Why It’s Great: As transgressive self-empowerment goes, this is tough to beat. (Though bassist Tessa Pollitt’s previous outfit, the Castrators, comes close.) A band name no self-respecting radio station/newspaper/PR agency/major label would touch is a prerequisite for punk, really, and the Slits had quite literally the mother of them all: “The concave mirror to the convex phallic innuendo of Sex Pistols,” as Simon Reynolds once put it. Or just listen to the way James Murphy drawls out “the Slllitttts” during the neurotic band-name-rundown conclusion to “Losing My Edge.” (T, I, JNSQ) R.H.
Why It’s Great: The group’s name is slick and clever, just like their music. And you cannot deny the pure alliterative pleasure of saying Tony! Toni! Toné! out loud, coupled with the knowledge that you’re actually pronouncing three words spelled totally differently. And! Punctuated! With! Exclamation! Points! (VA, JNSQ, WP) CARYN GANZ