Mind the winding trails

Wax Tablet
By PORTLAND PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  October 19, 2011

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• The local group TRAILS, who've spent the summer playing the Big Easy Wednesday-night circuit, issued a second record this month, the Trails & Co. EP, where the duo continue to hone their dark, episodic style of hip-hop. Trails build their songs lyrics first and fit the instrumentals tracks afterward. We're pretty sure that's anathema to purists, but ultimately, it makes their tracks complex, tortuous, and better for deep listens. The EP's available now at all the fine locals (Bull Moose, Newbs, Moody Lords), and keep an eye out for a big release party back at the Sleazy on November 30.

• We learned through the Internet ether that ALERIC NEZ recently started a set with "a violin bow, an electric guitar, and . . . a Beatles song."

• Of course, by now you've heard that the folk/indie venue ONE LONGFELLOW SQUARE was recently granted nonprofit status, but who knew they'd start unveiling such smart ideas so quickly? Last week, OLS began working with Concert Window, a newer online service that streams live shows from venues around New England (think Netflix for music fans), and offers free streams for the rest of their October calendar. May we recommend ALASH, the Tuvan throat singer ensemble who play this Friday, as the soundtrack for your dinner party. Visit concertwindow.com for more.

• We dig and endorse the pairing of HI TIGER, the eclectic post-punk/dance band, and THE 90-MINUTE BLONDE, local performance artist, writer, and hardbody Brett Faulkner, whose nakedness adorns the band's latest promo flyers. Before working with Hi Tiger, the 90-Minute Blonde was last seen, uh, illustrating the live set of A SEVERE JOY at Port City Music Hall. Let's face it, music scenes everywhere run the risk of being bro-heavy; there's definitely a need for the sort of work the Blonde is doing. Though he's still a pretty young dude, Faulkner is as smart as he is brazen, and it's inspiring to see a bold and radical queer performer changing the game in our pretty little city. See what we mean Halloween Night at Empire Dine and Dance, where he plays with the aforementioned bands (and When Particles Collide).

THE JERKS OF GRASS, the progressive grasscore band who've been playing Thursday nights somewhere in town since 1998, end their residency at Gritty's on Fore Street and start a new one at Bayside Bowl. Early weekenders shan't despair, however: Eric Bettencourt's VELOUROSAURUS, blues-funk worship from on high, take the Thursday night spot instead. Good move for the bowling alley: the Jerks' sound is totally in line with their Coen Brothers fetish.

• We waxed about them earlier, but don't forget the major new releases from KURT BAKER and JACOB AUGUSTINE this week. Baker gives us Rockin' For a Living and Jacob drops three: Frontier, The Original Love, and Goldyhymns. Put headphones on your holiday wishlists now.

  Topics: New England Music News , Kurt Baker, Kurt Baker, big easy,  More more >
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