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Hipster University

College rock hits the campus circuit
On-campus concerts — for us graduates or college abstainers — offer a lot to complain about, but it’s worth taking a chance on a college gig or two this year.  
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  October 16, 2008

Live: Andrew Bird in Portland

Music seen at the Music Hall, October 8, 2008
For his nearly-sold-out show in Portsmouth’s Music Hall, Bird compensated for the absence of bandmates by doing, well, everything himself.  
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  October 16, 2008


Time of Rivers returns

Round two of the (mostly) solo guitar, (mostly) unplugged destination festival
The surprising success of the Time of Rivers Festival can be credited both to shrewd marketing and Portland’s increasingly robust presence in a niche music scene.  
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  October 09, 2008


Movies on the Midcoast

From simulated battlegrounds to Bristol Bay at the Camden International Film Festival
Yet again, this year’s festival tackles an admirable hodgepodge of subjects — online gaming junkies, Harry Potter fanatics, and even Cockney gangsters in London’s East End.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  September 24, 2008


I see a darkness

A battle-scarred wonder from Micah Blue Smaldone
Micah Blue Smaldone’s live performances suggested his recorded work was about to enter a realm more detached from the blues and folk archetypes he’s studied.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  September 17, 2008


Why? so serious?

Social norms and musical tropes are shunned on the excellent Alopecia
The lines between avant-garde hip-hop, pop, and indie rock continue to blur with defiance on Alopecia, the third album by the Anticon trio Why?.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  September 10, 2008


Beautiful Losers

Shallow, reverent
Aaron Rose’s Beautiful Losers offers little more than a chance to see nice people talk about their nice-looking art.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  September 03, 2008


Don’t look back

Alias returns to Portland for his latest Anticon release
Brendon Whitney — alias Alias — returned to Portland last year. He nestled in for a brutal Maine winter and recorded Resurgam, his first solo album in five years.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  August 27, 2008


Oh, you like Melville?

Five books to land your first college mate
We cannot stress this enough. As much as no one cares about your laptop or iPhone, everyone sneaks a peek at what their peers and classmates are reading.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  August 27, 2008


Rural libertarians

Disorganized crime, rendered elegantly, in Arkansas
For something so full of personal quirks and whimsical detail, John Brandon's first novel, Arkansas, is a sober, even dignified, read.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  July 30, 2008


Welcome to Shangri-La

Maine's newest music fest begins Friday in Blue Hill
The first annual Shangri-La Festival, which will be held at the Fairgrounds in Blue Hill boasts an impressive lineup that spans generations and genres.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  July 30, 2008

Metal Feathers + Phantom Buffalo

Music seen at SPACE Gallery, July 19
The Year in Cult Maze Spin-Offs has taken yet another auspicious turn.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  July 23, 2008


New wave

Breakthrough EPs by two emergent Portland bands
For two of Portland’s noisiest and most exciting bands of the moment, Cougars kill Cobras and the RattleSnakes, chaos is a virtue and tonality is a worthless pursuit.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  July 16, 2008


Music seen at Empire Dine and Dance, July 5, 2008
Along with Phantom Buffalo, Brenda are one of the only indie acts in Portland with genuine crossover appeal, “good times" music in the non-pejorative sense.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  July 09, 2008


Beat Generation

Ed Lin’s second novel is an authentic portrait of Chinatown in 1976
Set in New York City’s Chinatown during America’s bicentennial and the pessimistic aftermath of the Vietnam War, Ed Lin’s second novel, This is a Bust, is ripe with political, institutional, and racial turmoil.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  July 09, 2008


The ultimate balancing act

An extraordinary documentary opens the 2008 Maine International Film Festival
About 100 films deep, MIFF ’08 has intriguing offerings for cineastes of all stripes. Here’s a slice of what to look out for.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  July 09, 2008


Kubb scouts

The newest lawn-sport craze, from the land of Ikea
Three simple words may change the face of your lazy-day summer activities: Viking lawn sport .
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  June 18, 2008


Fuming through the dog days

Five new albums to soundtrack a passive-aggressive summer
In preparation for another three months of endless days and sweaty nights, here are five new albums to get you through the summer.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  June 18, 2008

Sun City Girls + Fire on Fire

Friends of legends
The two remaining members of Sun City Girls, Alan and Richard Bishop, will pay tribute to their recently deceased bandmate, Charles Gocher, at Friday's event.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  June 18, 2008

Cursillistas + White Light

Music seen at the DoorYard, May 24 + SPACE Gallery, May 29
Cursillistas played perhaps their most fun set at SPACE.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  June 04, 2008


Who gives a truth?

Augusten Burroughs and James Frey try to overcome authenticity scandals with grim new books
Both authors write largely about issues of addiction and abuse, but they couldn’t have more different styles.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  May 28, 2008

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