"The name was adopted from a classic Dragnet episode that dealt with psychoactive drugs like LSD, and 'travel agent' was a term for someone who guided you on your trip, so to speak. It could refer to a dealer, or also a spiritual guide, such as a Timothy Leary type. The show was so absurd and comical, with the Dragnet cops asking tripped-out dopers, 'Who's your travel agent, kid?' Since the band does psychedelic music in the style of the Grateful Dead and other bands from that era and genre, we decided it was a good fit. Ironically, I have since become an actual travel agent." -- Frank Lazzaro, drummer. The Travel Agents perform May 26 at the Kraken.
"Three of us in this seven-piece funk, soul, and R&B band are biotech research scientists, including one Ph.D. The name originated from a lyric in the 1973 Tower of Power song 'Soul Vaccination.' We promote our band as having infectious grooves, and not just because the bassist, keyboardist, and guitarist spend our daytime hours researching viruses and enzymes." -- Fred Kokaska, guitar/vocals. Funky Pox performs May 20 at the Tiki House.
"All of us in the band are huge Monty Python fans. The name is a reference to a scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail where Bedevere's 'Trojan rabbit' idea fails because they forgot to get into it...Bedevere says, 'Um, look, suppose we built this large wooden badger...' " -- Tenacious Lee, vocals
7TH DAY BUSKERS
"Busking is a European term for performing on city streets, subways, and at outdoor markets for tips. Before I moved to San Diego, I spent two years in Amsterdam and Ireland as a street musician, playing for tips. I stood out a lot in both places, since I was probably one of only two or three banjo players in the whole country.... When I formed the band here, we had no name at first, it was just a rotating roster of musicians who played -- busking -- at the Hillcrest farmer's market. We still play there every other Sunday, the seventh day." -- Shawn Rohlf, banjo
"Makai was formed in May 1988 when seven out of the nine members of Devocean left that band due to financial disagreements. Makai in the Hawaiian language means 'towards the ocean' or 'ocean side of the island.' When someone says the Makai side of the island, they mean near the ocean. Since the makeup of the band at that time was mostly islanders and because we had just left Devocean, we decided on Makai. People who have never heard us play sometimes think we play only island music." -- Benmar Felizardo, vocals
"Netzer is Hebrew for 'branch.' While you don't normally associate a branch with hard rock, this word has a special symbolism for us. The biblical prophet Isaiah talks about a branch from Jesse who will rule with righteousness. We believe that this refers to Jesus. Plus, 'Netzer' sounds cool." -- David Kasdan, bass/vocals
"I was asked to put together a band for the Sandbar, so I called a bunch of people I'd always wanted to play with. We met the night of the gig, and I realized we hadn't bothered to come up with a name. The Sandbar had an even smaller stage back then, so I was practically sitting on this big plastic storage tub. Hence, Tubby was born...we still can't agree on a better name." -- Neil MacPherson, keyboard. Tubby performs May 27 at O'Connells.
"We got our name from the notion about how the human body loses a total of 21 grams weight upon death and how this is attributed to the weight of the soul leaving the body. I constantly discuss soul matters in my lyrics, so when we heard that notion we knew we were about to sniff out our new name. We were drinking beer at a gig when it came to us." -- Chuck Schiele, guitar/vocals. The Grams perform May 28 at Lestat's.
"Ray Brandes and I were doing an acoustic thing we had dubbed the Fiascoes...Manual Scan was on hiatus around that time, and Ray and I decided to put a band together. One of our first attempts included former M. Scan drummer Brad Wilkins. We were tossing possible names around at a rehearsal, and as a joke we started to riff off of the fiasco theme. Every stupid name got a good laugh, until Brad said 'the Shambles.' We all just stopped and looked at each other. It was us. It was perfect." -- Kevin Donaker-Ring, guitar. The Shambles perform May 27 at Lestat's.
"It has nothing to do with my recent hospitalization for alcoholism and depression...it's 'cause I always do something psycho at our shows, like 'moshball,' where I toss a football into the mosh pit and watch 400 people go at it. The security guards at the Masonic Hall really hated it when I did that, but we paid for all the broken tables." -- Willie Psycho, vocals