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CHRISTOPHER GRAY

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Winged migration

Brown Bird and South China fracture and cohere
Since their start in the middle of the decade, Brown Bird have been one of the region's go-to chamber-folk outfits, with a couple of dark and stormy albums earning them a following in various nooks of New England. The release of their latest album, The Devil Dancing , feels like both an ending and a new beginning.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  December 02, 2009

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It takes a village

... and a compilation album/photobook to raise a self-sustaining indie scene
Treble Treble , a new 15-page photobook and 10-artist compilation album curated by local musician and budding photographer Joshua Loring, is the first concerted effort to market Portland's indie music scene.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  November 24, 2009

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No sleep ’til Brooklyn

Maine ties to Slumberland Records’ 20th anniversary weekend
There’s a lot to love about Slumberland Records, the DC-born, Oakland-based label that celebrated its 20th anniversary last weekend with sold-out shows in Washington, DC, and Brooklyn.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  November 18, 2009

Brown Bird in Williamsburg

Road Trip
Along with other Mainers in Brooklyn this weekend playing at the Slumberland Records 20th anniversary celebration, Maine/Rhode Island chamber-folk standouts Brown Bird were also in the borough, playing the narrow Williamsburg bar Spike Hill Sunday night.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  November 18, 2009

Ye + Haru Bangs + Batshelter

Music Seen
Who was the least idiosyncratic band at Bubba’s last Thursday? Maybe the (not breaking up, but going on academic hiatus) duo Haru Bangs, who were the only act in plainclothes, but who also unfurled dynamic, punishingly loud fits of drum and effects-mauled guitar which will either strike you as utterly alienating or as novel, dizzying bits of well-composed chaos?
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  November 04, 2009

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Rolling stoned

Jonathan Lethem’s freewheeling Chronic City
Every new gambit is just another log on the roaring bonfire of Jonathan Lethem's eighth novel.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  November 04, 2009



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Deal with It

Revisiting the nightmares of a four-hour, made-for-TV Stephen King miniseries
When I was seven, I had a winter coat with flashes of neon so bright they glowed in the dark.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  October 28, 2009

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Prodding the free market

 The Yes Men’s irreverent crisis of conscience
Yes Man Mike Bonanno on the most fun aspect of co-directing the new documentary, The Yes Men Fix the World: “climbing into an abandoned flooded quarry in a business suit with 30 pounds of rocks in the pockets to combat buoyancy for the underwater scenes.”
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  October 21, 2009

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Annie in Wonderland

St. Vincent gives an otherworldly performance on Actor
There wasn't much to know about St. Vincent when I first happened upon her in concert, in the middle of July 2007.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  October 21, 2009

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Americana: land of progress

Califone’s peerless take on the future of roots-rock
You can listen to 30 seconds of any Califone song and get a fair idea of what the band is all about.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  October 14, 2009

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Going for 'Distance'

From the Dumpster to the Gallery
To get an idea of the remarkable sprawl of supplies, clutter, and chaos involved in SPACE Gallery's forthcoming exhibit by Swoon and guest collaborators, "Distance Don't Matter," there are two good places to look: the gallery itself, and SPACE Executive Director Nat May's Facebook page.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  October 14, 2009



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Behind the (local) music

A new show shines a light in the recording studio
“Working in a studio for so many years, we get to work closely with musicians when they are at their most creative — and most vulnerable,” says Marc Bartholomew, audio engineer and co-runner of Hanover Street’s Acadia Recording Company.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  October 07, 2009

Music Seen: Sufjan Stevens + Marie Stella

Port City Music Hall, October 2 | SPACE Gallery, September 29
The ironic thing about Sufjan Stevens's belated debut in Portland was that a big show for this town is an intimate event for him.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  October 07, 2009

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Politics on the ground

AJ Schnack opens the Camden International Film Festival with Convention
Convention , the opening-night feature at the fifth annual Camden International Film Festival, is a logistical triumph that chronicles a logistical triumph. AJ Schnack, the director of the Kurt Cobain documentary About a Son, organized a group of nine filmmakers to capture the breadth of the August 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  September 23, 2009

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Take the fifth

The Camden International Film Festival hits a half-decade, with momentum building
Among the issues you'll see tackled at the Camden International Film Festival this year are poverty, overfishing, peak oil, and the plight (and/or) ambition of children who grow up too quickly.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  September 23, 2009

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Stars aligned

Cult heroes and superstars dot the region's fall concert calendar
The days are growing shorter, the magazines are (well, barely) getting larger and meatier, and the first batch of cider doughnuts is on the way real soon: all sure signs of autumn, as is the bountiful crop of prestigious concerts coming our way this season.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  September 16, 2009



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Glorious bastards

Deerhunter's path from divisive buzz band to indie royalty
Few bands could serve as a better case study on the influence of Internet hype on mainstream media and popular acceptance than Deerhunter. Before the band "broke" in early 2007, to a glowing Pitchfork review of their album Cryptograms , the Atlanta four-piece were virtual unknowns nationally.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  September 02, 2009

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Rock of wages

Huak intertwine politics, sentiment, and decades of influences
Huak are the rare local band who, in the two-plus years they've been playing regular gigs, sound bolder and more self-possessed every time you see them.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  August 26, 2009

matt and kim list

Branding Bangor

It's Maine's first large-scale indie music festival
If a big-league indie pop festival falls in Bangor, will anyone hear it?
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  August 12, 2009

Music Seen: Neko Case + Haru Bangs

Neko Case and Haru Bangs last weekend
First things first: Neko Case is the complete package, an unmitigated bombshell (gorgeous, wry, self-effacing) with a singular artistic vision (country/folk songs so heavy on metaphor and animistic and obscure mythological references that you could — and should — unpack them for months) and a voice like an air-raid siren.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  August 12, 2009

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Shoot the piano player

Robert Stillman returns with Master Box
Robert Stillman's music is like an anachronistic, sepia-toned spin on the fanciful film scores of Jon Brion (Punch-Drunk Love, I Heart Huckabees). Both make fleet-footed, extremely visual piano songs with trotting melodies, a natural fit for an old silent short.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  July 22, 2009


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