I’ve got five shows to tell you about this week, but let me first give a shout-out to Loverless and Bebe Buell for the fantastic shows turned in at Port City last Saturday. I scampered home before Twisted Roots played, but trust that they didn’t disappoint either.

I am also beside myself with awestruck wonderment at all the local musicians who performed at Empire two weeks ago as Eurythmics and Tears for Fears during Clash of the Titans. OMG! Both bands killed me, they were so good.

Next up, I need to talk about Southern Culture on the Skids for a moment (for details of their show Wednesday at Asylum, see Page 3).

The group has been around for ages, and yet I have yet to fully embrace it. Which begs the question, what’s wrong with me? Rick Miller, Mary Huff and Dave Hartman have been churning out their trademark style of garage surf since I was in high school, for crying out loud, and yet I didn’t even know their names until about 10 minutes ago.

I knew in 1997 when I first heard the absolutely and utterly fantastic cover of the 1960 Earl Grant tune “House of Bamboo” done by SCOTS that I could fall head over heels for this band. And yet I haven’t made it happen yet. Maybe it’s time to finally get on board.


Graveyard bluesman Meantone has got a batch of new songs he wants to play for you on Friday night at Blue. For a sneak preview, head to www.myspace.com/meantone. “The Way Life Should Be Blues” is a brand-new one, and it was well worth the wait. With his sick (in a good way) guitar and slung-down-low vocals, Meantone brings a whole new meaning to our state slogan. “Crush my Heart,” also hot off the press, is pure Meantone. “I don’t want to, to do you harm, but I don’t want you to be in this song, baby, I know you’re gonna crush my heart.” He does, however, pick his heart back up off the floor with “My Sweetheart.” It’s a toe-tappin’ account of how the lady saves the day, surrounded by Meantone’s blistering guitar.

Meantone. 10 p.m. Friday. Blue, 650A Congress St., Portland. Free (donations accepted).


Congrats to Cindy Bullens as she celebrates the release of her latest album “Howling Trains and Barking Dogs.”

The actual release date is June 29 on MC Records, but we’ve got special privileges because this is Bullens’ hometown. Bullens (www.cindybullens.com) will have her full band with her on Friday night, which means Steve Jones, Bob Colwell, Ginger Cote and Justin Maxwell will all be in the house. They all have performed with her over the last 20 years, and they’re all on the “Howling” CD. Expect to hear a bunch of songs from it with some older material mixed in.

Cindy Bullens CD Release Show with the Jason Spooner Trio. 8 p.m. Friday. One Longfellow Square, Portland. $15 in advance; $18 at the door. Call 761-1757 or onelongfellowsquare.com.


The Brooklyn-based indie-Americana musical project Leland Sundries, featuring Nick Loss-Eaton, will be performing along with Boston folk-rocker Dan Kaplan on Monday night at Slainte. Kaplan’s new record, “Swallowtail,” is out next month on Folkus Records. Look for Loss-Eaton’s debut EP, “The Apothecary,” toward the end of the summer.

Dan Kaplan and Leland Sundries. 10 p.m. Monday. Slainte, 24 Preble St., Portland. No cover. www.myspace.com/dankaplan


Funk, soul, R&B and jazz all come together in the form of the New York Funk Exchange, yet another musical act from Brooklyn, N.Y., that is swooping into Portland for a show. NYFE (www.nyfunkexchange.com) released its debut album, “Funkonomic Stimulus Plan,” last year, and its lineup bursts at the seams with eight musicians, including the Wall St. Horns. Lead singer Serena Fortier makes it happen with a lively set of pipes, and the sound is rich, funky and brimming with soul. I can imagine a roomful of people who will have a hard time staying in their seats on Saturday night.

The New York Funk Exchange. 7 p.m. Saturday. Venue Music Bar, 5 Depot St., Freeport. Ages 21 and older (unless accompanied by parent or guardian). $10. www.venuemusicbar.com


Hannah Tarkinson, Chris McKneally, Bekah Hayes, Josh Denkmire and Mike Dank are collectively known as isobell, one of my favorite local bands to emerge over the last couple of years. Listen to “Nonnie,” “Love in 3 Verses,” and “Oh Brain You Fool” at www.myspace.com/izzabella and you’ll be right there with me. Isobell is taking the show on the road, but the group is still well within driving distance as they play Guthrie’s in Lewiston on Saturday night along with Vermont-based Spirit Animal and Portland’s Metal Feathers.

Isobell with Metal Feathers and Spirit Animal. 9 p.m. Saturday. Guthries, 115 Middle St., Lewiston. All ages. Call 376-3344 for cover.


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

[email protected]


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