Here’s what I know about the Irish:
Many of the “serious Irish” I know treat St. Patty’s Day much like vampires treat Halloween in the Buffyverse: it’s a night off, not a night to party. Let the amateurs have their day, but the serious Irish? They apparently sit in judgment of the rest of us on this day, drinking their Catholic whiskey, balancing one elbow on their very worn copy of A Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man, possibly probably wearing a leather blazer, listening to the Dropkick Murphys.
The Samples, a not-Irish band that cohabitated in a musical space with quintessentially early 90’s fare like the Toad The Wet Sprocket and Big Head Todd & The Monsters (though we’ll always have “Bittersweet,” won’t we, BHT?), were notorious for putting new versions of old songs on their albums over and over again, but on what I believe to be the first version of “Feel Us Shaking,” the track begins with a drunk person singing the following:
“When Irish eyes are smiling, they seem to say to me… go to hell you son of a bitch.”
That’s all I know. I don’t like to read, nor do I particularly enjoy “knowledge” or “being informed.” So. Irish stuff.
Yes that’s right, it’s St. Patrick’s day weekend! And it’s actually on a weekend this year! St. Patrick’s Day is the second of the High Holy Drinking Holidays here in the States, second only to New Year’s Eve, and beating out the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day and Superbowel Sunday to take top drunken holiday honors. This holiday truly belongs to your 20-somethings, who still have the stamina, lack of inhibition and pristine liver cells to tolerate what’s required of you to truly enjoy this holiday. Have at it, Youths! Tap that keg. Hell, tap that ass (wrap your dicks, tho, bros. Safety first)! Tap lots of things! And so, 20-somethings, say all of us: Tap Into America!
Olds, however, get to take advantage of the opportunity to stand in the back of a crowded room, sigh, roll their eyes, loudly judging the antics of the younguns, and then peace out after one drink, sneaking right under the covers and rewatching Battlestar Galactica while eating a sandwich with absolutely zero guilt about being a curmudgeon who hates fun. It’s just your goddam right as an Old. You earned this.
Usually I save this for the end, but it needs to be said up front: if you are going out this weekend, especially Friday, you absolutely MUST arrange for a designated driver or a 207 taxi or a Lyft. Walk if you have to, always with a buddy, especially if you are a ladyperson. You have to be safe. You have to. People care about you, and you could hurt yourself and/or someone else if you make the rash decision to drive hammered. Please, do not do it: DO NOT DRIVE DRUNK.
Friday March 17
It pains me to put this one up front here, but let’s be frank: all y’all fuck knobs will be going to this no matter what I think, and seriously who cares what I think, but I’m gonna fucking word vomit this business all over you anyway. Pardon Me, Doug is at Oxbow for a night of Phish Covers. I know it’s fun to hear covers of your favorite songs, I know. I know that Phish has created a pretty richly textured universe for us to inhabit, both lyrically and musically. I know. I myself know most of the words to “I Didn’t Know,” the song from which PMD takes its moniker. I know. I know! Fucking christ, have fucking fun and leave me alone. Someone text me tho if you hear the first few notes of “Harpua.” I HATE MYSELF SO MUCH I REALLY DO.
The Thirsty Pig is transforming itself into Paddy’s Pub from IASIP for the night, with Chad Walls from An Overnight Low spinning Irish music on vinyl. I’ve never heard Astral Weeks on vinyl, so maybe Chad will hook us up with a quickie “Sweet Thing” or “Ballerina.” One can only hope.
Plague finally gets released from its sports bar purgatory with a return to what Aura (the old Asylum, inexplicably rebranded as some kind of early aughts martini bar despite being 100% a music venue) is referring to as “the new room.” This, if you don’t know, is Goth Night. If you don’t know what that means, then you should probably jump out of your own ass and go to a fucking Goth Night and learn something about something that’s new to you for once.
Salvage has Clyde Bisbee. Flask has Bigjuana, a NYC DJ duo at Friction Friday. Oasis has Zealous Bellus, and I don’t know what they are or what they play other than that they classify themselves as the very helpful and descriptive genre, “rock.” I’m not an asshole, don’t treat me like one, Zealous Bellus.
OLS has Fodhla and Matt and Shannon Heaton - these two regional duos play modern folk heavily influenced by traditional Irish music.
Holy shit you guys, Live at 212 has a St. Patty’s bash with heavy/aggro bands Beyond the Fall, Loki, Fifth Freedom, Revision and… oh my god, a fucking band named Riverbottom Nightmare.
Seriously, whoever named this band Riverbottom Nightmare? Call me. You are officially my new boyfriend. Or girlfriend. Or asexual platonic life partner. I do not care, I just want to spend all my time with you. ALSO DO YOU HAVE A SNAKE THAT PLAYS GUITAR IN YOUR BAND? Ugh, fucking fake puppet bands, I love you so hard. I LOVE A PUPPET BAND I AM FREAKING OUT OVER HERE.
You: puppet bands? What other pu….
Me: PLEASE STOP TALKING.
There’s shit at RiRa and Boru, and RiRa actually has an impressive lineup featuring the only bagpipes you’ll hear this St. Patty’s, but Boru still has December events listed on their web site. Come on, Boru. Show the fuck up and do the work. (edited to add: I was wondering what the Pubcrawlers were up to tonight, and as it turns out they're playing at Boru)
Blue has an Irish music circle every Wednesday, but tonight they have Katie Matzell, Sam James and Dana Gross, and Shanna Underwood.
PCMH, State Theatre and PHOME all stand empty tonight. I get it, I wouldn’t want to clean up the mess the next day either.
Saturday March 18
Ok, so PCMH has Madonna vs. Lady Gaga. I don’t know who the DJs are that will be spinning, but I have Very Important Opinions on who reigns supreme in the Madge v Gaga debate. Madonna has more hits, but she’s also been around forever. She’s almost Lovecraftian in her staying power. An Old God of pop music. Gaga, however, is more relevant today than Madge, and can be just as iconic if she’s not trying so hard. I prefer my Gaga when she’s crooning with Tony Bennett, she has a great voice. Madge’s voice has never been her #1 asset, but she’s a superior performer overall. For me? I’m a Madge gal, but I think that a night of the two will be a real goddam hoot, and if the glittery gays of Portland show up, then this thing might actually get lit.
Cape Cannons, Aloud and They Called Me Legion are at Bayside Bowl. Flask has a band called Relish whose logo is a pickle and that’s all I know. There’s a house show on St. John with Derive from Mass, Wedding Camp, Roy Orbitussin and The Asthmatic. Blue has jazz. Salvage has King Day’s New Imperials.
There are two hip hop shows tonight - the first is Mr. Lif from Boston at Oxbow, hosted by Ben Shorr. Tons of guests, including Shameek the God, Eyenine, Shane Reis and many more. Over at Empire, they’re doing the second week of Dray Senior and DJ Steady’s tribute to Biggie Smalls. Biggie was shot and killed 20 years ago last week. He would have been 44 this year. It’s so fucking sad, and he was a genius who shaped everything we know about hip hop today, and every time I think about his wife and kids being left behind so young, I fucking well up with tears.
Humans. We’re the worst.