Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Stuff to do today....

Don't forget to tune in to the Tower of Song interview today at 4 pm on WMPG's Liberation of Sound.

At 7 pm, roll down the Sylvia Kania Gallery for a "Creative Economy Mixer".

Then at 9 pm, you can head over to Slainte to see Lady Lamb the Beekeeper play live with Jesse Pilgrim (hopefully, he has a few copies left of his awesome Pecos Bill is Dead EP).

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Big Blood falls for a thousand years....

A must see show is taking place at the Meg Perry Center tonight featuring Big Blood, Uke of Spaces Corners, and Attar Cups. Big Blood is the phantom four-piece comprised of Caleb Mulkerin and Colleen Kinsella (also of Fire on Fire) and their alter egos Rose Philistine and Asian Mae. Their music belongs to an alternate history of hypnotic Americana, and is truly deserving of the ultimate one-word critical analysis: "Timeless"

They recently played a few songs for 106.1 fm Portsmouth Community Radio, one of which you can listen to hear. Go. Listen. Now.

Now imagine that incredible music filling up the streets of Portland as we finally shed our winter scales and welcome the warmth of Spring. You won't have to imagine for long, because Big Blood is Tower of Song's next guest performer. As always, Tower of Song takes place over Congress Square during the first Friday of the month (in this case, April 3rd) from 5 to 8 pm. This month we will also be joined by Adriana Stimola (our first out-of-state performer!) and usual suspects Johnny Fountain and Lady Lamb the Beekeeper.

In other exciting Tower of Song news, Johnny, Alicia, and I will be appearing on WMPG for an interview about the project. The show is Liberation by Sound and we'll go on at 4 pm this coming Tuesday, March 31st. We'll also be playing a few songs by Tower of Song performers, past/present/future. So, stay tuned for that. Hopefully, we'll have even more big news concerning Tower of Song after April 6th, when the Portland City Council convenes to vote on a matter of great importance...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Anna's Ghost @ Empire Dine & Dance 3.24.09

Eternal Otter Records is happy to announce the newest band to join its roster- Anna's Ghost. Founded by Gabrielle Raymond and Ian Riley in the twilight months of 2006, the duo released a self-titled EP of chain-rattling, storm-churning folk that the Portland Phoenix named one of the best EP's of 2007.

However, that was only the beginning for Anna's Ghost, as they now stalk this realm as a doom cabaret four-piece. On Tuesday, they brought the haunting sounds of revolution to the Empire. Ian led their forward march as if he was the military drummer for an undead army. Jake Pike soldiered beside him on bass. Chris Moulton, famed of the Cambiata, let loose on his guitar like it was a gatling gun. At the heart of this maelstrom stood Gabrielle's bellowing lungs and plaintive melodies.

Taking a step back from my more visceral similes, Anna's Ghost walks in the same tradition as those dark masters of the 80s that managed to find common ground between fear and pop- Joy Division, The Cure, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. However, the sound has been refined and made more organic by drawing on the influences of Neutral Milk Hotel and the wave of fractured indie-folk that followed in the wake of In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. Whereas Joy Division's gloom seemed to come from the Industrial despair of a city choking on its own dying factories, the sound of Anna's Ghost appears rooted in Maine's ever lurking wilderness, buried beneath a catacomb of ice. Perhaps for that reason, their songs also offer a greater sense of redemption. I have more faith in Spring than an economic stimulus package any day.

Anyway, you'll soon have an opportunity to hear Anna's Ghost for yourself as Eternal Otter Record's will be releasing their first full-length sometime this Spring. It's going to be great. I should know, I've been listening to it non-stop for the last 3 days.

In the meantime, you can still order a copy of their EP here.

"I walk the hills until they bleed into the sky/ and the trees are monster shadows in my mind/ My legs grow weary from never getting tired/ the cold is here, it's creeping in our eyes."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Live on the Red Telephone #8: Chriss Sutherland

I took in a trilogy of Chriss Sutherland performances last weekend- first at his CD release show for Worried Love at SPACE, then at Buoy- Kittery's cool new DIY (+BYOB) venue, and finally at the 106.1 fm Portsmouth Community Radio studio for a live performance on my show, The Red Telephone. The song selection changed considerably from each night, from his guest-heavy performance at SPACE, featuring his band mates from Fire on Fire and flamenco dancers to the stripped down affair that took place at Buoy.

For the Red Telephone show, Chriss played a number of songs from his first solo album, Me in a "field", as well as great covers by two legendary songwriters (one global, one local)- first Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released" and then Big Blood's "Pretenders" aka "Oh County (Skin & Bones)". He also played one of my favorite songs from Worried Love, "My Mind Blues III", which you can listen to here.

Chriss continues his east coast tour through early April. We wish him well and look forward to his return to Maine!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Chriss Sutherland CD release show

Chriss Sutherland has his CD release party at SPACE tonight for his brilliant new album, Worried Love. His debut solo album, Me in a "field", was one of my favorite releases from last year. This new set of songs moves away from his more straight-forward folk to embrace a more sprawling brand of idiosyncratic rock, and finds room to continue to explore his love of spanish words and music.

Chriss is also one of the founding member of the legendary Cerberus Shoal, who later rose from the ashes as Fire on Fire. I first heard Cerberus Shoal's epic "Ding" before I even moved to Maine via Alicia via New Jersey's WFMU. The sound was absolutely otherworldly, and it wasn't until I was packing up to move to Portland that I checked the liner notes and realized the band was from Maine. Of course, by that point they had already mutated into Fire on Fire- who released last year's best album, The Orchard.

So, Chriss is largely responsible for some of the greatest music I have ever heard, and you shouldn't miss this CD release show. But, if you do, I'm extremely happy to announce that you can catch him live on The Red Telephone. This show, hosted by Alicia and me, is from 10 am to noon this Sunday on Portsmouth Community Radio 106.1 fm. Chriss will go on at 11. You can listen live here.

Portland's excellent Peapod Recordings is responsible for releasing Worried Love.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Handsome Animals - Lady Lamb the Beekeeper Live @ SPACE 3.13

After taking a little break from playing live (with the exception of Tower of Song and a few guest appearances), Aly + TJ of Lady Lamb the Beekeeper returned on Friday the 13th for what might have been their best show to date. It was a good crowd at SPACE gallery, and Montreal-based band Shapes & Sizes got us sufficiently warmed up for the face melting, heart tugging music to come. The already climatic drumbeat stomp of former show closer "Penny Licks" provided the groundwork for a re-imagining of "The Nothing" - a deep cut from the self-released debut, The Tingly Circus. They then somehow managed to top themselves with a new song named for their miniature deer- "You're Turning Violet Clementine". It ended in sort of a gender-reversed White Stripes rock out with TJ pounding away at the drums while Aly shredded on the banjo.

This is the best band in Portland, and one of the best currently walking the earth. And don't take my word for it. Check out this post at the Pine Haven Collective. Or see Aly + TJ take the stage at the Port City Music Hall for the Portland Phoenix Best of 2009 Award Show on April 15th.

And, if you haven't already, head over to iTunes and get their album "Samples for Handsome Animals".

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tower of Song 3.6.09

Check out this video of Phantom Buffalo playing at Tower of Song last Friday:

Also, head on over to Hilly Town to take a look at Bryan's great photos from the show.

Stay tuned for lots more Tower of Song news over the next couple of weeks!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Tower of Song Tonight!

Tower of Song is Tonight. The show starts around 6 (or a little earlier) and goes until 8 pm. Just stroll on down to Congress Square and you are sure to hear it. Phantom Buffalo will be joining Johnny Fountain & The Manes, and Lady Lamb the Beekeeper for this month's line-up.

There is also a nice write up about January's Tower of Song in arthur magazine. Also check out the great photos from that month.

Finally, don't forget to vote at the Portland Phoenix for Tower of Song as the Best Public Event. VOTE HERE.

More Johnny Cash Night Photos

Check out Photos of all the musicians that performed at SPACE's Johnny Cash Tribute Night. The blog is called "Have Faith in Worthless Knowledge" and is a must read for learning about all the cool stuff that goes on at SPACE. They also recently started a LIVE MP3 series, currently featuring a track by Phantom Buffalo- this month's Tower of Song guest performer!


Say My Name Video

Check Out This Rehearsal Footage for the "Say My Name" cover featuring Aly Spaltro (Lady Lamb the Beekeeper), Sontiago, and dilly dilly.