Blame ee cummings. Or his publisher. The jury’s still out on which of them decided to get creative with the typography of the poet’s name a century ago.
Whoever was behind it, they clearly had no idea of the Pandora’s box they were opening. Oh sure, it started small (no pun intended) with people like k.d. lang. But now, the whole thing is totally out of control. No caps, all caps, alternating cases, random mixes, Xs and Vs in place of vowels, random letters dropped or inserted or needlessly repeated in words — this is what names and song titles have become in the 21st century music industry. Look no further than Wednesday’s Late-Night TV Music offerings:
• Guyanese-American singer SAINt JHN showcased a clip for his song The Best Part Of Life on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Sadly, all his instantly forgettable number taught me was that the most interesting thing about him is the lower-case T and the missing O in his name.
• Young singer-songwriter GAYLE made her TV debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, performing her snarky alt-rock breakup single abcdefu, which was actually better and more memorable than I expected from a one-named teen basing a song around the alphabet. I look forward to hearing more — providing she doesn’t decide to change her name to gAAXAAlE or something.