Some Names Are Better Than Others

smiths.jpgThere's no denying it: Bands have a huge boner for naming themselves after Smiths songs.

Tonight, LA's Sweet and Tender Hooligans are playing at the Grove of Anaheim (opening up the second of Tiger Army's five night stand). They get their name, natch, from "Sweet and Tender Hooligan," but it's not just their moniker they got from Morrissey, Marr and Co. - they're a Smiths cover band, and their lead singer makes an admirable attempt at an unenviable task; replicating Moz's distinct vocal style.

There are plenty of other bands also named after the band's tunes, albeit the rest don't take it quite so literally.

Shakespears Sister: Perhaps the earliest example of this phenomenon (and the one with the most mainstream success), Shakespears Sister (named after "Shakespeare's Sister," from Louder Than Bombs and The World Won't Listen) was founded in 1988 by Siobhan Fahey, after leaving Bananarama. Their biggest hit was 1992's "Stay;" they broke up in 1996.

Resemblance to The Smiths: Low, but at least they were both British.

Pretty Girls Make Graves: Early millennium "art punk" band. Also featuring lead vocals from a female, and they're also broken up, as of last year. Guitarist Jay Clark is now with Jaguar Love, playing at The Glass House on Nov. 14. There's some debate on whether or not they truly named themselves after the opening track from self-titled debut Smiths album, or they both just took inspiration from the same Jack Kerouac quote.

Resemblance to The Smiths: Minimal. But they were good!

Girl in a Coma: Well, close enough. The Smiths song is called "Girlfriend in a Coma," of course, but the intention is clear. The San Antonio band even opened up for Morrissey during the waning dates of his US tour last year, perhaps the greatest compliment that can be paid to a band that named themselves after a Smiths song.

Resemblance to The Smiths: These garage punkers have a much harder than The Smiths ever did, but lead singer Nina Diaz's emotional style recalls a young Steven Patrick Morrissey.

Which begs the question - where are the bands named after Morrissey solo songs? "Interesting Drug," "National Front Disco," "Hairdresser on Fire" - all awesome band names, just sitting there.

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