Bridging gaps through music with the Portland Culture Exchange

Protesters gathered on Monument Square Friday night, with sign-holders chanting to passing cars and each other that “Hey Ho! Donald Trump has got to go.” The woman on the bullhorn implored art walkers to come out each month in similar fashion.   Across the street, in the atrium of the Portland Public Library, critics of the current regime took another approach, gathering musicians from several immigrant communities for the Portland Culture Exchange’s music jam and…

Swapping devil horns for waffle cones with Salli Wason

Our person in spotlight this week brings up the topic of true callings. Or better yet, true callings that lead way to other true callings. For close to twenty-five years, Salli Wason has been rocking out with her heart (and many times her person) cloaked in denim and leather. Wason has shredded the most recent years with hard rock and metal bands Sinferno, Man-Witch and Hatchetface & the Vipers. All along the way during the…

The Ghosts of Johnson City revisits America's dark history with The Devil's Gold

Portland's Ghosts of Johnson City romp through town to kick off their new album, The Devil’s Gold, an epic collection of 15 songs that celebrates the near-forgotten lives of classic American archetypes.   The February 11 concert at the Portland House of Music and Events will showcase the band's rich, evocative music, with its stories populated with gold miners, settlers, sailors, and lumberjacks. Present in the album is tragedy and poignancy and a depth of…

The Truth About The Spider On My Button

If you bump into me out in the real world, chances are you’ve seen a button I wear on a couple of my jackets. After some recent misunderstandings and quick assumptions, the clarification of this button might turn out to be a bit of public service announcement that will help me from receiving any more stink faces. I mean lately people are a bit...fiery at everyone, about everything. Quick and snappy. If that’s to continue…

I’ll Decide How Long My Top 10 List Will Be, Thank You

Last week, as your finger scrolled down your phone, you saw the posts. You dodged the urge at first, but then many of you gave your contribution. You chimed in with your two cents and fell right in line. Is it an internet test by some college kids working on a major project or just a question to a friend that got loose online and strangled Facebook for a while.  “What were the top 10…

After The Tonight Show with Kurt Baker

When you meet local musician Kurt Baker or see him perform live, you don’t forget it. If his ’50s, ’60s, ’70s pop/rock-influenced music doesn’t somehow stick in your mind, certainly the man himself will. I guarantee you have never heard anyone use the word, “party” more in your life. (Yes, he might even give Andrew WK a run for his money). He is one of the more upbeat, positive dudes you’ll ever meet on the…

Forget about politics at the Wicked Good, Halfway Decent Un'naugural Ball

What better way to celebrate the inauguration than to skip it altogether and spend the evening laughing, dancing and raising money for a great cause? The Mayo Street Arts Center is hosting the Wicked Good, Halfway Decent Un’naugural Ball on Friday, Jan. 20, to benefit Mayo Street Arts and the Maine Immigrant Musical Instrument Project, which helps new arrivals reconnect with their musical roots by finding them instruments and introducing them to local like-minded communities.…

That's the ticket: We can't swipe and scroll through our music experiences

I was home at my folks over the holidays. I always seem to retreat there the end of the year. I find peace and comfort around my parents and my old home. My short term memory gets to check out for a bit and I can relax my mind from what’s going on or all the things we’re clicking on these days. When at home, I always seem to roam around parts not visited in…

Builder of the House release a gender-bending music video ahead of their first full length album

Local folk-pop duo Builder of the House is moving to the big time. Robert Cimitile (acoustic guitar, vocals) and Elliot Heeschen (drums and electric guitar) are set to release Ornaments, their first full-length work, with eight new tunes and a couple of reworked songs — “There Is No Hourglass, Only Sand” and “My New Eyes.” An early peek at one of the new songs, “Look at the Man,” has been making rounds via YouTube, garnering…

Local music heads pick their top albums of 2016

This week, we wrap things up and put a bow on this funky year. I know many that are more than happy to kick 2016 square in the ass and right out the door. Things were a bit nutty this year in every direction. The Cubs won the World Series. Good people are fighting to keep water safe and hold other people to their word. Portland now has a total of 14 parking spots in…
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