Square Pig in a Round Hole-January 30, 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.)

SQUARE PIG IN A ROUND HOLE PANDEMIC EDITION #46

In which I continue the celebration of classic X and the Y band-naming structure. I find it interesting that this durable format is also popular in other media, such as middle-grade fiction and adventure films. I nearly titled my first novel Invisible Girl and the Magic Hat before deciding it might seem aimed at a younger demographic than I wanted to reach. The Gospel According to St. Rage probably doesn’t appeal to teens any better, but I’m not changing it. And for the sequel, I went with Barbara and the Rage Brigade, so what do I know? 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.

Brianna Skye & the Dark Clouds
(March 3, 2018) I’m a perennial fan of classic X and the Y structure, especially when there’s clever or poetic connection between the name of the band leader and the name of the band. By happy coincidence, my garage-rock fairy tale The Gospel According to St Rage includes an important character named Storm Skye. I wonder if they’re related.

Catfish and the Bottlemen
(February 14, 2015) Classic X and the Y structure, but the frontperson is a (possibly fictional) character. I also can’t help thinking the Bottlemen might want to hang out in the Alestorm [featured February 14, 2015].

Charlie and the Foxtrots
(March 22, 2014) I keep trying to learn the NATO phonetic alphabet; Charlie and Foxtrot are the only letters I consistently remember. That, plus the classic X and the Y structure, makes this a winner.

Connie & the Precious Moments
(December 13, 2014) I’m a perennial fan of the classic X and the Y structure, especially when there’s some clever twist to one or both parts. Nothing could be further from rock and roll than sentimental figurines. I have my own fraught relationship with Precious Moments, having received a set of four PM mugs as a wedding gift. We were not particularly sorry when some of them broke, but after 28 years, one remains and may outlive us all. [Update: it did not survive.]

Daddy Treetops and the Howlin’ Tomcats
(June 9, 2012) A good old “X and the Y” construction taken over the top. It’s not just tomcats, it’s howlin’ tomcats; it’s not just some guy, it’s a guy with a wonderful nickname. And I always like a good cat reference.

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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