Hello, My Name Is… This week featuring Cat Power, Yo La Tengo and Does It Offend You, Yeah?

Hello, My Name Is…
This week featuring Cat Power, Yo La Tengo and Does It Offend You, Yeah?
December 11, 2008

Once a week we fill you in on the stories behind some of your favorite BreakThru Radio artist’s band names. This week’s picks include some talented bands with some interesting stories behind their monikers. On the docket today are Cat Power, Does It Offend You, Yeah?, and Yo La Tengo.

Cat Power

While living in Atlanta, Georgia, Chan Marshall hooked up with some friends, including guitarist Mark Moore,  for jam sessions. As things started to progress with the ‘group’ another local act invited Marshall and co. to open for them at a gig. Marshall was working the register during a rush at a pizzeria when Moore called and told her they needed a name for the bill.  A bit frazzled, Marshall looked up at the line of pizzeria patrons and saw a man wearing a hat that said ‘Cat Diesel Power’.  Marshall then screamed “Cat Power” and hung up the phone to return to her work duties.

Does it offend You, Yeah?

British dance-punk and electo rockers Does it Offend You, Yeah? came together in Reading, England and much like the prior group, Cat Power, were a bit of an unofficial smattering of musicians as opposed to a ‘band’.   Frontman James Rushent and synth player Dan Coop had made some music together and they wanted to put it on myspace but they needed a name. So, without much thought they turned on the TV and decided to go with the first thing they heard. That happened to be Ricky Gervaise’s character David Brent on the British version of The Office saying, ‘Does it offend you, yeah? My drinking?’. And, well… that was that.

Yo La Tengo

Any baseball fans out there? This band’s love for America’s favorite pastime, specifically the New York Mets, led to a unique and worldly band name.  The Spanish phrase ‘yo la tengo’ translates in English to ‘I have it’.  This band name came about based on a story from the 1962 New York Mets.

The story goes that center fielder Richie Ashburn had a bit of trouble communicating with the teams Venezuelan shortstop Elio Chacón. Chacón did not speak English, so when the two players would both be going for a fly ball, Ashburn would scream “I got it”.  Of course, Chacón would not understand, and he would continue going for the same ball. This lead to many collisions and many dropped balls. Ashburn then learned the Spanish phrase “¡Yo la tengo!¡” and was better able to communicate with his teammate.

However another teammate, left-fielder Frank Thomas, missed the team meeting on the new use of the phrase “yo la tengo in the outfield” and knowing no Spanish he too was involved in a collision with Ashburn. After the collision it is said that Thomas got up and said “What the heck is a Yellow Tango?”

Apparantly, the group, being Mets fans, liked this story and the phrase. So, they chose it as their name.

– Emily Smith

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