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    How They Became... Chromeo

    Welcome to the weekly SPIN.com feature "Name That Band!" inwhich we get the inside stories behind the mysterious monikers of some ofour favorite artists. (See past episodes of Name That Band! here.) This week: Funky dance-poppers Chromeo, who will be backing Daryl Hall on the Bonnaroo stop of their upcoming summer tour. Why Chromeo: "I was in a girl's bed when I thought of the name Chromeo," says Dave One, half of the smooth grooving duo. "This was an ex-ex-ex-ex-girlfriend of mine. I think it was probably in 2002. Me and [musical partner] Pee Thug knew we were gonna start this band, but we didn't have a name. We had a song called 'Mercury Tears' and I liked the metallic association, so I had been thinking of the name Chrome. Then this girl suggested Chromium, the element. Right away, I was like, Chromeo! It made sense for us.

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    Remembering Metal Great Ronnie James Dio

    Ronnie James Dio, who died Sunday morning due to complications from stomach cancer at aged 67, was 5'4", looked like Gollum, sang about riding tigers, pretended to kill dragons on stage, and popularized the Devil horn salute. For those reasons and more, he is a hero to many, Dave Grohl, and Jack Black included. For those reasons and more, today is a sad day. It's easy enough for people who aren't into metal fantasy to make fun of a guy like Dio. Taken at face value, the above attributes can seem funny. But those same things, the stuff of fantasy, are also necessary. Not everyone can relate to a Mick Jagger, a Joe Strummer, a Jack White. Those guys are canny. They're good looking. They probably never had a tough time getting a girlfriend. It can be depressingly hard for some of us to relate to those kinds of stars. So sometimes -- a lot of times -- it feels more natural to make believe.

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    How They Became... Trainwreck

    Welcome to the weekly SPIN.com feature "Name That Band!" inwhich we get the inside stories behind the mysterious monikers of some ofour favorite artists. (See past episodes of Name That Band! here.) This week: Kyle Gass' Tenacious D side-project Trainwreck, currently on a West Coast tour. Why Trainwreck: "I came up with it in 2002," remembers guitarist Kyle Gass. "I was thinking of starting something in addition to Tenacious D and it just seemed like the worst idea. I thought I'd cover my bases and beat everyone to the punch by calling the band Trainwreck. Back then the term was just starting to enter the lexicon in reference to celebrities and stuff, too, so it seemed apropos. And the rarity of trainwrecks adds to the horribleness of them. When one does happen, it's a head-on. The sheer physics involved... wow!

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    How They Became... Blitzen Trapper

    Welcome to the weekly SPIN.com feature "Name That Band!" in which we get the inside stories behind the mysterious monikers of some of our favorite artists. (See past episodes of Name That Band! here.) This week: Blitzen Trapper, whose new album, Destroyer of the Void, drops on June 8. Why Blitzen Trapper: "It all goes back to the girlfriend I had in Salem, Oregon, in the 7th grade," says singer-guitarist Eric Earley. "She had a binder called a 'Trapper Keeper.' It had those metal clasps that you put your papers in. I remember she had this pink Christmas-themed one that had pictures of Santa and his reindeer on it. She called it her 'Blitzen Trapper' because Blitzen was her favorite reindeer. That always stuck with me for some reason." Previously Rejected Names: "I don't think there were any.

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    How They Became... MUTEMATH

    Welcome to the new weekly SPIN.com feature "Name That Band!" in which we get the inside stories behind the mysterious monikers of some of our favorite artists. (See past episodes of Name That Band! here.) This week: Mutemath, whose tour hits the Bamboozle festival on May 2. Watch exclusive video of the New Orleans band performing "The Fight," a previously unreleased song, right here. Why MUTEMATH: "[Keyboardist-vocalist] Paul [Meany] andI actually as a started out as an electronic duo called Math," recalls drummer Darren King. "We thought Math would be easy to remember and easy to print. It looked angular. But we ran into copyright problems because other bands had been called Math before. So we had to come up with something else – this was in 2005 in New Orleans. I had a big notebook full of names and Mutemath was in there.

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    How They Became... Mastodon

    Welcome to the weekly SPIN.com feature "Name That Band!" in which we get the inside stories behind the mysterious monikers of some of our favorite artists. (See past episodes of Name That Band! here.) This week: metal maestros Mastodon, who kick off a spring tour April 16. Why Mastodon: "We were sitting around at my apartment putting our little brains together," recalls guitarist Bill Kelliher, "when [guitarist-singer] Brent [Hinds] looked at the Bantha skull tattoo on my arm -- that's a symbol that you can see on Boba Fett's arm in The Empire Strikes Back -- and he said, 'What's the name of that creature that's like a prehistoric elephant?' I replied, 'A Mastodon?' We all looked at each other and said, 'That's it, that's the name.' We knew right then and there." Previously Rejected Names: "We had a list of a lot of names.

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    Breaking Out: Los Campesinos!

    On his first day at the University of Cardiff, in 2005, Gareth Campesinos met someone who seemed weirdly familiar. "I went into the room of a stranger living in my dorm," says the Los Campesinos! singer-lyricist, "and I see this guy unrolling a Sonic Youth poster. Then I realized I was wearing a Sonic Youth T-shirt. I thought, 'I've gone away to school and met myself!' " He wasn't far off -- his doppelgänger was eventual Campesinos! guitarist Neil Campesinos (all seven band members share a surname).

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    How They Became... Circa Survive

    Welcome to the weekly SPIN.com feature "Name That Band!" inwhich we get the inside stories behind the mysterious monikers of some ofour favorite artists. (See past episodes of Name That Band! here.) This week: Circa Survive, whose major label debut Blue Sky Noise is due April 20. Why Circa Survive: "[Singer] Anthony [Green] and I were at some shitty dive bar in Philadelphia looking at these notebooks we had where we'd written pairings of words related to the feelings we got when we wrote music," recalls guitarist Colin Frangicetto. "Circa Survive was one of those pairings. There were actually a bunch of 'C' and 'S' words. We had City Surrender and Cicada Survive on the list, too. We were obsessed with cicadas for a while for some reason. But ultimately Anthony picked Circa Survive from the list.

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    Muse Rock MySpace's "Secret" SXSW Show

    On their ongoing world arena tour in support of 2009's The Resistance, Muse singer-guitarist Matt Bellamy, drummer Dominic Howard, and bassist Chris Wolstenholme perform while positioned in the middle of giant columns tricked out with mega-sized video screens, while green lasers scan the crowd and multi-colored strobes light the stage. At Friday night's secret MySpace show at Stubb's, the band ditched the columns. That change, and playing to a couple thousand fewer fans than normal, meant the British prog-pop stars' presentation amounted to their version of a stripped down gig. (Oh what most bands at SXSW would sacrifice to experience this version of intimacy).

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    How They Became... Minus the Bear

    Welcome to the weekly SPIN.com feature "Name That Band!" in which we get the inside stories behind the mysterious monikers of some of our favorite artists. (See past episodes of Name That Band! here.) This week: Seattle indie-rockers Minus the Bear, whose Omni is due May 4. They will appear at SXSW this week in Austin, Texas, and are one of SPIN.com's 50 Must-Hear SXSW Bands. Why Minus the Bear: "A friend of the band had gone on a date," explains singer-guitarist Jake Snider, "and one of us asked him afterwards how the date went. Our friend said, 'You know that TV show from the '70s B.J. and The Bear? It was like that minus the bear.' That's the straight truth." Previously Rejected Names: "They're not rejected names, but I was in a band called Sharks Keep Moving before I was in Minus the Bear.

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