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Question Of The Week, SXSW Edition: What's Your Fake Band Name?

Every year Bob Boilen, NPR Music's Stephen Thompson and I prepare for South by Southwest by listening to songs from roughly 1,500 artists. And when you go through that many bands you start to see trends in the names. The two most commonly occurring words are always — always — "black" and "DJ." In addition to those two, this year we noticed that "white" appears an awful lot, too, as does the name John. Michael, Paul and Jesse are also pretty popular. Go figure.

Using the power of Internology, we compiled a list of all (or nearly all) of the bands playing SXSW this year (there are a lot). Then we used that list to create a tag cloud. The names used most often are in larger type.

A collage of words used in the names of some 2,000 bands playing SXSW in 2014.
 

If you make a new band name using just the most popular words, you'd end up with something like "Wild White Ghost DJ Black Band." But the possibilities, just from the pool of words used in this year's batch of SXSW bands, are seemingly endless. Here are a few I came up with:

Baby Magic
Blood Comedy
Team Joe Orchestra
Young Wild Sound

Of course, if you find this colletion of words too limiting, you can always refer to the online Band Name Maker or the Wu-Tang Clan Name Generator (which is reportedly how actor and musician Donald Glover came up with is rap name Childish Gambino).

Tell us your new fake band name in the comments section or tweet it @allsongs. And stay tuned for a boatload of coverage on SXSW, coming this week from NPR Music, starting with the All Songs Considered SXSW preview show, coming Tuesday.

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