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
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.

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.
"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.

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.

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

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