Be on the lookout for hip-hop releases from TUFF SKULL RECORDS, Portland’s nascent indie label aimed toward the boom-bip set. VYBZ is the label’s first artist, who released Change in Definition, a commercially viable rap disc, this summer. It’s getting a little play on WRED, we’re told, which isn’t bad for an outfit that is, by its own description, “bare bones.” Still, they’ve got a small studio to work with, so they should be able to get releases out on the cheap. Check them out at www.tuffskullrecords.com.
Last Wednesday, COLIN KOLMAR won the Guitar Center Portland Drum-Off and will compete in the district finals on October 24, at the Guitar Center in Natick, Massachusetts. It’s not surprising for anyone who’s seen Kolmar play with ARE YOU A FOX?, a very smart young rock band from down Saco way. Son of singer/songwriter DOUG KOLMAR, Colin took home a nice prize package and can aspire to join the ranks of those like ERIC MOORE II, who won the national contest in 2003 and has since backed SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE and BOBBY BROWN. Part of the prize pack for the grand prize includes a $2500 Levi’s shopping spree. Who needs more than one pair of jeans?
Glutton for punishment PAUL LICHTER — who’s not the same guy who wrote that famous book about Elvis, we’re pretty sure, but is the guy who ran Cafe No on Pleasant Street until 1993 — has teamed with the new One Longfellow Square folks to found a new jazz series. That’s right, live jazz, in downtown Portland, in a great-sounding room, every Tuesday. Seems hard to believe, no? We’re pretty pumped about it. On October 13, you can hear SHEILA JORDAN and her band for $15 at the door. That’s a show that hasn’t been in Portland in a while. Support it.
On September 26, the first winner was crowned of the MAINE SONGWRITERS’ SHOWDOWN, hosted and organized by one-time Piner HAAKON KALLWEIT, at Bleachers Pub, down in Bayside. We’ll cut to the chase. It was piano man WILL GATTIS, whom some would call a Ben Folds type. Other finalists included ERIC BETTENCOURT, BROOD veteran CHRIS HORNE, DOUG KOLMAR, VANESSA TORRES, and LOUIS HALL.