Square Pig in a Round Hole-March 28, 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 #2

How’s everybody holding up? I am lucky that I can do most of my day job from home, as can the other employed people in the household, though it has been an adjustment. Sanity walks and comfort food seem to help. It’s inspiring to see how artists and arts organizations have found ways to keep sharing music. Check out The Quarantine Sessions if you haven’t already.

With every bar still a dead bar and every show cancelled, I’m once again digging into the vault to bring you a pandemic-themed retrospective. The names are still great even if the bands aren’t playing. If you are able, please buy their music and merch. And come back next week for more band names.

The Ill-Legitimates

(December 13, 2014) Whether or not they are bastards, these guys are sick in the best sense of the word. (Bonus: back in 2014, I was unable to dig up any online presence. Now I can finally let them know!)

Invisible Hand

(April 23, 2016) Why, exactly, do we want what sounds like a creepy phantom running our markets? How is that a good idea? Great name for a band, though.

Iron Lung

IronLung-ScurvyBastards 1(August 1, 2015) Walking along Lake City Way yesterday, I found a discarded 7″ lying by the side of road. I was almost home and it was so hot out, I almost didn’t pick it up. But how often do you find an unbroken (not undamaged) vinyl record just lying there?  I picked it up. It still plays well enough for us to determine that both bands — Iron Lung and Scurvy Bastards — have names perfectly suited to their genres. For that, both receive honorable mention in this week’s blog.

It Gets Worse

(December 27, 2014) A simple and obvious play on the It Gets Better campaign, but so punk and so often true.

Lungs and Limbs

(June 25, 2016) Another favorite category shines a spotlight on an isolated body part. Here we have a variation on that theme, pairing up two very different but necessary parts that happen to alliterate.

 

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 five issues and subscribe here for future issues. Issue #6 coming in April! (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-March 21, 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 #1

For the first time in 9.3 years of this weekly blog, there were no nightlife listings. With every bar a dead bar and every show cancelled, I’m digging into the vault to bring you a pandemic-themed retrospective. The names are still great even if the bands aren’t playing. If you are able, please buy their music and merch. And come back next week for more band names.

Catapult the DEAD

(July 11, 2015) Well, that’s one way to get rid of an inconvenient body.

The Dancing Plague of 1518

(June 25, 2016) A very specific and very weird historical reference — dancing and plague are not usually found in the same phrase. As a band name it’s long enough to approach awkwardness, which is one of my favorite categories.

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.

Dead by Wednesday

(June 8, 2019) RIP Pugsley Addams. She finally succeeded.

Fragile Lung

(May 14, 2016) This is the exception to the [literary] theme, unless medical texts count as literature. There’s a nice irony here in that their music is all about masterful singing, which relies on strong lungs.

 

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 five 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-March 14, 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 club listings for abundant source material!

Pi Day in interesting times–a good excuse for comfort food. There were lots of shows in the coming week’s nightlife listings, but I would advise calling ahead to make sure your event is still on. If it isn’t, please consider buying the bands’ music and merch if available online. They will appreciate your support. Even if they don’t get to play, these bands have fabulous names:

Bad Honey

Must be a pet name for a misbehaving significant other, because actual honey rarely goes bad.

Boy Named Banjo

Anyone who played Oregon Trail knows how important the banjo was for morale. Totally deserving of its own name.

Everything Sux

You think so, and then you look up and everything is in bloom. We’ll get through this.

Uncanny Dandelion

The internal rhyme is an unexpected delight, as is the idea that something so common could also be weird.

Zorched Realm

Gives off a cracked Sci Fi/Fantasy vibe, like something from Spaceman Spiff.

Shameless self-promotion: With heavy hearts and abundance of caution, my fellow authors and I announce that the March 21 event at The Neverending Bookshop for  SHOUT: An Anthology of Resistance Poetry and Short Fiction is being rescheduled for summer. Please support independent bookstores by ordering a copy of this exciting collection. Twenty-five writers on the theme of resisting fascism/authoritarianism/nationalism. My story “Emma’s Knives” uses recipes as vehicles for coded messages of encouragement and instruction from grandmother to granddaughter in oppressed circumstances. Read my advance review 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 five issues and subscribe here for future issues.  (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Review: Back to Green

Back to GreenBack to Green: Part 3 of the Going Green Trilogy by Heather S. Ransom (Not A Pipe Publishing, 2020)

Available now!

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

Order online from Oregon Books and Games HERE.

Order from Barnes & Noble HERE.

Order from Amazon HERE.

Back to Green wraps up Ransom’s Going Green trilogy with an exciting and satisfying story that keeps a few surprises until the end. (If you haven’t read Going Green and Greener yet, what are you waiting for? This one could be read on its own but will make much more sense with that background.)

Calyssa Brentwood used to be a spoiled rich girl. At 18, she underwent the Green enhancement procedure that would allow her to photosynthesize and be part of high-class Green society. As the process was taking effect, she fell hard for non-Green Gabe Stayton and learned about the anti-Green, anti-GMO rebellion taking place just outside SciCity. Then she and Gabe both suffered terrible losses for which they blamed each other, ending their romance. But when their home was destroyed in a flood, Calyssa and her father sought refuge with the Staytons on their farm. Back to Green opens in that awkward position, with Calyssa and Gabe on speaking terms but not much else.

Calyssa’s father has contracted the deadly PKPH virus and is returning to AGHA (his research institute) to begin an experimental treatment. He wants Lyssa with him. In packing to leave, Lyssa and Gabe discover a journal from over a century before, when plants were dying from the PK virus and the Green enhancement was being developed as a way to save lives and resources. The friendship warms over this shared interest. But her return to AGHA puts her back in the orbit of charismatic Maddax Steele … and Eve Huxley, the mother who doesn’t remember her but is obsessed with her DNA for a project to create superior humans.

Calyssa is often scared to the point of hysteria, but who wouldn’t be, living in the same building as a driven psychopath who has lost all empathy? She doesn’t know who she can trust and almost drives friends and family away. But she finds her courage when she needs it, risking everything for a friend.

I appreciated how Calyssa and Gabe didn’t just get back together, forgive and forget, no hard feelings. The relationship they rebuild is earned. The book ends on an upbeat note, full of surprises, including one that leaves the door open for more stories.

After losing her sister and almost losing her father, Calyssa Brentwood is finally returning to a somewhat “normal” life … until the PKPH virus mutates and attacks, and she once again finds herself scrambling. When her maniacal mother who had been presumed dead resurfaces for a second time, there’s far more danger than Lyssa has ever known. But now, when it matters most, she must decide who she should trust and what is truly worth fighting for.

“Riveting, intense, and thought-provoking. Back to Green masterfully weaves the action and tragedy of unregulated science and politics with hope for a better future.”

Mikko Azul, author of The Staff of Fire and Bone

“This series grows with every installment, and Back to Green is a perfect conclusion. Nothing short of a triumph!”

Benjamin Gorman, author of Corporate High School

 

Square Pig in a Round Hole-March 8, 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 club listings for abundant source material!

This post is a day late due to family responsibilities, which has given me more time to consider the twice-yearly time-travel game we play. If we’re going to continue switching the clocks, we ought to come up with rituals for the observance of Time Change Eve and Time Change Day, even if only to raise a toast at sunset, spring ahead, and go to bed. And the first Monday of Daylight Saving Time should be a federal holiday. If the time change doesn’t bother you, though, there are lots of shows scheduled (but in this time of virus outbreaks, best to check that anything is still on before you head out). These band names stood out:

Boogie Boulevard

The party’s happening at the intersection with Electric Avenue, in Funkytown.

The Moonmen

Gidney and Cloyd?! Watch out for the scrootch gun.

Projections on a Wall

High-tech Plato’s cave: is that a real band up there, or is it a music video?

Worse in Person

A fine example of northwest loser pride, perfected with a rhyme that isn’t obvious until spoken aloud.

Year of the Fist

This is the year to kick the resistance into high gear, defiant fists raised high.

Shameless self-promotion: On Saturday, March 21, 2 pm at The Neverending Bookshop, I will join with other local authors to read from and sign SHOUT: An Anthology of Resistance Poetry and Short Fiction, the latest release from Not A Pipe Publishing. Twenty-five writers on the theme of resisting fascism/authoritarianism/nationalism. My story “Emma’s Knives” uses recipes as vehicles for coded messages of encouragement and instruction from grandmother to granddaughter in oppressed circumstances. Read my advance review 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 five 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-February 29, 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 club listings for abundant source material!

A first! To date, this is the only Leap Day edition of Square Pig in a Round Hole. Several newspaper comics implied that February 29 is not a real day, which makes it the perfect day to either do nothin’ or else try something new. Whichever you choose, these band names are 100% real and all winners:

FRED

When I was a teenager (a startlingly large number of years ago), there was a Seattle punk band called Fred. I missed out on hearing them live but heard thrilling tales. This is not their triumphant return, but I’m pleased someone else thought Mr. Rogers’ first name was fitting for a music project.

Half Rushmore

Nothing but presidential chins.

New World Aviation Committee

I have a soft spot for names that are too long, especially when they sound official but don’t quite make literal sense.

Outhouse Confessional

A one-holer and a confessional booth are of similar size. Go in, shut the door, consider your human-animal nature.

Trebled Assets

When you check your collection of soprano instruments and there are three times more than you remembered.

 

Shameless self-promotion: Add this to your calendar now: On Saturday, March 21, 2 pm at The Neverending Bookshop, I will join with other local authors to read from and sign SHOUT: An Anthology of Resistance Poetry and Short Fiction, the latest release from Not A Pipe Publishing. Twenty-five writers on the theme of resisting fascism/authoritarianism/nationalism. My story “Emma’s Knives” uses recipes as vehicles for coded messages of encouragement and instruction from grandmother to granddaughter in oppressed circumstances. Read my advance review 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 five 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-February 22, 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 club listings for abundant source material!

I Go PogoIf election years make you anxious, I’m right there with you. Turn up the music and yell if it helps, and remember to vote. Personally, I Go Pogo, but since he’s not running this year, I’ll have to choose the next best candidate. Lots easier to choose these great band names:

Absynthe of Faith

Anyone who can nest puns within puns gets my vote. Worship the green fairy of electronica.

Batbox

Echolocation by means of high-pitched rhythmic mouthsounds.

Hippie Fight

It’s all groovy peace & love till they start a mosh pit.

Old Lady Litterbug

Besides how it describes an eccentric character, what I like about this one is the a-litter-ation. Sorry, I’ll see myself out.

Prodigal Sunburn

Returning home because he ran out of SPF 50 and no one would share.

 

Shameless self-promotion: Add this to your calendar now: On Saturday, March 21, 2 pm at The Neverending Bookshop, I will join with other local authors to read from and sign SHOUT: An Anthology of Resistance Poetry and Short Fiction. Twenty-five writers on the theme of resisting fascism/authoritarianism/nationalism. My story “Emma’s Knives” uses recipes as vehicles for coded messages of encouragement and instruction from grandmother to granddaughter in oppressed circumstances. Read my advance review 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 five issues and subscribe here for future issues.  (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)