Sharkmuffin, Coke Weed + More: How Bands Playing CMJ Chose Their Name
Swarms of bands are currently taking over the most hipster corners of our city. From the Lower East Side to Williamsburg, a variety of acts are in town for 2013's CMJ Music Marathon performing from morning until deep in the evening at a variety of cool parties and showcases and are hoping you'll take notice.
The schedule is jam-packed and a little overwhelming with a multitude of shows scheduled almost every hour of this week until Saturday's sad, sad end. Chances are, you've probably noticed some funky names peppered throughout the hefty list of artists that may have either piqued your interest or made you tilt your head in confusion. Either way, they captured your attention and hopefully, for them, your ears. We love a ridiculous band name and have asked several of our favorite peculiarly titled artists to tell us the story behind their mysterious monikers.
I'll Be John Brown
"My grandmother Gladys was a very Southern woman in a very small south Mississippi town called Summerland that you'd be hard pressed to find on any map. We called her Mama Gambrell. She had many memorable sayings, but one of her favorites was "I'll Be John Brown!" It was an exclamation of surprise, wonder, or disbelief, and it stuck in my head from a very early age. I associated it with long family trips to the country where things were a little different, slower, and my cousins and I had to come up with simpler ways to occupy ourselves. Mama Gambrell passed away in January of 2005, and around that time I began playing Country music with some friends in NYC. When the subject of a band name came up, this phrase came to mind, and thankfully my band mates agreed. As for who John Brown was historically, I'll let you do your own research if you don't already know. That story would take much longer to tell than we have here, but trust me it's a good one." -- Jason Gambrell (Singer/Rhythm Guitar)
I'll Be John Brown are playing the L-Rock Entertainment Showcase at the Bitter End, Thurs., Oct. 17th at 8:30pm.
"We try not to take ourselves too seriously. In college I was in two bands--one called Slutmuffin, an all-female 'slutwave' parody band, and a surf punk band called Pool Sharks. When the bands' songwriting material joined forces it only seemed fitting for it to be called Sharkmuffin. These days, I've been thinking about what a Sharkmuffin could be slang for in a social context. It could be a sassy & smart lady who is very good at playing billiards at bars, or it could be a relatively young woman who gravitates towards relationships with older men without any malicious financial intent. Audrey Horne of Twin Peaks - total Sharkmuffin. As is Scully from The X-Files. We're still working on what a Sharkmuffin cocktail would taste like, but it would most likely contain champagne, orange juice, and scotch." -- Tarra Thiessen
Sharkmuffin will be playing the following shows: 10/15, 10:45PM @ Legion Bar; 10/17, 10:00PM @ Muchmore's; 10/18, 11PM @ ShorewavesHaus (1107 Irving); 10/19, 5:00PM @ PassengerBar; 10/19, 9PM @ 94 Evergreen (backyard); 10/20, 3:00PM @ Spike Hill.
"Picture this, I was around 14 and I was on holiday at a caravan site in Scarborough England with my family. One evening me and my sister Bec were watching a shit singer and he sang the song "Angel" by Shaggy but it sounded like he was singing "girl you're my eagle," and we imagined him serenading this eagle perched on his forearm. We thought it was hilarious.
Cut to 6 years later before we had even played a note together... me, Henry and George were at Primavera Festival in Barcelona. We were in high spirits waiting for Neil Young to come on and Shaggy's "Angel" came over the sound system. I started singing the Blue Dolphin Caravan Holiday Park version and we were all in creases. It became a running joke throughout the duration of the trip and in a drunken state we decided we would one day start a band called Eagles. Upon returning, me and Henry wrote "Council Flat Blues" and decided we were gunna follow through on starting up the band. In the end we decided to put an English slant on it and spell it Eagulls..... And we have regretted it ever since." -- Mark "Goldy" Goldsworthy
Eagulls will be playing the Kanine/Sesac Party at Pianos, 10/16, 5:45pm; the NME Party at Glasslands, 10/16, 10pm; the Brooklyn Vegan Party, 10/18, TBA; the Paradigm Party at Mercury Lounge, TBA; the Bowery Presents Day Show at Pianos, 10/19, time TBA.
See also: How To Maximize Your CMJ Experience
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