Sometimes it makes sense to change things up when things start to get a little too hot.
No one wants to show up at the venue having to run a gauntlet of enraged picketers, which explains why Calgary's Viet Cong is now known by the somewhat instantly forgettable moniker Preoccupations.
And why Dead Girlfriends rebranded itself with the 90 percent less inflammatory handle Default Genders.
And Naked Toddler name-switched to Creed (which, if you think about it, makes music that is actually 200 percent more offensive than a band name Naked Toddler).
To play devil’s advocate for a minute, one might argue that changing up one’s name midcareer is taking the chickenshit way out.
Recognizing they’d stumbled upon something that smacked of idiotic genius, Danish noise merchants Anus Presley stood proudly by its name, not to mention less-than-savoury song titles like “Killing Cats With Ball-Pens” and “Girls In Refrigerators”.
Continuing down the proudly brown poop-chute road, there’s a good reason why grindcore lifers Anal Cunt tended to find themselves playing to audiences of 12 people, none of whom seemed willing to get within 100 yards of the stage, even in broad daylight. Not only was getting on radio or back-in-the-day MTV a complete nonstarter, but any fan stupid enough to wear a band T-Shirt to school risked lifetime expulsion.
The less said about Rapeman, meanwhile, the better.
As near as we can figure, JPNSGRLS never got a particularly rough ride, despite no one in the Vancouver group appearing to be either of Japanese heritage or girls. It’s not like you had legions of Tokyo exchange students protesting outside the Biltmore, or Emperor Akihito banning the group from visiting the Imperial Palace.
Despite that, the three-piece has chosen to rebrand itself as Hotel Mira.
Its first official offering is “3 AM Lullaby”, a bass-and-drum bombed blast of impassioned indie new wave that contains one of the greatest summations of current life in Vancouver you’ll hear this year: “Because their team build condos/And our team play bongos/To show them their money owes them.”
Talk about capturing the reality that this city is rapidly becomes a place of haves and have-nots, with anyone who cares about art and music and anything other than their trust fund and real estate holdings one renoviction away from booking a one-way ticket to Montreal. Or Hope.
But stop thinking about that grim reality and escape for four minutes with Hotel Mira "3 AM Lullaby" below.
One more thing: try not to get offended over the fact that the former JPNSGRLS have seemingly named themselves after a three-star Czech hotel.
For the curious, complaints about Prague’s Hotel Mira on TripAdvisor include observations like “I would certainly not recommend this dump” and “Our shower was broken when we first checked in. We explained this to the receptionist and were told that there were no alternative rooms available and he would call someone out immediately to fix it. After waiting over half an hour, a man came to have a look at it, just to tell us he couldn’t fix it. After more persuasion he eventually gave it a go. It took at least another half an hour, but to his credit he managed to get it fixed with string and a cocktail stick.”
A damning 14 percent of the reviews on TripAdvisor rate the operation as “Terrible”, despite its having someone on staff able to fix broken showers with a cocktail stick. Hotel Mira better pray those decidedly unsatisfied customers don’t have an ongoing axe to grind, not to mention a bunch of freshly-made picket signs, when the renamed former JPNSGRLS plays the Biltmore on Wednesday (April 25).