Square Pig in a Round Hole-June 6, 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 #12

Special protest-themed post! We were expecting civil unrest to kick off around August, but apparently Junuary is here and the time is right for marching in the streets. This pandemic has made plain even to the privileged (like me) some deep-rooted inequities, biased and brutal policing being one of many legitimate grievances in communities of color. If you are able, please carry a sign, donate to justice organizations (see below for a humble suggestion), amplify unheard voices, and since there won’t be live music for a while yet, perhaps buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

And I Am the Riot

(July 28, 2012) I wonder what came before the conjunction — “You are the . . .” I like that it’s not a riot, but the riot.

Down with People

(December 31, 2011) This could be an anti-people protest slogan or a statement of support: “I’m totally down with them.” I like the ambiguity.

Molotov Colostomy

(June 22, 2013) Well, that took a surprising turn! Grossest protest ever.

Not a Part of It

(August 29, 2015) This could be an alibi: “It wasn’t me. I don’t even wear makeup.” But I like it better as an expression of wholehearted, all-or-nothing-at-all engagement.

Riot at the Dojo

(March 3, 2018) Over-the-top fight scene. Everyone bows at the end. (The resident young person was hoping for an exclamation point after Riot.” You can’t always get what you want.)

Shout+eBook+Cover+12_15_19.jpg?format=750wA small way to help and get something good to read at the same time: for every copy of Shout: an Anthology of Resistance Poetry and Short Fiction purchased, Not A Pipe Publishing makes a donation to Black Lives Matter and 3 other worthy justice organizations. (I recommend doing even more good by ordering from your favorite independent bookshop.) Full disclosure: I have a story in this book but I would make this recommendation even if I didn’t because the other stories are that good!

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-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.)

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.