Entertainment

03.08.14

Craziest SXSW Band Names: Perfect Pussy, Death By Unga Bunga, and More

Thousands of bands descend on Austin, Texas, for the South By Southwest music festival. From Casual Sex to Death By Unga Bunga, here are the wackiest names of the fest.

Whether it’s a dearth of unused options or good ol’ psychedelic-induced lunacy, band names have gotten more and more inscrutable as time goes by. The Chumbawambas, Goo Goo Dolls, and Hoobastanks of the world have given way to creatively-appellated acts like Escrow Tomato and The Albino Toilet Boys (yes, these are actual bands).

A plethora of up-and-coming bands will flex their musical muscles at the 27th annual South By Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Downtown Austin, Texas. And my, what names some of these acts have.

Butter The Children

Origin: New York City

Description: This quartet, comprised of two women and two men, features members of the bands Sweet Bulbs, Night Manager, and Le Rug, and self-classifies as a shoegaze/post-punk/pop group. The name, however, sounds like Buffalo Bill conjured it up.

Casual Sex

Origin: Glasgow

Description: The Guardian called this pop band “potentially the best Scottish indie band since Franz,” with lead singer Sam Smith’s vocals channeling “Lou Reed’s droll spirit and some of Edwyn Collins’s arch wit.” But if you like them, you’ll still have to say, “Hey, have you heard of Casual Sex?”

Cerebral Ballzy

Origin: Brooklyn

Description: This hardcore punk band’s lead singer is named “Honor Titus,” and legend has it that the name “Cerebral Ballzy” came when a pal accidentally dropped a slice of pizza on a train track and went down to pick it up. Honor called the move “ballsy” and his friend shot back, “Cerebral ballsy!” Brooklyn, y’all.

Communist Daughter

Origin: Saint Paul, Minnesota 

Description: After the breakup of his band Friends Like These, as well as a struggle with addiction and brief prison stint, singer-songwriter Johnny Solomon formed the indie folk act Communist Daughter. They’re named after a song by Neutral Milk Hotel, but sound like the spawn of Joseph Stalin. 

Death by Unga Bunga

Origin: Moss, Norway  

Description: This band describes themselves as a “new breed” of Norwegian garage rock with a psychedelic twist, inspired by ‘60s music as well as “wild fuzz, freaks, intoxication” and more. The term “unga bunga” is similar to Silvio Berlusconi’s infamous “bunga bunga” orgies, but is apparently also slang for anal rape.

Guantanamo Baywatch

Origin: Portland, Oregon   

Description: Contrary to popular belief, this rockabilly/punk trio is not Dick Cheney’s favorite band, and listeners are still entitled to the protections of the Geneva Conventions. They describe their genre as “SURF SEX SLUDGE AND GARBAGE,” and grew up rocking out to Elvis.

The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger

Origin: New York City    

Description: This folk/avant-garde duo has actually achieved a degree of notoriety, since it’s a side project of musician Sean Lennon (of John/Yoko) and his girlfriend, model/musician Charlotte Kemp Muhl. The name of the band comes from a short story written by Muhl, and the group features a lot of harmonizing vocals with tunes resembling ‘60s psychedelic pop.

Marijuana Deathsquads

Origin: Minneapolis, Minnesota     

Description: This noise-core/experimental band is comprised of seven full-time members, as well as occasional guests from Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver) to Josh Klinghoffer (of Red Hot Chili Peppers). Now that marijuana is legal in several states, the irony is somewhat lost.  

Perfect Pussy

Origin: Syracuse, New York      

Description: Led by snarling lead singer Meredith Graves, this noise-punk band has garnered plaudits from Pitchfork and Stereogum for their frenetic brand of punk, raucous live shows, and, of course, their crazy name.

A Pony Named Olga

Origin: Berlin      

Description: This rockabilly act is comprised of lead singer/guitarist Heini Heimpel, bassist Luscious Lloyd Clark, and drummer Stephan Fleck, and, according to the band, sounds like music “drenched in sweat and beer, rolling around in the graveyard with ponies and dandelions.” Your guess is as good as ours.

Ringo Deathstarr

Origin: Austin, Texas

Description: Do you like Ringo Starr and Star Wars? Well… that really has no bearing on whether or not you’ll dig this shoegaze-y alt-rock trio.

Swamp Cabbage

Origin: Jacksonville, Florida  

Description: A “swamp cabbage” is a semi-aquatic tropical plant. The band Swamp Cabbage is a blues-rock act fronted by singer/guitarist Walter Parks that sound a bit like ZZ Top.

Thousand Foot Whale Claw

Origin: Austin, Texas 

Description: No fucking clue.

We Butter The Bread With Butter

Origin: Lübben, Germany

Description: This metalcore/electronic foursome was founded in 2007, and has released three studio albums. Apparently, a tribute act also exists dubbed I Can’t Believe It’s Not We Butter the Bread With Butter. 

Wheelchair Sports Camp

Origin: Denver, Colorado

Description: A hip-hop quintet fronted by disabled, wheelchair-bound MC/producer Kalyn (who is 3 feet 6 inches tall and has the brittle-bone disability osteogenesis imperfecta) that combines live and electronic instrumentation with funk elements.

Wild Moccasins

Origin: Houston, Texas

Description: This five-piece describes themselves as a “peripatetic pop troupe” whose mission is “movement, both physical and emotional, releasing starward-looking etheria and inward gazing introspection pairing for unpredictable moments of connection.” Translation: drugs.

The Yuppie Pricks

Origin: Austin, Texas

Description: A punk act that specializes in what’s been called “reverse-psychology punk,” championing the excesses of rich assholes on songs like “Fuck You, I’m Rich.” Jordan Belfort, have we got a band for you…