Please keep in mind they might actually sound wonderful, but I was too embarrassed to play them to find out. In the list below, the artist’s name comes first, followed by the title and, in parenthesis, the label. It might be hard to figure that out if not indicated. All were taken from online lists of 2014 releases. The finalists were judged against the gold standard of groaner titles, REO Speedwagon’s You Can Tune a Piano But You Can’t Tuna Fish.
Johnny Beauford — A Pig Eating Past Love (St. Cait)
To Kill a King — Cannibals with Cutlery (XTra Mile Recording)
Michael Sweet — I’m Not Your Suicide (Big 3)
Les Big Byrd — They Worshipped Cats (A Recordings)
Michael C. Ford — Look Each Other in the Ears (Hen House Studios)
Ford actually is a very respected poet, a devotee of Kenneth Patchen, and this record is a collaboration with members of The Doors. But still …
Got a Girl — I Love You But I Must Drive Off This Cliff Now (Bulk Recordings)
Cerebral Ballzy — Jaded & Faded (Cult Records)
A retro-minded New York Punk band aiming for the high-low humor of The Dictators, the name came after the lead singer called a friend “ballsy” for eating a pizza slice he had dropped on train tracks.
Sunshine & Bullets — Triangulum Mechanism (Melodic Revolution)
Given the moniker of this band and its album, should it really be on a label with “melodic” in its name?
Diarrhea Planet — Aliens in the Outfield (Infinity Cat Recordings)
Word has it that Tony Bennett, fresh from getting relevant by recording an album of standards with Lady Gaga, may turn to Diarrhea Planet next.
Jack Kerowax — Kerowax (St. Cait)
Johnny Beauford is in this band, one of many acts who have created tortured-pun names out of famous figures — Mary Tyler Morphine, Dwight Icenhower (an Elvis impersonator), Chet Faker, Joanna Gruesome. I appreciate the joke but it makes it hard to take the music seriously.