Square Pig in a Round Hole-July 4, 2020

Square PigNaming 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!

SQUARE PIG IN A ROUND HOLE PANDEMIC EDITION #16

In honor of Independence Day, I present an Americana-themed retrospective. I found enough suitable candidates in the vault for several posts, so the theme will continue for most of the month. It’s not fireworks but I hope it will do. Be safe, wear your mask, and 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.

Boom City

(January 31, 2015) So many reasons to love this as a specifically Seattle band name: our history with supersonic jets; that long-lived fireworks stand; our growing reputation as the capital of LOUD.

Great American Trainwreck

(December 1, 2018) I can’t think of a better description of our current moment. [Gosh, that aged well. –ed.]

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) I can’t seem to escape post-electoral blues. This one speaks to our Divided States of America, tattered but not yet sundered. [Wow, another one. –ed.]

Fireworks at the End coverOh, all right. Have some Fireworks at the End.

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 six issues and subscribe here for future issues. The July 2020 issue comes out next week! (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-June 27, 2020

Square PigNaming 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!

SQUARE PIG IN A ROUND HOLE PANDEMIC EDITION #15

Back in March, I naively thought I would only have to do a few of these retrospective posts before nightlife resumed. I went to the vault and hauled up what I was sure would be more than enough appropriate band names to tide me over. Today I reach the end of that trove with the last of the pet-themed band names, but never fear! I will head back to the cellar next week for more vintage delights. Please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Dog Fashion Disco

(May 9, 2015) Imagine the dog party at the end of Go Dog Go, but with more glitz and a mirror ball. I like that party hat!

Dog Party

(March 21, 2015) Around this house, we love and revere P. D. Eastman’s Go Dog Go, a limited-vocabulary guide to how to pick up girls. It concludes in an epic dog party in a tree. I like that party hat! I like that band name!

Dog Shredder

(March 19, 2011) One of the resident cats thinks this applies to her. I imagine it’s brutal and raucous.

Strawberry Love Cat

(February 21, 2015) Cheery and goofy, in that psychedelic way. I’m partial to cat names, too. [Sadly, they seem to have disappeared from the internet. –ed.]

Teen Cat  

(March 14, 2015) Teens are hip to pop culture and cats are cool, so there are lots of good rock & roll associations. On the other hand, felines mature so quickly that they barely have an adolescence. An actual cat in its teens is mature to elderly. (I was pleased to see that Teen Cat is a guitar-and-drum duo with a woman drummer, just like Your Mother Should Know!)

Fundraising report: I spent literally all day last Saturday taking part in The Longest Day, a fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association for which participants choose an activity and do it from dawn to dusk to raise funds for research, care, and support. I was part of the Writing Against the Darkness team, fifteen writers bashing out words and checking in with each other regularly via Zoom. We generated a novel’s worth of words–about 82,000 (9K mine)–and almost $5000 in donations ($1450 mine) by the end of the day. The fundraiser continues, so if you are able, please donate here.

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 six issues and subscribe here for future issues. The July 2020 issue is coming soon! (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-June 19, 2020

Square PigNaming 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!

SQUARE PIG IN A ROUND HOLE PANDEMIC EDITION #14

This post is happening a whole day early, and not only because one day is pretty like another right now. No, it is because tomorrow, the Summer Solstice, I will be writing other things ALL DAY. I’m taking part in The Longest Day, a fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association. Participants choose an activity and do it from dawn to dusk to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research and support for families living with the disease. I’m part of the Writing Against the Darkness team. Last year we generated 50,000 words and over $5000 in donations, and hope to meet or exceed those totals during this year’s event. If you are able, please donate here, and since I also still care about bands and band names, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Le Shat Noir

(December 31, 2011) A cat is implied, and the French lends elegance, but it’s still gross. Somebody clean that litter box!

Sneaky Bones

(May 20, 2017) When you’re not looking, skeletons creep up. Before you know it, you’ve got one under your skin. Spooky.

Spaceman Flu

(July 28, 2012) I researched spacesickness for a science fiction novel. Early in the US space program, they didn’t realize it existed and were very concerned when some of the astronauts would suddenly barf in the cockpit. I suppose they wondered if it was some weird spaceman flu.

Tiny Bones

(March 18, 2017) In high school, my sister reassembled a frog’s skeleton and encased it in Lucite. Ever since, I have been fascinated by how small bones can be, whether in wee animals or our own ears.

Where My Bones Rest Easy

(October 19, 2013) More Skeleton Awareness! Let them rest when their work is through.

 

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 six issues and subscribe here for future issues. The July 2020 issue is coming soon! (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-June 13, 2020

Square PigNaming 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!

SQUARE PIG IN A ROUND HOLE PANDEMIC EDITION #13

I miss live music.

I rarely got out to a show, but I liked knowing it was possible any night of the week. I especially liked playing shows, partly because the best way to discover new bands is to be on a bill with them. So today, I honor a longer list than usual: a selection of bands who have been on a bill with Your Mother Should Know. Although we never played frequently even when we were actively getting out, this is not all of them. If you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

The Ancients

(August 11, 2012) I probably wouldn’t pick this name out of the listings, but it fits perfectly the band’s wildly theatrical Adventure Metal genre. These guys would be right at home with a tiny Stonehenge on stage.

Ancient Warlocks

(February 5, 2011) This appeals to my fantasy-novel side. Music and fiction are the closest to magic we can get: something out of nothing. It also evokes Spinal Tap and their tiny Stonehenge, and that makes me smile.

Black Plastic Clouds

(November 5, 2011) As if black clouds weren’t threatening enough! Any mention of black plastic reminds me of the ultimately ineffective weed barrier the previous owner of our house used in the front yard. We were digging pieces of black plastic out of the ground for years.

Curtains for You

(December 4, 2010) Full disclosure: I’d heard of this band years before I saw them at the Columbia City Theatre (which has a stage with actual curtains), and the keyboard player has visited my house. But I think I would list them even if that weren’t so. I like how the name references another era and aspect of American pop culture. (I tend to pronounce it “coitains” like the gangsters in old Bugs Bunny cartoons.) 

Dead Bars

(October 12, 2013) I’m surprised I haven’t included this one already, though I have referenced them a couple times. I actually know the story behind the name, which grew out of drinking in bars where there was no energy or excitement, nothing going on but drinking and thinking. If these guys are playing, the venue is automatically not a dead bar anymore.

Pouch

(July 2, 2011) I’ve been hearing about these guys and liked the name from the start. Pouch is one of those words that’s fun and funny to say. I hope to see more bands named for hand luggage.

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.

Tyrannosaurus Grace

(August 11, 2012) This is one of those names that just sounds right. I don’t know what it is — some kind of Wesleyan dinosaur, I guess — but I like it.

Youth Rescue Mission

(February 25, 2012) Sing it with me: “My life was saved by rock and roll.”

Your Mother Should Know was already on indefinite hiatus before the lockdown but I hope we will be able to do some kind of livestream later in the summer. The next best thing is a solo outing (inning?) by my brother and bandmate Neal Kosaly-Meyer at 8 pm tonight on Facebook Live. He will play a short set of Your Mother Should Know originals and a few covers. I’ll be watching and probably singing along. Please join me!

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 six 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 6, 2020

Square PigNaming 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!

SQUARE PIG IN A ROUND HOLE PANDEMIC EDITION #12

Special protest-themed post! We were expecting civil unrest to kick off around August, but apparently Junuary is here and the time is right for marching in the streets. This pandemic has made plain even to the privileged (like me) some deep-rooted inequities, biased and brutal policing being one of many legitimate grievances in communities of color. If you are able, please carry a sign, donate to justice organizations (see below for a humble suggestion), amplify unheard voices, and since there won’t be live music for a while yet, perhaps buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

And I Am the Riot

(July 28, 2012) I wonder what came before the conjunction — “You are the . . .” I like that it’s not a riot, but the riot.

Down with People

(December 31, 2011) This could be an anti-people protest slogan or a statement of support: “I’m totally down with them.” I like the ambiguity.

Molotov Colostomy

(June 22, 2013) Well, that took a surprising turn! Grossest protest ever.

Not a Part of It

(August 29, 2015) This could be an alibi: “It wasn’t me. I don’t even wear makeup.” But I like it better as an expression of wholehearted, all-or-nothing-at-all engagement.

Riot at the Dojo

(March 3, 2018) Over-the-top fight scene. Everyone bows at the end. (The resident young person was hoping for an exclamation point after Riot.” You can’t always get what you want.)

Shout+eBook+Cover+12_15_19.jpg?format=750wA small way to help and get something good to read at the same time: for every copy of Shout: an Anthology of Resistance Poetry and Short Fiction purchased, Not A Pipe Publishing makes a donation to Black Lives Matter and 3 other worthy justice organizations. (I recommend doing even more good by ordering from your favorite independent bookshop.) Full disclosure: I have a story in this book but I would make this recommendation even if I didn’t because the other stories are that good!

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 six 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 30, 2020

Square PigNaming 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!

SQUARE PIG IN A ROUND HOLE PANDEMIC EDITION #11

Even if every bar is still a dead bar and there’s still no live music, we can enjoy a morning thunderstorm. BOOM! (If you need a live music fix, KEXP is posting sessions daily. They recently premiered this session with Square Pig faves Dead Bars.) If you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Power Skeleton

(October 19, 2013) I have it on good authority that October is Skeleton Awareness Month. I have a sore hip, so I’m quite aware of my own personal skeleton. When I eventually have my hips and/or knees replaced, I want them to put in a sound chip to make noise like a servo motor.

Shelter in Place

(November 9, 2019) This emergency directive is probably more pleasant to enact when the place in question is a bar, especially when the bar is called The Funhouse! [When I wrote this less than a year ago, I never dreamed it would become poignant.]

Sh*t Ghost

(July 17, 2016) Gross and funny and they have the most adorably disgusting logo.

Sidewalks and Skeletons

(June 22, 2019) More like trick-or-treat than end-of-school. Then again, no matter the time of year, everyone on the sidewalk has inside them a spooky, scary skeleton. (Happy coincidence: S and S is from Bradford, UK, the birthplace of my spouse’s grandfather.)

Skeletonwitch

(May 19, 2018) In case my new book [Daughter of Magic, released May 2018] does well enough to warrant them, I’m already planning sequels. One is likely to include as antagonist a skeletal hag called Old Mother Bones. This is her house band. [Book 2 Wizard Girl released in July, 2019. Book 3 Death’s Midwife was submitted to Not A Pipe Publishing this month and does, in fact, include an antagonist called Old Mother Bones.]

 

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 six 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 23, 2020

Square PigNaming 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!

SQUARE PIG IN A ROUND HOLE PANDEMIC EDITION #10

Call me naive, but when this all started, I did not foresee doing 10 of these retrospectives. Now it looks like it will be many, many more. I have plenty of material, but I am in mourning for live music and group singing. That calls for another pet-themed post.  If you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Cat Valley

(March 9, 2019) A writer’s paradise. Come for the fur, stay for the purr.

Dead Cat Hat

(March 22, 2014) This is awful and funny at the same time, with an obvious but irresistible rhyme. Not the cat in the hat; the cat is the hat.

Kitten Forever

(September 7, 2019) I have old cats, so I find this touching. Although kittens grow into cats in no time, they don’t outgrow their kitteniness. Even ancient cats don’t show their age until they’re ready to lay down that ninth life.

Secret Cat

(January 9, 2016) I’m picturing a cat going undercover in a dog household to steal the plans for a canine takeover of the world, blowing that plot wide open and then taking a nap. (And hey, they’re on a bill with Square Pig faves Power Skeleton!)

Sit Kitty Sit

(April 9, 2016) Like that’ll get you anywhere. Cats take orders from no one. (Cat sits. Gives a look that says, “I was going to do that, anyway. Nothing to do with you.”)

 

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

Review: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Don't Ask Don't TellDon’t Ask, Don’t Tell by Claudine Griggs (Not A Pipe Publishing 2020)

This astounding LGBTQ crime thriller is available now.

Josie Waller, a San Francisco cop, and Emmanuel Cerrillo, a Pomona, California, detective suspect two bizarre suicides are actually murders, and the victims—a teetotaling Baptist preacher who died of a heroin overdose and a school board member who injected herself with cobra venom—are connected by their vitriolic homophobia. The officers launch an unofficial investigation and find more than expected.

Robert Davenport, an overly intellectual gay English professor at an Ivy League university with subliminal dreams of being an action hero, responds to a personal ad that delivers him to a recruiter for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” In theory, the group wants Davenport to write a literary manifesto, but just how far is he willing to go, and will the officers find him before it’s too late?

My review: What if victims of prejudice and discrimination—sometimes violent, sometimes insidious, always maddening—took up arms and fought back? What if they were backed by a well-funded organization? That’s what happens in this all too believable thriller. Set in the near past, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell covers about 18 months in the lives of a wide variety of characters (cops, academics, scientists, activists) as a secret organization recruits LGBT activists who want to fight for justice … including murder of homophobes with platforms and ambition for power.

Robert Davenport, a closeted Ivy League English professor, has been waiting too long for tenure when he spies an ad for an LGBT organization interested in justice activists. Vetted and recruited by Tanish Padgett, who is settling scores for childhood trauma, he finds himself in deep with Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, an organization ready to go public with violence on homophobes. Meanwhile, on the other coast, Detective Manny Cerrillo and Officer Josie Waller are putting the pieces together on a couple of suspicious suicides that are linked to DADT. As they race to identify the mysterious Gulf Stream who seems to be pulling the strings, DADT is preparing for a big “Pearl Harbor” event. Even with the feds involved, will they be able to prevent catastrophe?

This book is tense and exciting, as a thriller must be, but what makes it is the characters. They are all complex, interesting, and exasperatingly human. Friendship is as big a theme as murder. Partnership is the saving graces for so many of these people. Even the bad guys are at least understandable, even sympathetic. Though he’s all in with the terrorists, Davenport seems like he should be the hero, especially in a late twist. Cerrillo and Waller make a great team, though they are thrown together almost by chance. The ending presents a societal mess not unlike our present day, with things left open for at least a sequel, if not a series. The cops and Padgett all have unfinished business.

I received an advance review copy of this book from the publisher.

Order your copy from your local independent bookstore. Use IndieBound.org to find it.

Also available on Barnes & Noble HERE.

Also available on Amazon HERE.

Available on Kindle HERE.

 

 

Square Pig in a Round Hole-May 16, 2020

Square PigNaming 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!

SQUARE PIG IN A ROUND HOLE PANDEMIC EDITION #9

If it helps, you can consider these retrospective posts to be “double curated.” I originally mined these gems from the nightlife listings on the dates indicated, then returned to nine-plus years of blog posts to select entries that seem to speak to the current weirdness. I do the work so you don’t have to.  If you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Dead Man Winter

(March 18, 2017) A seasonal character who has overstayed his welcome; always old, nearly expired.

Death by Steamship

(January 29, 2011) This is not the way I want to go! It conjures two wildly different pictures: an absurdly elaborate execution; or a chance meeting in a dark alley that doesn’t end well . . .

The Femurs

(January 29, 2011) The bone name is too clinical to be really macabre, and it rhymes with “lemur”. But it doesn’t turn truly comic until you add the definite article. (As a band name, it doesn’t hurt to have the same vowel, syllable, and accent pattern as the Beatles).

Good Bones

(December 16, 2018) Well done, skeleton. What would I do without you?

Mystery Skulls

(October 28, 2017) This one’s a little Halloween-y. Inside every person you’ve ever loved is a spooky, scary skeleton. The skull isn’t even buried that deep.

 

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

Review: Shadow Queene

Shadow QueeneShadow Queene by Kate Ristau (Not A Pipe Publishing 2020)

While Áine returns to the light, Hennessey falls into shadow. Just when her dreams are about to come true, Hennessey’s world is torn apart. She is dragged into the Shadowlands, while Áine is forced into the light. But in a world of magic and darkness, where the fae wither and monsters reign, Hennessey finds a power all her own. She embraces the shadows and enters the endless night.

I have been eagerly awaiting this sequel since I read Shadow Girl in 2018, and it does not disappoint. Picking up where Shadow Girl left off with Aine, her old friend Ciaran, her sister Keva, and her new human friend/love interest Hennessy trying to cross from the dangers of the human world to relative safety in the Aetherlands. But it can’t be that easy. Shadows drag Hennessy to the Hetherlands (fairy hell) while the Eta (magical light particles) shove Aine through to the Aetherlands and destroy the crossing. Both girls spend the book surviving, learning, fighting, all with the goal of finding each other again.

I loved Hennessy in Shadow Girl, so I was excited to see her get her own story arc. This spitfire of an Irish teenager had been raised on fairy stories and wanted them to be real, but not like this: bones and monsters and darkness. But those stories and other memories of her Nana help her pay attention and make choices that increase her chances of survival. Those, plus a mysterious spear and an ugly dragon puppy named Rego. Meanwhile, Aine returns to a home that is out of balance and she may be contributing to the problem. She makes a drastic choice that sets her on an unknown path to restore balance and find Hennessy again.

Like Shadow Girl, this book ended before I was ready. The way things were left, this must be the middle act with a rousing conclusion still to come. Looking forward to it!