Well, well, well. Back again, are you? And so soon? What will your spouse think? Or your priest!? WHAT WILL THE NEIGHBORS THINK? What kind of a person ARE YOU?
Last week, it seems like we hit some nerves both good and bad here at HOT TRASH Worldwide Headquarters when we posted our in-depth investigative analysis of BUTTHURTGATE 2017, a piece of journalism so hard-hitting, so clear-sighted and so illuminating that the whole town was immediately catapulted back to the Golden Age of Journalism, wherein historians began rewriting the books to include this stupid web site alongside references to John Zenger, Hunter S. Thompson and Helen Thomas, and the mayor called begging me to accept a key to the city.
Or, you know… something like that.
Probably more like some people shared it on facebook or whatever and I got some negative comments and some nice comments. And my readership went way up. It more than tripled.
So the thing had an impact, for better or for worse, and this gives me hope. I meant what I said in that piece, I really do care and I would like to see the music scene here find some common ground, a way to come together and pool our strengths to become an actual music community. A lot of that will have to come by finding our sense of humility and self-awareness, and not everyone is ready to embark upon that journey, since it can be so dark and full of terrors. But hey, fake it till you make it, right? Let’s try acts of kindness to each other, just like, ONE act of kindness out of all the acts you’ll do on each other in the near future, and see what changes.
I know some of you may be new here, so for the sake of welcoming you to the HOT TRASH team, let’s get back to basics and do what we do best here at HOT TRASH: Portland! And what we do best is making fun of bands! I LOVE MAKING FUN OF BANDS. DON’T YOU? It’s FUN. We do it lovingly. We’re only mean when people are racist, bigoted, anti-feminist, violent, do harm, are economic vultures, or otherwise just dicks, generally. Otherwise we do it lovingly and with the intention of being like: hey, my dudes, if we can’t laugh at ourselves, how can we laugh at anybody else?
We also make fun of me, A LOT, so get ready for some hard and raw self-deprecation because I like to work out my deep insecurities here using the written word, it’s fine, just ignore it. I love YOU, though, you’re perfect just as you are and I don’t even deserve to breathe the same fucking air that your fucking God/Goddess/genderless-or-pangendered-spiritual-lifeforce lungs breathe.
And if you’re not new to HT:P! and you’ve been with me on this journey from my first shitty post way back in July of 2015, if you ventured with me through the earliest days of my move to Portland, through being sick in the head, sick in the body, my dating crises and tooth crises, that weird phase where I was just super in googly-eyed love with all of you and just wanted to hold your hands and gaze into your eyes and explore the woods together set to a Nick Drake soundtrack, that one post that was all about buns when Prince died, all the times I got mad at you but then forgave you because LOOK AT THAT FACE WHO COULD STAY MAD AT YOU, well then, thank you because you’re awesome and without you this is just a sad, pointless monologue instead of a kickass conversation.
OK, ready? It’s time for some classic style HOT TRASH, let’s do this thing:
Friday November 17
First up, the Italian Heritage Center has it’s annual fundraiser for the Don and Barbara Doane music scholarship fund, with a jazz tribute to Don from 6-8 and the Carmine Terracciano band from 8-10. This is hors d'oeuvres, drinks and dancing, and it’s only $25 for four hours of music and snacks, and that’s actually a really killer bargain, if you ask me. I fucking LOVE events like this, and if I had anyone in my life who would enjoy going to it, you can bet it would be on my dance card. There is a heartwarming charm about putting on a dress and going down to the Legion Hall or the local social club and unpretentiously dancing and chatting and getting drunk to the sweet sounds of midcentury jazz. You get to meet those senior #relationshipgoals couples who, like, still kick it and still look at each other like they’re the only star shining in the night sky, you get to hang with little kids running around in their stocking feet and pretty dresses or little tiny suits, you get to reckon with the salty boomers drinking scotch and smoking outside in their wire rimmed glasses and dated silk ties. There’s just an air of family about things like this, and I think we could all use more of that in our lives, whether we have a great blood family to count on or not.
Elton John is at the Civic Center. Yeah, I know it’s not called that anymore, but fuck you insurance companies who have enough cash leftover after price gouging Americans to buy fucking entertainment venues. My health care shouldn’t be a means to your endgame of having a monopoly on real estate and entertainment. Fuck right off so hard. And fuck you for charging over a grand for some of these tickets. Unless the venue is providing me with a fucking gold-dipped rickshaw driven by Terry (*HARD SWOON*) Crews to the show, at which point Mr. Crews will change into a tuxedo with the sleeves ripped off and accompany me to my private box seats where Terry and I will hold hands and talk about our favorite college rock records from the 90’s while eating sandwiches flown in from Dante’s on Kinderkamack Road in River Edge, NJ, there’s not $1,000 worth of fucking entertainment in two hours of old ass Elton John at our shitty civic center. Yeah, I know he’s a legend and a gay icon, and I don’t hate him, but seriously, $1,000? Elton, my man, you can probably just downsize your annual post-Oscar party, wear like two fewer gilded Versace coats and fucking calm the goddam fuck down on your ticket prices.
Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real and Nikki Lane are at Port City Music Hall. Lukas fronts Neil Young’s backing band and is Willie Nelson’s son, with the hair to prove it. He’s pretty great on the ears AND in the face - on a scale of Nah to Would, I am at 100% WOULD, but I guess that’s not shocking for me since I throw myself at every sensitive ponytail that fucking walks my way. WHAT? It gives you something to hold on to while you’re making them lick your boots.
Over at Geno’s, The Prozacs, Port City Saints, Sonic Libido and Not30 are giving you their hardest Portland Punx. PHOME gives us Roots, Rhythm and Dub’s album release show, with guests Zeme Libre and Jonah Bruce and the Grads. Some dork named Joe Nichols is at Aura with Drew Baldridge. What is that, country music? Oh wait, sorry, who fucking cares. Danny and Jake from The Dapper Gents are at Bull Feeney’s.
Folk marrieds Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn are at the State Theatre tonight. I feel like in my music listening life, Bela Fleck has always been around, showing up at festivals and shit like that, and I’ve always lumped him into that bucket with, like, Martin Sexton, Tony Rice, fucking Keller Williams… like all those guys who are super innovative and technically proficient but don’t really focus on lyrics or try to connect with me in an emotional way. Maybe Bela is different, he seems like he’s got something behind those eyes, but anyway in all those years I don’t think I’ve even sat down long enough to hear what Bela Fleck sounds like. I had to go check to make sure I remembered correctly that he’s a banjo guy. Anyway, I’m just highlighting my ignorance here, I’m willfully shutting Bela out because I just have, like, so much other fucking music to discover, and I don’t have room for another banjo man in my life right now.
Rest Assured, a reggae (SIGH) band made up of teenage MAMM students (OK, we’ll give them some time to figure it out), is at Bayside Bowl with Forget, Forget and John Nels. Over at Blue, Shanna Underwood starts the evening with her in the round songwriters set, Sam James and Dana Gross go from 8-9:30 with their back-and-forth duo set, and then the Library Band is from 10 to close.
Christopher Jacques Trio, Mirth and The Rupert Selection bring yer progressive/alt rock vibez to Empire. Salvage has Jerks of Grass, Dogfish has perennial happy hour purveyor Travis James Humphrey and then LQH later. Flask has their Friction Fridays dance party.
Finally, the Apohadion Theater has a benefit for a person named Herman Bell, who has been incarcerated for close to half a century as a political prisoner for working with the Black Panther Party on behalf of black Americans’ rights and political empowerment. Finding out about this event and reading about Bell has been heartbreaking, look at his web site if you have a chance. He’s up for parole again in 2018 after having been denied multiple times, and the money raised at the Apohadion tonight will go toward a travel fund so that his family can be there for his parole hearing. Even if you don’t want to go to the show (which features Burr, Color Hex and Quiet Warning), stopping by and donating some dollars or pocket change, even, would be a small, private, radical act of kindness toward this family who has seen so much struggle.
Saturday November 18
I don’t really get what’s going on with this Odd Couple thing at Empire, but from the information available, I can extrapolate the following: it appears to be unusual pairings of vocalists and musicians? Playing together? It’s sort of a ba-nay-nay lineup of artists, so I don’t really get it, but I did see a video of Renee Coolbrith (*SWOON*) rehearsing for this show with Johnny Cremains (*ALSO SWOON*) and it sounds great and I’d like to see more of it. Also at one point when I was kinda tired and maybe possibly had gotten into some leftover summer camp booze I thought it would be funny to hop on ye olde social media and threaten to throw all my granny panties on stage during this show as an act of appreciation and… I don’t know, lust maybe? since I have mind boners for all of these fucking people, but then in the hard light of day I realized that I don’t actually own any granny panties, and what a disappointment I am. I can’t even crush on strangers well. I have brought great shame to my family.
Salvage has King Day’s New Imperials, Blue has jazz, and Dogfish has something called Moosetones, which… I don’t know if I find this name adorable or... so, so uncomfortable. Jury is still out on that.
Aura has Hollywood Undead, a numetal, uh.. band? group of performers? that is 100% the very definition of my personal hellmusic. I can rest reasonably assured that nobody reading this blog is going to go to this show, BUT YOUR KIDS MIGHT GOOD FUCKING GOD SAVE THEM FROM THIS SCREAMO TRASH. Somebody get these kids a fucking Black Sabbath record, a nutritious hot meal and a Terry Pratchett novel before it’s too late to save their musical taste and general tolerability as members of society.
Live at 212 has a bunch of bands who just sound like they all really love the movie Nothing But Trouble with Chevy Chase and Demi Moore, literally THE most traumatic movie of all time, Midnight Express and Requiem for a Dream be damned. Like, these guys probably think about Mr. Bone Stripper a lot. Anyway, those bands are Chaos Machine, The Summoned, Stillborn Condition, Ripfence and The Struggle Within.
In contrast, you’ve got Feral, Conclave, Garroted and Bloodborn over at Geno’s, who seem more like a Antichrist or Dead Ringers kind of crowd.
Hayley Jane and the Primates are at PHOME tonight. PHOME has been hosting a lot of funk stuffs lately, Hambone, The Red Eye Flight Crew, Model Airplane, etc., it’s a good niche for them and I kind of like the idea that you can go to a club and, like, know what to expect on any given night. I mean you guys know my guilty pleasure is those fucking double Dead Wednesdays in the summer, I like to go down there and do all my best wook dances and pretend I’m on the lot and it’s 1992, but like, only for an hour instead of it being my whole fucking life. Anyway, lanes. We all have them, and while I heartily recommend getting out of them every once in a while, there’s something to be said about comfort, particularly in winter.
Delightful, powerful, talented AF songraptor (I don’t like songbird, too delicate) Phantom Vanity are back at Bayside Bowl. I LOVE this band. Andrew Bailie opens. Go see them.
Gaelynn Lea and Tom Kovacevic are at SPACE Gallery. Gaelynn is probably best known for winning NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest a couple of years ago for her incredible violin playing.
Singer/songwriter Griffin House is at One Longfellow Square, where the sorting hat will be waiting to happily assign you a color coded scarf upon your arrival so that you know that you are, indeed, a member of Griffin House.
Sunday November 19
On Sunday, I’d like to recommend that you attend this fundraiser for earthquake relief and rebuilding efforts in Chiapas, Mexico - this mention is this region of the world’s second appearance here on HOT TRASH: Portland! as you may remember them from our Cinco de Mayo post about the EZLN, or Zapatistas, who hail from the same region. Anyway, check it out, it’s at Oxbow and has music from Plain Spanglish.