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In the era of search engines, what's in a name?


So Wednesday is, of course, a day of the week. It's also the name of a new Netflix show about the Addams Family and their daughter.


GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE: (As Principal Larissa Weems) Wednesday is certainly a unique name. I'm guessing it was the day of the week you were born.

JENNA ORTEGA: (As Wednesday Addams) I was born on Friday the 13.

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES: (As Morticia Addams) Her name comes from a line from my favorite nursery rhyme. Wednesday's child is full of woe.

KARLY HARTZMAN: I mean, it's super popular. It's, like, the most popular show on Netflix right now.

ORTEGA: That's Karly Hartzman. She's part of another Wednesday, a band out of Asheville, N.C.


WEDNESDAY: (Singing) Believe me.

RASCOE: Hartzman told us why she named the band Wednesday when she started making music in 2018.

HARTZMAN: So I wanted to go with something that was kind of, like, a word you could have no opinions about.

RASCOE: At the time, she wasn't concerned that her band had bad SEO, search engine optimization.

HARTZMAN: I didn't even realize it would become a career or anyone would even care to search it.

RASCOE: But now it's just that much harder to find Wednesday's music. Search on Google, the Netflix show pops up - on Spotify or Apple Music, the show's soundtrack. And if that's not complicated enough, there's another Netflix show, "Ginny & Georgia," that's got this scene with a guy in a T-shirt that says Wednesday.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As character) You've never heard of the band Wednesday?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As character) Yeah, I have. They have that one song.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As character) No, they don't. They don't exist. I just made them up. Grabbed the first shirt I saw this morning.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As character) Whatever.

HARTZMAN: The fact that we were a band was something you could find out really easily and the fact that they didn't just, like, look it up really quick just to check before claiming that the band did not exist - I mean, I think it's hilarious.

RASCOE: And in a twist, that's good for the band. Hartzman says that scene made "Ginny & Georgia" fans actually look up whether there is a band named Wednesday.


RASCOE: But if people do have a hard time finding Wednesday the band, Hartzman doesn't mind.

HARTZMAN: It's good 'cause I don't want to know stuff people are saying about my music because, you know, it just takes one negative thing to, like, ruin your day. So I literally get nothing 'cause, like, the algorithm cannot feed me my own stuff. Like, it can't track that word for me 'cause it's everywhere.

RASCOE: But Hartzman also knows that it could be worse.

HARTZMAN: My friend has a band right now that's just the at sign. And that is literally the hardest searchable band name that I think exists right now.

(SOUNDBITE OF WEDNESDAY SONG, "HANDSOME MAN") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Ayesha Rascoe is a White House correspondent for NPR. She is currently covering her third presidential administration. Rascoe's White House coverage has included a number of high profile foreign trips, including President Trump's 2019 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam, and President Obama's final NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland in 2016. As a part of the White House team, she's also a regular on the NPR Politics Podcast.