Morning Benders No More: Band Switches to “POP ETC”

Out of complete random curiosity today I googled to see what was going on with everyone’s favorite almost all-asian band from New York (via California), The Morning Benders and to my surprise they’ve changed their name to POP ETC.

Why the name change? According to a message posted on March 25, 2012 on the old Morning Benders website by front-man Chris Chu, the original name was chosen in haste — but the band discovered a hidden meaning to their name while touring in Europe for the first time in 2010:

Fast forward to 2010, many a dive bar, school quad, house party, county fair, pizza parlor later. We had just released Big Echo, and for the first time we were preparing for a world tour. We had toured a fair amount leading up to Big Echo, but never overseas, so when it came time to tour the UK and Europe we were quite excited. The touring went well, and we had an amazing time, but also something happened that we hadn’t anticipated. As soon as we had landed in London people started asking us about our band name. “What does ‘Bender’ mean to you?” people would ask. “Are you seriously called ‘The Morning Benders’ ?” was a common question. For those of you reading from America, you may still be confused. Well, it turns out that the word ‘bender’ in the UK and many parts of Europe is a slang term for ‘homosexual.’ We were told our band name was the equivalent of ‘The Morning Fags’ in America. We had been called The Morning Benders for 5 years, and we were just finding this out now? It was shocking. And quite sad, to say the least. We had spent those years touring night and day, championing our name everywhere we could, only to find out that the name had an alternate meaning- one that made us look hateful, or at best, ignorant.

Now that the band are readying to release their newest album on June 12th, they felt it an opportune time to change their name for the following reasons:

1. We simply cannot go on using a name that is demeaning to the gay community. The reason we are making music is to reach and unite as many different kinds of people as possible, and the idea that our name may be hateful towards anyone makes us sick.

2. In the UK and many parts of Europe the name has simply become too distracting. The MUSIC has always been our number one focus, and we want to present that to people in as pure a way as possible

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The Kooks Play a Lovefest at the Hellhole Known as Terminal 5

Last night The Kooks played to a quite young and enthusiastic crowd at Terminal 5. As per usual, the Kooks performed their songs with stylish precision–doling out each song in such a perfect manner that if I didn’t know any better, I would have thought that they were pulling a Milli Vanilli on us all.


Luke Pritchard, look into my eyes…and give me Blue Steel.

During the time I was waiting for the band to go on, I remained amused and entertained by making some observations about the first few rows of the crowd:

1. Teenage girls L-O-V-E The Kooks. Seriously, if I was a 16 year old Anglophile female living in the suburbs, yet somehow managing to have great taste in music, I too would be in love with at least one of the members of the Kooks. OK, I’m not even 16 years old any more and I am still probably in love with one of the members of the Kooks. (Try to guess which one.)

2. Boys love the Kooks equally, but will not admit it. So right behind the hold steady of female fans lined up and down the front row was a solid string of MALE fans in the second row. I swear to you, first row = all girls, second row = all dudes. Which made me think two things: A. Sausage-swingers love the Kooks as well and B. Guys at Kooks shows are at least nice enough to let little girls stand in front of them instead of being the obnoxiously TALL GUY in the first row. (All you dudes who have ever stood in front of my during my youth at Coldplay and Travis shows, YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND I BET YOU ARE STILL ALONE BECAUSE NO GIRL LIKES A GUY WHO STANDS IN FRONT OF SHORT GIRLS AT SHOWS.) Err.. sorry.
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