You'll think of bands named after animals as soon as you read this. But how many can you think of, why are they worth listening to, and most importantly, how do they compare to nine other bands named after animals in the same category? For your listening, viewing, petting, hunting, admiring, saving, fearing, riding or frying pleasure, Thursday Friday Saturday presents the most comprehensive list ever of bands named after animals. First in this series of Top 10's: the top 10 bands named after cute animals!
Brian Burton, AKA Dangermouse, has produced some of the most exciting music of the past decade. He's known for mixing the Beatles and Jay-Z in the most famous mash-up album of all time, "The Grey Album", and he's worked with plenty of talented artists, including Cee-Lo Green (in Gnarls Barkley) and most recently James Mercer from the Shins (in Broken Bells):
One of Dangermouse's best albums is from his early career: "Ghetto Pop Life", a hip-hop album with rapper Jemini:
I saw Eek-A-Mouse perform live some years ago at the Bluebird in Bloomington, IN. He puts on a good show, and though the Eek-A-Mouse "Eeksperience" website is slightly on the ugly side, the name inspires a cute enough mental image to deserve a spot on the list.
3. Modest Mouse
An indie-rock-gone-major fave, Modest Mouse have been cranking out some great tunes for awhile now. One of their older albums, "The Moon and Antarctica", is highly recommended, especially if you've never heard of Modest Mouse before or if you're only familiar with the newer stuff.
4. Mouse on Mars
Mouse on Mars often make electronic that's complex, noisy, or just plain unlistenable - like hearing machines torture each other. But Mouse on Mars also make electronic instruments sound vibrant and alive, as they do on the often-funky and sometimes danceable "Live 04" album:
Okay, so the first and nearly last time I was exposed to the Korgis was when I bought "Best of Techno Vol. 3" nearly two decades ago, which led off with NRG's "I Need Your Love" (below), a song centered ona sample of the Korgis' "Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime."
Then I was reminded of them again when Beck did a cover of the aforementioned (not the techno version) for the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind soundtrack. Both versions are great:
At any rate, I still don't know much about the Korgis other than the fact that they're British and they share their name (well, except for the first letter) with the super-cute, super-short-legged Corgi dog and deserve to be on this list for that alone.
6. Bunny Rabbit
Don't buy a Bunny Rabbit album with the intention of giving it to your kids. Bunny Rabbit may seem like a given for this list, but she has a deceptively cute name: the music is seductively ominous, not sweetly twee. It's generally simple with lots of funky electronic beats and some NSFW lyrics, so beware. Put your headphones on and check out "Saddle Up":
7. The Bird and the Bee
Kinda like Bunny Rabbit's childishly sweet name and her more adult-oriented music, when you hear the term "the birds and the bees" you'll first think of cute, then realize the fact that it's a simple, cliched way of referring to human mating when talking to people who aren't old enough to understand what you're talking about. So, just as Bunny Rabbit slipped onto this list for her name alone, the Bird and the Bee get a spot because of the childish connotation to their name.
The Bird and the Bee have some amazingly addictive songs ("Do It Again", "F*cking Boyfriend"), powered by the honeyed vocals of Inara George and the sweet pop production of Greg Kurstin, who's worked with everyone from the Flaming Lips to the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Beck to Lily Allen.
And what's even cooler about them than their cute name is their tribute album to Hall & Oates (who, unfortunately for this series, are not named after animals but a piece of architecture and a common edible grain), which I just found out about and can't wait to hear all the way through:
8. Miss Kittin
Miss Kittin is a French electronic music DJ. With a name like that, how could she not make this list?
Her Radio Caroline mix has a chill, understated flow that doesn't build to much, but some of her other albums, like "Batbox", have a distinctively harder edge. Not quite the juxtaposition that Bunny Rabbit has with her name and music, but close.
9. Britny Fox
Okay, another cute name/mature music juxtaposition. I don't know much about Britny Fox, other than they were an 80's rock band who liked big hair and big makeup - on themselves. The only other thing I know about them is that somehow their song "Girlschool" found its way into my iTunes collection. Only because foxes are cute, Britny Fox manages to squeak by onto this list.
10. Super Furry Animals
Kittens, puppies, baby sasquatch(es) - how much cuter can you get than super furry animals? The rock band Super Furry Animals goes through an ugly transformation in their "Golden Retriever" video, which also happens to feature a Golden Retriever... and a golden shower.
Check out one of their better-known albums, "Rings Around the World", for more:
Honorable Mention: Possum Dixon
At the risk of destroying any credibility Thursday Friday Saturday has left, Possum Dixon makes their way onto this list in spite of a fairly crappy band name, and the fact that 99% of people don't think possums are cute. But just think of their babies - precious! And we've seen a pet possum curled politely around its owners neck at Seattle's Pike Place Market - precious!
And their song "Watch the Girl Destroy Me" is one of the power-pop masterpieces of the 90's:
What better way to follow the Cutest than with the Top 10 Bands Named After Creepy-Crawly Animals?
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Post a comment below if we missed an obvious Cute Animal band name, if you have suggestions for future lists, or if you want to get feedback on the first act of your screenplay.
Oh noes! Forgot yet another mau5 - err... mouse.
TFS loves deadmau5, an electro producer/DJ who puts on great, bass-heavy shows. Wearing a giant cartoonish mouse head. If that doesn't get you on this list, I don't know what will.