Saturday, November 29, 2014

November 29, 2014

One holiday down, we return to our normally scheduled blog plan. Out of an abundance of choices, these five rose to the top:

John Paul and the Apostles
Spreading the rock and roll gospel! This puts a nice Biblical twist on the classic X and the Y structure. It also reminds me that I'm still waiting for Pope George Ringo.

Slums of Utopia
There's a whole dystopian novel contained in these three words. And they're playing their first show tonight!

Urine Idiot
This is so punk. Sometimes low humor is exactly what you need.

This word collision makes a sexual reference that is more hilarious than sexy. Also very punk.

Wizard Police
I didn't know nerdhop was even a thing, but I love it when I can grab the first band in the first show in the week's listings. What kind of fantasy author would I be if I didn't honor a wizard reference? It makes perfect sense that wizard crime would require a special force.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

November 23, 2014

Due to a shortened holiday week, the pickings are a little slim in the club listings, so I'm taking this opportunity to do a Thanksgiving Retrospective of some favorites from the past. I have selected from Square Pig's first year in two categories: Names that are still Hands-Down Brilliant and Bands that have Been on a Bill with Your Mother Should Know. Here's what I had to say way back when:

Hands-Down Brilliant

Eighteen Individual Eyes
(from November 13, 2010) I have delighted in this name for months, so I'm thrilled they came up this week. The inclusion of "individual" makes it for me -- it's not just "eighteen eyes" but "eighteen individual eyes."  Is this an eighteen-eyed creature, each eye functioning independently? Eighteen one-eyed creatures? A nine-piece band? It's also fun to say -- all those vowels just roll off the tongue.

Out Like Pluto
(from November 20, 2010) I like Pluto. I'm sorry it got demoted from the planet club. On the other hand, it's so far out, maybe it doesn't want to be in our lame club.

High Class Wreckage
(from January 8, 2011) 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. (Technically, HCW was on a bill with YMSK, but before my tenure so I'm not counting it).

Garage a Trois
(from April 16, 2011) 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).

Gazebo of Destruction
(from May 14, 2011) 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.

 On a Bill with Your Mother Should Know

Ancient Warlocks
(from February 5, 2011) 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.

Black Plastic Clouds
(from November 5, 2011) 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.

Curtains for You
(from December 4, 2010) Full disclosure: I'd heard of this band years before I saw them at the Columbia City Theatre (which has a stage with actual curtains), and the keyboard player has visited my house. But I think I would list them even if that weren't so. I like how the name references another era and aspect of American pop culture. (I tend to pronounce it "coitains" like the gangsters in old Bugs Bunny cartoons.) 

(July 2, 2011) 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.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

November 15, 2014

I'll skip the small talk about our prematurely wintry weather and get right to the band names:

Choir Vandals
One week ago in a church theatrical, I played a mischievous chorister who opened the show by vandalizing the choir room. And now, this. Merely a coincidence?

Every Time I Die
I like the uncertainty. It's only four words, but the lack of punctuation leaves this phrase open to at least two interpretations. Is it merely an exaggeration of embarrassment, or does this character get multiple endings?

First Aid Kit
Not playing in Seattle this week as far as I know. Joel Adams, a photographer kinsman, posted a photo that he took of this band at Fun Fun Fun Fest. I loved the photo and made careful note of the name, which implies that your life could be literally saved by rock and roll.

John Hamhock and the Rooster Run Band
I love it when someone builds creatively on the classic X and the Y structure. All on his own, the frontman evokes a country-fried founding father, while the band evokes strutting, crowing confidence. Put them together and I think you can count on an enthusiastic and noisy good time.
A word mash-up that produces profoundly spicy guacamole.

UPCOMING: Your Mother Should Know CD release show, with Dead Bars and headliner Tom Price Desert Classic, Friday, January 23 at the Highline Bar. I'd want to go to this show even if I wasn't playing!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

November 8, 2014

After a wild weather week, it's a real pleasure to look out at blue skies and the last few leaves fluttering in a gentle breeze. And we even have a couple more hours of daylight! After dark, seek shelter in a dingy bar somewhere and catch a little music. Here are some well named possibilities:

In this family, neither mother nor father presides over the holiday table.

Sailing the seas of one's own inner being. Alone.

I remember hearing this vocal tic back in the early nineties, mostly among computer programmers. At first, I thought it was just one guy. Then they were all doing it, and now it has apparently spread further into the culture. Where will it all end?

Welcome to November in the Pacific Northwest! Aside from today, dodging the sun should be no problem.

Groovy, man. The third E is all it takes to perfectly convey the necessary stoner inflection.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

November 1, 2014

As usual, we got zero trick-or-treaters last night (nobody wants to trek down and back up the steep hill). The young men of the household have promised to do their bit to eat up the big bag of candy. It's a lot but probably less than half as much as they used to bring home when they would stalk the neighborhood by a route that hit the most houses with the least backtracking. Which tells me there are probably a lot of other houses nearby with too much candy. The day after Halloween would be a good day for a block party, if only it weren't November!

Here are some treats to start the new month:

Alien Ant Farm
It Lives, It Breathes
It seems appropriate so close to Halloween to have two band names with that great B-movie vibe. I can imagine at least two scenarios for an alien ant farm -- aliens keeping humans or humans keeping aliens. Both pretty horrifying for someone! And any monster movie with the line, "It lives! It breathes!" is about to get real messy.
Blessed by a Broken Heart
Not often do I see a band name so genuinely touching. Enough time has passed to see what was gained through grief. This is grown-up stuff.

Sweet Blue Lanyard
The nerdy enthusiasm made me laugh out loud.

The additional X amplifies the vexation packed into this strong monosyllable. I've long thought Miff, Irk, and Vex would be great cat names (and have written these cats into the backstories of a couple of fictional characters). Now I think Vexx more perfectly balances Miff.