We Translated Toronto Agency Names Into Bands And Genres. Deal With It.

April 8, 2015 Ben Myers


Sorry, Shakespeare. Some bands just smell better than others. I’m already off track. Let me start again…

Just like a trendy band, all creative agencies need a name that elicit certain hip qualities. In order to ascertain these qualities, we surveyed members of the Dx3 team and enlisted the help of Ottawa-based music video director / radio show host / digital strategist Travis Boisvenue (TB) for what kinds of music each agency name evokes.

Contributors were asked what genre of music and atmosphere comes to mind for each agency/band name and wrote out the comments. This should not be considered a reflection of the quality of an agency’s work, their values, or musical preferences. These comments are dumb.

The agencies were then ranked based on best name for a modern-day band or electronic act.

Judge’s comments:

1. FutureFuture

FutureFuture aka Metric

FutureFuture aka Metric

Dx3: “Indie rock a little too much electronica within the indie. Lots of synthesizers.”

TB: “Bands with double words are write-offs, except Liquid Liquid. I would take a pass on this band due to my irrational stance on double-word band names.”

Agency/band spirit animal: Metric

2. KBS+

KBS+ aka Radiohead

KBS+ aka Radiohead

Dx3: “KBS+ is a guy who wears a mask and just DJs all night, then he jumps down on to the dance floor once his mix is all set up and thrashes around like he’s on drugs… because he is.”

TB: “This is either an IDM group signed to Warp in the 90s or a British 80s post-punk band. Either way, I’m on board.”

Agency/band spirit animal: Radiohead

3. Tribal DDB

Tribal DDB aka Goldfrapp

Tribal DDB aka Goldfrapp

Dx3: “I’m imagining the Blue Man Group. Very experimental and using kids’ toys as instruments.”

TB: “I swear this is already a genre of 90s rave music.”

Agency/band spirit animal: Goldfrapp

4. Attention Agency

Attention Agency aka Crystal Castles

Attention Agency aka Crystal Castles

Dx3: “Rave scene. Super hyped up. You come out of the club after the show and you can watch the sun rise.”

TB: “This is earnest Canadian indie music when things got “dancier” and everyone had a keyboard player.”

Agency/band spirit animal: Crystal Castles

5. John St.

John Street aka Foo Fighters Skin And Bones

John Street aka Foo Fighters Skin And Bones

Dx3: “It’s hip, but it’s so uncool it’s hip. They even picked a bland guy’s name to be their mascot. He was on the cover of their first album just standing there against a white background.”

TB: “This is the solo project from a lead singer of a 90s punk/alt rock band when it was okay to name yourself after a street. I’m old enough to be nostalgic for the first couple records but then really resent the later records that go too far into adult contemporary/NPR territory.”

Agency/band spirit animal: Skin And Bones-era Foo Fighters


MacLaren McCann aka Hall and Oates

MacLaren McCann aka Hall and Oates

Dx3: “Sounds like a keyboard / guitar collective with no one in the band names Maclaren or McCann. Maybe it’s the intersection where they met and jammed before they hit it big.”

TB: “This is absolutely a 70s folk duo.”

Agency/band spirit animal: Hall & Oates

7. Leo Burnett

Leo Burnett aka The Handsome Family

Leo Burnett aka The Handsome Family

Dx3: “Irish lead singer. Acoustic soulful. Smokes too much. Has a beard. Just mumble-rasps the whole song.”

TB: “Oscar-winning producer of folksy Americana movie soundtracks.”

Agency/band spirit animal: Handsome Family

8. Edelman

Edelman aka Men Without Hats

Edelman aka Men Without Hats

Dx3: “Ambiguous. Mysterious. No way to tell what genre they play. Love it as a band name. They all wear suits on stage.”

TB: “This is early 2000s earnest Canadian indie music.”

Agency/band spirit animal: Men Without Hats


SID LEE aka Joy Division

SID LEE aka Joy Division

Dx3: “You expect it to be a dude on his guitar but it’s actually a lady in a dress using a drum machine to make crazy distorted funk and loop vocals.”

TB: “This is someone from a 70s punk band that went on to do some wild solo post-punk records and I DEFINITELY found this at a record fair.”

Agency/band spirit animal: Joy Division

10. Vision Critical

Vision Critical aka Stone Temple Pilots

Vision Critical aka Stone Temple Pilots

Dx3: “Sounds more like an album name than a band name. Maybe too spot-on. Sounds like it was translated from a foreign language.”

TB: “This is some really brutal post-Nirvana radio rock nightmare, like Vertical Horizon. It is definitely all dudes in this band, and they have goatees and leather bracelets.”

Agency/band spirit animal: Stone Temple Pilots (For more information about Stone Temple Pilots, consult your local drug dealer.)

Did we get it right?

I hear album review comments are often the basis of fruitful debate.

What do you think of up-and-coming bands Sapient Nitro, Publicis, Proximity, Art & Science or Zulu Alpha Kilo? Leave a comment!

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