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-August 28, 2020

Square PigNaming a band is an act of concentrated creative expression. Square Pig in a Round Hole exists to reward five favorite band names each week. Winners are (usually) listed alphabetically.

Selection is wholly unscientific and subject to whim, with a bias toward wordplay, humor, and local flavor. In most cases, I won’t know anything about the bands at the time of selection. Thanks to the Seattle Times nightlife listings for abundant source material!

SQUARE PIG IN A ROUND HOLE PANDEMIC EDITION #24

These retrospective posts have generally had themes: sickness, contagion, bones, patriotism, summer …. This week’s is more a miscellaneous grab-bag of band names/responses that I tucked away as I was gathering themed material, though there end up being sub-themes of solitude and back-to-school. This post empties the current bucket, so I will have to return to the well next week. I hope these odd gems speak to you as they did me. Wash your hands, wear your mask, donate blood, and please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Dressed as Super Heroes

(December 28, 2013) I appreciate a band that can own its comic book nerd roots. And as it happens, the follow-up to my story in HEATHERS gives the heroine superpowers. She doesn’t do capes or high heels. [Sadly, the band has ceased to exist. But that follow-up eventually grew into The Gospel According to St. Rage, my first published novel! –ed.]

Intronaut

(November 8, 2014) Sailing the seas of one’s own inner being. Alone.

It’s OK!

(June 20, 2014) I can’t speak for anyone else, but I feel better. The punctuation really helps.

Mean Recess

(August 3, 2013) You gotta walk that lonesome playground; you gotta walk it by yourself …

Sunset Rollercoaster

(September 22, 2018) Nostalgic end-of-summer vibe.

 

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-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-April 4, 2020

Square PigNaming a band is an act of concentrated creative expression. Square Pig in a Round Hole exists to reward five favorite band names each week. Winners are (usually) listed alphabetically.

Selection is wholly unscientific and subject to whim, with a bias toward wordplay, humor, and local flavor. In most cases, I won’t know anything about the bands at the time of selection. Thanks to the Seattle Times nightlife listings for abundant source material!

SQUARE PIG IN A ROUND HOLE PANDEMIC EDITION #3

The Longest March is finally over but here we still are, with every bar still a dead bar. I’m once again descending into the cellar to bring you a vintage pandemic-themed retrospective. The names are still great even if the bands aren’t playing. If you are able, please buy their music and merch. And come back next week for more band names.

Not Dead Yet

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

The Outbreak

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

Plague of Turtles

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

Plague Vendor

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

The Plot Sickens

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

 

One last thing before you go: I share highlights from this blog in my quarterly author newsletter, The Storypunk Report, as well as news of what I’m writing and reading, upcoming events, and other goodies, including “Wizard in the Mosh Pit,” an exclusive short story just for subscribers. Click the link to check out the first five issues and subscribe here for future issues. Issue #6 coming next week! (Or just follow the blog for your weekly dose of band names.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-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.)

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.)

Square Pig in a Round Hole-August 24, 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!

The big excitement this past week was the re-release of my Seattle-set garage-rock fairy tale, The Gospel According to St. Rage on Tuesday, followed by the radio debut of the titular garage band on Wednesday. DJ Barnabas of the show Community Noise on KBFG 107.3 FM embedded “Huge Guy in the Mosh Pit” into a fun and eclectic playlist. It was an honor to be programmed next to Dead Bars. If you want to donate your own music to the Community Noise collection for possible radio play, email CommunityNoise.blog@gmail.com.

And now, on with the band names!

Far Flung Future

Where your whiz-bang sci-fi tech might not be obsolete before the book is published.

Meat Hair

Perhaps the grossest hair treatment since egg shampoo.

Sir Ma’am Sir

How you address your commanding officer when they haven’t told you their preferred pronouns and you don’t want to be the first to ask.

Smaller in Person

“Judge me by my size, do you?”

Your Downstairs Neighbors

They (and your cat) would appreciate it if you didn’t vacuum every day. They might even agree to turn down the 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, and other goodies. Click the link to check out the first three 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-August 17, 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!

Before we get down to the serious business of celebrating band names, I’m tickled to share a brand-new St. Rage track, “The Leaves Were Wearing Her Lipstick.”

Barbara (AKA St. Rage), the protagonist of my garage-rock fairy tale The Gospel According to St. Rage, is a songwriter because that seemed like a plausible starting point for a friendless musician who has never been in a band but ends up starting one. I had no intention of writing songs, but Barbara’s song titles were so great. I started writing lyrics, and enlisted my brother to help put them to music. In that book, Barbara made an observation about oak leaves that went into a poem for a school assignment instead of a song because the poetry assignment had a deadline. In Book 2, Barbara and the Rage Brigade (coming in November 2019!), she finally wrote the song.

But enough about me and my fictional band. This week’s listings gave up these treasures:

deathCAVE

I find it interesting that of these two foreboding elements, more emphasis is placed on “cave.” It’s dark in there, with strange echoes.

Dream Queen

The grooviest monarch, who can turn terrifying without warning.

Impulse Noise

If the notion strikes you, just start banging on stuff.

Pain Field

Local flavor! Remove a silent E to reveal acres of suffering.

Pedestria

Here’s where I want to live! Nobody drives because everything is within walking distance.

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