Square Pig in a Round Hole-March 27, 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.)


Mars is the only planet we know of that is entirely populated by robots. Outside of fiction, I think we’re probably better off keeping it that way; people make a mess. Happily, I did not run out of Mars-themed band names last week. In fact, there are enough for a  couple of bonus 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.

Long Day on Mars
(February 10, 2018) Sometimes I suspect bands of picking a name just to get my attention. Did they know I have an unpublished SF novel on my hard drive that includes a chapter about 3 space travelers on Mars, trying to get from their crashed shuttle to the base 90 km away before their oxygen runs out? It takes them more than one long day.

Your Mother Should Know at Sky Church, November 2011

Mars Red Sky
Oceans of Mars
(March 24, 2012) It’s Mars, OK? My imagination has spent a lot of time there lately. According to this picture, I even played a show there (possibly on the bed of a former ocean, under a red sky):

Martian Cult
(April 21, 2018) As a writer of speculative fiction, I’m always partial to a band name with a sci-fi vibe. Is this Earthlings following a charismatic leader from Mars, or Martians following an Earthling?

Mouse on Mars
(February 16, 2013) My instant reaction was memory of the Fun Forest, which I consider a good thing. In my mind, this name melds the roller coaster Mad Mouse with another ride called Flight to Mars. So, Seattle nostalgia plus my usual Mars-mania — an easy pick.

Stranger on Mars
(March 15, 2014) I imagine it will be a long time before this is not true, by definition, of anyone who gets there. But it can also be read as a comparative: “This music is strange enough on Earth, but it’s ever stranger on Mars.” [Sadly, this band no longer has an online presence. –ed.]

Uncommon Men from Mars
(April 20, 2013) Well, they would be. Mars needs women …?


Shameless Self-Promotion: Death’s Midwife (Daughter of Magic Book 3) is now available for purchase from your favorite independent bookshop or the usual online outlets. Join me and The Neverending Bookshop on May 1 at 3 pm PDT for a live Zoom event featuring readings, Q&A, and more! RSVP here to receive the link.

Two last things before you go:

  1. My new thing in 2021 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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