Livening up 2010: Many bands, all over town

Music seen
By NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  December 22, 2010

It was about the experience in 2010. Whether it was the sweaty, riotous, arm-over-your-buddy's-shoulder type of concert or the ruminative, head-plodding sort, concertgoers in town (and away) had much to immerse in.

Many of the year's best performances were wordless affairs. James Blackshaw (who is reportedly a big fan of beer) wowed SPACE Gallery in February with a guitar so post-folk it could pass for piano. The Thrones show at Geno's in November honored sub-level bass well hidden from rhythm, its bossy twin. Monotonix (also at SPACE) uncovered music by another name, dramatized theatrical violence (yeah, he had a microphone, but those in attendance recall the message was delivered elsewhere)

Like a Wonka factory, the modern music machine brought several genres into town. Apocalyptic stoner metal (High On Fire at Port City Music Hall); dark and ethereal psych-folk (Chapin Sisters in October at One Longfellow Square), and '90s alternative-radio heart-throbbery (the Goo Goo Dolls at the State Theatre) were just a few of the flavors sampled by our city.

Local rock bands who made sizable gains this year included Brenda (whose CD-release party performance blew away Pitchfork darlings Bear in Heaven), Dead Man's Clothes, who through persistent gigging have become the stuff of a solid night (recall their Venue show with out-guitarist Marnie Stern in October), and AoK Suicide Forest, who quietly featured some of the best metal bands in the country (thanks again for that Krallice show).

In non-rock, the Dessa/P.O.S show turned a ton of heads in Portland's hip-hop scene. Spose's Record Store Day performance at Bull Moose Music captured the local rapper in fine form, and lifelong weirdos Ween did their now-semi-annual Portland gig at the Maine State Pier in July. They must really have a lobster fetish.

  Topics: New England Music News , Music, Monotonix, venue,  More more >
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