It's mid-October and Bowdoin students have found themselves—inexplicably, astonishingly and possibly for the very first time—in the unenviable position of prioritizing which concert venue they'd like to patronize on a Friday night. I mean patronize in one sense of the word when I refer to Port City Music Hall and in the other sense when I refer to Colby College. 

On Friday evening, and no doubt into witching-hour Saturday, both establishments will be alit with the flame only live music can bring. This flame will be punctuated only by the flitting of bearded Portlanders doing their best CBB cat impersonations, and college students acting the part of debonair Portlanders. Neither will succeed, though that hardly matters. 

Never underestimate the spiritual healing power of a concert. Rejoice, driveling hipsters of Bowdoin: a musical renaissance is upon us.

I refer, of course, to We Were Promised Jetpacks’ lamentably pedestrian arrival in Portland and Chance the Rapper's spontaneous decision to tour schools already disappointed by Macklemore. For a city and a college that has booked, in recent memory, Skrillex and Wiz Khalifa, this is indeed a renaissance. 

I leave it up to my readers to decide which brand of diatonic delivery—Scottish braying or frenetic free association—best satisfies their nocturnal needs, though I can offer some advice for students looking to up their indie cred. 

At Port City, order a local brew (or, if underaged, a tonic water, no ice) and whisper a bit too loudly to the Portlanders around you that the only reason you're here is to see the opener, The Twilight Sad. Bonus points if you can work in a joke about Scottish independence, or heckle them with Frightened Rabbit lyrics. At Colby, simply look dour and unapproachable, with a scowl that states—not screams—“I go to Bowdoin.”

Not that we have to nurse our superiority complex for long. After all, Saturday night brings noisy surf-rock poster boy Wavves and his punkish super soaker sound to Morrell Lounge. Time will tell how kindly Maine autumn and 2014 treats his music, though I remain cautiously optimistic, if only because I retain a pinch of nostalgia for the time when musicians added a redundant consonant to their names. 

Between his hyped sophomore effort “Wavvves” and “Afraid of Heights,” the album he apparently released last year, Nathan Williams has amassed an array of tight, catchy tunes about sunshine, alcohol and bikinis. Since Saturday's event will feature, at best, two-thirds of the content of Williams' auditory output, students ought to apply whichever they can get their hands on vigorously. I, for one, will be leaving my Best Coast tanning oil at home.
Pending any unforeseeable disaster, Wavves will be the first fall concert I've attended at Bowdoin, and I intend to enjoy it immensely. In 2011, a failed attempt to change Bowdoin students' narcotic of choice from alcohol to marijuana was thwarted when contract hysterics caused Neon Indian and his chilled out psychadelia to withdraw last minute. Surfer Blood went on in his stead. I am told he is Kreayshawn’s cousin. However, I can't vouch for the veracity of this, for I was at the Cumberland County Civic Center with my father—and possibly the newly outed Deadhead Paul Franco—seeing Furthur, a jam band formed out of the dregs of the Grateful Dead. 

My sophomore year, I was shacked up in Reed House, taking the term “lock-in” much too seriously to bother checking out RJD2. Last year, as my readers surely regretted, I was studying in England and not writing about music. (Instead, I wrote about pasties and saw Godspeed You! Black Emperor).

Usually, fall semester is a much more agreeable time for live music at Bowdoin than its spring sibling. Over the past month, I have seen Future Islands and Sun Kil Moon work magic for their Portland audiences in two very different ways. If I trust the musical taste of a punk legend turned medievalist, I'll be seeing Quintron and Miss Pussycat at the Space Gallery in November. Our tiny music scene, though once a crime scene witnessing the death of Galaxie 500, has never quite bulged like this before. 

Hopefully, the E-Board can bring someone to #Ivies150 who neither graduated from Tufts nor will break the endowment. My suggestions: Hansen (a band only ’90s kids will remember), a newly revitalized Death Grips, The Pizza Underground, a CD playing Robert Pollard's “Relaxation of the Asshole” or GWAR. 

Until then, this weekend will suffice. I'll go to Wavves, and possibly Chance, or perhaps just dance to the new Flying Lotus album. Bowdoin super-senior Tanner Horst, both older than granite and hewn from marble, says it's some “next-level shit.” Either way, the weekend will rock.