Norwegian Jazz Drummers from I to J

Even those here who were actually paying attention to my “Norwegian jazz name” thing (and probably just to be nice) have probably forgotten all about it. It’s like remembering what you had for breakfast a year ago.

I won’t blame you for not remembering what was not needful, and for those of you coming up on to this for the first time, I won’t hold it against you that you’ll forget it 20 minutes later.

Heck, I couldn’t even remember where I finished off last time myself!

That’s why I used BoFN’s super deluxe customized search engine over on the right side and refreshed my memory. It seems we were on Norwegian jazz drummers, and had gotten to the letter H.

And for the record, the results were nothing to sniff at!

Norwegian jazz genius is something anthropologists will be struggling to explain for a very long time, I suspect.

Now we can progress–and I’m using a very liberal interpretation of the word “progress”–to the next items along that well travelled sequential chain of symbols (or should I say “cymbals”? arf arf) we know as the English alphabet.

Which brings us to a surprisingly sparse (for Norway) showing for “I”. Just one drummer, to be precise, by the name of Terje Isungset.

Terje is a drummer and composer who works not just with jazz but with Scandinavian and indigenous traditional music. But what will probably strike you most (arf, arf, arf) is that Terje makes and plays ice percussion.

We like to joke around here at BoFN but no joke, I think Terje’s composition and performance here is quite beautiful:

I’d like to give you the names of the other players and singers but they are not listed. The performance is at the Grieg Concert Hall, and I think I can safely say that ole Edvard would be proud of his native son.

That’s a great “ice sung set” with Terje Isungset.

Like I said, we do like to joke around–and I’m using a very liberal interpretation of the word “joke”–here at BoFN.

Where was I? Oh, I. No, I don’t mean me, I mean I. I was at I.

Now before reading on, and remembering this is Norway we’re talking about, what do you think the results will be for “J”?

Well, you were right and wrong. Yes, there are a lot of drummers, but no, the names are not (how can I put this delicately?) funny. There’s a Jakobsen, a Jennsen, and a whole mess o’ Johansens. They may be brilliantly talented, but we’re not going to stop and find out, because this is not called The Blog of Exactly the Kind of Names You’d Expect.

Which brings us to “K.” We got some good stuff there, but we’re not going to move on to it just yet. Why? Because we are approaching BoFN’s designated word limit.

But that leaves me with enough remaining verbiage to “drum” up some support for our dear co-founder Dave. Thump that link:

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8th Annual Poll: Funniest Names in The NFL Draft

This post appears concurrently on The Millennium Conjectures

“I want to own an NFL franchise. I understand the business of football.”-Jon Bon Jovi

I honestly have no idea if Jon Bon Jovi understands the business of football.  But with a name like his, he should certainly understand this piece of NFL business.  Yes,  it’s that time of the year again–the 8th annual poll of the funniest names in the NFL draft.  Presented this year with a little extra voting time because, hey, what else is there to do besides stream endless 60s sitcom reruns during this social lockdown?  So vote early, vote often, and yuck it up for these great names–just make sure you’re laughing at least six feet away from the next guy.  I guarantee these monikers will all be crowd pleasers.  [And of course, this feature wouldn’t be complete without my postulation of what these names might be, if they didn’t belong to football players]

Oh, and if you run out of reruns to watch, here are the links to the past 7 iterations of this hallowed annual tradition.

Est your heart out, Sir Galahad

Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa–A rather royal European sounding name for a born and bred hawkeye.  He’s super athletic, and though he may not win this poll, he could be the highest drafted player in this group.  He’s a first rounder for sure.  At 6’5″, 322 lbs., who’s going stand in his way? What I think his name sounds like: A minor knight of the round table.

Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn–Do we see a pattern here?  This draft is loaded with talent at offensive tackle prospects, so it’s fitting we have two in our prime list of candidates.  And believe me, this is one offensive tackle you don’t want to offend.  He’s stands 6′ 7″, 305 lbs.  What I think his name sounds like: a potty training phrase for the future king of the Maoris.

Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State–Ah, I just love those double-barrelled names. And compared to those first two guys, he’s a svelt 265 lbs.  That’s a good thing.  If he was the size of Tristan or Prince, he’d hardly fit into Penn State.  Oh, and he has a sister named Qeturah.  What I think his name sounds like: The great-great-great-great-great-great-great-greant-great grandson of Ghengis Khan.

CeeDee’s cousin?

CeeDee Lamb, WR, WR, Oklahoma–This name does not so much sound funny as it looks funny.  Hearing it, you would expect it to be spelled C.D., not CeeDee.  Maybe his parents were phonetically challenged.  What I think his name sounds like: a cartoon wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Leki Fotu, DT, Utah– This draft is heavy with linemen–pun maybe intended.  At 335 pounds he’s the biggest of this bunch.  And at just 8 letters for given and family name, it’s the shortest tag since Jake Butt won the title a few years ago.  A small name name for a big man.  What I think his name sounds like: a character from norse mythology.

As usual, there’s a gang of honorable mentions eligible for write-ins.  They include, but are not limited to, Tua Tagolaivoa,  Quintes Cephus, Jabari, Zuniga, Justin Strnad (no, that last name is not a typo), Bravvion Roy, Tremayne Anchrum, and if you think they might make a good offensive tackle, any Sumo wrestler whose name you can spell.  You can vote as many times as you like.   Voting closes at noon, EDT, Monday April 27.

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PPAP with a PSA, from Pikotaro

The Blog of Funny Names has been no stranger to the musical stylings of Pikotaro, whose inspired nonsense once swept the world as a viral sensation. Pikotaro returns now with some helpful guidance in these difficult times, and with a message of hope for all humanity.

Thanks, Pikotaro!

Posted in funny names in comedy, funny names in music, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Dickran Gobalian Give a Dog a (Red)bone

This old man came rolling home last Spring:

“It is with heavy hearts we announce that early this morning, May 30th, 2019, Leon Redbone crossed the delta for that beautiful shore at the age of 127.”

In fact, he was not that old. Our trusty Wikipedia reports that Leon Redbone, born Dickran Gobalian, crossed that river at the still too young age of 69, notwithstanding the whimsical tall tale above that appeared on his website. The publicist who posted it is Jim Della Croce, who I regret to say is not (as far as I know) related to the singer-songwriter Jim Croce (“crow” like the bird and “chi” as in Tai Chi).

The notice about Leon being 127 is a fitting coda to the life of a performer who seemed to step out of another era. The exaggerated age corresponds to how old Leon Redbone would have been if he had been alive when the music he loved first appeared: Vaudeville, ragtime, early jazz, and Tin Pan Alley classics. Leon Redbone was a one man musical revival.

This 1977 cut “Diddy Wa Diddie” shows how Leon Redbone not only inhabited the past but anticipated the future, since he prophesied my blog nickname more than four decades in advance. Pretty neat, huh?

Anyways, folks around my age will remember Leon Redbone appearing out of nowhere in the mid 1970s when he showed up as a guest on the original SNL.

In spite Leon’s injunction to not talk about him when he is gone, we are talking about him when he is gone. Our bad.

Of Armenian origin, Leon’s past zig-zags from Cyprus, to London, to Canada, and then to Toronto and the musical stage, where he was discovered by Bob Dylan. From thence he went on to musical fame which flared up particularly in the seventies but kept up a steady simmer till the end, with his passing in the state of Pennsylvania.

That simmering musical career included a steady stream of albums: 13 studio albums, 2 compilation albums, and four live albums. Other musical contributions included movie soundtracks and many tv appearances, including SNL, Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, and Sesame Street, as well as numerous tv commercials.

Leon had no musical training and played everything by ear, adapting chords and arrangements as he went along. He never rehearsed with a band and did not followed a pre-set program of tunes in his performances. His life and art were captured in this short documentary:

The documentary was also titled “Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone.” There we go again, talking about Leon when he’s gone.

No song seems to better encapsulate the Leon Redbone mystique than his rendition of “Shine on August Moon”:

Leon shines on through his music and through his surviving wife Beryl Handler, his two daughters, and three grandchildren. And long may he shine on some more. Requiēscat in pāce, Leon.

Meantime, don’t forget our man Dave. Please click on the link below:

 

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Oh No, I Don’t Believe it: Moon Unit and Dweezil

BoFN Rating: This post has been rated PG for weasel-ripped flesh and suggestive (if somewhat puzzling) lyrics.

It was only a matter of time before Frank Zappa’s progeny made their way to these hallowed pages, but Frank, undoubtedly stranger than us, has been no stranger to us. Neither has his occasional collaborator and teenage buddy Captain Beefheart. See here, and here, and here.

Using BoFN logic, we can surmise that Frank and Gail Zappa, deeply disappointed by the ordinariness of their own given names, firmly resolved that their own children should not suffer the same unsatisfactory fate.

Thus were born and christened (on whatever it is that eccentric, areligious people christen with out there) Moon Unit Zappa (1967) and Dweezil Zappa (1969). There are also younger Zappa siblings, Ahmet and Diva, who will not be subjects in this BoFN entry.

Moon Unit has had an active professional life in Los Angeles as an actor, voice actor, consultant, writer, and sometimes VJ for MTV. Her biggest claim to fame is the collaboration with her father at the age of 14, the song “Valley Girl.” Moon did a note perfect imitation of “Valley speak” that launched a whole trend around that patois. As her Wikipedia entry would have it:

The song featured Moon’s monologue in “valleyspeak“, slang terms popular with teenage girls in the San Fernando ValleyLos Angeles. “Valley Girl” was Frank Zappa’s biggest hit in the United States, and popularized phrases from the lyric such as “grody to the max” and “gag me with a spoon.” The song appeared on her father’s 1982 album Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch. “Valleyspeak” would spawn similar language growth and is today known as “High Rising Terminal” speach.

That album title, Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch, approaches BoFN standards of funniness and deserves honorable mention. The cover art represents the letters “Z” and “A” but can also be interpreted as . . . what the album title describes.

“Valley Girl” was kind of a throwaway song for Frank. Ironically it became his only ever Top 40 hit in the USA. We should credit Moon’s brilliant vocal impressions for that. Valley Girl also became a highly forgettable 80s movie with the young Nicholas Cage.

Moon Unit also earned a reference in Austen Powers:

Dweezil Zappa, who Wikipedia tells me was actually born Ian Donald Calvin Euclid Zappa in 1969, has also had a very active career, sometimes as an actor but mostly as a guitarist, musician and producer. He released his first single at the age of 12 (produced by Eddie Van Halen).

As a lifelong Zappa fanatic, I know Dweezil’s work mainly for the legacy band that he leads: Zappa Plays Zappa. It performs Frank’s music, often with some of the original musicians, including Napolean Murphy Brock, Steve Vai, and Terry Bozzio. Napolean plays and sings here on “Inca Roads” (probably my favorite Zappa cut, originally on the studio masterpiece One Size Fits All). Dweezil also does a monster guitar solo:

Salute to Moon and Dweezil, and a Happy New Year to all!

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