Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Naming Your Girl Band: 1980's Edition

It’s the 80’s and let’s face it, thanks to the groundbreaking stateswomanship of First Lady Nancy Reagan, you chicks are going places you’ve never gone before. But if you're going to do all the stuff that dudes do, you had better be careful. Not all that long ago a chick playing music might have been punished by drowning in the Tigris, but we can't do that anymore so I’m going to take this opportunity to give you a little advice in coming up with a good name for your own girl band. As you probably didn't know, the name of a band is almost more important than what you actually play. You could probably come up with a totally rad band name and totally suck, but people would still come to your shows. The reason is that words are associated with images and ideas in people’s heads, they can generate all sorts of meaning, both good and bad whether or not it is explicitly there in the arrangement of letters. That’s why it’s crucially important to be strategic with your girl band name choices.

Cherry Bomb from 1986's Howard the Duck
Diaper Rash from 1984's Hardbodies
First of all, since you’re treading on territory that has until recently totally been the sacrosanct turf of dudes, be careful not to point this out. That’s totally like the fox advertising to the farmer that he’s all up in the chicken coop, it’s threatening and likely to backfire. Go for something that reassures the male need for dominance and control, a word that suggests vulnerability and a need to be taken care of. Innocence and weakness in women totally makes dudes feel like they’re strong and in control, like their power isn’t being threatened. Diaper Rash’s name is totally loaded with subtle meaning and is a primo example of excellent girl band nameage. The word “diaper” brings up both infantile helplessness AND of course babies, both of which reassure men that this girl band is not challenging established gender roles, even though they rock.

Vicious Lips from the 1988 film of the same name.
Second, and closely related to the first point about innocence is sex. Dudes are going to be thinking about boning you whether you like it or not, that’s what dudes do, so it’s important to use this to your advantage. Advertising your sexuality is a good way to get attention, using words that suggest it without explicitly saying it is a lot like wearing a lexical halter-top. Vicious Lips is a rad example of this principle because the word “lips” brings up lots of wet and warm thoughts that dudes totally dig. Cherry Bomb is another excellent girl band name because “cherry” suggests not only sex but, as above, innocence and inexperience which goes a long way toward reassuring a dude that he will remain dominant. When sex and power are firmly in their grasp, dudes will rock out to your girl band too.

If you look closely you can see dudes rocking out to girl band Diaper Rash (played by an early incarnation of Vixen)

Totally vicious' and yet, nonthreatening.
Now that you’ve gotten all of this down, I want to bring up what is perhaps most important point of all. You may have noticed that I only addressed half of each of the example girl band names above. The other half of those names are just as important in ensuring the success of each of these girl bands, as it will in yours. After cooking up all these ideas in dudes heads we still have to remember that even though they like the sex and innocence, you’re still usurping their place on the stage. Your girl band is, if not literally, figuratively in competition with their regular band. Your lack of a cock is subconsciously threatening to men, it reminds them that theirs could get cut off. It’s important to remind dudes that you’re still playing the same game, you’re not changing the rules or anything, that your “power” is not really a threat to theirs. This unspoken threat of emasculation can be easily countered by the use of man imagery and wordery. Thus “rash”, “vicious” and “bomb” are like dude symbols; violence, power and the military remind us that everything is OK. They say to people, without actually saying anything of course, “the status quo will remain unchallenged chicks and dudes in the audience!” Think about it, if your band's name was Vicious Rash Bomb, you would probably be dudes in a regular band. Conversely if you were called Cherry Diaper Lips, no dudes would ever come to your girl band’s shows. A careful combination of both sex and reassurance is the best way to make it as a chick in this topsy turvy business we dudes call music.


Anonymous said...

Girl bands rock!


Ice Age: http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Ice_Age/13164

The Great Kat: http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/The_Great_Kat/65304

Anonymous said...

As our girl Manslaughter would say, jam out witcha clam out!

Nekromantis said...

How about Malibu Barbi? What a soft, girly name and yet what thunderous, blazing HEAVY METAL.