Several strings attached

Wax Tablet
By PORTLAND PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  May 9, 2013

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Milkman's Union 

• A goodly amount of ukulele news this week: a grant from the Rusty Rocket Music Fund put 25 ukes in the hands of PORTLAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS grades three through five. So watch out, local 2025 country scene! And in a miraculous coincidence, the PORTLAND PUBLIC LIBRARY unveiled a brand new Ukulele Lending Library in the teen room, proudly declaring the addition of the "hipster instrument" (as they call it in a recent press release) to the collection for youth to check out along with books. So watch out, local neighbors!

• Here are the things we hearken to when listening to SUPERORDER's colossal new EP Ten Cities: Chapters I-IV: Electric Light Orchestra, the films of James Cameron, ZZ Top (for some reason), reluctant comedowns after sweltering dubstep shows, Rick Wakeman, boss levels of 8-bit video games, Italo disco, new age consciousness, the old astrosphere at Funtown, vague '90s nostalgia, Muppet Babies, and lying down sky-high in the center of a roller-skating rink. It's a trip! Four tracks, 30-plus minutes of utterly unabashed prog-metal/witch-house theatrics. Perhaps M83 is the closest mainstream touchstone here, but these two dudes are so relentlessly epic it would probably make that pretty boy blush. On the other hand, one has to be careful with this stuff. Applied to most public, everyday circumstances it could really do a number on your irony meter. Might be best to see them live while everyone else has an equal stake. No questioning their commitment, though; visit superorder.bandcamp.com.

• THE MILKMAN'S UNION are in an interesting existential position. Seemingly on the brink of extinction throughout the winter, they emerged to play the biggest shows of their life a couple weekends ago, opening for Brown Bird and the Dirty Projectors and releasing the six-song EP The Golden Room, which is a cerebral and sullen sparkler of a album. What might come next is hard to gauge. Jeff Beam is out and working on his own stuff, Henry Jamison's living in Vermont and gigging solo, and Peter McLaughlin's here, working sound at multiple music venues. Whatever will be, will be.

• It's been four years since ISOBELL last recorded a note, but Hannah Tarkinson's moody rock band plan to drop Sea Spells, a nine-song smoker, on June 1, when the five-piece play SPACE with Olas and the Reverie Machine.

  Topics: New England Music News , ISOBELL, Milkman's Union
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