Square Pig in a Round Hole-May 8, 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 #60

Shameless Self-Promotion: Join me and The Neverending Bookshop this afternoon, May 8 at 3 pm PDT, for a live Zoom event for my most recent fantasy novel, Death’s Midwife (Daughter of Magic Book 3). Author LeeAnn McLennan will interview me about the history of the book and world-building, then I will read excerpts and take questions from the  audience. I will sign books ordered from Neverending during the event! More info and Zoom link here.

Appropriately enough, I’m continuing a series of posts celebrating fantasy and science-fiction themed band names. 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.

Problem with Dragons
(March 21, 2015) I love the offhand way this diminishes terrifying and destructive creatures to the level of rodents or a leaky roof. Even so, with this kind of infestation, you’d better hope your pest control outfit has a wizard on staff.

Robotic About Us
(August 31, 2013) I’m partial to science fiction imagery generally, and I’m considering writing a robot romance, so this speaks to me.

ScienceFiction
(April 21, 2018) Speaking of sci-fi vibes … Searching old posts revealed how often I’ve used the term (17) even when not referencing this specific band.

Secret Superpower
(April 21, 2018) The protagonist of my garage-rock fairy tale The Gospel According to St Rage develops superpowers, which she can’t keep secret from her bandmates, but “The first rule of superpowers is parents can’t know about superpowers.” They won’t find out till the sequel.

Sedna
(March 26, 2011) I have a character named Sedna in the backstory of a science fiction novel, so I had to include this one. For my own sci-fi reasons, I’d like to see them on a bill with Out Like Pluto; if Pluto is out, Sedna’s even further out.

 

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-January 30, 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 #46

In which I continue the celebration of classic X and the Y band-naming structure. I find it interesting that this durable format is also popular in other media, such as middle-grade fiction and adventure films. I nearly titled my first novel Invisible Girl and the Magic Hat before deciding it might seem aimed at a younger demographic than I wanted to reach. The Gospel According to St. Rage probably doesn’t appeal to teens any better, but I’m not changing it. And for the sequel, I went with Barbara and the Rage Brigade, so what do I know? 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.

Brianna Skye & the Dark Clouds
(March 3, 2018) I’m a perennial fan of classic X and the Y structure, especially when there’s clever or poetic connection between the name of the band leader and the name of the band. By happy coincidence, my garage-rock fairy tale The Gospel According to St Rage includes an important character named Storm Skye. I wonder if they’re related.

Catfish and the Bottlemen
(February 14, 2015) Classic X and the Y structure, but the frontperson is a (possibly fictional) character. I also can’t help thinking the Bottlemen might want to hang out in the Alestorm [featured February 14, 2015].

Charlie and the Foxtrots
(March 22, 2014) I keep trying to learn the NATO phonetic alphabet; Charlie and Foxtrot are the only letters I consistently remember. That, plus the classic X and the Y structure, makes this a winner.

Connie & the Precious Moments
(December 13, 2014) I’m a perennial fan of the classic X and the Y structure, especially when there’s some clever twist to one or both parts. Nothing could be further from rock and roll than sentimental figurines. I have my own fraught relationship with Precious Moments, having received a set of four PM mugs as a wedding gift. We were not particularly sorry when some of them broke, but after 28 years, one remains and may outlive us all. [Update: it did not survive.]

Daddy Treetops and the Howlin’ Tomcats
(June 9, 2012) A good old “X and the Y” construction taken over the top. It’s not just tomcats, it’s howlin’ tomcats; it’s not just some guy, it’s a guy with a wonderful nickname. And I always like a good cat reference.

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-September 26, 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 #28

Seven years ago yesterday, September 25, 2013, was the auspicious date when my band-name blogging and my speculative fiction writing collided and nothing would ever be the same. My first published fiction, a short story called “Hat”, concerns Barbara, an invisible teenager who discovers she can be seen if she wears a hat. At the end of the story she is on her way to talk to a classmate about starting a band. Shortly before the story was published, I was driving to my writing group and saw a lighted sign for a storage place with a burned-out O. ST RAGE seemed like a good name for a band or a superhero. I thought, “Why not both and why not Barbara?” That tiny inspiration for a garage rock/superhero mashup has so far produced another short story, two novels (The Gospel According to St Rage and Barbara and the Rage Brigade), and eleven songs that Barbara allowed me to collaborate on.

And also confirmed me as a band-name aficionado for life, even with the bars closed and no live shows scheduled for the foreseeable future. This week I’m back to a theme of fall and school. 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.

Secret School

(August 15, 2015) This one appeals to me as a fan of the old Pogo comic strip. In 1950, when some Southern schools closed rather than accept racial integration, Walt Kelly drew a series of strips in which some swamp critters opened a “speakeasy school” so the chilluns could still quench their thirst for learning. I wonder, would kids be more eager to go to school if they had to be sneaky about it?

The Student Loan Stringband

(August 15, 2015) This is a hot topic around Square Pig HQ. Considering the ages of the junior SPs, I’m feeling lucky it took this long, but the eldest of them is about to borrow a bit of money for school. If all goes well, it won’t prove too burdensome, which can’t be said of many in his generation. They should all be issued a banjo to cheer them up.

tomorrows tulips

(June 7, 2014) Planting tulip bulbs in the dark and damp of October is an act of faith that spring will come again, and the next spring, and the next.

Valhalla Boys & Girls Club

(September 13, 2014) I imagine kids getting out of class and crossing the rainbow bridge to their after-school program. I wonder if their parents know about the quaffing and fighting?

Withering Blooms

(October 29, 2016) Seasonal, with a hint of romantic melancholy. The last rose of autumn.

 

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 early October. (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-July 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 #17

facemask with message truth. justice. rock & roll.My love of clever band names gave rise to the fictional almost-all-girl garage band St. Rage, as featured in two of my novels (The Gospel According to St. Rage and Barbara and the Rage Brigade). What’s a band without merch? So I spent last weekend setting up an online shop to offer T-shirts, facemasks, etc. for St. Rage, as T-shirt with message: St. Rage Truth. Justice. Rock & Roll.well as my real band, T-shirt with image of pop-punk duo Your Mother Should Know as gross but lovable monstersYour Mother Should Know (provider of sounds for the St. Rage EPs). But I’m not about to stop celebrating band names. As promised on July 4, I continue with the second in a series of Americana-themed retrospectives. Be safe, wear your mask, and please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

American Authors

(February 8, 2020) I love it when music and literature collide! This is what I aspired to be from an early age. We’re mostly not rich and famous.

American Wrecking Company

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

Lightning Kills Eagle

(March 14, 2015) This could be a Native American myth or a headline on a slow news day.

Mice Parade

(June 1, 2013) Cute as anything until they march into your pantry.

This American Knife

(April 14, 2019) Public radio, weaponized. Need to be on a bill with past honorees Ira’s Glasses.

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-January 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 club listings for abundant source material!

Shameless Self-Promotion, right up front: Tonight, January 25, at 7:00 p.m., I will read from and sign my latest novel, the punk rock/superhero mashup Barbara and the Rage Brigade, at Third Place Books Ravenna. Details here. I will have download codes for this EP of 4 songs Barbara/I wrote for the book:

Fictional bands are all well and good, but I feel privileged to live in a world with these real ones:

DoughP!

The spelling and punctuation tell you exactly how to pronounce it. More complexity and substance than mere dope.

Flannelog

So peculiarly Pacific Northwest, all plaid shirts, tube amps, and vinyl.

Glitterer

Hero or villain? Tossing glitter is a cheering, celebratory deed but being microplastic, glitter itself is evil. What the world needs is biodegradable glitter. (That would be colored sugar. Glitterbomb victims would end up sticky and covered in ants.)

Hurry Up, Snufkin

Pop culture reference across media for the win! I chose this for the extreme childlike cuteness, little knowing this is the title of an episode of an actual cartoon. (This artist was previously featured under the name Meanderthals, about whom I said, “Just us cave people out for a directionless stroll.” 12/23/2017)

Strayaways

Less intentional than runaways but probably not coming back anytime soon.

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-January 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 club listings for abundant source material!

We now return to our regularly scheduled Seattle January: 40 degrees and raining. I’m glad the snow mostly fizzled, though I didn’t say no to my one snow day. It’s good to know that events this week are unlikely to be cancelled, including shows by these well-named bands:

Evulse

I first encountered the word evulsion as a pre-teen, when my sister took first-aid training. I remember a morbid delight that there was a special word for a body part that had been forcibly removed. It never occurred to me until now that of course there would also be a verb for the violent act.

Hans Gruber and the Die Hards

Gotta respect a band that uses classic X and the Y structure to refer to a pop culture icon in a different medium. Yippee ki yay and Merry Christmas.

Little Hero

An always-welcome reminder that size matters not in the do-gooder business.

Shady Bug

Underhanded insect, crawly staying out of the sun, or perhaps a beetle large enough to serve as a parasol.

Teen Bop Hit Factory

If you take the tour, be sure to bring your dancing shoes in case they pass out samples.

Shameless Self-Promotion: Next Saturday, January 25, at 7:00 p.m., I will read from and sign my latest novel, the punk rock/superhero mashup Barbara and the Rage Brigade, at Third Place Books Ravenna. Details here. Until then, enjoy these 4 songs I wrote for the book:

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-January 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 club listings for abundant source material!

Winter was shaping up to be an extended fall/early spring, and then somebody had to go and put snow in the forecast. Bah. My elbow is still recovering from last February. If it happens, I hope nobody has to cancel their show, especially any of these winners:

Bandaid Brigade

Childlike risk-takers, patching up boo-boos and marching onward. (With my latest novel Barbara and the Rage Brigade out in the world, it’s safe to say that for the foreseeable future, I will honor anyone with “brigade” in their name.)

Echo Relocation

When bats’ employers transfer them to a different cave, somebody has to help with the move.

Hellport

Change one letter and suddenly instead of a convenient point of egress from the urban core, you’ve got an opening to a nasty other dimension. Maybe the boss really is that evil.

The Out of Body Experience

The simple addition of the definite article transforms a mystical event into a groovy (and maybe still mystical) event.

Several Other Ghosts

Too late to visit Scrooge on Christmas Eve, they find themselves at loose ends, available for hauntings, weddings, bar mitzvahs, and children’s parties.

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-November 23, 2019

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!

Barbara+and+the+Rage+Brigade+Front+Cover

Cover art by Maggie Gauntt

I’ll start with the shameless self-promotion right out of the gate. Tonight beginning at 5 pm, I’m celebrating my newest novel, Barbara and the Rage Brigade (sequel to garage-rock fairy tale The Gospel According to St. Rage) with a launch party at The Neverending Bookshop. I’ll read some excerpts, take questions, give away a book or two, sign books, hand out download codes for the associated 4-song EP, and perform acoustic versions of the entire St. Rage catalog of eleven songs, because what’s a party without music?

We’ll be all done no later than 7 pm, so you can easily get out to a dive bar and hear a well-named non-fictional band on the same night. The pickings were somewhat reduced by the holiday next week, but I managed a pretty good harvest even so:

Bone Spurs

I’m partial to band names involving body parts or medical conditions. When that medical condition is also part of the national joke, you know you’ve got a winner.

Family Worship Center

As it happens, my book features a creepy cult disguised as a wholesome mega-church. My church-girl protagonist is not fooled.

Moon Duo

Moon Heist

I am fond of the moon and have written about at least 24 moon-themed band names in the past nine years. Now it’s at least 26, because I hadn’t done either of these before. They go together: one’s about an extra moon, the other about a moon that’s missing. In either case, the world would be a very different place. Maybe we have only one because another planet heisted the extra. Lookin’ at you, Mars.

Rabble House

Change one letter and the act of agitating common folk becomes a church I’d much rather attend than the Family Worship Center (happens they’re on the same bill).

 

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. Click the link to check out the first four 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-November 16, 2019

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 have an appointment at Bloodworks NW this afternoon, so no mosh pit for me tonight. But my fictional songwriter protagonist and I did write a song about blood donation, which I am happy to share:

Please donate if eligible! But if you’re not a pint low, find a well-named band to support, like maybe one of these:

Atrocity Girl

Is urban women rocking out a war crime?

Convent Bonfires

I like the rhyming first syllables followed by similar consonant sounds. But I have to wonder–are the nuns having a folksy outdoor worship time, or are they plotting to dismantle the patriarchy, then destroying the evidence?

Montlake Traffic

When you have to wait while a single boat goes through, pour your frustration into a really loud song. (There’s no localer flavor than some kind of bridge traffic, and Montlake is the one I happen to cross the most.)

Okay-ish

I love the qualifier on an already lukewarm adjective. Also, I gather the band includes or is entirely made up of middle-schoolers, an age when okay-ish might be as good as things get but being in a band would surely help.

Wizzrobe74273901_2525405391069850_8261026735206694912_n

For Halloween, I went as the aforementioned songwriter protagonist going as my other, wizard-girl protagonist. I made myself a long, hooded wizard cloak, which I know is different from a robe, but close enough.

 

Barbara+and+the+Rage+Brigade+Front+Cover

Cover art by Maggie Gauntt

Shameless Self-Promotion: Barbara and the Rage Brigade, sequel to garage-rock fairy tale The Gospel According to St. Rage, releases next Tuesday, November 19! Paperback and Kindle editions are available for pre-order now, online or from your favorite independent bookshop. Join me for the launch party at The Neverending Bookshop on Saturday, November 23! In addition to reading from the book, I plan to perform the entire St. Rage catalog of eleven songs, because what’s a party without music?

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. Click the link to check out the first four 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-November 9, 2019

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!

My concerns that we were in for a sunny, dry November were apparently unfounded. Oh, well–the dark, damp season is perfect for holing up in the shelter of a bookstore or dive bar and discovering your new favorite thing. Maybe one of these:

Liver Down the River

The addition of one letter transforms an instruction to abide lower in the valley into a comical and unexpected rhyme of organ and watercourse.

Shelter in Place

This emergency directive is probably more pleasant to enact when the place in question is a bar, especially when the bar is called The Funhouse!

Stereo Embers

The warm, comforting glow of audio components in the winter dark, whether vacuum tubes or red LEDs.

Windchime Weather

Gentler breezes than our typical November storms, unless you want to destroy your chimes as we have.

Wolf & Bear

Could be a two-kid cub scout pack, but it’s more fun with more.

Barbara+and+the+Rage+Brigade+Front+Cover

Cover art by Maggie Gauntt

Shameless Self-Promotion: Barbara and the Rage Brigade, sequel to garage-rock fairy tale The Gospel According to St. Rage, releases next Tuesday, November 19! Paperback and Kindle editions are available for pre-order now, online or from your favorite independent bookshop. Join me for the launch party at The Neverending Bookshop on Saturday, November 23! In addition to reading from the book, I plan to perform the entire St. Rage catalog of eleven songs, because what’s a party without music?

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. Click the link to check out the first four issues and subscribe here for future issues.  (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)