August 1, 2013

Making Noise: Extraordinary Mary in One Longfellow show

Mary Fahl's latest album is 'Love & Gravity.'

By Aimsel Ponti aponti@pressherald.com
News Assistant

I don't know about you, but I sure am getting excited about upcoming new releases from Jeff Beam, Anna Lombard, ShaShaSha and Sarah Blacker. And I'm already excited about recent releases by Coke Weed and Muckie Mittens. Let this serve as a gentle reminder to local musicians: Let me know what you're up to. Please and thank you.

click image to enlarge

For the fourth straight summer, Mary Fahl will perform at One Longfellow Square in Portland. Fahl, who once sang with October Project but is now a solo artist, takes the stage on Aug. 10.

Courtesy photo

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.

I'm not trying to rush through summer, but Sept. 24 is going to be a very good day. I'm hoping the Red Sox will be headed to the playoffs, but just as important, it's the day Mazzy Star releases its first album in 17 years: "Seasons of Your Day." If the first single, "California," is any indication, this will be a very triumphant return. (P.S.: Please tour!)

Speaking of bands whose stars rose in the '90s ...

Of all the albums released in that decade, I have a short list of favorites, and two are from the same band. The debut album from October Project came in 1993, and "Falling Further In" two years later. Both were gorgeously crafted and musically lush with two soaring female vocalists. Then Epic Records dropped them, and the musicians parted ways.

They reformed years later, but without the main reason I became such a devoted fan. That reason is singer Mary Fahl, and for the fourth summer in a row, she'll be gracing the stage at One Longfellow Square in Portland.

Since her October Project days, Fahl has released various solo recordings, and even tackled a breath-taking re-recording of Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side of the Moon." Most recently, she's put the finishing touches on a solo album, "Love & Gravity." I wrote her and begged her to send me a digital copy.

I am writing to you from the floor, because I just listened to four songs and fell out of my chair with unfettered bliss. The album is bursting with originals and a few covers, including Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now." Fahl is also known to cover "Wild is the Wind" (think Nina Simone and David Bowie) live. I've witnessed this, and it's jaw-dropping.

We are lucky to live in a world with so many soul-touching, heart-rending singers. For me, it's like oxygen -- I need to hear it. I don't spend too much time thinking about who my favorites are, but when I do, Mary Fahl always is right up there along with the likes of Judy Garland, Joni Mitchell and Sinead O'Connor. A voice has to transport me, transfix me and afford me the opportunity to be the most present version of myself as I live in the moment of the song, and not a second past it.

I was once diagnosed with ADHD, and believe me when I tell you I am easily distracted. So when a song and a voice can still me, I know I'm onto something good. Thanks, Mary, for that.

I'm giving you a week's notice so you can hop online at maryfahl.com and listen to her sing. See you at the show!

8 p.m. Aug. 10. One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland. $25 in advance; $28 day of show. onelongfellowsquare.com

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

aponti@pressherald.com

 

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