Square Pig in a Round Hole-September 3, 2016

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’ve regularly paired up band names that I thought should be on the same bill. Occasionally, I’ll choose more than one from the same show. And now, for the first time in almost six years of writing this blog — ta da! — the whole list comes from one gig. (And they’re from out of town, so let’s give them a real Seattle welcome; bring on the rain!) I’m straying from my usual path of an alphabetical listing to get a better narrative flow.

Stick to Your Guns

Stray from the Path

Run Them Through

Expire

Knocked Loose

Four imperatives and a result. On initial reading, the first two seem to conflict, but perhaps they have an internal logic where sticking to your guns requires leaving the beaten path. Step 3 makes sense if we’re going to win this battle; step 4 gives us pause but may be the most important of all. The enemy, utterly bamboozled, is knocked loose.

 

 

Square Pig in a Round Hole-August 27, 2016

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 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!

My book launch and concert last Wednesday confirmed what I have long suspected: I prefer shows (especially weeknight shows) that end at 9 p.m. rather than begin then. Sigh. I’m old. Although I get out only rarely, I will keep celebrating band names as long as people keep naming bands. This week I had to cull a longer list to reap these goodies:

Among Authors

An obvious pick for me, an author-musician, especially three days after my book launch party. Being among authors is not as intimidating as you might think. Mostly, we’re just folks. We will ask you to post a review.

Neat

Not the first adjective that comes to mind when describing rock musicians. It’s even better when you know they’re on a bill with past honoree Quiet.

PEARS

Like sex or a good punk rock show, the best pears explode on consumption and leave you sticky but satisfied.

Uh Huh Baby Yeah

Positive nonsense! Lyrics often make good band names, but backing vocals make great band names.

Vicious Petals

Usually it’s the thorns you have to watch out for. The petals might smell sweet, but hold onto your nose!

(Oh, you want to know what is this book I refer to launching? It’s a garage-rock fairy tale called THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST RAGE. Learn more here.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-August 20, 2016

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 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!

As usua14054183_1354569261239712_4324214653806303752_nl there were many engaging band names in the newspaper and I managed to pick five. The one show I know I’m going to (because I’m in it) was not in the club listings, but rather in the Books section. On Wednesday, August 24, I will read from my novel THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST RAGE and perform acoustic arrangements of songs from the book with Your Mother Should Know, Seattle’s only St. Rage cover band. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Common Good Cafe at University Temple United Methodist Church. But enough shameless self-promotion! What about those five band names?

Acoustic Exile

If you’re playing acoustic punk rock, I imagine you might feel like an exile from both communities. Which is as punk as it gets. (And wow, I feel right at home with this, having played in an acoustic living-room band in the past and getting ready to play acoustic arrangements of garage-rock songs in a few days. It’s a very friendly exile.)

Champagne Honeybee

Classy and sweet with a sting. Or an upscale paint color AKA “yellow.”

Everybody Panic

What comes after the failure of Plan Z.

In God We Rust

Hard to remember during our brief, glorious summer, but the joke about Seattleites is we don’t tan, we rust. Our God rains.

Surf Monk

I picked this one because I like how it sounds like surf punk while evoking an image of a Fransican friar hanging ten. The reality is even better: “A Surf band that plays the music of Thelonious Monk, as well as referencing some iconic bass lines that “mash-up” with Monk’s famously obtuse melodies.”

 

Square Pig in a Round Hole-August 13, 2016

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 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!

To everyone who was wondering when summer would come: here it is. I don’t want to hear anyone complaining about the heat. If you’re sweaty, find a bar, grab a cold one, start a mosh pit and all be sweaty together. If you’re not sure who to see, choosing by band name is a time-honored method. A few suggestions:

Karate in the Garage

I like this from a sound perspective: the two nouns have all the same vowels and most of the same vowel sounds, lending this a nice, flowing assonance. But there’s more! In the YA novel The Gospel According to St. Rage (by Karen Eisenbrey – who’s that?) the titular teenage garage band ends up practicing under the auspices of an after-school chamber music club. Bandleader Barbara quips, “A garage is a chamber.” Apparently it is also a dojo.

People under the Stairs

This could be a horror situation, but I read it as a comment on affordable housing. How much could you get a month for the closet under the stairs?

The Sharp Teeth

I enjoy band names that are body part, with or without an adjective. I like this one because teeth (sharp or not) absent a predator are not much of a threat unless you step on them. But put them in a working jaw, and watch out! (When my brother asked me earlier in the week if I’d ever blogged about The Sharp Teeth, I didn’t know I would come up one short because one of my picks was a past honoree. Glad to have a sub ready to enter the game on short notice!)

Space Shark

This one gives off a great sci-fi cartoon vibe, and also goes well with The Sharp Teeth. You’re safe until the helmet comes off.

St. Terrible

Is this a St. Rage tribute band?! Yeah, probably not. Maybe they should book a show together, though. I like the pairing of the holy and the destructive.

Square Pig in a Round Hole-August 6, 2016

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 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!

It’s weird how we’re having June in August this year. Those tomatoes will never ripen at this rate. However, I imagine cooler days mean the clubs are less swampy. Get out and catch a good band before we have another heat wave! Here are some names that popped out at me this week:

Muscle and Marrow

Sounds like an unapologetically carnocentric restaurant. It’s fitting that this starkly physical name has such a solid poetic structure: a pair of alliterating trochees connected tendon-like by a conjunction.

The National Parks

I’m happy to celebrate our national parks, especially in this, the centennial year of the National Park Service. Fitting that this is a touring band — road trip!

Old Man Wizard

I’m also a fantasy writer, so always on the lookout for wizard references in the club listings. This one shines an impertinent spotlight on the high-fantasy trope of the silver-bearded sorcerer (you wouldn’t deprive an old man of his walking stick, would you?). For my part, I’m currently writing about a young girl wizard, just to begin evening things up.

Pop. 1280

I see small-town population signs as a game of can-you-top-this. For the record, this doesn’t seem that small to me. My town‘s sign was Pop. 90.

The Vile Augury

I have a fondness for exact words of disgust such as vile and loathsome, especially when combined with a $10 word like augury. This sounds like some rare, monstrous bird illustrated by Edward Gorey.

Square Pig in a Round Hole-July 30, 2016

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 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!

On this, my 53rd birthday, Facebook tells me I have 4 events; 3 of them are rock shows including a couple featuring former Square Pig picks Skies Below, Ancient Warlocks, Bad Tats, and Terman Shanks, but I’m actually going to the one that isn’t a rock show because I can walk there, it’s not as late, it’s in the woods, and it’s going to be great.

I’m also sharing the gift of band names:

Don’t Move

Dance Ordinance Enforcement Committee! (Seattle has a history of various oppressive dance ordinances, which I’ve always thought explains why at many shows, everybody stands facing the stage and doesn’t move except maybe in the mosh pit, where there’s always this one huge guy.) I listened to one of this jazz group’s tracks; I dare you to not move.

The Gloomies

This transformation of a morose adjective into a plural noun gives it an ironically upbeat, sunny feel.

Out of Order

The placement in the listings leads me to believe they headlined, but perhaps it was an editorial instruction and they were supposed to be the opening act.

Pine Box Drive

To those not paying attention, this sounds like a pleasant tree-lined suburban street . . . until they arrive at the old haunted cemetery. And it’s their funeral.

Ragtag Romantics

Alliteration and a favorite adjective, making the case that romance doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Hearts can be full even when pockets are empty.

 

 

Square Pig in a Round Hole-July 23, 2016

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 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 just had a whole week off and didn’t get to any shows! We got in a good band practice, though (see below for details), and I’m not taking a break from blogging because band names never rest.

Harrison Fjord

When you can make a pun with the addition of a single letter, do it. This appeals to my Scandinavian side as well as to the action-movie fan. I also recommend clicking the link to behold their hilarious ABC of genres.

Munkicrank

I originally chose this one based on a misspelling in the Times, but the correct spelling is just as appealing. This is a particularly badass windup monkey snare drummer.

TheMenstruators

Readers who were here last week might recall the list of fictional bands that came out of my virtual book launch party, including Andie Berryman‘s Nu metal band My Menstrus. I can say the same things about this real riot grrl band: I admire the frankness. The dudes are all squirming. Good.

Quiet

It’s opposite day at the dive bar.

Sleeping Lessons

Cats and babies are always showing us how it’s done.

 

Upcoming Event: Your Mother Should Know plays St. Rage

Book Launch & Concert for THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST RAGE

Wednesday, August 24 7:30 p.m.

Common Good Cafe, 1415 NE 43rd St, Seattle

This event will include readings, Q&A, and acoustic arrangements of some of the songs from the book, performed live by Your Mother Should Know. The book released on July 14, so get your copy and bring it to the event for signing. There will also be a limited number of copies available that night; proceeds from books sold at the event will be donated to the University Temple Thrift Store.
Universal link: getbook.at/gospel

St Rage Cover“Meet Barbara Bernsen, Former Invisible Girl.

Barbara isn’t your typical high school junior. She’s been invisible since the third grade. But when a magic hat brings her back into the light, Barbara is ready to take on the world. First priority? Start an all-girl garage band. Miraculous super powers were never in her plan, but sometimes you get what you need. Bullies and school shooters don’t stand a chance.

Yes, we all love Wonder Woman, Black Widow, and Jessica Jones, but Barbara is the hero her high school deserves.

Truth. Justice. Rock & Roll.”

Facebook event

Square Pig in a Round Hole-July 17, 2016

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 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!

The list is shorter by one than usual, reasons being 1) I picked 6 but had already done 2 of them before; 2) I’m a day late as it is due to a fun weekend wine tasting trip; 3) there’s a long bonus list of fictional band names “below the fold.” These are the real ones:

Abandoned by Bears

The phrase “. . . by bears” is more commonly preceded by “eaten” or maybe “raised.” This kid is so annoying, when he gets lost in the woods, even the bears leave him alone.

Angsty Teens Seeking Money for Pizza

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.)

Cozy Slippers

Contrast! This is about as far as you can get from going out late at night to stand in the pit and hear a loud band.

Sh*t Ghost

Gross and funny and they have the most adorably disgusting logo.

***THE FOLD***

The following band names are fictional. To celebrate the launch of my debut novel, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. RAGE, I had a virtual launch party that included a drawing for prizes. To enter, guests were asked to submit one made-up band name, which would be featured in Square Pig.

Dragonfly Mind

This one gives me a groovy peace & love psychedelic vibe. (Submitted by Sherri Hoseini.)

Fleeble Flibes

A brief work of nonsense poetry that manages to evoke one of my own fictional bands, The Greebles. “Lawn dart core from the Heartland.” (Submitted by Tobias Cron of Square Pig fave Power Skeleton, Fleeble Flibes won 3rd prize, a free download of the St. Rage EP and inclusion in the sequel to GASR.)

Maggie’s Maidens

Just guessing, but this sounds like an all-girl Celt-Punk outfit. (Submitted by my aunt, Sherrey Meyer.)

My Menstrus

Nu metal.” I admire the frankness (and the pretentiousness).  The dudes are all squirming. Good. (Submitted by poet Andie Berryman, who also came up with My Bloody Vagina (emo) and  My Bloodied Tampon (Goth). “All three will have a revival tour every bloody month.”)

Poltergeese

This one came in after the contest closed, but I liked it enough to award it honorable mention. Spirit poultry flapping and honking whenever you go into that room. (Submitted by Steven Eric Scribner.)

Recorded Recollection

This is a terrific intersection of music and law. “Invites nostalgic fans to recollect Recorded Recollection records AND under FRE 803(5) is an exception to the general rule against admissibility of hearsay statements in federal court proceedings.” (Submitted by Jennifer Chung, who is studying for the bar exam.)

Sanctified Jubilee Shitheads, The

Another late entry, this punk gospel choir has them slamming in the pews. (Submitted by my spouse Keith Eisenbrey, so it would have been disqualified from the prize drawing, anyway.)

Sour Orange Pie

This is apparently an actual recipe (which sounds delicious). Elegantly psychedelic, this one took second prize, a free ebook, free EP download, and inclusion in the sequel. I let the submitter pick the genre, with which I completely agree: jazz-fusion/avant garde a la Sun-Ra. (Submitted by Suzanne Winter.)

Special Guests

Think of how many gigs they’ve already lined up w/o even knowing it!” Touring with TBA. (Submitted by Nan Hussey, one of my invaluable beta readers.)

Terrier Fetch

For dog lovers. “This is the game our Border Terrier plays instead of the more usual fetch, which involves the return of the thrown object. Terriers do not return the object. Period.” So terriers are punks. This one took first prize, a signed paperback, EP download, and inclusion in the sequel. (Submitted by Audrey Bennett, a fellow writer who claims she never wins anything, so I’m happy to break that streak. And she’s a high school teacher, so she knows my target readership!)

The Three Bad Habits

“Band members dress in nun costumes.” This would be hilariously unwieldy and hot. The other meaning is even more ridiculous, because what band has only three bad habits? (Submitted by Amy McKendry, longtime member of my writing support group.)

 

Square Pig in a Round Hole-July 9, 2016

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 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 just got my first smart phone, which has ironically overwhelmed every last brain cell. Let’s see what the band names can do to bring them back online!

Dragged into Sunlight

This describes the millions of people who just downloaded Pokemon Go, which forces them to go outside. Thanks, Nintendo! (Maybe it also describes me and my new smart phone, which I’m sure will be better in a lot of ways but it isn’t yet.)

Ghost Bath

I like a two-word name that can be taken more than one way. Is this a happy ghost taking a relaxing soak? The chill you feel when you accidentally walk through a spirit? Or some villain who bathes in the souls of his/her enemies? Spooky.

Medium Weekend

Not amazing, not terrible. We all need those quiet weekends sometimes. This also resonates with me because the protagonist of my debut novel THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST RAGE describes herself as a “medium-size white girl with medium-length medium-brown hair.” Pankhearst’s original announcement said “This book will be very medium-sized.” And this is the last weekend before it releases.

Sonic Medicine

Sometimes sound is just what the doctor ordered. Exhausted by my new phone, I went to a wonderful new music show last night, Swarm + Stew, which was very therapeutic. (Also, many years ago, my kids and I did onstage at EMP as Sonic Vomit; perhaps this is the antidote.)

The World/Inferno Friendship Society

I have an enduring soft spot for band names that are just that little bit too long. I would have picked this one even if it were only the part after the slash: Dante’s unexpected discovery of cooperation and camaraderie in Hell. The addition of the whole world to this club makes me wonder how much it would take to pull in Purgatory and Paradise, too. Maybe we can all get along.

 

Square Pig in a Round Hole-July 2, 2016

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 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!

 

July is here! Always a favorite month, and this year more than ever. My debut novel, The Gospel According to St Rage, will be released in 12 days; I have a vacation right after that; my birthday’s at the end of the month; and here at the beginning, July 4 falls on a Monday and gives us a 3-day weekend. Everybody drive carefully, be excellent to each other, don’t blow off a limb, and don’t black out. Meanwhile, I’m celebrating these band names:

The Bubbleatör’s

Local flavor! Those of us of a certain age will wax nostalgic at any mention of the Bubbleator, like the Space Needle an homage to the past’s future. I was happy to learn the original had been repurposed as a greenhouse and a recording studio, and perhaps even happier to find it in a band name. The umlaut and the apostrophe add to the appeal: there’s still only one Bubbleator, it’s a metalhead, and it possesses . . . something.

Extra Spooky

One of the resident young people once explained to me the difference between scary and spooky, in terms of skeletons. A real skeleton on the ground is scary, a reminder of death and danger. An animated skeleton is spooky: macabre but silly. So a dancing skeleton would be extra spooky.

Moondreamzzz

Found this one on the same bill with Extra Spooky. It starts out lovely and poetic, then turns a bit silly as it dozes off. Three is the exact right numbers of z’s.

Queen Anne’s Revenge

The pirate association makes this a popular band name — I found three without hardly trying. It’s more fitting for a Seattle band, though, because you can also reference the neighborhood. Watch out, South Lake Union.

With the End in Mind

As a novelist, I rarely know the ending of the book before I start writing, but discover it as I go, sometimes not until I’m there. The Gospel According to St Rage is the rare example where I knew where I was going and just had to figure out how to get there. It’s the tenth written but the first to be published. Maybe that should tell me something. Or not.