Saturday, December 31, 2011

December 31, 2011

Happy New Year! I hope that 2012 will bring many more notable band names. This week's picks:

Down with People
This could be an anti-people protest slogan or a statement of support: "I'm totally down with them." I like the ambiguity.

Feeding Frenzy
Energetic and messy, like the best rock music. I chose this one because of an emerging shark theme (see People Tank, below). I understand that sharks have more to fear from us than we from them, but I still wouldn't want to get caught in a feeding frenzy. Down with people, indeed.

Le Shat Noir
A cat is implied, and the French lends elegance, but it's still gross. Somebody clean that litter box!

People Tank
What the shark villain threatens the hero with in shark spy fiction. They have more to fear from us than we from them.

Pierced Arrows
I read about this band and got interested in them before I realized what a great name they have. Nice reference to a classic car that younger fans might not even recognize. I have to support punk rockers in their 60s -- makes me feel like a young whippersnapper!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas! Not many shows this week, but Santa brought a handful of winners: one seasonal, the rest decidedly not.

Death Polka
I've heard of a dance of death, but I never pictured it accompanied by jolly oom-pah music.

The Donner Vixens
Christmas-y, yet of questionable taste in so many ways! (Insert your own cannibal joke here). I heard this week that if Santa's reindeer are as usually portrayed, with full antlers in mid-winter, they're all female. So I really hope this is a girl group.

Full Toilet
This may be the grossest band name I've encountered, because we've all seen it. But it made me laugh.

Leadership by Assault
My wish for 2012 is that this is not what we get.

Redneck Girlfriend
This partners nicely with my favorite Young Fresh Fellows song, "Hillbilly Drummer Girl."

Saturday, December 17, 2011

December 17, 2011

It's been a long week and I don't have many brain cells left, so let's get straight to the list:

All Stars No Stripes Band
I like the double meaning of "stars" that lets the name go off in an unexpected direction.

Grunge Tree
So that's where it comes from! In the '90s, there must have been a whole orchard.

Pink Freud
Rock band as analyst? "Tell me about pink, Mr. Floyd . . ." 

Screaming Sons of
I love the bitten-off expletive as band name. Finish it how you will.

Sugar Burger
A weird but sweet term of endearment, in the same category as "Little Cabbage."

Saturday, December 10, 2011

December 10, 2011

I had the privilege to hear the James King Trio last night at University Temple United Methodist Church, playing kickass bluegrass gospel. The name is nothing special, but the music? Whew! Mandolin = lead guitar, banjo = bass, and all versions of rock, country, and blues boil down to one beautiful root.

The names I like this week:

The Aimlows
This one has great slacker cred. I like the celebration of low expectations.

Betty Ford Falcons
As I know I've admitted before, I have a soft spot for this kind of name that starts off it one direction and ends up somewhere else, in only three words. Plus, my sister-in-law used to own a late-'60s Ford Falcon Futura with a Detonators bumper sticker, so I have nostalgic fondness for the model.

These guys should be playing with Hobosexual. Is it the same guys?!

Mansions on the Moon
 Nice. I'd settle for a spaceport, but hey, dream big! It's always a beautiful day on the moon . . .

My hands-down favorite this week -- the final 'n' seals it. (We're having yams for dinner tonight).

Saturday, December 3, 2011

December 3, 2011

If I weren't going to a holiday party tonight (and if I had an extra $15 kicking around) I'd want to be at the Triple Door to hear The Tripwires and The Young Fresh Fellows! I won't get out to hear any of these bands, either, but I wish them well on the strength of names alone:

Green Pajamas
"Pajamas" evokes homey comfort and childlike sweetness, but "green" somehow gives it a weirder edge. I don't think I've ever had green pajamas, even though green is one of my favorite colors to wear. Now I want some.

Loathsome Couple
I've loved the word "loathsome" ever since Calvin asked Suzie Derkins to guess what he had in his hands and she asked, "Is it loathsome?"

Polkadot Cadaver
Grouped as it was with more sinister sounding bands, this one cracked me up. The polkadots make even a cadaver seem cheery and festive.

The Sound of Speed
I don't think I ever noticed before that the familiar phrase could be switched and still make sense. The sound of speed is probably "Whoosh!" or "Zoom!" but now I want to know, what is the light of speed?

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin 
As noted previously, I'm a sucker for names that are a little too long for convenience. As a bonus, this one's even a complete sentence and includes a historical figure.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

November 26, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! This year, I am thankful for music and bands and the opportunity to play and sing with other people. The first Your Mother Should Know gig was a success, even if I did dream about loading and unloading drums half the night. Many thanks to Mike Gervais of Curtains for You for helping us out on sax!!! I like these names this week:

City Bear
OK, probably not a great idea in reality, but I picture a business-casual bear in hipster glasses riding the bus downtown, getting some coffee, working in an office all day, and then going out on the weekend to play some rock and roll with all the other cool bears.

The Deep Dark Woods
Where the bear actually belongs. This one has that Dante vibe, too.

Rhythm Pigs
Once again, us pigs gotta stick together. Do these pigs have rhythm, or are they hogging it from the rest of the barnyard?

Saturday Morning Cartoon
Oh, this takes me back! When I was a kid, we used to spend Saturday morning in front of the TV, eating pancakes and watching cartoons. In a photo taken when I was 2 or 3, my older brother stares at the screen with rapt attention while shoveling in pancakes, our sister sits up straight and smiles for the camera, and I look utterly perplexed. But I grew to love cartoons -- and their music.

This is a word, like gruntled or corrigible, that we don't see nearly enough, even though vincible is more likely than its opposite to be true of you and me.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

November 19, 2011

While there are advantages to joining a rock band as a grown-up -- rehearsal discipline, performance experience, conflict-resolution skills -- the hours make it a young person's sport! I'm still recovering from a late rehearsal two days ago, at which I broke my first drumstick in 36 years. But it's all for a good cause: Your Mother Should Know plays its first gig on Saturday, November 26, 1:00 pm in SkyChurch at EMP. We are stoked. I hope these guys are all as excited to play out as we are:

Change one letter and pastoral and bucolic turns sinister and grim.

Inspector Cluzo
I love those old Peter Sellers "Pink Panther" movies, so this goes in even if I don't know the story behind the spelling.

Noisy Pig
Us pigs have to stick together.

Rats in the Grass
To me, this is creepier than snakes in the grass. Rats come in greater numbers.

Stillborn Again Christians
The clever wordplay sums up the parable of the sower in Matthew 13. Sometimes the conversion doesn't take.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

November 12, 2011

Things have taken a definitive turn; the weather feels like typical November in Seattle. It kept us from going out to hear Pouch last night, but tonight we hope to find the will to get out for The True Bugs.

Are You a Cat?
You don't often see a band name that's a question. And what a question! If the answer is "yes" you can't expect an answer, or much more than a disdainful glance, rendering the question unnecessary.

Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children Macnuggits
Overlong and comically disturbing. I laugh and say "ew" in the same breath.

The True Bugs
I remember learning about true bugs in 9th grade biology. It was both gratifying and amusing to learn that "bug" was a technical term.

I've been thinking about vowel shifts recently. This is the first time I've considered a twang shift, but hey -- why not? Spoken language evolves, and I'm glad we don't yet all sound alike.

We Were Promised Jetpacks
I have an enduring soft spot for the past's vision of the future. We have near-instanteous global communication that some use to complain that we don't have jetpacks and flying cars. Meanwhile, I have at least 10 household lasers and I'm typing on a tiny yet powerful computer connected wirelessly to every other computer in the house and to the Internet. I admit it -- it's the future.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

November 5, 2011

Happy New Year! Square Pig begins its 2nd year, and there's no end of great band names in sight.

Black Plastic Clouds
As if black clouds weren't threatening enough! Any mention of black plastic reminds me of the ultimately ineffective weed barrier the previous owner of our house used in the front yard. We were digging pieces of black plastic out of the ground for years.

The Great Um
The irony of introducing someone or something great, and you can't remember their name.

This ends up being dark and juvenile all at once. The repeated "k" sound gives it a nice percussiveness. And they're on the same bill with Pouch, so they must be loud and awesome!

I'm surprised I haven't blogged about this band before. It's a palindrome with built-in humor. On a personal note, I'm a cat lover, and I was briefly known as Taco Man (when I lived in Tacoma - ha, ha), so I notice "taco" as a first syllable of pretty much anything.

The Whywolves
The resident youth says this is a reference to Adventuretime. Even if it isn't, it's funny and clever all on its own. I like the play on words that's one step past a pun.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

October 29, 2011

This is my 52nd weekly post -- a whole year of Square Pig in a Round Hole. Lots of Halloween-themed shows this weekend, but we got such a good dose of loud music last week at the Mudhoney show that we're going to the opera, instead. Only two of my picks seems at all Halloween related, but here they are:

When I was a kid, we had a Spanish-language Peanuts book. Where in English Charlie Brown would yell, "Aauugh!" in Spanish, he'd yell, "Aaiiee!" So maybe this is more of a Dia de los Muertos thing than a Halloween thing. Regardless, I love the repeated vowels.

Gringo Star
This one got the biggest laugh from the resident panel. It doesn't look like much on the page, but speak it aloud -- perfect.

Imaginary Daughter
One of my favorite fictional characters, Thursday Next, has a daughter who exists only in her imagination. I saw this and immediately thought of Jenny.

Koffin Kats
It's the Ks. Respelling "coffin" takes the sting out of it, and cats make everything better.

The Peculiar Pretzelmen 
This is either an obscure Victorian science fiction title or one of my kid's Blood Bowl teams. I  like it either way. How could pretzelmen be anything but peculiar? 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

October 22, 2011

Even though the Fastbacks had to cancel, I'm looking forward to the Mudhoney show at Neumo's tonight. I mostly missed the '90s, so it's nice to have another shot.

Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad
I'm a sucker for names that are impractically long, and this is also a comical image. Just picture giant pandas doing anything worthy of the name "guerilla."
Methamfeta Cheese
A favorite category of wordplay -- starts someplace sinister, ends up someplace silly or even comforting. That said, this must be some pretty powerful cheese.

I seldom blog about big-name bands, but I loved this name from the start, even if I didn't hear the music until recently. It has that melding of filth and sweetness, and the repeated schwa sound makes it plop off the tongue in a satisfying way.

See Methamfeta Cheese, above. Same deal but with pachyderms. If you see this, you've had enough.

Robot PI
This reminded me of when one of the resident youths was in 8th grade and had an assignment to write a detective story. He preferred sci-fi because he wanted his protagonist to be a cyborg. I assured him there was no rule against a cyborg detective, so that's what he wrote about.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

We spent about 4 hours at Reverb last Saturday afternoon, then popped back at 10 p.m. for one more band. We heard 6 groups, all winners. Two I've blogged about before, but only one I'd heard: Mutiny Fires, Shaprece, Stephanie (see below), Less Than Equals, Tom Price Desert Classic, and Curtains for You.

Life in a Blender
It feels that way sometimes, and that's when we need loud music the most.

I'm not sure what this means but it's fun to say. (OK, I suppose it's actually MC Firedrill, but my way is funnier). Maybe this is the kind of fire drill where the alarm goes off and everybody goes and stands in the hall rather than taking the stairs all the way outside. Fast and easy but somehow unsatisfying.
I'm not sure I would have included this outfit had I not seen them at Reverb -- 5 very young guys, none of them likely to be named Stephanie. I imagine them sitting around one night after rehearsal -- "What are we gonna call our band, guys?" Thoughtful silence. A raised hand. "I've always liked the name . . . Stephanie." Done.

That 1 Guy
That One Show
These two really belong on the same bill. They both take a fragment of the inexact way we talk and, by making it a name, turn it into something specific.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

October 8, 2011

Reverb Festival today! Go!

Star Squid! The resident science guy thought this might actually work: put a little helmet on there, pressurize the shell, and let it jet around the galaxy.

 I was kind of hoping for four more Astro- names but I found only one. This one appeals because it sounds like a real word but I don't quite know what it is. The Starry Sea? Or an obscure Spanish infinitive: astronomo, astronomas, astronoma, astronomamos, astronomas . . .?

Cymbals Eat Guitars
My favorite of the week. Unplug the amp, and those guitars don't stand a chance.

Throwin' Goat
I guess it's a metal term, but this sounds like a goofy rodeo event, up there with my favorite, wild cow milking.

Unicorn Porn
Okay, it's pretty obvious once you think about it. Now I have to be careful not to Google images of this.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October 1, 2011

Just got tickets for the Fastbacks and Mudhoney at Neumo's on the 22nd. I heard the Fastbacks once back in the '80s, when they opened for the Ramones. This will be my first Mudhoney show, but I've always loved the name. I'm also tickled by the irony of learning about the show by reading a Seattle Symphony program at Benaroya Hall. It all fits together.

After Mt. St. Helens erupted in 1980, Washington was referred to as The Evergray State. This could also refer to the upcoming winter. Try not to think about it.

The Goddamn Gallows
I can't think of a better response when faced with such a thing. And I can't help adding "again" just to make it weirder.

I don't know if this is "Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!" or "Ooooo!" but I like it either way.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Long and old-fashioned.

Short and snappy, with wordplay and a whiff of danger. Perfect.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

September 25, 2011

I'm posting a day late because we chose to spend the last nice day for a while at Mt. Rainier. It was a beautiful day for a walk in the woods. Today, not so much, but maybe a good time to go indoors and hear a band or three.

Don Peyote
A masterful example of a play on words that must be spoken aloud for the joke to register.

Ducks, like chickens and pigs, are always funny. This has the added pleasure of alliteration with that second D.

The Grindylow
 I like that it's only one of them.

Completely independent of this band, my kid once used Woodgrain as a screen name in an online fighting game, in an effort to come up with something absurdly boring and non-threatening with nothing whatever to do with the game. I have to hope these guys were thinking along similar lines.

Your Cell: Yourself
Taking self-awareness to a whole new level.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

September 17, 2011

I've been corresponding with an aspiring novelist whose story partly revolves around a rock band that's been together for over twenty years. I suggested, as a way to better understand her characters and their backstory, to consider what they called their band before they came up with the current name -- back when they were 20, playing for 10 or 15 people in a dive bar on a Wednesday night. How many names did they go through and how many fights did it cause? Because I can't imagine most bands came up with a winning name first time out of the box, and that's part of the story. By whatever process, these bands came up with winners:

I like this because it can be taken a couple of ways: one who is not a hedonist -- not anti, just . . . not. Or (because some people like to use the article "an" with words that begin with "h") it could be the article and the noun run together -- one who is an hedonist. I expect it's up to the listener to decide.

Insect Surfers
Insects on surfboards: cute. People using giant insects as surfboards: trippy. People surfing waves of bugs: ew.

Magic Bus
I'm an old Who fan, and I've always loved this song, so I couldn't pass this one by.

Write This Down
The irony is that at a live performance, you can't understand most of the words.

YO! Majesty
This is exactly the right attitude toward monarchy. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 10, 2011

When we get summer in Seattle, it's perfect. We just have to wait till the first week of school, is all. This late in the season, it cools off in the evening, making us more willing to go indoors and hear some music!

Cast Iron Maidens

Illicit Jug Cartel
These two share a bill and caught my attention for the same reason: an ominous phrase turned down-home and humorous by the change or addition of one word. Nicely done.

Pig Destroyer
Do they launch the pig? I just hope they're not after square pigs . . .

Pinehurst Kids
Local flavor down at the neighborhood level. I wonder if Pinehurst kids are the same as AS#1 kids -- incredibly loud and more numerous than you believed possible (in the words of a former Nova HS student with experience of new crops of 9th graders arriving en masse from AS#1).

Tang and Toast
Space-age breakfast of champions.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

September 3, 2011

In honor of Bumbershoot, I checked the festival schedule as well as the club listings in my never-ending search for creative band names. This week's picks:

Buildings on the Moon
I'm glad I'm not the only one thinking about this topic. I'm thinking spaceport, but I heard that a pizza chain (Domino's?) wants to be the first pizza restaurant on the moon. It'll probably go right next to Starbuck's.

Dead Man
Dunno if they had this in mind, but this is the title of a truly great, deeply weird film starring Johnny Depp.

Fitz and the Tantrums
Dumb and clever at the same time, in one of the standard formats.

Free the Robots
Otherwise, they will rise up and become our overlords.

Delightfully juvenile. Also, as a member of a rock duo, I like to support other duos.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

August 27, 2011

Speaking from my limited experience of rock band rehearsal and recording, it's a wonder any band stays together at all. It probably helps to have a really good name to stay together for. Here are a few that caught my eye:

Bass Drum of Death
This one appeals to me on a personal level because I used to play the big bass drum in concert band. When it's done right, you feel it as much as hear it, deep down in the center of your being. It's the heartbeat of the music, and when it stops . . .

This week's local flavor entry! Although Celilo Falls was drowned before I came along, I grew up hearing about the historic fishing spot on the Columbia. It's a lovely sounding word, and I'm happy to see it immortalized in a band name.

Charlie Drown
Goes by so fast, you almost miss the joke.

The joke here is visual -- in the spelling, not the sound. This car needs a flux capacitor to cheer it up.

I like this name because it's a little too long to be practical, and then run together into one word so it looks hard to read (even though it isn't). On top of that, it's an outrageous statement that must lead to a good tall tale.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

August 20, 2011

Considering the way this summer has been, we've been awfully lucky to have many of our nice days on the weekend. Today was perhaps the finest yet. I'm just back from a boat ride and a chance encounter on the waterfront with a band playing tunes from the '60s. I think their name was Spirograph, but the wind was blowing the banner so I can't be sure. That's a pretty good name, though.

Beware of Safety 
I'm thinking of playground equipment that's had all the fun safety-ed out of it. Where are the Giant Strides of yesteryear? In music, at least, we can still make mistakes and get messy.

Captain Gravel
The Gravelmobile must be a dump truck.

The Ettes
Every girl group ever. Love it.

Medula Pinata
The weird science twist puts this one in the top five this week. Combining a brain part with a party decoration that gets hit with a stick -- funny and creepy all at once.

I hope this outfit has a Jeeves to keep it all together.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

August 13, 2011

Shameless plug: go to Reverbnation and check out Train Case. I named the group myself after a conversation about Pouch, and now we have a couple of songs up. Meanwhile, here are some bands I didn't name but wish I had:

The Earps
It's not the fault of Wyatt and his brothers, whose first names I can never remember, that they have a name that sounds like an unpleasant bodily function. It's memorable and kind of fun to say. Bands named for historical figures catch my attention because of the apparent disconnect. Yet that's the point of history -- everything is connected if you just look long enough.

Groggy Bikini
I never would have put this adjective and this noun together, and now I can't stop wondering what this means. All the long e and hard g sounds are strangely amusing to say.

Jaguar Paw 
This sounds like the name of a character in the middle-grade book series Warriors, of which I read far too many a few years back. It's about clans of feral cats, and a lot better than that description makes it sound. That said, I wouldn't want to get too close to an actual jaguar's actual paw.

The re-spelling gets it exactly right.

Underground Train to Candyland
I love this -- it's a little bit long, and seems to describe the dark, gritty side of children's board games. (Note: published listings say "Underground Train" but the actual name appears to be "Underground Railroad to Candyland". That's still pretty great.)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

August 6, 2011

I actually heard someone the other day say it was too hot. It might have been 80. My response was, "We've waited a long time for this, and it won't last. Besides, we have it better this summer than pretty much the whole rest of the country, so don't complain." Actually, that last sentence is nearly always true, no matter the subject, including or maybe especially if the subject is local music.

Bird by Bird
As a writer, I have to support this one. Anne Lamott's book is on my shelf and has been a great help whenever I have to start a large project. Just take it bird by bird.

Fungal Abyss 
Wonderful and gross. What's down there for the fungus to feed on? And who's eating the fungus?

Goodbye Heart
I really, really hope one of the band members is named Mary Lou. (No such luck, but they're not just from Seattle, they're from Ballard. How local is that?)

The Mallard
The singular really makes this. The touch of local flavor could only have been improved if they were playing in Ballard. Well, maybe next time.

Shannon and the Clams
Again with the local flavor! It uses the no-miss "and the" formula, and the short "a" sounds make it flow.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

July 30, 2011

It's my birthday! A great gift would be if somebody named their band Lip Bomb. Anyway . . .

Full Life Crisis
Now there's an idea: rather than messing around with quarter-life crises and mid-life crises (I'm just waiting for someone to posit the eighth-life crisis for 10-year-olds -- oh, wait, that's middle school) just recognize that the whole thing is one long crisis from beginning to end. Transition is normal. Life can and often does get better, but there's always something. Deal with it. Rock on.

The Gentlemen Gluttons
I'm picturing a whole band of Mr. Creosote in his evening clothes. Bad idea, but a great name.

Post Modern Heroes
The term "post modern" has always struck me as absurd, so I like when people make fun of it.

Sometimes Astronauts
I've had a thing about astronauts most of my life, so this name caught my eye. I can take the "sometimes" a couple of ways. Sometimes astronauts . . . what? Or, sometime astronauts who are doing something else now.

Super Geek League
This one tells it like it is. There are no huger nerds than musicians (except maybe astronauts), which gives them their own kind of cool.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

July 23, 2011

We left Seattle on a misty Thursday on a quest to find some summer. We found it, appropriately enough, in Sunnyside, and sent some back. It was waiting for us when we returned to Seattle on Friday. You're welcome. On to the picks:

The Gnu Deal
C'mon, who doesn't like to play around with the word "gnu"? The pun is almost too easy, but everyone on the panel laughed.

Goofy and fun to say.

Merchants of Moonshine
They're in the country listings, so we can guess what they mean by moonshine. I kind of like the more poetic interpretation, too. Any of us purveyors of fiction could fall into this category.

Naked Bacon Band
Never noticed before that "naked" and "bacon" almost rhyme. This one also got general laughs around the table.

Natalie Wouldn't
Another pun that's almost too easy, but those are the best kind. Do young people even remember Natalie Wood?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

July 16, 2011

I'm on vacation! Among other things, that means I get to see at least one show next week, on a "school night," and it should be a ripsnorter! I've already blogged about two of the bands on the bill, and the third appears in this week's list.

Big Crinkly Trio
I like the word "crinkly." Considering this outfit is appearing at Gallery 1412, the word could very well describe at least some of the sounds they make. It sounds like a friendly way into improv.

Local flavor -- one of our great NW place names.

Gritty residue that remains when the glacier recedes. These rocks haven't just rolled; they have been ground.

South Sound Bureau Chiefs
This one has a particularly wonky vibe that makes me smile. Serious journalism invades the dive bar scene . . .

Your Mother Should Know
It's too early for a Web presence, but this band opens for Pouch and High Class Wreckage -- it should be a great, loud, fun show. I wasn't blogging yet the last time YMSK played out, or this name would have appeared a long time ago. Now is better, though. Full disclosure: I share a full set of parents with the bandleader, and the next time YMSK gets a gig, that'll be me, the Square Pig herself, behind the drums. (This show came up too fast for the latest incarnation of the full band to learn the set). I feel I can legitimately blog about it because I thought it was a great name the first time I heard it, before there even was a band. As the instigator was inviting people to join, a potential recruit listed "Your Mother Should Know" as her favorite Beatles song. She ultimately did not join up, but the name stuck, even through multiple personnel changes and near collapse. It works as a band name because it's a song about a song, about getting up and dancing, about the longevity of good music. It's a piece of advice: "Listen to your mother -- she should know." One of us actually is a mother, and we all have offspring in the age-range of our probable audience. And two out of three bandmembers share a mother; it was on her guitar that the leader learned to play, back in 1983, the last time we had a family band. Just goes to show, it's never too late to get up and dance.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

July 9, 2011

I had the privilege last Thursday to be present at Carrie Akre's farewell show at the Crocodile. The second half of her set was a Goodness reunion. Now, I pretty much missed the '90s -- that was my working-mother-of-small-children decade -- so all the music was new to me. This kick-ass outfit blew me away, as did opening act Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs; they are the real deal and I expect to hear great things from them for years to come. Good luck in Minneapolis, Carrie. Don't be a stranger, and thanks for a great party.

Gimmie a Pigfoot
On the face of it, this is just a bar order -- for a pickled pork item, or perhaps for some drink I don't want to contemplate. But the spelling of "Gimmie" hints that it could be a name, further modified by the one-word "Pigfoot." Is that anything like a cowhand? Or a bigfoot?

Huge Spacebird
Points for goofiness and SF themes.

Smoking Popes 
Change one letter and you change everything! And it trips off the tongue.

Socrates and the Lava Gods
I love the idea of Socrates as an adventure hero.

The Whole Bolivian Army
I can't believe I didn't do this one already, but a quick check did not turn it up. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was one of the first non-kids' movies I ever saw, when I was 7. I don't think I had even heard of Bolivia at the time, let alone the whole Bolivian army. Picturing that scene now, I don't know how they're all going to fit on the stage . . .

Saturday, July 2, 2011

July 2, 2011

A new month, a beautiful day, a holiday weekend -- what's not to like? Get out and hear some music!

Electrik Emily
Klondike Kate
These two follow the same naming formula and are on the same bill, so I'll talk about them together. You can hardly go wrong with adjective-person's name, especially if both begin with the same letter and/or sound. It doesn't hurt that Klondike Kate sounds like a gold-rush character (local flavor). That double-k sound in Electrik makes these two go together even better.

I've been hearing about these guys and liked the name from the start. Pouch is one of those words that's fun and funny to say. (I'm planning to go hear them at EMP today, so it seemed like a good time to drop them into the blog.) I hope to see more bands named for hand luggage.

I don't always name favorites, but this is my favorite name of the week. It jumped out of the listings and made me laugh out loud. It sounds like a great genre for summer -- kind of slow and lazy. Or else a quiescently frozen confection with the strangest flavor . . .

Titanium Sporkestra
Spork is always funny, a titanium spork would be absurd, and the wordplay takes it over the top and onto the blog. I understand this is a marching band, which makes it even better.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

June 25, 2011

None of the band names were grabbing me, and I thought I was going to have to scrape to come up with five. Then I hit Monday, and great names poured forth in abundance. My faith is renewed.

Clam Hamr
Assonance, bivalves, hammers -- what's not to love? I like to say it and I like the spelling. It also has an appealing only-in-the-Northwest vibe.

Knifey Spoony
This one's just weird and goofy. Is it a game? A description? When consulted, my resident panel voted for it unanimously.

Man Your Horse
Clearly an order that means something specific in context. Out of context, it just sounds funny.

We Wrote the Book on Connectors
I have been waiting months for this band to show up again so I could include them. I'm a big fan of names that are a little too long, especially when they're complete sentences. This has the added fun of being somebody's advertising slogan.

Zero Gravity Circus
Part of the thrill of the circus is the danger of falling -- not a concern in zero-G. But a circus in space would have its own dangers and possibilities. I would love to see this.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

June 18, 2011

A great week for band names: I liked 6 on Friday night alone! First, a shout-out to Nova High School and their band program. The band show is tonight at the Vera Project, and I gotta say, the kids came up with some pretty good names: The Pink Pajamas, El Mago, Chad, German Engineering, Some Pants, and My Left Eye.

I'm only assuming these bands are out of high school:

Ape Machine
Remove one letter from a piece of old recording equipment and suddenly, you're manufacturing simians. It also makes me think of Ape Escape, which came up in conversation just the other day.

Creeping Time
Where does the time go? It creeps away. Creeping Thyme is a fragrant groundcover, but the first time I heard it spoken aloud, years ago, I thought it would be a great name for a band or something. I'm glad someone else thought so, too.

Event Staph
I love it when the entertaining meets the clinical. However, this makes me think twice about going out.

Ringo Deathstarr 
I first heard the Beatles maybe a year or two before Star Wars came out. As a young teen, they were two of my favorite things. I especially loved Ringo (still do), so this a mash-up just for me.

Sigourney Reverb
You don't realize how great this is until you say it aloud.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

June 11, 2011

I have been remiss in not honoring one of the great punning band names of all time: Banned Rehearsal. This free-improv group has been around since 1984 and (full disclosure) I've been a member since 1985. We're approaching the 27th Bannediversary and still play regularly, recording every session. We had a particularly nice session this past week and I thought we deserved a mention. Now, on with the regular list:

DJ Doo Right
When we watch a DVD, we precede it with a short: an episode of "Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends." We are somewhere at season 2, so we've seen a lot of Dudley Dooright, making this an easy pick. I'm picturing a square-jawed dj in a Mountie uniform . . .

Guantanamo Baywatch
 I always enjoy these linguistic mashups for the surprising twist at the end. Something that isn't funny in the least turns ridiculous, which makes a person think.

Omega Moo
Spoken, this sounds like the name of fictional sorority, which is kind of funny but not that much. In print, however, it goes somewhere goofy. Cows, like pigs (square or otherwise) and chickens, are automatically funny.

Another surprising mashup, this one bilingual.

Sad and French
A post-breakup request at the piano bar: "Give me something sad and French." (This works equally well at the video store or library).

Saturday, June 4, 2011

June 4, 2011

It's finally nice out and I want to go out and play, so let's make this quick.

The Airborne Toxic Event
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.

Hooray for Earth
I love the wide-eyed ingenuousness of this name. Having read up on how much it takes to simply survive away from our home world, I wholeheartedly join the cheer. We live in Paradise.

Mangled Bohemians
I've said it before: who's going to clean up this mess?

Shot in Minnesota
Ow. (If you're shot in Minnesota, do you still die in Utah?)

Tiny Moving Parts 
This speaks to me of intricacy, precision, and perfectly meshed function. Now I'm curious -- what's rock & roll about that?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

May 28, 2011

In keeping with our dismal spring, it looks like Folklife could be damp. Go anyway -- support local music! This week's picks:

14 Iced Bears
This sounds like a cookie order . . . or a crime scene in one of Jasper Fforde's Nursery Crime novels. For some reason, including the word "bear" in a title makes it automatically funny and awesome at the same time. Including one or more actual bears is not recommended.

Bad Mitten Orchestre
This looks cute on the page, and then you say it aloud and there's a whole new joke. It belongs to the same category of near-homophones as Square Pig in a Round Hole, so of course I'm going to choose it.

Because it is fun yet difficult to say, I was ready to believe this to be a Washington State place name. It isn't, but it should be.

The Ross Sea Party
Another entry in the "Do They Know Me?" category. Although my interest lies more with the Weddell Sea Party, in researching Ernest Shackleton and the ill-fated Endurance, I also learned about Aeneas Mackintosh and the perhaps more ill-fated Aurora. Polar explorers were nuts, but they left us amazing stories that you couldn't make up. I hope this "party" is more the fun kind and not the dying-of-scurvy kind.

Sea of Bees
A different kind of sea, one I wouldn't want to cross without the proper gear. Saying the name aloud evokes CBGB.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

May 21, 2011

Just bloggin' and waitin' for the Rapture, that peculiar center of grindhouse theology. (What they don't realize is May 21 isn't the end of the world -- it's just Storm Sound Cycle!)

But in case of Rapture, all my picks play tonight or already played last night.

Android Hero
Captured! by Robots
Warning: Danger
Danger, Will Robinson! These three bands are on one bill. I love it when they match! Thanks to R2-D2, I've loved robots since 1977. My current sci-fi project includes an endearing band of doo-wop singing bots. This was an easy pick.

Point Juncture, WA
Our state has an abundance of interesting place names, most of which could be band names. This is one I hadn't seen before in either context. This sounds like both a crossroads and the end of the road.

Goofy fantasy element + fun to say = awesome name.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

May 14, 2011

Friday the 13th fell on a Friday this month, but I came through it unscathed even without hiding under the bed. Who are the lucky bands this week?

French Horn Rebellion
Although the French horn has made a few appearances in rock & roll songs, it is not the first instrument that comes to mind when I think "rock band." In an orchestra, the horn section is kept separate from the brass section, as if to ward off the influence of that stereotypical seat of rebellion, or anyway, goofing off. Maybe there's something we don't know . . .

Gazebo of Destruction
This one belongs to the opposing images school of band names. "Gazebo" is refined, elegant, civilized. "Destruction" is everything but. It doesn't hurt that "gazebo" figures in a couple of running family jokes.

Keep of Kalessin
Do these guys know me? I am a fantasy writer because of Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea series, and Kalessin is my favorite dragon in all of literature. I will probably never write a dragon story because it couldn't possibly measure up. This was the easiest pick this week (and also a perfect badass name for a metal band).
Morton and the Saltines
This one takes the classic "X and the Ys" formula and draws humor from both the play on a brand name and the inclusion of ubiquitous, basic food products. It hints that saltines aren't as bland as we'd been led to believe.

Tom Baker Quartet
The name's not particularly creative, but the musicians are. I plan to catch this show, if only to solve the mystery of what TBQ is doing under "Rock and Pop." Always worth a listen, wherever they turn up.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

May 7, 2011

Four previous honorees -- Eighteen Individual Eyes, Ancient Warlocks, Ravenna Woods and Dog Shredder -- all had gigs last night, and I missed them all due to a previous engagement! I hope everybody had a rockin' night.

Less Than Equals
This one plays on words and numbers! It could describe a relationship, either personal or mathematical. And you could spell it <=. (No website, but Kurt Bloch is in it, so you know they're awesome). The mathiness makes it fit on a bill with:
Ocean of Algebra and Social Studies, which aren't on the same bill but should be. I hope they are more fun than 9th grade.

This one is just a joy to say. It is at once funny and heavy and gritty.

Wet Nightmare 
Speaking of 9th grade . . . This name conveys in two words all the wonder and horror of puberty.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 30, 2011

The blooming maple tree outside my windows is full of chickadees and bush-tits, so I am distracted by birds. Distracted by Birds would make a good name for a band, if anyone wants to use it. On with the list!

I like new words coined from existing words. I suppose this means someone or something that plays arpeggios, but prefer to imagine a crocodilian previously unknown to science. The female of the species is the arpeggiatrix

Boy Eats Drum Machine 
Tabloid headline or superhero origin story?

See above re: new words. This one has the nice twist on the root "tone" as a musical or medical concept.

Everyone Dies in Utah
And everywhere else. Or do we have to go there first? If I never go to Utah, will I live forever? If I ever set foot in Utah, will I immediately expire? Now I'm afraid to find out.

You Are Plural
I am? I mean, yes, we are. I knew that. Modern English is funny that way -- no way to differentiate 2nd person plural from 2nd person singular, except by context. And sometimes even that is no help.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

April 23, 2011

It's finally a beautiful spring day and I want to get outside, so I'll try to keep things brief. Quiz question: If Man Without Wax and Wax played on the same bill, would they cancel each other out?

Church for Sinners
To which I have to say, is there any other kind? They're playing Easter night at the Skylark -- I can't think of anything more fitting.

I just watched a movie featuring a British man-of-war called Endeavour (also the name of a space shuttle) and I'm writing a book featuring a spaceship called Endurance (from Shackleton's famous lost ship), so this one jumped out at me. The neologism evokes an admirable but peculiarly square kind of ethic for a rock band.

Mannequin BBQ
People Eating People
These two were on the same bill, a match made in horror-movie heaven.

Western Hymn
Another appropriate-for-Holy-Week offering. "Western Hymn" is a beautiful old tune that I only recently learned, when my resident composer used it in a piece. We found it in The Old School Hymnal #9 as the tune for the -- ahem -- uncomfortable hymn that begins, "There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel's veins," which does not get much play in the progressive churches I frequent, but has something kind of punk about it. (I think I would be willing to sing the outdated words, just to have a chance at the tune.)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

April 16, 2011

Today the Square Pig celebrates 22 years as a Seattle homeowner! Back then, Seattle was just starting to get on the pop music map. Trends come and go, but creative band names go on forever.

Agent 86
Would you believe . . . ? The "Get Smart" reference won my heart. This name reveals a sense of humor and pop-culture savvy. If I had one, my shoe phone would be off to this group.

One of the local young people took a language arts class a few years ago in which students created superheroes. A hero requires a nemesis, of course, so our young hero created a super villain with the power to throw people through the nearest window. His name: The Defenestrator. Obviously, we're not the only ones who love this word.

Garage a Trois
The perfect relationship in the garage-band capital. Way to pull off a foreign-language pun! (I'm also amused that the band is a four-piece).

Poke the Squid
You're gonna get inked.

Why Are We Building Such a Big Ship?
A delightfully overlong name, and a question, at that. This name hints at a narrative that could go in all kinds of directions. Is it an ark? A spaceship? A space ark? Why, indeed?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

April 9, 2011

So many terrific nominees this week! A few of them fall into natural themes, so I'm going with those:

Bucket of Honey
Buckets of Rain
I have to talk about these as a group. Considering our recent weather, Downpour and Buckets of Rain obviously go together as well as fulfilling the local flavor criterion. Bucket of Honey gets in because I was amused to see the word "bucket" twice is quick succession. I'm kind of glad it wasn't a downpour of honey.

Flight to Mars
A Rocket to the Moon
These two have their own obvious connection, but for me it's personal: my current literary effort concerns a space expedition that begins on the Moon and flies to Mars and beyond. Once again, we demonstrate the close relationship between science fiction and rock & roll.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

April 2, 2011

I'm glad I'm doing this today and not yesterday, because I'm no good at April Fool's pranks. Before I begin this week's list, a shout-out to Operation ID, playing at the Tractor tonight. These guys are a jazzy rock combo, or a rockin' jazz combo, with chops and energy to burn!

DJ Leopold Bloom
This is so beautiful, I can't believe I'm seeing it for the first time. I love it when literature insinuates itself into pop culture. I hope he has a gig on June 16.

Funny and tragic at the same time, the goofy-looking extinct bird with the comic name. Because of the pet dodo in Jasper Fforde's wonderful Thursday Next series, I'd like to see this band in the same lineup with previous winner Pickwick.

The Horse She Rode in On
This one's nice because it sounds like the end of an insult or joke, and you missed the part that makes it make sense. I'm also a sucker for band names that are a little too long, though with it being all monosyllables, it's shorter than it looks.

The Slags
I like the word slag. It just sounds punk. I hope they are.

William Shatner Mouth
You know by the name, they don't take themselves seriously. Of course I feel compelled to support the indirect sci-fi reference. (I can't find a website or myspace for this one, so no link. Sorry!)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

March 26, 2011

The first post of spring! Rain is falling, trees are budding, the grass is growing and it's too wet to mow. This week's list is a little shaggy that way, too: four bands and a lineup I'd like to see.

Dead Uncle Steamer, Dead Relatives, Death in the Family
What a dismal reunion this would be. (These bands are all playing at the Funhouse, and two of them appear with previous honoree Rat City Ruckus, so it's possible, even probable, that they already know each other or even share some personnel.)

Man Without Ax
What is a man without his ax? It's almost too sad to contemplate, especially in a rock band. Unless you're a tree, in which case, it's a dream come true. (Unfortunately, this seems to be typo in the listings -- it's actually Man Without Wax, which is not nearly as sad.)

Paper Machete
It starts out arts & crafts, and ends up a Robert Rodriguez flick. This kind of wordplay just makes me happy.

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.

Yarn Owl
The name sounds great, and evokes a macrame wall-hanging my mom made back in the '70s. I'm also charmed that the rest of the lineup includes The Brambles and Legendary Oaks. It's a nice forest vibe. They're probably happy about the man without ax.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

March 19, 2011

Thanks to Spinning Whips, Ancient Warlocks, and Koko & the Sweetmeats for a memorable St. Patrick's Day! Now it's Saturday again, and time for a brand new list of winners.

Abandon Kansas
During tornado season, this is probably good advice. I love the balanced assonance of schwa, short a, schwa, short a, schwa that makes it fun and easy to say.

Dog Shredder
One of the resident cats thinks this applies to her. I imagine it's brutal and raucous.

Last of the Steam Powered Trains
I have an enduring soft spot for absurdly long band names, and for steam trains, so this was an easy pick.

The Mother Hips
I never noticed before how easily the sci-fi stalwart, "mother ship," can be transformed into a woman's ongoing struggle. Suddenly those hips seem cooler!

Potty Mouth Society
Juvenile humor gets organized. (I doubt we have much to worry about).

Saturday, March 12, 2011

March 12, 2011

Lots of Irish-sounding acts in the listings for next week, but not in my post. This Square Pig will be heading out to the Columbia City Theatre on Thursday for Spinning Whips and Ancient Warlocks. I love it when my honorees team up!

The Lunasphere
Since childhood, I've had a special fondness for the moon. I think this may be because people went there before I started school, so I knew it could be done without knowing how hard it was. Now that I write sci-fi, my fondness has increased. The Lunasphere sounds like where I've been spending a lot of time lately, and only partly because it's so close to "lunacy."

People in the Future Recording Co.
I have a soft spot for absurdly long names like this one. And recorded sound is a form of time travel, but of people in the past. This will require some thought.

Pocket Panda  
This is just so darned cute! Real pandas are adorable, but huge. A pocket version is genius. (Pocket Panda has been a runner-up several times before, so I'm glad to finally list them.)

Ravens Rant
All the corvids have extensive vocabularies, particularly suited for rants. I once wrote, "When a raven cast its bright, knowing eyes on a mere human, the contempt was palpable. The raven was no silly flutterer, hurrying here and there. Hearing the slow, deep whuooomh whuooomh of its wingbeats, any earthbound creature had to acknowledge that someone great had passed over." When you've been scolded by a raven, you know it.

A Silent Film
I love the audacity of a rock band with "silent" in its name. But film and music have had an intimate association from the start, so it really works.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

March 5, 2011

No theme this week, just another crop of great band names. A few of them would make great line-ups, so I've listed them together as single selections.

Atheist and Deicide
Of course, one who knowingly commits deicide cannot claim to be an atheist. But it would be fun to see these two battle it out: "There is no God" vs "There was a God, but I killed her."

Brahms and Conducting from the Grave
Conducting from the grave beats the heck out of rolling over in it.

The Flying Tortugas and The Whoopsie Daisies
 These two really are on the same bill, next Thursday at the Blue Moon Tavern, and I wish I could be there. This kind of whimsy needs to be encouraged.

A Hawk and a Hacksaw
This is probably a bad idea, but saying it sure clears the phlegm.

The Shrapnelles 
I try not to play favorites, but I have to admit this one is my favorite this week. I applaud the ability to evoke, in one word, Phil Spector's girl groups and shredding metal. This I've got to hear.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

February 26, 2011

The big news is that the Square Pig got out of the hole last Sunday and saw a great show at the Comet. Four bands, all strong and with pretty good names, too! The Downstrokes, The Blue Ribbon Boys, and Hollywood 77 all paid homage to late-'70s New York punk, with spirited Ramones covers and other music that was loud, fast, and raw. It warms my heart that people who weren't even born in 1977 appreciate music that no one else in my high school dug. (The Downstrokes also won me over with a great Ramonesque take on Sam Cooke's "Having a Party," one of my favorite songs from before I was born.) Meanwhile, High Class Wreckage was pure Seattle Sound: a little louder, a little faster, a little heavier than anyone else. Draw a straight line from the Sonics through Mudhoney and you hit High Class Wreckage.

Now for this week's list! Continuing last week's theme, these are all plural nouns. They all refer to ordinary things and lack the definite article. The sheer generalness makes them quirky.

Is this the mundane weekly chore, or the soothing luxury -- Saturday-night or bubble?

The strands come together to form a neat unit. Or do they?

Luxury and pampering, or standardized anonymity?

Cargo, cruise, or space?

The least ordinary of the bunch. Swans are elegant, with a long literary and artistic pedigree, but also big and aggressive if provoked.

Finally, the Bands Who Should Have Been on the Same Bill but Weren't Award goes to:
Just Like Vinyl and The Broken Records.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

February 19, 2011

Just for fun, this week's list has a theme. Every band name is a noun, singular. I like the idea of the band as a single unit, no matter how many members.

Seems cute and harmless, but oh! those little needle claws!
A young person of my acquaintance once wrote a short story for school in which the llama from Napoleon Dynamite (which I re-watched last night) runs away to Seattle and joins a gang of criminal llamas but is defeated during a chase in the bus tunnel when the side-mirror of a Metro bus takes the boss llama's head off. Maybe this is one of those llamas.

"Mongo merely pawn in game of life." Thank you, Mel Brooks.

Sure, she's all sweet and pretty, but what's going on behind the throne? Royalty, like politicians, are not to be trusted.

Yes, this band has appeared before. Sue me. They fit the theme, and take it to the next level by being a monosyllable! As I said in my previous post, the word is fun to say and sounds much funnier than its actual meaning.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

February 12, 2011

This is one of those cultural mashups that goes by so fast that you think you know what it is until you realize you don't. Of course, the Boeing reference makes it local.

Big Wheel Stunt Show
Another name that I had been chuckling at for months before I started this blog. An extreme sport for preschoolers? I can hear those hard plastic wheels rattling down the sidewalk now . . .

Lazer Kitty
So that's what the glowing green eyes are.

Murder By Death
What could be nerdier than a Woody Allen reference?

The Spinning Whips
Full disclosure: I know somebody who knows a member of this group. The name sounds like something dangerous and fascinating.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

February 5, 2011

All Bets on Death
Taxes are a close second.

Ancient Warlocks
This appeals to my fantasy-novel side. Music and fiction are the closest to magic we can get: something out of nothing. It also evokes Spinal Tap and their tiny Stonehenge, and that makes me smile.

Campfire OK
 Signs are great band-name fodder -- the fewer words, the better. This one has a nice positive vibe, but campfires can get out of hand -- exactly what you want with a rock show!

No Bunny
. . . till some bunny loves you. Sweet, sad, and existential all at once.

The Velveteen Lotharios
Hilariously cheap. (Knowing nothing at all, I guessed "lounge," and I was absolutely right!)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

January 29, 2011

Weirdness, the comic potential of the definite article, and a couple of brief nostalgia trips . . .

Death by Steamship
This is not the way I want to go! It conjures two wildly different pictures: an absurdly elaborate execution; or a chance meeting in a dark alley that doesn't end well . . .
This has been one of my favorite science words since I learned it at age 12 from my older brother, who was taking Physics. It's a measure of work. And what noise do you make when you really work? Erg!

The Femurs
The bone name is too clinical to be really macabre, and it rhymes with "lemur". But it doesn't turn truly comic until you add the definite article. (As a band name, it doesn't hurt to have the same vowel, syllable, and accent pattern as the Beatles).

This is just weird. I like weird.

Paul Lynde Fan Club
As a five-year-old in the late Sixties, I watched a lot of Bewitched reruns, and saw a lot of Paul Lynde. I thought he was hilarious. I'm stunned that anyone young enough to be in a band playing at the Comet has even heard of him! It renews my faith, if I ever had any, in syndicated TV.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

January 22, 2011

One thing I love about doing this blog is that the good material just keeps coming, week after week. I see previous winners again, and also have the chance to select previous runners-up, but there also seems to be an ever-flowing fount of creative band names I've never seen before. This week, I list a mix of old favorites and names that were new to me.

Fan Fiction
Sometimes the names reveal rock music's geeky heart. As a writer and nerd myself, I respect and applaud anyone willing to fly their nerd flag high.
Goldie Wilson
I love Back to the Future. That is enough to get this one on the list.

The Luna Moth
I hope this is a reference to The Amazing Adventures of Kavilier and Clay by Michael Chabon. Because literary fiction about comic books has everything to do with rock & roll, and I mean that in all seriousness.

Ockham's Razor
A young person of my acquaintance cracks up whenever I mention this band's name, so in it goes. Why is the music world so full of science geeks?

Tea Cozies
Full disclosure: I've seen the band, bought the CD, put the sticker on our guitar case. The name charmed me before I ever heard the music. A tea cozy is old-fashioned and unnecessary, but a civilizing influence. Like . . . rock & roll? Hmmm . . . Anyway -- great name, great band, always happy to see them out and playing.

The Unfortunate Topical Relevance award goes to the lineup of The Buckets and Vaporland, in light of this week's news story of incredibly clueless motorists transferring gasoline from an open bucket directly into the carburetor of a running engine, resulting in a spectacular van fire and burn injuries to all three occupants. Take the bus next time.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

January 15, 2011

This week's listings had past winner Curtains For You in a sold-out show opening for up-and-comers The Head and the Heart. I don't take all the credit, but I wish good things for all my picks.

Elk and Boar
I suppose this has something to do with wild animals or game meat, but the construction evokes "Moose and Squirrel." Anything that makes me think of Rocky and Bullwinkle is OK by me.

Retribution Gospel Choir
This one gets a boost from the oxymoronic juxtaposition of "retribution" and "gospel." It's at least a little scary; maybe a lot.

This is just one of those words that's fun to say -- short and punchy and sounds funnier than its actual meaning.

Starving Art Family
This must be the result when Bohemians in a garret don't die of consumption, but survive and have a passel of kids and send them to alternative schools . . .

Subways on the Sun
A Very Bad Idea.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

January 8, 2011

This is one of those weeks when every band name is from a different planet. It's amazing that there are still so many different ways to think about the same thing.

Corpus Callosum
A band named for a bundle of nerves. I appreciate the geekiness required to even know the term.

High Class Wreckage
Yay! I've been waiting for these guys to show up. This name trips off the tongue, yet feels like an oxymoron. Full disclosure: I've seen High Class Wreckage twice. Their shows are reliably loud, dumb, full-on fun. Expect high-jinks and physical contact.

I re-read Catcher in the Rye last week, so I couldn't very well leave this band out. There's a lot of rock & roll attitude in the book, and anyway, I always have a soft spot for literary references.

It's hard to pass up a good sci-fi connection. I think I've mentioned before that I came to rock music and science fiction at around the same time, and I'm still into both. This name particularly strikes me now because I'm writing a piece that involves terraforming and had to learn about it recently.

Turd Helmet
This is absolutely too gross to imagine! But the name wouldn't go away, so it makes the list. Happy now?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

January 1, 2011

Happy New Year! It's a beautiful day in Seattle and a great week for band names. I will mostly let them speak for themselves.

Captain Spalding
Hooray, hooray, hooray!

Haircuts That Hurt
Now that's a close shave.

Peace Mercutio
I'm just a sucker for a good literary allusion.

Same Sex Dictator 
Are you the opposite sex, or am I?

Skeletons With Flesh On Them
Aren't we all? Kind of like how, under our clothes, we're all naked, as Sam the Eagle used to say.

Bonus: Bands That Should Be On the Same Bill:
Speaker Speaker; Mutiny Mutiny; Canon Canyon

Just for fun, add Breaker Breaker, Doctor Doctor and Velella Velella!