This is the week of Saint Patrick’s Day, although the date itself—March 17—comes freighted this year with some rather uncelebratory current-events baggage. Every day’s a holiday somewhere, though: a day earlier and it would have been St. Urho’s day feeling like the world was turning on it. A day later, March 18, and it would have been the start of the Jewish holiday Purim. Also Spacewalk Day, National Lacy Oatmeal Cookie Day, the birthday of Poppin Fresh the Pillsbury Doughboy (he’s 42 this year!) and the anniversary of the first electric shaver for sale (1931).
War or no war, though, this year or any other there’s no getting between the full-blooded Irish, the indeterminately Irish and the I’m-not-an-Irishman-but-I-play-one-on-St.-Patrick’s-Day set and their patron saint on his special day. Note that nobody observes the feast day of the Pillsbury Doughboy by dancing on tables and swapping spit with anyone wearing a pair of green antennae. Besides, if you’ve seen Michael Moore’s The Big One, you know that Poppin Fresh got something like $11 million in corporate welfare money to start hawking his tubes of triple-bleached goo in South America. Screw him.
March 17 is shamrock central in Missoula, too, but if you want to hoist a couple with Montana’s finest Irish band you’ll have to adjust your schedule somewhat to do so this Friday. Dublin Gulch have other arrangements for St. Patrick’s Day proper: playing closer to home in their native Butte, the once and future heart of Irishdom in the Treasure State. As of this writing, the quartet are on the very eve of releasing a new live album recorded last June at the Toadstone Theatre in Helena. Although Gulcher Tom Powers informed us via e-mail that members are hoping against hope to have the finished product in hand when they come to Missoula this week, he was nice enough to arrange for the recording engineer to send a raw disc in advance, with liner notes supplied in a separate attachment.
Even if it’s late in coming to Missoula, the live record, Every Day Above Ground Is a Good One, is well worth your wait. That’s one of the great things about live albums as they pertain to live bands: When you like one, you pretty much know you’re going to like the other.
Dublin Gulch reels off the drinking hits Friday, March 14, at the Blue Heron. Tickets are $10 and the proceeds go, if I understand this correctly, to buying a new floor-mat so that local Irish dancers won’t keep getting shin-splints. I’m not even kidding.