This uncultured piece of shit is two years old today. Not me, my blog. Although, I do have moments where one could possibly assume that I never outgrew my terrible twos. I ain’t even mad.
I cannot believe I published my first post two years ago today. Even more so, I can’t believe all five of you read it. With all the publications nowadays, I’m honored if even one person reads my words. New goal: tens of readers. I shoot for the stars. Sure, I may be a bit crass sometimes, but I am who I am. Your mother seems to like it.
While my involvement in local music tapered off this past year, rest assured that the caring was there. These past two years have been the most heartbreaking, difficult years of my life. I wish I was exaggerating. But, here I am. Not only do I plan to continue with the blog, but I’m hoping to open it up to bands outside of Maine. Cross The Divide, Begat The Nephilim, Reaver, BadTude, Deathcode,Threatpoint…I see youuuuuuu.
Also in my plan? Booking shows. I know, who the fuck would let some bush league shitheels book shows? Turns out, at least one person will. I have to try it once. Bonus points if people show up. You’d better show up, or we aren’t as close as I thought we were.
Like with any sap-happy anniversary post, I have to throw in some of my favorite photos from the past two years. There were some badass times, and I have the receipts:
ALL NIGHT THING, AURA, 2018
THE STRUGGLE WITHIN, LIVE@212 2018
3FD, LIVE@212, 2018
The first time I saw 3fd, there were fog machines, bubbles, and a demon yelling at me. That’s love.
DRIVETRAIN, INTERVIEWED BY THE FACEMELTER OF ROCK RAGE RADIO, GENOS, 2018
Since being introduced to all you yahoos in 2016, I’ve watched some great things happen. I still have to pinch myself to remind me that you’re all real and I’m a part of this kickass Maine music scene. Getting to meet The Facemelter of Rock Rage Radio, and formerly of my alma mater, WCYY, was the shit. Very few know music like he does, and I learn as much as I can when I’m in his bubble. Co-judging a battle of the bands and co-emceeing with him was an out of body experience. You could put my favorite band and a radio DJ in the same room, and I will talk to the DJ EVERY TIME. Don’t even get me started on the time I met Kennedy from WTOS…
DEVILS NITE OUT, AURA, 2018
HOLY. SHIT. Nearly fell over when Devils Nite Out covered Linkin Park’s “Given Up” at the All Night Thing at Aura. My date was like, “meh”. Guess who wasn’t my date for much longer? What a maroon. So you’re an elitist “music producer” who can’t perform in front of an audience. You are courteously invited to kiss my delicious ass. DNO always kicks it.
DIVISION/NORTH, LIVE@212, 2018
Can you believe how many local musicians have multiple bands? Dan Aldrich, drummer for Burning Time has a new band called Division/North, and they are the tits. Sean Matthews of Devils Nite Out has a new band called Trawl (catch them this Friday night at GFB Scottish Pub in OOB with BadTude and Twin Grizzly!), including former members of Fifth Freedom. Gary Porter of The Struggle Within has at least ten bands at this point, with Greg Burns-Jackson (Stillborn Condition, Sygnal To Noise, Project 246) probably tying him for the lead. How do you fuckers do this? I can’t even make it to the laundromat once a week.
DRIVETRAIN, HALLOBASH, CHAMPIONS SPORTS BAR, 2018
Hallobash is insane. Everyone’s all dressed up, the music is sick, Coopa and co. go all out with the decor, and what the hell was I drinking? Satan’s Kiss? Pretty sure that was the name of it. I went as Aroostook County Barbie. I just can’t part with my flannel.
TWIN GRIZZLY, EMPIRE, 2018
Damn, these guys are good. If you love pantydropping rock ‘n roll, give Twin Grizzly a listen. Better yet, check them out this Friday night at GFB Scottish Pub in OOB.
ZACHARY PAQUETTE OF CROSS THE DIVIDE, LIVE@212, 2018
Yes, Cross The Divide is from Rochester, NH. They play “storm rock”. I never knew what that was until I heard CTD. I get it, now. Their album “Fearless” is in constant rotation for me. Play “Sail On The Stars” and “Hostage” Kthxbye. #noweverybodyhittheground
DESTINATION:VOID, GENO’S, 2018
Get Destination:Void’s album “Tempvs Fvgit”. I can’t get over the production quality of it. Another one in rotation for me.
IN THE WIND, PORTLAND HOUSE OF MUSIC AND EVENTS, 2018
In The Wind…oh man. Seth Leaf Pruzansky sounds like a cross between Travis Meeks of Days of the New and Chris Cornell. I can’t accurately describe it. Just do yourself a favor and see these guys live. I’m happy to see they’ve joined the Live@212 family. Good call, Allen.
GREG BURNS-JACKSON OF STILLBORN CONDITION, HERD FLOCK 3, 2018
Stillborn Condition. Portland, Maine death metal. They’ve agreed to play my future wedding and baby shower (god willing…). Mark my words, I will be walking down the aisle to “3 Bitches in a Bucket”. Nick Morin promised me, man.
RUIN, GENO’S, 2018
RUIN. What can I say? These dudes are Portland’s finest. If I have to miss their show, I make sure I have a damn good excuse. Rich once said to me, “if I fuck up the lyrics, I know you’ll be the one who notices”. He’s not wrong! Go ahead and mess ’em up. I’m too busy losing my bananas in the pit.
RICK SERVIDIO AND HUMONGOUS FUNGUS OF URUNGUS, SAPPHIRE, 2018
There are no children looking over your shoulder at this, right?
FRANK MCDANIEL OF BADTUDE, LIVE@212 2018
Frank McDaniel is a rock star. Catch him and BadTude at GFB Scottish Pub tomorrow night in OOB. The first time I saw them at Live@212, Allen Moore and I looked at each other and agreed that this band is some next level shit.
FIFTH FREEDOM OG FAREWELL, PORTLAND HOUSE OF MUSIC AND EVENTS, 2018
Alan Jones understands how much I love emceeing shows. Thanks for always inviting me and giving me cool opportunities these past few years.
BLOODBORN, THE CAGE, 2018
AWESOME INCARNATE. LEFT TO RIGHT: SEAN MATTHEWS (DEVILS NITE OUT), KEVIN BELING/MACHO MAN (DRIVETRAIN), COOPA AND JOEY NASH OF SYGNAL TO NOISE, HALLOBASH, 2018
OBJET, LIVE@212, 2018
Objet. These guys are technical, tight, and loud. There isn’t a band around that sounds like these guys. Plus, check out Keith’s blouse. Zen metal?
DEVILS NITE OUT, JUSTIN SANE, SHOW OF STILLBORN CONDITION, AND LITTLE ‘OLE ME, LOCAL MUSIC EARTH, 2017
Boy, was I not in the mood to emcee LME in September 2017. Boys (NOT men) can be such douche b’s sometimes. But, my word is my word. I had a great time and met some cool people. What up, Threatpoint, Deathcode and Shadowplay?
JIMMY JACKED, LONE PINE BREWING, 2017
Omigod, I almost joined Jimmy Jacked as back-up vocals in 2017. I kid you not. I love punk rock. How ridiculous would I look singing? Please don’t even answer that. Yes, dude is playing a fretless bass.
LOKI, THE CAGE, 2017
I constantly carry new cd’s out to my car, which is pointless. We all know that Loki isn’t leaving my player. These guys always humor me and play “Get This Right” because c’mon. It’s a fucking masterpiece. Loki is also the proud owner of one of the most talented drummers. Ask Adam Nichols to play “Wish” and watch what his face does.
THE ONE AND ONLY JUSTIN SANE, PORTLAND HOUSE OF MUSIC AND EVENTS, 2018
Radio nerds unite! Love my brutha from anotha mutha! Justin Sane has given me so many opportunities over the past three years and has introduced me to many people I now consider friends, and for that, I thank him. He’s WICKED FUCKIN’ SWELL.
RICH CAREY OF RUIN, GENO’S, 2017
Thank you for coming along for the ride these past two years of Behind the Local Scene. Here’s to many more years, interviews, shows, photos, and good times. I hope you’ll stick with me as I take this bitch across state lines.
Now that the hustle and bustle of the holidays is over and we find ourselves in the early stages of 2018 part 2, I’d like to say hello and I’ve missed you. I made a resolution to not make any resolutions and so far, so good. I’d like to redact that one, though. Where’s the fun in taking no risks? It’s a whole helluva lot funnier if your friends can shit on you for failing miserably. So, my new resolution is to go to more shows and to drop a paragraph or two on this piece of shit blog more than once every couple months. Feel free to point and laugh at me if it doesn’t happen. I would expect nothing less from you assholes.
Man, last year had some highs and lows, didn’t it? Some really cool things went down. Conrad’s whole-weekend birthday bash at the 212; The Struggle Within opening for Mushroomhead and Otep; watching a bunch of my friends play the big stage at Aura for the All Night Thing; emceeing the Cranberries tribute show at PHOME; THeatherfest; Herd Flock; Hallobash; Drivetrain’s CD release show; seeing Loki play a buncha times; the Halloween show at the Cage where retrouvaille kicked my ass… le sigh. Good times.
2018 had its fair share of turrible, though. Backstabbing, band-trashing, band breakups, rumor-starting bullshit. Hey, ‘memba when someone put my pic on a nudes-soliciting site and said I was a groupie bitch? Ahhh memories. That was way harsh, Tai. One of my apparently “many” musicians will probably smash your face with his wooden sticks. I’ll gladly let him, too. Maybe we can keep the rumors to a minimum, hmm? *gently sets mic down because those things are fucking expensive*
This blog will always be about the music, but I’ll always inject some personal shit in here because this is my artistic outlet. It’s kinda my thing. I aim to make myself happy first. Anything else is icing. I also like to post a ton of pictures. Those make me happy, too.
Let’s kick off 2019 with a clean slate, shall we? I’m excited for what this year will bring musically. First of all, I do still plan on opening this blog up to bands outside of Maine and New England. I think it’s time to branch out a tad, but I still gotta keep it rock and metal. The heart wants what it wants. I have big plans for this year. I always do more when I’m happy, and I think this is the happiest I’ve been since mid-2016. Let’s do this shit.
There are a few shows coming up this weekend that I’m looking forward to. So many, in fact, that Saturday will need its own blog post. If I kept going, this thing would be as long as a CVS receipt. Apparently, there’s new management at Skip’s Lounge in Buxton, and we might be seeing an influx of great local music there if all goes well. This Friday night, January 11th, join Burning Time as they tear the roof off the joint. Not literally. I don’t think the new management would like to hire a roofer so soon after taking the reigns. We’ll cause a ruckus, though. That’s what happens when you go to a Burning Time show (www.burningtimemusic.com). As soon as “Truth Is” starts, it’s game over. I lose my bananas and the rest of the night gets a bit blurry. They’ll play a bunch of original tunes from their album “This Is One”, and they’ll come at you with covers that you might actually enjoy more than the originals. Think I’m kidding? I am so not. Ask Chico to play you his favorite.
Joining Burning Time for the evening is one of my favorite Maine bands: Re:vision (www.facebook.com/RevisionMaine). You seriously couldn’t pick two bands more perfect for each other. Both play modern, guitar-driven rock. One of the things I love about Re:vision is how their songs get stuck in my head, and I mean it in the best way imaginable. You can definitely tell that they are influenced by bands like Chevelle, which totally floats my flotation device. I cannot wait for them to release their album. I know they’re working on it. I’m being as patient as I can be. Also, hurry the fuck up 😉
The goal here is to pack the place. There’s no cover, so join me and let’s show these two bands some love.
Also happening Friday night in Portland, catch a frickin’ legendary Maine musician doing his solo thing at the Thirsty Pig. The one and only Dave Gutter (Rustic Overtones, Armies, Paranoid Social Club) will grace us with a rare acoustic performance. This dude is so talented, there aren’t any words to do it justice. I interviewed this Maine rock ‘n roll hero and the rest of PSC back in college and he cannot be contained. It was awesome. He’ll be playing from 7p-9p. Have a tasty brew and take it all in. That’s what he said.
Scoot on over to Empire in Portland for for another rock show. Join Maine’s Five of the Eyes as they do their rocky thing at one of my favorite venues. Joining them is Added Color from NYC and Quad. Doors at 9pm, noise at 10. 21+. $8 in advance through Eventbrite, $10 day of show.
It isn’t often that a band comes along and tears ass around my heart. I’m a lover of local rock, punk and metal. 98% of the albums in my car are from bands here in Maine. I’ve been to a lot of local shows over the past few years and I’ve seen some shit. I’ve acquired some favorites, and one at the top of my list is Drivetrain. I saw them for the very first time in the beginning of 2017 when they opened for Fifth Freedom at Empire, and then many, many, many times after that. I try not to miss a Drivetrain show, because it’s a guaranteed good time. Kinda like sexy time, except with decidedly more cowbell. Not none, just… more.
If you love hard, 70’s and 80’s style rock ‘n roll that makes you want to strap on some leather and barrel-ass down the highway at a buck-twenty and then smash a can of PBR on your forehead when you’ve reached your destination to celebrate how much of a swag badass you are, then you’ll love Portland’s Drivetrain. Seeing them live is an experience, even for introverts. They’ll have you singing along in no time. You just can’t help it. When Kevin Beling says “Whoa oh whoa, oh whoa whoa whoaaa”, you fucking repeat it back. Don’t be a little bitch.
I suppose they really got me hooked when I got a copy of their EP, “Hellcat”. It’s a three song project, but it was enough to leave me wanting more. “Burn Slow” is for sure my favorite song of theirs, but “Mortal Koil” and “Midnite Ride” top that list, too. I mean hey, who doesn’t love that British pussy? Have that honest conversation with yourself. You can find “Mortal Koil” and “Midnite Ride” on their brand new full-length album, “Muscles Big”. It came out on 11/23/18 to rave reviews. You can find it at Bull Moose Music stores for $10 and at https://drivetrain.bandcamp.com/ for $9 (digital) or $10 for a hard copy. Personally, I love hard copies. I like to be able to feel the rock between my delicate little fingers.
To celebrate the release of “Muscles Big”, Drivetrain is having an album release party at Empire in Portland. Let me warn you, this show will rumble your bits. It’s gonna be a loud, wild night. Drivetrain is of course the headliner, and they’ve invited a couple special guests to round out the evening…
Sygnal To Noise from Biddeford (howwwwdy neighbors!) is showing up to party your pretty little face off. There isn’t a band in the scene that sounds like Sygnal. Formed in 2013, they’ve been spreading the Sygnal and bringing rock back to the forefront. They are a heavy-hitting band, with their catchy riffs and lyrics sold and streamed worldwide. They’ve won several awards and have played with the likes of Disturbed, Volbeat, Sebastian Bach, Seether, and *insert a shit ton more famous bands here*. I guess what I’m trying to say is, they fucking rock, man. I can’t put it any clearer than that. Listen to their three albums (so far…) and you will understand how much fun and energy and heart they put into their music and live shows. Find out at https://sygnaltonoiserocks.com. Also, no one has a voice like Coopa. Fight me.
I haven’t seen them since Hallobash in October, so I’m having withdrawals. I can’t wait to hear some of my favorite songs, like “Without Color”, “Cliche”, “Dirty Girl”, “Politician Man”, “…” oh never mind, I love them all. Just play them all.
Also joining the fun is Twin Grizzly. These motherfuckers aren’t messing around. They will take your face in their loving hands and take a blowtorch to it. You won’t have a face left, sorry. Twin Grizzly is high energy, loud rock ‘n roll. They will get in your face and yell at you about sex and other awesome stuff, while wailing on guitars and making panties drop. That’s just how it goes. You game? You should be, Shirley.
Twin Grizzly will get your blood pumping with singalong tracks a la Drivetrain, and will rile you right up good. They will be your musical fluffer for the evening. Is that right? I don’t watch porn. Sounds good though, so I’ll stick with it. They will prime you, is what I’m getting at. I just… I gotta shut up LOL. Check them out at https://twingrizzly.com/.
The cool kids will be at Empire this Friday night, myself included (not saying I’m cool, I’m more like a barnacle that attaches itself to kick ass rock bands), and you should come out and play with us. The party starts at 9pm, tickets are $10 and you can nab ’em through Eventbrite on Facebook. Oh, and it’s 21+, because alcohol. Little kiddies can’t have the grown-up juice.
Congrats to Drivetrain on their debut album “Muscles Big”. I can’t wait to get myself a copy and rock out with you this Friday night. Maybe I’ll make like Paul Revere and come by horse…
Oh, and I know it’s been a while between blogs. Lost my mind again. Surprise! Talk soon. Love ya, goons.
I was begrudgingly dragged to a show Saturday night. That isn’t something I’d normally admit, but here we are. See, things aren’t ok. Like, at all. The good news, I guess, is that friends have a way of picking up on that. So, instead of my regularly scheduled program of crying in the bath and skipping dinner, I got dressed and remembered how to put eyeliner on, since it’d been a while. Imagine seeing me without my winged eyeliner…freaky. Soon, my chariot arrived to take me to Westbrook. I’m perfectly capable of driving, but there’s no getting out of it when a ride is on the way. Off to the 212 we went.
You know what? I’m glad it played out that way. It was comforting to see a bunch of familiar faces that I haven’t seen in many, many months. Plus, the music was really, really good. Top notch, straight outta Maine, music. It was my second time seeing Division/North (Biddeford), and how did I not remember how fucking good they were from the first time? This band is fairly new, but you couldn’t tell. Drummer Dan Aldrich, also of Burning Time, has been jamming with guitarist Justin Patry for years, and the chemistry isn’t hard to see. Their music is modern, melodic rock, and something I didn’t even know I needed until I suddenly needed it. Can we get these guys on a show with Re:Vision? Kthx.
Next was Objet. Jesus tapdancing Christ on a cracker, these guys are just so, so talented. I’m telling you, if you haven’t seen these guys live yet, you need to. I honestly don’t know how to put into words how tight and technical their hard rock/verging on metal is. The time changes alone will make you tilt your head like one of those dogs with the smooshed faces that breathe funny. There was a guy there who has Objet’s album, “Inanimate”, (which was recorded and mixed at The Halo by Jonathan Wyman and mastered by multi grammy-winner Adam Ayan at Gateway Mastering. So yeah, high quality Maine made shit) who knew every word to every song, but had never seen them live. His expression was fucking priceless, and he uttered a single, powerful “wow”. Yeah, buddy. I know. Welcome to the “I Just Saw Objet And Consequently Shit My Pants” club.
And what can I say about Sygnal To Noise? That I love them? Actually, you know what? That’s very extremely true. This isn’t the Sygnal that you’re used to. The roster has changed many times over the past few months, and for someone like me who doesn’t adapt well to change, I braced myself…
They were FUCKING AMAZING. Front man, Coopa, has held down the fort and recruited some badass talent to replenish and revive this incredibly fun, talented, Maine rock ‘n roll machine. The new iteration of Sygnal To Noise is a 4-piece, featuring founder, lead vocalist and now back-to-guitar Coopa, bassist Greg Burns-Jackson, drummer Nick Coffin, and guitar god Joey Nash.
I was checking my phone outside, unaware that soundcheck was over, when I heard a familiar riff being played. It couldn’t be. Is it? Holy shit, they are playing “Without Color” from their debut album of the same name. What??? I’ve been wanting to hear this song live for about a year and a half. It describes what goes on in my head every single day, and I never thought I would see it performed live. I bolted inside and made my way to the front of the stage, and let the tears stream as I sang every word. This was actually happening. They played some songs from their newest album, “Horns High” and a few from “Under Construction”. Then they played “Again” from their first album. ANOTHER song I was convinced I’d never see live. Coopa traded the mic for the bass, and Burns-Jackson sang the lyrics beautifully, doing the song proper justice. Guess who cried again? This new Sygnal has my approval, 100%.
Headlining the night was Beyond The Fall, legends in Maine at this point. I think the last time I saw Matt Fournier and crew was St. Patrick’s Day, 2017. Fairly certain. It had been a long time, and I was so happy to hear these guys again. The musicianship is something that never leaves you wanting when you see BTF. Also, Matt Fournier has one of the best voices in Maine music. And the drummer…
Everyone wants Tony Cortez in their band, and if they are a drummer, they want to be Tony Cortez. Dan Paulsen, drummer for Objet joked, “If I die, please get Tony Cortez to replace me. Don’t like, kick me out of the band or anything, but if I died…” Hahaha! Tony is an excellent drummer, this is true, and you just have to see for yourself. Beyond The Fall as a whole are incredible. Also, Dan, don’t die.
It was one hell of a night. My sadness came in waves, but I do remember at one point during the night, standing in the crowd and feeling the energy and nostalgia wash over me. My eyes got misty and I smiled a slow smile. It was a brief moment of contentment as I remembered who I was, and who I’m looking to regain.
To the Maine music scene, thank you for the reminder.
Here we are again, kids. It’s August, which means three things: One, those things you made are going back to school; Two, summer is coming to a close; Three, it’s almost time for Herd Flock. That’s right ladies and douchenozzles, Herd Flock 3: Flock Yah is almost upon us! Three days of music, camping, zero sleep, and rolling down hills into trees *clears throat, Jeff York, clears throat again* is less than two weeks away. It’s like Christmas, but with zero presents and no magical, pleasantly plump whateverthefuckisit? coming down the chimney.
Look, it’s taking all I have just to write this fucking thing. I’m listening to Ruin’s “Along The Way” to psych myself up. I won’t lie, I am in no way mentally ok. I also cannot promise that verbal sewage won’t leak from the manhole in my face. But, I promised a write up. I would also never cross Adam Begin, for we are bat siblings. He eats ceiling tiles, bro. Don’t mess with that.
If you’re new to Herd Flock, I encourage you to go through my blogs and read the one titled “We All Went Down To Herd Flock” and follow it up with “Flock Yeah”. That will give you a solid understanding of the journey you’re about to embark on if you plan on attending this year’s fuckfest. I say that as a compliment to the whole ordeal. It is quite an experience. Get ready for August 31st, motherfucker. There’s nothing like Herd Flock. It’s like a family reunion where the adults run around like lunatics instead of the children, and instead of a bunch of cousins you’d rather not see, there are guitars and drums and people you can staple money to.
If you’re a local music lover, Herd Flock is something you really shouldn’t miss. Sure, there will be visiting bands from other states, like Taken, Crypitus and VRSA, but they are “local bands” where they’re from. Plus, Maine’s music scene is super welcoming, and we love making connections and watching badass new bands. That’s called networking, bitch. I think I counted correctly when adding up the bands this year. 27. If that is incorrect, then I don’t know what to tell you other than I can’t count and I’m aight with it.
There will be some new local bands, like Alions, 3FD, and Exhuming Pamola, and some local favorites, like Stillborn Condition, Weapons At Hand and Re:Vision. I am super stoked at the lineup this year! Aside from the 27 (I’m sticking with that number) bands, we also have to thank Dave and Patricia Peterson from Windham Tattoo and Body Piercing for donating the stage again this year, and for being on hand with their mobile unit. They will be tattooing and piercing all weekend again this year. I got a hole punched in my nose last year, and I love it. They were safe and sanitary and did a great job. Recommend.
I remember the first Herd Flock…holy shit. We almost set the woods on fire the first night. Stir fry was made over a garbage can, pretty much. A cop showed up. Year two, I moshed in flip-flops, slept on a rock formation, and we almost set the woods on fire again. No cops this time. I can’t wait to see what year three brings. I hope it’s bigger and better than ever. Ever being two years, but still. You can find all the info you need on Facebook. Just fucking look up Herd Flock. I gotta make you work for some of it. If you truly want to go, you’ll do it 😉
Bring your tent, sleep in your car, whatever. It starts at 4:20pm on Friday, August 31st with the first band, Second Sight, kicking it all off at 6pm. Last band plays at 4pm on Sunday, September 2nd, and you gotta get the hell off the land by noon on Monday, September 3rd. It’s only $20 for the whole weekend. Kids 6 and under are free. Sorry, no single-day rates are given. You can bring your own food in. Hell, someone made hot dog omelettes last year on a little grill. You do what you gotta do. I’m just glad there’s a Dunkin down the road. Coffee es muy importante. It makes me want to kill just a little bit less, which works out really well for you.
So come one, come all to 450 Main Street, Richmond, ME. Follow the bloody sign until you’re down in the Back 40. I promise when it’s over, you’ll never be the same.
Is it just me, or has a lot of shit changed these past few months? It’s like the universe is kicking our collective ass (fuckin’ Mercury in Gatorade or some shit). Bands breaking up or replacing longtime members, couples splitting… I hate to say it, but it’s disheartening and has made me take a huge step back from it all. I don’t adapt well to change (flashback to November when I completely lost my shit. Ah, memories) and there has been one metric fuckton of it. I guess that’s why I’ve been radio silent (except for my job! See what I did there? I kill me.) for nearly two months. I mean, my blogs have become spread further apart than a sorority girl’s legs on Halloween. My focus has been on my personal life, to be quite honest. I still have a lot of work to do in that regard if I ever hope to be sane enough for someone to say, “This looks safe and reliable. I’d put my child in it.”
I haven’t been to many shows in a while. I definitely miss it. I miss throwing the horns and emceeing shows. All of it. So now, I guess it’s time to play catch-up! There are some new bands, like Dark River Rising, that I got to witness the debut of. How can you go wrong when Alan Jones (Fifth Freedom) and Sonny Robinson (Twisted Roots) team up for some badass southern rock ‘n roll? Uh, you can’t. They played the second night of THeatherfest (my word…) this past Saturday, and I can attest that they are kickass.
I’m sad to hear that 13 High has called it a day. I wish I could have been there for their final show. I’m sorry I missed it. I promise I’ll get out to some shows soon. I miss the fam. I miss the dino-moshing. I miss the clown suits. Mostly, I miss how it was two years ago. Remember 2016? One of the best/worst years of my fucking life, and I would relive that summer over and over again if I could. I was new to the scene, and everything was vibrant and exciting. All these cool local bands at my fingertips, filling my earholes with joy. I met my favorite local death metal band (Stillborn Condition) and I crowd surfed for the first time at Live at 212. I met a radio legend, Rob Kennedy (WTOS) and got to co-emcee an album release show with him at Empire. I also got to introduce 311 on the Maine State Pier. Life was, at the time, alright. Don’t get too content, because the pig spore will eventually hit the wind spinner, amirite?
I know, I know. This is a music blog. Write about fucking music, you stupid ****. Fiiiiine. Here’s something that caught my eye that I can’t wait for: RUIN at Geno’s Rock Club. That’s happening tomorrow night, courtesy of Arrive Alive Records and Geno’s, duh. Other bands on the bill are Waterville’s own WHEN THE DEAD WON’T DIE (https://wtdwdmetal.com/), and NH’s Conforza (https://conforza.bandcamp.com/). Jesus Jones, that’s quite a line up. Tix are $10 at the door, which opens at 8:30, Noise starts at 9:30. 21+. Deathamphetamine was on the bill, but are unable to play.
RUIN’S “Rite of Passage” is a staple in my car, and anyone who rides with me usually goes, “Who is this? They’re tight.” You’re god damn right they are. Look: https://www.ruinband.net/. You. Are. Fucking. Welcome.
Now, there have been some changes in the RUIN camp. I’m not gonna elaborate. That’s for them to say. It’s our job to show up and get our faces liquified. RUIN always brings it, and it’s been too long (since December, I think) that I’ve seen them play, so I would like it brought to me. Silver platter optional.
Holy shit, I just wrote a blog. I’ve been trying to write one for the past two weeks. My god, I’m awesome. Just like marshmallows and unicorn farts.
I’m really excited, you guys. Normally, I write this blog when I’m super pissed or depressed. There’s something about being in those moods that makes me write better, I guess. It just spews out of me from some kind of demon spigot that is definitely not filtered by a Brita. Today, I am neither of those things. I am one content motherfucker at the moment. I’ve been mostly absent from the music scene for a little while, and while it saddens me and makes me feel a little empty, let me explain my reason for taking a step back recently…
First off, it is temporary. I’m actually in the process of revamping this site and making a list of bands that I’d like to interview. I’ve only done one. Check out my post titled “Getting Real with The Struggle Within”. If your band would like to be interviewed, hit me up. I promise I will be better at answering messages on the Behind the Local Scene Facebook page. I’ve been overwhelmed lately, but my life is getting better and it’s becoming easier to breathe and manage. I also have albums I’m dying to review.
I have high hopes, and I’m usually a pretty driven person. Those of you who know me, know that this has not been an easy 8 months. A great loss back in April 2017, followed by suicide attempts and a stay in a mental facility derailed me for a while. I’ve gone through a lot, and I’m not quite back on my feet yet. I’ve lost a few friends along the journey but honestly, I don’t give a flying fuck. The fuck could be neon green with giant glittery purple feathers and shitting hundred dollar bills into the sky and I’d still be like, NOPE.
When I got introduced to this scene by my friend Kris (Burning Time), I was amazed at how easily I was accepted. Was it solely based on the fact that I was in radio? Maybe. From day one, back in April 2016, I was hooked. I took my role very seriously. People think that because you’re a dj at a radio station, that you possess power to get music on the radio. I hate to tell you, but that isn’t accurate at all. I had and still have zero power over that. All I could do, and still try to do, is use my public figure status to bring attention to local bands and the scene at hand. That’s all I ever tried or could promise to do. Posting on social media, going to and emceeing shows was my way of supporting and “advertising”. I never expected anything in return. What the scene has given me, though, has been the greatest gift of all: myself. I found me. There’s nothing I could do to return that favor. I write this blog for the musicians, to show them that despite how little power or clout I have, that this is my way of supporting them and getting their name as far as I can get it. Do I work for a pop station now? Yes. Does that change how I feel about Maine rock and metal? Fuck no, and fuck you off a cliff twice if you think it does.
I take this shit seriously. I love Maine made music of all genres. Let’s not think that just because I’ve chosen genres for this blog, that I turn my nose up at other talented musicians who happen to play pop or country or African dub metal. It just means that I’m writing about what I enjoy, because as a human being with free will, it’s well within my rights. I might occasionally be more inclusive, but it’s a lot of work to keep current with shows/albums/new bands. A LOT OF FUCKING WORK. Dude, I’m trying to get my car back on the road, find an apartment, and put max effort into my love life, all while working a full time job. It would also help if I could get a laptop of my very own so I can blog at home in my spare time. So, please excuse my snobby, bitch-ass if I don’t immediately return your message or even look at it to begin with for the time being (unless it comes through the Behind the Local Scene FB page). I don’t care about your feelings on my message etiquette. Fuck outta here with that. Know who gets my full attention at this time? Family, my boss, and the man I’m seeing.
Anyways…LOL. I just wanted to let y’all know what the status is. Yes, I’m still going to emcee shows, blog, and attend shows. I mean, Herd Flock 3: Flock Yah is coming up Labor Day weekend!!! Hope you’re ready for three days of the most shenanigans you’ll ever see in the Maine woods. Huge fucking bonfire. 20 some-odd bands. Camping. Drinking. Other things. Keep on the lookout for the blog post, cuz you know it’s comin’, along with more regular posts on what’s happening with local rock and metal.
Auntie H is here. Thank you to the musicians, their fans, their families, and YOU for sticking with me. It means more than you will ever know.
I’m going to go ahead and borrow a line from the Sygnal To Noise tune, Politician Man- “Why can’t you understand, you need to give a damn?” That’s kinda how I feel about music in Maine. Well, music everywhere really. If no one gave a damn, then what would happen to our local musicians and music in general? I don’t even wanna think about that. Simply by reading this piece of shit blog, you’re showing you care. You’re the tits.
I apologize for my rambling. I go off my anxiety meds and all of a sudden I’m some kind of off-brand, Walmart Gandhi who gets all nostalgic and cries when aroused because I’m just so goddamn happy about it. Nonetheless, I do know what I’m talking about when it comes to upcoming shows. I got that shit covered for the most part. Okay, some of the part. You try blogging on the reg when you’re this crazy.
There are some pretty sweet shows coming up that I’m excited about. The first being a stacked metal show at Geno’s Rock Club tomorrow (Friday) night. Five bands total, with two hailing from our great state. Sean Matthews and the crew from Devils Nite Out will come out swingin’, setting the bar for what is going to be a helluva night. Those Portland boys never disappoint with their live performances. Matthews is one of the most entertaining front men in Maine metal that I’ve seen, and this band is a definite must-see. Even if metal isn’t your thing, they make it funnern’hell. Just wait until they play “What” or “Ascension”.
Following DNO is Albert The Cannibal (https://soundcloud.com/use-359037113) from Bakersfield, CA and Today’s Last Tragedy (https://soundcloud.com/todayslasttragedy) from Cincinnati, OH. Nice pull, Jon! (booker extraordinaire Jon Morse of Last Mercy Emissions). I hope you’re still with me at this point, because another kickass Maine metal band is next. Destination: Void will be bringing the prog. Please tell me you’ve listened to their album, Tempvs Fvgit. If you haven’t, then buy one or borrow one (which you’ll end up purchasing anyway, because Jesus Jumped-up Christ on a cracker it is outstanding). Seeing D:Void live is a whole othah thing. Lucas Damen and Co. are technical and tight (heheh), and you won’t be able to take your eyes off of drummer Seth Perkins. Long, flowing hair aside, his technique is like, holy Jesus Jones.
The headliner for the night is Dead Eyes Always Dreaming from Michigan. (https://deadeyesalwaysdreaming.bandcamp.com/). Tickets are $7 advance and $10 day of show (yes, you can pay cash at the door). Doors at 7:45p, da metal starts at 8:15p.
Get your punk on this Saturday night as Boston’s Salem Wolves tear into Live at 212 in Westbrook, joining a sick line up of Maine punk/rock bands. Check this out: Strange Nature, Thems That Wait, Port City Saints, and The Very Reverend. MAAAAIIIINNNNEEEE pride, bub. I have a feeling it’s going to be a very loud night over at Allen’s place. I have zero problem with that. Let Anna make you a drink, settle in with a free game of pool, and have fun in Auntie H’s living room for the low admission of $7. Doors at 7pm.
Know what else is cool? Green Jello. The punk puppet show vets are rocking Geno’s Rock Club on Saturday night, along with Gwell-O (a Gwar inspired sheet metal band featuring members of Green Jello), Loki (I’m a bit moist thinking about them playing my favorite tune, Get This Right), and thrash band Cryptid. Our Maine boys open the evening of rawk, and $10 advance (https://genosgreenjello.eventbrite.com) or $13 day of show gets you in to experience it. Doors 8:30p, noise at 9p.
Like blues and soul? Papa Tim and the Desperate Man’s Blues Explosion will have you shakin’ it like I used to shake it when we shook it like a Polaroid picture. True story. Catch Papa Tim and crew at the Oysterhead Lounge in Newcastle Publik House this Saturday night at 8pm. Funky fresh.
I’m not done yet, so sitchurrassdown. Saturday night at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Iron City Preachers will be celebrating the release of their new album, Lady Sunshine, with the help of The Outsiders Punkabilly Rebels and El Grande. ERMAGHERD I love ska/punkabilly. This is a free show presented by Bottom of the East Booking. If you haven’t seen a live show at Bayside Bowl yet, you’re in for a surprise. Their sound system is bad-frickin’-ass. Plus, they have like 65 bars up in there. Get there at 8pm so you don’t miss a note. Also, check out their awesome fucking roof deck when the weather warms up. One of my fave spots in Portland, truth be told.
Wellll shiiiiit. That’s what’s going on that I’m aware of. Of course, there are always a ton of shows going on on the same night, all over Maine, so if you see something that looks good to you, GO. Support your local musicians, whether they’re playing in some hole in the wall or opening for a national act. They’ll be super grateful to see your face.
Horns, kisses, and shit.
**UPDATE- DESTINATION: VOID WILL BE HEADLINING AND CLOSING OUT THE NIGHT AT GENO’S 5/11/18.
I’ve been told I should stick to a schedule when it comes to my blogging. It makes sense. You’d know what to expect each week, like Taco Tuesday, but with decidedly less sour cream. I suppose I could do something like Metal Mondays, Wangs Out Wednesdays, or Fuck You Fridays, where I just rip something a new asshole. Shit like that takes planning, though. Be patient with dear Auntie H. She’s trying to juggle work, apartment hunting, blogging, going to shows, and searching for someone who might actually want my demon spawn before my junk goes bad.
Seeing as it’s Tuesday, and chances are you didn’t wake up drunk, sticky and alone this morning (or maybe you did, in which case, call me next time), I figure you might have the wherewithall to mark some shit on your calendar. Ready?
Thirsty Thursdays are so much better when live music is part of the plan. Join Dark Rain and special guests The Resistance at Spring Point Tavern in South Portland this Thursday, April 26th for a night of Maine rock ‘n roll. Two badass bands with badass female vocalists. Kelleigh and Sierra will blow you away. This is a free show, 21+. The Resistance takes the stage at 9pm, but get there early for some drinky-poos.
If you’re feeling like something a bit heavier this Thursday, check out Geno’s Rock Club in Portland for a night of doomy-hardcore rock. Jon Morse of Last Mercy Emissions knows how to book a solid show. Doors open at 8:30 and the noise starts at 9 with Apis Malfiore of Portland (https://apismalfiore.bandcamp.com/), whose music is described as “funeral drone”. Okay, you have my interest. Next up is REZN, cosmic doom from Chicago (https://rezzzn.bandcamp.com) and Lume (http://lumeband.com), also from Chicago, whose sound is post-hardcore. Two bands from Chicago? Well done, Mr. Morse. Well done. Headlining the night is Portland’s This World Has Bees (post-rock, http://thisworldhasbees.bandcamp.com). Admission is $7 in advance and also at the door. You wanna get it done now? www.eventbrite.com. The mood I’m in right now, I could go for some fucking doom metal. Shit.
I just glanced at my event calendar, and my brain shrieked. Holy shit snacks, there’s a lot going on this Friday. Here we go, muffugggahhhhh!
13 High headlines at Live at 212 in Westbrook Friday night with special guests Not Yet Lost and Venndetta. This show benefits a dude that puts his heart and soul into local music and his popular radio show, JustinSane About Music on Granite Coast Radio. Justin Sane is the biggest supporter of the scene that I’ve met, and one of the nicest guys on the planet. He suffered a heart attack earlier this month, and gave us all quite a scare. He’s still here, now with literal metal in his heart. God bless his fucking tough ass soul. We love you, Justin!! This show is for you, because we all think you’re wicked fuckin’ swell. Doors at 8pm with $5 admission benefiting Justin and his family.
Up the road a dite in the Dirty Lew is another rock show that I wish was happening right this second because honestly, I need my hair blown to the back of the room. Augusta’s Second Sight returns to The Cage along with My Tempered Soul and Re:vision. Ermagherd!! Rehrvehrsehrn!!! Had a mini freakout there. I’m better now. Seriously though, what a show this will be. You couldn’t find three bands who go so perfectly together if they were right in front of your face. Definitely check this one out. $5 admission, 21+. There will also be donation jars set out for the American Cancer Society, because every time Second Sight plays, they pick a cause to donate to. Yet another reason why I love those guys. Doors at 9. Don’t give Josh at the door a hard time, unless you like the feeling of my size 7 shoe up your ass.
There you have it, freaks. That’s what’s going on through Friday. I’ll hit ya with weekend shit a bit later this week. Also, don’t forget to hit up open mics around town. Local musicians play all the time, and you never know what gem you’ll come across. Sea Dog in SoPo has a good one on Tuesday nights hosted by my friend David Jacquet. Just sayin’.
You know those days when you wake up in a great mood and you’re not sure why? I feel fantastic, and I can’t figure out why that is, exactly. I mean, I’m not miserable, but I’m not exactly vomiting sunshine and shitting rainbows, either. Could it be that I’m excited about a new job that I applied for? Possible. Could it be toe curling sex? A “lady” doesn’t kiss and tell. Is it the two day birthday metal bash that starts tonight? That is very extremely possible. Okay, it’s probably all three, plus the fact that I actually slept several hours in a row last night. That certainly removes a few holes in the bitch belt.
Let’s focus on the birthday metal bash at Live at 212 in Westbrook. My dear friend Conrad Lausier of Weapons At Hand just celebrated a birthday yesterday, and when it comes to birthdays, he doesn’t just do days. He does whole weekends. Conrad is one of the nicest, most metal motherfuckers I know, and he put together a lineup that you just can’t miss. I mean, you could, but you’d be an asshole. I’m joking. Maybe you started out as an asshole and there wouldn’t be a change in the assholery if you didn’t come celebrate. I’m willing to explore all the options.
Tonight’s lineup has my lady bits all in a tizzy. John Wagoner’s new band, Alions is up first. This is a brand spankin’ new band that I’ve yet to see, and I’m pumped to finally make it happen. Plus, Johnny Wags can’t resist a good crowd surf in the pit. If you enjoyed Alter The Tides or Last Ones Alive, you will enjoy this next venture.
Up next is Destination: Void from Limington. Lucas Damen and crew released their album, Tempvs Fvgit a couple months ago, and believe me when I tell you that it is a goddamn work of metal art. From the ten masterful progressive metal songs (The Flow Arterial being my personal fave), to the artwork on the CD sleeve, this is an album that needs to be in your collection. I attended their album release party at Geno’s, and to see those songs performed live was such a treat. Come see it for yourself tonight!
Third up is Portland death metal band, Stillborn Condition. Oh, you have a problem with the name? It’s 2018 and I suppose we all have to be offended by something, don’t we? Jesus. Go eat a damn Tide Pod and call me when you find your big girl panties. It’s just a name, and it’s a fucking metal one at that. I want these assholes to play at my future baby shower and wedding. I want my dad to walk me down the aisle to some sucker-to-be-determined while Stillborn plays 3 Bitches In A Bucket. Keep your eye on these guys. They’re in the process of recording their album, and I know it’ll kick all kinds of band ass.
Yes, there is a cover charge of $5 each night. You can bitch all you want, but there are bands playing this two day birthday bash that have a long way to travel and Conrad wants to be sure they get money for gas and stuff. Don’t be stingy. $5 for 6 bands? C’mon. That’s fucking awesome.
The Beast of Nod, a five-piece death metal band from Boston is making the trip up to play tonight. Hey, there’s a band that could probably use some of that cover charge! Gas isn’t cheap. Feeding five dudes is even more expensive. These guys are the real deal. Check out their two EP’s, “Enter The Land of Nod” and “Arrival” and you’ll see. Super pumped to see them live!
Another band making a trip is Begat The Nephilim from Dover, NH. Are you a fan of extreme (no, not the band)? You’ll love these fuckers. I’ve seen them three or four times, and they blow me away each time. I’m also super proud of these dudes, because they were just signed to Unholy Anarchy Records and will be releasing their debut album “The Surreptitious Prophecy/Mother of the Blasphemy” on June 15th. Hey guys…that’s my birthday… So….
Tonight’s final offering is Chaos Machine from Bangor. Holy motherlovin’ word do I love me some Chaos Machine, as does the Facemelter of Rock Rage Radio. He chose their latest, self-titled album as #6 in his Top 30 Albums of 2017. That’s impressive, guys. The Facemelter knows his shit. If you come tonight, you’ll notice a new face in their lineup. Intrigued? I am.
I hope to see your gorgeous face tonight at Live at 212 in Westbrook as we wish Conrad a happy birthday, and I hope I see you tomorrow when his band Weapons At Hand plays. If you’re a huge fan of WAH like I am, then you can’t miss it. This will probably be the last we see of Weapons for a while, as they are taking a break. It makes me sad, because they are one of my favorite Maine metal bands, but sometimes people need to take a break and focus on other things. Who knows, maybe this won’t be the end.
Music starts at 7:15 tonight. Get there early to greet the 212 fam. I’ll be there, probably with a Curtis Coffee in my hand. Cheers to Conrad and night one of Conrad’s Birthday Weekend!