singleminded.
© 2001 Jamie Zawinski <jwz@jwz.org>


I happen to be fond of Trance, one of the nine billion micro-subgenres of electronic dance music, but some of the trappings that go along with it are intensely irritating. One of the things that really bugs me is the drooling simplemindedness of some of the names people who make this kind of music choose for themselves and the songs: I mean, I'd be embarrassed to even say these names out loud: ``have you heard, uh, track 3, on that CD by, uh, those guys?''

Here are some actual song titles and band names from some compilation CDs I have:

Acid Medusa by Shamanic Tribes on Acid
Interstella Acid Overdrive by Acid Trip
Acid Tey by Psychoheads
Headcopter by Acid Mothers
Acid Munchies by Optica
Acid D.N.A. by Transequence
Mushrooms & a Cup of Acid by Paperhouse
Marijuana 2 by Alien Mutation
Alien Bongo Trip by Super Skunk
What's Happening to my Head by The Pot Heads

There is no such song as as ``Acid Acid Acid'' by ``The Acid Heads'' but there might as well be.

Now, I can kind of let names like `` Crystal Method'' slide, because that's an actual pun. And ``Lords of Acid'' mostly write songs about sex, not about drugs. But most of these names are just ridiculous!

I can sort of understand how it might happen, though: you've written a song that isn't actually about anything, and now you have to come up with a name for it. And maybe you and your friend wrote this song, but don't really work together as a unit very often, and you feel compelled to come up with a name for your ``band'' (using the term pretty loosely in the case of most practitioners of this genre: as Henry Rollins so eloquently put it, ``DJ Fuckface puts on someone else's music and calls himself a musician,'' but I digress...)

But come on. Is it really so hard to stretch your imagination a little beyond the name of your drug of choice?

This seems to be pretty specific to the raver crowd. There are a few examples of this kind of thing from other genres (Fear's ``Have Another Beer with Fear'' album comes to mind), and all genres have their little naming conventions (if the band has ``23'' in its name, you know it's Industrial.)

But imagine if, say, Rockabilly bands worked this way: you'd get stuff like ``Heineken Heineken Heineken'' by The Drunkards, and ``Budweiser Belch'' by The Potbellies.

At least people seem to have mostly stopped using the words ``thee'' and ``ov'' like Psychic TV did. Man, I really hated that.


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