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10 Eccentric/Creative Indie Band Names

Updated on December 2, 2013
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Denis is a freelancer addicted to football (yeah...it's not soccer!). He thinks POLITICS and REALITY TV were invited to dumb us down.

Danielle Ate the Sandwich
Danielle Ate the Sandwich | Source

With many of its sub-genres influenced by RNB, blues, pop, electronic, dance, punk, rap and others; it’s no surprise that the genre has one the largest collection of artists.

By the 21st century, many Indie rock acts went commercial and thus began the debate on whether this rock genre deserved the description ‘indie’ (LINK 16). But who cares! As long as we get to enjoy such great acts as The Black Keys, Mumford and Sons, Imagine Dragons and Snow Patrol, no one will care that much about what the term ‘indie’ signifies. Unless…that is…you’re a purist!

Consequently, with new Indie acts forming every week in some unfortunate parent’s basement, artists are forced to become more and more creative with their name selection just so that they can stand out. Artists’ names range from the simply brilliant to the absolutely ridiculous. Some are awesome and cool like the much-admired ‘Kings of Leon’ while others are funny and daring like the less known ‘We Can't Enjoy Ourselves’ and ‘Hey Hey My My’. Here are 10 bands/acts with very unique titles.

10. Danielle Ate the Sandwich

Danielle Andersen has been described by the Denver Post as a brazen humorist wielding a ukulele, guitar, and using her own words to tell stories about people. Brazen would be what you would describe someone willing to call herself a name such as ‘Danielle Ate the Sandwich’.

How serious would your pals take you if you suggested a rock concert headlined by ‘Danielle Ate the Sandwich’? Surprisingly, the name has not stopped her from gaining a huge You Tube following as well as performing alongside such household names as Mumford & Sons.

9. Handsome Poets

Handsome poetry is the term used to describe the lyrical quality of this Dutch pop band consisting of Tim van Esch (lead singer), Daniel Smit (drummer), Nils Davidse (keyboard), and Eelke Mastebroek (guitar); not that the three aren’t a handsome bunch.

Established in 2009, the Handsome Poets released their first single ‘Blinded’ in 2010 and saw it chart at no. 15 on iTunes Music store top 50. The band has been blazing a trail along the Dutch tour trail and gathering a large following with their charismatic stage performances. Hopefully, the vainness of the name shouldn’t divert your attention from the quality of their music.

8. Bombay Show Pig Bombay Show Pig

Despite the obvious reference to one of India’s better known cities, they are neither Indian nor even from the Indian sub-continent. In fact, this is a Dutch indie rock duo that has amassed a healthy following on the European rock circuit.

The band consists of Mathias Janmaat (vocals/guitar) and Linda van Leeuwen (vocals/drums/percussion/ keyboards). The band name is so ridiculously creative that very few would associate it with a rock band. It certainly dispels the myth that all rock stars are cool.

7. Suburban Kids with Biblical Names

This Swedish band didn't, surprisingly, put a lot of effort into coining the name. And, they definitely don’t stalk the suburbs of Stockholm in an attempt to find suburban kids with Biblical names.

They actually got the name from the lyrics of Silver Jews’ single ‘People’. If you are wondering, the Silver Jews’ name was inspired from a couple of other groups – the Silver Apples and the Silver Beatles (the Beatles) – as well as slang for blonde-haired Jewish people. This is one of the many musical acts that benefited from the internet age by posting their music online and gaining a gradual following.

6. Otienos

The name ‘Otienos’ would suggest that this is a Kenyan musical act from the Luo interior (Barack Obama’s ancestral tribe land). In reality, Otienos is one of the most obscure solo American artists you’ll probably never meet.

Ryan aka Otienos is a working guy making music as a mere hobby. Inspired by such acts as Animal Collective, Otienos would be described as being a true indie artist; especially, with most major Indie rock groups having gone commercial. The Indie label has, without doubt, lost its original meaning. Otienos, unlike most musical artists, shuns publicity and never advertises his music.

5. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs

Orlando Tobias Edward Higginbottom is neither enormous nor extinct and; actually, is at the start of his career. Having previously been a music teacher, the Oxford-born English electronic dance producer and DJ released his debut album in 2012.

TEED continues a growing trend of music producers and DJs releasing hit albums; joining acts such as Naughty Boy, David Guetta and Avicii. With a name like Orlando Tobias Edward, one would be confident when introducing themselves; but, not when your finish off with ‘Higginbottom’. But, then, how realistic does ‘Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs’ sound?

4. Evripidis and His Tragedies

This sounds more like the title to a Greek tragedy than the name of an Indie act. Thus, it’s unsurprising that the band’s music revolves around such themes as love, lust and loss.

Founded by the Athenian born artist - Evripidis Sabatis, the Indie band has established itself on the Barcelona music scene and benefited from the positive influence of sites like MySpace, Bandcamp, Last.fm and Facebook

3. Amanda Palmer & the Grand Theft Orchestra

With the eccentric Amanda Palmer at the helm, the band’s music is as creative as the band’s title. Originally of the Dresden Dolls and the controversial duo, Evelyn Evelyn; the multi-talented Amanda Palmer went a step further to form ‘Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra’.

Probably the closest thing to Lady Gaga that Indie is going to get, Amanda Palmer is the true description of controversy. She picks up a cult following as easily as she manages to irritate and shock the conservatives.

In mid-2013, she wrote a protest song against the British newspaper, the Daily Mail and performed it nude after the paper had made fun of her wardrobe malfunction at the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts. On a less controversial note, Amanda Palmer has been featured on TED.com where she advised against people paying for music.

2. SNMNMNM

The New York band formed in 1997 and consists of: Seamus Kenney (vocals/accordion), Mark Daumen (tuba/vocals), Matthew Vooris (drums), and Matthew Kenney (trumpet).

The band name leaves you with one of two impressions: either they were too lazy to come up with a cool name, or chose to call themselves S&M but someone, fortunately, messed up. It is actually a contraction of “Seamus 'n Matt 'n Mark 'n Matt – the band members’ first names.

1. The New Pornographers

What happened to the old ones, guys? This is the kind of band name that you wouldn't want your mom, girlfriend or wife to see on your playlist. This is actually one of Canada’s most famous Indie rock export; and not a new age X-rated feature.

Formed in 1999 in the city of Vancouver, The New Pornographers have consistently produced acclaim-worthy albums like their 2009 second album ‘Electric Version’. The album was ranked 79th in the Rolling Stone magazine’s ‘100 Best Albums of the Decade’. Now, all you have to do is convince your girlfriend that you aren't listening to an erotic novel in audio format.

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    • underthedome profile image
      Author

      denis nasila 4 years ago from Mombasa

      Thanks. Indie is probably one of the few music genres you can get away with such unique names.

    • Reynolds_Writing profile image

      Reynolds_Writing 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Interesting hub. Unique names...