Actually, the band took their name from a film of the same name. The film stars George C. Scott who plays a millionaire living under the delusion that he is a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. The giants in the title are the windmills that Don Quixote believed to be giants. "Of course," Scott's character remarks, "he carried it a bit too far. He thought that every windmill was a giant. That's insane. But... if we never looked at things and thought of what they might be, why, we'd all still be out there in the tall grass with the apes."
Jeremy and my wedding song. Just in case you weren't aware we were geeks.
The Airborne Toxic Event: Don DeLillo's White Noise:
The book is about some neuritic insufferable intellectuals, and then a chemical spill happens and the media calls it an "airborne toxic event." Frontman Mikel Jollett (according to Wikipedia), says that the event in the novel gives the protagonist a life-changing awakening to his own mortality. Jolett says that the band came to be after a life-threatening event. No word yet on whether the band members are neurotic insufferable intellectuals.
The Doors: Aldous Huxley's The Doors of Perception:
According to Paste Magazine, The Doors picked the name because the book is about Huxley's experiments with mescaline. The title of the book, in turn, was a reference to a quotation from William Blake: "If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite."
The Doors: The band who invented emo
REM: The Dictionary:
Yep, this band's name was picked at random from the dictionary. Funny story... back when I was 13 or so, our local pop station, Power 108, played It's the End of the World as We Know It on a continuous loop for 24 straight hours to announce the coming of 107.9 The End. When I was 20, the station switched formats again, and naturally played the song for another 24 straight hours. This song perfectly bookends my adolescence, which has become a big haze of angst, mosh pits, and singers who all sound slightly constipated. It was the first music that was really mine.