Happy February, music fans. We can do this. We can slog through the next couple of months, and we can do it grinning all the way.
I for one sent January packing with a bang. Who else was at the Keane show at the State Theatre on Jan. 30? They were so good. Nothing like a British band with a fantastic singer and plenty of piano-based awesomeness to put me in orbit.
I floated out of that show and down a few blocks to Empire Dine & Dance for Clash of the Titans. It was Electric Light Orchestra (and yes, they even had a four-piece string section) versus T. Rex. Jeff Beam, Dean Ford, et al, you were FANTASTIC.
Truth be told, I knew way more ELO songs that T. Rex ones, but both bands were sensational. The talent in this town knocks me off my feet time and time again.
Speaking of which:
ONE-HUNDRED-WATT SMILES this spring will be sponsored in part by Megan Jo Wilson and Anna Lombard, who are both putting finishing touches on their new recordings.
Wilson hopes to finish her six-song R&B/soul-style EP by the end of February. Then she’ll have her baby (congrats in advance), and will start promoting and performing in June.
She’s recording it at The Studio with Jim Begley with contributions from Sean Morin, Johnny Venom, Dan Boden, Chas Lester, Andrew Schirtzer, Tyler Quist, Nigel Hall, Ryan Zoidis, Joshua Hughes and Sara Hallie Richardson. Wilson also hopes to coax Lombard into the studio for some vocals. Anna, get over there, for Pete’s sake.
As for Lombard, her full-length album should, we hope, be ready for public consumption by the end of April. One of the guests on it is Hall, who is laying down some keys this week.
Lombard is also enlisting the help of cellist Darcy Doniger and fiddler Carolyn Mix from Flight of Fancy, who will be putting strings on a couple of songs. Yeah for that! Then it’ll be time for mixing and mastering.
I’M ALSO quite excited to hear from Andi Fawcett that she and her band Doubting Gravity are finishing up pre-production for their second EP. They’re working with Jon Wyman at The Studio, and Fawcett says the new material is a step away from the pop tunes of their debut. Expect pop melodies with more of a rock edge.
MEANWHILE, Eric Bettencourt continues to settle in nicely to his new city of Austin, Texas. He’s making friends and playing gigs, and surely is staying warmer than the rest of us.
Bettencourt recently posted an entirely terrific cover of the Nirvana song “About a Girl,” which he recorded before climbing into his 1982 VW bus and hitting the road. Find it on the Eric Bettencourt Facebook fan page, where you’ll also find some of his originals.
QUICKER THAN you can toss back a box of conversation hearts, Valentine’s Day will be upon us. And while you’re bound to have several options for that day, here’s a particularly awesome idea for the day after.
Playing for Maine and the Maine Academy of Modern Music collaborated to make the “Be in Love” video this past summer, and it’s got a star-studded cast of local music luminaries and Maine Academy of Modern Music students. The song was written by Dominic Lavoie, and it’s an anthem of sorts about the power of love. View it at tinyurl.com/beinlovevideo.
The “Be in Love” celebration continues with a show at The Big Easy, which will feature many of the musicians from the video, including Lavoie, The Fogcutters, Dave Gutter, Anna Lombard, Sara Hallie Richardson, Sara Cox, Emilia Dahlin, Kyle Gervais, Megan Jo Wilson and a bunch more.
Everyone will perform a short set, and then the “Be in Love” video will be recreated live with the full ensemble. The answer is indeed love, love, love. 9 p.m. Feb. 15. $14; bigeasyportland.com.
Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at: