Sunday, March 9, 2014
By Aimsel Ponti firstname.lastname@example.org
Be forewarned. I am extra fired up this week. I think part of it can be chalked up to not getting up in the dark thanks to falling back in time. That helps. Also, although I’m not going to the show, I am very excited for all of the Elvis Costello fanatics who will be seeing him in Portland and/or Orono next week. I’ve been hearing all over Facebook from friends who have seen the shows in other parts of the country and they’ve all raved.
Metric is James Shaw, Emily Haines, John Winstead and Joules Scott-Key.
The Honey Dewdrops.
Turn your radio dial to 102.9 WBLM every Friday at 8:30 a.m. to hear Aimsel Ponti wax poetic about her top live music picks for the week with the Captain and Celeste.
Catch local and national acts performing live at the Press Herald on The Newsroom Sessions video page.
THE OTHER THING that is fueling my grin is that I am compensating for being so uninspired during the holidays last year that I’m starting early this year. Choice tunes from the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Carol Noonan, The Pogues and many others have been in my ears since a week before Halloween. To each their own, right? And when I’m not listening to Christmas tunes, I’m listening to my current obsession: Metric!
I just wanna lace up my make-me-run-the-fastest-sneakers and race over to Bull Moose in the Old Port and buy every Metric album all at once and then inject them into myself – kind of like when Neo learned jujitsu in “The Matrix.” I want to know every single song by heart. Then I want to go online and buy T-shirts, buttons, posters and whatever other Metric paraphernalia exists. Is there a Metric line of action figures? I want to know the favorite colors and ice cream flavors of singer/synthesizer player Emily Haines, guitarist James Shaw, bassist John Winstead and drummer Joules Scott-Key.
Why do I want to do all of this? Simple, I want to make up for lost time. Sure, I’ve heard of Metric and I know they’ve played here at least once before and yet, I’ve let them fly beneath my musical radar far too long and they’re too damn good to let this ignorant behavior continue.
To make amends I’ll be cheering and yelling and clapping with the strength of The Grinch after his heart grew three sizes when Metric plays at The State Theatre on Wednesday night. I want to show these four Canadian indie rockers that although I’m late to the party, I’m here to stay. In fact I’ll stay so long it’ll get downright awkward.
Metric has released five albums since 2003, starting with “Old World Underground, Where Are You Now” and winding up most recently with last year’s “Synthetica.” In case you are also new to the world of Metric, I’ll share with you my findings. Since time is always an issue, I allowed myself to listen to songs from all five albums. Here are some of my findings:
I started off with “Combat Baby” from their debut “Old World Underground, Where Are You Now.” I was hooked about three seconds in by the poppy punkish sound that whirled with synths and a pulsating backbeat. “We used to leave the blue lights on and there was a beat/ever since you have been gone it’s all caffeine-free,” laments Haines. If you see a bolt of lightning running around Back Cove sometime soon, it’s me listening to this song.
Sticking with the same album I tried “Dead Disco” on for size. It fit like a glove. It teases with a long, drum-heavy intro and becomes an electrifying rallying cry. “Dead disco, dead funk, dead rock and roll /remodel/everything has been done.”
Switching to 2005’s “Live it Out” brought with it the song “Monster Hospital” which, if performed next week, will turn The State Theatre into a happy-crazy mosh pit. It’s like The Pretenders and maybe The Clash are thrown together in a death match. Boom!
“The Twist” is from 2007’s “Grow Up and Blow Away” and it opens with a child-like piano and then glides along a medium tempo. “Infidel to die for/what I am doing/will happen in the morning/when the mirror won’t recognize me” sings Haines with an air of brooding mystery.
“Gimme Symphany” from the 2009 “Fantasies” album is destined to inspire another run, or at least a sweaty living room dance session. And I sure hope this one’s on the State set list. It’s a doozy.
I ended my Metric listening extravaganza with a song from their most recent release, 2012’s “Synthetica.” I chose the song “Void” and I’m so glad I did. Images of laser beams flew about my mind’s eye, and the electric guitar held me tight. Did I mention I love this band? Check them out at ilovemetric.com.
And just when I thought I had reached my zenith of happiness, I got wind that The Box Tiger is opening the show. The band calls both Toronto, Canada, and Portland home. They’re an indie-rock outfit and I adore them with every fiber of my being. Bust a move over to theboxtigermusic.com post haste.
Metric with The Box Tiger. 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16. The State Theatre, 609 Congress St., Portland. $25 in advance; $30 day of show; statetheatreportland.com
I HAVE one more show to tell you about before we say our goodbyes this week. So sit tight for another couple of minutes because this band is worth it.
So there I was, about three years ago in Saratoga Springs making my first visit to the historic folk venue Caffe Lena. I was in town visiting friends and being the hyper-planner that I am, tickets had been secured before we left Maine and headed for New York,
The band who played that night was the roots music duo The Honey Dewdrops. Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish are based in Virginia and they’ve released three albums of Americana and traditional folk music. Head to thehoneydewdrops.com and click on the media tab. Then make yourself a cup of tea or warm up your java and sit back for a spell. If nothing else, listen to “Silver Lining” and “Don’t Leave Me Here.” Their Portland show will be an intimate one at Acoustic Artisans. Expect to be moved like I was to buy at least one CD after the show.
The Honey Dewdrops. 8 p.m.Tuesday November 19. Acoustic Artisans, 594 Congress St., 2nd Floor, Portland. $15; acousticartisans.com.
Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455or at: