David Bowie is dead and the goddam world doesn’t make a lick of fucking sense. I know, Lemmy and Rickman too, I know. But Bowie, though. He was supposed to live forever.
It is entirely too big of a subject to tackle here, the impact that David Bowie’s art had on me. Plus, there are a kajillion better writers and better thinkers out there that can say what I feel better than I can.
I can’t bring myself to listen to Blackstar yet. I mean way to rage against the dying of the light, though, making an album to take you into the next life. I will listen to it, but I have to be in the right head space. I know everyone is sick of hearing about it and SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY AND GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE but I just don’t know if I am ready to hear what is on that album. It’s been three and a half years since I watched my mom die of cancer, and still, even just seeing the still shots from the video for Blackstar is haunting in a way I can’t explain. I just get sucked right back to the hospice and the smells and the lighting and the sounds, and how my mother’s lips were the same pallid grey as her face right at the end and the papery skin and chunky arthritic knuckles of her hands and a billion other little details that mean nothing to anyone but me and that’s what art is supposed to do, right. It’s supposed to move us, to make us feel something. So I don’t know that I want to feel that yet. It’s a double whammy because in the same way that our parents’ deaths make us feel our own mortality, make us feel like we are suddenly alone in the world and must fend for ourselves forevermore, like nothing will ever be OK again, David Bowie’s death feels like we, as artists, lost a parent. Our artistic spirits lost a parent. If he is mortal, if he can be taken down by something as mundane and pedestrian as cancer, where does that leave us? We’re just normals. It’s terrifying. What mark will we leave behind? How will anyone know us when we are gone? And worse: how will we go on living now that we are truly alone?
It’s so fucking SELFISH, isn’t it. Fuck me.
Look, here’s the thing, all of us will die and it totally fucking sucks. Or, I mean, maybe it’s fucking great, actually. What if you die and you become like a little mass of totally liberated sentient energy that can fly through space and time, free from dogma, consciousness and the burden of carrying around a 200lb sack of meat and bones? Well anyway, so how do you want to live your life? Do you want to hide in fear like a fucking commoner? Or do you want to rage against the dying of the light like David Fucking Ziggy Stardust Thin White Duke Jareth The Goblin King Hell Yeah I Was In Twin Peaks, Motherfucker Bowie?
So let’s go do this, I better see your fucking asses out in the world this weekend. Quit stalling.
Friday, January 15
Kafari. Bunker Brewing. You know the drill. Or do you? Man. Piano. Brewery. 6-8pm. Your first stop out on Friday night.
OR if you want to have dinner over greens instead of just drinking your dinner in the form of liquefied hops, go to b.good in South Portland for Myles Bullen and Laughing Animal (two separate bands, not a frontman and his backing band) at 7pm. I don’t know who the fuck they are either, but you get a good meal and it comes with a slice of cantaloupe at the end.
Cantaloupe is a weird word.
Oh boy there is a swing dance tonight at Maine Ballroom Dance (on Congress Street between Blue and Green Elephant) with the Tom Whitehead Quartet. They are awesome. And you can - and will! - dance. Come for the beginner’s lesson at 7:30 then stay to dance from 8-10.
Clara Junken and OC and the Offbeats are at One Longfellow Square. That’s your blues show.
Jargon Party, First in Maths, Today Junior and Black Hatch are playing at PHOME. The first two of those bands are releasing albums at this party. I am a big fan of Eric Schnare after getting to know his style of playing through interviews for Dispatch and he really has his own sound. He is in Jargon Party. Go see them.
Mayo Street Arts has improv comedy. Not a music thing, but a FUN thing.
Flask has Friction Fridays: All Vinyl Edition, with JonEk@t, Coastal & Stryknyne. Those are DJ’s. All vinyl! Cool! What interesting shit do these guys collect? I have a strict no-musician policy when it comes to dating, but there was this DJ back in NYC named Stosh 1 that I was basically obsessed with and followed around to gigs and he played all dancehall and reggae and lover’s rock records and rarely spoke and his real name was Josh because of course it was and I’m pretty sure he was blazed out of his gourd at all times. Nothing ever came of it, I was very annoying and terrible back then (pro tip: STILL AM). I remember at one of those shows though this white rasta guy grabbed me on the stairwell, shoved his hands sort of under the bottom of my rib cage and he looks at me and goes, “Vitamin C and Okinawa coral calcium.” And then he just runs off into the night. Cocaine? Or witchdoctor? The world may never know.
Sunrunner, Heavy Necker, Jimmy Jacked and An Anderson are at Geno’s tomorrow night. This is your prog rock/math rock show. At my beloved Geno’s, greatest shithole in all the land.
Empire has one of their Tribute 2 series shows. This one is Tribute 2: The Songwriter. I don’t know about this. I just don’t know that there’s as much joy in sitting down and emulating Bob Dylan as there is in getting dressed up and emulating Gwen Stefani or some shit.
Saturday, January 16
Ramblin’ Dan Stevens is at Acoustic Artisans. This guy is a folk singer and has the most endearing facebook event ever, entitled "Great Show at Acoustic Artisans!" That’s boomer-era advertising right there. Say hi to your mom for me.
OHX is releasing their EP at PHOME tonight. Aimsel Ponti says we should be there, so let’s all go there. Renee Coolbrith will be singing there, so we can all go nurse our crushes in person.
Leveret is debuting their "Unclothing" Music Video at Arcadia National Bar. The image in the ad for the event… is that… is that from the video? What am I looking at here? Why is that guy sitting like that? What’s up with his teeth? Is this video just going to be some amateur stripper shit? It makes me uncomfortable. I can’t wait to see it.
Oh, look at this little quaint thing: The Super Nothing Good Little Jam Band!! (TWO exclamation points!! TWO!!) at Space for Grace’s Drawn to Art event. I don’t know, but this just makes me want to rumple their hair and be like, go get me a beer, kiddo.
Flask has METAMORPHOSIS w/ detroit's Mike "Agent X" Clark, mr.dereloid + Jack MF.
The Bearded Lady’s Jewel Box has been getting into the DJ and small-scale setup live act game and tonight they have Barfhorse and Laura Vanilla playing songs in celebration of Aaliyah’s birthday. Tell me about Aaliyah, because I know she’s like legendary post-death, but I’ve never really investigated why and I never got into her music enough to get it. So you tell me, if you’re into Aaliyah. Or maybe I can just shut the fuck up and just goddam go over there and see the fucking show.