Sunday, December 27, 2015

December 27, 2015

The post-Christmas club listings provide very slim pickings this week, so it's time for a retrospective post. Thanks are due to Kyle Ryan at A.V. Club and to my brother and bandmate Neal Kosaly-Meyer, who shared Ryan's article "When Bundled Bowels met Gruesome Toilet: The 2015 year in band names." I had previously blogged about at least seven of the 300-plus on this list. Here's what I had to say:

Car Seat Headrest
(from January 10, 2015) Naming a band for a prosaic, unsexy object shines a spotlight on the mundane and brings it some glory. I'm also old enough to remember when car seats didn't have headrests, so there's a little nostalgia factor. I also like how this one thing has a name that's a list of three nouns (four, if you break up "head" and "rest"). 

Fit for an Autopsy
(from November 23, 2013) Not what you want to hear at your annual check-up.

Good Willsmith
(from August 12, 2012) I like the word overlap that turns the meaning in the middle from a movie into an actor.

Make Do and Mend
(from May 17, 2014) This is how I was raised and how I run my household. In rock band terms, "use more duct tape."

Mild High Club
(from May 23, 2015) The sly wordplay makes this a more accessible club for late-life beginners who dislike air travel, especially if you live in the land of legal weed.

O-Face
(from January 13, 2014) Full disclosure -- a relative is a co-founder of this group, formerly of Whidbey Island, now based in upstate New York. I like the name for its implicit raunchiness and explicit innocent silliness. (And the new EP is pretty good, too).
(Now operating under the name Doubles.)

Wizard Rifle
(from July 21, 2013) Now, that just seems unfair. Magic and firearms, too?

Saturday, December 19, 2015

December 19, 2015

A holiday week usually means slimmer pickings in the club listings. My first pass yesterday came up dry -- every name that stood out was one I'd written about in the past. A fresh look this morning revealed a sleighload of possibilities, narrowed down to these five gifts:

Broken Trail
I like when one word has two nearly opposite meanings. Breaking trail clears the way for those coming after. But a broken trail could also be a path in poor condition, rough, overgrown or intermittent.

The Keynote Speakers
Part of an excellent sound system that people would pay to hear. It also reminds me of a busted old stereo speaker that was transformed by abuse into an awesome feedback machine and duly named Speaker of the House.

Lonesome Rhodes & the Good Company
Classic X and the Y structure, in beautiful complementary balance.

Sacred Signs
This one would have fit into last week's holiday-themed post. The carol "Love Came Down at Christmas" includes this puzzling line: "Worship we our Jesus: But wherewith for sacred sign?" I've never really understood what Christina Rossetti meant by that, but it's always a line I look forward to singing because when else do I get to say "wherewith"?

X
I rarely write about big-name acts, but I will make an exception for X, as I have been a fan of both their name and their music since the '80s. The bare-bones, almost illiterate simplicity seems like the essence of punk. It is at once a signature, a deletion, a vote.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

December 12, 2015

Finding myself less than two weeks from Christmas, I'm going to attempt a holiday-themed post without having chosen explicitly Christmas-y band names. Here we go!

Deer Leader
It looks like a cute play on what they call North Korea's supreme leader. It's actually about Rudolph.

Electric NoNo
A warning to pet owners: be sure to keep your cats, dogs, hamsters, wombats, etc. from chewing on the tree lights!

Gentle Bender
This one makes a neat turn from beloved animal star to a lonely Christmas Eve, listening to Darlene Love and drinking toasts to absent friends until you quietly pass out under the tree.

Glacier Veins
Not exactly festive, but ice and cold are seasonal (some years). You'd have to have glacier veins not to be moved by the tale of the gentle bender, or perhaps by a sentimental old carol.

season of strangers 
My husband was sure the sentimental old carol "Dear Little Stranger" was a favorite beloved of all. So far, we haven't found anyone else who knows it, including me. But this is the season to welcome strangers who can't find room at the inn.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

December 5, 2015

My garage-rock fairy tale St. Rage (now being wrestled into shape with help from the insightful editors at Pankhearst) takes place in a lightly fictionalized Seattle, complete with a lively and varied music scene. I have a feeling my made-up bands would feel at home with everybody on this list:

Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albertans
Regular readers know of my fondness for the classic X and the Y band-name structure. That goes double when there's a funny rhyme involved.
 
The Doubleclicks
Speaking of going double, I celebrate the unapologetic nerdiness advertised in both their name and genre, "Folk/Rock/Comedy/Dinosaurs/Books/Superheroes." And they're a duo, sisters, no less. Two-piece sibling bands rule!

Mushroomhead
It might not be a drug reference. It might the shape of someone's head.

Sammus
More nerd appeal! But really, what else could you choose if you're going to rap about Metroid? She makes that odd concept into something wonderful.

Sky Colony
An idea from that same future with the jetpacks and the flying cars. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

November 28, 2015

Continuing the Thanksgiving mood, I'm grateful for a lively local music scene that provides not just an endless stream of creative band names but also abundant, diverse sounds. If you can't bear the mall this weekend (or ever), go online or to a show and buy your friends music by your favorite local bands. Everybody wins.

Farm Hand Girls
This one leaped out at me because my first paying job, other than babysitting and mowing the church lawn, was a type of tedious, grueling farm work that in that time and place was only performed by girls. Four summers in a row, decades ago now, never to be forgotten.

Northern Thorns
A wonderful play of sounds, this tiny poem also evokes a strong visual image.

Pale Noise
A name that suggests a synesthesia where the metaphorical color or brightness of sound becomes literal.

Power Cowards
SuperNothing 
They're not the same genre, but the names, at least, belong together. They both take Northwest loser pride to the next (comic-book hero) level.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

November 21, 2015

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for all the creative band names that keep cropping up. With the holiday, there are fewer shows this week than usual, and so many bands that I've already blogged about in the past. Yet I was able to mine these five treasures:

Fools Rush
This can be taken several ways, a quality I appreciate in a band name. If rush is a verb, then it's like the song says; if a noun, it's some kind of speculative prospecting enterprise and adds the additional play of fool's gold. Or maybe it's the thrill of being foolish, rushing in.

Ira's Glasses
It's hard to imagine a more adorably nerdy enterprise than a "This American Life" tribute band, taking advantage of the serendipty that Ira wears glasses.

Islvnd
It shouldn't even be pronounceable, but our wonderful brains instantly recognize the similar forms of A and V. I imagine an upside-down island, floating above the water.

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe
When we're doing it right, performers enter our own pocket dimension where magic happens and time has no meaning.

The Toads
Toads are warty; frogs are smooth. Apparently there's no other biological difference. Even so, toads carry that kind-of-cute, kind-of-loathsome image that's perfect for a pop-punk-country outfit. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

November 14, 2015

It's dark and wet and November has settled in for a long visit. If you can bring yourself to leave the house, go find a really loud band so you have an excuse to scream. Or just turn up the music and dance in the living room.

100 Watt Mind
The author in the '80s, having a burned-out 40-watt idea.
Are they thinking amps or ideas? With today's efficient light bulbs, you get as bright an idea without expending nearly as much power.

The Rain Within
These dark days will get to you if you let them. But perhaps the mind's winter drizzle is watering creative seeds that will bloom in the spring.
 
Smoochknob
"Smooch" is my favorite slang for kiss. I hope the knob goes up to 11.

These People Here
I appreciate the ordinariness of this expression, and the way the unfinished thought could go in any direction. Are these people here the salt of the earth? Just awful? Exactly like those people there? It remains to be seen.

We Are Not Mel Torme
An example of a bald truth that is nevertheless unexpected and humorous. While factually accurate (for all except Mel Torme), this is a weird statement, not least because of that royal we at the outset. 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

November 7, 2015

I'm writing a novel featuring an all-girl teenage garage band. It started out as a repository for the band names (including the title band, St. Rage) and song titles (such as "Half a Bus Closer to Home" and "Huge Guy in the Mosh Pit") that come to me all too easily but would otherwise never get used. Then I decided to try writing the songs. I get better results with a fictional songwriter than if I tried to write them as me! Since I still don't have the knack for coming up with tunes, it takes two of us to actually finish writing the songs. (Shout out to my brother & bandmate Neal and Your Mother Should Know for making this a reality!) This means I get to say things like, "I wrote this song but I don't know how it goes." That situation usually doesn't last long.We're still working on how to get this fictional band out in public.

These, as far as I know, are not fictional:

As It Is
It's hard to go wrong with a short phrase about the state of reality. Not a wasted letter or syllable, either.

Gothsicles
I love how the dark and gloomy opening is undercut by the cheery allusion to quiescently frozen confections.

Here We Go Magic
I like the sense of immediacy and excitement. Whether it's stage magic or the real thing, we're wasting no time getting to the good part.

SLOW slow LORIS
The even slower subspecies; kind of like the lesser least weasel.

Wall of Ears 
Perfect for listening to a wall of sound.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween! As it happens, I didn't pick very many spooky-themed band names this week, either. Let's reach into the treat sack and see what we find:

1234
This Ramones tribute band has come up with the perfect name: bare bones, stripped down, no nonsense. And it quotes nearly every record!

The Diablotones
This one's kind of Halloweeny, and promises a fun party. The sinister opening is defanged by the classic cheesy-loungy ending.

Done Goners
Doomed, but with a folksy twang.
 
The Electric LandLadies 
What is it with the well-named tribute bands this week? A meeting of the psychedelic and the mundane.

Microscopic Suffering
Either the most minor pain you can possibly feel, or else so bad even your  microbes hurt.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

October 24, 2015

Next Saturday is Halloween, which means the coming week's club listings are stuffed like a trick-or-treat bag with spooky-themed shows. Today, I'm purposely avoiding any band names with ghost, witch, or blood in them, but I might change my mind next Saturday. I selected the following treats, instead:

Caddywhompus
I love colloquialisms, and this is one of my favorites. So much more fun to say than "not quite right," its syllables and thumping consonants have a nice beat.


Mrch
They say it's pronounced "march," so that's a fairly economical spelling. My first thought was "merch," which is funny because that's already short for something. Either is suitable for a gig: it's a beat, or it's T-shirts and records.


PORCH
I'm a fan both of singular monosyllabic nouns as band names, and also of porches. Porch season is over for another year, but it's a great place to make music on a warm summer night. Also, somebody get these guys on a bill with Square Pig faves Pouch!

Tygerrs Lair
Wyldernesse 
How is it these two are not on the same bill? Not only do they both use beautiful Middle-Englishy spelling, but where would that lair be but in the wyldernesse? (This might be why: Tygerrs Lair is metal, while Wyldernesse is acoustic folk. Still . . .)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

October 17, 2015

Vacation is winding down now, the highlight being last night's show at the Highline, with Salad Boys, Prom Queen, Ephrata, and longtime faves Red Ribbon. One of the best reasons to go hear a favorite band is the opportunity to hear two or three others that you haven't heard (or heard of) before. There was not a dud in the bunch! I can't stay out till 2 a.m. more than once in a great while, though, so much as I love the following names, they'll have to carry on without me.

Bears and Other Carnivores
Apparently I'm not the only one to notice that titles of field guides make great band names. (I would love to see a band called Squirrels of the West.) There's something a little (endearingly) off about using a name that evokes the outdoors, nature, and wilderness for a group that's probably going to mostly play in dingy urban bars. Also, I had a drink called "Bear" last night, and the interior of the Highline is like a lodge in a national park.

Isthmusia
Take a word that's awkward to sound out and transform it with two letters into a fantasy realm.

My Name Is You
Them Are Us Too
These both fall into a naming genre I call Pronoun Trouble. Both also imply, in a playful, goofy way, that we are all one. We're all in this together. Let's not screw it up.

Sardine Overdo
(I couldn't find any web presence for this band, so they must be new. The club listings had "overdose" but the event page and flyer both had "overdo," so I'm going with that.) Prelude to the best cat nap and worst morning breath ever.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

October 10, 2015

There's nothing like being at the beginning of a week's vacation to put me in a good mood, even if a lot of the week will be devoted to chores and errands. Looking forward, though, to Friday's show at the Highline: Salad Boys, Prom Queen, Ephrata, and longtime faves Red Ribbon! Meanwhile, there are bands playing all week, including these five:

Casual Hex
A single letter changes a no-strings hookup into something magical that perhaps hasn't been thought through all the way.

DEERPEOPLE
Wolf Antlers
These both fall under the category of weird animal hybrids, like the Jackelope. Are deerpeople like centaurs, with a human torso on a deer body, or an antlered deer head on a human body (which I'm pretty sure freaked me out at a Halloween party once when I was really small). Wolf Antlers could possibly be a disguise to help the predator slip unnoticed into the herd, but it might throw off their leap.

Photonic Boom
I haven't looked into the science, but I like that there's a term for the visual or audible phenomenon that would occur upon surpassing the speed of light.

Stiff Spirit
A strong drink . . . or what happens when the ghost suffers rigor mortis, too.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

October 3, 2015

Blogging despite the best efforts of the Times to stop me! Formatting problems with the online edition made it frustrating to even find the band names, let alone read them, but with pen and paper, I prevailed. The struggle put me in a bad mood, which I hope blogging and a trip to the Macefield Music Festival will alleviate. To that end:

Bad Tats
This is a tiny poem to a regrettable idea: let's get drunk and immortalize our youthful indiscretions in our skin! What could possibly go wrong?

Gaytheist
Implying that perhaps God doesn't hate who some people think God hates. We happened to catch this band's cheerful hardcore set (I'm guessing at genre) at the Sunset last night. It was loud and hot and very entertaining, and did I mention loud?

hedgehag
I've seen references to both "hedge witch" and "hag" in Terry Pratchett's Discworld books, but I never put  together the resemblance when combined to the name of the cute spiny critter. Good for October, though more homey charm than scares, and a fine name for an all-girl bluegrass outfit.

Ultimate Painting
Art as extreme sport.

Whiskerman
The addition of that "s" changes it from sinister to Ballard.

And guess what? I do feel better! Thanks, bands.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

September 26, 2015

This week had an auspicious beginning, with a Dead Bars show on Sunday night. This was a release show; everybody, buy this record -- it has my brother's picture on the cover! Always great to hear Dead Bars, and I was also pleased to finally catch previous Square Pig honorees Bottlenose Koffins and Terman Shanks, as well as Lindseys. Now I'm looking ahead to next weekend and the Macefield Music Festival. But there are a lot of bands playing before that, including these five:

Acres of Space
Although this is more likely to refer to a luxury apartment, I like to imagine the futility of measuring the universe as if it were tracts of land.

Dead Leaf Echo
Perfect for autumn. If a leaf falls in the forest, does it make a sound, and does the sound have reverb? (A quick listen answers "yes.")

DK Stewart's Pocket Change 
I'm actually not sure whether this is a band name or the name of DK Stewart's show. I like it either way for a number of reasons: there's the retro vibe of something most of us use less and less these days; "pocket change" easily correlates to "beer money," which is about all the average gigging musician can expect from a show; and it could also be the casual but perfect material an accomplished bluesman might pull out and toss to an audience in the course of a night.
 
Hot Flash Heat Wave
Is it too much information to say this is something I know all about? Ironic that the band seems to be made up of a bunch of young guys, rather than middle-aged women.

Snailmate
The end of the world's slowest chess game.
 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

September 20, 2015

This week's Square Pig was delayed by a quick road trip to Cheney to deliver one of the resident young people to school, and also by a shattering change to my process.This blog has its roots in my old practice of perusing the club listings in the Friday Seattle Times and reading the band names aloud at the dinner table. To this habit, I added the step of circling with pencil the names I wanted to write about. When we stopped subscribing to the print edition and went online only, I collected band names by going to the online print replica and printing out only the club listings, so I could continue my analog method of marking names with pencil. The print was small and poor quality, but good enough for my purposes. Until this week -- they changed their viewer so that the print on those pages is larger but distorted and unreadable. This forced me, after 5 years, to convert to an entirely digital process of copy and paste. It's not as warm and satisfying to me as the writer as marking the names in pencil, but I suspect the experience for the reader will be exactly the same. Enough backstory and exposition! Here are this week's picks:

Enormodome
I like this as a generic name for any oversized stadium. A quick listen convinces me that this duo could produce enough sound to fill such a place, too.

The Oregon Trailers
I like how this could refer to the history of westward expansion, or to contemporary drivers hauling loads in our neighboring state. When my kids were little, we played Oregon Trail A LOT, so it's not surprising this would jump out at me. To this day, family conversations are peppered with references to things learned, both practical and ridiculous. A 2008 visit to the Oregon Trail museum in Baker City, OR was one of the most successful educational stops we ever made on a road trip.
 
Shootdang
What you might say when you're in the kitchen with small children and drop something heavy on your foot. Not as satisfying as real expletives, but better than nothing. I like the rural twang, too.

Sister Crayon
This could have been me! My given name, Karen, doesn't lend itself readily to nicknames. "Crayon" was the closest I had as a child. It was bestowed by my older siblings, and probably not used all that often, but enough that it was a long time before I could associate my name with anything but childish things. At least they were colorful!

Turquoise Jeep
Speaking of colorful things, utilitarian objects deserve bright colors, too.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

September 12, 2015

For someone with a low tolerance for busy-ness, I'm involved with an alarming number of committees and projects. It would be easy to stop blogging for a while, except how could I not blog in a week that offers band names like these?!

Crater Lakes
I like the plural, which denotes the phenomenon rather than the specific place. One of the resident young adults used to be a preschooler fascinated by volcanoes. His parents got an education, and now anything to do with vulcanism carries a whiff of nostalgia.

Ghost Soda
The bubbles are haunted!

A Place to Bury Strangers
It's been a while since I got to celebrate a longish-phrase name. Depending on context, this one can be taken as either hospitable -- a corner of the cemetery set aside to give a respectful burial to sojourners who die in our midst -- or sinister -- no one makes it out alive.

Taken by Canadians
Because of the non-threatening reputation of Canadians, this is funny no matter how you interpret "taken". Kidnapped? Scammed? Entranced? Just for the names, I'd like to see them on a bill with past honorees Abducted by Sharks.

Tonight We Fight 
Complete sentence in three words and it rhymes. Bonus points for implied confidence in the outcome.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

September 5, 2015

Everyone at Bumbershoot must be thanking the local weather deities that the big windstorm was last weekend. By contrast, today looks to be about perfect for an outdoor festival, if you go in for that sort of thing. I'm staying in to celebrate some good news about my novel manuscript, as well as these clever and intriguing band names:

A Flourishing Scourge
What a beautiful internal rhyme, coupled with the conflicting images of growth and life next to pain and punishment.

Kid Cadaver
Here's another playful joining of like sounds with conflicting imagery: bouncy, innocent fun set up against death laid out for clinical dissection.

EarDr.umz the Metrognome
Because of an accident of text-wrapping, I was initially drawn to this by the second half -- like a garden gnome, but more urban, and able to keep a beat. The spelling and punctuation of the first part open up a rich array of possibilities, from the obvious eardrums to ear drums to a doctor of ears named Umz.

The Moon Is Flat
Because it's actually a giant beach ball, and it needs to be pumped up.

Noonmoon
Another nice rhyme, and a reminder that sometimes we are privileged to see the moon by day.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

August 29, 2015

I'm confused; is August supposed to go out like a lion? (And right on cue, the power went out. I guess I will write this offline and post it later.) The NEPO 5K Art Walk is sounding less appealing, but if the power is on at Black Lodge and Victory Lounge tonight, Roachella might still be an option. Meanwhile, these band names stood out from the crowd:

It trips off the tongue, with a sonic echo of “meadowlark” and allusion to song and reverb. Coincidentally, echo seems to be a theme this week, with shows by Echo Ravine, A Townsmen Echo, and previous Square Pig honoree The Echo Echo Echoes. These four should get together sometime!

I could not pass up the delightful rhymes and goofily grandiose imagery. (The resident gamers suspect this is also a reference to Elderscrolls, in which it is possible to play as a lizardperson who is a wizard. I am perfectly willing to believe this interpretation.)

Item for sale in the drugstore or the popular high school clique? You decide.

This could be an alibi: “It wasn't me. I don't even wear makeup.” But I like it better as an expression of wholehearted, all-or-nothing-at-all engagement.

This was the first name to grab me this week, and it was their debut show! I'm picturing a monstrous creature with an eye at the end of each of its three horns.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

August 22, 2015

This doesn't really have anything to do with band names, except that Pankhearst is like a record label, but for books. (They've also claimed to be a garage band, but I'm waiting for proof.) Anyway, in addition to lots of great fiction, they now have this cool "Write Like a Girl" t-shirt for sale. If you get one soon, you can enter a photo contest and maybe win fabulous prizes!








Buy the shirt: http://pankhearst.spreadshirt.com/
Enter the contest: https://pankhearst.wordpress.com/2015/08/15/write-like-a-girl-competition/

 The rest of the blog actually does have something to do with band names, specifically these:


The Almost Faithful
This implies that fidelity is on a scale, with "only cheated a little bit" and "almost faithful" on the line from unfaithful to faithful. Or perhaps this is the congregation that makes it as far as the church door but not quite all the way inside.

From the Future
What kind of science fiction writer would I be if I let this one slip past? It's reassuring to know that the future will include such funky grooves. Personally, I'm a time-traveler from the past, traveling by record at 33 1/3 rpm. This method is slow and turns your hair gray.

Here Comes the Kraken
This is such a cheery announcement of impending doom.

Murder in the Wood
This one taps into the creepy atmosphere of classic horror/suspense film. It could also be an Agatha Christie title, with the violence already in the past.

somesurprises
It showed up in the paper as two words, but I like it even better run together, all lowercase. Unusual enough to be some surprise without overwhelming the senses. It creeps up.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

August 15, 2015

I don't know about anyone else, but I enjoyed yesterday's all-day thunderstorm (sorry, people at Hempfest). Rain in August should be loud and dramatic. I'll bet the couple getting married last night at the church where I work were glad they'd planned an indoor ceremony. If the cooler weather encourages you to try an indoor activity, maybe go hear a band or four! As it happens, almost all my picks this week played last night, but there are plenty of others out there who would love you to join their audience.

Attack with Care
I love this mix of aggression and caution.

Eggshells
We think of eggshells as fragile, but because of their shape and composition, they're actually incredibly strong for something so thin. A good metaphor for a well-put-together rock & roll song -- it holds together even when it sounds like it's going to fall apart.

Longshot Academy
I like the idea of a special school dedicated to underdogs, losers, and ne'er-do-wells who need one more chance to find their true path (and maybe start killer bands while they're at it). It's an idea that's just crazy enough to work.

Secret School
Continuing with the back-to-school theme, 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
Wrapping up the theme, 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.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

August 8, 2015

I have a busy day ahead, so I'll make this quick. Once again, five outstanding band names gleaned from the club listings:

Big Splash Champion
One of my most enduring memories from summer camp: a girl in my cabin, determined to win the big splash contest, performed an epic intentional belly flop that bruised several ribs but won the prize. Bragging rights have their price.

Dysfunction Junction
The dark side of Schoolhouse Rock.

The Leeches
A perfect punk-rock name: unapologetic ickiness and blood, in one of the classic band-name formats.

A Shark Among Us
The formality of the phrasing gives a sense of sitting around a table, planning a secret mission with the knowledge that one of the group plans to eat the others -- but you don't know which one.

Snail 
I'm always happy to see a band name that consists of a noun with no article, especially when it's an animal, and even more especially when it's a small, quiet invertebrate. The quieter the critter, the louder the music.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

August 1, 2015

Walking along Lake City Way yesterday, I found a discarded 7" lying by the side of road. I was almost home and it was so hot out, I almost didn't pick it up. But how often do you find an unbroken (not undamaged) vinyl record just lying there?  I picked it up. It still plays well enough for us to determine that both bands -- Iron Lung and Scurvy Bastards -- have names perfectly suited to their genres. For that, both receive honorable mention in this week's blog.

Meanwhile, there are lots of bands playing lots of shows this week. These five stood out from the pack:

The peaceful chorus around a remote campsite? The response to a failed joke? I suspect something much louder than either.

I don't think I ever noticed how similar these two words are until I saw them in proximity. I kind of feel sorry for the poor guy who has to be a footstool. And by the way, this is a power trio of cello, vibraphone and drumset! Oh, hell yeah!

Part of the appeal of this name, short as it is, is that I'm not sure how to pronounce it. The apostrophe implies a French accent. The logo on his Tumblr indicates that it has more to do with owls than jowls.

You know, like a seahorse but small and cute. All the little mermaids want one.

This turns the idiom around so instead of giving just the high points, the tale teller keeps adding details and characters, subplots and characters, until the short story is a novel, a trilogy, a series. As a writer who has just finished growing a novel out of three short stories, I stand and salute.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

July 25, 2015

Refreshed from a week's vacation, we ventured out last night to take advantage of the first of three free shows at the Narwhal, within spitting distance of the Capitol Hill Block Party. We know people in Cumulus and draemhouse, but even if we didn't, I'd pay money to hear them (and Chris Brokaw) again. The Cock Block Party continues tonight and tomorrow with a different lineup every night. Meanwhile, these names stood out from the crowd:

American Nudism
The qualifier "American" suggests something about the nudism -- it's either exceptional or puritanical, I just can't decide which.

The Devil Bores Me
When you're so jaded and cynical that even sin is boring, maybe it's time to go over to the other side.

Freudian Slurp
This one made me laugh out loud. What do you think it means when you accidentally say "slurp" instead of "slip"? Tell me about your mother . . .

High Wired Nonet
I have long delighted in the coincidence that the technical term for a nine-piece ensemble seems to advertise a daring lack of concern for the safety of the performers. The fact that there seem to be only two members of this group only makes it more amusing.

Pink Void 
It sounds like it should be a tribute band but it's not. My next thought is what interdimensional non-space might look like, which seems like a pretty good fit for a noise band. And now I know about something called Noise Yoga, which sounds like a great idea.

Monday, July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015

Blogging was delayed by a very pleasant weekend in wine country. I'm on vacation this week, so it still feels like the weekend and I therefore resume blogging on a Monday. All the bands whose names stood out have already played their shows, but they still deserve notice.

Memory Tapes
My memory may be imperfect, but I remember tapes. It amuses me no end to see cassettes having their little renaissance among young musicians. They must still be cheap, but can you still buy a decent tape deck? We're lucky to have one from the '70s. The tape stock stank, but the hardware was solid. Ah, memories . . .

Red Alder
Clear the land and stand back! Applies equally to alder and to young musicians -- give them space and they'll pop up and grow.

Retirement
Vacation is nice, but this is what I really look forward to. If I can stay up past 9 p.m., I might even get out to weeknight shows.

Shaggy Sweet
The five-second rule is voided if the dropped candy collects fuzz.

Vacationeer 
Much more intrepid than a mere vacationer.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

July 11, 2015

I salute all the musicians who had to perform or rehearse in a hot, stuffy space this past week. The bit of June we're enjoying now is late but most welcome. If you're not that into the whole sweat-lodge experience, now would be the time to get out and hear a band or three. These five stood out for me:

Catapult the DEAD
Well, that's one way to get rid of an inconvenient body.

Dopapod 
I always like it when a band embraces their inner science nerd while throwing in a playful drug reference. Also, they posed with cute cats for their cover photo. Awww!

Graig Markel & the 88th St. Band
This feels extremely local: I live on 88th Street! It might not be the same one, but we're still some kind of neighbors.

Jesica's Voices in Her Head
Songwriters and fiction writers have at least this in common: voices in our heads. If we fail to engage with them, they don't go away; it just gets crowded. Better to let them out.


Studebaker John and the Hawks 
The Lark
Always pleased to see a Studebaker reference; my dad owned four of them over the years. (Not sure any of them was a Hawk, but still.) The last one, a red '62 Lark, carried us out to Washington from Illinois. I was three months old, riding in a cardboard box. We kept the car just a couple years more; I have one very early memory of its back end emerging from the garage.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

July 4, 2015

We got to sleep in yesterday, so we decided we could afford to stay out late last night. I didn't have the stamina to endure more than a couple hours in the sweat lodge that is any club this weekend, but it was great to get out to El Corazon to hear our old friends Dead Bars, along with The Botherations (who made the blog about two years ago; read it here) and The Kings. In spite of the heat, people were dancing! In Seattle! Whatever next?

Have a safe and happy 4th, don't set things on fire, and whether you're out in the sun or inside a dark bar, remember to drink plenty of water!

Burlington Coat Felony
I love it when a phrase starts out familiar, then takes a twist at the end. Maybe you could get a really good deal on a coat this weekend, but it would be a crime to wear one.
 
Melt-Banana
It's so hot, even the fruit is melting!

Mustard Plug
This is one of those band names that shines a spotlight on a mundane or annoying object, elevating it to the hilarious sublime. It's also a fitting name for a summer weekend of picnics and barbecues. (These guys headlined the show at El Corazon last night. I was really sorry to wimp out, but there were plenty of younger, more energetic people in the audience who I'm sure gave them and Regional Faction an enthusiastic welcome.)

Tinfoil and Tape
Emblems of DIY culture, and the urban equivalents of chewing gum and baling wire. 

toe
Body-part band names are one of my favorite genres. There's something especially appealing about focusing on just one of a set, even more so when it is the humble nether digit.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

June 28, 2015

In these warm days, let us embrace the sweat-lodge aspect of crowded venues with no AC. That said, I'm kind of glad a show I might have been playing tonight was canceled. Plenty of other bands are making themselves heard this week, and here a few of them:

DJ Self-Administered Beatdown
This goes in the opposite direction of the expected braggadocio, while still pulling off a backhanded boast. A seven-syllable DJ name also appeals to my love of names that are just that little bit too long.

King Woman
Women rule; hear us roar.

The PBJs
Childhood's innocence contained in the ultimate comfort lunch.  Probably goes well with a PBR, too, for those who have left chronological childhood behind.

Potbelly
Edibles. Just sayin' . . .

We Speak in Colors
Here we have a name that's a complete sentence, making a declaration of synesthesia, a fascinating subject on its own.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

June 21, 2015

Yesterday I blew off both blogging and the solstice parade to go to Mt. Rainier. Not only was the road to Sunrise open (unusual this early in the season) but there was no snow on the trails except in two small patches, and it was warm enough to hike without a jacket. I'm a little concerned about what this means for the rest of the summer, but I was happy to welcome the season on a perfect day in the mountains.

Meanwhile, in a dark bar somewhere . . .

Abstract Friends
A step removed from imaginary friends, this implies an idea of friends separate from any actual experience of friendship. The teenage protagonist of my young-adult work-in-progress could probably relate -- she's invisible and has no real friends until she takes courage and starts a garage band. The members of this band look the right age to be her classmates, too.

Broken by Clouds
I like the metaphorical dissonance of something as ethereal as clouds doing physical damage. Just because something looks soft and immaterial doesn't mean it can't hurt you. (I happened to meet this group a few years ago at Evolution Rehearsal Studios as they were checking in and Your Mother Should Know was checking out. I was already writing this blog, so I collected their name. Finding them in the club listings this week reminded me that I hadn't blogged about them yet. Happy to rectify the oversight!)

Hostile Makeover
This was the first one to make this week's list, but that should come as no surprise to anyone who knows of my weakness for puns and all-girl bands. A single letter change takes this out of the business world and into the middle-school sleepover, where the tomboy (or geekgirl) gets made up and manicured against her will. Hmm, I might have to write that into my novel . . .

Maudlin Strangers
Why aren't they on a bill with Abstract Friends? But they are on a bill with Bad Idea, which might be a clue: guy walks into a bar with only the concept of friendship, sits next to an emotionally demonstrative stranger and quickly gets dragged into someone else's drama. 

The Whateverly Brothers
The name alone implies humor and close harmonies, two of my favorite things.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

June 13, 2015

I have nothing to say about anything but band names, so let's get to it:

Expired Logic
Ways of thinking that used to work are no longer valid. It's time for fresh ideas! (I also like their expressed genre, sci-fi punk!)

The Little Donuts
There's an admirable goofiness in naming a band for food. (My brother and bandmate keeps trying to get someone to name their band Cupcake Time; no takers so far, so I've introduced the name into my fictional music scene.) I also have a soft spot for overtly adorable names, and what is more adorable than tiny food? The real story behind the name is appropriately sweet; read it here.

Little Sense Band 
If we had more than a little sense, no musician would try to make anything of the live-music life, and the world would be a poorer place. Plus, this gives me two very different usages of "little" in one post. This also makes a nice thematic pairing with Expired Logic.

The Picturebooks
A long time ago, when I had little kids, one of my favorite activities was reading picture books with preschoolers. The key to a good picture book is, of course, the artwork, but the text is, like a good song lyric or band name, concentrated creative expression. (Happy also to discover that this is a two-piece band, like a lot of my faves!)

Shot on Site
Here we have a tidy little pun that alludes to knee-jerk violence and location camera work in three short words.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

June 6, 2015

Maybe this is because I grew up in a tiny rural hamlet with no live music scene other than school band concerts and church choir, but it never ceases to amaze me that in Seattle, you can find live music of every genre at multiple venues every night of the week. More than forty venues submit listings to the Seattle Times, and that doesn't include the informal or underground venues that don't publish their shows. It seems we're always mourning the loss of some favorite dive bar or little theater, but then a new place opens up or somebody gets creative with an existing space. It might not be like it was back in the day (whenever that was) but we still have it pretty good. Although I'm too old and tired to get to as many shows as I'd like, I will continue to support the scene at least by celebrating the naming of bands. Here's what caught my eye this week:

Birdstriking
I know a birdstrike is something pilots want to avoid. In participle form, it suggests an act birds take deliberately to bring down planes. Perhaps they resent humans' intrusion in their airspace.

CHURCH
This name makes explicit the idea that hearing music with other people can (should?) be a spiritual experience. Add to that my multiple, lifelong entanglements in church life, and of course I'm going to pick this one -- it's personal.

The Copyrights
It's a literary reference -- not to the creative, inspiring, romantic side, but to the boring, bureaucratic end of things. When you set an uninteresting function off by itself as a band name, it lights up!

Least of These
This seems to fit into one of my personal favorite categories, "loser pride." Own it, and make it look like you're winning. I also have to like the Biblical reference to those Jesus calls us to serve.

Starsailor
This one hits both my literary and science buttons. My fascination with space travel began with Apollo 11 and only increased once I learned to read and discovered science fiction. It wasn't until I studied a little Greek in college that I learned what a beautiful, poetic, dare I say romantic name NASA chose for U.S. space travelers. Astronaut literally means "star sailor."

Sunday, May 31, 2015

May 31, 2015

My spouse and I went out to a different kind of show last night -- a handbell concert by Emerald City Ringers at University Temple United Methodist Church (with guests Joyful Noise of UTUMC and the 5th grade handbell choirs from Bryant and Sacajawea Elementary Schools)*. In one of those There's Something You Don't See Every Day moments, ECR played "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and played it well. Those 5th graders were moshing in the pews. You just never know, especially in Seattle.

Out there in bar-band land, the great names just keep coming:

36 Crazyfists
This is either a super-secret martial arts move, or a brawl with eighteen participants swinging at anything that moves.

Death Hymn Number 9
A dark twist on hymnals and hymn singing, both of which are close to my heart. I actually own a copy of something called "Old School Hymnal #9." I'm not sure whether it includes any death hymns, but you never know.
 
Ecstatic Cosmic Union
The proverbial match made in heaven, and a nice balance to the previous band name.

Toothgrinder
A dental problem that happens to sound really metal and also kind of silly at the same time.

Wood Knot
I'm a sucker for a good pun, especially one that doesn't reveal itself until spoken aloud.

*Full disclosure: my spouse and I are members of UTUMC, parents of two Sacajawea alumni, and sat in on percussion for one of ECR's pieces.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

May 23, 2015

Happy Folklife, known elsewhere as Memorial Day Weekend. I might head down to the festival on Monday, and if I do, I'll be sure to look for Mikey Mike the Rad Scientist (Mike Gervais to those in the know), 2:45 p.m. at the Discovery Zone Stage. Delightful science and nature songs for all ages! If you're bringing kids (or even if you're not), be sure to check him out.

Meanwhile, away from Folklife:

Mild High Club
The sly wordplay makes this a more accessible club for late-life beginners who dislike air travel, especially if you live in the land of legal weed.

The Parade Schedule
Festivity requires organization. All the clowns and marching bands have to respect the person with the clipboard.

Rather Dashing
With a name this posh and well mannered, I expect a mess of noise (and am not disappointed).

Shy Girls
My story "St. Rage" is the tale of a formerly invisible girl who decides to start a garage band and ends up with superpowers. Shy girls can do anything when they decide not to give a shit what other people think.

Stubbily Mug
In an appropriate coincidence, only a stub of the name appeared in the paper, so I thought I would be writing about Stubbily. The actual name is even more charmingly weird, and a whole lot of fun to say aloud.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

May 16, 2015

I had a hard time picking names to write about, not because there weren't a lot to choose from but because I'd done so many of them before and it was hard to see past those old favorites. Then I read the listings out loud and ended up with too many! I finally narrowed it down to these five:

BelRed
I always like to celebrate a band name with obvious local flavor. They're not the first and won't be the last to name themselves for a well known thoroughfare. (Hey, it worked for Sleater-Kinney!) I am amused that a band listing their hometown as Seattle chose an obvious Eastside reference. How many members grew up in the suburbs and escaped to Seattle at the first opportunity?

Feather Pluckers
So perfect that these guys were playing at The Little Red Hen! The name not only conveys a rural good humor, appropriate for this high-energy country band, but is also a term for their style of guitar.

Ghost Pains
In another case of an appropriate band name for the venue, Ghost Pains appeared at the ostensibly haunted Rendezvous. I hope the ghost left them alone and didn't steal any kick-drum feet (it got two of mine).

Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds
It's so great when somebody takes the classic X and the Y structure way over the top. Band and bandleader both have improbable cartoonish names that would be good on their own but are completely awesome together.

Pity Kiss
Sweet and sad at once, and feels like another aspect of Northwest loser pride. Even a pity kiss is still a kiss; we'll take what we can get.
 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

May 9, 2015

The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, the gardens are growing, the bands are playing. It must be May in Seattle! By way of reminder, tomorrow is Mother's Day, so if your mother is living, at least call her; she worries.

On with the business at hand:

Dog Fashion Disco
Imagine the dog party at the end of Go Dog Go, but with more glitz and a mirror ball. I like that party hat!

DJ Dyl Widdit
The spelling disguises this as a believable if slightly odd name, but spoken aloud, it becomes a command (with a particular regional inflection) to stop complaining and get on with things.

Reptilian Children

Ssnackss
These two are on the same bill and seem to genuinely belong together -- the latter is what the former beg for in the grocery store.

Voltanic
Amazing what happens with the substitution of one letter -- suggestions of lightning and lava, with more than a hint of the infernal.  

Saturday, May 2, 2015

May 2, 2015

I hope all the boaters remembered their sunscreen on this bright and shiny Opening Day. If not, they might want to recover by sitting in a dark bar with a cold brew and some loud music. Here's this week's handful of names that caught my eye:

Barb Wire Dolls
Takes the vapid fashion doll in a decidedly punk direction. Do not toy with her or you will lose some skin.

The Earwigs
I have a love/hate relationship with earwigs. On the one hand, they chew up my roses and pinch. On the other hand, they look as weird as their name. (A couple decades ago, we had earwigs living in our gate. Our then-two-year-old watched them with great fascination and cute utterances, to the point where I learned to draw an earwig so I could make a little picture book for him -- even though I really can't draw.)

Ghost of Paul Revere
We've just lost Jack Ely and Ben E. King, but this reminds me that we also lost Paul Revere not so long ago. OK, they probably didn't name their band for that Paul Revere, but still . . .

Kangaroo Boy
Have we wandered into tabloid news territory, or does he just have big pockets?

Sci-Fi Fantasy Horror
I'm not a fan of genre classification, but I admit this is my default section of the bookstore and where any books of mine would likely be shelved. Is there such a thing as "Speculative Rock"?

Saturday, April 25, 2015

April 25, 2015

Way back on Monday, when Seattle was enjoying a foretaste of May, there was talk of taking a picnic to Mt. Rainier on Saturday. Yeah, right. April weather has a funny way with plans like that. We'll stay in town and make our own fun. There are lots of bands who want to help with that:

Damage Bouquet
This name brings into close proximity two words that shouldn't have anything to do with each other, but once introduced, suggest any number of scenarios. Is this the flowers you send the person harmed by your wreckage? The flowers you use to smack the person who done you wrong? Or is it the sweet smell of brokenness brought into the open?

Gerbil Turds
Tiny shit, but shit nonetheless.  Juvenile on the surface, but with thoughtful poetic assonance.

Post Adolescence
The whole rest of your life. Childhood and adolescence are so full of change and seem to take so long that it's hard to believe they represent such a small percentage of  the years allotted most of us. So much drama in the prologue. Then the story really begins.

The Soft Moon
This one really is made of cheese.

Thistopia
Create your ideal world, right here, right now. The realm of God is at hand.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

April 18, 2015

Having survived Beepocalypse 2015, we head into a weekend that looks like a foretaste of May. Best wishes to the surviving bees, their heroic keepers, and the blueberries to be pollinated. If you see a bee at your barbecue, keep calm and think of produce. Then go inside and hear some music. There's no shortage, even if most of the outstanding names came up last night.

420 and the Shroomers
Almost too easy, but sometimes that's why I like 'em. This is an appropriate nom de gig for an early celebration of 4/20, AKA Weed Day.

BitchSchool
Remedial lessons for those of us who don't come by it naturally.


Bubblegum Octopus
Goofy sweet weirdness.

Harvard of the South
I was drawn to this as an alumna of the University of Puget Sound, the so-called "Harvard of the West." I never really understood the Ivy League envy, but as a band name, it has a grandiose splendor. Also, the video for their song "Miracle" is clever and lovely, and includes toy trains and horses: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRmrVjOYs4E

Kind of Like Spitting
Either mild affection for, or modest similarity to, expectoration. Immature either way, and I have to respect that.

My fiction and blogging projects collide in "St. Rage,"  the 13th release in the Pankhearst Singles Club. This story of an all-girl teenage garage band with superpowers is short, it's funny, and it's only $ .99. If you like "St. Rage," please like St. Rage on Facebook and go listen to their demos, "Huge Guy in the Mosh Pit" and "Half a Bus Closer to Home."

I play drums in a band called Your Mother Should Know. Our album Rocks and Glass is available now on Bandcamp.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

April 11, 2015

Time to go into the vault and revisit some favorites from Square Pig's third year! As before, I'm picking from the categories "Hands-Down Brilliant" and "Have Been on a Bill with Your Mother Should Know." Instead of limiting myself to five, I'm picking one per month; they're in chronological rather than alphabetical order.

Hands-Down Brilliant

(From 11/10/12)
Two Cow Garage
We already have backyard chickens and goats in Seattle. This is the next logical step.

(From 12/22/12)
Chin Up Rocky
Hokey-smoke! A Bullwinkle reference!

(From 1/20/13)
Lo' There Do I See My Brother
Formal and old-fashioned and too many words -- everything I love in a band name.

(From 2/2/13)
Acapulco Lips
I was sorry to miss Red Ribbon's show at the Rendezvous last week, moreso when I learned the name of the opening act. On the page, it looks like silly nonsense, but has to be read aloud to really sink in. On top of the wordplay (for me, at least), it brings to mind Walt Kelly's Pogo strip, in which "Octawocktapockers done got Albert!"


(From 3/16/13)
Something in the Trees
I love the mystery here. Is it a good something or a bad something? Is it among the trees, or actually in them? Who will go check? (Also, I have it on good authority that this group includes some fraction of The Tailenders, a past Square Pig favorite).

(From 4/13/13)
Inkiest Eels
I try not to play favorites, but this week, this is my favorite. This bizarre word pairing sounds like the title of some weird children's book that I would love to get my hands on. The assonance of all those long-e sounds also makes it a delight to say.

(From 5/11/13)
Western Red Penguins 
This goes off in a completely unexpected direction but still sounds for a moment like a real thing. A composer friend has invented birds, complete with names and calls. Wonder what she'd do with this one.

(From 6/29/13)
I couldn't believe I hadn't done this name already. It has the obvious sludgy, undead association, but then you say it out loud and it sounds like something completely different. They keep being on bills with friends of YMSK, so I'm bound to hear them before long.

(From 7/6/13)
Special Explosion District
Anywhere on July 4?

(from 8/10/13)
L'orchestre D'incroyable
'nuff said. The Rhine floods, Valhalla burns, but the orchestra always has the last word.

(From 9/28/13)
Bugs
Magpies
Tacos
I'm a big fan of really long band names, but I also have a soft spot for the one-word type. I like these three plural nouns without the definite article. One of these things is not like the others, but I suppose somebody somewhere would make a taco out of bugs and/or magpies.

(From 10/19/13)
Skunk Rider
Whether hero or villain, this character must have very short legs and no sense of smell. Probably not afraid to use chemical weapons.


Been on a Bill with Your Mother Should Know

(From 10/12/13)

Dead Bars
I'm surprised I haven't included this one already, though I have referenced them a couple times. I actually know the story behind the name, which grew out of drinking in bars where there was no energy or excitement, nothing going on but drinking and thinking. If these guys are playing, the venue is automatically not a dead bar anymore.



My fiction and blogging projects collide in "St. Rage,"  the 13th release in the Pankhearst Singles Club. This story of an all-girl teenage garage band with superpowers is short, it's funny, and it's only $ .99. If you like "St. Rage," please like St. Rage on Facebook and go listen to their demos, "Huge Guy in the Mosh Pit" and "Half a Bus Closer to Home."

I play drums in a band called Your Mother Should Know. Our album Rocks and Glass is available now on Bandcamp.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

April 4, 2015

The Seattle music scene continues as a hotbed of creativity, even in the face of gentrification and venue closures. Last weekend, we witnessed examples of this DIY spirit as not one but two bands, Canals of Venice and Bicycle Face, presented mini-musicals. You don't need a big theater or a rich producer if you have a friendly venue, a few costumes and props, yourself as the pit band, and the will to pull it off. Kudos to all concerned!

And it goes without saying that creativity spills over into the band names:

Bicycle Face
The initial appeal was the sheer silly awkwardness, even before I learned this was an actual Victorian medical diagnosis. Supposedly the faces of female cyclists were in danger of sticking in a pop-eyed grimace. (No coincidence that Bicycle Face's mini-musical "Pants!" concerns the scandal of cycling in bloomers.)

Comedy of Terrors
The simple addition of one letter takes you from Shakespearean farce to B-movie horror; so bad it's funny.
 
Hello Nowhere
This belongs with one of my favorite lines in children's literature, "Good night, nobody," found on an unillustrated page in the classic Good Night, Moon. Or else it's what you say when you stare into the abyss and invite it to stare back.

Insuburban Avenue
This play on a street name (I assume Interurban Ave.) suggests rock & roll rebellion (insubordination) and escape from the suburbs.

The Pro-nouns
Is this name standing in for the actual name of this band? The hyphen suggests nouns that have given up their amateur status. (This also reminds me of two siblings who swapped genders; I suggested they start a band called Pronoun Trouble. They have yet to take me up on it.)

My fiction and blogging projects collide in "St. Rage,"  the 13th release in the Pankhearst Singles Club. This story of an all-girl teenage garage band with superpowers is short, it's funny, and it's only $ .99. If you like "St. Rage," please like St. Rage on Facebook and go listen to their demos, "Huge Guy in the Mosh Pit" and "Half a Bus Closer to Home."

I play drums in a band called Your Mother Should Know. Our album Rocks and Glass is available now on Bandcamp.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

March 28, 2015

How cool is it that The Sonics got written up in The New Yorker? And they're playing next Thursday with Mudhoney at the Moore -- killer lineup of killer lineups! That's only one of many great shows I'm likely to miss this week, though I hope to get out Sunday for Canals of Venice's mini-musical, Martha Jane.

Meanwhile, these names stood out from the crowd:

!!! (Chk Chk Chk)
A sound effect spelled with punctuation is already pretty great, but including the translation is a nice courtesy. "Chk chk chk" is exactly the processed hi-hat sound used in dance music since the disco era.

Butterflies of Death
You've no doubt heard that a butterfly flapping its wings can lead to a hurricane on the other side of the world. Specifically, these butterflies.

Craft Spells
Artisanal magic from hipster witches.

Hippo Campus
I have long imagined a Sandra Boynton cartoon of a college for hippos. Now they have a band to play for their house parties.

The Velvet Teen 
Once seen, it seems so obvious, but somehow I never noticed that "velveteen" has the word "teen" embedded in it. Will this kid become Real as the fuzz gets loved off? 
 

My fiction and blogging projects collide in "St. Rage,"  the 13th release in the Pankhearst Singles Club. This story of an all-girl teenage garage band with superpowers is short, it's funny, and it's only $ .99. If you like "St. Rage," please like St. Rage on Facebook and go listen to their first demo, "Huge Guy in the Mosh Pit."

I play drums in a band called Your Mother Should Know. Our album Rocks and Glass is available now on Bandcamp.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

March 21, 2015

Because Seattle cleverly outsourced our winter to the East Coast this year, it's been springlike for weeks, but now it's spring for real. This calls for celebration! Get out there and bring some joy to a bar band at a club near you!

Dog Party
Around this house, we love and revere P. D. Eastman's Go Dog Go, a limited-vocabulary guide to how to pick up girls. It concludes in an epic dog party in a tree. I like that party hat! I like that band name!

Millhous
Stranger than Nixon 
It's not every week I see two band names with a Nixon connection, so I'm grouping these two together. "Stranger than Nixon" looks moderately amusing on paper, but its genius is revealed when spoken aloud (along with an implication that Nixon might be a little bit fictional.) As a little kid who knew next to nothing about politics, I thought his middle name was pretty strange, although that turns about to be the least weird thing about him.
 
Nowhere Near Nashville
I have to celebrate this much alliteration, as well as the literal truth about this outfit from a different -ville: Marysville, WA. Music of any genre can come from anywhere.


Problem with Dragons
I love the offhand way this diminishes terrifying and destructive creatures to the level of rodents or a leaky roof. Even so, with this kind of infestation, you'd better hope your pest control outfit has a wizard on staff.


My fiction and blogging projects collide in "St. Rage,"  the 13th release in the Pankhearst Singles Club. This story of an all-girl teenage garage band with superpowers is short, it's funny, and it's only $ .99. If you like "St. Rage," please like St. Rage on Facebook and go listen to their first demo, "Huge Guy in the Mosh Pit."

I play drums in a band called Your Mother Should Know. Our album Rocks and Glass is available now on Bandcamp.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

March 14, 2015

 Happy Pi Day! I'm blogging much later than usual, but having consumed my share of the traditional Pi Day pie (followed by a 30 minute run), I'm all fueled up to talk about band names.

Kap'n Crunch & the Cereal Killers
They really had fun with this one: classic X and the Y structure, breakfast-time nostalgia, a pun, and the initialism -- KCCK -- is a palindrome!
 
Kool Keith
I like this name for personal reasons: I married a Keith who I think is pretty cool. It's also the second one this week to respell a C word with a K, which I approve.


Lightning Kills Eagle
This could be a Native American myth or a headline on a slow news day.

Noisepoetnobody
This one's a poem, noisy with letters run together.


Teen Cat  
Teens are hip to pop culture and cats are cool, so there are lots of good rock & roll associations. On the other hand, felines mature so quickly that they barely have an adolescence. An actual cat in its teens is mature to elderly. (I was pleased to see that Teen Cat is a guitar-and-drum duo with a woman drummer, just like Your Mother Should Know!)

My fiction and blogging projects collide in "St. Rage,"  the 13th release in the Pankhearst Singles Club. This story of an all-girl teenage garage band with superpowers is short, it's funny, and it's only $ .99. If you like "St. Rage," please like St. Rage on Facebook and go listen to their first demo, "Huge Guy in the Mosh Pit."

I play drums in a band called Your Mother Should Know. Our album Rocks and Glass is available now on Bandcamp.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

March 7, 2015

 Square Pig faves Acapulco Lips, Pouch, and Power Skeleton are all playing tonight (not together, but wouldn't that be a killer lineup?) but I'm missing it all for the opera. All I can say is, Handel better be worth it. Meanwhile, here's five new favorites:

Field Mouse
I am reminded of my mom. House mice freaked her out, but she thought the outdoor variety (she called them meadow mice) were cute. There was even a poster of one on the fridge. But if a cat brought one indoors, forget it.

Flyleaf
Literary in a literal and very particular way.

Little Fixtures
Maybe it's my diminutive size, but I'm drawn to names with "little" in them. I like how in this case, it's paired with something solid and permanent. There's also the added attraction of a neat little off-rhyme.

The Shaken Growlers
I can easily believe this name grew out of an unfortunate incident bringing beer home from the bottle shop. Promises an exuberant, messy time.

Toyboat Toyboat Toyboat
I have to respect a band that chose a name most people can't say fast, even sober. (These guys actually are on the same bill with Power Skeleton tonight.)

My fiction and blogging projects collide in "St. Rage,"  the 13th release in the Pankhearst Singles Club. This story of an all-girl teenage garage band with superpowers is short, it's funny, and it's only $ .99. If you like "St. Rage," please like St. Rage on Facebook and go listen to their first demo, "Huge Guy in the Mosh Pit."

I play drums in a band called Your Mother Should Know. Our album Rocks and Glass is available now on Bandcamp.