Ken Hawker and Ken Lewis have to be merged

and

are the same person:

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Hi indy133,
here is a link to the Style Guide for Artist names.
https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Style/Artist

It reads in part:

Performance names and legal names

Generally, use the name the artist mainly performs under as the artist name. Alternative names, including any legal names and name variations, should generally be entered as aliases, and can be used in artist credits and relationship credits when appropriate.

… [examples] …

In some cases, a person … can perform under multiple names that they actually consider different projects, and not just alternative names. In that case, you should add each artist separately. If they’re a person, a separate legal name artist should be added, and linked to all performance names with the is person (“performs as”) relationship. In this case, do not add legal name aliases to the performance names …

If you are confident that both Ken names were used for non-separate projects then merge them and state the basis for your confidence in your Edit Notes.

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Let’s see if I get this correctly. If the real name Ken Hawker had been used for writing nursery rhymes and the pen name Ken Lewis for writing porn radioplays, it seems to be obvious that he wanted to hide this part of his works. So we would call this a different “project”.
But what happens if we find out later that he didn’t care a fuck about hiding his identity and published several horror porn radioplays under his real name? No “project”, so we choose alias again.

The problem I see here is, every change of a name is done intentionally (I hope so, at least) and in most cases we don’t know the reason.
So we have to rely to what the artist is telling us. So where do I find what Ken Hawker thought about his new name/project?

No, not at all, I simply do not know what “non-separate projects” means in the context of songwriting.
(Of course, If he wrote songs under the name Ken Lewis just for one artist or band, there might be a chance. But…)

I don’t think we need to overcomplicate this. It looks like a straightforward case of someone with a legal name (Hawker) and a professional/performance name (Lewis). Absent evidence that both names were used for distinct artistic purposes, they seem safe to merge. The merge is now open for votes: Edit #89372492 - MusicBrainz

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No, this case was clear enough, I just wanted to point out, that these vague rules are difficult to understand: What about this case:

Vollbildaufzeichnung 05.05.2022 204901

Julian Cope uses the pseudonym Double de Harrison even on the same releases (he’s not an exception for this “strategy”).
When I’m following the guideline, this has to be an intentional different “project”.
But we wouldn’t know if they hadn’t appeared together on a release.
Merge or don’t merge?

I’d say yes to the Ken Hawker/Lewis merge (already voted), especially since there aren’t really any credits to their legal name.

usually for determining “separate projects”, I’ll split on name alone, until I have reason to believe they changed names (i.e. 1 or 2 official releases released under both names, or something like that).

for Julian Cope, my first impression is separate projects, especially if they’re both credited in the same place, in a release booklet or something.

a similar example would be deadmau5; he credits all his production and writing to his legal name, and there are other separate projects he does too.

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There are non-artistic reasons for using a legal name in writing credits, so I wouldn’t necessarily consider that a reason to keep artists separate.

Double de Harrison strikes me as a bit of an in-joke that I’d be inclined to merge. From the wikipedia article on the Saint Julian album:

promotional material of the era (which gave some background detail on each band member) indicated that DeHarrison was from Oregon, and had previously scored several “art sex” films and played in the late 1970s German group Tin Haus.

I agree with @indy133 that the guidelines are vague and hard to understand. That’s largely because musicians are also vague and hard to understand. :slight_smile:

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My reading of the guideline is “single until proven multiple”; that is, unless there’s evidence that the artist considers their various aliases as distinct, they should be merged (or not split in the first place).

On the mau5shop.com site there are separate menu entries for Deadmau5 and Testpilot which could be considered such evidence. Not sure about his other aliases - Pivoteffekt is confusing to me as the cover art for the only listed release (taken from spotify) prominently says ‘deadmau5’.

my rationale for “separate until proven single” is if I tick the “Use standardized artist name” in Picard, the artist name should still be a correct name. also, if a hypothetical editor doesn’t get an exact match while adding a compilation, they’d be likely to add a new artist anyways, meaning more merges.

I’m not asking for proof either way.

I am looking for a reasonable basis for confidence by the editor making the edit that the change in the database is an improvement.

And for that reasonable basis for confidence to be shared in the edit note.

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Not sure what you mean by “a correct name” in this context. To me standardizing Double de Harrison to Julian Cope is a correct name, just as much as standardizing “Jon Dee Fanglord” to Jon Langford.

honestly, I’m not entirely sure what I mean by “correct name” either… :sweat_smile: I’ve mostly used that rule for groups so far


great, now I wanna split out Jon Dee Fanglord, just so I can tag him with awesomename… (kidding)

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You could send yourself waaaay down a rabbit hole if you actually tried to do that with the Mekons and Langford’s other groups, like the Waco Brothers, whose members have at times included “Tracey Dear, the greatest living Englishman” and “Subcommandante Marcus Durante” among others.

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