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By PORTLAND PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  May 30, 2013

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Sumner McKane
 

This week marks a triumphant return of one of the most entertaining media programs of the last ten years — no, not season four of Arrested Development. We're talking about WMPG'S RADIO OPEN MIC. On Thursday, June 6 from 3 to 5 pm, anyone with a guitar, a larynx, or even a notebook of bad jokes can show up at the WMPG Studios at 92 Bedford St. and do a set on the airwaves. (But not if you're a rock band; this open mic is acoustic only.) Hosted by Lorenzo Raffa, who does the show The Lorenzo Commentaries on Thursday mornings; it's a wonder this doesn't happen more often than once a year.

It's been three years since the filmmaker and composer SUMNER MCKANE finished In the Blood, a documentary about the lives of turn-of-the-century Maine lumbermen and river drivers, but the project is still gaining traction. McKane, a Midcoast native and guitar teacher who occasionally moonlights as a guitarist in the Don Campbell Band, has been screening the film along with live performances of its original soundtrack throughout Maine since 2010. A 33-track score for In the Blood, all ambient guitar compositions of gorgeously evocative Americana, was released this April. For those interested in the music alone, it's a fine companion to Selected Visual History, a new recording of compositional studies of the landscapes of personal memory and regional Maine culture, and McKane's first solo record since What a Great Place To Be, which earned a top spot on the NPR ambient show Echoes in 2008. McKane's in his thirties and somewhat tucked away an hour north of Portland, but his art-minded interdisciplinary work is some of the most compelling sort of historical studies in the area. Learn more about it at sumnermckane.com.

Just about every other month there's a new idea for a music night at FLASK LOUNGE, one of our favorite off-the-radar hangouts. The latest made its debut last week: "Sub/Merge," a queer dance night hosted by DJ Red Tide. Always nice to see those dance floors pushing outward. Look for the series to continue every final Saturday of the month at 117 Spring St.

  Topics: New England Music News , Sumner McKane
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