Valentine’s Day

Love is dead

Is there a holiday more fraught with controversy than Valentine’s Day? Sure, Christmas gets its share of hullabaloo, what with that whole “War on Christmas” fallacy. Columbus Day is also met with widespread disapproval in many circles, given that, along with being a pretty mediocre explorer, Christopher Columbus was also responsible for the decimation of a goodly portion of the indigenous people he encountered during his travels.

However, it seems no holiday earns as many eye rolls and claims of it being “bullshit” as does the one that is purportedly devoted to love.

I’m not here to debate the merits of this particular holiday (or “holiday,” as the case may be), but whether you’re in love or out of luck, entertainment awaits, all in the name of—or possibly in spite of—Cupid and those arrows of his.

The first item on the V-Day roster is an event that has apparently become a yearly tradition. I speak, of course, of the Valentine’s Day Pop Punk Covers show at Make.Shift. The premise is pretty much summed up by the event’s title: local musicians form short-lived bands for the purpose of playing sets of songs by their favorite pop-punk artists. During its first year, the show seemed sort of like a harebrained whim that had the potential to dissolve into utter chaos and disorder. But then it happened—and it was pretty awesome. And it happened again last year—and again it was pretty awesome. Cue this year’s show.

This Valentine’s Day, the pop-punk show will be a little different, in that not all of the music will adhere to the strict definition (or any definition, really) of what pop-punk is. But that’s not stopping anyone. On tap to play are members of Rookery, Girl Guts, Palisades, Pan Pan, Keaton Collective, the Dt’s, Totalizer, and many, many more). And they’ll be playing songs by Green Day, Hole, Weezer, the Pixies, Black Flag, Bruce Springsteen (like I said, the definition of “punk” in this context is a generous one), and others.

As for rules with regard to this gathering, they’re the same as they ever are when it comes to all-ages shows at Make.Shift or anywhere else—“no drankin’, smokin’ or druggin’”—with a couple of notable exceptions: “Rule number one: be here or die” and “Rule number two: No PDA. Love is dead.” Happy Valentine’s Day, indeed.

But Make.Shift isn’t the only place getting in on the cover-songs action. Mere blocks away, the Temple Bar will give them a run for their money with a cover show of its own. It should be noted, however, that this one is not all-ages, nor is it punk-themed, but the idea for the show is inspired nonetheless. If you’re unfamiliar with the Magnetic Fields’ and their 1999 three-volume concept album titled 69 Love Songs, first of all, go get yourself a copy because it’s amazing. But even if you choose not to take that advice, feel free to follow this directive: Get yourself to the Temple Bar at 8pm on Valentine’s Day and you will be treated to a musical ensemble comprised of Will Canepa, Anna Arvan, Andy Piper, Wes Davis, Jon Sampson, Cassidy and Amanda Bloom, and more. This accomplished group of local musicians will play 15 or so songs they’ve carefully culled from the Fields’ 69, and you can quaff Valentine’s Day-themed drink specials while they work hard to entertain you. As the Temple Bar is one of the more romantic locales in town, presumably they’re not placing a moratorium on PDA, but you might want to keep the makeouts to a minimum so as not to distract from the show.

These are not the only Valentine’s Day-related events happening in Bellingham, however. The Blue Horse Gallery is hosting a Singles Salsa Soiree, Boundary Bay will provide you with a special love-themed menu and tableside music should you choose to get romantic there, Rattletrap Ruckus is bringing in belly dancer Mardi Love for its Valentine’s Day show at the Redlight, and the Shakedown will be the site of the gathering of the Valentine’s Day Lonely Hearts Club—hosted by DJ Idlhnds—for all those sexy singles with a need to get down.

With all this Valentine’s Day action happening everywhere, this is one holiday (or “holiday”) that could be tough to avoid. Maybe love is alive and kicking after all.

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