It’s Valentine’s Day Weekend! One of our nation’s High Holy Candy and Artifice Holidays. However, unlike the other Candy and Artifice Holiday - Halloween, the Highest and Holiest of the Candy and Artifice Holidays - Valentine’s Day tends to make people systematically miserable. Because: relationships. Relationships generally thrive on complementary polarities, whatever they may be, the most traditional and vanilla of which is the classic normcore male-female relationship, wherein he JUST DOESN’T SEE THE POINT OF VALENTINE’S DAY and she is like, HE BETTER GET ME SOME OVERPRICED BLOOD JEWELS OR I CLOSE THE DOORS TO THIS VAGINA FOR GOOD.
Inevitably, our Archetypal Male either forgets about VD completely or remembers it just in time to swing by the old Walgreen’s and pick up, like, an animatronic tiger wearing heart boxers that sings “Ladies Night” when you push a button in its ass, NOT THAT I KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE, and our Archetypal Female will be busy getting all the hair ripped out of her Great Divide and buying bonkers underwears in the hope that JUST THIS ONCE he’ll respond to her subtle efforts to get him to play along with that Mad Men role play Joan Holloway spanking situation she has in her mind and wants to do so badly, but HOW IS HE SUPPOSED TO KNOW THAT, HE CAN’T READ MINDS, because Jane Austen taught us all to play it close to the vest - for romance! - though nobody told us along the way that Real Men are not Colin Firth reading from a script and diving into a pond with his shirt half open, and dude's just over here hoping for a simple beej with the depth of enthusiasm that she had THE FIRST TIME SHE EVER GAVE HIM ONE, IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK, and she’s like IT IS IF YOU CAN’T FUCKING REMEMBER VALENTINE’S DAY, YOU DIRT-DICKED MOTHERFUCKER. And then what are we left with? Two assholes, seething in their resentment, metaphoric arms crossed over their mental chests, unable to just tell the other person what they want. Nobody gets the friction on their pink parts that they were hoping for or the validation of their existence that they crave, and nobody walks away satisfied. What a fucking bummer.
So, I’m here to help you. I’ll just tell you what people want.*
My dudes, if you haven’t figured out how to make someone feel special, you need to work on that. Ask your mom. Ask your sister. Ask your bestie gal pal. If you don’t have a bestie gal pal, get one, dumbass, it’s a problem that you don’t have one. If your First Lady can’t handle that, consider maybe getting a new First Lady that can handle a gal pal, you deserve at least that much (and you also need to know how to have a relationship with a woman that isn’t predicated on sex. That’s just part of being a grownup). Then do what you think you should do to make your First Lady feel like your number one priority for just this one day. Shhhhhhh, shhhh! Shut up, it doesn’t matter if she’s not your number one priority! LIE, MOTHERFUCKER. Lie. Jesus H. Christ. Lie, man. But for this one day just fucking make your lady feel like she matters more than other shit. Fuck.
Ladies, stop being fucking coy and just tell your man what you want him to do. Get over yourself. Be like, “Slut, I want that stupid heart shaped diamond thingie from the mall, I want you to send roses to my work so that bitch Diane in Accounting will be super jealous of me, and then after dinner I want you to treat my pussy like a bowl of Texas chili after a three day juice fast.” And then, girl, you gotta suck it up and hop on that D like a porn star and plan to do all the work. It’s just what you do, for better or for worse. You’ll figure it out.
For the Singletons? I wholeheartedly support the thing wherein you go out, get blackout drunk and cry on the bar about how nobody loves you nor will ever love you. I GET IT! I too am perpetually single, and it’s generally because I find that the people I try to date either want to control me (nah, bitch), aren’t as smart as me (*Le Sigh*) or are trying to be in a relationship just to be in a relationship, and I think that’s just a real chore. I don’t want to be with anyone who is simply afraid to be alone, I can’t save you from anything. We all die alone. So I urge you to think the same way when you’re on your fifth or sixth rot gut whiskey this Tuesday, lamenting to some amicable stranger about your perpetual single status - maybe it’s just fine to be single. How about that. What if there are different kinds of love and support out there than what’s been shoved down our throats by pop culture and a patriarchy that wants to see women controlled by men, to the point where, I mean, it’s like our government is forcing us to have babies now. What if you had been brought up to believe in a wide spectrum of love and a wide spectrum of sexuality, and you weren’t so fixed on P in V MAN AND LADY LOVE? What if a good conversation with a close friend could bring you the same satisfaction as a necklace and an expensive dinner? And if it can’t, why not? Fix that thinking first, and then see where you’re at.
*Please note that I am full of shit and nobody should take romantic advice from me ever. You’ve been warned. Also, I apologize for the heteronormative framework within which this stupid blog was written today. It has been my experience that queer folk do not have the same Valentine’s Day Problem as het/cis folk do.
Ok, we good? Well, why not celebrate early then and take your beloved human to see a kickass rock show, or whore up and go try to catch a dick at a kickass rock show. Here are some suggestions:
Friday February 10
Look at this adorable boomboxian anti-fascist dance party that happens after work! Some real community spirit here. I think the timing of the snow is unfortunate, but we should try this again in the spring.
It looks like Mathew’s gives you the best bang for your buck tonight, with five hours of music for $6: The Cryptics, USA Waste, Eyeball, The Labor Pains, Phallus Uber Alles, Sonic Libido, Gant and JUG. The 30 minute set times don’t really allow for any real changeover or soundcheck so this show is guaranteed to sound like hell, but get over yourself, who the fuck are you, RIck Rubin?
Fer yer big shows, the mighty Enter the Haggis are at PCMH, and Sophistafunk, a band with a tenuous grasp on what makes a successful portmanteau and whose lead singer/spoken word artist often wears a fedora, so… are at PHOME.
Empire has a drumnbass night, Dogfish has Rexy and the Bones, Flask has house night Foundation Friday with John Arnold, the tenacious winter goths of Plague are having their Midwinter Masquerade Ball at Asylum (I am so curious as to how a masquerade ball will play out in the sports bar there, since it’s the only part of Asylum that is currently open… maybe I’ll throw on some black lipstick and spy in the house of work this bitch), Salvage has Cajun Aces and Blue has El Malo with Darlin’ Corey and The Library Band.
Ok also I am super excited for Jesus Cactus at Bunker Brewing? First of all, excellent band name. Second of all, soundscapey electro jazz seems like a good match for Bunker Brewing. The company I work for installed the heating system at Bunker and I still haven’t been there yet, so I have to check this out. I’d tell you who I work for, but I don’t ever, EVER, want their name to come up in a google search with the vagina-heavy content of this particular blog entry.
And lasticles, there’s this show at Hella Good Tacos with Midwestern Medicine (didn’t they used to be Western Medicine? Am I making that up?), Yes we Kin and Dollys from NJ. I am super mad at Hella Good Tacos for being real mean to me during their lunch rush this past Tuesday. You know, I worked in high volume restaurants for many years, so I can commiserate with a fully weeded kitchen and a staff stretched thin, I get it, but also, like, don’t you want people to come to your place? Why u so mean then? I forgive easily though, and while I was fully prepared to be like HASHTAG NEVER AGAIN WITH THE SHOW LISTINGS, JERKS, like, who the fuck am I? So anyway, I like these bands and they are good and despite Hella Good’s apparent inability to figure out a lunch rush, you should go to this anyway.
Saturday February 11
Did you catch The Ghosts of Johnson City on the teevee on that Live From 207 show the other night? If they were Gremlins, I’d assume someone had dipped them in water, because they appear to keep multiplying at a rapid pace and now there are like 97 people on stage at any given time at a GoJC show. Girls too, even, can you imagine such a thing?
The Ghosts are releasing their new album The Devil’s Gold, which relies more heavily this time on the original songwriting of band leader Amos Libby rather than traditional folk songs, at PHOME. I am strongly considering dressing up like some kind of Southern Gothic ghost for this thing, maybe even carrying along with me my very own crepe myrtle, in full late-summer bloom, from whence to emerge unexpectedly and scare some unsuspecting waif onto her fainting couch, leaving her with a case of the vapors that the doctors will not understand because, Miss Clementine, ghosts just do not exist, young lady, it’s all in your head! MWWWWAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
Or something. Anyway. I’ve been described as having an “active imagination.”
Barfhorse and Laura Vanilla are hosting a Valentine’s edition of their very super fun dance party Slime at Flask. I love those two, they’re my kind of weird. Proceeds from the night go to Portland Outright.
Eldemur Krimm is playing with Ogre and Nuclear Bootz at Geno’s. Tom Rush is at OLS. Nick Perry’s Brass Tax are at Dogfish. Jazz trio Abbott/Kiefner/Steer are at Blue. Salvage has Jerks of Grass. The Potato Pickers are at Mayo Street Arts. Yer big show is Relient K and Switchfoot at the State Theatre. Busker Tanner Olin Smith is at b.good. And finally, the closest club that still feels like it’s 900 miles away, Live at 212, is hosting a Valentines punk show called the Heartbreaker’s Ball, not to be confused with the late, great, MTV show Headbanger’s Ball.
Sunday February 12
Andrew Bailie, who is everywhere right now, is at Blue with Wyld Life. Andy Black, William Control and Palaye Royale are at PCHM. Get yer comedies at Empire. And over at Merrill Auditorium, if you franchy like that, you can hear Beethoven and Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphonies, performed by the Portland Symphony Orchestra.
Alright so look, if you’re going to do gross romance stuff, cool, you do you I don’t judge, be nice, be kind, tip your servers, show the love in new ways you never knew about like watching out for your neighbors and friends and even strangers, but no matter who you are, I suggest you start your day with the most romantic song of all time. Herein I present to you, without further comment, the GOAT romance jam, performed live on Burt Sugarman’s Midnight Special: