Fun with mirrors

Wax Tablet
By PORTLAND PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  February 15, 2012

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• The dark lounge band JOHNNY CREMAINS are putting the final touches on their first full-length, tentatively titled Leave It To Believers. Since forming in 2007, the band have often been relegated to side-project status — members pull from some of the most prolific heavy bands in town — so the forthcoming album might indicate that the project is getting more focus. Despite the affiliations, Cremains aren't a metal band at all, instead fusing elements of doo-wop, extravagant piano balladry, early rock and roll, and '60s pop into a loud and Bunglish stew. Those who caught them at Geno's a couple weeks ago got a taste of the band's uniquely modern complexities, and those who stuck around were given a glimpse of their fluency of genre: Cremains closed the night with an encore version of Cock Sparrer's English punk anthem "Out On An Island," joined on stage by ex-Business bassist Lol Proctor.

• As the pool of contemporary folk music fills ever up to its brim, the folks at ONE LONGFELLOW SQUARE are offering a chance to plunge into its early depths. The newly anointed nonprofit launched a series titled MOVIE MUSIC MONDAYS this month, screening blues and folk revival documentaries and concerts from the '60s and '70s. OLS shows a new film the first Monday of every month — they debuted with Devil Got My Woman, a revisit of Howlin' Wolf, Son House, Bukka White, and other bluesmen February 6, and follow it up March 5 with Festival Express, a rock-psychedelia throwback with performances by Janis Joplin, the Band, Buddy Guy, and the Grateful Dead. Sure, a lot of like material (particularly the Dead stuff) can be tracked down on YouTube, but music is nothing if not a social event, and One Longfellow gets that better than your living room ever could. All films start at 7 pm; check onelongfellowsquare.com for the full season.

• Pleased to report that local musician JEFF BEAM reached his Kickstarter goal of $1500 this week, ensuring the release of his fifth studio album, Be Your Own Mirror, in April. We were fearing that the 24-year-old Beam, who's released an album a year since he was 19, would let his solo work play second fiddle to the Milkman's Union when he joined them as a bassist last fall. Be Your Own Mirror, which Beam recorded and mixed himself and plans to press onto CD with local production company Crooked Cove, should convince fans that the man himself is here to stay. One of the most inclusive and experimental local musicians working within pop formats, a Beam breakout would be timed perfectly with the Milkman's Union recent surge, and could form a local foundation for a pretty excellent tour.

  Topics: New England Music News , Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, Buddy Guy,  More more >
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