Square Pig in a Round Hole-January 16, 2021

Naming a band is an act of concentrated creative expression. Square Pig in a Round Hole exists to reward five favorite band names each week. Winners are (usually) listed alphabetically.

Selection is wholly unscientific and subject to whim, with a bias toward wordplay, humor, and local flavor. In most cases, I won’t know anything about the bands at the time of selection. Thanks to the Seattle Times nightlife listings for abundant source material!

(Until live music returns, I am curating retrospective posts from past material. Dates indicate when the band was originally featured.)


It helps me in these uneasy, transitional times to recall that my politics were shaped by Walt Kelly’s Pogo comic strip, which made equal-opportunity fun of all parties but came down particularly hard on authoritarians and bullies. The swamp critters (a community of anthropomorphized alligators, bears, beavers, groundhogs, opossums, owls, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, turtles, and more) came together every four years to throw Pogo Possum’s hat into the ring (against his will, sometimes with him still in it). If asked, I Go Pogo, and offer here a Pogo-themed assortment of band names. As ever, wash your hands, wear your mask, and if you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Acapulco Lips
(February 2, 2013) On the page, it looks like silly nonsense, but has to be read aloud to really sink in. On top of the wordplay (for me, at least), it brings to mind Walt Kelly’s Pogo strip, in which “Octawocktapockers done got Albert!”

(October 5, 2013) I don’t know what they were intending, but as a Pogo fan of long standing, I can’t help thinking of Albert Alligator’s adorable little nephew Alabaster, and his pal Rackety Coon Chile. And so I smile.

(January 21, 2017) A truly Pogoesque insult or endearment.

Puddle City Opossums
(December 28, 2013) This has both downhome folksiness and good poetic/syllabic structure. As an old Pogo fan, I’m happy to honor these possums. Puddle City is an excellent Seattle nickname, too.

Trampled By Turtles
(September 8, 2012) I love this image, because of the slow speed. Anything heavy enough to do any damage, you could just roll out of the way. I picture some poor dude, passed out and engulfed by turtles.

Two last things before you go:

  1. My new thing in the new year is The Rage Brigade, a Facebook group for conversation about fantasy, science fiction, superheroes, and music (and the intersections thereof). If that sounds like fun, come join us here.
  2. I share highlights from this blog in my quarterly author newsletter, The Storypunk Report, as well as news of what I’m writing and reading, upcoming events, and other goodies, including “Wizard in the Mosh Pit,” an exclusive short story just for subscribers. Click the link to check out the first nine issues and subscribe here for future issues. (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

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