Joe Royland: Death of a Music Salesman

Earlier this week, Transworld (the music and DVD retail company that owned Tape World, Record Town, Coconuts and Strawberries) closed its FYE location in the Maine Mall after 34 years of business. The big “SALE” signs, the pop culture toys and the “Ask Me About Pre-Ordering The Fast and the Furious 27 dvd” name tag buttons are all packed up for good. The only thing that remains is the ghostly cries of a former customer,…

Myles Bullen urges Portland to Wake Up in latest music video

It’s probably easy for you to show compassion to someone who’s similar to you, pleasant, or successful. But are you willing to offer someone support when it’s difficult or uncomfortable? Most of us consider ourselves to be good people. To those that virtue signal on social media, or claim to be filled to the brim with positivity, do you extend those good vibes to a homeless person on the street or a refugee that can…

Foam Castles' Dark and Fluttery 'Bird Death'

Over the decade since Tyler Jackson began writing and recording as Foam Castles, his weird-ass songs and structures have evolved into something definitively his. Of course, the 10 songs and 29 minutes of Bird Death, Jackson’s eighth full-length album, have a lineage too. A Bob Pollard vibe is inarguable; thinner traces of Robyn Hitchcock show up. Portland’s sadly dead Metal Feathers made a dent. This album’s “Inside After the Gold Rush” betrays less Neil Young…

Would there be rock 'n' roll without Chuck Berry?

Here's a story on possibly the biggest regret of my life in the music industry. A few years back, I read some wonderful news. I read that Chuck Berry still maintained a performance residency at Blueberry Hill, one of his favorite nightclubs in St. Louis. Since 1996, Chuck played there once a month, every single month. For almost two decades, the man most people credit with being the father of rock ‘n’ roll was right…

A chat with the vaporwave wizard behind Lyokha

James Cooper is a self-described sonic alchemist and electronic music producer of the otherworldly trio Lyokha. Specializing in a dreamy, synth-and-sample heavy style of music borne out of a close-knit but all-inclusive subculture, Cooper creates sounds as amorphous and layered as the people listen to them and the culture that surrounds them. Everyone reacts to his music in his or her own unique way, pulling from personal memory banks to connect to whatever nostalgia the…

An Interview with Martin Barre of Jethro Tull

This week, the classic rock guitarist Martin Barre, who played with the iconic classic rock band Jethro Tull for 43 years, comes to Portland. Now 75, Barre is fully focused on his solo career, after tensions between band members of Jethro Tull — most notably lead singer and flute player Ian Anderson — have splintered the group. The Phoenix spoke with him about a life in music and reckoning with history.   Hi Martin. You…

I Still Don’t Leave Home Without It

Membership cards always have a place in my heart and wallet. I’ve said it here plenty times before; I’m not anti-technology or against trends towards modernity, but I do like to stay close to the way things used to be when it feels right.  I own iPhones, pods, and pads, so I’m not really in the dark. I mostly like that stuff just for the convenience of it all. I hate the cold, empty feeling…

Have Fingers, Will Travel

While much of Maine was hunkering down and getting ready for another big snowfall, a few lucky ones made the trek to Mayo Street Arts on March 12 to get schooled in a guitar lesson that blends East and West. Hiroya Tsukamoto, a New York-based guitarist and singer from Kyoto, Japan, led a workshop on “Cinematic Guitar Poetry,” a program which includes music, storytelling, and poetry. In this intimate workshop, Michael Libby of Lewiston, Jon…

Supporting Portland's live music scene is weather proof

Winter, huh? In just one week in February we got the crap kicked out of us with a handful of snowstorms. The rest of the month, we’re practically short sleevin’ it. People were super happy for the unseasonable temperatures there for a little while. I even saw some folks wearing crocs! Unfortunately! (Sorry, it’s part of my Jimmy Buffett allergy). Plenty of concerns race through our minds during winter storms: school cancellations, road closures, power…

The Year of the Snaex: Teret and Sutherland's Holy Times

More than ever, even last year's lovely album In the Heart of the City, Christopher Teret and Chriss Sutherland have stretched their individual personas into true foils. As musicians whose prior vessels had more to do with escape and exploration — Sutherland with the amorphous, freak-folk carnival act Cerberus Shoal from 1995 to 2007, and Teret, who hails from Baltimore, with his post-punk group Company — the barebones earnestness of Snaex is one of the group's…
Subscribe to this RSS feed