Wednesday, June 23, 2004

P.S., Burger Nuds; Names

As I was writing the last post on the Burger Nuds, I found in the Web a site that answered one of my minor Japanese rock questions: What in the world does the name "Burger Nuds" mean? In an interview (which is in Japanese and includes a portait of the Nuds, though I think they are better looking in person), the band members reveal the truth.

First, they explain, 'nuds' is English slang for someone who geekily gets too obsessed in things. ... Wait. Burger Nuds. Shouldn't that be 'nerds'?

As for 'Burger', the interview says that the band members ate burgers often at Wendy's, ergo, 'Burger'.

So, in reality what this band should have been called was Burger Nerds, a cool band name in itself, three rock music geeks who ate too many hamburgers (but remained rail-thin, the obnoxious nerds).

Having found this out, I must say I prefer Burger Nuds to Burger Nerds, because of the weirdness of the former. By the way, the band says their home page, filled now with messages from their aggrieved fans, will soon be discontinued, as will the sale of their albums. Sadness.


Writing about what Burger Nuds' name means got me thinking about where other good Japanese bands' names come from.

There is a whole group of bands with English people names, for example: Cecil, Winnie, and going back further in the past, Judy & Mary, Rebecca, and others.

There is Lucy, which people usually call the brilliant
In addition, Advantage Lucy. In their case I know the reason for their name. Advantage Lucy was originally called Lucy van Pelt, as in the Peanuts character who pulls the football away from Charlie Brown, but they decided to change it when they felt they might make it big (which they did) and the old name might cause problems. They therefore became advantage Lucy.

There are bands with mystery names: Qypthone, Moga the 5 Yen, Vasallo Crab 75, Condor 44 (the latter two examples of bands-with-names-with-numbers-after-cool-sounding-nouns. I think I've seen other examples of this), and many others.

For some bands, I know why they came to be called what they are.

Plectrum, for example, was given their name, which is another way to say 'guitar pick', by Teenage Fan Club.

Orange Plankton's 'Orange' reflects the fact that singer Yumi is from Ehime prefecture, a major producer of mikan, or Japanese orange, while the 'plankton' reflects their wish that the bands grows as fast as the sea-floating organism.

I now know the secret to Burder Nuds' name too, though a bit too late.

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