Name That Rock Band….Literally

Yesterday I was fixin’ dinner and Steve (my husband) was puttering around the house, feeding the fur children and picking up in the living room. 

I pulled a casserole dish out of the lower cabinet.  I was planning to make an Indian-flavored dish that mixes casserolecouscous with a veggie sauté, and I needed the dish to bake it. 

Steve walked through the room and saw me holding the white dish in front of me, staring at it. 

Steve:  What?

Me:  This would make a good name for an indie pop band.

Steve:  *Raises eyebrow*

Me:  *waves dish in front of him* The name of the band would be Casserole Dishes.

I pulled out another dish and held it up.  “Ceramic Pie Plates,” I said.  “That one would be harder rock.”  Steve laughed out loud, and we proceeded to spend the next five minutes naming rock bands.

We’ve done this regularly since we started dating, though I don’t remember another instance when it centered on cookware.

I don’t know when rock bands started naming themselves based on off-the-wall imagery like Crash Test Dummies, Smashing Pumpkins and Black Eyed Peas, but it seems to be a contest for making your band name stranger than any other.

Fine Young Cannibals, for instance.  I love this song.

Some of the band names Steve and I have come up with have required a vow of silence.  We’ve never spoken the names out loud to anyone else, because they’re so good.  I don’t know why we’re saving them, exactly. It’s not like we have a business where we get paid to name rock bands.

Hey!  Maybe I’ll have some fictional bands in my books one day, and I’ll use those names.

Some arbitrary ones we’ve come up with are Barbed Wire Fence,  Pinwheel Fans, The Little Red WagonsTricked-Out Truck (that’s probably a country band though–or maybe Hip-Hop), Fine ChinaRat Rod Wipers, and Rolling Cooler Buddies.  

I love that last one. *grin*

I know a guy who is an awesome, uber-gifted, trim carpenter.  whirled_peas_sticker_oval from cafe pressHe’s a bit of an old hippie, and when we met him, he rode around  in a ratty old van with a bumper sticker on the back.   The sticker was a parody of the “Visualize World Peace” bumper stickers that were everywhere  several years ago.  This one said, “Visualize Whirled Peas.”

We laughed out loud. Then I looked at Steve and he looked at me, and at the same time we both said, “Rock Band!”

When I was a young woman, music was my whole life.  I was a chick singer and a songwriter.  I traveled around playing gigs all over.

Even now, music permeates every part of me, including my fiction writing.   There is almost always music on at the house when both of us are home.  I make a home-cooked meal nearly every night.  When I start to fix dinner in the evenings, I pour a glass of wine, and then I start Pandora as a prerequisite to chopping, peeling, grating and sautéing. 

Are y’all familiar with Pandora?  It’s an internet phenomenon. You create your own radio stations based on the music you like.  Bandita Trish once did a whole blog about that here in the lair, I think.  You can find out about Pandora, and create your own stations free, here

Frank_SinatraI have about ten different stations, and I pick one according to my mood.  A lot of times, if I’m making dinner, it’ll be my Easy Evenings station–oldies–torch songs by Doris Day and Sinatra, or it’ll be one of my Celtic or Bluegrass stations.

That said, I can’t write fiction—or anything else really–with music ON in the background, because I  get so distracted by it. If it has words, you can just flat forget it.  You won’t get anything out of me at all.  I’m too busy focusing on the lyrics.

Hey, there’s a name for a rock band. No Focus

Or what about Dirt Nap Daisies? purple squirrel

Tractor Greese

Ceilin’ Fan Blades.

Ravioli Radishes

Lectric Can Opener

Fo-To Copies

Purple Squirrels

Yeah, when I get going it’s hard to stop me.

Sometimes I like my rock band names so much, I wonder if there are already bands by that name.  With the explosion of indie rock, I wouldn’t necessarily know.

Incidentally, I have a sort of mental “sound track” for each of my books. And each book has a featured song.  It’s the song I hear in my head when I think about that book.  I’ve seen authors actually put their “sound tracks” on their websites, so fans can see what inspired the books.

Seems like the more off-the-wall the name is, the more apt a band is to adopt it.

Dirty ProjectorsDirty Projectors, for instance.  That’s a real band name, and they were recently listed as one of the all-time most influential indie rock bands.  I’d never heard any of their music. *hangs head*  But I looked them up since I found their name, and they’re really good.  You can listen to them here.

So much music. So little time.  And that’s only speaking of rock.

So…I have Pandora stations.  I can also carry thousands of songs on a tiny iPod the size of a matchbook.  Plus, more and more cars come with satellite radio (mine doesn’t have it).  But one thing I refuse to give up  is radio. 

Not that I like commercials.  I don’t.  But I recognize that they pay for a certain kind of programming I can’t get anywhere else.  And my favorite radio show is Nights With Alice Cooper. It  comes on the local classic rock station a few nights each week.  Legendary rock star Alice Cooper plays his favorite music, complete with opinions and his anecdotes about playing big stages with the people on the records.

I have a particular memory of Alice Cooper reading a fan email on one show.  It was from a fifteen-year-old girl who loved Alice’s music, and who’d started a garage band with two or three of her girlfriends.  She asked Alice’s advice about two things.

First, she told him she was having trouble writing songs, and she realized it was important for any good band to write its own songs. 

Alice told this young lady to write about what she knows.  High school. Boys.  Broken hearts. Fun with friends.  (Funny, that “write what you know” thing is exactly what we authors are told when we’re first honing our writing craft.  Isn’t that interesting?)  He told her not to try too hard to write about adult stuff–stuff she had no experience with.  That way her songs would be honest and have the ring of truth.

Second, this young lady said they were having trouble coming up with a good banalicecooper2009d name, and she asked if he had any suggestions.

Alice gave her a name that was absolutely perfect.  Granted, he may have had that email earlier in the day, and had time to think about that, but even so, he pondered for a moment right there on the air, and he said, “I think a good name for a rock band of young high school girls would be the Toasted Pop Tarts.”

I had to pull over to the side of the road and just sit there for a minute.  Alice Cooper had just raised the bar for naming rock bands.

So, Bandits and Buddies…

Do you like music?

If so, what’s your favorite kind?

Do you have any favorite bands?

 What’s the weirdest name for a real band that you’ve heard.  (Even Country music has some strange ones.  When I worked in Nashville, a well-known club band played around town for years. They were called the Lounge Lizards.)

If an author you love puts a sound track on her website–something that relates to her books–does that interest you?  Do you like to hear the music that inspired that book or those characters?

Now let’s play a game.

I’m sitting at my kitchen table and can look around me right here and come up with a few band names easily.

Canned Tomatoes

Hi-Arc Faucet

The Flower Pots

The Dirty Floors (yeah, it’s the truth. My floor is disgusting.)

Big Hairy Dogs

The Space Heaters

Okay it’s your turn.  Help me come up with more cool names for rock bands.

Close your eyes and turn around.  What’s the first thing you see?  Make it into a band name.  You can do one, or a bunch.   Let’s have em!

Whirled Peas sticker from this store at Cafe Press.

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  • Helen says:

    Is he coming for a visit ?

    Have Fun

    • Helen, he thinks the rock band should be called the Golden Rooster and the hot chicks!

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Yay Helen! It’s freezing here. 3 degrees F. So he’s glad to get out of this cold, even though he may be in shock from the temperature changes.

      • Helen says:


        It is warm and very humid with rain here at the moment the heat we have been having has gone for the moment but with the cold and now the humidity his feathers are coing to be a bit ruffled LOL and it is Australia Day weekend here in Oz

        Have Fun

  • flchen1 says:

    Paper Towel Holder
    Dutch Oven
    The Cell Phone Chargers
    Hand Sanitizer
    Tea Leaves

    Just going crazy here with all the naming possibilities on the kitchen counter! 😉

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      OMGOSH Flchen! I love those.

      Especially Hand Sanitizer. That’s a great rock band name. And Cell Phone Chargers is one of the best I’ve ever heard. You’re really good at this! Way to start the day!

  • Helen says:


    I do love music but have never really thought of the bands names much as a teenager I went to many live concerts and I have seen The Bee Gees Joe Cocker Slade Rod Stewart (of course) T-Rex I have lost track of the bands and singers I have seen I have also seen The Eagles and Bette Midler when I was older and the radio is on most of the time while I am at home and my Son and DIL use pandora all the time.
    As for bands names

    The Chair Bears
    The Orcas
    The Bookshelf Band

    Not very good at making up names 🙂

    Have Fun

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Helen I like those.

      LOVE LOVE LOVE The Chair Bears.

      Do you have a bear on a chair that made you come up with that name?

  • Minna says:

    Some weird names for real bands that I’ve heard (and some of my favorite songs):

    Noitalinna hurraa (Witch Castle Hooray)
    – Pikkuveli (Little Brother)

    Haloo Helsinki! (Hello Helsinki!)
    -Maailman toisella puolen (On the other side of the world)

    Great Southern Land

    Foo Fighters
    – Big Me

    Scissor Sisters
    – I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’

    Pet Shop Boys
    – It’s A Sin

    a-ha – Take On Me

  • Cassondra, what a fun post. I’m still puzzling over Pink Floyd. Do you know where that one comes from? And Procul Harem? Yeah, I know they’re old school but you wonder what the people were smoking when they came up with those names!

    Like you, I feel that music is one of the best things in life. I’m a bit of a classical girl, especially when I’m working. Again like you, lyrics drive me mad when I’m trying to write. I just hear the words rather than the words in my head, if you know what I mean.

    This current book I”m writing seems to have the soundtrack for Oliver playing for it. A friend of mine gave me a whole stack of sheet music before Christmas (I blogged about it here: And the album I seem to be stuck on is Oliver. So Consider Yourself Reviewing the Situation and make sure Who Will Buy Oliver but Consider Yourself first!

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Anna, I have only heard part of that soundtrack, but what I’ve heard was good.

      You know, I’ve read where Pink Floyd got its name, but I can’t remember now. And the others you listed? No clue.

      How about Counting Crows? I guess I can figure that one out, but the story leading up to it has to be interesting, doesn’t it?

      • EC Spurlock says:

        Cassondra, I believe Counting Crows comes from a Native American term, denoting how many enemies a brave had killed.

        • Cassondra Murray says:

          Ah, EC, now that makes total sense!

          And that’s the thing. I figure there’s almost always a meaning in there somewhere…and unless I’ve read about the band or know some other way, I’d have no idea how they come up with this stuff.

  • Amy Conley says:

    Right this minute it would be either SMOKE TO ASHES (yes, I STILL HAVE that terrible habit) or THE DEAD AND DYING since after 4 rounds of antibiotics and very few of my bad habit, I feel as though I am dead but need to die and get it over with.
    I too love music and our entire family plays our ownn game of either “who is it” or “song title”. All of my kids have flipped out because they know singers and songs which pre-date my own birth in 1960.

    • Amy Conley says:

      My own kids have flipped OTHER people out by knowing older sons. So there is another band name for me, BRAINLESS.
      I have also been to a gazillion concerts starting with RUSH, KISS, and The EAGLES in Sept 1974. My very first concert. A night to never be forgotten.

      • Cassondra Murray says:

        Amy, I knew what you meant. And Brainless is a good name too, LOL!

        Hey, LOL would be a good band name!

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Gosh Amy, those are both EXCELLENT choices.

      Dead And Dying is kind of uber awesome actually. I don’t know if I could ever top that one.

      And I think it’s so cool that you’ve shared your music with your kids.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Amy, I meant to say I sure hope you feel better soon! Are the antibiotics working at all?

    • Amy, sorry to hear you’re sick. So many of my Internet friends seem to be suffering the dreaded lurgy at the moment. I hope you feel better soon!

  • Amy Conley says:

    Cassandra, what about all the song titles which would make great band name? Maybe a different blog…
    And btw, love Alice Cooper and yes, have seen him up close in concert. 🙂

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      OMGOSH! YOU’VE SEEN ALICE COOPER IN CONCERT???? *fan girl squeal*

      There are so many artists I want to see before I die, and I’m making inroads into absolutely NONE at the moment.

      I really, really, REALLY want to see AC/DC in concert. They’re my all-time favorite.

      And swinging in a totally different direction, I want to see James Taylor live. *sigh*

      Hey, there are some band names in there. Really Really Really. Different Direction.

      • Amy Conley says:

        Cassandra JT has been in E’ville mamy times, he usually comes in the early fall. Not that far of a drive for you.
        As far as AC/DC NO! I listened to them so much in my late teens/early 20’s when they first came out I am still burnt out on them. Seriously. But my hubby would LOVE to see them.

  • Shannon says:

    Thinking of the kitchen and food, here are my band name offerings:

    Fresh Fetoush
    Steel Blade Slicer
    Ninja Whirl
    Tricolor Rotini
    Alfred Gargatuan
    Chopped Iceberg
    Frozen Drainpipe
    Gingersnap Savory
    Wheat Thins Weightgain

    Now, I’ll spend the day of thinking of the kitchen and food. At least it’s possible to be hot there rather than cold elsewhere.

  • Cassondra, how fun! I do like music, though I tend to gravitate more toward individual artists than bands. There was a trio called Renaissance I liked in college. They disbanded, but I have their music on my iPad. The Beatles, of course. The Traveling Wilburys. The Chieftains. Three Dog Night. A Celtic group, Da Danaan, that doesn’t seem to have made the leap to CD.

    I can’t listen to music with lyrics when I write. lyrics jam the word flow in my brain. I do like to play music appropriate to the book I’m working on, but most contemporary pieces have lyrics. Styxx has a song called “Renegade” I have a special fondness for. *g*

    As I look around, I see a sleeping golden retriever, so we’ll call that one Sleeping Goldens. From her perspective, there’s Uppity Squirrels.
    Bulging Bookcases
    Teetering Mountain (the TBR corner)
    Socks on the Clothes Rack
    Aloe Vera
    Lavender Hand Cream
    Dragon in the Window

    • Hey Nancy –

      I too have a dragon in my window…well he’s more of a dragon fly actually – with purple stained glass wings. I hung him by fishing line so he actually looks like he’s flying – but I love that we have this in common.

      • Donna, I bet that’s pretty! My dragon is a green stained glass piece a friend made for me years ago. Afternoon sunlight comes in that window, so the dragon has a nice glow. I’m guessing the purple wings on yours also do.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      OOOO…I LIKE Lavender Hand Cream.

      And Uppity Squirrels is fun. Anything squirrel related seems to work as a band name.

      Hmmm…I wonder why?

      • No idea. But I figured Uppity Squirrels was better than her other name for them, Prey. So we could also have Predator, which would have to be a heavy metal group.

        • Cassondra Murray says:

          Nancy, I actually think Prey would be a fairly rockin band name…layered metaphors and all.

          Hey. The Metaphors. The Layered.

          Yeah…I’m likin’ all of these.

          Three Layer Cake

  • Cassondra,

    I love music and I’m so the totally opposite of you when it comes to writing. I need the music to take me out of my real world and into the other. It blocks out husbands, sons, phones, garbage trucks, even the on and off of the air conditioner/heater. It does not however keep puppies from rubbing cold noses on my arms, legs or feet to get my attention. 🙂 🙂

    Two of my kids, (Lyndsey and her brother Eric) and Lyndsey’s hubby had a Christian Punk Rock Band called Follow The Leader (FTL) for a while(3 or 4 years I think). They wrote all their own music.

    AS for new band names:
    Pesky Puppies
    Finely Shreaded Paper
    Teetering Book Stacks
    Dust Magnets
    Mulled Cider Candles

    Okay…back to finding tax deductions!

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Haha! I can totally see a band naming itself the Dust Magnets. *grin*

      And Mulled Cider Candles is also wonderful. Layered with meaning. *Waggles eyebrows*

  • catslady says:

    I think any kind of music is good for the soul. I should listen more than I do. And Pandora is a great way to get a nice variety. I like almost any kind.

    The Coffee Cups
    Cats Galore
    Musical Books
    Autumn Leaves
    The Keyboards
    One More Chapter

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Oh, Catslady!

      One More Chapter totally works! Love Cats Galore, too.

      Hey, a girl band could be the Crazy Cat Ladies.

  • Cassondra –

    Sometimes I can listen to music when I write, sometimes I can’t. A lot has to do with where I am in the manuscript. My biggest problem, though, is not the lyrics interfering with my thoughts – it’s the beat. Sometimes a girl just has to get up and dance! (as my neighbors can testify – that is when they can talk again after laughing their butts off. It’s a problem when you write in public view.)

    Cursed Happy Snowmen
    Waving Peacock Feathers
    Ripe Fruit Tumbling
    Scattered Rainbows
    Carousel Creatures

    • Donna, the beat has often been a problem for me, not because I feel any need to dance but because I just can’t ignore it. I never could do homework with music on. I’ve been able to write to _some_ music, including the soundtrack to Alias, but I never know about any piece until I test it. I usually prefer quiet when I write, but construction in the neighborhood or college students hanging upstairs will send me to the music. It’s nice to have a playlist that helps me go with into my world, even if the list is short.

      • Cassondra Murray says:

        Nancy, having that playlist is really nice. And I also use music in that way. I’ll put on a cd that takes me there, or put the cd on when I’m working in the house, and think about my story while I fold laundry or do dishes. That way I’m focused when I sit down to physically work.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Okay now Carousel Creatures–that totally rocks. I can see that being a left-of-center European band. Yes I can.

      And I can’t help moving to music either. If I like it, anyhow. I’ve had people pass me on the highway laughing and waving because they’ve caught me rocking out in my van as I drive down the road. I always just grin and give them the thumbs up. At times I’ve written down the radio station really big on a piece of paper and smashed it up against the window. Got a thumbs up from THEM for that.

  • Connie Fischer says:

    The Orange Bowlers

    The Wine Boxers

    The Bread Bags

    The Colorful Rugs

    The Clutter Clutch

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Connie, all these are great! Wine Boxers and Clutter Clutch–EXCELLENT.

      I think I like The Bread Bags best of all!

  • Great post, Cassondra! For a classically trained musician I have seen a lot of rock bands in concert ! I’ve seen :

    Metallica (in Munich, no less)
    Alice Cooper
    The Eagles
    Jimmy Buffet

    I’m certain I’m leaving some out.

    I’ve seen a number of country singers and bands as well including Hank Williams Jr. but he is more of a family friend as his father grew up with my mother.

    When I’m writing I tend to listen to my first love – “classical” music as like many writers something with words tends to distract me. Although the soundtrack for my second GH finalist book was actually Mozart’s Requiem.

    Rock band names from what I see around me?

    Dog Hair Sofa

    Turtle Foot Mojo (my gris gris bag is sitting on my desk)

    Dark Chocolate M&M’s (might have a trademark issue there)

    Hot Guy in a Kilt (my mousepad)

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Now see, Louisa, I would’ve thought since your work involved so much of what I’d call “classical music”–the operas–that you’d have to steer clear of that in order to write. That’s very interesting to me.

      When I’ve done classes (like body energy therapy, etc) where music was involved, I always had to ask to NOT have my friends’ cds be that music. (Since I know so many Nashville singers and musicians, that’s a fair bit of music.) It was just so distracting if I knew either the words, or had listened to a friend play the instrumental live. I don’t know why that is.

      Haha! Love Turtle Foot Mojo. That’s excellent!

  • EC Spurlock says:

    What a fun post, Cassondra! I tend to lean toward the New Age and Classical so I follow individuals like Mike Oldfield and Kitaro (who BTW named himself after a Japanese anime character!) One group I like is Cuzco, they are a German band that plays South American inspired music on a Japanese label (o__0), I also love A-ha, Boston, and Fleetwood Mac (who were named after a car).

    Like you, I can’t write with music on, it’s too distracting and might not suit the mood of the scene I’m working on. But everything I write has a soundtrack, even if it’s just one theme song. My first novel was set in Cape May in 1904 but the soundtrack was all Beach Boys, partly because my son was going through a Beach Boys phase when I was writing it and partly because the lyrics really suited a seaside romance, even if it was the wrong coast and era!

    Some off-the-cuff names for you:
    The Rubber Band
    Earl Grey Bag
    Disturbing Signs

    And last night when I was really punchy after a late design session (finishing up a deadline) I told my best friend, whose husband does improv, that he should open a coffeehouse specializing in standup comedy. He could call it Brew-Ha-Ha.

    Leaving now to avoid the flung tomatoes…

    • Cassondra Murray says:


      Especially The Rubber Bands and Disturbing Signs.

      And I think Brew-Ha-Ha is a freaking brilliant name for a coffee/comedy shop.

      In fact, it’s not a bad band name actually.

      No flung tomatoes from this direction!

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Oh..meant to say..

      a German band that plays South American inspired music on a Japanese label (o__0),

      Yeah, that’s a mind bender.

      And Fleetwood Mac is in my top five bands ever. Maybe my top three.

  • Dianna aka Hrdwrkdmom says:

    I do like music, everything from oldies to classical. Just depends on my mood and sometimes even where I am. Some music relaxes me to the point of sleep so that won’t work on the job.

    I am in the kitchen at the moment so some band names could be
    Squirrels in the Pot
    Organize the Pantry
    Both Sinks Full

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      OOOO…Dianna, Both Sinks Full is a GREAT band name!

      Are you cooking up squirrel and dumplings?

      HEy…there’s a band name. Squirrel n Dumplins.

  • Pat Cochran says:

    Here’s my list , Cassondra!

    French Fried Potatoes
    Reading Tea Leaves
    Christmas Cookie Tins
    Neighbor’s Dratted Chickens
    Raising Beer Steins
    Kitty Litter Box
    Outback Station
    Tumbling Teeny Boppers

    Pat C.

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Pat, I think Outback Station is an EXCELLENT band name! And French Fried Potatoes makes me hungry. Just sayin. *grin*

  • Pissenlit says:

    I love music. I usually have music on. I don’t have a favourite kind of music, per se…It just depends on what I’m feeling like at the time. I haven’t a favourite band at the moment.

    I don’t know if it’s the weirdest I’ve ever heard but I always thought that The Arrogant Worms was a pretty amusing band name.

    When an author puts a book soundtrack on their website, sometimes I check it out, sometimes, I don’t.

    Cool made-up band names:
    The Charging Smartphone
    The Dangling Tassels
    Double-Pointed Needles
    Forest of Nail Polish
    Partially Knit Scarves
    The Dinky Stuffies
    Cycling Skeleton
    Moustache Paperclips

    • Cassondra Murray says:

      Pissenlit, you’ve got some awesome names here!

      My favorites from your list are The Charging Smartphones and The Dinky Stuffies.

      Cycling Skeletons would be at the top of the list too.

      Thanks for playing Name that Rockband!

  • Laurie G says:

    The Bandits
    The Bloggs