The last time I saw Juliette Lewis perform was about five years ago with her old band, The Licks, at Asylum on Halloween night. It was an insane crowd on an insane night. Lewis, however, put on one hell of a show. With the berserk-in-a-good-way energy of Iggy Pop, she let us have it.
This is why I’m going back for more tonight at Port City Music Hall (related story, Page D5). I expect to be chewed up and spit out and to have a good time. Just as long as I recover in time for Ingrid Michaelson Saturday night at L.L. Bean, all will be OK. But spare me the “Mallory” screams this time, my fellow Lewis fans. That’s so 1990s.
Two other shows of note this week are the Adam Ezra Group at Empire and The Two Man Gentlemen Band at Deertrees in Harrison. Hop to it.
The Maine Health Parking Lot on Free Street is the place to be on Saturday for the Portland Music & Arts Festival. The Maine Children’s Cancer Program will reap the benefits of all ticket sales, because so many sponsors have stepped up and handled most of the costs involved with putting on such a bold, large-scale event. Visit the website for the complete story.
The festival kicks off at 11:30 a.m. with performances by students and faculty from the Maine Academy of Modern Music. There will be plenty of food and beverage tents and artisans selling their wares. After “The Academy,” the Jason Spooner Trio will be playing, and I imagine their set with include stuff from the long-awaited new record.
After 4 p.m., there’s a $10 ticket charge, and it’s a bargain, considering the cause and the array of acts that will be playing until 11 p.m. Pete Miller will be playing tunes from his debut album, “Shake the Dawn.”
Then there’s a 90-minute open-mic session with slots going to six musicians who were hand-picked by WCLZ. Seven-member funksters Grant Street Orchestra will be providing a scintillating soundtrack to the Head Games Hair & Makeup Fashion Show, and that will give way to a set by Samuel James, the master of pre-World War II blues.
Headlining the festival is Carbon Leaf, a five-piece band from Richmond, Va., known for its Celtic-rock sound. After 18 years together, the group has a bunch of records out and an even bigger fanbase. High-fives to everyone involved with pulling together this festival. May it be the start of a tradition.
The Portland Music & Arts Festival. 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Maine Health Parking Lot, Free Street, Portland. $10 after 4 p.m. www.theportlandmusicandartsfestival.com.
Truth be told, I had a little help from an online swing music slang dictionary for this one. School yourself at nfo.net/usa/slang.html. Snappy, happy tenor guitar and string bass with swingin’ vocals is what you’ll get with The Two Man Gentlemen Band.
They’ve just released their sixth CD – “!Dos Amigos Una Fiesta!” – and it’s got more vim and verve than a shaken can of Moxie poured into a bowl of Pop Rocks. With a marvelous vintage sound that’ll really bust your conk, TTMGB was clearly put on this earth to flip lids and make rug cutters of us all. Word to the wise, daddy-os and fly chicks, put on some spiffy dry goods and fall in. It’ll be a real gas, ’cause Andy Bean and Fuller Condon are two seriously gone hepcats.
With songs like “Chocolate Milk,” “The Leisure Class” and especially “A Gentle Stomp,” the Deertrees Theatre will be smokin’. Squares, stay at home! Stream “Dos Amigos” at www.thetwogentlemen.com/music. Dig!
The Two Man Gentlemen Band. 8 p.m. Tuesday. Deertrees Theatre, Deertrees Road, Harrison. $20. www.deertrees theatre.org
The Adam Ezra Group is some of the hottest property to come out of Boston lately. “View From the Root” is the group’s latest CD, and three others came before it. Ezra’s got a bunch of solo stuff out as well. AEG is an artisan of the roots, pop and rock variety, and Adam’s got a lot on his mind lyrically. “Vision” is one example, and in it he takes aim at government and the world, but with positivity rather than rage. “I learn that I can trust my vision ’til the end of time,” he sings. Hear that song and the rest of “View from the Root” at www.adamezra.com.
Adam Ezra Group with This Way and Ralph and Clara (From Marion Grace). 9:30 p.m. Friday. Empire Dine & Dance, 575 Congress St., Portland. Ages 21 and older. 879-8998.
Aimsel Ponti is a Portland freelance writer. Contact her at: