I know this year hasn’t been a great one for most people. From conversations in person with folks about lost ones to swiping past other’s concerns for our country’s uncertainty on my handheld device, one things for sure, people are looking towards some fresh perspective at the turn of the New Year. I won’t disagree, but I’m also trying to give thanks and appreciate what has been good. With Thanksgiving upon us, I’d like to give some thanks...
I’m thankful I got to meet Brian Wilson this year. I’m not sure he’ll remember his time with me, or if he knew I was even there but I’ll always cherish those 14 seconds.
I’m thankful that the Maine Academy of Modern Music (MAMM) and Maine Youth Rock Orchestra (MYRO) are leading the way for helping young people enjoy, learn and grow with music. As we sadly see the arts slowly disappear from schools, we need to continue putting instruments in kids hands and opening our stages and studios to them. We all win when the appreciation of art is installed in a young person’s heart and soul.
I’m always thankful for Bull Moose. In a world where cities with millions of people can’t keep a single record store open, we have an entire chain in Maine (that extends into New Hampshire). I’d be lost if I didn’t have that store to go into... at least twice a week.
I’m thankful for Tommy C at WBLM. Radio is in a good place every time he’s on the air.
I’m thankful the live music scene continues to grow in Portland. With a successful year and a half under its belt at the Portland House of Music and Events, with the promise of an amazing new venue at the old Asylum starting next year, with the two outdoor venues Thompson Point and the Maine State Pier really kicking into full gear this year, with Empire giving smaller bands a decent place to play, with Geno’s luckily not changing a damn thing and continuing to be legendary, with Blue and One Longfellow continuing to offer a great place for singer songwriters/blues/folk and Americana artists, with Bayside Bowl still adding some fun to “rolling,” this city sounds great eight days a week.
I’m thankful people are getting the chance to see live music outside of town. Locations like Champions in Biddeford, Frontier in Brunswick and Live @ 212 in Westbrook allow people to enjoy music in other towns, not just Portland.
I’m thankful Space Gallery shows music documentaries.
I’m thankful the Nickelodeon and Cinemagic shows music documentaries and music related movies.
I’m thankful to come across street guitar god Rick Marr at least once a week in my travels. From the west side to the east side, from Commercial Street to Forest Ave, Rick still shreds and we still win!
I’m thankful Twisted Roots hasn’t officially called it quits.
I’m thankful Gateway Mastering still opens its doors to local artists to get their music mastered in the same studios the biggest acts in the world have their albums mastered.
I’m thankful the Civic Center is bringing in more concerts. They might not always be my type of shows, but arena shows are important. We need to be “wow’d” every now and then by some big production. We need bigger acts to keep coming here, keeping Maine on their map. We need kids and younger musicians to get that thrill of what’s possible. Life would suck if all shows were in small venues. Balance is good. The opportunity of a bigger experience is good.
I’m thankful Chris Mouton (formerly of Cambiata) is making music again with a new band, Beggars.
I’m thankful Bruce Merson is on the drums.
I’m thankful I got to see David Bowie at least once in concert.
I’m thankful I got to see Phife Dawg in concert at least once with A Tribe Called Quest.
I’m thankful for what Prince did with music.
I’m thankful for Glenn Frey’s music with the Eagles.
I’m thankful for the voice, the music and the outfits of Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire.
I’m thankful for The Legends (WWSF) radio station in Sanford. Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, Stevie Wonder, Bread, The Rascals, Peter & Gordon, Tom Jones, Barbara Lewis, The Box Tops and America in the same hour? Yes please. “Bill O’Neil’s Forgotten 45’s” on Sundays?
Please and thank you!
I’m thankful the godfather of the music scene, Al Hawkes is still playing music and continuing to influence a new generation of musicians and local fans.
I’m thankful for the Fogcutters.
I’m thankful I got to talk with Sean Lennon about the Melvins and about how cool Portland, Maine is.
I’m still thankful for the Beatles. And probably will be for a little while longer.
I’m thankful I had to go to the bathroom last time I was at Mike’s Music in Sanford or else I never would have found that sweet pressing of Chuck Berry’s “One Dozen Berry’s” album in the rack by the window. Sometimes, not many, but sometimes it pays to get older and drink a lot of water!
I’m thankful to be able to write about “Music and Stuff” here each week. Sometimes, “stuff” might refer to bladder concerns.
Mark Curdo is the director of lifestyle & entertainment branding for Shipyard Brewing Company and longtime host of the Spinout radio show now on Sunday nights from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on 94.3 WCYY.