Really, there’s music all over the fucking city this weekend because it’s the old port festival and all the crap that they book at the old port festival is dumb and terrible so the locals are like, hey you know what, let’s do some shows that are smart and good. I can’t cover all of it - every room in the city has someone playing music this weekend - so I’ll just do the highlights. I keep thinking of how full of music this weekend is and all I keep seeing in my mind is this:
It's a busy af weekend and I have so many jokes to make and musicians to make fun of, let's just get right to it.
Come Together at PHOME has Covered in Bees, Skosh, Clara Junken, OC and the Offbeats, Forget, Forget and Push/Shove. I am hosting this. I was going to do trivia, but my week has been busier than any week I've ever known so I didn't have time to prepare. But the music will be killer and I'll try to do some shitty standup jokes or some shit.
Studio 55 has Voulez Vous Cabaret doing a show called Wicked Little Girls!
Leveret, Heavy Pockets, Diva Cup and Giant Knife play Bayside Bowl tonight.
O’Death returns to SPACE Gallery with a new album to play for you. The Huntress and Holder of Hands opens. As you may know, O'Death is helmed by our own Greg Jamie, and he's been off getting ready for tour and working on new material and putting a tour together. Good luck out there, O Captain my Captain, and see you on Friday night!
Flask has Foundation Fridays with Eddie Van Raven, Empire has a Tribute2 show (The Foozer tour, which I guess was Foo Fighters and Weezer… ugh, it’s 20 years later and I’ve still got Rivers Cuomo fatigue), Sassquatch are at Slab, RiRa has Stolen Mojo, who are just the latest in the long line of bands claiming that they are Maine’s “ultimate/best/most fun/most exciting/other superlative” party cover band! And they are wrong, because everyone knows that Dean Ford and the Keepsakes are Maine’s ultimate party cover band. Also, am I crazy but is Stolen Mojo a reference to Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me? And if so, you know that that movie’s mojo is just like, jizz, right? It’s a vial of magic jizz. Come on, man. Don’t name your band jizz. Or like, just name it that: just be like, “this is my band, Jizz” and be punk as fuck about it. Alright.
Earlier in the evening, RiRa has happy hour with Michael Krapovicky. This guy: great, great name. Look, my family calls me Vicky though nobody else really has in many moons. So I look at this name and it reads to me “Crap-o, Vicky!” Which I love. I think I’m going to try to make “crap-o” happen. Blue has El Malo, there’s a contra dance with Dance Panther at Congress Square Park, Salvage has Cajun Aces and Dogfish’s calendar is still more fucked up than mayonnaise but they probably have something.
Lastly, the Gaslight League is having a big swing dance at the Mechanic’s Charitable Association Ballroom.
Saturday June 11
The Mathew’s rooftop party starts today and it’s way more electronica heavy than it was last year, which I find interesting. Local highlights on the roster for Saturday for me are BRZOWSKI, Bad Leg, Push/Shove, 32French and Jeff Beam but honestly, the show is five goddam clams if you can’t swing that for like 20 fucking bands, you’re a jackass.. Also, is Jeff Beam a time traveling alien of some sort? I feel like he’s kind of like one of the Observers on Fringe, like, at any moment in rock and roll history, you can look at a photo and see Jeff Beam somewhere in the photo, just like, lurking and being Jeff Beam. And his stage presence is that of someone who, like, played the Winterland for The Last Waltz but also will be playing the stage on whatever space station we're all relegated to when the environment fully collapses. He transcends time and space! Anyway, so my message here is that Jeff Beam is a time traveling alien, and you know what, I think that’s great.
Empire is hosting a Songwriters’ Circus - and event that usually falls on a Thursday at Dogfish - and it’s basically loose, casual sets from some of the city’s best songwriters (this one features Will Bradford from SeepeopleS, Joel Thetford, Dan Capaldi, Joshua Madore, Clara Junken and a bunch of other folks) and there are often some fun impromptu jams. So what I’m saying is if you want to get tipsy with a bunch of musicians and then potentially watch them do some Neil Young singalongs or something, this is the party to be at. It’s free.
Anyway, so once you’ve cooked yourself in the sun and taken an hour or two break at the Songwriters’ Circus, head over to Geno’s to see fucking Johnny Cremains and Pigboat and Boston’s Gozu. You can see Cremains and Pigboat maybe twice a year each, so it’s important you get your ass over to this, and if you didn’t read my review of Hollywoodland, that album is killer and they are one of my favorite bands in Portland. Also? I feel like this is a kickass rock show for which you can reasonably get dressed up if you want. I like that.
Reggae Fest is happening at Sebago Lake. I love reggae (and that West Indian food, I will eat the shit out of your oxtail, will there be West Indian food at this?) and it looks like there are a couple of cool touring acts coming through on this. Also, I like that Royal Hammer, also on the bill, lists my forever love soundtrack crooner Dennis Brown as one of their major influences. My arch nemeses who shall not be named are also on this bill, because wherever there are insufferable white people appropriating non-white cultures in a thoughtless way, they’ll be there!
Also, their band description says that they’ve “won over countless crowds in the past 3 years.”
I’m pretty sure we could count them. The crowds you’ve won over, that is. Also, that sentence is meaningless. Show me the receipts.
Sunday June 12
It’s the Old Port Festival, and I highly recommend that you spend the most time at the Dispatch stage (not paid/coerced to say that, that's just real, y'all) for Hi Tiger, Murcielago, Sara Hallie Richardson, more Jeff Beam and Sunset Hearts. You could also hang at the MAMM stage and watch our future little rock stars do their thing. Lastly, you’ve got Armies, Jason Spooner and Amy and the Engine at the WCLZ stage, and that’s it for original local music.
After the Old Port fest, you can go to Empire for Dispatch’s after party Hang On To Your Ego, which is a bunch of intensely accomplished Portland musicians playing the entirety of Pet Sounds. Wouldn’t that be nice?
You can also go to PCMH for your fill of a kickin’ Rustic Overtones hometown show with Kat Wright.
It’s also day 2 of the Mathew’s rooftop party. Sunday is a little more rock and roll with Weakened Friends, Five of the Eyes, Manic Abraxis and a pile of others. Also $5 for all day.
Flask has SunDaze, local violinist Andy Happel is releasing his new album at Acoustic Artisans (which is a great room to see a show in, it’s very warm and soft sounding in there), a soul-stealing redhead named Connor Garvey is at Rising Tide, PHOME celebrates its one year anniversary with a free show from Skosh and (*shakes fist at the gods*) Pardon Me, Doug, and Thirsty Pig has Don Damiani and God.Damn.Chan on the deck on the deck. Get it? I AM SO CLEVER I CAN’T EVEN STAND IT.