Ralph Carlsen explains the origin of the word octothorpe (or octothorp) in his note to the Telecom Digest journal. The word was invented in the 1960s by Bell Labs supervisor Don MacPherson. MacPherson was giving lectures about the new Bell Labs PBX systems and felt he needed to come up with a word to describe the "#" symbol. He thought that because there are eight points in the symbol, the word "OCTO" should be included in the name. The source of the "THORPE" part is not fully confirmed, but Carlsen tells that MacPherson was participating in a group that was trying to get the athlete Jim Thorpe's Olympic medals returned from Sweden. Another explanation of the "THORPE" part is that the sign was thought to look like a group of eight fields surrounding a village. "Thorpe" is the Old Norse word for a hamlet, village or farm, common in British place names. Due to the lack of exact information, though, many dictionaries tell that the word is of unknown origin.

Sources of information:
Telecom Digest archives at http://hyperarchive.lcs.mit.edu/telecom-archives/
World Wide Words, http://www.worldwidewords.org/

Octothorpe is a (usually) three-person group out of Seattle, Washington, involved in the Song Fight community in addition to their own assortment of local and occasional out of state shows. They occasionally adopt additional members for live shows.

When Spin magazine had a small segment on Song Fight in their "50 Greatest Rock Bands of All Time" issue, Douglas Wolk described Octothorpe as sounding like "Kermit The Frog driven to severe psychological disassociation from years of fronting a death-metal band." A rather appropriate comparison, though the voice of Bro is more akin to that of John Astin on his last straw.

Octothorpe has participated in what has been estimated at 48 Song Fight-related submissions at this point in time, which has been considered possible justification for their confinement to an institute for the criminally insane.

Discography:
INFORMATION OVERLOAD (Their only album released to date) is comprised of 20 Song Fight entries and two Cover Fight entries. The titles of the covered songs are the same as some of the originals because of the nature of Song Fight's format.

01. Been (Bean) to China
02. A Thousand Swords
03. Tracks for Future Practice
04. I Can See You
05. Do it For Captain
06. Red Robot
07. Watch Your Face
08. Do the Math
09. Birds of Our Own
10. Down to the Atom
11. Tiny Room
12. Firecrackers
13. Is it Cold?
14. Video Night
15. Alright Alright
16. Tracks for Future Practice (Duboce Triangle Cover)
17. Highway
18. That's the Spirit
19. Yellow Lasers (John Benjamin Band Cover)
20. Skyline
21. Snow Globe
22. Acid Mouth


Recent songs that are as of yet unreleased include:
It's a Shame My Binoculars Don't Work at Night
My Sister
Indie Rock Bottom
Experimental Fashion
Secrets
Floating Bridge
Rot to Fill
On My Block
World of Screens
Top Drawer
Grandfather Sword
Bad Dreams
Poison Pill
Postcard
Criminal Charges


Cover Fight entries include:
Tracks for Future Practice (Duboce Triangle of Song Fight)
Yellow Lasers (The John Benjamin Band of Song Fight)
Kokomo (The Beach Boys)
Mack the Knife (Bobby Darin)
Little Drummer Boy (Christmas Song)
Three Cool Cats (George Harrison)
Skylen! (Patrick Clayton of Song Fight)
Mahna Mahna (Piero Umiliani--also on the Muppet Show)
Don't Dance (Kompressor sometimes of Song Fight)
Red Robot (Hoblit of Song Fight)


For more information on Octothorpe visit
http://www.octothorpe.com
For more information on Song Fight visit
http://www.songfight.net
Information Overload is reportedly now available at Amazon.com.


The BAND that is OCTOTHORPE is ALSO:

Stubs (known to his mother as Aaron Ondek), responsible for the absolutely bizzarre lyrics and (once or twice) incidental vocals.

Spud (known to Stubs's mother as Ray C. Freeman III), responsible in majority for the band's music.

and Bro (known to Geraldo as John Ambrosavage), responsible for screaming, raving, and most of the other vocal work.

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