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Regardless of the cost

Tony McNaboe testifies on sophomore release
If you were concerned that the return of Rustic Overtones would mean the ends of their various side projects, it’s clear now that was a fruitless worry.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  July 22, 2009


Free to be

Hutch Heelan goes solo
Because of Hutch Heelan, I've now heard of EFT, which stands for emotional freedom techniques, and, as far as I can tell, involves tapping on different parts of your body to relieve pain, anxiety, and other bad feelings.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  July 22, 2009

beat list


Shardlow and Goodyear and a brand-new studio
How we think about making and consuming music is changing. It is not news that labels, albums, and record stores are dying, pushed aside by new ways of conducting the commerce of music. (Though at the turn of the 20th century the song was king and the trade was in sheet-music publishing rights, so maybe this is all a return to form, just with new technology.)
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  July 15, 2009

goose list

Shudder to think

Chill out this summer with Goose Bumps, Vol. 3
With the tools available to electronic musicians — software and limitless collaborators available through the Internet — the only limiting agents are ambition and work ethic. Well, talent, too, but that can be as easily wasted as ever if you don’t know how to use the platforms available to you for putting it on display.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  July 08, 2009

carll list

Working on your heart

Carll Wilkinson starts the whole damn thing all over
With the talent we have in this town, just about anybody can put together a decent-sounding album.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  July 01, 2009

closed list

History bites

Bramhall shuttered; Jerks need a new home
Just a few months after the close of its upstairs neighbor, the Roma Cafe, the Bramhall Pub, long an institution in the West End, shut its doors two weeks ago. And while there's talk it may reopen after renovations, one thing is for sure: The 11-plus-year run of Jerks of Grass shows on Thursday nights, the longest-standing weekly gig in Portland, has come to an end.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 24, 2009

sun gods list

Gods of rock

Let the Black Light, White Lines wash over you
SPACE Gallery will be awfully loud Thursday, with the CD release of Sun Gods in Exile's Black Light, White Lines, supported by Ogre and the debut of Murcielago. Last Friday's L'Animaux Tryst showcase and this show are sonic polar opposites on the SPACE spectrum, but good for them for giving some boot-stomping guitar-rock a chance.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 24, 2009

dilly list

In doubt? 'Doo Write'

Dilly dilly sings Of Art and Intention
Dilly dilly was lamenting to me the other day that there's no blueprint for making a living as a musician anymore.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 25, 2009

gypsy list

Finding even better days

Gypsy Tailwind show power and Grace
Gypsy Tailwind have been a slow build. Though Halo Sessions was one of the best local albums of 2008, it seems no one really heard it until 2009, thanks largely to the radio success of "So Lonely," a single whose melancholy bounce was heartbreakingly honest: "I'll tell you a secret: I drank myself to sleep last night."
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 17, 2009


Hot summer nights

Before the solstice hits, four albums drop
If the coming week is indicative of anything, it's that this is going to be one busy summer. Discs have been flooding into the office and there's no end in sight. In an effort to keep up, here's a collection of four reviews for albums being released before summer even officially starts.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 10, 2009

div list

Come on home

Lyle Divinsky croons his way back into town
What's that about the apple and the tree? With college degree in hand, Lyle Divinsky returns to his Portland stomping grounds with a debut CD, Traveling Man , that not only features dad Phil Divinsky's drummer (Marty Joyce), bassist (Peter Masterson), and guitarist (Andy Argondizza) from the ToneKings, but plays in a Motown/R&B sandbox.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 03, 2009

hamilton list

Up in the County

Hamilton's Brokedown Breakdown
Is it bluegrass if it doesn't have a banjo? Or a fiddle, for that matter? Hamilton County, a three-piece acoustic outfit who debut their first CD, Brokedown Breakdown , next week, sure do a good impersonation of a bluegrass band, even if purists might dismiss it on technicalities.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 03, 2009

What are the odds?

Best bets for this year's Best Music Poll
Ten years! When we organized our first Best Music Poll, way back in the day, we could only hope that it would one day wind up the institution it is today, with the annual Portland Music Awards ceremony drawing the best collection of musical talent Maine can produce.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 27, 2009

putnam list

Before the Goldrush

Putnam Smith can't quite find his way home
With a name right out of a Nathaniel Hawthorne novel and hand-pressed CD packaging graced with images of antique farming tools, Putnam Smith does nothing to dispel the notion that he wouldn't mind living in 1809 instead of 2009.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 27, 2009

Was not was

Vik44's shades of white
Portland continues to establish itself as a critical northern outpost of digital music with the release this month of Vik44's Was Never White . As the genre matures and evolves, it's some of the most interesting music to listen to because there are no rules.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 27, 2009

hoeny clouds list

Falling into you

Something old, something new from Honey Clouds
Between Ron Harrity's skills as recording engineer, label guru (Peapod Recordings), and guitarist/sideman, he's racking up an impressive resume (see the accompanying review of the Isobell record for more details), and the new Honey Clouds record just adds to the list.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 20, 2009

isobell list

Put your skirt on

Isobell are a girl with style, grace, and muscle
Portland's aggressive new frontgal can hit all the notes while she hits you in the face.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 20, 2009

leftovers list

Please please me

The Leftovers are ready and eager
For pure output, not many local bands can top the Leftovers, who next week drop their fourth full-length album, Eager to Please , with Oglio/Crappy Records, since 2005's debut, Stop Drop Rock & Roll (and they had an EP before that). And we won't even take away points because "full-length," for them, doesn't quite reach 40 minutes.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 13, 2009

brad list

No man is an island

Two rootsy discs, 20 rootsy players
Anybody who needs to be reminded of the musical talent that swirls around and intermingles throughout our fair city probably doesn't listen to a ton of local music.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 06, 2009


Seeing Sparks

The Fearless release of Eyes to the Sun
Those hardcore fans among you already have much of Eyes to the Sun in your collection. Sparks the Rescue have been selling nine of these 12 songs on a disc they've brought to shows and mailed out from time to time.  
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  April 29, 2009


Rattle your cage

Emilia Dahlin continues to push the envelope
You'll excuse Emilia Dahlin if her first release since the well-received God Machine in 2006 is a six-song EP.
By: SAM PFEIFLE  |  April 22, 2009

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