September 5, 2013

Making Noise: Big lineup at Listen Up! show makes music so others can

Singer-songwriter Antje Duvekot plays First Congregational Church in New Gloucester on Saturday.

By Aimsel Ponti
News Assistant

Well, it's happened. My annual singing of Neil Diamond's "September Morn" on the first of the month. Meanwhile, I've also started to contemplate sweater weather and where in the garage I chucked my snowscrapers last May.

click image to enlarge

Antje Duvekot

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.

But as always, my focus is on music, especially because I am still aglow from the recent Pat Benatar show at the State Theatre and am happily awaiting the re-opening of Empire Dine & Dance, which happens Sept. 12 with a show by El Ten Eleven. Dim Sum is also part of that picture, so hoorah for that and welcome back, Empire!

LISTEN UP, people! No, I mean really. Listen Up! is a program of Creative Trails, a nonprofit organization that supports developmentally disabled adults in making music. In other words, it's awesome, and it's having a fundraiser at the Big Easy on Saturday night.

The group will make it quite worth your while with a fantastic lineup that has more guest stars than "The Love Boat." All in one night you'll see performances by Amanda Gervasi, Sara Hallie Richardson, Dominic Lavoie, Jeff Beam, Aleric Nez, Kyle Gervais, Cam Jones and Listen Up!'s own The Furry Ambers. The latter is a folk-rock-pop band, and its debut album will be available for pre-order.

While you're there, scoop up raffle tickets for Portland-based local music and pick up the first Listen Up! compilation album. All proceeds benefit the program, which operates out of a space called Shabby Road Studios. (I know, great name, right?)

Listen to a fantastic short piece about The Furry Ambers done by Emily Forman from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies' Salt Radio here:

7 p.m. Saturday. Big Easy, 55 Market St., Portland. $7; 21-plus.

I FIRST got wind of German-born and current Somerville, Mass.-based singer-songwriter Antje Duvekot in 2010, four years after she released "Big Dream Boulevard." In fact, in this very column I wrote that her music is "bewitching and acutely poignant." I also raved about her songs "Dandelion" and "Judas."

These days, I've decided I overuse the word "poignant." I'll update my description of Duvekot to say that she's a provocative wordsmith with a gorgeous, crystalline voice. Two albums later, I'm raving about the song "Noah's Titanic" from last year's "New Siberia": "Got a lot of lost time on the shoes of my soul," sings Duvekot. Another "new" favorite is "Juliet": "I was thunder to your lightning, you were flame/I was embers, and it scared me sometimes."

I got to meet Duvekot briefly backstage at the 2010 Lilith Fair revival in Mansfield, Mass., though ... sigh ... I doubt she remembers. And it pains me that I can't make it to this Maine performance, but I sure as heck encourage you to consider it. If you do, tell her "hi" from me.

7:30 p.m. Saturday. First Congregational Church, 19 Gloucester Hill Road, New Gloucester. $15.

Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at:

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