So, like, something is GOING ON WITH ME. I got something I wanted. A very special Christmas gift that I was not expecting, but had asked for. My life hasn’t often worked that way in the past, and it’s hard to ask for things you want.
This gift didn’t cost anyone any money, but it has had a profound effect on the way I’m seeing the world right now. I know I’m constantly talking about fucking empathy and understanding and putting down our own SHIT so that we can be present and listen to someone else come to us with information and vice versa. But I learned something new too, and I’m going to say it out loud to you in case it resonates with any of you. Or, you know, you can tell me to go fuck my self righteous, holier than thou self. Either way.
Love is not linear, it’s not static, it is not what you think it will be and often the person or people who bring it to you in new ways will be startling, strange or so intense they make you question the way you see and do things. Endeavoring to find love in your heart for people of all ilks - family, friends, lovers, enemies, strangers, it is not easy. I might even posit that finding love for a family member might often be harder than finding love for an enemy a lot of the time. Regardless, I’ve been sort of Johnny Appleseeding my love around to people in my circle and it feels really fucking good. I’m not talking about fucking, fucking is not love. I’m talking about being there for people and listening to them and making a moment FOR THEM EXCLUSIVELY where I just hold them in a space of gratitude and seeing and honor in my heart. Just seeing people and loving them right as they are in that moment, no matter what.
I’m thinking about this in the context of the music scene because so often we artists will go see fellow artists doing their thing and if we note a success on their part, or if we see something that they have done that we like and wish we had done, jealousy begins to take root in our hearts and minds, and it is HARD to undo it. Picture having to cut down wisteria vines with a butter knife or something.
Now, that’s all fine, there is a lot of jealousy and chatter amongst the folks in our scene, I wrote about that a while back. BUT I HAVE SEEN THINGS AND I WANT TO CALL SOME MOTHERFUCKERS OUT BECAUSE REASONS. So here we go:
Dustin Bailey Saucier of Cape Cannons, Pretty Sad, Emo Night, etc. fame. He wrote a post on his facebook page about keeping things positive and loving, and like generally, if you see him around, he's the chillest, most happy to know you motherfucker. GOOD FUCKING GOING DUSTIN KEEP THAT SHIT UP I LOVE YOU TOO BUDDY. Eric Schnare, he of The Other Bones and now Body Electric, wrote a post telling us all that he loves us and he is ALSO the chillest, most understanding and happy to know you motherfucker. YES ERIC I LOVE YOU TOO LET’S FUCKING SING IT FROM THE TOP OF THE TIME AND TEMP BUILDING. They’re just two examples of people leading the charge to not “stop the jealousy,” but rather, put love in that spot instead. By talking of love, by speaking of love.
This is the start of A Thing™ because nothing is permanent, and it only stands to reason that after a long period of hatred, vitrol and othering, that we start to come slowly back around to love, compassion and inclusion. And it just feels so good! Come on and do it! Do it with us! Come on, there’s this mug I wanna show you! It says, “follow your dreams, to the max!”
Also, for the record, being loving doesn’t mean we can’t also snark on each other. So let’s get going with some shows for shit’s sake before you fucking roll your eyes at me so hard that they fall out of your fucking face holes, start rolling down the street, gathering ice and snow and fucking sand and sticks as they roll along, turning into a sludgy mass of frozen eyeball goo that then settles down at the end of the street, turns it’s snowy pupils back towards me and eyerolls me AGAIN like the fucking assholes they are. I hate your eyeballs, those dicks.
Friday December 15
The Fogcutters annual Christmas show, The Super Fantastic Christmas Extravaganza! (which, like, find your chill, Fogcutters, jesus fucking shit) is at the State Theater tonight, and look, here’s the thing. I fucking HATE Christmas music. I actually cannot stand the holiday season and I feel like once it descends upon us directly after like, oh, August 15th or whatever they’re even doing now to shove it down our throats earlier and earlier every year to drive capitalism at the expense of American workers BUT WHATEVER IT’S CHRISTMAS GET IN THE SPIRIT BUY SHIT LOLOLOLOL FUCK ME RIGHT, I just sort of white knuckle it through the season, holding on as fucking tight as I can to my sanity and doing as much yoga and drinking as possible to stave off the inevitable depression that sets in. But. BUT! The Fogcutters fucking kick ass. They fucking KICK. ASS. They are so goddam good. And you know what, in the tradition of American big band jazz, they know how to not just play music but entertain you. Like a variety show meets a concert. So can I tolerate Christmas music for an evening to enjoy this show? Yes I can. Also there will be special guests including Zach “Hard Swoon” Jones and possibly some other out of towners, as well as your stable of guesties who show up to perform at shit like this.
Anyway, my point is this. The Fogcutters are good, but this is one of those events at which you’re going because you get to put on a dress or a nice suit or whatever, you get to see folks you haven’t seen in awhile and just get together for a holiday thing that’s not with your fucking family, whose Christmas gift to you every year is the destruction of your ego and sense of self worth, as well as a crippling sense of insecurity and existential dread as you run the gauntlet of judgmental relatives chipping away at the thin, brittle veil of emotional fortification you were able to do in the 364 days since last Christmas. So anyway, like… where are we with this? This just sort of came out. WHOOOOOOO! I AM FEELING FUNKY TODAY KIDS BUCKLE UP AND HANG THE FUCK ON LET’S HAVE SOME WACKY WORD FUN.
Sam James and Dana Gross are over at Blue doing their most excellent troubadour thing, check that out.
Our crusty pals over at Geno’s are hosting I Suppose You Know Karate, Gwynne and the Tonics and the Gamma Goochies tonight. True story: Geno’s is getting a new, state-of-the-art sound system, giving Jon Morse a little bit more to work with when he brings bands through. Stay tuned for that.
Dispatch is at Aura with Andreas Moe, but it is sold out, sorry, you Dispatch-lovin’ fuckers.
Sunglass wearing funk situation Shut Down Brown are at PHOME, general home of funk music in the greater Portland area. Ken Bell, if you’re reading this, I love you and I want to write more about the bands that come through, but I don’t know shit about funk. You know I’ll always send everyone your way when those fucking Grateful Dead cover bands come through though because I love the Dead and have no trouble emotionally reconciling that I make fun of other cover bands but love Dead cover bands. There’s an exception to every rule, kiddos!
Ian Fitzgerald, EDT and Mousa are at the Apohadion. Flask hosts their Friction Friday jungle/techno night. The Stash Band and Muddy Ruckus are at Empire. Country/southern rock group Barefoot Fossie and the Coop are at RiRa. The Dapper Gents guys Danny and Jake are at Bull Feeney’s playing originals and covers. Salvage has Jerks of Grass.
Brian Boru has a dance party called Disco Tech, which, let’s assume just has disco and techno music. Is this my personal nightmare? Yes, absolutely. Maybe would with this if were on lots of cocaine in my 20’s? Maybe would with this if were hanging with a gang of all the best glittery gays? It’s cool if you like it tho, so.
Zero Station has been bringing some cool shit to the table, and tonight they have a compendium of artists doing a show called Moonrise, that starts with a history of DISCO, MOTHERFUCKERS! So if you were going to go to Boru, be cooler first and go hang at Zero station and learn some shit about the music you won’t remember you heard tomorrow. You know, or you could stay there and dance.
Saturday December 16
So if I leave the house tonight in this brutal weather (the twinkle lights all over town are pretty though, aren’t they, including the bleeding tree in Deering Oaks, love that strange and macabre decorating choice) I would go to this show at SPACE, Hermigervill and Berndsen with Bright Boy. I don’t know shit about them, but they look interesting and I like this throwbacky sound. I also really enjoy Bright Boy, I think Said’s lyrics are sad, touching, clever, hilarious, tender. Good bill. Worth the dollars for sure.
Prism Analog is bringing Wyld Lyfe down from Bangor to do a recording/performance at the studio. Five bucks, and there is a cash bar situation there too.
From 2-5, An Overnight Low is doing a little holiday party at the Thirsty Pig. If you’re down there shopping, pop in and hear some sweet acoustic holiday jamz.
Mark Tipton is at the Apohadion slinging that jazz hash for ya. Chris Smither is at OLS and I really wish his name was Chris Smithers with an S so I could make jokes about the best character from The Simpsons.Tim Mercer, The Johnny Clay Shanks Band and Driving Charlie Home are at PHOME.
Spose is hosting his PDANK Xmas 4 event at Aura tonight with Token, Mac Lethal and Rustic Overtones. I need to talk about Spose, I need some information and just to tell you where my head is at. He has released 11 albums in the past 6 years, a video game with an album in it - you’ll have to ask The Youth™ how that situation even fucking works - he runs a record label, he plays at least a few big shows a year, he gets press for days, I mean this dude clearly is working his fucking ass off. Clearly. But tell me about him and his music because I don’t get it. He works his ass off, he releases a ton of content and nobody in my circle seems to have any interest in his music at all. But his shows sell out. They must, or PDANK Xmas wouldn’t have moved from PCMH to Aura this year. Is it the sort of thing where y’all were super into Spose years ago and you just go to hear the hits - kinda like the crowd at that Paranoid Social Club show at PCMH which was totally fucking awesome, btw, that whole team is so fucking pro and tight what a joy - or are you just not going and it’s like bridge and tunnel people who are going? What do you even call bridge and tunnel people here? Ferry and Route 1 People? I’m talking about people who don’t live in Portland. Or, final option, is it kiddos who are going? Who goes to see Spose, is what I’m asking. I’m not slagging him, I have respect for people who work hard on what they do. I have just never really been able to nail down what he and his scene are about.