One of the most common difficulties that a band encounters is coming up
with a name that somehow conveys their sound and, perhaps more
importantly, their attitude. In fact, it’s a safe bet that crafting the
sound is probably easier than christening the band. So how does Natalie
Portman’s Shaved Head fit the model? First of all, it’s a brilliantly
evocative name — who doesn’t get that picture? And it most certainly
tips off the band’s twisted tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, not to
mention their deep affection for V for Vendetta.
But does it capture the band’s sound? If any name could suggest the
giddy danceability of the B-52s, the Synth-Pop swing of Human League,
the snarky entertainment value of Eagles of Death Metal, the
sophisticated Dorktronica of Devo and the Techno/Punk delirium of You
Say Party! We Say Die!, then it would be Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head.
[See more on bands named after real people in Steven Rosen's "Mocking Monikers" here.]
The Seattle quintet’s debut, last year’s Glistening Party, was roundly
and rightly hailed as one of the year’s great subversive dance albums
and earned them opening slots for The Go! Team and CSS in 2008, not to
mention a plum gig with Lily Allen this year (they’ll be rocking the
Mad Hatter on a rare day off from Miss Lily’s tour).
And while rumors
of Natalie Portman’s actual membership in Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head
continue to remain patently untrue, two things are absolutely certain:
Natalie Portman’s name will be on the guest list (the band comps her,
presumably 1, at every show), and the dance floor will be filled with
more frenzied gyrations than a Pentecostal tent revival dosed with
trucker speed. Come on, get happy.
(Buy tickets, check out performance times and find nearby bars and restaurants here.)