I'm not really all that mysterious

infectious diseases and other medical conditions as a source of band names

While I was writing a consult note today, I was highly amused by the word “mucormycosis.” There is something lyrical about it’s dactyl-trochee stress pattern. “Myxomatosis” (which features most prominently as a Radiohead track from Hail to the Thief) is also a dactyl-trochee combo.

This lead me to another sing-song medical condition: “atrial myxoma.” The stress pattern is basically trochaic trimeter.

When I was a 3rd year medical student, N drew a little comic depicting “pheochromocytoma” (trochee-dactyl-trochee) as a super-hero in tights, battling the dastardly evil and villainous “toxic megacolon.” (trochaic trimeter)

Man, I miss poetry.

I’m thinking any of these rare diseases and conditions would make a perfect band name. When I was in college, me and E joked around about starting a band called “Electric Third Rail” (inspired by being stuck in traffic next to a BART station.) Our first album would’ve been called “Light Fuse and Get Away” (inspired by the labeling on fireworks.)

But you want to be Google-able, so there’s an incentive to create a SIP (statistically improbable phrase) as well as a short form for your band name. (You know, how both Depeche Mode and DJ Dangermouse can be referred simply by the initials “DM”) “Electric Third Rail” could’ve been shortened to E3R, for example.

And I started thinking of 1337 transformations of some of these names. Atrial myxoma = A3L Myxoma.

But veering away from medicine, I really dig the name “Gnarls Barkeley”, which is the collaboration of Cee-Lo and DJ Dangermouse, for those of you who happen to have been living in a cave in Afghanistan for the last seven years. It is an evocative transformation of the name of the former NBA star Charles Barkeley.

While playing with this theme is only really fit for creating a parody band, I thought that “Karma Loan” or maybe “Karma Lone” would be a cool name, transforming the name of another great former NBA star, Karl Malone. (Incidentally, these are probably two of the best players who never won a championship ring.)

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