Square Pig in a Round Hole-June 17, 2017

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!

Contrary to this article in The Hard Times, I don’t think we’ll be running out of band names any time soon. I have been blogging about five names every week for going on seven years and the supply seems undiminished. I have faith in the continued creativity and silliness of musicians. For example:

Adult Mom

Maybe doesn’t make as good TV as the teen variety, but deserving of all credit. Adulting is hard. Momming is harder.

Free Cake for Every Creature

Oh, how sweet!

*Shouldn’t we offer healthier options?* *Why do you hate pie lovers?* *Only if it has lemon filling.* *I hate lemon filling!*

You just can’t please some creatures.

Runaway Satellite

So long, earthbound losers! We’re off to explore the solar system!

Stranded by Choice

Love the double meaning. Are we stuck because of too many options, or intentionally moving to a deserted island?

Young and in the Way

That twist on a lowly preposition takes us from a sappy song lyric right into the life (and kitchen) that follows happily-ever-after. See above, Adult Mom.

 

Square Pig in a Round Hole-June 10, 2017

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 just noticed that it has been one year since I moved the blog to this site. Apparently the move didn’t ruin it, so that’s cause for celebration. Also about a year ago, I was preparing for the publication of my debut novel, The Gospel According to St Rage. A major plot point in the book is the EP the titular teenage garage band is recording for the members’ senior project. I used my real band Your Mother Should Know to realize the songs of the fictional band and released the St Rage EP on Bandcamp to coincide with the novel’s release. At the end of the book is a discount code for the EP. This week, someone finally used the code. St Rage made a whopping $ .74. Is that enough to buy gum?

Meanwhile, the world is full of other bands with other names. Here are a few of them:

Diogenes

Still looking for one honest man? Probably best to stay away from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Gus Clark and the Least of His Problems

I like this twist on classic X and the Y structure. Everyone has problems, but your band shouldn’t be the biggest one.

Smashing Flannel

Perfect name for a ’90s cover band, which this is. But in Seattle, flannel is almost always a smashing choice.

Speakeasy

Most everything is improved by sneakiness and secrecy, but this caught my eye for another reason. Speaking as we were of the ’90s: anyone else remember the Speakeasy internet cafe? Our free-improv group Banned Rehearsal played in their back room in 1996; the building burned in 2001 but the internet business continued. In addition to broadband internet, they also provided web hosting and email. For those such as us who were grandfathered in, they still do.

The Wild Agenda Tonight

I’m digging the humorous formality of this reference to the evening’s plans. (Mine: in bed by 10). I’m also excited by the very existence of an all female alternative punk rock band from Eastern Washington, my old stomping grounds.

Square Pig in a Round Hole-June 3, 2017

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!

Last weekend’s foretaste of summer was a treat after our long cold wet winter and spring, but I’m kind of relieved that the first few days of June have been characteristically cool and cloudy. I never trust a sunny June. Also, it’s more conducive to going indoors to hear some well-named band or other. Like maybe one of these:

Die Geister Beschwören

I’m a fan of band names that are a little too long, something that’s almost guaranteed if you say it in German. But I think I would have chosen Summon the Spirits or Call Up the Ghosts, too. I love the idea of getting help from those who have crossed over.

Drench Fries

Nothing spoils a nice waterfront lunch like a big wave overwhelming your fish and chips. Also, I want to see them on a bill with Razor Clam, below.

Girls Named Tomorrow

This fits with the theory that women invented language and calendars. There’s also the hope-filled idea of naming your daughter for the future.

Grubby Sweetheart

You don’t have to be scrubbed and perfect to be loved. Also, I want to see them on a bill with Square Pig faves Mud on My Bra!

Razor Clam

The most brutal and delicious of the molluscs. Needs to be on a bill with Drench Fries, above.

Square Pig in a Round Hole-May 27, 2017

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!

What could be better than a holiday weekend with summerlike weather? How about a holiday weekend with summerlike weather that begins with the Dead Bars release show for their album Dream Gig? (I was the 50-something woman in a hat sitting by the doors at Barboza, singing along to “Earplug Girl” and “D-line to the Streamline.”) Also great to finally hear Ramona before they leave town, as well as Beverly Crusher and BOAT. As if that weren’t enough . . . band names!

The Birthday Massacre

Anyone who has seen what a 1-year-old can do to a birthday cake knows what this is about.

Bummer

Wrong

I might have considered either of these alone, but finding them on the same bill put them over the top. Two negatives create a positive time.

Sour Mash Hug Band

I suspect this name arose from the most endearing typo.

TV Broken 3rd Eye Open

The mundane leads directly to the psychedelic.

Square Pig in a Round Hole-May 20, 2017

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 is usually a lighthearted space, but I must acknowledge this week’s shocking loss to music generally and to Seattle especially. I’m one year older than Chris Cornell. Therefore, the ’90s were my parenting-small-children years; I didn’t get to hear that decade’s music until much later. But even in the midst of maximum domestic chaos, I’d heard of him and appreciated Soundgarden as a band name. The intensely local nature of the name is hidden from the rest of the world while it perfectly describes the scene here: fertile ground for weird new music of all genres. The best memorial would be to get out and hear the new local sounds sprouting up even now. RIP Chris Cornell, gone too soon.

Everyone Orchestra

Whether it is for everyone or literally is everyone, I like the inclusivity.

Madame Damnable

Looks good on the page, sounds good to the ear. I also applaud naming a 3-piece band as a singular character.

Mount Analogue

I suppose this comes from the allegorical novel of the same name, but I could also imagine it as a fragment of technical instructions of some kind.

Sneaky Bones

When you’re not looking, skeletons creep up. Before you know it, you’ve got one under your skin. Spooky.

WE Are the Asteroid

How everything else on Earth sees the disaster that is the human race.

Mother’s Day

050615-0658For Mother’s Day, I share another gift of short fiction.

I wrote the original version of “Mother’s Day” several years before my own mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, so she was able to read and enjoy it. It later won a large prize in a small contest and a small prize in a large contest, and still stands as the only fiction that has earned me any money; $100 total, I think.

These days, I write enough fiction in the present tense that it no longer seems weird or experimental. This was the first effort.

MOTHER’S DAY

It is the first day of third grade. I am going to skip all the way to school. My flopping braids beat my back and my new yellow dress flaps against my legs. My arms drink September sunshine as I spring first on one foot, then the other. My mother calls to me from the porch. I turn back, but my mouth does not reply with the usual, “Yes, Mama?” I can’t move my lips. The street, the houses, the sunshine, and Mama all fade into gray.

“Good morning,” says a woman’s voice. “How are you today?”

Where am I? I’m lying in bed with light shining on my closed eyelids. I must be awake, but it feels like a dream. I keep my eyes closed. I want to go home, one more time.

Read more

 

Square Pig in a Round Hole-May 13, 2017

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!

Brunch and flowers are fine, but I propose a new Mother’s Day tradition: take Mom to a bar, buy her a drink, and introduce her to her new favorite band. If like me you’re missing her, lift a glass and sing her a song that was a hit before your mother was born.

This week’s favorite band names:

Dead Bird Movement

I’m stretching the definition of band name to include this modern dance and film company because they present live music/dance events and because I love the name. Things have come to a sorry pass when even dead birds start marching.

The Lonely Biscuits

Heartbreaking that even the beloved biscuit could be lonely. Invite them to brunch.

Queasy Horse

When your steed needs a hangover breakfast. Play on near-homophones that look nothing alike on the page; thanks, English spelling.

Sibling Revelry

Another one that isn’t exactly a band name but close enough for my purposes. This sister act spells it out: there’s nothing jollier than making music with your siblings.

Torpoise

Does hybridization speed up the turtle or slow down the dolphin?

 

Bonus gift: original fiction for Mother’s Day. Have tissues at hand.