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15 Bands Named After Songs by Other Bands

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Musicians often get inspiration from their own record collections. Beyond musical style, on-stage persona, and look, some bands directly take their names from songs or lyrics from another band. 

1. Death Cab For Cutie

Lead singer and songwriter Ben Gibbard named his Washington-based indie rock band after Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band's song "Death Cab for Cutie" from their 1967 record Gorilla. The song was also featured in the Beatles movie Magical Mystery Tour and was written as a parody of the Elvis Presley song "(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear."

2. Ladytron

The British electronic quartet Ladytron took their name from a song from Roxy Music's 1972 debut self-titled record. Brian Eno, an ex-Roxy Music member, is actually a fan of the band Ladytron and thinks they're the very best in English pop music today.

3. Pretty Girls Make Graves

Before officially coming together as a band, co-founders Andrea Zollo and Derek Fudesco were listening to The Smiths' first album and thought the song title "Pretty Girls Make Graves" would make a good band name.

4. Radiohead

When they first formed in 1985, Radiohead was known as On a Friday, which was the day the British rock band would get together for practice. When On a Friday signed to EMI Music in 1991, they changed their name to Radiohead after the Talking Heads' 1986 song "Radio Head," as a tribute to the New York City-based rock band. 

5. Spoon

Co-founder Britt Daniel and Jim Eno named their band Spoon as a tribute to '70s German avant-garde band CAN, whose song "Spoon" was the theme for the 1985 German film Das Messer (Jagged Edge).

6. At the Drive-In

Guitarist and co-founder Jim Ward liked the lyrics "Cause baby we'll be / At the drive-in" from Poison's 1986 song "Talk Dirty to Me" so much he decided to use the second half as the name for his post-punk band. Lead singer Cedric Bixler tossed around the name "At the Movies" from the Bad Brains song of the same name, but Ward's suggestion won out with the rest of the band.

7. Boyz II Men

Before New Edition's Michael Bivins discovered them backstage at a concert in 1989, the group Boyz II Men was once known as Unique Attraction. The group changed their name to Boyz II Men after the 1988 New Edition song "Boys to Men." Bivins later produced Boyz II Men's first album, a year after he started the New Edition spinoff group Bel Biv DeVoe.

8. Panic! at The Disco

Forming in 2004, the emo band Panic! at the Disco based their name on The Smiths' song "Panic," which features the lyrics "burn down the disco." For their 2008 release Pretty Odd, they ditched the exclamation point at the end of Panic. A year later, the band re-introduced the exclamation point to their name.  

9. Scary Kids Scaring Kids

The post-hardcore band Scary Kids Scaring Kids took their name from the song "Scary Kids Scaring Kids" from the highly-influential emo band Cap'n Jazz. The song can be found on the anthology album Analphabetapolothology.

10. Communist Daughter

The Saint Paul-based indie rock band Communist Daughter got their name from the Neutral Milk Hotel song "Communist Daughter."

11. The Kooks

Taking their inspiration from David Bowie, Britpop band The Kooks decided to name their band after the iconic rock star's song "Kooks" as a tribute. David Bowie wrote the song for his then-newborn son Duncan Jones, and it appeared on his 1971 album Hunky Dory.

12. Bad Brains

While they started off as a jazz fusion band called Mind Point, Bad Brains was one of the early punk bands in America. The Washington D.C.-based group got their name from the Ramones' song "Bad Brain" from Road to Ruin.

13. Lady Gaga

Producer Rob Fusari used to sing the Queen song "Radio Ga Ga" when recording artist Stefani Germanotta would enter the room. He once sent her a text with the song title attached, but his phone's autocorrect function changed the word "Radio" to "Lady." Hence, Stefani Germanotta would be forever known as Lady Gaga.

14. The Killers

Co-founders Brandon Flowers and Dave Keuning named their band The Killers after the fictional band featured in the music video for New Order's "Crystal." In fact, the music video for The Killers' debut single "Somebody Told Me" borrowed a few visual elements from the "Crystal" music video—including performing in front of a Jumbotron screen.

15. The Rolling Stones

When Mick Jagger and Keith Richards first came together to form a band in the early '60s, they were known as the Blue Boys. However, when asked about the band's name during an interview with the newspaper Jazz News, guitarist Brian Jones called the band The Rolling Stones after the song "Rollin' Stone" from a Muddy Waters record that was laying on the floor.

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This Just In
Police Recover Nearly 100 Artifacts Stolen From John Lennon’s Estate
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Keystone Features / Stringer / Getty Images

A collection of artifacts stolen from John Lennon’s estate, including diaries, glasses, and handwritten music, has been recovered by German police, the Associated Press reports. After arresting the first suspect, law enforcement is now working to apprehend a second person of interest in the case.

The nearly 100 items went missing from the New York home of the late Beatles star’s widow Yoko Ono in 2006. Years later, German police were tipped off to their whereabouts when a bankruptcy administrator came across the haul in the storage facility of a Berlin auction house. The three leather-bound diaries that were recovered are dated 1975, 1979, and 1980. One entry refers to Lennon’s famous nude photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz, and another was written the morning of December 8, 1980, hours before he was shot and killed. In addition to the journals, police retrieved two pairs of his iconic glasses, a 1965 recording of a Beatles concert, a 1952 school book, contract documents for the copyright of the song “I’m the Greatest”, handwritten scores for "Woman" and "Just Like Starting Over”, and a cigarette case.

German authorities flew to New York to have Ono verify the items' authenticity. "She was very emotional and we noticed clearly how much these things mean to her,” prosecutor Susann Wettley told AP. When the objects will be returned to Ono is still unclear.

The first suspect, a 58-year-old German businessman from Turkey, was arrested Monday, November 21, following a raid of his house and vehicles. The second suspect is one of Ono's former chauffeurs who has a past conviction related to the theft. Police officers are hoping to extradite him from his current home in Turkey before moving forward with the case.

[h/t AP]

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science
Scientists Analyze the Moods of 90,000 Songs Based on Music and Lyrics
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Based on the first few seconds of a song, the part before the vocalist starts singing, you can judge whether the lyrics are more likely to detail a night of partying or a devastating breakup. The fact that musical structures can evoke certain emotions just as strongly as words can isn't a secret. But scientists now have a better idea of which language gets paired with which chords, according to their paper published in Royal Society Open Science.

For their study, researchers from Indiana University downloaded 90,000 songs from Ultimate Guitar, a site that allows users to upload the lyrics and chords from popular songs for musicians to reference. Next, they pulled data from labMT, which crowd-sources the emotional valence (positive and negative connotations) of words. They referred to the music recognition site Gracenote to determine where and when each song was produced.

Their new method for analyzing the relationship between music and lyrics confirmed long-held knowledge: that minor chords are associated with sad feelings and major chords with happy ones. Words with a negative valence, like "pain," "die," and "lost," are all more likely to fall on the minor side of the spectrum.

But outside of major chords, the researchers found that high-valence words tend to show up in a surprising place: seventh chords. These chords contain four notes at a time and can be played in both the major and minor keys. The lyrics associated with these chords are positive all around, but their mood varies slightly depending on the type of seventh. Dominant seventh chords, for example, are often paired with terms of endearment, like "baby", or "sweet." With minor seventh chords, the words "life" and "god" are overrepresented.

Using their data, the researchers also looked at how lyric and chord valence differs between genres, regions, and eras. Sixties rock ranks highest in terms of positivity while punk and metal occupy the bottom slots. As for geography, Scandinavia (think Norwegian death metal) produces the dreariest music while songs from Asia (like K-Pop) are the happiest. So if you're looking for a song to boost your mood, we suggest digging up some Asian rock music from the 1960s, and make sure it's heavy on the seventh chords.

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