The Battle of the New York-Based “Discovery” Bands. Plus, Are All the Good Band Names Really Taken?


Buried in this Wall Street Journal piece about how allegedly “All the Good Band Names Are Taken” is a clarification of something we’ve been wondering about for a minute: the ongoing confusion of two NY-based musical projects named Discovery. Couple months back, walking by the Knitting Factory space in Williamsburg, yours truly noticed a show flyer for a band called “Discovery” and stopped to look. Huh? Discovery finally playing live? Zach will finally have that plastic-R&B-pop record he likes so much ruined for him? Oh wait, this band photo has a lady in it. Huh? And so it wasn’t a live show of the Vampire Weekend/Ra Ra Riot side project, it was a booking for some other “Eastern European nu wave” band also called Discovery. This has happened to Sound of the City more than once, and apparently Time Out made the same mistake last fall and credited the listing to that other XL-signed Discovery, which would’ve been notable since the laptop-beats duo haven’t played a live New York show since the release of LP.

The person most upset about this of all is, naturally, the frontlady of the lesser-known Discovery, Kathleen Cholewka, who took to her MySpace blog last summer to fume about problems the brand association was causing her (“I keep getting calls and emails from folks telling me how un-good their music is”), say the other guys are unlawfully using the name, and then to admit her allegiance to the name could be waived for the right price (“They obviously have the cash, and cash is something we don’t have”). Further, she says in today’s WSJ that “‘the name is representative of everything we’ve worked for'” — baffling since nobody knows squat about them — “and that her campaign isn’t about sour grapes.'” Yet, she’s taken to defacing the other Discovery’s Wikipedia page, though she also claims the other Discovery did that to hers first.

To add further confusion, Cholewka’s Discovery band doesn’t even have the url Cholewka’s Discovery is defiantly sitting on, while Rostram and Miles’ squeegee-R&B thing is located at the yeah-whatever address

But what’s even more perplexing is the realization that right now, on the day a story about the David Discovery versus the Goliath Discovery comes out in the Wall Street Journal, probably the one day people will actively seek out this underdog Discovery, all that’s streaming on their MySpace is some shitty bootleg at the Cake Shop. No wonder the band with the girl has been eclipsed.

Lastly, about that presupposition that “All the Good Band Names Are Taken.” Let us kindly direct you to a list of 360 then-unclaimed band names brainstormed over the course of years on bar napkins by a former colleague. Crippled Gay Chicks, anyone? Hum-min-nah Hum-min-nah? Lovers on Lois Lane? Baby Plug, School Shooting, Saddam’s Ugly Sister Babs? Surely you can find something better than Discovery.

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