Friday, March 7, 2014
By Aimsel Ponti firstname.lastname@example.org
I was finally able to put Caribou, my giant red-and-black plaid parka, away for the winter. Caribou is hoping to hibernate until December, so here's hoping that can happen, because my main focus now is choosing a toenail color.
Brown Bird plays at One Longfellow Square in Portland twice on Saturday.
Mikael Kennedy photo
Josephine Foster performs at The Oak and the Ax in Biddeford on April 28.
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 also cheerily waiting to get news of the Alive at Five and L.L. Bean summer music schedules. I'm waiting for restaurant patios to open at places like El Rayo Taqueria, Portland Lobster Co. and Flatbread so live music can happen al fresco. And I'm waiting for the air to warm up enough so the rogue violinist or singer-songwriter can busk without freezing on the streets of the Old Port.
Am I rushing things a little bit? Probably. But I can also live in the present tense. So here's what's happening in the immediate future.
BEFORE TELLING you about two upcoming shows, I've just got to share this blue-plate special of news for anyone who works at a restaurant or bar.
It doesn't matter if you wash dishes or are an award-winning chef. The real question is, can you play a guitar? Tuba? Drums? Anything? Can you carry a tune like you carry that tray of tapas? Heck, even if you can fake it on a tambourine, this news should thrill you.
Head to Facebook, where you'll find the page for Food Fight Portland and its slogan, "There's a band in every restaurant."
The premise is simple: Local restaurants and bars assemble employee bands, they practice their hearts out, and then, in June, there will be three nights of competition at The Big Easy.
Cash prizes and bragging rights are on the line, but you've got to sign up soon before all the slots fill up.
PROVIDENCE-BASED indie folk duo Brown Bird just released a new album, "Fits of Reason." The band consists of David Lamb and MorganEve Swain.
Brown Bird's debut album, "Tautology," came out in 2006, followed by "Such Unrest," which is when I got wind of them. Two years later, the Portland-based label Peapod Recordings had the wisdom to release "The Bottom of the Sea."
Since then, it's been a steady flow of music that floats on a bed of Americana and blues with foot percussion, violin, cello and upright bass and vocals by both Lamb and Swain.
"Fits of Reason" was inspired by the writings of Omar Khayyam, Christopher Hitchens and Plato, and the duo has plugged in with the use of electric guitar and bass and a solid footing in Middle Eastern, metal and psychedelic rock influences. Visit brownbird.net for more on the band and to get an earful of music.
7 and 10 p.m. Saturday. One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland. $15 in advance; $20 day of show. onelongfellowsquare.com
MODERN AMERICAN folk singer-songwriter Josephine Foster's career could have gone in an entirely different direction. As a teen, she was a funeral and wedding singer, and had dreams of breaking into opera.
But as time marched on, so did her direction, and in 2000, Foster released an album of ukulele-accompanied tunes, "There Are Eyes."
Four years later came the psychedelic rock record "All the Leaves Are Gone," recorded with her band The Supposed.
Next was "Hazel Eyes, I Will Lead You," with an American folk and blues sound, and "A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing," interpretations of 19th-century German art songs. Three more solo records followed, with the most recent being last year's "Blood Rushing."
I spent about 40 minutes listening to a number of songs from Foster's various records, and am absolutely devastated.
Why? Because I can't make it to her show. Because over the course of my Josephine Foster listening session, I fell deeper and deeper into the abyss of her voice with thoughts of Sandy Denny swirling 'bout my head.
Head to josephinefoster.bandcamp.com. And don't be in a hurry -- you'll want to spend some time there.
8 p.m. April 28. The Oak and the Ax, 140 Main St., Biddeford. $8 in advance; $10 day of show. theoakandtheax.com
Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at: