February, it was lovely knowing you and you treated us quite well actually, but let’s not keep in touch, shall we?

Perhaps I am being too harsh, because after all, the month is ending on such a gold-star note with the Friday-night show at One Longfellow by Andy Friedman.

March arrives with a stupendous one-two punch by way of shows from Po’Girl and Ingrid Michaelson.

On the local music front, there are three scintillating local reasons and one Brooklyn-based one to hit the Hog Farm Studios Annex in Biddeford tomorrow night, and you can read all about them below.


Last Friday morning, en route to Augusta for a work meeting, I finally listened to Andy Friedman’s ”Weary Things (City Salvage),” and by the time I reached the toll booth, I knew that my car, Ruby, wasn’t going to surrender the CD any time soon. And why would it? ”Speaking of New England, there’s a club there called Passim. I thought I’d be a hit there, but I guess it ain’t my scene,” laments Friedman with his rough-and-tumble voice.

Other tracks speak of road weariness, a busted heart and the closing of a Brooklyn bar, all through Friedman’s artistic, salient lens. Sometimes spoken words, sometimes singing, all times a folk-country synthesis born of Friedman’s clever mind and wise heart.

Andy Friedman and Jeffrey Foucault with Paul Curreri. 8 p.m. Friday. One Longfellow Square, Portland. All-ages show. $15 in advance; $18 at the door. www.onelongfellowsquare.com; 761-1757.


The planets don’t seem to align right with Po’Girl’s schedule and mine. I seem to always be out of town when the group comes, and this time is no exception. So please go see this band, drop me a line and tell me how utterly fabulous the show was.

Po’Girl’s self-titled 2003 debut is still one of my favorites, and the group has since released four others. When Alli Russell sings, all is right with the world. Ditto for when she plays the clarinet.

The rest of the band is Awna Teixeira, Benny Sidelinger and Mikey ”Lightning” August, and I bow to them and Russell.

This current string of dates is called the ”No Shame Tour” (”No Shame” is on last year’s ”Deer in the Headlight” album), and the band is raising money to benefit the National Children’s Alliance (www.nationalchildrens alliance.org).

Russell, who survived 10 years of sexual abuse, penned ”No Shame” in 2006, and it’s a surprisingly catchy, vibrant song that tells her story against a hopeful backdrop: ”Shame like a stalker haunts me, he may never go away, but I won’t be sad and silent, won’t let him steal my joy.”

Po’Girl, I’m so sorry to miss your show, but next time, wild horses won’t drag me away. Feel the Po’Girl love at www.pogirl.net and at www.myspace.com/pogirls.

Po’Girl with JT Nero. 8 p.m. Wednesday. One Longfellow Square, Portland. All-ages show. $12 in advance; $15 at the door.


Ah yes, Ingrid Michaelson. She’s the piano-playing singer with just enough vibrato in her voice to make you want to keep listening to her well-crafted songs. ”Way I Am” and ”Be OK” have both been spun on local airwaves, and Michaelson has released three albums since bursting onto the proverbial music scene by way of the soundtracks for TV shows like ”Grey’s Anatomy” and ”One Tree Hill” in the mid-2000s.

Not only does Michaelson have a big voice, she’s also got a big heart, as evidenced by the 2008 record ”Be OK,” whose proceeds went toward cancer research. Her latest work is last year’s ”Everybody,” a vivid record with strings, high spirits and a road map of the human heart.

Ingrid Michaelson with Greg Laswell. 8 p.m. Wednesday. Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St., Portland. Ages 21 and older. $15 in advance; $18 day of show; VIP $30.


Twenty-five well-spent minutes at www.myspace.com/pearlandthebeard rewarded me with a magic bag of songs from Pearl & the Beard. This trio from Brooklyn, N.Y., is Jocelyn ”Means to an End” MacKenzie on vocals, glockenspiel and percussion, Emily ”Everyone is Just Screaming” Hope Price on vocals, accordion and cello, and Jeremy ”It’s Like Writing a Memoir” Styles on vocals and guitar.

I might add that all three of them play the glasses.

”Donny and Johnny” tells the tale of Johnny Cash’s house burning down, and it’s a spellbinding union of vocals, guitars, hand clapping, cello and other sounds from the band’s collective imagination. ”Twice Today,” with its soothing cello, gentle glockenspiel and stark outpouring of affection, is a must-hear acoustic ode to love. ”Lost in Singapore,” starring Hope Price’s accordion and bilingual lyrics, is another gem from the band with the odd name and wondrous sound.

I didn’t know when I started writing this week’s column that I’d end up with a new favorite band. Funny how that happens.

Pearl & the Beard, Sontiago, Dilly Dilly and Lady Lamb the Beekeeper. 8 p.m. Friday. Hog Farm Studios Annex, 140 Main St. (back alley), Biddeford. All-ages show. $10 at door.

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

[email protected]


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