If you’ve paid any attention to rock music in this town over the past twenty years, you’ve likely encountered the work of Mark Belanger. An illustrious personality, rabid local music supporter, and frontman of heavy groups like Broken Clown and Pigboat, Belanger announced recently that he’s been in treatment for lymphoma over the last few months. To help defray costs, many allies from the local music scene have assembled a four-day festival of rock shows. They’re calling it “Relentless Belanger.” Scheduled at three different clubs (Geno’s, Asylum, and the Big Easy) over the second weekend in August, the shows collect several different eras of Portland heavy music, among them notable reunions by late ’90s rock groups Tripe and Rotors to Rust (Aug 10 at Asylum). Belanger is understandably laying low, but appears to be on the mend (in his announcement he quips, “if you had to pick a cancer to come down with, lymphoma would be one of them”). Register your support at “Relentless Belanger” Aug 8-11. We wish the big man well.
On the subject of rock acts coming back to life, the old Portland doom band Ogre played a reunion show back in September, triggering a domino effect of moves advancing the group’s latest chapter. They’re in the midst of laying down a new album at Portland’s Acadia Recording for release on the Italian metal label Minotauro, while their last record, 2008’s mighty Plague of the Planet, was just lavishly released in limited-edition DVD audio surround sound. The recharged trio thump them out July 26 at Geno’s, with Big Meat Hammer and Murcielago.
The local music scene was stunned last week by news of the passing of Mike Allen, bassist for the rock group Doubting Gravity. The band had been scheduled to play a set at the Spring Point Tavern on Saturday, a show that has now evolved into a memorial service. A by donation affair with DJs, raffles, and a video tribute, the proceeds will go toward Allen’s official memorial service. 8 pm at 175 Pickett St. in South Portland.
: New England Music News
, Mike Allen, Mark Belanger, Ogre, More