Great days ahead

Wax Tablet
By PORTLAND PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  September 26, 2012


• We here at the Tablet can find the nostalgia industry a bit overwhelming sometimes, but now and again an idea comes along that gets it right. Next month, on the steps of the Maine Irish Heritage Center, the local big band revival supergroup The FOGCUTTERS are staging a Portland-centric reimagining of Art Kane's legendary 1957 Esquire photograph "A Great Day in Harlem," with dozens of local artists standing in for the host of legendary jazz musicians in the iconic original. The picture will be recreated and snapped by PORT CITY PHOTOGRAPHY and the print turned into a product — "A Great Day in Portland." Proceeds benefit the MUSIC AND MAGIC MAINE organization, a nonprofit endeavor which provides musical instruments and creative opportunities to Maine youth. Too early to tell who's actually gonna be in the photo (it goes down October 6), but it's another nice feather in the cap for a band who do a ton of good in the music community.

• Dover, New Hampshire, hip hop artist EYENINE scored a gig opening for the RZA on his massive forthcoming tour. The afro'd indie-rapper's last album, 2011's Afraid to Dream, is a showcase of his eclectic style: dense, dark, ferocious rhymes delivered relentlessly over progressive, futuristic beats. RZA's "Iron Fists Tour" hits huge venues nationally, visit for updates.

• The unhinged noise-rock outfit CUSS just recorded an album's worth of material with Mike Rattlesnake at the helm. Previous recordings from this chaotically guitarless band have been lo-fi and high-spontaneity — curious to see how this one turns out.

• The renowned post-folk duo ARBOREA record a new EP this week. They've quietly been built an impressive resume of hazily melodic, nature-inspired records the last seven years, earning acclaim from top-dog sources like MOJO, NPR, and Rolling Stone. Why they're not on the short list of Maine's most talked-about bands we'll never know, but then again, going under the radar is a common side effect of playing music like this. Theirs is the sound of a Maine experience that can easily go overlooked among the in-sound rock and roll bands, Americana throwbacks, and hook-driven pop groups, and we're glad some people are listening. Visit for more info on the upcoming EP.

• If you're anxious for SAMUEL JAMES's release party (And For the Dark Road Ahead is out now; show October 20), here's a fix: check the slick new video for "Nineteen" (on his webpage, and a new YouTube video of him tearing up the Heritage Music BluesFest in West Virginia last month. Yeah, that album should rule.

  Topics: New England Music News , NPR, Rolling Stone, Samuel James,  More more >
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