April 13, 2006

Rise of the Sentence Band

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As I begin this article, I find myself reluctantly in a shirt and tie. Normally, I would be wearing any one of my many prefab Urban Outfitters T-shirts, but today I was more or less forced into putting on a shirt and tie. And dressing up business-casually today has inspired me to think like the sophisticates think, namely those writing for The New York Times. And like those writing for the Times, I have decided to daringly expose my readers to a brand new trend in music – I will describe it, coin a term for it using nothing short of capitalization to display its significance, and if I have the room, map its future course. The fact that the trend might have been going on for years now is irrelevant; it doesn’t stop the writers at the Times from pretending it’s anything but brand new and it won’t stop me.

The latest trend in music today is the Sentence Band. These bands share many musical qualities in common, but their one defining characteristic is that the names of their bands are sentences. Sometimes complete sentences, often run-on sentences, sometimes sentences containing perversely incorrect punctuation. Virtually all of these bands make bad music of the emo and punk-pop varieties.

The founding fathers of the Sentence Bands are …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead and Saves the Day, although I’m not sure the latter exactly qualifies as a sentence. Let’s see. Saves the Day. Shit, Microsoft Word has caught it as a fragment. Nevertheless, in my oh-so-humble opinion, these bands have inspired many inferior bands such as Panic! At the Disco, I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness, Hidden in Plain View, and She Wants Revenge. The one worthwhile Sentence Band to come out of this mess is Clap Your Hands Say Yeah of “Elliot Singer Wants Clap Your Hands Say Yeah for Slope Day” fame.

Reader beware: you may be eager to include bands like My Chemical Romance, Funeral for a Friend, Bullet For My Valentine and Taking Back Sunday in the category of Sentence bands, but these are not in fact sentences. Give it another five or six years and the Times will come up with a term for these other bands.

Archived article by Jared Wolfe
Sun Staff Writer