Square Pig in a Round Hole-November 28, 2020

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 #37

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is almost over–I’ve got about 26,000 words on a lively and engaging wizard fantasy that I look forward to developing further. In other literary news, my flash-fiction ghost story, “She Kept the House,” will be included in an anthology of 100 stories by 100 authors, titled Worth 1000 Words. The already-successful Kickstarter to fund the project goes for 4 more days, offering flash fiction lovers the chance to pre-order the book and get some bonus swag.

The literary theme on the blog will continue for two weeks, there are just that many goodies. I’m even including a couple of bonus names this week. As ever, wash your hands, wear your mask, maybe read a book or ten, and if you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Mandroid Echostar
(May 14, 2016) Now we enter the realm of pulp sci-fi. I imagine this character was Buzz Lightyear’s delinquent roommate at the Space Ranger Academy who dropped out and became a smuggler or spaceman of fortune.

Marley’s Ghost 
(May 14, 2016) Identical in structure to Casca’s Dagger [featured earlier this month] but referring to a character rather than a prop — the first of four spirits intent on Scrooge’s redemption. If it were up to me, Marley would get promoted to Heaven for this act.

Peace Mercutio
(January 1, 2011) I’m just a sucker for a good literary allusion.

Pickwick
Trespassers William
(December 18, 2010) These two both get the nod for literary allusions to a couple of favorite books. Music and books go together like books and music.

The Pro-nouns
(April 4, 2015) Is this name standing in for the actual name of this band? The hyphen suggests nouns that have given up their amateur status. (This also reminds me of two siblings who swapped genders; I suggested they start a band called Pronoun Trouble. They have yet to take me up on it.)

The Raven and the Writing Desk
(April 26, 2014) Classic X and the Y structure meets literary reference! The English majors go wild.

One last thing before you go: 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 eight issues and subscribe here for future issues. (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-November 21, 2020

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 #36

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) continues–I’ve got over 22,000 words on my project so far and have reached the end of the story…but not of the writing. There are still many holes to plug and complications to add. The literary theme on the blog goes on, too–there are so many suitable band names in the vault, I’m including a couple of bonus names this week. As ever, wash your hands, wear your mask, maybe read a book or ten, and if you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

DJ Leopold Bloom
(April 2, 2011) I love it when literature insinuates itself into pop culture. I hope he has a gig on June 16.

Don and the Quixotes
(March 3, 2012) Classic band name format + literary allusion = a real winner.

Fan Fiction
(January 22, 2011) Sometimes the names reveal rock music’s geeky heart. As a writer and nerd myself, I respect and applaud anyone willing to fly their nerd flag high.

Flyleaf
(March 7, 2015) Literary in a literal and very particular way.

Hello Nowhere
(April 4, 2015) This belongs with one of my favorite lines in children’s literature, “Good night, nobody,” found on an unillustrated page in the classic Good Night, Moon. Or else it’s what you say when you stare into the abyss and invite it to stare back.

In the Whale 
(May 14, 2016) Where Ahab’s leg resides.

Keep of Kalessin
(May 14, 2011) Do these guys know me? I am a fantasy writer because of Ursula LeGuin’s Earthsea series, and Kalessin is my favorite dragon in all of literature. I will probably never write a dragon story because it couldn’t possibly measure up. This was the easiest pick this week (and also a perfect badass name for a metal band).

One last thing before you go: 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 eight issues and subscribe here for future issues. (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-November 14, 2020

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 #35

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) continues–I’ve got 16,000 words on my project so far and still having fun–and so does the literary theme on the blog. There are more than enough suitable band names in the vault for the whole month. As ever, wash your hands, wear your mask, maybe read a book or ten, and if you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Casca’s Dagger
(May 14, 2016) One character’s prop suggests the whole tragedy.

Comedy of Terrors
(April 4, 2015) The simple addition of one letter takes you from Shakespearean farce to B-movie horror; so bad it’s funny.

The Copyrights
(June 6, 2015) It’s a literary reference — not to the creative, inspiring, romantic side, but to the boring, bureaucratic end of things. When you set an uninteresting function off by itself as a band name, it lights up!

Dante Vs. Zombies
(September 8, 2012) This sounds like one of those literature + monsters mash-ups. My money’s on Dante, because he’s got Virgil and the virtuous pagans backing him up. (That would be a good name for a band, too.)

Deadly Poets
(October 4, 2014) I knew I distrusted poetry for some reason…

One last thing before you go: 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 eight issues and subscribe here for future issues. (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-November 7, 2020

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 #34

I try not to get too political in this space but will admit to a sense of giddy relief. The week hasn’t been all doom and worry, though. On Wednesday, I was delighted to read in the Seattle Times about 10-year-old Jude Evans and his new book BANDS (An Alphabet for Music Lovers). This was peculiarly appropriate because, as it happens, Square Pig in a Round Hole is 10 years old, too! Read the first post from November 6, 2010 here.

Meanwhile, it’s a new month and time for a new theme for these retrospective posts. November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and I’m taking part in my usual undercover way, so how about a literary theme? There are more than enough suitable band names in the vault for the whole month. Everybody, wash your hands, wear your mask, maybe read a book or ten (or start writing one!), and if you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Author & Punisher
(September 1, 2012) One of the least pleasant parts of writing fiction is being cruel to your characters. Then again, sometimes they deserve it.

About the Author
(December 28, 2013) I’m a writer — how could I not choose this one? My bio in HEATHERS [the anthology that included my first published fiction] reads “Karen Eisenbrey was saved by rock and roll and fantasy novels.” Perhaps I should change that “was” to “is being.”

Being as an Ocean
(October 4, 2014) I’m taken with the philosophical/literary affect here. Every being is vast and complex, loud and wild. (And as it turns out, they set wordy, poetic lyrics to loud, thrashing music. It all fits!)

Bevelers
(March 23, 2013) I see this one as a literary reference: “I made it on the bevel. 1. There is more surface for the nails to grip . . . 13. It makes a neater job.” (From As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner)

Captain Ahab’s Motorcycle Club
(May 4, 2013) Love the goofy literary reference! Probably would have been safer than the obsessive whaling voyage.

One last thing before you go: 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 eight issues and subscribe here for future issues. (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-October 31, 2020

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 #33

Happy Halloween! It couldn’t be more perfect for going out and having fun–Saturday, full moon, getting that lost hour back … But it’s still 2020, so we’ll have to settle for making our own fun at home. It is a beautiful day here at Square Pig HQ, so I may go on a jack-o-lantern hunt after lunch.

Meanwhile, I have one more batch of moon-themed band names to share, including a bonus sixth name to top off your treat sack. I hope they take your mind off the lunacy that is 2020. Everybody, wash your hands, wear your mask, and if you haven’t already, vote like your life depends on it. And if you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Moon Taxi
(September 27, 2014) And step on it!

Noonmoon
(September 5, 2015) A nice rhyme, and a reminder that sometimes we are privileged to see the moon by day.

Walk the Moon
(March 17, 2012) When you travel on a moonlit night, the moon travels with you. Kind of hard to get the leash on, though.

The Soft Moon
(April 25, 2015) This one really is made of cheese.

Strange Moon
(August 23, 2014) Otherworldly by definition yet right there.

Weregoat
(January 25, 2014) I like this recent fad for shapeshifting into animals other than wolves. This one’s practical, too: wait for the full moon and take care of those pesky blackberries yourself.

 

One last thing before you go: 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 eight issues and subscribe here for future issues. (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-October 24, 2020

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 #32

We had to return to work this week, which made us look forward even more longingly to retirement. Until then, we will rely on hug breaks and belly laughs to lower our stress levels. But Moon Month continues! October 2020 has two full moons (the second one will be on Halloween) so I will be sharing nothing but moon-themed band names all month. I hope it takes your mind off the lunacy that is 2020. Everybody, wash your hands, wear your mask, and if you haven’t already, vote like your life depends on it. And if you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Moon Honey
(May 3, 2014)  A sweet reversal that’s no less romantic.

Moon Hooch
(April 19, 2014) The repeated oo sound is fun. Is this another name for moonshine, or is this another level of illegal:  bootleg moonshine?

The Moon Is Flat
(September 5, 2015) Because it’s actually a giant beach ball, and it needs to be pumped up.

Moonlight Remedy
(September 29, 2018) Moonlight as part of some mystical healing ritual. Or: the remedy for moonlight is curtains.

The Moonmen
(March 8, 2020) Gidney and Cloyd?! Watch out for the scrootch gun.

 

One last thing before you go: 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 eight issues and subscribe here for future issues. (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-October 17, 2020

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.)

An appropriate wine

SQUARE PIG IN A ROUND HOLE PANDEMIC EDITION #31

I’m wrapping up a reasonably good vacation, considering we couldn’t really go anywhere: an online author event, a radio interview, some errands, some yardwork, a nice walk and picnic in the park on the one sunny day, re-homing two shelves of board games, lots of writing, and VOTING! Our ballots are already in the drop box.

Meanwhile, Moon Month continues! (We even found an appropriate wine.) October 2020 has two full moons (the second one will be on Halloween) so I will be sharing nothing but moon-themed band names all month. There are so many, this week includes a bonus sixth band. I hope it takes your mind off the lunacy that is 2020. Everybody, wash your hands, wear your mask, and plan to vote like your life depends on it. And if you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Man made moons.

(April 26, 2014) That’s not a moon. It’s a space station.

Mansions on the Moon

(December 10, 2011) Nice. I’d settle for a spaceport, but hey, dream big! It’s always a beautiful day on the moon …

Moon Age

(October 12, 2019) 4.51 billion years, give or take 10 million. Thanks, Google, not what I was looking for. Perhaps a subset of the Space Age, back in my childhood when we were landing men on the lunar surface.

Moon Darling

(April 30, 2016) Could be the name of an eccentric character in a quirky novel. Could be an affectionate response to the question, “What’s that bright thing in the sky?” Or someone just really loves the moon.

Moon Duo
Moon Heist

(November 23, 2019) They go together: one’s about an extra moon, the other about a moon that’s missing. In either case, the world would be a very different place. Maybe we have only one because another planet heisted the extra. Lookin’ at you, Mars.

One last thing before you go: 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 eight issues and subscribe here for future issues. (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-October 10, 2020

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 #30

I’m on vacation and going nowhere! Back in January, we were planning to go to Las Vegas next week on a trip the spouse won at his holiday party. Now that’s a big NOPE, but Moon Month continues! October 2020 has two full moons (the second one will be on Halloween) so I will be sharing nothing but moon-themed band names all month. I hope it takes your mind off the lunacy that is 2020. Everybody, wash your hands, wear your mask, and plan to vote like your life depends on it. And if you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Flight to Mars
A Rocket to the Moon

(April 9, 2011) These two have their own obvious connection, but for me it’s personal: my current literary effort concerns a space expedition that begins on the Moon and flies to Mars and beyond. [Interesting; I’ve recently taken up this same project again! –ed.] Once again, we demonstrate the close relationship between science fiction and rock & roll.

Ghost Moon

(November 30, 2019) Veiled in cloud, drifting spookily through the night. (By my count, this is at least the 27th moon-themed name I’ve featured.)

Glaciers on the Moon

(September 6, 2014) As a space travel and science fiction fan, I’m always on the lookout for space-related band names. I like this one because it sounds made-up on the face of it, but there very well might be water ice deep in some of the moon’s craters. Our solar system is still full of surprises.

Luna Moss

(October 12, 2019) As green as the moth of the same name, flourishing in moonlight.

One last thing before you go: 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 eight issues and subscribe here for future issues. (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Review: GhostCityGirl

GhostCityGirl by Simon Paul Wilson (Not A Pipe Publishing 2020)

Serial killers, starvation cults, and spicy noodles −  just another day in Nihon City.

It’s been one hundred years since Tokyo was ravaged by a ghostquake and talking about the supernatural was forbidden. To escape her unhappy family life and mundane job, Kichi Honda spends her days off visiting Mister Tanaka, an old man who tells her illegal tales of haunted Japan. But when Kichi gets stranded on Level One, she meets an impossible girl who claims to have come from Tokyo.

Kichi learns the truth about what really happened all those years ago … and discovers history is about to repeat itself.

My Review:

This is a ghost story (of the gory variety) and also a heroic origin story. Kichi Honda is a young woman with not much life to speak of. She lives with her mother, a VR TV addict, in an extremely high highrise apartment and works in the meaningless position of mall greeter. But Kichi finds joy where she can, in spicy food, old pop music, and the ghost stories shared by her elderly friend Mr. Tanaka. “Spook talk” has been forbidden by the Department of Paranormal Activity since the Tokyo ghost quake a century before, but Mr. Tanaka is able to keep their conversations secret. Kichi has never seen a ghost and isn’t sure she wants to, but she loves the stories. Then she meets Miaka, a girl who has escaped from Tokyo on a mission to prevent a recurrence of the ghost quake. Kichi and Mr. Tanaka team up with Miaka to stop the world from ending, but the clock is already ticking and things are getting weird.

Kichi is an appealing companion in a story that goes from quirky to spooky to straight-up terrifying. Although frustrated with her home life and government restrictions and surveillance, she retains curiosity, compassion, and a snarky sense of humor. Her interest in a local serial killer and encounters with creepy cultists end up being central to the apocalyptic plot. This is the first book of a trilogy; the cliffhanger ending hints at an even more heroic role for Kichi in future volumes.

I received an advance review ebook from the publisher.

Order your copy today from your local independent bookstore. Find it using IndieBound.org.

Available on Amazon HERE.

Available on Amazon UK HERE.

Available on Barnes & Noble HERE.

Available on Kindle HERE.

Available on Kindle UK HERE.

Square Pig in a Round Hole-October 3, 2020

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 #29

It’s Moon Month! October 2020 has two full moons, and the second one will be on Halloween. (So I will not be at all surprised if October’s thing turns out to be werewolves.) I found enough moon-themed band names in past posts to share nothing but for the entire month. Some weeks, starting now, I’ll even share more than five because there is just that much lunar goodness. I hope it takes your mind off the lunacy of this campaign season. Everybody, wash your hands, wear your mask, and plan to vote like your life depends on it. And if you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Artemis Moon
Luna God

(January 5, 2019) I’m a friend of the moon and an admirer of classical pantheons, so what luck to find two moon-deity names in one week! Based on a quick listen, they would fit nicely on the same bill, too.

Boots to the Moon

(February 14, 2015) Have you seen that Photoshop of a cat crossing the path of an astronaut on the moon? That’s Boots.

Buildings on the Moon

(September 3, 2011) I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking about this topic. I’m thinking spaceport, but I heard that a pizza chain (Domino’s?) wants to be the first pizza restaurant on the moon. It’ll probably go right next to Starbucks.

Darkness Stole the Sky
Long Dark Moon

(February 27, 2016) Mythopoetic explanations for lunar phases, winter, night.

One last thing before you go: 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 seven issues and subscribe here for future issues–Issue 8 comes out next week. (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)