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.

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:

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

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.

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"?