August 12, 2010

Face the Music: Portland keeping in tune with the sounds of Brooklyn

By AIMSEL PONTI

Lilith Fair last week was fantastic, and the highlights were Tegan & Sara, Butterfly Boucher, Cat Power and Beth Orton. It was also refreshing to hear a new batch of songs -- and good ones at that -- from Sarah McLachlan, and to hear her say during a pre-show news conference that Lilith will be happening again next summer.

Closer to home, I've got three shows for you this week to consider. If I had a nickel for every band from Brooklyn, N.Y., that has played in these parts this year, I'd be taking us all out to Willard Scoops for sundaes. This week is no different, and I have to wonder if there's a secret portal connecting the two cities. 

Red Rooster is a genre-dodging folk act out of, say it with me -- Brooklyn. The group has been at it since 1998, and the two founding members are lead vocalist Jay Erickson and lead guitarist Nat Zilkha. Eight other musicians round out the lineup, and a partial list of their instruments includes mandolin, accordion, saxophone, French horn and banjo. Red Rooster has released three CDs, the most recent one being last year's "Walk." Hear tracks at www.redroostermusic.com, or better yet, www.myspace.com/redrooster.

Red Rooster. 9 p.m. Saturday. The Big Easy, 55 Market St., Portland. Ages 21 and older. Free. 775-2266; www.bigeasyportland.com. 

The Time-Lag Records retail store is closing its doors after a three-year run above Strange Maine on Congress Street. As far as I know, the biz will continue to release local music. Time-Lag and its shop mate, The Lele Tree Clothing, are marking the closure with extended hours, a doozy of a sale and a performance by Ralph White, Amy Annelle and some special guests. The store is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday, and the live music will happen on Friday night beginning at 8 p.m. If you're unfamiliar with Time-Lag, here's your chance to support a unique local retailer that will soon be gone but not soon forgotten. Be sure to check out White, a sincerely cool cat from Austin, at www.ralphewhite.com. "The Cuckoo" is a duet with folk singer Annelle.

Ralph White and Amy Annelle. 8 p.m. Friday. Time-Lag Records, 538 Congress St., Portland (second floor). All ages. Donations.  

Guitarist Christy Edwards and keyboardist Emily Manzo were both members of the band Wolf Fighters before deciding to drop their last names and form a duo. That was about seven years ago, and Christy and Emily released their third album, "No Rest," in February. Christy's a self-proclaimed "indie rocker" guitarist, Emily's a classically trained pianist, and together they create a dream-folk sound with experimental overtones and a flair for both the dramatic and the delicate.

At www.myspace.com/christyandemily, I took in "Little World," a song that starkly dissects fear in the context of a relationship. I also heard the dark-in-a-good-way "105 & Rising" from their "Superstition" record. The vocals sound like they're being beamed in from a cave on Mars, the keyboard is intimidating, and the guitar is intense. Translation: I like it! And did I mention where Christy and Emily are from? If you guessed Brooklyn, you are quite right.

Also featured will be alt country/folk singer Chris Teret and a visual performance piece by the Celebration Barn's Ensemble Theater Company.

Christy & Emily with Chris Teret and Celebration ETC. 8:30 p.m. Sunday. Mayo Street Arts. 10 Mayo St., Portland. All ages. $10.

Aimsel Ponti is a Portland freelance writer. Contact her at:

aimselponti@yahoo.com

 

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