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 name that band
Author: Ralph Katz 
Date:   2010-05-20 23:19

I play in a band that has been doing weddings and Bar Mitzvahs for the last decade. Things have been so dry that we finally broke down and took a coffee house job.

So, we finally need a name.

The first thing come to mind is to use my name, all of our names, or permutations of the first two letters: Katz/Gitterman/Nelson, Kagine, Radana. These conjure up no images at all.

What if the name was cute? Punny? Obscure? Transparent? Evocative?

What about using something like "klez" in the name if this venue dictates a larger Balkan component?

What if the name is a word from a culture whose music we don't play?

What if the name is a word from a technology other than music, whose true significance only a few people may grasp? (It will be polite.)

Yes I am being circumspect. No I don't want to say the candidate names. Yet, anyway.

If you have a working band, how did you pick the name?

Please comment.

Post Edited (2010-05-20 23:20)

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 Re: name that band
Author: Kalakos 
Date:   2010-05-23 08:20

Hey Ralph: I've been thinking, but nothing great came out of it. I'm sorry no one is helping you here!
What were some of your ideas?
My one thought was, if you don't just do Jewish/Klezmer, then you might not want that as part of the band's name; it might be a more restrictive name than what your band really does. But if you only do that type of music, then go for it!
One other thought, the word "ethnic" really means "national" (ie the music of a people), so something with that word in it might be catchy.
Sorry I'm not much help here.

Kalakos Music

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 Re: name that band
Author: Ralph Katz 
Date:   2010-05-24 06:55

Hi Kalakos,

This is a tough creative process, and maybe I am taking it too seriously to let it succeed. We keep coming up with cute but not necessarily practical names.

A friend reacted to my hobby as a weather spotter, saying that a list of weather terms would make good names for a band, and we have been playing off that. I proposed Mesoscale and the keyboard players reaction was "Klez-o-scale". I proposed Wind Shear and the guitar player countered with "Wind Sher". These are cute but we do more than klez.

The best would be either pan-ethnic or neutral. We have put together successful wedding bands for mixed-ethnicity marriages, such as Jewish/Italian, Jewish/Bulgarian, Hungarian/Ukrainian.

A friend has used his street name for decades, the very distinctive Easy Street. My street Skydale might also work but doesn't really say anything.

Barring a sudden inspiration, this could be a "work-in-progress" for a while.


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 Re: name that band
Author: tictactux 2017
Date:   2010-05-29 21:16

> Hey Ralph: I've been thinking, but nothing great came out of it. I'm sorry no
> one is helping you here!

Ahem. I guess a lot of folks might be thinking about that. But as with writing, nothing good will come if you force it.

Considering the intertwined musical styles in Europe, it's not easy to find a name that is Jewish and Gypsy/Roma, Local (as in @home) at the same time. Yet you find you play a piece of "folk music" and it has all that stuff in it.

Yep, it's a giant melting pot, that earth as we know it.


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 Re: name that band
Author: Ralph Katz 
Date:   2010-05-29 22:03

The event went well. They predicted an empty house on the holiday weekend, but there were a surprising number of "regulars", and an e-mail 2 days ago brought out enough people so the venue was happy and asked us back. It was great - omelets to 7/8, and relaxed enough to take chances.

Their sound system made things easy, but I put my own in the car just in case (not next time.)

Dave brought his lightweight Casio keyboard which also worked just fine. He keeps coming up with ridiculous names though - two days ago it was "Olga and the Boatmen".

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 Re: name that band
Author: Ralph Katz 
Date:   2010-06-28 03:28

This band is still un-named, but I put together a different group to play an event at a convention. We were fiddle, clarinet, piano, and a dance caller/teacher. We played for a mix of Contra, international, and English Country dances, and were very well received. The event was a year in the planning (jeez the event seemed anti-climactic.)

Starting with a list of weather terms, we decided to use "Bow Echo", which is the form on Doppler Weather Radar which indicates the possibility of tornadoes.

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 Re: name that band
Author: vintschevski 
Date:   2010-09-21 13:48

I know this is now rather an old topic, but it seems a shame we didn't have more fun with it when it was current a few months ago.

And nothing else seems to be happening on this bboard, so maybe people might like to throw in a few comic names just for fun - or even serious names just for fun.

I always wanted to call a Klezmer band "The Boogie Woogie Bagel Boys". Main problem: I can't get a Klezmer band together, just boys or otherwise, regardless of what name might be used.

In any case, it wouldn't surprise me if somebody else has used this name somewhere some time.

Any other contributions, folks?

(Well, here's another one from me: "Reb Marley and the West Wall Wailers".)

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 Re: name that band
Author: Ralph Katz 
Date:   2010-09-25 18:41

A local band which plays mostly Contra Dances is "Twas Brillig and the Mazel Tovs" (aplogies to Lewis Carroll).

Yeah it is cute but I was looking for something perhaps more dignified.

I had some goofy ideas, as did the other musicians, but we (I) didn't want to commit us to something ridiculous.

Sort of like my brother, who before his sons were born tried to shock me with these off-the-wall names, but then named them Samuel & Benjamin.

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 Re: name that band
Author: vintschevski 
Date:   2010-09-29 13:14

So I guess "The Vulgar Bulgars" or "The Vulgar Bulgar Band" could be deemed to be lacking the requisite dignity?

How about "The Katz Viskers"?

Actually, I have tried in the past to work Catskills into a band name (given what I understand to be a reasonable significance in Klezmer music history, at least in the United States of America), with Cat Skills or some such, but nothing really useful came of that. (And somehow "The Katz Killers" might convey the wrong idea, whichever way one took it.)

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 Re: name that band
Author: Ralph Katz 
Date:   2010-09-30 00:15

I have a tremendous aversion to besmirching my own last name. There are lots of bands with derivations of "klez" or "katz". Klezmorons. Katzmandu. Is this sort of thing cute or is it merely tiresome? You can guess what sort of curmudgeon am I.

I suppose I shouldn't take things so seriously, but I was the monster in a film in the 1970's, and there are plenty of people, ignorant of all I have done in the last 30+ years, who still refer to me by the monster's name. Just so, the name of the band could grow a less-than-desirable life of its own, which is not my goal.

I have fronted an annual benefit concert for the last few years (version 4 is coming up) called "Katz & Co", a name that someone else came up with in a hurry by necessity, which has stuck. Maybe that is also a good name for a band.

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 Re: name that band
Author: Katrina 
Date:   2010-09-30 01:43

But the Katzenjammer Kids were out there for a long time before you, eh, Ralph? The Katzenjammers might be a nice band name...

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 Re: name that band
Author: Ralph Katz 
Date:   2010-10-02 21:45

I have had a long experience with people trying to make puns on my name. The cricital test is whether they make me laugh or not, and I am a very tough sell.

Time for a rambling story: In 1958, I was on the "Milky the Clown" show in Detroit, on my 8th birthday, which was also being celebrated as the 8th birthday of the TV show. I remember it well - my dad took me downtown to be on TV, and my family and all my friends were glued to their RCA's. It was pretty sterile, all of the little birthday children dutifully sitting in adult-sized chairs, eating chips and egg nog, in our little shirts and ties or birthday dresses. I was dying to see the marionettes up close but they had us all well-contained. Then, one by one, Milky talked to us on the air. We all waited interminably for our turns, then mine came. The first thing he did was call me "Katz pajamas". He asked my school name, and I said "Dewey", to which he retorted "Do we what?". And a handful of other puns. This is what happened during my lone opportunity for juvenile fame and fortune. I wasn't traumatized - I just didn't think they were funny. My dad didn't think it was funny either, when the sponsor's egg-nog made me barf in his car on the way home. I found out later that my neighbor had a cousin on the production staff and he could go on the show whenever he wanted. Oh well. In any case, if some clown couldn't make me laugh at those jokes as a child, then its not gonna work for this old man now either.

No Katrina, even if I could ignore the fact that someone else has that name copyrighted, I wouldn't like it. Would you go Katrinamatics? Mun-Dingers? Katrina and the Hurricanes? Your choice, mine too.


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 Re: name that band
Author: Katrina 
Date:   2010-10-04 01:07

Oh...I know...I was just thinking "aloud"!!! :)

I would use Katrina and the Waves if there hadn't been a band already! The Hurricanes is nice. Problem is I am not really a "leader" and am in groups which are necessarily communally run...

And I (unfortunately?) have a very silly pun-sense of humor too...

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 Re: name that band
Author: Ralph Katz 
Date:   2010-10-05 01:32


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 Re: name that band
Author: Ralph Katz 
Date:   2011-09-05 14:07

"Klezmer R&D" (Ralph & Dave - his idea).

With Nan, "Klezmer RND".

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