OK, let’s talk about Valentine’s Day — or its related music, to be exact. Here’s a list I came up with of some of the finest that Feb. 14 has to offer:

Three different songs, all called “Valentine,” by The Old 97’s, The Replacements and Concrete Blonde.

Tim Buckley’s “Valentine Melody” and Tom Waits’ “Blue Valentine.”

And of course, there’s “My Funny Valentine” (which is not actually about the holiday, but just go with it). According to Wikipedia, it’s been recorded more than 600 times.

While I barely scratched the surface of all that’s out there, here are my suggestions for the superior renditions: Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Shirley Horn, Sarah Vaughan, Elvis Costello, Over the Rhine, Wynton Marsalis, Frank Sinatra and Nico.

So toss back some Sweethearts Conversation Hearts (40 calories per eight), blow a smooch someone’s way and take your sweetheart, your wingman, your nerdy cousin, your BFF or even just yourself out for one of several shows happening this week. 

Local music history will be made Friday night at the Big Easy, where Headstart will be recording a live album. Headstart (www.myspace.com/headstart) has been on the scene for seven years and has put out two EPs and three full-lengths of solid and exciting pop rock. Listen to “Don’t You Dare” or any number of other songs, and dare to disagree. Bring your ID and your best roar-of-the-crowd voice.

Headstart: Live Album Recording with DivKid. 9 p.m. Friday. The Big Easy, 55 Market St., Portland. Ages 21 and older. $5 at the door. 

A group of crows is a “murder,” a group of owls is a “parliament” and a group of cheetahs is a “coalition.” But what does one call a stupendous gathering of DJs and visual artists from here and away who will be entertaining the masses Saturday night at Asylum? I’ve got it! A “coolision”! Not bad, not bad at all. It will be a booty-shaking, sweat-inducing, trance-conducive, sensory-seducing scene with two floors of DJs spinning house, breaks and techno, along with visuals.

The night is called “Outbreak: An Infectious Dance Party,” and I’m afraid there’s no anecdote, so prepare for full aural exposure to the likes of Bookum, Huge + Jolo, DJ Fusion, Vitamin J, Moshe & Brzowski, Beatmo and Aphilly8, among other members of the coolision. Visual ecstasy will be injected by VJ Foo, Great Noontide and The Projectionists.

Outbreak: An Infectious Dance Party. 9 p.m. Saturday. Asylum, 121 Center St., Portland. Ages 21 and older. $5 with college ID; $5 in advance; $8 day of show. 

B. Dolan, celebrated Providence emcee of Strange Famous Records glory, has put together a Valentine’s Extravaganza years in the making. It will be a conflux of vaudeville, hip-hop, New Orleans bounce, marching band and, yep, burlesque culture.

On the eve of Valentine’s Day, head to the Church of Love and Ruin, housed for the night at Space Gallery. The merry melee will be hosted by Jamie and Sissy DeWolfe of Oakland, Calif., and Tourettes Without Regrets.

Boston drag queen Ms. Nicholle Pride will be there. DJ Beesknees and Vockah Redu & The Cru (bounce roots: vockahredu.com) from New Orleans will be there. The 16-piece marching band What Cheer? Brigade (www.whatcheerbrigade.com) will be there. Portland’s own Dirty Dishes Burlesque Revue will be there. The only question is, will you be there?

B. Dolan presents: The Church of Love & Ruin featuring What Cheer? Brigade, DJ Beesknees, Vockah Redu & The Cru and Dirty Dishes Burlesque. 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Space Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland. Ages 18 and older. $10 in advance (www.brownpapertickets.com) or Bull Moose Music locations. $12 day of show; $18 for couples at the door. 

Aimsel Ponti is a Portland freelance writer. Contact her at:

[email protected]


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