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DID YOU READ

IT’S LIKE THAT: Bands With the Same Name

IT’S LIKE THAT:  Bands With the Same Name (photo)

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A couple weeks ago–without much fanfare or explanation–Santogold changed her stage name to Santigold. Turns out the performer Santo Gold filed an injunction last year to keep the name all for himself. I’m not sure if the case went to court, or if Santigold just didn’t want to deal with the hassle. Long story short, Santo Gold got his wish and is now the only Santo Gold on the block. (Don’t worry, I don’t know who he is either.)

(left: Oh no! They took my stage name!)

This isn’t the first time a musical act has had to tweak their name. Early 90’s college-rock faves, The Charlatans UK, had to add that extra UK to the tail end of their name, because a 1960’s psychedelic rock group from San Francisco had it before they did.

Before Death From Above 1979 split up a couple years ago, they had to add Sebastien Grainger’s birth year to the end of their name, because the production duo DFA (Death From Above) had first dibs, acronym or not.

Blink 182? Yup, they started out as Blink. Want to take a wild guess at what happened? An Irish pop/rock group laid claim to the moniker first.

Bands don’t always have to tack on a number or abbreviation to a pre-existing name. In the late 60’s when the band the Earth was getting confused with another band called Earth, they just decided to change their name to Black Sabbath. You’ve heard of these guys, right?

Black Sabbath eventually inspired a group of guys from the Pacific Northwest to form a band called Skid Row–not the Skid Row you’re thinking about. After going through various name changes, the band finally settled on, Nirvana.

Oops, turns out there was a 1960’s rock group from the UK called Nirvana. The original Nirvana slapped Kurt Cobain’s Nirvana with a lawsuit in 1992. Luckily, Nirvana had hit pay dirt with their Nevermind album the year before and settled the case out of court by slapping down $100,000 to keep their name. The other Nirvana also got to keep their name–and all that money.

I can feel the pain of the artists’ above, because I’ve also been in bands named after pre-existing bands and been in groups whose names were taken by other groups. It’s a bummer being on both sides.

For example, earlier this year I came across a rapper on the internet called OJ Da Juiceman. Why was this of interest to me? Well, ever since I started playing music in the early 90’s, my stage name has been Juiceman. I know what you’re thinking: There already is a Juiceman. True, but he makes juicers, not music. I was actually inspired to call myself Juiceman while walking to the bus stop one morning in high school and noticing a Juiceman Juicer box sitting atop of someone’s trash pile.

It’s not uncommon in music to name yourself after an existing product. Q-Tip anyone? It’s also not uncommon to have to change your name–inspired by an existing product–because someone else already has it. Why do you think no one calls T.I. “Tip” anymore?

(above: We thought we were the only Milkweed.)

The first time I experienced the same-named-band phenomenon was when I started a group called, Milkweed (1994), with my college roommate Mike. The name was inspired by an inside joke and we both thought it was pretty original. After playing together for a year, our college finally got internet access on campus. In the computer lab our hearts were broken when we discovered that there were a handful of other bands named Milkweed. Later that year, the “rocker” guy on MTV’s Real World (don’t remember what season it was) told his roommates he was in a band called (gulp) Milkweed.

Pre-dating Milkweed, my high school friends and I formed a rap group called the D-Boiz (1992). In the 90’s it was quite common in rap music to substitute a “z” for the letter “s” (remember the movie Boyz n The Hood?). To separate ourselves from the rest of the pack, we even took it a step further and replaced the letter “y” with an “i”. Pretty clever, eh?

For a while we were the only D-Boiz around. There was a group that eventually surfaced called Dem Boyz, but Dem Boyz are no D-Boiz. Every time we browsed the record store racks (not that our music ever made it to a record store rack), we made sure there was no other group called D-Boiz.

(left to right: Juiceman, Prof D, and D-Renzo of the D-Boiz.)

Within the last few years though I’ve come across a D Boyz (pretty close) and then one afternoon while patrolling the internet I found a rap group from Detroit called (nooooo!) D-Boiz (hyphen and all).

There’s also a D-Boiz album on iTunes called Heavy Artillery, but I don’t know if that’s from the Detroit group or another bunch of guys called D-Boiz (or maybe the other members of my group are making albums behind my back?).

Here’s the MySpace bio from the Detroit-based D-Boiz:

We some fly ass dudes, that live by fly ass rules, and occasionally carry fly ass tools. Detroit is our home and the world is our stomping ground. If you on some fly shit too, thats whats up, if you not, get yo weak ass off our page. D-BOIZ BITCH!!!!!!!!!!

If these guys ever make it big, I may take a page out of Santo Gold’s book (or better yet, British Nirvana’s) and file a fly ass lawsuit.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.