yourselves! Shave off that beard, would it kill you to put on a decent shirt, drop that ironic eyebrow and come on down for a free soup on the house!