March 21, 2013

Making Noise: Transported by Dar in that fab Boothbay Harbor space

Seeing a show at the Opera House is worth the drive.

By Aimsel Ponti
News Assistant

Greetings, music fans, and sorry about the snow. But it gives me a decent segue into my first topic this week.

click image to enlarge

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 saw Dar Williams last weekend at the Opera House at Boothbay Harbor. She was accompanied on the grand piano by Brin Roberts, who also sang some backing vocals. Williams was funny, poignant and musically uplifting as always, which is why she's been a personal favorite for 20 years.

Her final song of the night was "February," which offered this painfully appropriate lyric:

"And February was so long that it lasted into March and found us walking a path alone together/ You stopped and pointed, and you said, 'That's a crocus,' and I said, 'What's a crocus?'/ And you said, 'It's a flower'/ I tried to remember, but I said, 'What's a flower?'/ You said, 'I still love you.' "

WHAT'S THIS? You haven't been to the Opera House at Boothbay Harbor? Four words for you, friends: So worth the drive!

First off, Boothbay Harbor is off the charming chart, and secondly, the venue is wonderful. With a seating capacity of I'd guess 200 or so, it's intimate without feeling stuffy. High ceilings and a wrap-around balcony, along with a snazzy third-floor bar, make for a first-rate space.

The sound was perfect, the seats were comfortable, and I left scolding myself for not having been there in almost five years. Check out its schedule at, pick a show, get tickets and thank me later.

PORTLAND roots musician/bluesman Samuel James will be getting some serious passport stamps and frequent-flier miles as he takes his show way the heck on the road in a couple of weeks. Bon voyage, Sam, as you head to Russia with love for dates in St. Petersburg, Nizhny, Kirov and Moscow. This stint will continue with shows in Lisbon and London.

Speaking of London, Portland musician Dilly Dilly is still in England, so please give her a high-five should you run into each other.

IN NEW MUSIC news, I've heard from Kyle Gervais and Endless Interstate about their new stuff, so you can expect to hear more about these acts and others in the coming weeks. Spring sometimes brings insulting snowstorms, but it also brings with it a fresh crop of new releases.

AS FOR a live pick this week, I'm suggesting a Saturday-night show at Space Gallery in Portland. Louisiana-born Brooklyn, New Yorker Julianna Barwick will be floating into town on a cloud of ethereal, multi-layered vocals. She uses a looping station like a pixie dust-encrusted wand, and the end result is a hypnotic visit to a garden of sounds.

You won't quite remember how you got there, and you most certainly won't want to leave the trance-like state that Barwick will spirit you into. You may find yourself asking, "Is this heaven or Portland?"

Chatterboxes, please stay home for this one, because if I hear you jabbering in the back with your pals during this show, I'll shoot you my Italian Auntie Lucy death ray look, from which you won't soon recover.

Vio/Mire, an ambient art-folk act from Providence, R.I., is the duo of Brendan Glasson and Emily Dix Thomas, and they'll be opening the show. Vio/Mire hover on its own cloud above an enchanted forest, and I couldn't have picked a better opener had I tried.

8 p.m. Saturday. Space Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland. $7; all ages;

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

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