(Quick aside - when I was but an innocent lass, before my parents gave up hope that I’d ever walk the straight and narrow, I attended River Dell Regional High School in New Jersey, at which I was a cheerleader, and our coach, Mrs. Kiel, or Coach Kiel, or just “Kiel” as we would call her, would use “GIRLS!” as the thing she would shout to keep us in line or to get us to pay attention to her because, frankly, we were a bit of a wild bunch. Her assistant coach, Mrs. S, was a drunk who was also my chaperone on a terrifying French Club (which I was not in, I learned Spanish, I don’t even remember how I ended up on this adventure) trip to France in my junior year and who, on our chartered flight on Pakistani Airlines that featured PROPELLORS on the engines, one of which sported DUCT TAPE on it - I’m saying to you that my high school sent us on a trip overseas on a prop plane held together with duct tape - she purchased for us “girls,” a carton of Benson and Hedges 100’s which we proceeded to smoke on the plane, you know, in the back, in the SMOKING SECTION, while Mrs. S got shitfaced and oh, lordy I am so sorry if the ghost of my poor dead mother is reading this, but yes it’s true, mom, my high school teachers are the reason I got hooked on smoking! Clearly, helicopter parenting didn’t exist at this point. Also, Mrs. S taught fucking second grade. She wore sunglasses to class a lot of times. So classic! I realize in retrospect that despite being lucky enough to attend school in one of the most well-funded school districts in the nation, my high school was a shit show, with drunk administrators, a pedophile psychology teacher and a “gifted” program teacher who ended up getting suspended for throwing a desk at us one time which was SO BANANAS. But that is a yarn for another day! Anyway, later in that trip I would go shopping, buy a slutty shirt, go to a club and get into a fight with a French girl because I danced with her boyfriend. Back in the states, my friends gave the story an urban legend quality wherein I punched the girl, but in truth, I just sort of half-heartedly tried to shove her down a - literally - single stair and then ran away because apparently I am a fucking psychopath AND a coward. Sorry Possessive French Girl! Anyway, this is neither here nor there, but the moment I typed “Girls!” I wanted to share that with you because this story is awesome and I do awesome shit. I just Kanye’d you, you’re welcome).
Anyway, Girls! Have you watched Missy Elliot’s new video yet? It’s cool, go ahead, I’ll wait.
I was chatting last night with some kickass music industry women, a talent buyer, a performer and an engineer, and we were lamenting how difficult it is to put a female-centric rock show on here in Maine. I want to talk more about that. Because seriously this weekend, it’s like a giant bag of sausages got dropped from a plane onto Portland a la the WKRP in Cincinnati Thaksgiving Turkey Drop. Where are all the women at? Here’s the thing, men are typically imbued from birth to follow their desires regardless of the cost. Women are taught that being accommodating to others is of the utmost importance. IN GENERAL, fucking relax “Not ALL XYZ” people. Kickass musician ladies, I know there are more of you out there than the ones that are currently showing your faces. Girl, pick up that guitar and tell your husband to do the dishes FOR ONCE and go practice your scales or some shit. Let the incredible Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott, middle aged, fucking GORGEOUS and HOT Missy Elliott, innovative, toy truck riding, chandelier-hanging Missy FUCKING Elliot inspire you to get out there and just make music. FOR YOU. Not for your kids, not for your parents, not for your husband or boyfriend or girlfriend or partner or MEN or PEOPLE in general, not for your job, not to “get ahead in life,” just for you. Missy shows us you don’t have to be a fetus, you don’t have to weigh 3 pounds, you don’t have to sound like everyone else does, you just have to be you, and it is never too late to make any kind of comeback you want. It’s cool, we’ll be here when you’re ready to share your shit. We know you’re gonna do great things.
Friday November 13
Geno’s has CASTLE with HESSIAN and HOLY FILTH. Castle is from SF, so screw em, but hear this because I’ll not tell you again: Hessian! I’ve yet to see Hessian live, all I’ve heard is this album, which I guess is on the older side now, but this is exciting because Hessian doesn’t even play out that much, even. Plus, with all the gentrification happening all over the world right now, who knows how long you’ll have to even have an experience like this. Once every venue in town has hardwood floors and sells craft cocktails with hand-slapped fresh herbs (h/t Kaitlyn) for $12 each, where will a band like Hessian even play? Get out here and make this good.
Empire has Lucky Friday the 13th with Clara Junken, Jenny Lou Drew, John Zack. This is a singer-songwriter thing populated with some talented folks who I admittedly know not too much about. But we know from previous writings that we like John Nels Blanchette’s throaty Jeff Buckley inspired vocals, and we know also that Clara Junken is not-quite-a-folk-singer, but FOLKSY, ya dig, but the thing about these kinds of singer songwriter showcases is that there is usually something for everyone and there will probably be a lot of songs about fucking relationships and shit. You know what it is.
PHOME has Pigeons Playing Ping Pong w/ A Mighty Lion @ Portland House of Music (Portland, ME). Mighty Lion are from Lewiston, so they sort of fit the bill for HT:P fame sheerly by virtue of their location. I just do not get though, the whole privileged white kids doing reggae thing - I see the first song on their site is called “Nesta” and it just makes me cringe. SOJA gets away with it because they sort of have a connection to this kind of strife from their lead singer living in Africa, and Sublime could get away with it because it was a very specific time in America, and they were singing about California kids on dope blues with only a vague connection to Rastafarianism, and at its heart, reggae IS the blues - it’s music that helps you cope with strife. I love reggae and sometimes it’s just comforting to hear Burning Spear tell you that everything is going to be OK in his big soothing voice, but it is so weird to me when any of us try to emulate something whose central struggle we know nothing about. It’s like Rachel Dolezaling people with music and it’s gross. Sorry, Mighty Lion. I just don’t understand you. Someone convince me otherwise, I'm open to that discussion.
Andy’s Old Port has a singer-songwriter named Jeff Cusack.
Bayside Bowl has Raging Brass Reggae - I feel like, if you want to pay tribute to the reggae you love, this is how you do it: loving instrumentals done by highly accomplished artists.
Blue has Tenzin Chopak, Steamboats, El Malo - ok, interesting. I have to give El Malo their propers, because they do everything from playing big crazy rock gigs with punk and metal bands to these little lo-fi shows and they’re quite adept at it… well, maybe they are. I’ll have to check them out at Blue tonight to be sure, but I bet it will be fun. Latin/jazz/rock.
Brian Boru has The Secret Stache… I don’t even…ok. Here’s a link to their facebook page of “music for all occassions:”
Dogfish has this week’s requisite dose of Travis James Humphrey for happy hour, and then Viva at 8pm.
Saturday Nov 14
Have rockin’ kids? Saturday afternoon you can go out to MAMM PRESENTS: The Kids Are Alright featuring Kate Beever. This is for kids of all ages. More music should be available to kids. Kids friggin' love music.
Mayo Street Arts has Half Moon Jug Band CD Release Show, a show that promises to be highly interactive because this band “thrives on interacting with the audience.” Sounds kind of fun, huh. Their new record is called “Don’t Bore Us, Get to the Chorus.” Tee hee.
PHOME has Mama's Boomshack presents STAR TIME! - A Tribute To James Brown. A tribute to James Brown. While I’m sure this will actually be pretty fun, A. who is “playing” James, and 2., TERRRRRRORISSTTTSSS!!! *shakes fists at sky* There are just some acts you probably don’t want to mess with in this regard. There aren’t a lot of Queen or Van Morrison or James Brown or Michael Jackson tribute bands because good fucking luck emulating what those guys did - not necessarily musically. I’m sure the music will be tight. But front-person wise, just… good luck.
Genos has Nuclear Bootz // MoMe // The Bumbling Woohas // Campfire Cowboy. Nuclear Bootz, you’re playing out too much and cutting down on potential draw for each show. I caution you to scale it back to less than once a month. This show is 100% local though, so that’s cool. I should like to see one man band Campfire Cowboy, here’s a link if you want to check it out.
Here’s a new monthly roots series put on by Portland’s own musical Rupert Giles, Michael Leonard: Roots In The Attic: Chris Ross and The North. Town Meeting. Connor Watson. Features Chris Ross and the North, so if you like Ray LaMontagne, this is the show for you. This looks like it will be turning into a regular affair, so keep an eye out for your favorite roots musicians to make their appearance at Empire soon.
Bayside Bowl has Coke Weed, Mail the Horse, Footings. I want to see Coke Weed, but I’m out of town on Saturday, so no luck. Next time, coke weed!
Brian Boru has the Jason Spooner Band. It’s been a minute since I’ve seen the term “Hot AC” referenced when talking about a band, so thanks for that BSB.