Local music (95)

The Kaleidoscopic Life of Elliott Schwartz: A Maine music fixture passes away at 81

“If all the cards have been dealt,” wrote Elliott Schwartz in one of his many essays on post-modernism in music, “the job of the creative artist is to keep shuffling the deck.” Last week, Maine and the music world lost a pivotal figure in Schwartz, a pianist and composer of classical, experimental, and orchestral works and a fixture in Maine music pedagogy for half a century. Born in 1936 in New York, Elliott Schwartz was…

Reconnecting with Cheap Trick, Santana

Cheap Trick — Bang, Zoom, Crazy, HelloI know it’s no big deal, but I can’t stand this album title. It’s such a silly title. Almost lazy too, isn’t it? I mean, it’s screaming to be referred to as “Bang, Zoom...” in short from now on and, thats probably what I’ll do. “Bang, Zoom...” Yeah, that works. I guess I feel a little bit better now. Other than that bit of housecleaning. ... Cheap Trick are…

My name is Mark, and I like to touch my music

And just like that, Record Store Day is here again! The holiday for true music fans and collectors falls upon us once again to help many take stock in what we have. What we have is remarkable luck that these music holy places are all around us thanks to Bull Moose. Owner Brett Wickard’s gift to folks in Maine and New Hampshire still puts a smile on my face at least once or twice a…

Fugazi for President 2016!

I don’t know about you, but I saw my fair share of April Fool's crap last week. Thing is you can easily write off a good amount of it upon sight. We’re all sharp enough to know that Michael Keaton won’t be returning to star in the next Batman and that four sons of The Beatles aren’t starting a new band, right?  Right?  The one that got me though and stung like a s.o.b. was…

Post-MTV innovator: Jason Bosch of Red Stallion Media and the 'crazy reach' of videos

One great thing about the music-related scene in Maine, and a major reason I want to do these spotlight features every few weeks, is the special collection of talent we have that goes beyond the music itself. Jason Bosch is a wonderful success story in our scene that doesn’t hang a guitar around his shoulder. Since 2010, Bosch has helped the music scene in Maine look like more than just “local artists” previously with his…

Music and stuff: Walt Craven's Something Slithery This Way Comes!

Walt Craven is one of the all-time greats in the local music scene. He’s been the modern rock king since the later '90s. In line with bands like Failure, Foo Fighters and Jimmy Eat World, his bands have brought always massive, melodic rock front and center. Over the years Walt has pumped out gigantic rock songs in Maine and beyond with his bands: Gouds Thumb, 6Gig and Lost on Liftoff. He also took part in…

Another chance to rap: Kane beats the odds, comes back from homelessness to fund second album

Portland rapper Thommy Kane’s life story thus far is close to a rags-to-riches tale, with grit and hard work and a little Kickstarter support thrown in for good measure. “When I was a homeless kid, I told everyone I was going to get signed,” Kane said. “How many people do you think believed me?” As Kane said himself, he doesn’t accept failure or take “no” for an answer. It’s this tenacity and determination that have…

Dreamy and brutal: Five of the Eyes release underscores extreme shifts, complex identity

Based on their promotional choices, bizarrely themed shows, and desire to tour almost as soon as they formed (unfortunately thwarted due to vehicular issues), I already assumed Five of the Eyes were an ambitious group of dudes. I had the pleasure of playing a pair of shows with the band a few weeks back which only confirmed that these guys mean business. Fortunately for them, this is actually quite the anomaly. Based on my own…

Rap Night and its long-running lineage in Portland

  Jesse Wagner is one of the most important people in our local music scene. Along with his partner in rhyme, (Nate) Shupe, they’ve powered “Rap Night,” one of our longest-running music traditions. It has become a weekly gathering for anyone involved or interested in hip hop. From that night came The Annual Ruckus Cup Classic, a rap battle between the sharpest tongues and most clever minds around. (The ninth cup is happening this Friday…

Big band flourishes: The Fogcutters’ Flotsam excels but could take more chances

Over the last five years, The Fogcutters have established themselves as a must-see live act thanks, in no small part, to the Big Band Syndrome: a showcase for the band as well as a handful of regional acts who are given the chance to have their work rearranged to fit The Fogcutters sound. The artists selected for these nights have been all over the genre map – from the grooves of Jaw Gems to the…
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