June 13, 2013

Making Noise: Summer's here and the time is right for dancin' in the streets

A preview of upcoming concerts from national and local acts.

By Aimsel Ponti aponti@pressherald.com
News Assistant

OK everyone, buckle up. As far as I’m concerned, the summer of music 2013 is well underway, and come fall, I hope to have a stack of ticket stubs, cheesy iPhone photos that only I can appreciate, maybe a T-shirt or two and, best of all, say it with me kids: Memories! Let’s get to it.

click image to enlarge

Whale Oil has a CD-release show on Friday at Port City Music Hall in Portland.

Courtesy photo

There are still a few tickets left to the David Byrne and St. Vincent show happening June 21 at the State Theatre in Portland. I can’t wait to see and review this one, because I was lucky enough to catch the tour last fall at my beloved Orpheum Theatre in Boston. In a word: WOW.

David Byrne and St. Vincent (Annie Clark). Who’d a thunk it? But man alive, it works, as evidenced on their “Love This Giant” album. During the show they played guitar, had a drummer and keys player, and were backed by a roaming troupe of eight horn players. The lot of them, including Byrne and Clark, performed a series of intricate, choreographed movements around the stage during many of the songs.

And speaking of songs, along with tunes from “Love This Giant,” they played lots of Clark’s and Byrne’s solo stuff and, yep, a bunch of Talking Heads songs as well. So to say I am excited to see this show again is an understatement of grand proportions.

This will likely sell out, so now’s the time to take the plunge and get tickets at statetheatreportland.com. Trust me on this, people!

ON THE LOCAL FRONT, I give you Whale Oil ( whaleoil.bandcamp.com  ). They’re the Portland trio of Bill Scanlan, McCrae Hathaway and Brian Saxton, and they’ve got a CD-release show this weekend.

I listened to “Settle Down,” a tune that starts on a front-porch slow and dreamy note and moves from there into the garage, where it picks up a bit more steam but still remains mostly a ballad with a sweet electric guitar solo from Scanlon.

I also hopped over to Reverb Nation and listened to “Hadlock Field” (it’s a solid song, and I’m pretty sure it’s not about baseball), and checked out the five songs that comprise “The Basement Sessions,” released last year.

“Down at the Coffee Shop” brought to mind The Replacements, which in my book is high praise. It’s a jingly-jangly rock song with some “wa-hoo” back-up vocals.

“Kasey and Her Dog” is more of a straight-up punk-rock instrumental, during which I discovered my air drumming skills leave a lot to be desired.

Whale Oil is just starting to make some noise in Portland, and the CD-release show will only add to this momentum.

Whale Oil with Lord Earth, Darien Brahms and Brzowski. 8 p.m. Friday. Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St., Portland. $6; 18-plus. portcitymusichall.com

I’ll LEAVE YOU WITH with a happy news flash. Zach Jones, former Mainer and current Californian, is raising funds to support the follow-up to last year’s sensational album of ’60s-inspired R&B and soul tunes called “Things Were Better.” This is a worthy cause for sure. Learn more about Jones and his music here: pledgemusic.com/projects/zachjones.

Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at: aponti@pressherald.com.

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