We know, we know, it's 2011, and in this post-apocalyptic time, all band names have been taken, yadda yadda yadda. OF COURSE you're going to have the Beach Boys and Beach House and Beach Fossils. And Wolf everything, and especially Black everything. Not every band can or wants to be called Unicorn Pencil Shavings or Mossy Kaleidoscope, or whatever few unique but meaningless jumbles of words remain to fledgling bands embarking on the christening process.But you could be forgiven if lately you've found yourself scratching your head, or asking "I thought that band broke up?" or "I thought they were from Spain?" That's because a few local acts are in possession of names very similar to other bands in the news. It makes for confusing times. Heck, even those of us who get paid to know these things slip up occasionally--we recently confused Montreal's Sports with Seattle's band of the same name. But since feeling out of the loop is a sensation no music fan wants to experience, here's a handy guide to bands currently sharing nearly identical monikers.
(The other thing they all have in common? Confusing Google results. Seriously, try searching "Boat.")
The name: Wallpaper.
These guys are from Tacoma.
Who they are: An Oakland-based nouveau-funk project featuring the heavily AutoTuned vocals of "Ricky Reed" (actually the alter ego of one Eric Frederic), backed by drummer Arjun Singh. Their Chromeo-esque songs are rife with ironic rapping about "hitting Trader Joe's for the Two Buck Chuck" and loungy synths. In other words, they're the musical equivalent of gold lame and shutter shades.
You might confuse them with: Tacoma's Wallpaper, the now-defunct K Recs band whose textbook '60s garage, skinny ties, and Prince Valiant haircuts worked the scene from 2004-2009. Members now play in Basemint and Derek Kelley and the Speedwobbles.
The name: Besties.
Who they are: A side project of Orca Team's Leif Anders, their MySpace proclaims "None of us really know each other but over the last couple of weeks, we've decided to be BESTIES." Whether or not that is the case, all their songs are apparently about their friends ("Reiann's Hands," "Ethan Has to Grow Up," and so on). With beachy riffs topped by Anders' staccato, post-punk vocals, the results sound like Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend decided to join Interpol.
You might confuse them with: The Besties, the Brooklyn twee act who broke up in 2009.
The name: Dolorean.
Sarah Jurado Dolorean
Who they are: The long-running band of Portlander Al James that returned last year from a three-year hiatus. Last month, they released their fourth LP, The Unfazed, another meticulously written and recorded album of slow, sweet country-pop. Currently on tour, the group has also served time as the backing band for Damien Jurado. Warning: This music may cause you to feel sad!
You might confuse them with: Delorean, the Spanish indie-dance-trance
act whose 2010 album, Subiza, made many critics' year-end best-of
The name: Boats.
Who they are: These recent Kill Rock Stars signees hail from Winnipeg, Manitoba. With a whiff of Elephant 6 about the whole thing (lotsa tracks + xylophones + Moog), singer Mat Klachefsky's mosquito-high vocals are Apples in Stereo sped up til they sound like the Chipmunks. Bizarre, to be sure, but interesting. If you like that kind of thing, their KRS debut, Cannonballs, Cannonballs, comes out March 1.
You might confuse them with: BOAT, the widely-loved Seattle power-pop group whose 2009 album, Setting the Paces, was a local and national fave. Their new "super-rock" record, Dress Like Your Idols, hits stores next month.