‘Twas the day after Christmas, when all through the house,
Music was blasting, as I worked the mouse.
The CDs were stacked on the table with care,
All hoping that they’d be the next one I blare.
Not so much?
How about this?
David Byrne & St. Vincent and sweet Patty Griffin,
The lovely voice of Sara Hallie Richardson.
Big Band Syndrome made my heart really sing,
These were a few of my favorite things.
WAIT, WAIT. Stop the presses. I’m WAY too jingled out for this. Aren’t you?
As we skate into 2014, I look back with gratitude at the year in music that was 2013. So many CDs, so many shows, so many moments.
I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store, but before I hang the January page of my calendar on the wall, I simply must take a look back. Take this walk with me down a memory lane lined with hand stamps, ticket stubs, liner notes, next-day hearing problems, giddy show anticipation and best of all, a whole mess of outstanding songs.
As you read this, think about what some of your own musical moments of the past year were. What were some of your favorite albums and shows? I know you have some.
I can’t possibly mention every show I saw or every CD I listened to. My cup runneth over and I’ll let as much as I can spill all over this story. Picture me running to the top of the highest mountain with a megaphone and declaring my love for the music of 2013.
• The Murmurations Theatrical Ladies Choir “Thaw” performance at Space. Gorgeous local voices with movement. Simply illuminating.
• Paula Cole at the Stone Mountain Arts Center. One of my favorite singers at my favorite venue. Enough said.
• The Reverie Machine and Sara Hallie Richardson at The Oak and The Ax. Two stunning acts, one lovely night in Biddeford.
• Dar Williams at the Opera House at Boothbay Harbor. Incredible singer-songwriter in a much-loved historic building.
• Patty Griffin at the Waterville Opera House. She’s one of my reasons for living, and her “American Kid” album is high on my list of favorites from 2013.
• The Psychedelic Furs at Asylum. Sometimes you can go home again. I hadn’t seen the band since the ’80s and they were unbelievable. Richard Butler sounded sensational and was charming and appreciative. Set list was perfect. Please come back.
• Sting at Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion. Best moment was when a train was running pretty much through the show during a song. The delight of outdoor venues. Show was fantastic. Sting and his band still have it.
• David Byrne & St. Vincent at The State Theatre. Two brilliant minds and musicians with a mess of stage-marching horn players. It was perfect.
• Mary Fahl at One Longfellow Square. Fahl’s voice is a spiritual experience for me.
• Anna Lombard at Port City Music Hall. Lombard’s CD release show for “Head Full of Bells” was legendary.
• The Parkington Sisters at Empire. Four sisters, four voices and one happy fan.
• The English Beat at Port City Music Hall. I came, I saw, I danced.
• Metric with The Box Tiger at The State Theatre. The Box Tiger stole the show.
• Rickie Lee Jones at Asylum. One of the greatest songwriters out there. Stunning.
• Lucius at Port City Music Hall. On my short list of favorite shows of the year. Sixties girl group sound gets modern treatment.
• Big Band Syndrome Volume III at The State Theatre. One local act after another dazzled me senseless.
I’ll leave you with a short list of favorite CDs released in 2013 that reminded me why I love music so much in the first place.
• Isobell, “Sea Spells”
• Patty Griffin, “American Kid”
• David Bowie, “The Next Day”
• Doubting Gravity, “Evolution”
• Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, “Ripely Pine”
• Patty Larkin, “Still Green”
• Zach Jones, “The Days”
• Mary Fahl, “Love and Gravity”
• Clara Berry & Wooldog, “The Magician’s Wife”
• Anna Lombard, “Head Full of Bells”
Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at: