Alleged local band “TBA” was found guilty today on all counts of violating regional entertainment statutes. (See Exhibit A.)
In the capital region, bands and event promoters are forbidden from using “misleading or dangerously ambiguous names.” Does this outdated law restrict artistic expression? The public has been divided since the civil case against local band “TBA” was publicized.
We asked local Music Guild prosecutors why choosing a name in the entertainment industry isn’t protected by the First Amendment. The Guild insists it protects the public. “A good band name can be creative AND still exercise due diligence by letting you know that they’re punk, or experimental, or pop. A confusing name like ‘TBA’ could unravel the fabric of society!”
The defendant, ‘TBA’ founder Montana “Mo” Darbiss, tried to defend his choice when we interviewed him earlier today.
TB: Tell us, Mr. Darbiss. You didn’t think the name ‘TBA’ would create chaos in our small community?
Mo: It was innocent! We only wanted to hint that we do all kinds of music! Create a sense of mystery! Will we show up and play all stripped-back garage rock, or Ginger Baker half the set? Or will we only play doom klesmer swamp metal? Who knows! It’s TBA!
TB: But surely you saw your idea was flawed when your band was bumped from events because no one could tell you were there to fill the T-B-A ‘To-Be-Announced’ slot.
Mo: We were so confused! Promoters didn’t understand why we were there! I’d put our name in for an event, and we’d show up and say, ‘Hi, we’re TBA.’ And they’re like, ‘Wait, no one took the TBA slot.’
Alleged band TBA’s defense attorney states the trouble really started for them when they saw their name on a double bill with local power-pop noir trio, Mr. Cancelled. Mo confirms, “The flyer was really abstract and I didn’t catch the ‘Mr’ part. All I saw was ‘TBA—Cancelled’ and I came to the Music Guild for help.” Unfortunately, when TBA arrived at Guild headquarters, they were promptly arrested under the current charges.
According to court records, Mr. Cancelled front man Gary Ziroli gave a shredding testimony. “I wish TBA would leave me out of it. They started this mess, not me.” He had shouted at Mo Darbiss during the proceedings, “My band name was safely flying just under the Guild’s radar before you came along, you feral reprobate!”
He was restrained in the court after pulling a set of tailored leather driving gloves from his back pocket and whipping Mo across the goatee. “That’s for getting me fined $300 for a 2nd degree misleading band name charge!” We will note for the public record that Mr. Cancelled’s 2nd degree charge included community service, with no Super Darks for six months. We will update our readers with the TBA sentencing details as they become available. For now, they are TBD.
-Reporting from Music Guild headquarters, this has been field reporter NeNée Tartülaas for Times Boredom Press.