It has come to my attention, dear readers, that Starbucks is changing it’s pumpkin spice latte formula, and I HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY ABOUT IT:
Cool, bro. I mean who drinks those things anyway? Are you actively seeking a relationship with diabetes and sadness? You’re just telling us about your formula change, STARFUCKS - yes, I call you starfucks! No, you can’t do SHIT about it! - so that the twitters and the bookfaces will LOSE THEIR MINDS with SELF RIGHTEOUS OUTRAGE about changing their beloved bullshit water. Great publicity stunt, Starfucks. Seriously, fuck off now. No, you know why I say to fuck thyself offeth? Because whenever I go into a Starfucks - and I mean, yeah, assholes, I’m a human in America in 2015, sometimes I find myself in a goddam Starfucks OF COURSE I PREFER CBD BUT SOMETIMES FINDING THE INDIE COFFEE SHOP IS IMPOSSIBLE, HAVE YOU EVER EVEN BEEN ON A FUCKING ROAD TRIP ACROSS AMERICA I HATE YOU SO MUCH - anyway, whenever I am in a Starfucks, there’s always someone in there with a problem. A Starfucks problem. This person usually looks annoyed or mean. Like a pissed off bulldog, usually, and not to generalize, but it’s almost always a woman. I KNOW! Girl on girl crime, right!! But for real, it’s usually a ladyperson, and she will be standing there waiting for her drink with some kind of designer bag but like, nothing else designer or even really that “nice,” you know, like women who wear Old Navy jeans but carry a Coach purse with the C logo on it like anyone gives a shit about your purse (though I’m obsessed with my Trophy Queens)? Also, gross, Old Navy jeans, if there’s one thing to drop cash money on as a full on ladyperson, it’s fucking jeans. Your butt, how it’s framed by your pants, how comfortable it is in it’s denimy grave, is more important than the carrier your money hitches a ride around in all day. Carry your wallet in a fucking paper bag, but don’t do your own ass a disservice.
(Maybe we should all just get the So Fine jeans and just call it good.)
Ok, ok, I’m back on track, just listen. So this unhappy person who is confused about how fashion works will be waiting for her drink over by the little drink trough where we all line up to receive our fish biscuits and it will come and it’s like, the person who makes the coffee (saying the word “barista” makes me feel like Artax stuck in the Swamps of Sadness) ambles over and is like “Venti Iced Frappuccino with Heavy Cream and Two Extra Pumps of Vanilla with Caramel and Extra Whip, add cookie sprinkles, add a shot of espresso?” And Angry Lady will snatch the thing off the counter and then walk out of there all haughty without saying thank you. You know that lady? She’s everywhere!
This always makes me sad, because this lady had taken the Starfucks drink and turned it into just another thing over which to exert control so that she can feel for just, like, a few minutes a day that her world isn’t crumbling, that while everything else in her life is going to chaos, THIS one thing, THIS one little moment, she can make it as complex and ridiculous as possible and have her every whim catered to by very polite people for a reasonable price. It’s a gross misinterpretation of what anyone should be drinking in the morning. I mean you cannot get this kind of breakfast candy anywhere else. Starfucks, not content to keep their dignity and service America’s vast coffee loving population, had to get in on the sugar game - the CUSTOMIZABLE sugar game - and created a whole subculture of people who come for the rush, but keep coming for the ability to build a tiny little fragile empire once a day, every day, to show how important they are in this tiny little world of tasteful hardwood and kelly green, to GET SOME GODDAM RESPECT FOR ONCE in their little lives.
Smart, Starfucks. Here in this little fucked up burg of ports, there are a bunch of us trying to sell albums (a buttload of them just came out! We'll look at that in a minute) and show tickets for about the same price as Angry Lady’s daily Starfucks 20 ounce bucket of shame. Something permanent and unique - an experience, or a piece of carefully crafted recorded music. But returning to the feeder for that rush of stimulants to the brain, to that moment of control and power, is more alluring, more emotionally addicting in Our America than the complex, long-term rewards of witnessing art, of investing in your community’s voice. As a wise man once said, “you do it to yourself, you do, that’s why it really hurts.”
Because we all just want to be loved, right? Shit. I’ll take a 12 ounce (screw you, “tall”) drip. With room.
Friday, August 21st
Welcome to Thunderdome, bitches! Look, if you’re in a local band this weekend, prepare to compete hard, because on both nights, you’ll be going up against cover bands, which are basically acts of terrorism against local bands. Bruce and the Zep, heavy hitters, too. Good luck! Rest easy knowing that my dance card is fully local and fully original this weekend. Here we go:
Then, rain or shine, you can see Jeff Beam at Bunker Brewing with an interesting bill from the Northeast. Jeff plays second to last and it starts at 6, rain or shine, so you do the math on that one. Jeff’s new album just came out at the beginning of this month, and you can hear the single “Auspicious Minds,” why, right below!
Portland House of Music and Events has Lyle Divinsky’s album release party. Everyone put albums out this summah! Ew, remind me never to spell “summer” that way again. Or remind me that I have a terrible New Jersey accent when I get either angry or drunk, and I have no right to make fun of Maine accents. Anyway, Lyle is bringing his “20 piece soulchestra” which just honestly sounds like a lot of work for him. 20 musicians! Is he using google calendars? Is there an app he developed to keep these guys straight? Where do they rehearse, an airplane hangar? Whatever, this sounds cool and you know how I feel about PHOME (good. I feel good about it, jesus have you even read anything I’ve said?) so this is probably a good bet. Plus with 20 musicians pretty much everyone in town probably knows someone playing (except me! HAHAHA I’M SO LONELY) so it should be packed, and a party. Have fun!
And over at Empire, who gets a pass for a cool show tonight but is on my shit list for putting a Led Zeppelin cover band on stage on Saturday night, Vinyl Instinct and Dementia Five have a little hoot’nanny going on. Vinyl Instinct just released an album on cassette tape and this is their album release show. Cool, impractical but cool, I would buy one but my only cassette player is in my car and it ate my precious copy of REM’s Document recently so I am no longer putting recorded music into it until it apologizes for what it’s done. The album is also available digitally. Here, read about it, then go to this show.
Local musician Stephen Carpenter was in a car accident recently, and a bunch of his friends and family put together a benefit show for him at Mayo Street Arts tonight. There are a lot of interesting names on here, performers of various ilks including Anathema Steele, Pia Louise Capaldi and some belly dancers, so this is like your Muppet Show fever dream type experience for the weekend and I’m not just saying that because Mayo Street Arts is the epicenter of puppet activity in the Greater Portland Area. Good cause, bonkers lineup, and close enough to Whole Foods that you can start your night by eating shredded plastic or bits of latex glove out of their salad bar before going out. I really know how to do a night right.
Saturday, August 22nd
Tiger Bomb is at Bayside Bowl! HELL YEAH all girl power rock band from Portland Maine! Is it that obvious I’ve never seen you play? Well that all changes TONIGHT. And it’s free? You gals really know how to treat a lady.
Something called the Gorilla Finger Dub Band is at Brian Boru. I have nothing to say about them because I hate hate hate that name for an all white guy reggae band. It's out of touch. Here's an article on cultural appropriation. I just feel like with everything happening now, maybe this band name isn’t great. But you do you I guess. I shall not mention you again, GFDB.
Here’s a fun and lighthearted thing: Video Nasties and Cheerwine are at Bunker Brewing tonight! I enjoy Video Nasties because their self-identified “Hype Man” is one of the first people I met here in town, and he is a cheerful, frothy delight wrapped in the rainbow sprinkles of blithe youth. What’s not to like? Video Nasties are weird and I can’t say their music is objectively “good,” like, it’s loose and wild and experimental, but it’s also really good because it’s loose and wild and experimental. And like, sweaty. I feel like they must sweat a lot. I didn’t get a lot out of seeing Cheerwine last time they played because the sound was so bad at Slab that they sort of disappeared beneath the noise of just like, EVERYTHING including Slab’s crazy menu, who in my mind is basically Tony from Loverboy and he won’t leave me alone. But we’ll see how they do at Bunker, also not an ideal sound situation, but sometimes that can work for you. Sunset Hearts did great with it and there’s like 80 of them in that band. Enjoy this one, you deserve it.
Congress Square Park has the Third Annual Maine Hip Hop Summit today. Does anyone know who’s playing this, what time it starts, if it will happen if there’s rain, etc? Not much info on the old FB invite here, and no web site I can find. I’ll just wander by there, I live like a block away, what’s wrong with me.
There’s also this Dancing Oaks Music Festival in Deering Oaks Park on Saturday. I found out about this because someone gave me a flier for it and I shoved it in my pocket, emptied my pocket on the table, needed a bookmark for this fucking rad book I’m reading, used the flier as a bookmark, then last night as I was about to fall asleep and grabbed the bookmark to mark my page, noticed that the damn thing was a flier for an event. But it looks like a Christian thing to me? I am very suspicious of the intersection of church and popular music in this way, if it’s a church thing, say it’s a church thing. Jesus is cool and all, he was a rebel and I feel like we would have at least given a hearty chin bob to each other on the street back in the day, but I don’t go for fear based dogma. I’ve got my eye on you, Dancing Oaks. UPDATE: the date on this has been changed to September 12th.
Ok, I know, how long are we gonna be here, right? You’ve gotta get your hot rollers in for chrissakes. Rounding it out, Sunset Hearts are at Space Gallery, Flask has An Anderson, Triode and Strange Nights, Geno’s has Roy Orbitussin and Safe Word, and KG Freeze is doing their album release show at PHOME with Forget, Forget and Ned Porter. Here’s KG Freeze’s new video:
But I don’t know why you read any of this anyway, cuz your friends just want to go see Bruce Springsteen covers, right? Le Sigh.