Wednesday, April 23, 2014
I long for the days of my plastic, store-bought Bugs Bunny and Wonder Woman Halloween costumes. I remember when I would trick-or-treat using a pillowcase to collect insane amounts of candy and then arrange it on the living room rug by category.
Heather Styka, a Chicago-based singer-songwriter, will perform her soulful song portraits at Andy’s Old Port Pub on Monday.
I also recall the rationing process, especially when it came to things like highly coveted Kit Kats and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
Those were the days, my friends. These days I’m sugar-free and my attempt last weekend at being Tippy Hedren in “The Birds” was both sad and funny.
Now let’s talk music.
I’m giving you plenty of notice on this one, because I am certain it will sell out. Singer-songwriter and native Mainer Lady Lamb the Beekeeper (Aly Spaltro) is swinging back through Maine (she now lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.) for another show to play songs from her “Ripely Pine” CD, among many others I’m sure. She’s bringing a band with her and Jacob Augustine is opening the show.
So like I said, don’t wait around too long to get tickets. Buy them and be done with it.
In the meantime, check out 17 minutes of Lady Lamb awesomeness in the form of a mini-documentary (youtube.com/watch?v=cCITTw5QCuE) about her trip to Maine last March and the release of “Ripely Pine.” Bryan Bruchman at BreakThru Radio collaborated with Spaltro to make this little piece of history happen. The film contains all sorts of interview and narrative clips and is kind of like Spaltro’s love letter to Maine.
There’s also plenty of music in the film and you’ll hear Lady Lamb on the banjo with “Regarding Ascending the Stairs.” Spaltro also takes us inside a video store in Brunswick that doubled as a practice and creative space for her, thanks to a supportive boss. We also get to see a live performance of “Crane Your Neck” from her March show at Space. That show was a sell-out and it was awesome to see footage of a huge line outside the venue waiting for doors to open.
Lady Lamb the BeeKeeper with Jacob Augustine. 8:30 p.m. Nov. 30. Space, 538 Congress St., Portland. $12. All ages. space538.org.
NOW THAT YOU KNOW what you’re doing in a month, here’s something happening next week. Chicago-based singer-songwriter Heather Styka will be doing her thing on Commercial Street on Monday night. The price is right and the songs are honest portraits of life, love and humanity.
I landed on heatherstyka.com and was in no hurry to leave. I always feel a little funny sitting in the newsroom with headphones on, sometimes with my eyes closed, listening to music, but a gal’s gotta do what a gal’s gotta do to get the story right. Plus, I don’t hear as well if I’m multi-tasking and Styka certainly deserves more than half-hearted distracted listening.
I listened to Styka’s album “Lifeboats for Atlantic” in its entirety while nursing a coffee and occasionally gazing out at Casco Bay from my fifth-floor window. “I am weary of this city, I am longing for forest. These tall buildings give me shade, but they do not bend in the wind,” sings Styka in “Contented,” with a subtle quiver in her voice on certain notes. Just lovely.
“Lucy and Sarah” tells the heartbreaking but ultimately hopeful tale of two neighbors and the descent of one of them into a lonesome valley of darkness. “Her eyes said, ‘Pray for me Sarah, I don’t know what to do. It’s getting hard to wake up in the morning. No one’s really noticed except for maybe you.’ ”
The entire experience of listening to the album gave my ears an injection of sweet, soulful vocals and a lyrical roadmap through Styka’s world, at least the one she has recorded in song.
Heather Styka. 6 p.m. Monday. Andy’s Old Port Pub, 94 Commercial St., Portland. Free. All ages. andysoldportpub.com.
BUSY ON MONDAY NIGHT? Not a problem. Head to Andy’s Old Port Pub on Tuesday night at 8:30 and see one of my favorite singer-songwriters, Andi Fawcett.
Her band, Doubting Gravity, just put out a new EP called “Evolution” and I hope Fawcett considers this a hint to drop one on my desk.
Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455or at: firstname.lastname@example.org
LISTEN IN: 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.