Magnificent Bird
“A few years back, a former bandmate and I were exchanging mix CDs of some of the stranger music we
were into, and we were giving the CDs these long, ornate titles, mostly
to make each other laugh. I believe I titled one Magnificent Bird: Or How to Fall All the Way Down and Still Be Okay. I chopped the pretentious bit off, and the name just sort of stuck.” —Nathan Lofties, principal member 

Two Suns
“I found it very
tough to come up with a name ... at first. Then it hit me: My wife was
pregnant with our second child, and we had just found out that we were
going to be having another boy. So Two Suns came from the fact that I
have two sons.” —Jake Davidson, principal member

Of the Tower
“Our member Nathan
[Steinman] had a series of bizarre dreams years ago. They were poems,
and would stick in his mind until they were written down. The more he researched, the more he realized that the imagery synced up with the tower card from tarot. The poetry also described a relationship that had never occurred. The woman was named Magdalene, which means ‘woman of the tower.’ These poems became a book titled Of the Tower.” —David Goad, front man

John Wayne’s Bitches
“We were trying to name the band with a list of John Wayne movie titles. After hours of drunken argument, I suggested that we should henceforth be known as John Wayne's Bitches. And it stuck.” —Katie Stephens, guitarist

Kite Flying Robot
“Originally I wanted to pick the name Kite Flying Society, based off a scene in the Wes Anderson film Rushmore. In 2006, I secured a gig in San Francisco where I would be debuting a handful of new songs that were all guitar and drum machine. A few days prior, I decided Kite Flying Society was too serious and bland and changed it to Robot. Plus, the imagery of a Kite Flying Robot seemed to capture the sound I was just starting to explore: acoustic timbres meets electronica. It's a bit silly, and I still like it for that reason. A couple years later, I heard of a band calling itself Kite Flying Society,, anyway, so it worked out.
—Nikolas Thompson, front man

The Damn Quails
“It’s not nearly as interesting or politically motivated as everyone thinks. The truth boils down to Christmas ornaments. I was living in a small apartment with a Christmas tree just to the right of the front door. The tree was decorated with tiny, stuffed bird replicas, and the bottom limb, the one closest to the door, was home to a covey of quail that sat even to the height of my guitar case when I stumbled through the front door. ‘Damn Quails!’ was our exclamation every time I hit that branch and knocked them all to the floor. Sorry, Dan Quayle fans!” —Bryon White, guitarist

Harp & Lyre
“The name came out of Psalm 150. The text says to praise the Lord with all kinds of different instruments, and among the list was harp and lyre. At the point the band started, we really were just looking to make a joyful noise to the God that created all things through the very thing that changed all of our lives, that being music. Though we have neither harp nor lyre, we thought it fitting to take on that name as a symbol of what the psalm is mentioning: Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!” —Tyler Carder, singer

“Our babies hang out all the time, and one day, I came over to [guitarist/singer] Michael [Loveland]l's house and said, ‘OK, I'll play the drums, you play the guitar, and we can be the dads.’ His wife, Ruth, said, 'Or just Dad.’ Michael didn't even know I played the drums before that day." —Reese Truesdell, drummer

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