September 12, 2013

Making Noise: Songs of autumn drown out dirge for summer's end

The local music scene is, as always, bursting at the seams all over the state.

By Aimsel Ponti
News Assistant

I saw the first few leaves in my backyard the other day and felt a pang of depression. But I quickly snapped out of it when I remembered that there's so much to look forward to this fall.

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Rusty Belle, pictured, joins Darlingside and Caitlin Canty on Friday at One Longfellow Square in Portland.

Courtesy photos

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Gaelic Storm is at Stone Mountain Arts Center in Brownfield on Sunday.

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.

My kitchen calendar looks like it has chicken pox, there are so many marks on it. Actually, they're more like excitedly scribbled and now next-to-impossible- to-read chicken scratch.

The list of upcoming shows that I've set my sights on includes 10,000 Maniacs, The English Beat, Rickie Lee Jones, Weird Al Yankovic, Donna the Buffalo, Elvis Costello, Lucius and Patty Larkin. And that's just the national acts. The local scene is, as always, bursting at the seams all over the state.

Let the leaves pile up and get out there. As you pore through the pages of GO, I encourage you mark up your own calendar with your own style of poor penmanship on your cute-kitties or "Star Trek" calendars.

HERE'S A SHOW with three acts, all of which I'm excited about. Headlining is Darlingside, a band from Massachusetts that has five songwriters, a mandolin, cello and violin, guitars, drums and lots of voices. The band likes to call the space between rock, classical and folk home, and they're quite comfortable there. Skip over to, jump on the music tab and enjoy the heck out of listening to their "Pilot Machines" album.

Amherst, Mass., roots rock/"junk folk" trio Rusty Belle is a band I've spent the last week or so listening to, each time digging them more and more. Cruise over to, click where it says "listen," and fall in love with "Middle of Massachusetts" and then stay awhile and listen to a bunch more.

The band just released its sixth album, "Common Courtesy," so expect to hear a mix of new songs and ones from their previous two releases. When I listen to Rusty Belle, several things happen: I snap my fingers, grin, play air drums and stomp my feet.

And then I get an urge to go out for barbecue with brother and sister Matt and Kate Lorenz and Zak Trojano. We'll hit a joint with a peanut shell-covered floor where the bourbon comes served in old jelly jars and the jukebox is full of old-time country and western tunes.

And if the moon is just right, the band will grab instruments out of the van and play an impromptu set for an unsuspecting crowd of locals who won't know what hit them.

You'll also be treated to a set from Brooklyn, N.Y.-based singer-songwriter Caitlin Canty. I'm not sure when she sleeps, because besides her own touring schedule, she collaborates and sings with several bands including -- you guessed it -- Darlingside. She's also half of the duo Down Like Silver. On her own, she's released several EPs and two full-length albums. Pay a visit to, click on the video tab and check out "Thorn." You're welcome.

Darlingside with Caitlin Canty and Rusty Belle. 8 p.m. Friday. One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland. $12 in advance; $17 at the door;

SO REMEMBER the scene in "Titanic" when Leonardo DiCaprio passed Kate Winslet a note and then she met him on the famous staircase where he said to her, "So you wanna go to a real party?" This was, of course, before the Titanic hit the iceberg. The pair scurried below decks and made merry with the rest of the steerage gang, who indeed knew how to party, unlike the stiffs in first class.

I mention this because the band Gaelic Storm made a cameo in the film and were the raucous group who accompanied the clinking pint glasses and whirling dancers in a famous three-minute scene.

The band's trajectory has been the opposite of sinking since then, and they've been world music stars who have released 10 albums, most recently "The Boathouse." You'll hear vocals, guitar, drums, pipes and fiddles aplenty as the band plays traditional ballads, powerful anthems and Celtic rock doozies.

Set your DVRs to record "Breaking Bad," and head to Brownfield for a night you won't soon forget.

Gaelic Storm. 8 p.m. Sunday. Stone Mountain Arts Center, 695 Dugway Road, Brownfield. $50;

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

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