Otter calls

Wax Tablet
By PORTLAND PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  November 16, 2011

waxtabs_hitiger_main

• The adventurous folks at ETERNAL OTTER RECORDS have been keeping things nice and weird lately. This week they bestow upon us treble treble Vol. 3, a 10-track comp of Maine's most innovative musical artists (curated by old friend Ian Paige, with tracks by BIG BLOOD, SAMUEL JAMES, PHANTOM BUFFALO, and more). It's available for download or on limited vinyl at the label's bandcamp. We recommend getting it before this weekend, however: the label's commemorating the LP with a very sexy installation at Biddeford's North Dam Mill, and we suspect a lot of folks are gonna drop the $15 for admission (which includes the record itself, normally $14). With immersive sound installations and sculptures by eight artists, the install's got works by artists too new for the comp, but are nonetheless deserving. We're particularly psyched to see the pieces for HI TIGER's "Pompous Pilot" — a song of ecstasy and remorse fulfilling the Joy Division-meets-Nina Simone campaign promise they formed with — and MEGHAN YATES's "Lay Your Weary Head Down," an a capella gospel haunter. See the full rundown on our Art Galleries listings on page 31.

• Two new records from Belfast's TURNED WORD RECORDS have us feeling a little more equipped for winter. First is the new one from CAETHUA, the dark, delicate folk project of Clare Hubbard (otherwise half of Ancestral Diet). Her LP, The Summer is Over Before It's Begun, is a gorgeously dour, post-Victorian masterpiece, driven by Hubbard's well-weathered voice and alien acoustics. Rare in genres like this that the lyrics aren't simply used to expound the singer's emotional state; Hubbard sings about the unforgiving change of the natural world and lets us infer the rest. Mesmerizing. Second, the Alchemy and Trust LP by VILLAGE OF SPACES (formerly Uke of Spaces, Uke of Spaces Corners County, and Uke of Phillips . . . and still suffering from an identity crisis, it seems) is a fine example of the sound of domesticated forest-folk from the Maine north, complete with Amy Moon's haunting harmonies and Daniel Beckman-Moon's chilly, skeletal guitar lines. Put on some black tea and hold the honey.

• Slowcore group PLAINS just finished mixing a new full-length with Jon Wyman at This Sounds Good. The album, tentatively titled Confirmed Reservation, would stand as the first official document of their astral country-folk songs besides the nine-song live record they have on their bandcamp.

• Congratulations to Waterville native JEFF MOXCEY, whose song "A Crush on Sarah Palin" won an Honorable Mention in American Songwriter Magazine's Lyric Contest. Moxcey's a Nashville Songwriters Association International member and a professional songwriter in the truest sense, and his performance of "ACoSP" is pretty endearing, we'll admit. Take this lyrical snippet: "I'd like to hold her like a seal pup/let the party fill her teacup/she'd fall harder than a hockey puck/if I could hold her like a seal pup . . . But she's a Republican/and I'm a Democrat/I don't know if she could get over that." Sung as cheekily as it's written it might merely draw a smirk, but Moxcey delivers the whole song with surprising tenderness and frailty, making something totally listenable out of an otherwise cheap gag. Not that we share his feelings. Available to download on Moxcey's Songramp page (songramp.com).

  Topics: New England Music News , Samuel James, Samuel James, Meghan Yates,  More more >
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