Square Pig in a Round Hole-September 19, 2020

Naming a band is an act of concentrated creative expression. Square Pig in a Round Hole exists to reward five favorite band names each week. Winners are (usually) listed alphabetically.
Selection is wholly unscientific and subject to whim, with a bias toward wordplay, humor, and local flavor. In most cases, I won’t know anything about the bands at the time of selection. Thanks to the Seattle Times nightlife listings for abundant source material!
(Until live music returns, I am curating retrospective posts from past material. Dates indicate when the band was originally featured.)

SQUARE PIG IN A ROUND HOLE PANDEMIC EDITION #27

Rain fell, smoke cleared, and spirits lifted, only to be dashed by news of grief and dread because 2020 isn’t done with us yet. Rest in power, Justice Ginsburg. I went out in the rain this morning to pick blackberries and breathe clean air, a small joy and comfort. Everybody, wash your hands, wear your mask, and plan to vote like your life depends on it. And if you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Blackberry Smoke

(February 9, 2019) Not a local band, but this seems like a cocktail or barbecue sauce one might find at our neighborhood smoked meat emporium, local flavor procured from the local bramble.

Blood, Fire and Rainwater

(March 9, 2019) A heady cocktail that shouldn’t mix but does.

Jar of Rain

(March 16, 2013) Putting rain into any kind of small container is the kind of idealistic and hopeless project I can get behind.

The Rain Within

(November 14, 2015) These dark days will get to you if you let them. But perhaps the mind’s winter drizzle is watering creative seeds that will bloom in the spring.

Smoke Season

(September 9, 2017) Eerily topical after the week we’ve had. Please tell me it’s almost over.

 

One last thing before you go: I share highlights from this blog in my quarterly author newsletter, The Storypunk Report, as well as news of what I’m writing and reading, upcoming events, and other goodies, including “Wizard in the Mosh Pit,” an exclusive short story just for subscribers. Click the link to check out the first seven issues and subscribe here for future issues–Issue 8 comes out in October. (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-September 12, 2020

Naming a band is an act of concentrated creative expression. Square Pig in a Round Hole exists to reward five favorite band names each week. Winners are (usually) listed alphabetically.

Selection is wholly unscientific and subject to whim, with a bias toward wordplay, humor, and local flavor. In most cases, I won’t know anything about the bands at the time of selection. Thanks to the Seattle Times nightlife listings for abundant source material!

(Until live music returns, I am curating retrospective posts from past material. Dates indicate when the band was originally featured.)

SQUARE PIG IN A ROUND HOLE PANDEMIC EDITION #26

Is it any surprise that this cursed year would have a horrendous fire season? In Seattle, the sky is yellow and the air is unhealthy to breathe, and we are well aware that others have it worse. But hey, at least we were already not planning to go out! Everybody, do what you need to to stay safe from smoke, fire, viruses, and baseless conspiracy theories. And if you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Bonded by Blood
Fueled by Fire

(August 24, 2013) These two (on the same bill) get in for the same reason: alliteration. I also liked that both names had the same form: two-syllable verb (past tense) “by” one syllable noun. Because of this parallel form, I was ready to believe this was actually one band with a long name — and I would have chosen it for that reason, too.

Fire Retarded

(May 7, 2016) This is a rare appropriate use of the word “retarded.” Safety first!

High on Fire

(April 2, 2016) Two idiomatic usages of the preposition on overlap to create an exhilarating but hazardous trip.

Last Great Fire

(June 1, 2013) I guess Seattle should count itself lucky to have suffered only one Great Fire (so far). Let it be the last.

McFiredrill

(October 15, 2011) Maybe this is the kind of fire drill where the alarm goes off and everybody goes and stands in the hall rather than taking the stairs all the way outside. Fast and easy but somehow unsatisfying.

 

One last thing before you go: I share highlights from this blog in my quarterly author newsletter, The Storypunk Report, as well as news of what I’m writing and reading, upcoming events, and other goodies, including “Wizard in the Mosh Pit,” an exclusive short story just for subscribers. Click the link to check out the first seven issues and subscribe here for future issues. (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-September 5, 2020

Naming a band is an act of concentrated creative expression. Square Pig in a Round Hole exists to reward five favorite band names each week. Winners are (usually) listed alphabetically.

Selection is wholly unscientific and subject to whim, with a bias toward wordplay, humor, and local flavor. In most cases, I won’t know anything about the bands at the time of selection. Thanks to the Seattle Times nightlife listings for abundant source material!

(Until live music returns, I am curating retrospective posts from past material. Dates indicate when the band was originally featured.)

SQUARE PIG IN A ROUND HOLE PANDEMIC EDITION #25

For the next couple of retrospective posts, I’m going with an end-of-summer/beginning-of-fall/back-to-school theme. Today’s also includes Labor Day. Best wishes and good vibes go out to Seattle Schools families, beginning the school year from home. Everybody, continue to wash your hands, wear your mask, and if you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Arbor Labor Union

(June 4, 2016) It’s an awkward mouthful, and I respect that, as well the right of the workers who keep our trees healthy to organize.

Dead Leaf Echo

(September 26, 2015) Perfect for autumn. If a leaf falls in the forest, does it make a sound, and does the sound have reverb? (A quick listen answers “yes.”)

Great Spiders

(September 29, 2012) Giant spider in the third act!

Ice Cream Socialists

(November 17, 2012) I think I’ve finally found my party. Frozen treats for the masses.

Longshot Academy

(August 15, 2015) I like the idea of a special school dedicated to underdogs, losers, and ne’er-do-wells who need one more chance to find their true path (and maybe start killer bands while they’re at it). It’s an idea that’s just crazy enough to work.

One last thing before you go: I share highlights from this blog in my quarterly author newsletter, The Storypunk Report, as well as news of what I’m writing and reading, upcoming events, and other goodies, including “Wizard in the Mosh Pit,” an exclusive short story just for subscribers. Click the link to check out the first seven issues and subscribe here for future issues. (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-August 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 #24

These retrospective posts have generally had themes: sickness, contagion, bones, patriotism, summer …. This week’s is more a miscellaneous grab-bag of band names/responses that I tucked away as I was gathering themed material, though there end up being sub-themes of solitude and back-to-school. This post empties the current bucket, so I will have to return to the well next week. I hope these odd gems speak to you as they did me. Wash your hands, wear your mask, donate blood, and please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Dressed as Super Heroes

(December 28, 2013) I appreciate a band that can own its comic book nerd roots. And as it happens, the follow-up to my story in HEATHERS gives the heroine superpowers. She doesn’t do capes or high heels. [Sadly, the band has ceased to exist. But that follow-up eventually grew into The Gospel According to St. Rage, my first published novel! –ed.]

Intronaut

(November 8, 2014) Sailing the seas of one’s own inner being. Alone.

It’s OK!

(June 20, 2014) I can’t speak for anyone else, but I feel better. The punctuation really helps.

Mean Recess

(August 3, 2013) You gotta walk that lonesome playground; you gotta walk it by yourself …

Sunset Rollercoaster

(September 22, 2018) Nostalgic end-of-summer vibe.

 

One last thing before you go: I share highlights from this blog in my quarterly author newsletter, The Storypunk Report, as well as news of what I’m writing and reading, upcoming events, and other goodies, including “Wizard in the Mosh Pit,” an exclusive short story just for subscribers. Click the link to check out the first seven issues and subscribe here for future issues. (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-August 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 nightlife listings for abundant source material!

SQUARE PIG IN A ROUND HOLE PANDEMIC EDITION #23

How is this possible? After several days with clouds and refreshing showers, Saturday is sunny but not too warm! Enjoy it while you can (of course in safe, socially-distanced way). Wear your mask and sunscreen, and please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Subways on the Sun

(January 11, 2011) A Very Bad Idea.

Surfer Blood

(January 11, 2014) Beach Blanket Death Metal.

Sun Tunnels

(June 7, 2014) They belong on a bill with Subways on the Sun! I like this because I usually think of tunnels as dark, or anyway, cut off from natural light. This sounds like a bright trail through a deep forest.

Sundodger

(November 8, 2014) Welcome to November in the Pacific Northwest! Aside from today, dodging the sun should be no problem.

The Sun Thieves

(March 8, 2014) Our neighbors, the clouds, raised to mythic heights.

 

One last thing before you go: I share highlights from this blog in my quarterly author newsletter, The Storypunk Report, as well as news of what I’m writing and reading, upcoming events, and other goodies, including “Wizard in the Mosh Pit,” an exclusive short story just for subscribers. Click the link to check out the first seven issues and subscribe here for future issues. (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-August 15, 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 #22

three lemon cupcakes on a glass plate

Cupcake time! (A fraction of the total.)

I know it’s the middle of August because yesterday I baked 2 dozen cupcakes for my baby’s 24th birthday. (A running joke in my St. Rage novels is the band name Cupcake Time, which no one but the main character wants to use.) Today’s clear blue sky certainly aligns with the summer theme of this retrospective post. In a normal year, there would have been no end of outdoor music festivals, neighborhood parades, and block parties. You can still go outside and make your own fun, but don’t forget to hydrate and put on sunscreen! Be safe, wear your mask, and please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Porpoise Parade

(July 13, 2019) A Seattle tradition, the next Seafair event after the Pirate’s Landing and the Milk Carton Derby.

Prodigal Sunburn

(February 22, 2020) Returning home because he ran out of SPF 50 and no one would share.

Rain Light Fade

(June 7, 2014) And while we’re on the subject of typical Seattle June weather, along comes this little poem. I’m thinking of that moment when an evening summer shower ends and the sun comes out just in time to set.

Rock Paper Sun

(July 20, 2019) This contest seems rigged.

Spring Summer

(February 1, 2020) The bright half of the year seems fictional at this point. We gotta believe.

One last thing before you go: I share highlights from this blog in my quarterly author newsletter, The Storypunk Report, as well as news of what I’m writing and reading, upcoming events, and other goodies, including “Wizard in the Mosh Pit,” an exclusive short story just for subscribers. Click the link to check out the first seven issues and subscribe here for future issues. (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-August 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 nightlife listings for abundant source material!

SQUARE PIG IN A ROUND HOLE PANDEMIC EDITION #21

What a waste of a cool August weekend! It would have been tolerable to go out to a crowded club, but the choice to go out or not go out is not yet ours to make. Fortunately, I have a generous trove to share of summer-themed band names from the past. Be safe, wear your mask, and please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Long Shorts

(July 20, 2019) I love a good oxymoron. On the one hand, which is it? On the other hand, sometimes you don’t want to show your knees, even in summer.

Melt-Banana

(July 4, 2015) It’s so hot, even the fruit is melting! [Serendipitous update: this band gets a name-check in GhostCityGirl by Simon Paul Wilson (coming from Not A Pipe Publishing in October 2020) that I was advance reading mere days after I selected this one for a retrospective post.]

Mustard Plug

(July 4, 2015) This is one of those band names that shines a spotlight on a mundane or annoying object, elevating it to the hilarious sublime. It’s also a fitting name for a summer weekend of picnics and barbecues.

Pop Sickle

(January 11, 2014) The quiescently frozen confection that kills it every time.

PORCH

(October 24, 2015) I’m a fan both of singular monosyllabic nouns as band names, and also of porches. Porch season is over for another year, but it’s a great place to make music on a warm summer night. Also, somebody get these guys on a bill with Square Pig faves Pouch!

 

One last thing before you go: I share highlights from this blog in my quarterly author newsletter, The Storypunk Report, as well as news of what I’m writing and reading, upcoming events, and other goodies, including “Wizard in the Mosh Pit,” an exclusive short story just for subscribers. Click the link to check out the first seven issues and subscribe here for future issues. (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-August 1, 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 #20

It has been warm enough this past week to turn on the AC more than once, and I had a birthday–both to be expected in any year. We take our normality where we can find it. I have mixed feelings about the sort-of baseball season: a swing at normality that could either be lots of fun or go all kinds of wrong. Anyway, this week’s retrospective has a baseball theme, paired with a loving glance at Seafair. Be safe, wear your mask, and please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

The Aquabats!

(July 12, 2014) This made-up word is taking me in so many directions, which I love. Synchronised swimmers doing gymnastic tricks? Marine mammals using sonar to hunt their prey? (Wait, that’s dolphins.) But I can’t help thinking this is somehow baseball related. [Happy accident of timing: they have a new album releasing on August 21, 2020!]

The Aquadolls

(December 7, 2019) Great retro vibe conjures up Seafairs of yesteryear and Esther Williams movies. I’m so pleased to learn this is, in fact, an all-female surf-punk band.

Chance to Steal

(February 17, 2017) Another sign of hope: spring training has begun. [Hey, they also have a new record out!]

Double Play

The Home Team

(July 13, 2019) Root, root, root! I’m always happy to find multiple bands in the same week  whose names have a common theme. This time I noted three with a baseball theme, and I had only picked one of them previously (Chance to Steal). Also happy to learn Double Play is a two-piece because that’s as perfect as a well-turned double play.

 

One last thing before you go: I share highlights from this blog in my quarterly author newsletter, The Storypunk Report, as well as news of what I’m writing and reading, upcoming events, and other goodies, including “Wizard in the Mosh Pit,” an exclusive short story just for subscribers. Click the link to check out the first seven issues and subscribe here for future issues. (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-July 25, 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 #19

Good news in the midst of this live-music drought: Square Pig fave Dead Bars is releasing a live album, Live at White Eagle Hall! Pre-order and give a listen here. Since there will be no new live music for the foreseeable future (boo!), I went back to the vault and hauled up an abundant catch of summer-themed band names. Be safe, wear your mask, and please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Astro Tan

(October 12, 2014) I’m always taken with how much can be done with the change of one letter — from multi-passenger conveyance to the ultimate in safe tanning. I suspect you can get away with a low protection factor while working on your star tan.

Barefoot Barnacle

(January 11, 2014) These words in proximity provoke a wince from anyone who’s spent time on Northwest beaches. But in this case, it’s the barnacle that’s barefoot. (My resident science adviser points out that all barnacles are barefoot: they plant their heads and wave their feet around to collect food. And anyway, how would you get the little shoes on?)

Big Splash Champion

(August 8, 2015) One of my most enduring memories from summer camp: a girl in my cabin, determined to win the big splash contest, performed an epic intentional belly flop that bruised several ribs but won the prize. Bragging rights have their price.

Circles Around the Sun

(October 12, 2019) The orbital dance, counterclockwise and (not) in heels. Also, technically elliptical. The spouse and I have completed 33 of these since our wedding day. [Update: My birthday is next week, at which point I will have completed 57 circles of my own.]

Dismal Tide

(July 5, 2014) Now that for-real summer is here, we might be inclined to put away one of the Northwest’s most evocative adjectives, but don’t fool yourself. Winter will be back in all its gray and rainy splendor. As for “tide,” this could be a marine usage, but maybe not. In the Church, we have Christmastide and Eastertide; I’m going to say Dismaltide is January 2 – the end of Lent.

 

One last thing before you go: I share highlights from this blog in my quarterly author newsletter, The Storypunk Report, as well as news of what I’m writing and reading, upcoming events, and other goodies, including “Wizard in the Mosh Pit,” an exclusive short story just for subscribers. Click the link to check out the first seven issues and subscribe here for future issues. (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-July 18, 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 #18

As promised on July 4, I continue with the third in a series of (queasy) Americana-themed retrospectives. Next week, I’ll have to return to the vault. Be safe, wear your mask, and please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

American Island

(November 12, 2016) AKA the West Coast.

American Roulette

(September 6, 2014) Just like Russian Roulette, but with a high-capacity magazine to — um — improve your chances.

Animals as Leaders

(November 12, 2016) At least the internet will still be full of cute critters. Vote Kittens & Puppies 2020!

Ted Cruz and the Trumps

(March 5, 2016) Points for topicality joined to classic X and the Y structure. I would love to wake up and have this be the only reason we know these names; the rest was only a dream. [This appears to have been a one-off or short-lived project from 2016. –ed.]

U. S. Bastards 

(April 23, 2016) It’s like a theme or something. I like how you can pronounce the initials as “us” or “U. S.” and it makes sense either way.

 

One last thing before you go: I share highlights from this blog in my quarterly author newsletter, The Storypunk Report, as well as news of what I’m writing and reading, upcoming events, and other goodies, including “Wizard in the Mosh Pit,” an exclusive short story just for subscribers. Click the link to check out the first seven issues and subscribe here for future issues. (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)