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The Baltic Sea craft a crisp dystopia

Minding every Period
It's been nearly three years since the Baltic Sea's phenomenal debut, Through Scenic Heights and Days Regrets , but when you're making music like this, I can see how it might take a while to build a second edifice.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  July 27, 2011


A local covers album that doesn't focus on the hits

Ambassador Beam
Hopefully, the awesomeness that was Beautiful Locals hasn't slipped from the Portland consciousness yet.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  July 20, 2011


Getting Celtic on the coast

Fiddle me this
Ask Randy Labbe what Celtic music sounds like and you're likely to get a fair amount of hemming and hawing.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  July 20, 2011


Enjoy getting pantsed by Tricky Britches

Fighting the good fight
Most often, I think, whatever "chemistry" is results from a band playing together like their lives depended on it.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  July 13, 2011


Erica Brown is more than a pretty girl with a fiddle

Bluegrass connections
Just hitting the backside of her mid-twenties and already coming up on two decades into her career as a fiddle/violin player and singer here in Maine and beyond, Erica Brown is one of the youngest true veterans on the circuit you're likely to find.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  July 06, 2011


Pinsky win by Losing Touch

Get up, kids
Pinsky don't seem to be in any kind of hurry. Roughly three years following their first EP, the intriguing Two for the Road (with a two-song release mixed in last year), the four-piece are ready with a debut full-length on Sinking Ship Records.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 29, 2011


Giving intelligence to simpletons, fools, and Idiots

Going Nuclear
There are a few reasons not to get overly excited about the debut release from Nuclear Boots.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 22, 2011


Packing iron with Yellow Roman Candles

Slow burn
For a band with such a fiery name, Yellow Roman Candles don't exactly blast from the speakers; nor are they likely to be your Fourth of July party-down accompaniment.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 22, 2011


Brzowski will Sleep when he's dead

Too old to die young
What you need to know about Brzowski in a nutshell: Not only does he understand that "myriad" is an adjective, and not a noun requiring a preposition, but he mines the Upanishads for samples.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 15, 2011


The good Doctor is in (and out, and in ...)

Space invader
Let's just allow that Doctor Astronaut is a digital maestro, an enjoyable and entertaining wordsmith, a progressive barrier crasher.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 08, 2011


Richard Nelson's big deal

In cool Pursuit
While it's seemingly becoming commonplace for one musician to play 13 different parts or instruments on a studio album, it's getting pretty rare to hear an album featuring 13 musicians all playing at the same time.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 08, 2011


Dead Season give in on The Negative NUMBers

Killing me softly
What's that Neil Young said about castles burning? "Don't let it bring you down?" Someone ought to tell Dead Season. The band previously known for keeping a stiff upper lip through trying times have, on their new EP, given in to a little wallowing.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 01, 2011


Putnam Smith laments, We Could Be Beekeepers

Back in black (and yellow)
Reviewing his sophomore full-length, Goldrush , I accused Putnam Smith of wishing it were 1909 instead of 2009.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 01, 2011


Feeling bad with Good Kids Sprouting Horns

Animal instincts
We have a natural inclination toward harmony. We look for patterns and symmetry and create narratives out of coincidences.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 25, 2011


Paranoid Social Club really are out to get you

Club-house rules
Hopefully by now you've heard the first single from Paranoid Social Club's new Axis IV , "Count on Me," and you don't need a whole lot of convincing that this is the record you'll be listening to all summer.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 18, 2011


Frank Hopkins finds an inner peace (and jam)

After three albums of stern lecture, it would seem that Frank Hopkins and his Line of Force have decided to just roll with the punches and turn out a nice dance jam.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 12, 2011


This Way's new tack for album number two

No, actually, This Way
Theoretically, Goodbye Forever is This Way's sophomore album, but you'd have a hard time identifying this as the same crew that produced 2008's We Could All Make History .
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 12, 2011


Steve Martin to give Portland the Bird

Steep and deep
Things that are important to understand going into Steve Martin's bluegrass performance, backed by the Steep Canyon Rangers, at Merrill Auditorium: 1) The music is dead serious. 2) So is the comedy.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 12, 2011


Moving out

88 keys, 2 songwriters, 1 grand plan
At the heart of the cover-band craze that's recently swept Portland is a very simple concept: musicians getting paid.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 04, 2011


Getting down and dirty with Joe Walsh

Mole hunting
Seeing Joe Walsh for the first time, down with Jerks of Grass in some of the final days of the Bramhall Pub, he was immediately "the Android".
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 04, 2011


Sparks fly on Worst Thing I've Been Cursed With

Rescue me
If there were those who thought Sparks the Rescue got a little too saccharine on their label debut, Eyes to the Sun , they may be somewhat mollified by the brand-new Worst Thing I've Been Cursed With .
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  April 27, 2011

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