• The HOUSE OF FIRE may have gone up in smoke, but JACOB AUGUSTINE has emerged unscathed. The bearded balladeer has been busy prepping three records for release this fall, and although we would have been pleased to see a return to the haunted sound he lit the match with, we previewed the new material at Augustine's SoundCloud page, and it's pretty dazzling stuff. The man's songs work equally well in a bunch of styles — from dark disco ("Generation") to early American gospel ("Waco") — and it's good to see tape finally laid to live tearjerkers like "Coyote" and "Asthma." Musical personalities like Jacob's rarely get this kind of attention — and to think, he doesn't even play party rock! Look for The Original Love, Frontier (which features members of the HoF), and the EP Goldyhymns, recorded live at Mayo Street Arts, in October.
• The GREEN LOVE FESTIVAL, the second of three such summer fests at Harry Brown's Farm in Starks, opens next Friday. Of course, dozens of interchangeable jam bands are lined up to play (ahem, "we are a Grateful Dead 'cover' band as opposed to a 'tribute' band..."), along with some compelling notables from other genres: rap group EDUCATED ADVOCATES, Middle Eastern composition folkers OKBARI, and TAINA ASILI Y LA BANDE REBELDE, an outspoken Afro-Caribbean group that is probably the Festival's biggest draw. Not that music is the point, really. Harry Brown's Farm has been the site of marijuana-reform benefits for 21 years now, and in light of the finally passed Maine Medical Marijuana Act and the numerous subsequent obstacles blocking the opening of local dispensaries, concert goers have more reasons than just music to get fired up.
• We'll close with some news from KURT BAKER. The former Leftover (that sounds like an insult, but it isn't) has finished recording his latest dish, titled Rockin' For a Living, and hopes to bring LP copies with him on European tour this fall. Baker's got the posi-mod-punk thing down to a science, but we're intrigued by the rumored inclusion of his song "The Problem," a barb that takes aim at local musician SPENCER ALBEE. We're not taking sides (yet?), but the prospect of the local music scene getting a dose of critical debate has us tickled. Clash of the Titans, indeed!
: New England Music News
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