• By some stretch of foul luck we missed last year's FREE RANGE MUSIC FESTIVAL, but we'd be consarned to let it happen again. The third year of the Belfast festival looks like an absolute doozy from here. The full lineup will be announced soon, but notable locals include AWAAS, THE COLORADAS, ARBOREA, THE BILL BARNES TRIO, Bar Harbor's COKE WEED, and Bangor's WHEN PARTICLES COLLIDE. No legends like Michael Hurley this year (so far), but the American primitive fingerpicker and Fahey protégé Glenn Jones is pretty close. The lunar raga group MV & EE are a nice touch, and the hot mess of haunted blues duo Lonesome Shack sounds like nothin' else up here. The collective soul is well represented (er, not by the band) by the refusenik blitzkrieg of What Cheer? Brigade and the sweatsoaked Americana rahs of Spirit Family Reunion. Indie thang Black Swans and the dark folkness of Sharron Kraus are probably the most popular acts, and subterranean alt-country guitarist Anders Parker will likely play some songs from his recent record New Multitudes, which re-interprets Woody Guthrie with members of Uncle Tupelo and My Morning Jacket. It all shakes out Saturday, April 28, but take it from us: you gotta make arrangements soon, else it won't happen. Visit freerangemusicfestival.com for more.
IMAGINE THEM NOW Cerberus Shoal.
• The germs of New Weird Portland wouldn't be half as abundant without the work of the late CERBERUS SHOAL, the shape-shifting avant-folk collective who disbanded in 2006. Their personnel have splintered into numerous groups — the dark, radically enchanted howl of BIG BLOOD, the canny genre-hopping of DILLY DILLY, the flamenco-folk of CHRISS SUTHERLAND and OLAS, and the Middle Eastern reverence of OKBARI — while their inspirational effects extend farther still. Plot these projects on the plane of the Portland music scene and the constellation would hint at the shape of the most vital sounds in town. Imagine, then, how pleased we were to learn that another ex-Shoal band has joined the network: SNAEX, a trio comprised of former Shoalers Tom K. and Chriss Sutherland and Company frontman Chris Teret. No word what it sounds like yet, but their first record, Creep Down, awaits issue through ETERNAL OTTER RECORDS. SNAEX have been a studio-only project thus far, but be sure to catch their live debut (we presume) April 20 at Mayo Street Arts.
• Everything we heard about POST PROVOST's debut show at the Big Easy last week was aces. Risen from the ashes of East Wave Radio and less mired in the soils of jam reggae, the lush, poppy seven-piece apparently packed the joint last Saturday, which could be their sole live performance before the May release of Ancient Open Allegory Oratorio, their debut LP, which boasts contributions from a flood of notable local musicians. We expect much activity in the summer months.
: New England Music News
, When Particles Collide, When Particles Collide, Chriss Sutherland, More