Picks and Pans Review: Better Then Better Than Ezra: Strange but True Band Names

updated 05/19/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/19/2003 01:00AM

Barenaked Ladies, Foo Fighters and Jimmy Eat World were just the opening acts in a Lollapalooza of silly recent band names. Among the most memorable:

•BOWLING FOR SOUP The Texas foursome, whose novelty rocker "Girl All the Bad Guys Want" is a radio staple, took its name from a skit featured on Steve Martin's 1978 comedy disc A Wild and Crazy Guy.

•PINMONKEY This Nashville-based alt-country quartet claims its name from a 1995 episode of The Simpsons in which Homer gets to reset the pins at the local bowling alley.

•DEATHRAY DAVIES

These indie rockers—whose latest, Midnight at the Black Nail Polish Factory, suggests a profound love for kooky album titles too—honor the Kinks' Ray Davies.

•THE ALL-AMERICAN REJECTS

Lead singer Tyson Ritter originally titled this Oklahoma pop-rock quartet the Rejects, "because we thought we were punk." But when guitarist Nick Wheeler suggested the All-American—boom!—a band name was born.

•GARAGE A TROIS

This jazz-funk quartet—originally a trio—once tried out some garage rock that inspired the group's handle.

•DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE The Seattle indie-pop quartet copped its unusual name from a Bonzo Dog Band song, which appeared momentarily in the 1967 Beatles flick Magical Mystery Tour.

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