Thursday, October 15, 2009

Kanye West and Jamie Foxx: Not as big a deal as they said they were!

Excuse the interruption. I know I promised the first installment of WRONG PORTLAND! as my next blog post, but as it turns out I was inspired. I just can't help but notice that neither Jamie Foxx, nor Kanye West turned out to be as big a deal as they both had originally heralded.

Firstly, Kayne:

OK, Golddigger is a pretty pimp jam and all, and as a slightly emo white kid from an artsy town, I will admit that the whole teddy bear/next level N.E.R.D./tight pants/lazers/sunglasses you would wear to the White Heart presentation of his records was inviting. However, one would have to produce tracks and rap with the power and grace of the Christ-child Himself in order to live up to the hype produced by Kanye.

a) nice pink sweater
b) nice underbite
c) does anyone wish that Fiddy really settled the score the way he REALLY would have preferred?
d) stop trying to "sing"

Jamie Foxx:

Living Color? Kinda funny, sometimes. The Ray Charles movie? A pretty mediocre portrayal of a tortured artist. Ultimately, I'd give the whole movie a C+, even though everyone LOVED it because he did his own singing. You know what? I think Olivia Newton John did her own singing in Xanadu, but I don't see anyone sucking her dick for that. As far as I can see, Jamie Foxx's film career is skipping the bottom like a rock tossed across a pond by an armless sick child, and his singing career was better suited when it was referred to by it's old name: KARAOKE.

PS: That's the top of the microphone dipshit, do you eat from the side of your fork too? Put down the microphone and read the script for Saw 6, or 7, whatever the fuck is next.

Let us look to great actors and musicians who spend their time being awesome by actually producing great work, rather than talking about it (See Tom Petty, Don Cheadle, Javier Bardeem, Q-Tip and Leonard Nimoy.)
PS: j/k/lol/not really/of course I'm kidding/no I'm not/YES I AM/ no, I actually kinda like Leonard Nimoy... a lot/not really/yes/it's hard to type a blog while masterbating to old episodes of Star Trek.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I know, I know, it seems too good to be true. Josh Homme (Queens of the Stoneage), Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) and John Paul Jones (from...ummm...OH RIGHT, LED FUCKING ZEPPELIN) all in one group couldn't possibly live up to the sum of it's parts. News flash kids: Not only is it awesome in theory, it's awesome in execution.

We traveled down to Boston (no doubt the subject of 'I Fucking Hate This Shit' Vol. 2) to the House of Blues last Sunday to catch the show. What other band could play to a capacity crowd after posting a 13 second and a 59 second YouTube clip and sell out a 2500 seat theater? The age of the crowd was totally mixed and when JH introduced the band, the room came unglued for JPJ. It was nice to see that the young'uns still recognize.

The band played for about and hour or so, no encore. All the songs were all original and by what I can remember, pretty excellent. I had to pry myself away for 45 seconds for an unavoidable pee break (damn you PBR) but otherwise, my attention was totally glued to the stage. The mix was solid, despite a lack of clarity in the low end, though that could have been due to where we were sitting.

It was nice to see JPJ move around so freely on so many instruments. Bass was the mainstay, but he also played keys (with bass pedals!) mandolin (?) and some sort of weird ass multi string slide bass custom jobby. Dave Grohl, well, you know what he did and Josh Homme did a fantastic job holding down both the lions share of the guitar parts and lead vocals, despite being ill. Alain Johannes was masterful in covering all the extra goodies (bass, guitar, keys, vocals) although secretly, I hope he looses a hand in a bagel cutting accident and recommends me for the job.

All killer, no filler. I very much look forward to the upcoming studio record.

Next post: WRONG PORTLAND!: A celebration of folks who found their way to the wrong coast.
Bring your beard, fixed gear bike, vintage glasses frames, overuse of superlatives, girls jeans (with one leg rolled up), apathy, love for fleeting moments, shitty bands and succinct, insignificant interests!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I Fucking Hate This Shit

#1: Ocean Gateway

Thank Sweet Baby Jesus we didn't spend this money on something useful like a functional public transportation system or public wireless internet. I searched for quite a while online for a photo that actually captures the design of this "gateway" in all of it's hideous glory, but alas, all I could come up with was this photo of what, on the onset, looks like a Concord Trailways station on the water...minus the customers. I would like to know which Nanington Coat Factory suit wearing, comb-over asswipe green lighted what is now the biggest piece of trash on the Maine coast, but I do know this: This was MILLIONS of OUR dollars spent on a NON EXISTENT line of income. That, and it looks like shit. Among the many "design features" of this abomination, my favorites include large rocks painted silver (because nothing screams "Maine Coast" like a set from the Outer Limits) and an actual stairway that leads to... NOWHERE! At least oil spills can be cleaned up. We're going to be stuck with this useless eyesore for God knows how long.
BTW: Nice clock tower A-Holes.

Thinking on the other side of the fence for a minute, I suppose there was a need to create a new port for a non existent Kathy Lee Gifford and the throngs of Carnival Cruiseline followers that aren't sitting in the Bay waiting to walk aimlessly up and down Commercial St. to spend their Summer fun money on lobster claw key chains while slipping in frat boy vomit and getting lured into DeMillo's for some reheated Sysco product.

Other great ideas by the focus group that brought us this ghost of an idea surrounded by a fortress of unused parking garages and soon to be abandoned hotels include:

-Constructing the world's largest bag in hopes that money will fall in to it.
-A granite fountain in the middle of 295 so you can throw quarters in as you whiz by at 65 and make wishes in addition to simply paying a toll.
-A high speed train that drops you off just outside of Tory Hill in hopes that someone will build an anything there.
-An off ramp that dumps you into a Holiday Inn in the middle of a field just outside of Saco (actually got that one through)
-Digging a hole where Westbrook and Gorham now stand creating "The NEW Grand Canyon." Take that Arizona. (Runner-up names included "The Grandest Canyon", "The Biggest Hole In The World", "Resting Place for Young Mainer's Dreams" and (my favorite) "The Grande Canyon," so subtle.)

#2 The University of Southern Maine: Gorham Campus

Here's the pitch:
Let's create a branch of the University of Maine System and try to lure all of the creative, "arty-type kids" with our "art" and "music programs", but get this... let's put it 11 miles outside of the actual city where they could actually get a job, take in culture and otherwise have fun and express themselves. AND (get this there's more) we'll give them a FREE ride to and from the city in an antiquated AMHI bus that runs on a schedule that's completely irrelevant to their class schedules and STOPS running at 10:30 pm. Drank until last call? GOOD LUCK!

WAIT! There's more... Don, tell them what they've won...

Once stranded on our fraternity infested, cinder block concentration campus, we'll provide you with an AMAZING selection of Mal-Fry soaked "onion" rings and/or doughy, undercooked pizza delivered to you by one of the lucky 14 students fortunate enough to actually get into the work study program. Your days will be filled with life changing seminars from a combination of over qualified, underpaid professors (that want to kill themselves every time your class mate says something like "So what Plato is saying is that you should, like, try to be nice to, um, each other and stuff and you should try to look for answers to, um, like, your yourself?") or sweaty former jocks that got their teaching degree by accident and are now wearing pleated pants, eating burgers everyday for lunch and are responsible for getting young people interested in the English language (I already didn't really read "Ordinary People" in high school, thank you very much.)

STILL ALIVE? Don't worry, we'll DAZZLE you with entertainment including showing you 3 Fast, 3 Furious on a shitty screen in a lecture hall and we'll get your favorite sucky local band to play in the snack bar every 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. Now THAT's a party! RIGHT!?!

And when you want to learn more you can go to either:
A: The USM Law Library

Which was designed without the WEIGHT OF THE GODDAMNED BOOKS IN MIND AND DOESN'T HAVE ALL THE RESOURCES YOU NEED IN IT (true), not to mention it's FUCKING ROUND, therefore rendering it a COMPLETELY INEFFICIENT space in which to store SQUARE THINGS (see: BOOKS.)
B: The Albert Brenner Glickman Family Library

Three cheers for the designer of this library. HIP HIP!! FUCK OOOOOFFF! Was the model for this building done in LEGOS? Is the actual building MADE out of LEGOS? I had the pleasure of conducting an interview with the designer, Katie Newscomb, Aged 2 1/2, of Buxton, ME, where I really got to the depth of her inspirado.

PRC: Katie, thanks for taking the time!
KN: mah gi wanna feel eo tach!
PRC: Absolutely. So, when you were approached to take this project on what were your initial thoughts? Were you excited to take a break from the teat to take on an endeavor to create an attractive learning environment for some of Maine's brightest up and comers?
KN: *gurgle*
PRC: Priceless. Were you able to strike a deal with the people at LEGO to get a bulk rate on the building materials at a reduced rate, or were you forced to clean out the shelves of every Ames in the state and pay market value? Did you have to pay more for the translucent LEGOS?
KN: mwah...ahhh pount.
PRC: Please, elaborate.
KN: (squints)
PRC: Did you just shit yourself?

#3: The Portland Public Market

I just don't know what went wrong here. We placed an instantly outdated poorly designed building with a pay parking garage attached, right in the middle of a maze of intersections of one way streets and tried to lure Portland's upper crust (of which there are 32) in to buy overpriced Maine Made goods. And ALL within pissing distance of the homeless shelter. I mean, really...where did we go wrong?

My solution? Have the dickless brokers that sold us this piece of shit give all the money they made to the Preble Street Resource center and sit them down right in front of this abandoned house of glass, give them a saws-all, a bib and a table setting and make them EAT every last scrap. Upon completion, we'll all celebrate by sacrificing their daughters at a live performance by OCEAN in Monument Square.

#4: The Unnecessary Stop Sign on the corner of Pine St. and Winter St.

When I confronted Councilman Dave Marshall about this abomination he coyly asked,

"Where do you live?" to which I replied,

"Off Peninsula." To which HE glibly reported.

"Well, my constituents love it." To which I responded,

I've lived in this fucking town, for 15 years. Three of them were on Pine street. I now work in the West End and spend the lion's share of my money there and I can tell you the NO ONE, upon NO FUCKING ONE likes this stop sign.

I'm not sure what constituents he's referring to. Perhaps he was able to ferret out 5 or 6 half dead veterans who "are tired of all these damned kids with their razor bikes blasting through my neighborhood while I try to limp up to Cumby's, probably for the last time, to buy a single serving sized container of skim milk that'll probably go bad because no one comes to see me anymore." Otherwise, the rest of us who are actually trying to function in this neighborhood are made WHITE FUCKING HOT with anger every SINGLE TIME we have to bring our shitty used cars to a COMPLETELY unnecessary stop halfway up Pine St.

Seriously, is councilman Marshall being courted by lobbyists from brake pad companies? No offense Dave, you're a nice guy and all, and I wouldn't want your job in those chambers, but I fucking hate this sign...A LOT.
Runners up:
-The stop sign on Portland Street by the old Natasha's
-The stop sighn on Congress St near Material Objects that spills out into two one way streets that lead AWAY from Congress.
-5 corners near USM LAW (see #2).

#5: The Portland International JETPORT

I've had the pleasure of seeing all of these United States save for North Dakota, Hawaii and Alaska. I've learned many things about our great nation. One of them is that we're the only city with a fucking JETPORT. Where are the Jestons? While we're at it, let's rename Maine Med "The Sick People Get Better Place" and 95 could be called "The Horseless Carriage Path You Can Go Fast On." Come on folks, let's at least give ourselves a fighting chance to not be the pooerst state in the union.

#6 No Chains Except Dunkin' Donuts, Starbucks and Subway in the Uptown.

Time to make me go nuts! Well, even though I can't go to Urban Outfitters or an Apple Store or an American Apparel (or any number of other chains that would actually attract young people to Portland) I can at least rest assured that I'll be able to go into any of these evil fucking empires and pay top dollar for their shitty food and drink.

Nothing makes me feel more at ease with our City planners than seeing toothless, obese women in floral tank tops order Dunkachinos while I can't buy anything of any relevance to the mass youth culture of America without going to South FUCKING Portland. The chains we have downtown suck, and you've forced the people, who by the way are GOING to go these stores one way or another, to drive off peninsula and make their purchases in the Sopes. Time Lag Records, The Queen of Hats, Empire Dine and Dance, Material Objects, Pom's Thai Taste and myself all thank you for the reduced foot traffic. How long until we get a downtown Applebees?

#7: The Station

Nothing, upon nothing makes me want to go see live music less than a cavernous basement club filled with pool tables and white trash. The bar in this "all ages" venue is a half mile from the "stage" and the "sound system" looks and sounds like a gaggle of random gear bought from dance clubs in Old Orchard Beach that closed down. The staff is rude, the re-admittance rules are ridiculous, the beer selection is shitty, there's no good sight lines, it sounds like shit, it's in a strip mall and it is ABSOLUTELY the LAST place I would let my children go unattended. You'd be safer delivering them right to a meth lab in Lewiston. I can't tell you how embarrassed I am that with all the great music in this town, the only places we can invite our younger fans to see us is either at a grange hall or in a grimy shit hole that adults shouldn't even go to (see: The Station). I recently went to see Sondre Lerche play at The Station. Immediately after he played, I approached and told him that I couldn;t believe that
a) he played in Portland, ME (thank you! And)
b) that he played at The Station.

Picture zooming about the whole country in your van, going from city to city and arriving in Portland, ME (at a strip mall) where the only things in walking distance are a Dunkin' Donuts, a Sav-A-Lot and the Cumberland County Jail (I know Buckdancer's Choice and The Drum Shop are in that mall, but I'm trying to illustrate a point here.) More often than not, when on tour, you arrive in time for a sound check (roughly 6:00pm) and then spend the next few hours within a small radius of the place you're playing before the show.

Not being familiar with Portland, Sondre probably had no idea that just up the street were a vibrant array of great restaurants, shops and clubs. Instead, he most likely drove away from Portland thinking "That town is a strip mall and a Greyhound Station." Then he goes back to his agent and says "Portland sucks," because not that many people came out to the show (because no one wants to go to The Station as it's completely off regular concertgoers' radar) and it was in a strip mall. The agent then keeps that in mind and when he's routing tours for My Morning Jacket and MGMT, or whomever he also books, he grazes over Portland in the itinerary because in the back of his mind he's thinking "not worth it." Thus, we get even less touring acts through Portland and are left with cover bands and dinosaur acts (see: Blue Oyster Cult) to get our rocks off to.

What would have happened if Sondre had played SPACE Gallery instead? Perhaps more people would have come? Perhaps Sondre would have had fun and come back? Maybe more bands would tour here as a result. Portland needs to get their liquor licensing together such that The Station isn't the only place where you can have an all ages show with beer service. I can't wait for this place to close. When it does, I'll be the first person standing on it's grave, cackling and rolling around on the ground in sheer GLEE!


The following are a list of things I'd love to see removed from Portland forever.
-Cat Dancer
-The Smoothie Place that's trying to live where Green Mountain Coffee used to reign supreme.
-Everyone who isn't eating lunch in Tommy's Park.
-Bull Feeney's
-Gritty's Beer
-The Old Port
-Everyone who goes to UNA when Royal Hammer ISN'T playing.
-St. Patrick's Day
-Old Port Fest
-1:00am last call
-No late night ANYTHING
-New Year's Eve
-That dog art place on Congress
-That bullshit "art" outside of Rosie's that is supposed to look like ocean waves but actually serves as a source of injury for children. Good thing they took away those benches and grass!
-The General Store on Middle St.
-Yoga (not really, I just suck at it.)
-The girl who hits on EVERYONE that walks through the door of the Congo 7-11
-The name and decor of Hot Suppa. The food is so much better than you'd think.
-The Phoenix feeling the need to constantly compare new records and artists by pitting them up against other local artists. It's irrelevant and it doesn't help. We're all just trying to make our way here, ok?
-Guitar Center
-Forest Ave.
-Forest Ave.
-Forest Ave.
-Forest Ave.
-Forest Ave.
-Forest Ave.
-That fucking prick that hangs out with Brendan and tries to make you feel like your band sucks. (no, not Norm, the other guy.)
-The Eastland Park sign that's always broken and reads EATLAND.
-The "Public Transportation System"
-ABC Taxi
-The Stadium
-The lack of poster boards
-White People


Friday, May 29, 2009


I am officially breaking up with both HULU and Gravina.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rain Clouds, A Bottle of Gravina and HULU.

I've always been a night owl, but ever since I started bar tending at Local 188, it's really gone over the edge. Noon is the new 9:00am and dawn is the new bed time. After sharing a few short hours with the people I love after they get out of work, they usually dissolve into PJ mode just after dinner (aka: my lunch) and toddle off to bed. This of course leaves me wide awake and for the most part, friendless for the coming hours.

Fret not. Obviously, one can only cry alone in the basement for so long before finding a way out. Meet my new best friends.

These guys are great. I love Gravina for it's delicious drinkablilty, crisp flavor and low price (under $10 at most every reputable wine dealer, thanks Joe from Portland Food Coma) , and I love HULU because it has countless hours of brain draining skits, TV shows and movies that keep me somewhat current in pop culture references with the rest of the world. Sometimes people like to break in to a chorus of "I'm on a Boat" and were it not for HULU, there would be no nautical themed pashmina afgans for me.

Also were it not for HULU and wine I wouldn't have gone to Taco Town, got Jamie hooked on the new Dr. Who, watched nearly as many Obama addresses, reaffirmed Alec Baldwin as my hero OR been so confused by how Kristina Wiig makes me squirm with laughter and discomfort AND gives me a boner.

So HULU and wine, here's to countless overnight hours of laughs, tears, rediscovered classics and misguided erections!
I need to take a vacation from my problems. Anyone want to go see Star Trek...



Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Spencer and the School Spirit Mafia

Probably seems redundant to write about my own band in my own blog, but holy shit, I love these people. On Memorial Day we got together with my favorite photographer of all time Matt Robbins and took our first ever, all 11 members, group photo. What was amazing is that this shot was achieved in roughly one hour soup to nuts and nobody cried.

There's really something to be said for assembling a Super Group in which everyone is super talented and everyone has an "up for it" attitude. I remember Jamie (the blonde on the left: vocals, trombone, keys AND guitar) asking what she should be looking like, to which I responded "It's your face, do what you want.

I encourage you all to check out all these people's Facebook pages and learn more about them, because each and every one of them are incredibly talented and very special to me.

Megan Jo Wilson
Holly Nunan
John MacLaine
Charles Gagne
Dominic Lavoie
Stu Mahan
Sean Morin
Katherine Albee
Emily Dix Thomas
Jamie Colpoys

All killer, no filler.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Buffalo Wing-tini!

I know I'm more of a music and arts-centric blog, but from time to time something crosses your lips that you simply MUST write about. This little doozy comes to us from our friend Joe Ricchio at Portland Food Coma. It's (very cleverly) called the BUFFALO WING-TINI!!!

Here's Joe's recipe:

3oz Grey Goose Vodka
1/2oz Olive Juice
8 dashes of Frank's Red Hot

Shake over ice and serve straight up with olive and pepper garnish and a wet nap.

Now when Joe told me about this drink and how delicious it was, I had a hard time believing him. After about a half an hour of cajoling, I finally caved and ordered one. Man was I wrong. Joe really knows his drinks, and even though this sounded completely disgusting, it was a real treat for the senses. Thanks Joe for your terrific idea and for convincing me to try something new. THE BUFFALO WING-TINI!!!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ten Portland People To Keep Your Eyes On

Here's a list of ten Portlanders who have either a) been bringing the thunder for years or b) have a storm a brewin.

1) Kyle Gervais

Kyle historically has fronted Cosades, who split, but now fronts Grand Hotel. He works at the mall and lives with his babe of a girlfriend. He, in my opinion, is the best performer in town and to boot, he's a killer dude. He'll even come back to your house the morning after the big party to clean the puke off your front steps. Thanks Kyle!

2) Dominic Lavoie

Fronts Dominic and the Lucid, is an awesome classic rock DJ, has a pug, sings like an angel, smokes a lot of pot and is pretty sure he was abducted by aliens at some point in his life. Dominic would love to listen to a David Bowie record with you. I can't wait to see what he has tucked up in his little flannel wizard's sleeve.

3) Patrick Corrigan

Pat is art. Painting, drawing, sculpting, performing, A renaissance man whose work has and will continue to shape the way Portland looks and feels. We're lucky to have him.

4) Lauren Wayne

Concert promoter, DJ, rager, facilitator of good times, babe. If you've seen a show here by a non local that you loved, she probably made that happen. Lauren nearly single handedly keeps Portland from being totally boring.

5) Ian Paige

Books SPACE Gallery, plays music, does psychedelic drugs, has probably NEVER given anyone the finger. Ian tirelessly seeks out people doing innovative things and gives them an avenue to express themselves, sometimes for profit. How cool is that?

6) John MacLaine

wait for it...

...there it is. John plays trombone, sings, plays percussion, can dissect complex horn and string arrangements by EAR, gardens, has a dog, two fish, a turtle AND works for the government saving the environment. What did YOU do today?

7) Dilly Dilly

Sings, writes songs, remixes jams, tours, plays ukulele, drums, guitar, trumpet and THE FUCKING SAW and she can do it all sober. Check please.

8) Aren Sprinkle

Aren loves The Everly Brothers and Roy Orbison. She writes songs, plays guitar and when she sings, I DARE you not to cry. She is a super positive, super powerful person that is small enough to fit in your pocket.

9) Davis Drown

Paints, drums, sings, uses potty. At his age all I could do was shit my pants.

10) Frank Bishop

Frank is an attorney, writer, foodee, a lover of film and family man. He's well on his way to being Maine's most arts-friendly lawyer. With more people like Frank in the world, we'd have less to fear.


Monday, May 4, 2009

How cool is THIS guy? #1

Initially I kind of had this pipe dream about having a blog that would allow me to rant on and on endlessly about the things around town that drive me fucking nuts. While I still kind of do that to a certain extent, I came to the realization that if I wanted to continue to be able to work in this town or walk down the street without getting my face bashed in or be able to put out a record without it being absolutely slandered in the press, that I'd need to keep the pointed criticism to a minimum.

So I was left with my thoughts (often a scary premise) and decided to listen to my inner hippy and use my energy for something positive. That's why I've decided to start profiling people about town that I admire. These are people that are constantly holding it down, doing their own thing and AREN'T dicks. By dick of course I would mean people like that shit show of a human being Norm Jabar (Jafar? Who knows, who cares, he's a dick) who owns The Downtown Lounge and both of the Norm's restaurant locations and is constantly subjecting local goddess Katie Schier and all of his customers to his idiotic rants and shitty loud music. No I will not be focusing on unwanted children like Norm but rather celebrating the coolness of people like...

How cool is THIS guy? #1

Mark Belanger is a musician, a drinker of beer and a maker of glass who is currently collecting unemployment. Does he rock? YES. Is he cool AND nice? YES and YES. Does he know how to abuse government financial relief? YES.

Mark can often be seen walking about town listening to music on his headphones. If you approach Mark, you will be greeted with pleasant, funny, bright and relevant conversation. Mark also fronts a band called PIGBOAT. Guess what they do. THEY ROCK. With what do they rock?


And when he was in high school, he looked like this:

So I ask you, all of you. HOW COOL IS THIS GUY?

Pretty fucking cool, methinks.


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Live long and go fuck yourself.

Am I excited about the new STAR TREK movie? You bet your saggy tits I am. There was once a time that I would not mention this in public. I would hang my head and laugh uncomfortably, much in the same way I would imagine a closeted homosexual would, whilst the jocks took the piss out of my beliefs and feelings in front of all the pretty girls and boys. You know what? The tables have turned my friends.

Now all the jocks that thought they were king shit back in the day find themselves not playing sports so much these days, but watching them. and as for their hottie cheerleader girlfriends/wives. Well...

Best of luck with that.

While you're taking a moment to ponder the last time you actually saw your dick, ponder this. An entire legion of nerds, myself included are going to go to the opening night of this movie, not with this gal,

but rather these gals...

A-Holes: Zip

And by the way, A-Holes, make sure you put enough butter topping on our popcorn when we come through the concession line. We'd hate to have to speak to your manager.

and also...

Assholes, I present...YOUR MOM.

(This is a picture of your mom about to blow my little cousin's best friend. After she made them lunch, in between them playing rounds of Guitar Hero, right before she has to stop to run to the bathroom and take a monster crap because she had "too much Sanka this morning" and not too long before your dad leaves her for one of his "drinking buddies.")

The needs of the many out way the needs of the few...or your mom.