The other day, Paste contributor Shane Danaher posted a list called “Five Fictional Bands of Dubious Quality”. It’s a fine list. It’s a strong list that comes from literary stock and bears the names of George R.R. Martin and Thomas Pynchon. I have no gripes or internet beef with Shane’s list.
What I do have are a few more names to toss into the mix. Or add to the rotation. I guess any old music pun will work here.
1. Love Will Tear Us Apart by Tara McCarthy
Released in 2005 and named for Joy Division’s most popular, and least depressing song, Love Will Tear Us Apart features the pop duo Flora and Fauna Sparks. At seventeen, they’re not only the nation’s latest sensation, but conjoined twins as well. One of whom is looking to start a solo career. There was, for a bit, a recorded of the song that appeared on the author’s website to increase the experience.
2. Soul Music by Terry Pratchett
For those unfamiliar with the Discworld series, Book 16 deals with the fallout from the introduction of a magic guitar in a fantasy realm. As a result “music with rocks in it” is born. The trend sweeps through the street of Ankh-Morpork and numerous bands, all of which are apparently horrendous, are born. Pratchett gives each one its own sound and pun name: &U, The Whom, and (my favorite) The Surreptitious Fabric. Despite the protagonist being named Imp Y Celyn (Bud of the Holly), his band is the one I was least interested in reading about.
3. Lonely Werewolf Girl by Martin Millar
In Martin Millar’s tale of teenage werewolf angst, sisters Butix and Delix make up the werewolf punk band Yum Yum Sugary Snacks. Both Butix and Delix spend way too much time drinking whiskey and lounging around their apartment to make much of themselves, but any band whose first gig turns into a riot shouldn’t be missed.
4. Spider Kiss by Harlan Ellison
Stag Preston is an amalgamation of Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley. He’s a countryfied bastard with pipes of gold and the heart of every teenage girl across the world. More sinister than even Andy Griffith’s portrayal of the fictional Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes, Stag bites into the heart of Rock’n’Roll and drains it of every drop. It’s the only work of fiction in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
5. Snow Crash by Neil Stephenson
The book that predicted, with frightening accuracy, today’s internet world, also gave us aspiring rapper Sushi-K. Sure, it ain’t rock ‘n’ roll, and Stephenson even gets a bit silly with the remedial lyrics, but I’d sure as hell love to see that concert.
I understand the point of this is to find examples from literature, but I thought I’d toss in a few from some of my favorite comics as well.
Preacher by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon
Arse Face. A nameless kid so influenced by Kurt Cobain and so abused by his father that, upon hearing of Cobain’s death, he tries to blow his own brains out. He fails becoming Arseface. After suffering at life’s cruel twist, a ray of light shines in the form of The Sergeant and a rock god is born.
Love and Rockets by Jamie Hernandez
An entire issue is spent tracking down the new Ape Sex album. As a reader and avid record collector, I still have dreams that the album exists.