Square Pig in a Round Hole-May 2, 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 #7

Wow, we’ve been at this lockdown awhile, and we have at least a month to go. I hate to say it, but live music will probably be among the last things to come back. Remember when you could stand up front and the band would spit beer on you? Yeah, that’s why, but those were the days. Fortunately, I still have loads of appropriate band names from past posts. If you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Damage Bouquet

(April 25, 2015) This name brings into close proximity two words that shouldn’t have anything to do with each other, but once introduced, suggest any number of scenarios. Is this the flowers you send the person harmed by your wreckage? The flowers you use to smack the person who done you wrong? Or is it the sweet smell of brokenness brought into the open?

Feeling People Feeling People

(April 20, 2019) As long as it’s consensual, a positive counterpart to the “hurt people hurt people” formula. Empathy and touch promote health and healing.

Maudlin Strangers

(June 21, 2015) Why aren’t they on a bill with Abstract Friends? But they are on a bill with Bad Idea, which might be a clue: guy walks into a bar with only the concept of friendship, sits next to an emotionally demonstrative stranger and quickly gets dragged into someone else’s drama.

Pollens 

(March 2, 2013) Timely, considering the season. (Apologies to all hay fever sufferers). I like this because pollen is a collective noun already and making it plural is amusing overkill. But I’m sure that botanists (and hay fever sufferers) are concerned with the variety of pollens out there.

Runny Nose Bros.

(December 22, 2018) Probably won’t be a hit video game, but any parent of two or more who has been through at least one winter will be nodding in recognition.

 

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-April 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 #6

Just to show it’s not all old news, I will be interviewed live on Chat and Spin Radio tomorrow, Sunday, April 26 at 3:10 p.m. Pacific. It’s internet radio, so tune in from wherever you are!

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One of the resident cats

One of the few upsides of the lockdown is seeing other people’s pets during online meetings. Our own pets seem to love having their people home, too. And so, I offer a pet-themed (OK, cat-themed) retrospective for your comfort and enjoyment. If you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch.

Are You a Cat?

(November 12, 2011) You don’t often see a band name that’s a question. And what a question! If the answer is “yes” you can’t expect an answer, or much more than a disdainful glance, rendering the question unnecessary.

Cat Bomb

(January 31, 2015) Always happy to celebrate a cat-related name. Rather than cats carrying explosives, I prefer of think of this as a stealth weapon that goes off and suddenly everybody everywhere has a cat on their lap and cat rock in their earbuds.

Cat Among Pigeons

(December 27, 2014) Classic outsider scenario with so many possible outcomes. Cat bides her time, blending in and winning the pigeons’ trust, then begins to pick them off one by one; they never figure it out. Or: Cat goes crazy trying to chase all the pigeons at once, and never catches even one. Or: the pigeons lull the cat into a false sense of security, then descend en masse.

The Cat Empire

(July 21, 2013) This is another word for that fuzz-covered, carpeted perch by the window. Or possibly your bed when there’s a sunbeam.

Cat Food

(June 2, 2012) Maybe it’s because I just fed my cats, but I want to know: kibble, canned, or rodent? Or something to feed the soul of a real cool cat?

 

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-April 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 #5

The bars are still closed but there’s no shortage of band names in the vault. The pandemic theme includes both grief and comfort (including comfort food). If you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch. And come back next week for more band names–I brought up enough for 4 or 5 more weeks.

Abstract Friends

(June 21, 2015) A step removed from imaginary friends, this implies an idea of friends separate from any actual experience of friendship. The teenage protagonist of my young-adult work-in-progress [no longer in progress but out in the world! –ed.] could probably relate — she’s invisible and has no real friends until she takes courage and starts a garage band. The members of this band look the right age to be her classmates, too.

All Bets on Death

(February 5, 2011) Taxes are a close second.

Bacon Grenade

(March 2, 2013) If this isn’t the name of a hangover breakfast, it should be. Or maybe it’s the thing you toss in to distract the guard dogs.

Blessed by a Broken Heart

(November 1, 2014) Not often do I see a band name so genuinely touching. Enough time has passed to see what was gained through grief. This is grown-up stuff.

Cure for the Common

(February 27, 2016) I’m pretty sure I would have picked this even if I wasn’t down with a cold. Always great to find something to lift you out of the mundane.

 

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-April 11, 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 #4

Well, here we are, Easter weekend, and the country is not close to being open for business. It goes without saying that every bar is still a dead bar. If you might have gone to church for Easter in less weird times, I hope you will enjoy this Easter story I wrote a few years back. And if you’ve run out of reading material, go here to receive 20 free ebooks, including my garage-rock fairy tale The Gospel According to St. Rage.

I have almost used up my first stash of pandemic-themed band names from the past but never fear: if this blog has taught me anything, it’s that band names will never be in short supply. If you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch. And come back next week for more band names.

The Airborne Toxic Event

(June 4, 2011) Take 1 scary, potentially lethal occurrence, give it a calm official title, repurpose said title as the name of a rock band. I like the hyper-rational badassery that results.

Mechanical Plague

(June 2, 2019) The invasion has begun. I welcome our robot overlords.

Sci-Fi Fantasy Horror

(May 2, 2015) I’m not a fan of genre classification, but I admit this is my default section of the bookstore and where any books of mine would likely be shelved. Is there such a thing as “Speculative Rock”? [My first novel, the aforementioned The Gospel According to St. Rage, released a little over a year later.]

Sick Sad World

(April 23, 2016) See above, re: those damn wizards.* (This one reminds me of a recently published post-electoral dystopian blues, Ted Cruz Smiles and a Baby Dies, in which I have a story about the coming revolution.) [N.B.: a new version of that story, “Emma’s Knives,” was included in Shout: an Anthology of Resistance Poetry and Short Fiction (2020 Not A Pipe Publishing).]

* The same post included Blame the Wizards about whom I wrote: Maybe that’s the explanation for the awfulness so far this year: a wizard did a spell, taking Prince and Bowie, but leaving Trump and Cruz. Damn wizards.

Today I Caught the Plague

(March 21, 2012) This one seems to go with Not Dead Yet [featured on March 31, 2012 and in last week’s retrospective, April 4, 2020]. I like the complete sentence, apparently delivered with utter calm.

 

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-April 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 #3

The Longest March is finally over but here we still are, with every bar still a dead bar. I’m once again descending into the cellar to bring you a vintage 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.

Not Dead Yet

(March 31, 2012) I dig the Monty Python reference. And also: my first-born is 21 [now 29], and yet . . .

The Outbreak

(August 26, 2017) Sick maniacs making a bid for freedom.

Plague of Turtles

(April 29, 2017) In late 2013, I started writing a short story called “St Rage” that had in its backstory a teen band called Plague of Turtles (first mentioned publicly in this post). In 2015, the story was published as the January release in the Pankhearst Singles Club, then grew into a full-length novel, The Gospel According to St Rage. [Re-released in a new edition in August 2019 from Not A Pipe Publishing. –ed.] Plague of Turtles remains in the backstory but the members appear in a reconstituted group called Sack o’ Hamsters, then Legion of Morons, and finally, The Greebles. Yesterday, I was delighted to learn that Plague of Turtles is no longer fictional! It tickles me no end that someone else thought this was a perfect band name.

Plague Vendor

(September 28, 2019) I like this kind of wordplay, where changing a few sounds in a common phrase twists the meaning in an unexpected direction. Not just infecting others, but selling it to them. That’s a clever rat.

The Plot Sickens

(October 8, 2016) I probably wouldn’t read a book that got this review, but I salute the pun.

 

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 next week! (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

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.)

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.)