Seeing that the artist Wil inked my left shoulder way back when, I want to for sure jump on the Happy 10-Year Anniversary Sanctuary Tattoo bandwagon. My left forearm is starting to itch for want of something, so you better believe I’ll be in touch.

And speaking of happy: Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there, with a little extra love going out to local singer Anna Lombard, who gave birth to her daughter a handful of days ago. I envy the singing that baby will get to hear. So yeah, moms rock.

As for live music this week, Brian Boru presents “The Mother of All Shows,” the Coming Grass are snapping a two-year performance hiatus, and I’m sending you to Space for a show that has already put me in orbit — and it hasn’t even happened yet. Word to the mutha.

One more thing: I’m pleased to report that last week’s Echo & the Bunnymen show in Boston was outstanding, and their first encore was “Lips Like Sugar.” That’s noteworthy, because “Sugar” is the name of Bebe Buell’s new CD, and it was inspired by that song. I’ll be one of many gathered to hear Buell live on Saturday night at Port City.


We have something of a British/Aussie invasion happening at Space on Tuesday night. Headlining is U.K. indie folk star Laura Marling. “I Speak Because I Can,” released earlier this year, is the follow-up to her 2008 debut, “Alas I Cannot Swim.”

All the people who have said she’s wise beyond her 20 years, well, they’re absolutely right. With equally compelling voice and lyrics, Marling is fantastic. She brings to mind pieces of Sandy Denny and Dar Williams. Go to or, or better yet, hit, where you can listen to pretty much everything she’s ever recorded. A sweet and smart earful awaits you.

We’ll get back to England in a moment, but first let’s hop down to Australia to catch up with the Middle East. Although they only have two songs posted at, that was all it took for them to cast their spell on me. “Blood” starts with breathy, plaintive male vocals and then along comes xylophone, whistling and swirling back-up vocals. Resplendent.

(P.S.: The Middle East will be playing the Middle East club in Boston on May 15. I find that amusing.)

Skipping back to England — London, to be exact — we find Smoke Fairies. If nothing else, that is a superb band name. But in fact, Smoke Fairies complete the trifecta of brilliance that is this line-up. Go to and listen to “Sunshine.”

OK, I lied. You must also absorb “Frozen Heart” and hear guitars that seem to rise up from a Louisiana bayou while an ancient, ghostly tale is told. BTW, Smoke Fairies are the Brit-folk duo of Katherine Blamire and Jessica Davies.

Laura Marling with the Middle East and Smoke Fairies. 8 p.m. Tuesday. Space, 538 Congress St., Portland. $12 in advance; $14 day of show. Tickets at Bull Moose and via Ages 18 and older.


Saturday night at Brian Boru is being billed as the “Mother of All Shows,” but that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to show up at your mom’s house the next day hung over. It does, however, mean that you’ll hear dynamic bands from Boston and Daytona Beach, respectively.

First up will be the Last Ones featuring veteran rocker Rick Coraccio on guitar and organ. Coraccio got his start with the bass guitar as part of the Real Kids back in the early ’70s. From there it was onto the Boize, DMZ and finally the Lyres, for whom he still plays bass. He does get quite a kick out of being in the Last Ones, where he sings, plays keys and guitars, and wears a songwriter hat.

Joining Coraccio is fellow Lyre, lead guitarist Danny McCormack; drummer Richie Johnson (Boize, Cars); and bassist Kevin Mahoney (Lucky 57, Diamond Platinum Rings).

Musician Cecil Colby (hey, isn’t that an ’80s TV character?) becomes Emperor Napoleon, and his line-up is also impressive. Chris Horne will “play the role of” Josephine. She led the Brood and more recently fronted the Beatlords (as Lady Kensington) and Holly & Her Buddys.

Guitarist and bassist Mick Majka worked with Colby in the mid-’80s as a member of the punk band Zero Mentality. He also had a stint in the Vampire Lezbos. Rounding out the Visions of Ecstasy is drummer Joe Potter of the Stains and Ghostwalk.

The band is keeping a tight lid on what their set list will be, but they did divulge that we can expect to hear a mix of originals and, as they put it, “dance-hit chartbusters.”

Emperor Napoleon and the Visions of Ecstasy with the Last Ones. 9 p.m. Saturday. Brian Boru, 57 Center St., Portland. No cover. Ages 21 and older. 780-1506;


The Coming Grass, purveyors of exceptionally good roots rock/Americana, is back in action. Original band members Nate Schrock, Steve Jones and Ginger Cote will be joined by bassist Paul Thibeault. They’ll be at Port City Music Hall in July, and you can see them this weekend at Venue on Friday night. Get reacquainted or hear them for the first time at their new Web site,

Welcome back.

The Coming Grass. 8 p.m. Friday. Venue Music Bar, 5 Depot St., Freeport. 865-1780;


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

[email protected]


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