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 at 01:00 AM EDT

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.


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.


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.


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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