Square Pig in a Round Hole-September 18, 2021

Cartoon image of a pink square pig in a round hold

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 listings return, I am curating retrospective posts from past material. Dates indicate when the band was originally featured.)

SQUARE PIG IN A ROUND HOLE PANDEMIC EDITION #78

It is raining in Seattle! This shouldn’t be news, but here we are. I welcome the rain this weekend, though I hope the forecast of a dry Monday comes true because we want to go hiking. In that spirit, the band-name theme for the next two weeks revolves around the great outdoors. Once again, I have 12 candidates, so there will be a bonus band each week. You’re welcome.

As ever, wash your hands, wear your mask again, get your vaccine if you haven’t already, and if you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Be Forest
(March 23, 2019) A gentle command to be one with nature, this also sounds like a superlative preposition denoting a point earlier than which one cannot go.

Bears and Other Carnivores
(October 17, 2015) Apparently I’m not the only one to notice that titles of field guides make great band names. (I would love to see a band called Squirrels of the West.) There’s something a little (endearingly) off about using a name that evokes the outdoors, nature, and wilderness for a group that’s probably going to mostly play in dingy urban bars.

Bigger Than Mountains
(March 3, 2018) Oceans. Planets. The sky.

The Bitter Roots
(November 27, 2010) Whether the mountain range or the wild plant, this name evokes a distinct corner of the planet that means a lot to me, so it makes the list.

The Brook & the Bluff
(March 16, 2019) Scenic natural features reminding us that outdoors is a thing and it might be warm enough to go there. Don’t fall in and don’t fall off.

Cedar Sap
(November 2, 2019) Sibilance and local flavor, sticky and resinous.

Two last things before you go:

  1. I am admin for The Rage Brigade, a Facebook group for conversation about fantasy, science fiction, superheroes, and music (and the intersections thereof). If that sounds like fun, come join us here.
  2. 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 ten issues and subscribe here for future issues. The July 2021 issue includes an excerpt from Barbara and the Rage Brigade. Who knows what might turn up in the October issue! (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-August 28, 2021

Cartoon image of a pink square pig in a round hold

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 #75

This is the second week with a theme of gardens, farms, and soil. Once again, I feature six bands instead of the usual five. Our backyard landscaping project is developing nicely but like any work in progress, will need a lot of work before it is a finished thing of beauty. Fortunately, people who know what they are doing are in charge of the work.

As ever, wash your hands, wear your mask again, get your vaccine if you haven’t already, and if you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Lilac
(September 23, 2016) So, you know how most people who say they want to write actually mean they want to have written? I want to have gardened. I love having beautiful or edible plants on my property, but I’m terrible at getting things established. My biggest successes have been a couple of lilac bushes. One established with almost no effort on my part, while the other took ten years to start blooming. But now I’m rewarded every spring with my favorite fragrant flowers for no work. So.

Slugs
(February 2, 2019) Local flavor at its localest (but don’t taste them), humble denizens of every Northwest garden and forest, rasping away at the greenery. Listen closely.

Soundgarden
(May 20, 2017) The intensely local nature of the name is hidden from the rest of the world while it perfectly describes the scene here: fertile ground for weird new music of all genres.

This Soil is Diseased
(January 26, 2013) Yow! I suspect this comes directly off a sign somewhere, a perfect metal name: complete sentence with notes of death and corruption.

Trebled Morels
(June 29, 2019) Even one morel is a miracle, but three? Heaven. (These came from our yard [in 2014]: doubly trebled!)

Woodshed
(May 21, 2016) I grew up in a house with an actual woodshed: we stored stovewood and garden tools out there, and it also had a workbench for fixing things. Although we were a musical family, I don’t think anyone ever went out there to practice an instrument, but my older brother (age 5 when we moved into that house) had heard enough about woodsheds to worry that he’d get more spankings. Fortunately, it wasn’t that sort of woodshed, either.

 

Two last things before you go:

  1. I am admin for The Rage Brigade, a Facebook group for conversation about fantasy, science fiction, superheroes, and music (and the intersections thereof). If that sounds like fun, come join us here.
  2. 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 ten issues and subscribe here for future issues. The July 2021 issue includes an excerpt from Barbara and the Rage Brigade. (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-July 3, 2021

Cartoon image of a pink square pig in a round hold

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 #67

Live music is creeping back! I really hope to have fresh material soon, but for now, I’m still recycling old posts into retrospectives. This one doubly so: last July, I had 3 weeks worth of Independence Day-themed band names to share. Today I share my favorites of those. However you celebrate 4th of July this weekend, please leave the fireworks to the professionals. Local pets, fire departments, and neighbors with combustible roofs will thank you.  As ever, wash your hands, wear your mask where required, get your vaccine if you haven’t already, and if you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

American Nudism
(July 25, 2015) The qualifier “American” suggests something about the nudism — it’s either exceptional or puritanical, I just can’t decide which.

American Wrecking Company
(March 5, 2016) AKA party politics as usual. When the revolution comes, they will have brought it on themselves.

Great American Trainwreck
(December 1, 2018) I can’t think of a better description of our current moment. [Update: They’re playing TONIGHT in White Center!]

The Parade Schedule
(May 23, 2015) Festivity requires organization. All the clowns and marching bands have to respect the person with the clipboard.

Ragged Union
(December 10, 2016) This one speaks to our Divided States of America, tattered but not yet sundered.

 

Two last things before you go:

  1. My new thing in 2021 is The Rage Brigade, a Facebook group for conversation about fantasy, science fiction, superheroes, and music (and the intersections thereof). If that sounds like fun, come join us here.
  2. 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 ten issues and subscribe here for future issues. A new one should be out next week! (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-April 10, 2021

Cartoon image of a pink square pig in a round hold

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 #56

At the intersection of my musical and literary interests is a nigh-bottomless well of Science Fiction/Fantasy-themed band names. (Try not to fall in.) I will be drawing from it for weeks! As ever, wash your hands, wear your mask, get your vaccine, and if you are able, please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Aruvius Thud
(May 18, 2013) I just love the way this sounds, like the name of a backwoods wizard.

Blame the Wizards
(April 23, 2016) 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. [Update: we had no idea. Someone needs to have a word with those wizards.]

Chrononauts
(February 11, 2012) And as a science fiction writer, how could I not laud these sailors of the timestream?

Class M Planets
(June 30, 2018) I’m always pleased to find a nerdy sci-fi reference in the club listings. For those not in the know, we live on one.

Dragontail Peak
(June 29, 2013) This one hits my fantasy reader and writer spot. While you’re worrying about the dragon’s mouth, the tail will come around and take you out from behind.

 

Shameless Self-Promotion: Death’s Midwife (Daughter of Magic Book 3) is now available for purchase from your favorite independent bookshop or the usual online outlets. Join me and The Neverending Bookshop on May 1 at 3 pm PDT for a live Zoom event featuring readings, Q&A, and more! RSVP here to receive the link.

Two last things before you go:

  1. My new thing in 2021 is The Rage Brigade, a Facebook group for conversation about fantasy, science fiction, superheroes, and music (and the intersections thereof). If that sounds like fun, come join us here.
  2. 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 ten 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 3, 2021

Cartoon image of a pink square pig in a round hold

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 #55

This weekend, I’m attending the (all-online) Norwescon science fiction and fantasy convention. In honor of that, I have gathered a huge collection of SFF-themed band names–so huge that we’ll be doing this for the next two months. As ever, 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.

Amish Robots
(May 27, 2018) My first thought was hand-operated automatons, but maybe this is what happens when AI is advanced enough to choose a simpler life.

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

Android Hero
Captured! by Robots
Warning: Danger
(May 21, 2011) Danger, Will Robinson! These three bands are on one bill. I love it when they match! Thanks to R2-D2, I’ve loved robots since 1977. My current sci-fi project includes an endearing band of doo-wop singing bots. This was an easy pick.

Shameless Self-Promotion: Death’s Midwife (Daughter of Magic Book 3) is now available for purchase from your favorite independent bookshop or the usual online outlets. Join me and The Neverending Bookshop on May 1 at 3 pm PDT for a live Zoom event featuring readings, Q&A, and more! RSVP here to receive the link.

Two last things before you go:

  1. My new thing in 2021 is The Rage Brigade, a Facebook group for conversation about fantasy, science fiction, superheroes, and music (and the intersections thereof). If that sounds like fun, come join us here.
  2. 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 nine 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 27, 2021

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 #54

Mars is the only planet we know of that is entirely populated by robots. Outside of fiction, I think we’re probably better off keeping it that way; people make a mess. Happily, I did not run out of Mars-themed band names last week. In fact, there are enough for a  couple of bonus names! As ever, 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.

Long Day on Mars
(February 10, 2018) Sometimes I suspect bands of picking a name just to get my attention. Did they know I have an unpublished SF novel on my hard drive that includes a chapter about 3 space travelers on Mars, trying to get from their crashed shuttle to the base 90 km away before their oxygen runs out? It takes them more than one long day.

Your Mother Should Know at Sky Church, November 2011

Mars Red Sky
Oceans of Mars
(March 24, 2012) It’s Mars, OK? My imagination has spent a lot of time there lately. According to this picture, I even played a show there (possibly on the bed of a former ocean, under a red sky):

Martian Cult
(April 21, 2018) As a writer of speculative fiction, I’m always partial to a band name with a sci-fi vibe. Is this Earthlings following a charismatic leader from Mars, or Martians following an Earthling?

Mouse on Mars
(February 16, 2013) My instant reaction was memory of the Fun Forest, which I consider a good thing. In my mind, this name melds the roller coaster Mad Mouse with another ride called Flight to Mars. So, Seattle nostalgia plus my usual Mars-mania — an easy pick.

Stranger on Mars
(March 15, 2014) I imagine it will be a long time before this is not true, by definition, of anyone who gets there. But it can also be read as a comparative: “This music is strange enough on Earth, but it’s ever stranger on Mars.” [Sadly, this band no longer has an online presence. –ed.]

Uncommon Men from Mars
(April 20, 2013) Well, they would be. Mars needs women …?

 

Shameless Self-Promotion: Death’s Midwife (Daughter of Magic Book 3) is now available for purchase from your favorite independent bookshop or the usual online outlets. Join me and The Neverending Bookshop on May 1 at 3 pm PDT for a live Zoom event featuring readings, Q&A, and more! RSVP here to receive the link.

Two last things before you go:

  1. My new thing in 2021 is The Rage Brigade, a Facebook group for conversation about fantasy, science fiction, superheroes, and music (and the intersections thereof). If that sounds like fun, come join us here.
  2. 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 nine 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 20, 2021

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 #49

How’s everybody doing after our near nationwide snow event? Seattle shut down as usual, but only for a couple of days and most of that was a holiday weekend. Looking on the bright side, at least no shows were canceled! We had it much better than a lot of places, but I was just as glad to see the snow melt away before I had to drive anywhere. 

Meanwhile, the celebration of classic X and the Y band-name structure continues for another two weeks! Completely by chance, this week’s set has an animal theme. As ever, 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.

John Hamhock and the Rooster Run Band
(November 15, 2014) I love it when someone builds creatively on the classic X and the Y structure. All on his own, the frontman evokes a country-fried founding father, while the band evokes strutting, crowing confidence. Put them together and I think you can count on an enthusiastic and noisy good time.

Johnny and the Moles
(July 27, 2019) The sound from the underground. You can’t go wrong with classic X and the Y structure.

Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds
(May 16, 2015) It’s so great when somebody takes the classic X and the Y structure way over the top. Band and bandleader both have improbable cartoonish names that would be good on their own but are completely awesome together.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
I could not pass up the delightful rhymes and goofily grandiose imagery. (The resident gamers suspect this is also a reference to Elderscrolls, in which it is possible to play as a lizardperson who is a wizard. I am perfectly willing to believe this interpretation.)

Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs
(September 22, 2018) Classic X and the Y structure in perfect rural guise. And it is now or soon will be hunting season for various game birds in our state.

Two last things before you go:

  1. My new thing in 2021 is The Rage Brigade, a Facebook group for conversation about fantasy, science fiction, superheroes, and music (and the intersections thereof). If that sounds like fun, come join us here.
  2. 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 nine 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 6, 2021

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 #47

The celebration of a classic band-name structure continues! While we still can’t gather or go out to shows, there are abundant X and the Y band names to evoke togetherness in clever, funny, even poetic ways. As ever, 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.

Dinner and a Suit
(April 6, 2013) Starts out sounding like a nice date, ends up as a lame game-show prize. Or a really tiny inheritance.

Dr. Drug and the Possible Side Effects
(May 11, 2013) Classic X and the Y structure + household phrase = instant party. Sounds like a high old time.

Falty and the Defects
(July 26, 2014) This one combines two favorites: classic X and the Y structure and Northwest loser pride.

Fox and the Law
(August 18, 2012) Speaking of fables, here’s a good title. What’s the moral?

The Funeral and the Twilight
(August 18, 2012) A tiny poem about times of poignant farewell, to a loved one, to the day. 

Two last things before you go:

  1. My new thing in the new year is The Rage Brigade, a Facebook group for conversation about fantasy, science fiction, superheroes, and music (and the intersections thereof). If that sounds like fun, come join us here.
  2. 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 nine 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-January 23, 2021

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 #45

Time for a new theme! In writing this blog for more than a decade, it has become clear that there are a few band name formats that will never go out of style. One of the most durable is the classic X and the Y structure. A search of the vault provided enough material for weeks! As ever, 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.

Angelo Delsenno and the Empty Sky
(August 18, 2012) The usual “frontperson and the band” formulation, but it could as easily be a solo act with a tongue-in-cheek name. Either way, Empty Sky is a grand and poignant name.

Baby and the Nobodies
(April 5, 2014) Two of my favorite things: the classic X and the Y structure, with our characteristic Northwest loser pride.

The Bard and the Liar
(August 18, 2012) As if they were not different names for the same thing. Storytellers and poets tell the truth by making stuff up. And I love me an unreliable narrator!

Bones and the Falderalls
(May 3, 2014) I’m a big fan of the classic X and the Y structure anyway, but this goes that extra couple of steps over the top, where X=a colorful nickname and Y=an old-timey term of the sort we don’t see enough of these days. You know these folks are having all the fun and will share generously.

Brian Lee and the Orbiters
(November 24, 2018) Music gives us the power to achieve escape velocity and view the world from a higher perspective.

Two last things before you go:

  1. My new thing in the new year is The Rage Brigade, a Facebook group for conversation about fantasy, science fiction, superheroes, and music (and the intersections thereof). If that sounds like fun, come join us here.
  2. 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 nine issues and subscribe here for future issues. (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)