Alternative rock from Winterhaven, Florida, with a sense of humour, if we are permitted to go by the smoke screens the band managed to put up around the origins of its name.

For instance, at one point singer Stephen Christian maintained that the band simply had adopted the name reserved for his first-born daughter.

How Anberlin got their bandname - Berlin postcardLater Christian came up with the story that a planned trip to Europe provided the inspiration. Pondering over the cities he thought would be worth a visit, he put London, Paris, Rome and Berlin on his shortlist. 'And Berlin' sounded good to him as a band name, provided it would be converted into Anberlin.

Later again Stephen Christian confessed that from the very beginning it was the band's intention to continuously come up with different explanations for the name, as a sort of running gag.

Finally in Alternative Press Magazine Christian stated that there was really no explanation for the band's name choice. It was already too late by then: fans started to invent explanations themselves.

A very nice one is that Anberlin is a corruption of Anne Boleyn, the name of one of English King Henry VIII's wives.

Active: 2002-present, USA

Birthday Party

Birthday Party band name explanation - Harold Pinter playThey were the pride and joy of famous English BBC disc jockey John Peel, this Australian group that was first called The Boys Next Door and that owed its comparative awareness among others to Nick Cave who was one of the members.

The adoration of the Radio 1 presenter by the way was completely useless. To find its new name the post punk band from Melbourne reached into the bookcase and what came out? A Harry Pinter play called – yes - The Birthday Party, from 1958.

Active: 1976-1983, AUS

Black Flag - Bad news for Adam Ant

Where band name Black Flag comes from - Thomas Tew pirate flagHardcore punk rock band from Hermosa Beach, California, put up on one single stable factor throughout the years: guitarist and composer Greg Ginn (not to be confused with Greg Kihn). Many consider Black Flag to be one of the first hardcore punk bands.

Symbolism is blowing in from every quarter with this band name. If a white flag symbolizes surrender, then the black flag stands for the opposite, which is anarchy.

Black Flag is also an insecticide brand. When Adam Ant (see there) performed in California for the first time, Black Flag followers distributed buttons with the text 'Black Flag kills Ants'.

Active: 1976-1986; 2003, USA

See also: Adam & the AntsD.O.A.

Mekons - Indestructible

What band name Mekons means - Dan Dare comic - MekonOf the British punk rock bands from the very beginning of the movement The Mekons (home: Leeds, West Yorkshire) have to be among the most indestructible - they have been around for over thirty years.

The Mekon (also called Mekonta) is the mortal enemy of the main character in the Dan Dare comics, Dan Dare, to be sure.

Dare ('Pilot of the Future') competes in virtually every episode of the cartoon, published in comic magazine Eagle, against the green monster called Mekon.

Active: 1977-present, GBR

Church - Explained by evolution?

Although reli-pop from a group with such a name seems to be a safe assumption, The Church propagates songs that can also be classified under the chapters post punk, alternative rock and new wave.

How The Church got their band name - Sagrada Familia - BarcelonaThe various sources we resorted to for an explanation of the band name disagree about the origin of the group name.

The name can have arisen simply because it was not claimed yet by other bands, but it is also possible that there is an – indirect - religious context.

The Church evolved out of two bands that used the same church building in Sydney as rehearsal space.

Active: 1980-present, AUS


Where band name Jebediah comes from - Simpsons - Jebediah SpringfieldBig fans of the television series The Simpsons they are, the members of this alternative rock band from Perth, Western Australia.

As a tribute they therefore derived their name from Jebediah Springfield, the Founding Father of the town of Springfield, the home of the Simpsons.

Active: 1994-present, AUS

See also: B-52'sFall Out Boy, Jebus


Country band from the south of the United States, the best of that country even according to the Houston Press.

Where the Hollisters got their band name from - Rafe Hollister - Jack Prince - Andy Griffith ShowNamed after the rather colorless Rafe Hollister, a role of Jack Prince in the American CBS sitcom The Andy Griffith Show.

The series is all about a sherrif and widower in Mayberry, North Carolina, who spends his days in the proximity of a rather clumsy deputy, an old aunt who fulfills the duties of housekeeper and his young son.

In this setting Rafe Hollister, a local farmer, plays a subordinate role. The only thing that makes him stand out is that he brews gin on the sly.

Active: 1995-present, USA

Icicle Works - A hell of a job

How Icicle Works got their band name - Frederik Pohl - Platinum PohlNeo psychedelica is the label that may suit the originally alternative rock band Icicle Works best.

The group from Liverpool - a geographical fact that always arouses our expectations – was seduced by the title of a 1960 short story by science fiction author Frederic Pohl, The Day The Icicle Works Closed.

Synopsis of that story: eight people (four couples) travel to the Alpha Centauri star system in order to reproduce on the planet Alpha-Aleph.

A hell of a job.

Active: 1980-1990; 2006-2008, GBR

LL Cool J - Self-love is in the air

What band name LL Cool J stands for  - barney-stinson-womanizerAmerican rapper and actor James Todd Smith goes through life as LL Cool J from a musical point of view.

Our man 'Cool' is quite a womanizer, as his stage name stands for Ladies Love Cool James.

Active: *1968, USA

Pine Hill Haints - Alabama Ghost Musicians

Why Pine Hill Haints chose their band name - Pine Hill Cemetery - Auburn ALThey make traditional bluegrass music and are not afraid of making honky tonk noises either.

They describe their sound as Alabama Ghost Music, which suits their band name very well as it is a reference to Pine Hill Cemetery, an ancient (by US standards) cemetery in Auburn, Alabama, which is their residence (the city, not the cemetery).

To avoid you having to consult the dictionary: a haint is a wandering spirit.

Active: 2002-present, USA

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