Saturday, July 26, 2014

July 26, 2014

Summer returns at the tail-end of my vacation, but that's OK; I sleep better when it's cool. If you want to go out beyond Block Party or Torchlight Parade, here are some bands to whet your imagination:

Arsonists Get All the Girls
I dig the confidence in the absurd assertion, though I'm reluctant to visit a reality where this is true.

Falty and the Defects
This one combines two favorites: classic X and the Y structure and Northwest loser pride.

Made of Boxes
Take humble materials found around the house and build a dream. That's how we make music around these parts.

One Legged Bandit
Funny how a simple change of appendage alters the whole picture!

The Reptile House 
This one stood out for personal, nostalgic reasons. Years ago, I took my preschooler to the zoo every Wednesday morning. On winter visits, we spent a lot of time in the old Day and Night exhibit because it was sheltered and warm, and midweek in January, also quiet. The animals were mostly small and easy to see, but weird and exotic -- appealing to a three-year-old. Not so the large sculpture opposite the darkened Gila monster exhibit (they were hibernating). Reflected in the glass, it looked like a giant Gila monster inside the exhibit! The little guy was scared to look at it. I wasn't sure this was going to have anything to do with music, but sometimes it's like that: appealing but with terrifying illusions.

Monday, July 21, 2014

July 21, 2014

After a weekend away, I'm catching up because band names never sleep!

Animals in Cars
There were almost enough bands with "animal" in the name to do a themed blog this week: this one plus Animals, Lazy Animals, and Service Animal. Animals in Cars makes it in because I can take it so many ways: exuberantly fun -- the dog I saw with his head out the window, ears flapping in the breeze; comic and fantastical -- cartoon animals driving cars; or poignant and sad -- a dog left alone in a hot or freezing car (please don't).

How to Win at Battleship
I like band names that sound like self-help titles, especially for things that can't be guaranteed. I've played enough Battleship to know that the surest way to win is to play someone who is worse at the game, but then that feels kind of mean. Oh, wait! It's war! So the only way to win is not to play.

Mimicking Birds
Are we mimicking the birds, or do they mimic us? I like how the meaning is equally plausible either way without more context. (Last night I asked my resident illustrator to draw the Least Plausible, the Greater Plausible, and the Short-Billed Plausible. Possibly mimicking birds and certainly good band names. Alas, he declined).

Risky Liver
More fun with language, where the noun form of a verb might have an unfortunate resemblance to an internal organ that suffers from a risky life.

Terman Shanks
And yet more fun, this time with a simple swap that turns an armored vehicle into a plausible hillbilly name.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

July 12, 2014

I make a point of not complaining about the weather, but I will admit that I don't sleep (or think) well when it's hot. If this blog post makes even less sense than usual, I blame the weather. If you can't sleep, either, this is a good excuse to stay up late and embrace the sweaty club vibe.

The Aquabats
This made-up word is taking me in so many directions, which I love. Synchronised swimmers doing gymnastic tricks? Marine mammals using sonar to hunt their prey? (Wait, that's dolphins). But I can't help thinking this is somehow baseball related.

A Cryptic Ending
That moment when you close the book or leave the theater or turn off the record, and you don't know what just happened . . . but you want to go back to the beginning and do it all again.

Friends Like Enemies
Here we have fun with a word that can be a verb or a comparative, which allows very different meanings out of three common words. Do they like them, or are they like them -- and which is better/worse?

Grace Love and the Haters
I'm a perennial fan of the classic X and the Y naming structure. This takes it further by building a name out of virtues and pairing it with their opposite, setting up an interesting tension. Will hate overcome grace and love, or will grace and love redeem hate?
Omnia Mutantor
Wikipedia tells me omnia mutantur is Latin for "everything changes." Google Translate somehow came up with "everything tastes." I'm not sure what this variation is meant to mean, but I like my first uneducated guess: "All the mutants."

Saturday, July 5, 2014

July 5, 2014

Now that the annual shelling has stopped, maybe it's safe to go out and hear music. Once again, the club listings yield a plenteous harvest:

Dismal Tide
Now that for-real summer is here, we might be inclined to put away one of the Northwest's most evocative adjectives, but don't fool yourself. Winter will be back in all its gray and rainy splendor. As for "tide," this could be a marine usage, but maybe not. In the Church, we have Christmastide and Eastertide; I'm going to say Dismaltide is January 2 - the end of Lent.

Lost Dogma
I imagine this sign tacked up all over the None Zone, land of the unchurched, dechurched,  postchurched, spiritual-but-not-religious -- all who check "none" when asked for their religious affiliation. Guess where?

I like how the spelling conceals the meaning until you read it aloud, but gives you the correct pronunciation.

More fun with spelling -- that gap between the snide speaker and the naive literalist who doesn't get it.

The first one this week to really make me laugh. Regular Joe tries to get a punk haircut but it doesn't really help.