Square Pig in a Round Hole-July 10, 2021

Cartoon image of a pink square pig in a round hold

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 #68

It’s a potluck picnic of band names! For the rest of the summer, or pretty close. Today I kick off a series on a food and beverage theme, which should sustain me until there are enough live shows to pick from. As ever, wash your hands, wear your mask where required, get your vaccine if you haven’t already, and if you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

AlcoJuana
(June 21, 2014) The next logical step in trendy, herb-infused booze. We call it Weedka.

Alice Drinks the Kool Aid
(July 22, 2017) Takes a sudden turn from surreal children’s book to real-life horror via cultish metaphor. I don’t want to imagine what happens to her.

Angsty Teens Seeking Money for Pizza
(July 26, 2016) This was an almost automatic choice, purely based on length because I have a perverse fondness for long band names. But I also applaud the bald honesty of what these kids might be busking for. (And then I discovered they’re a Seattle two-piece — band after my own heart.)

Bad Honey
(March 14, 2020) Must be a pet name for a misbehaving significant other, because actual honey rarely goes bad.

Barons of Tang
(May 26, 2012) Is this like land barons or oil barons, but with powdered space-age breakfast drink?

 

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 ten issues and subscribe here for future issues. A new one will be out next Monday and includes a excerpt from Barbara and the Rage Brigade. (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-July 3, 2021

Cartoon image of a pink square pig in a round hold

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 #67

Live music is creeping back! I really hope to have fresh material soon, but for now, I’m still recycling old posts into retrospectives. This one doubly so: last July, I had 3 weeks worth of Independence Day-themed band names to share. Today I share my favorites of those. However you celebrate 4th of July this weekend, please leave the fireworks to the professionals. Local pets, fire departments, and neighbors with combustible roofs will thank you.  As ever, wash your hands, wear your mask where required, get your vaccine if you haven’t already, and if you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

American Nudism
(July 25, 2015) The qualifier “American” suggests something about the nudism — it’s either exceptional or puritanical, I just can’t decide which.

American Wrecking Company
(March 5, 2016) AKA party politics as usual. When the revolution comes, they will have brought it on themselves.

Great American Trainwreck
(December 1, 2018) I can’t think of a better description of our current moment. [Update: They’re playing TONIGHT in White Center!]

The Parade Schedule
(May 23, 2015) Festivity requires organization. All the clowns and marching bands have to respect the person with the clipboard.

Ragged Union
(December 10, 2016) This one speaks to our Divided States of America, tattered but not yet sundered.

 

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 ten issues and subscribe here for future issues. A new one should be out next week! (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-June 26, 2021

Cartoon image of a pink square pig in a round hold

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 #66

Oh boy, a record-breaking heat wave! It was already about 80F when I went out at 8 am to water the garden. So this weekend’s band-name theme is hot weather. I’m more thankful than ever for the heat pump we installed a few years ago, and I’m glad I wasn’t planning to go out to a non-air-conditioned club (or anywhere) this weekend. Everybody stay cool and hydrated, and as ever, wash your hands, wear your mask, get your vaccine, and if you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day–coming soon, I hope!

Animals in Cars
(July 21, 2014) I can take it so many ways: exuberantly fun — the dog I saw with his head out the window, ears flapping in the breeze; comic and fantastical — cartoon animals driving cars; or poignant and sad — a dog left alone in a hot or freezing car (please don’t).

The Hot Club of Cowtown
(September 2, 2017) Anyone who has lived in a cowtown knows why this is humorous.

Hot Flash Heat Wave
(September 26, 2015) Is it too much information to say this is something I know all about? Ironic that the band seems to be made up of a bunch of young guys, rather than middle-aged women.

Sun June
(June 23, 2018) Should these words be seen together? Those hot, sunny days right before the solstice felt out of season. It’s reassuring to see the return of June Gloom, though I’m glad it will be nice for the parade.

Tropical Popsicle
(June 14, 2014) I never noticed that these two words rhyme, and now it seems so obvious. Plus, I see frozen treats in bright summery colors.

 

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 ten 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-June 19, 2021

I’m taking a break this weekend from the celebration of band names in order to participate with the Writing Against the Darkness team in The Longest Day, a dawn-to-dusk fundraising event for the Alzheimer’s Association. The team will gather virtually at 5:26 am on Saturday, June 19 to work together on our own writing projects until about 9:00 pm, when we will total and report our combined word count. (The official Longest Day is Sunday, June 20, but we’re doing our event on Saturday so the dads on the team will be free to celebrate Father’s Day.) Last year, we churned out about 89,000 words and raised about $5000 for Alzheimer’s research, care, and support. We hope to beat both those numbers this year!

And … we’re also giving away books! All donors to any team member will be entered in a drawing for their choice from a selection of books by participating authors. Donors to my fundraiser will also be entered to win my Daughter of Magic trilogy: signed paperback copies of Daughter of Magic, Wizard Girl, and Death’s Midwife.

Learn more and donate here.

I’ll be back next week with more band names. As ever, wash your hands, wear your mask, get your vaccine, and if you are able, please buy music and merch while we wait for a better day.

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 ten 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-June 12, 2021

Cartoon image of a pink square pig in a round hold

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 #65

I’m wrapping up the celebration of Northwest Loser Pride with a bonus 6th band name. I’ve heard rumors about the return of live music, so maybe I won’t have to do too many more of these retrospective posts. I have enjoyed revisiting old material, but I look forward to fresh inspiration. As ever, wash your hands, wear your mask, get your vaccine, and if you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day–coming soon, I hope!

Runt
(August 21, 2013) As one who was always the youngest and smallest, I tend to favor the runt. The word itself has the monosyllabic punch of some of our best swear words, and fits nicely in Seattle’s loser-pride movement.

Spirit Award
(December 20, 2014) It sounds good, but everyone knows it’s code for the Talentless Try-hard Trophy. But in this land of loser pride, that’s a badge of honor.

The Tailenders
(February 25, 2012) This name implies a kind of loser pride, not ashamed to bring up the rear, hang off the back, sweep up the leavings — and maybe kick off the after-party, when the real fun happens.

Total Fu**ing Bummer
(November 30, 2019) The absolute depth of disappointment and height of NW Loser Pride. (Censorship courtesy of The Seattle Times.)

Worse in Person
(March 8, 2020) A fine example of northwest loser pride, perfected with a rhyme that isn’t obvious until spoken aloud.

The Worst
(October 22, 2016) More loser pride, reveling in being best at being bad.

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 ten 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-June 5, 2021

Cartoon image of a pink square pig in a round hold

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 #64

The celebration of Northwest Loser Pride continues! It is a complete coincidence that this theme overlaps with LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, though I imagine there’s a certain amount of intersection. Anyone can feel like a loser and shout it from the rooftops. As ever, wash your hands, wear your mask, get your vaccine, and if you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Least Likely to Succeed
(October 22, 2016) Here we have a fine example of Northwest loser pride. It’s not about success or failure, it’s about getting out there and making some noise. And annoying the squares. [They didn’t have an internet presence then and don’t seem to now, either.]

Least of These
(June 6, 2015) This seems to fit into one of my personal favorite categories, “loser pride.” Own it, and make it look like you’re winning. I also have to like the Biblical reference to those Jesus calls us to serve.

Neerdowells
(April 15, 2014) Rock will never be dead as long as young teens have the opportunity to plug in a guitar and turn it up. And, no small thing, the opportunity to name the project! Again with the Seattle loser pride. I also like the way it’s all run together, even though that risks being read as Near Dowells (what we call the Oneder Effect.) [Update: this band has gone through at least one name change since 2014 and is not currently active. They live on under this name in chapter 3 of my garage-rock fairy tale The Gospel According to St. Rage.]

Pity Kiss
(May 16, 2015) Sweet and sad at once, and feels like another aspect of Northwest loser pride. Even a pity kiss is still a kiss; we’ll take what we can get.

Power Cowards
SuperNothing 
(November 28, 2015) They’re not the same genre, but the names, at least, belong together. They both take Northwest loser pride to the next (comic-book hero) level.

 

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 ten 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-May 29, 2021

Cartoon image of a pink square pig in a round hold

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 #63

I’m celebrating an almost summer-like holiday weekend by kicking off a new theme: Northwest Loser Pride. It should come as a surprise to no one that there is enough material for several weeks. As ever, wash your hands, wear your mask, get your vaccine, and if you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

The Aimlows
(December 10, 2011) This one has great slacker cred. I like the celebration of low expectations.

Cape Disappointment
(September 9, 2017) The place names around here reveal that Northwest loser pride goes way back.

Decent at Best
(January 14, 2017) Like music or literature, band names fall into various genres. I would put this one under Northwest Loser Pride (a personal favorite). Whether honest assessment or an attempt to keep expectations low, this lets everybody off the hook.

Failure Anthem
(November 12, 2016) I’m no stranger to losing. This feels different. This one also speaks to Northwest Loser Pride, which I will always celebrate. I even wrote the anthem:

Five Alarm Funk
(September 6, 2014) As much as I appreciate northwest loser pride, I also love when a group has the confidence to own how hot they are.

 

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 ten 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-May 22, 2021

Cartoon image of a pink square pig in a round hold

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 #62

At long last, we reach the final batch of fantasy/science-fiction themed band names, including a bonus sixth name to conclude this eight-week celebration. Be sure to come back next week as I pick a new theme! As ever, wash your hands, wear your mask, get your vaccine, and if you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

We Were Promised Jetpacks
(November 12, 2011) I have an enduring soft spot for the past’s vision of the future. We have near-instanteous global communication that some use to complain that we don’t have jetpacks and flying cars. Meanwhile, I have at least 10 household lasers and I’m typing on a tiny yet powerful computer connected wirelessly to every other computer in the house and to the Internet. I admit it — it’s the future.

Werebearcat
(May 21, 2011) Goofy fantasy element + fun to say = awesome name.

Wizard Apprentice
(July 15, 2017) This one scratches my fantasy reader/writer itch. It happens I’m writing a trilogy about a girl becoming a wizard, so I’m especially pleased to find the practitioner behind the name is a woman. [Update: my Daughter of Magic trilogy is complete as of this spring. Learn more here.]

Wizard Police
(November 19, 2014) I didn’t know nerdhop was even a thing, but I love it when I can grab the first band in the first show in the week’s listings. What kind of fantasy author would I be if I didn’t honor a wizard reference? It makes perfect sense that wizard crime would require a special force.

Wizard Rifle
(July 21, 2013) Now, that just seems unfair. Magic and firearms, too?

The Wizards Sleeve
(September 15, 2012) I’m always on the lookout for wizard references, and here’s a new one. That it’s just a sleeve, not the entire robe, amuses me. The resident gamers inform me that this is most likely a reference to an item in the game Dungeons of Dredmore. Who knew doing a blog would be so educational?

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 ten issues and subscribe here for future issues. (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Review: Denial Kills

Denial Kills: An Anthology of Poetry and Short Fiction (Not A Pipe Publishing, 2021)

In these pages, authors and poets point us to the dangers of refusing to see what is right before our eyes. Editors Viveca Shearin, Zack Dye, and Benjamin Gorman bring you the works of Jessica Mehta, Lydia K. Valentine, Kaia Valentine, Claudine Griggs, Ayodele Nzinga, T. J. Berg, Zach Murphy, Joanna Michal Hoyt, Simon J. Plant, Huda Tariq, Ndaba Sibanda, Sarah Jane Justice, Fable Tethras, Joann Renee Boswell, Eric Witchey, Janet Burroway, Mike Jack Stoumbos, Koraly Dimitriadis, Heather S. Ransom, Kate Maxwell, and Bethany Lee. New York Times bestsellers and those published for the first time, from across the United States and around the world, come together to question, explore, illuminate, and demystify.

FDR told us we have nothing to fear but fear itself. But there is another sinister threat that can be deadly. Denial, when allowed to fester, can have serious consequences. For example, a woman who refuses to see the ugly truth about her doomed engagement can end up trapped in a miserable marriage. A wife who refuses to accept that her husband is unfaithful can find herself confronted by his lover, by her own jealousy, and by her own willful ignorance. Denying women the rights to their own bodily autonomy can cost us our happiness, our sanity, and our lives. Denial can take many forms. And when one isn’t careful, denial can most surely kill.

Available on Bookshop.org HERE.

Available on Powell’s in hardcover HERE and in paperback HERE.

Available on Barnes and Noble HERE.

Available on Amazon HERE.

Available on Kindle HERE.

My review:

Once again, an anthology from Not A Pipe Publishing provides a diverse array of responses to the theme. This time, we see denial in all its forms, whether personal or societal: about trauma, about cancer, about racism, about relationships that aren’t what they appear. About the fragility of freedom, about who belongs in Heaven, about dementia. About education, about “how we’ve always done things.”  Some takes are bitter, others almost sweet when it isn’t too late to change course.

Every piece is strong and worth a read. Here are four that made a lasting impression on me:

“Motherhood” by Fable Tethras follows a pregnant teenager as she is detained in a prison/school/hospital for those who would terminate their pregnancies or who are not deemed suitable to raise a child once it is born. It was chilling to watch the protagonist’s choices limited and limited again even as she dreamed of a possible new life after pregnancy.

“The 100th Heroine” by Heather Ransom opens like a slasher movie, then soothes with the revelation that the character is taking part in a theatrical re-enactment of a historical event. Horror returns as more is revealed about this annual event, until the rug is pulled out one more time.

“Oracles” by Janet Burroway is an elegantly told tale of a young woman intellectual in the 1950s, misreading the signs about her own future with the fellow intellectual she hopes to marry.

“Scorched Earth” by Zack Dye layers present-day climate-change denial under a story of domestic disharmony and reconciliation set in a future when agricultural land is burned on a regular schedule to prevent wildfires. Two burns, five years apart, provide the backdrop to one family’s small dramas as they prepare to evacuate.

I received an advance review ebook from the publisher.

Square Pig in a Round Hole-May 15, 2021

Cartoon image of a pink square pig in a round hold

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 #61

 

The celebration of fantasy and science-fiction themed band names continues! Two of them, originally featured 3 years apart, led me to reference the same science fiction project. Everything old is new again–I revived it last summer and it isn’t dead yet! As ever, wash your hands, wear your mask, get your vaccine, and if you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Slums of Utopia
(November 19, 2014) There’s a whole dystopian novel contained in these three words.

Stars at Your Feet
(February 8, 2014) A startling and striking image. On a personal note, I used this very phrasing in a science fiction story, in which a filmmaker on EVA is allowed to float away from the spaceship in order to get his shot.

Sunken Rocketship
(February 28, 2015) This seems somehow more disastrous than a regular sunken ship. A rocket has so much farther to sink.

Terraform
(January 8, 2011) It’s hard to pass up a good sci-fi connection. I think I’ve mentioned before that I came to rock music and science fiction at around the same time, and I’m still into both. This name particularly strikes me now because I’m writing a piece that involves terraforming and had to learn about it recently.

Trashcan Wizard
(March 3, 2012) I see Oscar the Grouch with a wand and a pointy hat.

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 ten issues and subscribe here for future issues. (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)