Psychic powers enhanced

Wax Tablet
By PORTLAND PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  February 20, 2014

>>> Been a long six months since we heard anything from Lisa/Liza, whose rustic shinegaze-y psych-folk songs we fell hard for last winter. But we can thank Pan she just released a brand new album called Vanity Window, a 35-minute collaboration with guitarist Matt Lajwah (of Herbcraft and Endless Caverns) spread out over a single, four-movement track. Besides being a brilliant complement to several solo winter activities, we love Vanity Window for so neatly displaying the separate contributions of its two brainchildren. Lajwah’s had a few more years to plot out his blissed-up cosmic aesthetic, but it’s incredible how singular Liza Victoria’s hazy, hyperprismatic, washed-out guitar sound and micromelodies already are. We used to think a mere nod toward Grouper or Mazzy Star would do the trick description-wise, but she’s wading pretty far into nameless waters these days, and its fun to witness. See her open for Dirty Projectors’ bassist Nat Baldwin March 14th at the Oak and the Ax in Biddeford, but in the meantime, peer into lisalizas.bandcamp.com.

>>> They can sometimes keep things pretty close to the vest over at Mama’s Crowbar — exactly what you’d expect from a cash-only beer fort on the edge of town. But stop the presses: we just learned that their weekly music schedule is fuller than we’d originally thought. On Wednesdays, Mama’s hosts a showcase of “Local Lady Singer Songwriters,” the first (to the best of our knowledge) such lady-centric shakedown in the region. There’s also a bluegrass open jam Thursdays — a less innovative but still cool development — and of course, Jimmy Dority holding down dollar-request piano night every Tuesday. For the large chunk of town that lives on the hill, this becomes the closest music venue available — which should come in handy the next time the snow comes tumbling down. 

>>> The songs of folk singer Max Garcia Conover already evoke a strong sense of place, but the dude’s really been driving that point home recently, releasing a new song and corresponding video each week in anticipation of his new album Ellery. Queue up the sparse ministrations of “Keep Us All” to its long stretches of a Maine winter landscape, or maybe the bottled urgency of “You’re the Farthest I Go,” a duet with Sophie Nelson, to its slow crawl through a snowblanketed glen. Visit maxgarciaconover.com.

>>> Is Slainte’s new “’90s Night,” happening every Thursday courtesy of DJ Chicken Wing and Connor McGrath, a direct challenge to DJ King Alberto’s long-tenured “Retro Night” in the basement of the Asylum? Who’s to say! But at least there’s another option for those desperate for a dance nacht to start the weekend early. Good to keep everyone on their toes.

Got a local music tidbit to share? Email waxtablet@phx.com or Tweet @PortPhxWaxTabs.

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