You know ’em, you love ’em, you wish they actually existed! While it’s possible that I know nothing about Hair Metal, I do know plenty of imaginary bands!
3) Dingoes Ate My Baby might have only played a handful of times in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” but they get a bye here; because how many bands have a lead guitarist who turns into a werewolf once a month? Oz was the wolfy badboy (back when wolfy badboy meant gawky redheaded nerd rather than oiled-up shirtless dude) and paramour of Willow. One of the best characters on the show, the fact that he was in a band was almost a given. Besides, they have one of the greatest band names of all time (and darkly ironic, considering Oz was always one bad night away from making it literal).
2) “Singles” is one of those 90s movies that anyone born after 1980-something will look upon with disdain. It was Cameron Crowe’s love letter to the Seattle music scene (as much as it was a standard Rom-Com); but I loved it. Matt Dillon’s band in the movie, Citizen Dick, was full of winks and nods to popular Seattle bands (“Touch Me I’m Dick” was a play on Mudhoney’s “Touch Me I’m Sick;” the band name itself was a nod to Citizen Sane; and so on). I was deep into the grunge scene my first year of college, so I flipped over seeing Pearl Jam and Soundgarden sitting in as band mates of Dillon. Chris Cornell of Soundgarden even recorded a couple of songs based off a set list that Jeff Ament (of Pearl Jam) had created for Citizen Dick. “Seasons” appears on the soundtrack (and is fairly forgettable); but the other, “Spoonman,” became one of Soundgarden’s biggest hits.
1) Just to prove that I have depth beyond Whedon, Sugarshock, by Joss Whedon, was born as a comic on the now abandoned Dark Horse MySpace page (oh, wait, that’s not proving my depth at all…meh, just roll with it Anthony, they’ll never notice…but they’re reading my internal dialogue, of course they’ll notice…not if you tell them to go read the comic instead…oh great idea!). It’s well worth your time to peruse the issues, as this is Joss at his snarkiest and most nonsensical. The titular band is led by a frontwoman who’s foolhardy, stubborn, and strangely obsessed with Vikings (and might have ties to a secret government organization). Other members include alien body guards and a bass-playing robot. After an alien nearly destroys their car, they get whisked away to compete in an intergalactic battle of the bands…and then things get weird. Ever wanted to see what goes on in Whedon’s subconscious? This is as close as you’re going to get!
An honorable mention goes out to Daft Punk in “TRON: Legacy.” Their soundtrack made what was, charitably, an uneven movie into something that has stuck with me. I still have both the original and remixed soundtracks on my iPod and listen to them regularly. And while DP does appear in the movie; I would argue that they’re really just playing themselves, albeit with neon glowy lights on their usual costumes.