Square Pig in a Round Hole-February 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 club listings for abundant source material!

I Go PogoIf election years make you anxious, I’m right there with you. Turn up the music and yell if it helps, and remember to vote. Personally, I Go Pogo, but since he’s not running this year, I’ll have to choose the next best candidate. Lots easier to choose these great band names:

Absynthe of Faith

Anyone who can nest puns within puns gets my vote. Worship the green fairy of electronica.

Batbox

Echolocation by means of high-pitched rhythmic mouthsounds.

Hippie Fight

It’s all groovy peace & love till they start a mosh pit.

Old Lady Litterbug

Besides how it describes an eccentric character, what I like about this one is the a-litter-ation. Sorry, I’ll see myself out.

Prodigal Sunburn

Returning home because he ran out of SPF 50 and no one would share.

 

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. 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 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 club listings for abundant source material!

This blog is a weekly Valentine to everybody who started a band, gave it a clever name, and learned at least one song. Bonus points if they played a show. Special hearts and flowers to these five:

Dining Dead

Having a late Valentine’s celebration. Very late.

HeadHurt

When the music was too loud and the drinks were too strong and someone has the nerve to ask what’s wrong.

Like Machines

You’ve heard of a love machine? This is the preliminary version; a really good friend.

Magic City Hippies

The grooviest, man. Far out.

Skyquake

Rocking so hard, they literally blow the roof off this joint.

 

Shout+eBook+Cover+12_15_19.jpg?format=750wShameless 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. 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 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!

20200208_135658Regular readers know that St. Rage is one of my favorite bands (and band names). Perhaps because I invented them and wrote and performed their songs. Well, today has been a very St. Rage kind of day: hat shopping in the morning, blood donation this afternoon. Before we move on to the real-life bands, here’s a little song about donating blood:

Thanks for your patience! On to this week’s honored five:

American Authors

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.

Franks and Deans

Wordplay + nostalgia = the Rat Pack’s favorite lunch.

Happy People Team

After this last week (or last 3 years), I know I need some positivity. And a reminder that we’re stronger–and happier–together.

Take It to Space

Way past over the top!

Tang

And what do we take to space, but what the astronauts drank!

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. 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 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 club listings for abundant source material!

It’s Groundhog’s Eve! If you’re looking for something to do, Banned Rehearsal (a band with one of my favorite names of all time and of which I am a member) has a rare public performance tonight at Gallery 1412. This free-improv group has been around since 1984 and records every session. Tonight we will play and record sessions 999 and 1000. Details here. I like these band names, too:

Cryptamnesia

That heartstopping moment when you can’t remember how to get out of the haunted mausoleum.

Five Letter Word

When the situation demands that you up your swearing game.

Less Than Three

Probably a duo, but could be a solo act or even an empty stage. Humorously enough, there are at least three bands using this name. I think I found the right one … and it’s a four-piece.

Shadow of the Season

The days are getting longer, but it seems darker. The miles-thick cloud layer probably has something to do with that.

Spring Summer

The bright half of the year seems fictional at this point. We gotta believe.

Shameless self-promotion: More important than a football game or Groundhog Day, February 2 is the release day for SHOUT: An Anthology of Resistance Poetry and Short Fiction. Twenty-five writers (including me) 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.)

Review: Shout: An Anthology of Resistance Poetry and Short Fiction

Shout+eBook+Cover+12_15_19.jpg?format=750wShout: An Anthology of Resistance Poetry and Short Fiction (Not A Pipe Publishing, 2020)

Full disclosure: I was excited enough about this project to submit a story. It’s an honor to be included in a collection of such excellent and bracing work.

Each of the 25 works has its own take on the theme of resistance to fascism/authoritarianism/tyranny. Some are cautionary tales of the oppression future Americans may have to live under, some portray active resistance to injustice, and others provide the satisfaction of oppressors brought low by their own hubris.

It’s hard to pick favorites, but I will name a few. I couldn’t stop thinking about “Growth” by Janet Burroway, a grim and heartbreaking look at public utilities we take for granted. How self-sufficient would the average American be with all the comforts of modern life … except sewers and waste disposal? “Shout” by Benjamin Gorman is modeled on the Biblical account of Joshua and the battle of Jericho, but with a different wall and an unexpected Promised Land. “Last of Our Kind” by Heather S. Ransom is a harrowing thriller of smart, capable women on the run from active, deadly misogyny. “The Creamy Ichor Sauce over Lake Michigan” by TJ Berg is a darkly hilarious Lovecraft pastiche with a satisfying end to the corrupt powerful. “No Collision” by Jennifer Lee Rossman also provides comic relief, in the form of a deep space mission and some information the President doesn’t want found.  “Dandelion” by K. A. Miltimore speaks of the value of books and kindness. The final piece, the poem “Anthem” by Bethany Lee, reminds us of what really matters and rhymes love with love.

Whether scary, dark, funny, or hopeful, each piece is encouragement to stand up for what’s right before it’s too late.

Release date: February 2, 2020. On pre-order now:

  • You can pre-order the paperback edition from Powell’s HERE.

  • You can pre-order the paperback edition from Barnes & Noble HERE.

  • You can pre-order the paperback edition from Amazon HERE.

  • You can pre-order the Kindle edition now, HERE.

Review: SuperGuy 2: Electric Boogaloo

SuperGuy2 Electric BoogalooSuperGuy 2: Electric Boogaloo (Not A Pipe Publishing, 2019) by Kurt Clopton

I have been looking forward to this sequel from the moment I finished book 1, my anticipation heightened when I learned the title, borrowed from a beloved ‘80s save-the-rec-center dance movie. Like SuperGuy before it, SuperGuy 2: Electric Boogaloo is a superpowered workplace comedy, complete with annoying coworkers, petty rivalries, and impenetrable bureaucracy. (Q: How hard could it be to add a cape to a uniform? A: Very.) Everything that was goofy in book 1 – SuperGuy’s immodest uniform, his nemesis Gray Matter’s overly complicated plots (and his crush on a diner waitress named Alice), the police chief’s maybe-real-maybe-not animosity – are all cranked up a few hilarious notches. Meanwhile, a former minion of Gray Matter is accidentally transformed into an energy monster and takes his villain name from an old VHS tape. He hates SuperGuy and Gray Matter in equal measure, allowing for spectacular battles and destruction. And there’s a well-dressed new villain in town whose identity is a mystery only to our heroes.

Recommended for fans of Ant Man and Guardians of the Galaxy, and any readers who like their action and comedy in equal measure.

Oliver Olson, generically-themed official city superhero of Milwaukee, has finally become more comfortable with his job, if not so much with his suit. After defeating the supervillain, Gray Matter, and thwarting his plan of world domination in his first few weeks on the job, Oliver is settling into the routine of protecting his city by catching small time crooks, protecting a larger part of the country by joining a regional supergroup, and protecting his job by keeping his trainee sidekick from destroying anything. But now there’s a giant blue monster who wants a word. All Oliver wants is a cape.

“A dash of superhero action, a pinch of lovelorn supervillain angst, and a splash of cape envy. Shake it all up and you get SuperGuy 2: Electric Boogaloo. Oliver and company are back in this irreverent sequel that wonders, Is the enemy of my enemy really my friend?”

LeeAnn McLennan, author of The Supernormal Legacy trilogy

“This high-energy, laugh-out-loud action comedy will brighten the dark days ahead.”

Karen Eisenbrey, author of Daughter of Magic, The Gospel According to St. Rage, Wizard Girl, and Barbara and the Rage Brigade

Square Pig in a Round Hole-November 2, 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

The moment we (or anyway, I) have been waiting for: I can finally reveal the cover to my novel Barbara and the Rage Brigade, sequel to garage-rock fairy tale The Gospel According to St. Rage. The book releases on November 19; the Kindle edition is available for pre-order now, with hardcover and paperback to follow in about a week. 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?

 

That party is a few weeks off but there’s plenty to celebrate in band names that aren’t even fictional:

Cedar Sap

Sibilance and local flavor, sticky and resinous.

These three represent Halloween continuing into November to hold the line against too-early Christmas:

Coffin Break

Dracula’s siesta in the middle of the worknight.

Dead Ghosts

The end of the afterlife.

Ghost Heart

Repackaged Valentine candy for your creepy trick-or-treat sweetie. (The actual science-y definition is also beautiful: a heart’s collagen matrix stripped of living cells, on which to grow a brand-new heart almost from scratch. Like it’s the future or something.)

 

A War in the Sky

Could be a futuristic space battle in low orbit or the WWI Flying Ace vs. The Red Baron. The sky has been a battlefield for a sadly long time.

 

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.)