It’s been fun, hasn’t it? Our blink of long, sunny days has passed us by, with pop and hip-hop records in the rearview mirror and the harsh glare of winter right there on the horizon.
Yes, much of the next few months is populated with serious business, indeed. As we hurtle toward yet another deep-freeze, take some time this fall to appreciate what we’ve got here in Greater Portland, a tight-knit music community rife with talent.
Sept 14 After a season of hip hop releases that included excellent works from Eyenine, Spose, Cam Groves, Shane Reis, and Jay Caron and Slop, the fall season kicks off this weekend with the debut release from Pallaso & the Mess, who’ve been putting in work the past year establishing a hip-hop scene in the Dirty Lew. Tonight they drop their full-length, Change, with a big throwdown at Narals Nightclub (technically in Auburn...), that will also feature DJs Bernarzo, Moefire, and Maine Event, plus MC turns from Big Ceaser, B Fenom, Da Block, and Dirty Boy Raw.
Sept 20 Originally set to be the release date for Doubting Gravity’s second EP, Evolution, the Big Easy will play host instead tonight to a memorial service for guitarist Mike Allen, who died in July. The band still plan to release the record, on which Allen played, and they hope people will join them tonight to remember Allen and listen to the EP for the first time. It also would have been Allen’s birthday.
Sept 21 This is the kind of thing that happens in Portland: Italian jazz vocalist Giuppi Paone was in town last year visiting a friend. She met flutist Carl Dimow. A week later she was at Acadia Sound with Todd Hutchisen recording an avant jazz album featuring also trumpeter Mark Tipton, bassist John Clark, and drummer Hayes Porterfield. Without even a songlist, the five-piece started playing and wound up with an extremely interesting album. Look for a full review next week in this space, but trust me in advance you want to put the release of The Acadia Session, at Mayo Street Arts, on the calendar if you’d like a night of free-flowing and well-executed music.
Sept 21 You’ll remember that “Be in Love” video that Playing for Change executed so well last year. This fall, they celebrate Playing for Change Day by announcing the winner of a songwriting contest and with the debut full-length from Beware of Pedestrians, English Breakfast (not to be confused with the Ira Sterling project of the same name), at Asylum. In co-production with the Maine Academy of Modern Music, the day will also see shows at the Big Easy, the newly reopened Empire, Geno’s, and One Longfellow, featuring some 13 bands. What’s Playing for Change, anyway? Basically, it’s a global effort to effect positive change through music. As just one example, MAMM has adopted the Tintale Village Mothers Society in Nepal as a sister music school, sending them money with which to acquire instruments, pay teachers, and cover travel expenses to surrounding villages in an effort to combat child-trafficking.