Here, go to this thing:
Travis Cyr and the Stay Glad Band
Sea Level (Dan Capaldi)
Line of Force (Frank Hopkins)
Live at Portland House of Music, Thursday April 6 (TONIGHT!)
Doors at 7pm, show begins at 8pm sharp
Because my entire life is lived and interpreted through scenes from the WB Network classic television program Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this HT:SP! is basically because Jonathan is going to give Buffy a Class Protector umbrella at the Prom after she spent all night fighting off evil hell hounds and saving the senior class at Sunnydale High from an erstwhile massacre brought about by a disgruntled dude who used to be in chemistry class with Oz.
But let me back up and explain what that means to normal people who aren’t obsessed with the greatest television show of all time.
*ducks as shoe comes flying at head*
What I mean is that on Thursday night at PHOME, Travis Cyr is releasing his new album, Stay Glad, and he’s booked a four act bill that houses some of the Portland music scene’s unsung heroes. These are the guys who do for others, who make things tick, and who know how to fix your stupid problems using only gaffer tape, a flashlight and a cell phone like some kind of musical MacGyver. Travis himself is the founder of the Arootsakoostik music festival, a beloved little gem of a weekend that is the hub of Maine’s roots and Americana music scene. His social media presence is often dedicated to promoting the music of other artists, and he can be found doing community service through music around the state. Pretty cool, right. He’s maybe our Rupert Giles in this metaphor, the loving curator of arcane knowledge that he can produce at a moment’s notice.
But hang on a second. In the episode of Buffy that I’m talking about, The Prom, everyone is getting ready to go to the prom, but Buffy, who so often can’t participate in normal high school girl stuff, can’t go. First, she has to track down and defeat some evil hell hounds who have been trained to attack kids in formalwear because REASONS (I KNOW! It’s SO DUMB!), who are headed straight for Sunnydale High’s children-in-formalwear-stuffed gymnasium. Because she’s a hero and is excellent at her job, she wraps that up neatly, puts on her dress and heads off to the prom. As they’re giving out awards for class clown, etc., they stop the ceremony and the presenter (the scene-stealing Jonathan, played by Danny Strong who would later go on in life to become a Golden Globe winning screenwriter, but I digress) says they have one more award. As Buffy is hanging back from the crowd, pouring herself some delicious punch, Jonathan reads a letter to her from the senior class:
“We’re not good friends. Most of us never found the time to get to know you, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t noticed you. We don’t talk about it much, but it’s no secret that Sunnydale High isn’t really like other high schools. A lot of weird stuff happens here. But whenever there was a problem or something creepy happened, you seemed to show up and stop it. Most of the people here have been saved by you, or helped by you at one time or another. We’re proud to say that the Class of ‘99 has the lowest mortality rate of any graduating class in Sunnydale history. And we know at least part of that is because of you. So the senior class offers its thanks and gives you this: it’s from all of us and it has written here, “Buffy Summers, Class Protector.”
He gives her a little glittery umbrella and it’s a super sweet moment in which this person who works so hard and so rarely gets to enjoy the fruits of her labor has a moment in the spotlight.
I posit to you, fair Portlandiers, that Mr. Frank Hopkins is indeed our class protector. He’s our Buffy. This guy! Let’s extol Frank’s virtues for just a moment: he’s talented, yes. He hides it well, of course. The last time he came out of his hermit’s quarters to play us some music was at last summer’s Take Back Home event, and that was a CHARITY SHOW because Frank cares about his community. But he killed it because he’s a highly skilled blues musician with the humility of a Buddhist monk. OK. Also he is on the boards at PHOME, without fail, running around, sweating, making our bands all sound good. He doesn’t have to go above and beyond like he does for you - do you think anyone else would have been so good natured about wiring up the room for those Come Together shows that were “in the round” Midnight Special style? Have you ever rented Frank’s van for a tour, only to spend the two weeks on the road NOT WORRYING ABOUT ANYTHING because Frank has taken care of vehicle maintenance and insurance and all that crap for you? Have you done a show with Frank, only to have him write the press release for you, tell you who to send it to and then follow up on the press efforts? Or how about working with Frank? Have you worked with him? Because I’m going to make a good bet that you didn’t make a schedule and stick to it or set expectations in advance, but someone did. That someone? Fucking goddam Frank Motherfucking Hopkins, y’all. He’s our constant. He’s one of the steadiest pillars that bolsters our fine musical community here and Portland. AND WE DON’T DESERVE HIM!
So get off your pale, vitamin D deficient asses and come down to PHOME tonight and show this man some fucking respect, Portland. Be the Jonathan and come honor our Buffy. He deserves it, you deserve it and we’re a fucking family for shits sake, FUCKING COME OUT OF YOUR HOUSE AND ACT LIKE A FAMILY YES WE ARE GOING TO SIT DOWN TO DINNER TOGETHER PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY AND STOP SNAPCHATTING WHY CAN’T WE EVER HAVE NICE THINGS.