Tuesday, August 23, 2005


I am not knocking people who call bands like Architecture in Helsinki, Head of Femur and the Polyphonic Spree "ork-pop" (a shortened nickname for "orchestral pop" bands - these are bands that utilize horns, strings, and pianos, in addition to drums and guitars, in a rock setting) here, but something about the sound of that nickname puzzles me. I keep thinking of orcs, the name of Sauron's goblin minions found in JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Orcs and pop music? Orcs epitomize evil and ugliness, not good and happiness.

Yeah, I'm stretching things here, but when you are a big fan of both orchestral pop (read yesterday's post on Petula Clark) and the Lord of the Rings books and movies, I feel torn on what to call this style of music. How about orchestral-pop? The name fits well with the sound of the word, "orchestral." If this is pop-rock music played with a wide assortment of classical instruments, shouldn't its nickname be closer to the word, "orchestral" than "orc"?

Then there is the spelling of "ork-pop" that makes me think about another thing related to The Lord of the Rings: Saruman's army of uruks. Saruman harvested his uruks from the earth, thus making his own version of orcs. Seeing the word, "ork," I keep thinking that a minion of Saruman and a minion of Sauron got together and created a child.

Now I don't want to sound like Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons, but this is an example of the kind of confusion I have with labels. I wonder what it would be like if some orcs formed a band and did Petula Clark covers.

1 comment:

Matthew said...

Worst episode ever.