Maybe some of you are feeling a little low. I mean, summer’s rapidly coming to a close and all we can see on the horizon are weeks upon endless weeks of frigid temperatures that cause all of the lovely people of Portland to clothe themselves in bulky parkas and knitted caps. And if you think no one goes to shows when it’s warm and sunny and they’ve been at the beach all day, just see what they do when it’s 20 below outside and they’re embracing their radiators just to feel one more time the warm caress of summer days long lost.
Maybe you’re hoping to simply make it to the DYLAN/COSTELLO show at the Civic Center October 4 and then just pack it in till springtime.
That’d be a real shame, that would. Just look what’s going on this weekend: On Thursday, September 13, STATIONEIGHTYFIVE finish their landmark summer, which saw the release of their debut album, subFM, with a show at the Big Easy with Adam and the Waxmen. If you haven’t had time to pick up the disc, which dropped August 13, know that it’s high-energy and upbeat, kind of a mix of Sublime and Green Day. Frontman Jesse Ludwig sounds a good deal like Billie Joe Armstrong, actually (by the way, be careful when searching for stationeightyfive on the web. Search “Station 85” and you’re likely to find “the Internet’s best spot to find beautiful, quality-made vintage purses”).
Also this Thursday, a couple of ex-pats make a return to Maine. First, Bar Harbor-raised AUDREY RYAN will be at Blue for one of six CD-release shows that will take her south to New York City in celebration of Dishes and Pills, on Folkwit Records. Clearly, Ryan’s picked up a few things during her five years or so on the Boston/Cambridge scene. The new disc is beautifully arranged and produced, with help from Stephen Brodsky, and earthy drums mingle with organs and accordions to prop up Ryan’s agile voice and steady acoustic guitar. Her lyrics are alternately witty and quirky, at one point riffing on “see you later, alligator,” and there’s an incredibly intimate tinge to everything she does, right down to the album’s lo-fi packaging.
At an equally intimate venue like Blue, Ryan should be genuinely electric.
Also returning to the Evergreen city from his new home in Beantown is JOHN PAUL, former drummer for Stillview, a radio rock/pop-punk outfit that was part of the Thorton Academy set and released a self-titled disc in 2003 (which also featured Cosades frontman Kyle Gervais). Now Paul is fronting his own radio/alt rock outfit, the BLACK TIE AFFAIR, who’ll drop by the Spinout studios Thursday night and then celebrate the release of their six-track EP, Burning Down the Library, next Thursday, September 20, at Geno’s.
Paul hasn’t been gone so long from the scene that he forgot to record the album with Jon Wyman and have it mastered by Adam Ayan, so the disc sounds crisp and large, and he may have been listening in on some Hiss and Chambers practice sessions, because BTA also ply some of those ’80s guitar themes and vocal treatments, even if they aren’t quite as danceable. The result is a smart — “Your honeycoated breakdowns got nothing on me” — melodic, well-constructed introduction to the band that sounds as right on WFNX now as it would have 20 years ago.