After the disaster that was Monday night, I am left with no choice but to take the rest of May off from the Red Sox. I’m even putting serious thought into trading in my Sox cap for a Rondo shirt.

It’s just as well, because there’s a whole mess of live music to check out and my mailbox has lately been the happy recipient of CDs from Spouse and Audrey Ryan.

Speaking of which, starting in June I’ll be reviewing local CDs every other week in addition to this column so by all means, get in touch if you’ve got one.

This week I send birthday greetings to the son and heir of a shyness that is criminally vulgar with a flair for the dramatic. Read on for an explanation.

There’s also a CD-release show from Pete Miller, a pair of singer-songwriters playing in Brunswick and some knock your socks off electro-dance rock coming to us from Boston.


Saturday is the 51st birthday of a man whose music forever changed my life. He was born in Lancashire and raised in Manchester, England, along with older sister Jackie, by parents Elizabeth and Peter. As a child he was a fan of Dusty Springfield, Oscar Wilde and James Dean.

In 1982 he met a guitar player named Johnny Marr and soon after drummer Mike Joyce and bass player Andy Rourke. And this, ladies and gentlemen, was when The Smiths came to be. For the next six years they released some of the most important music ever to come out of England, none of which I can imagine life without.

When The Smiths parted ways in 1987 a solo career quickly emerged. For his work as the singer in The Smiths and for co-writing a collection of songs that will always rest on my holy altar of music, I say happy birthday to Mr. Steven Patrick Morrissey.

I’m not the only one celebrating. The music of Morrissey, aka The Moz, is what Saturday night at Empire is all about. Be it spun by DJs Sain*don and Uncle Al or performed by a cast of local musicians including Kyle Gervais of Grand Hotel, Miek Rodrigue of Holy Boys Danger Club, Shawn Shaindon of Hiss & Chambers, and Spouse. Should you wish to forgo the $3 cover, all you need do is dress like Morrissey and I leave that up to your own interpretation.

I wonder if they’d wave me in if I showed up wearing the denim jacket that I stole from my brother and then had an artist paint the cover of “Meat is Murder” on the back in 1986. There truly is a light that never goes out.

Mozzer’s Unhappy Birthday Bash with DJ Sain*don and live music from Miek Rodrigue, Kyle Gervais, Shawn Shaindon, Scott Girouard and Spouse. 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Empire Dine & Dance, 575 Congress St., Portland. Ages 21 and older. $3, or free if you dress like Morrissey.


Local singer-songwriter Pete Miller releases his debut seven-song EP, “Shake the Dawn,” with a Friday night show at One Longfellow Square. To Miller I say a hearty, “Well done!”

The songs are rich, ambitious and full of the kinds of complexities that only a cello, upright bass and saxophone can bring. Miller’s got a sturdy voice and knows his way around a guitar.

Opening for Miller is Portlander-turned-New Yorker Sara Hallie Richardson who lends her vocals to the tune “Daydreamer,” one of “Shake the Dawn’s” standout tracks. Hear it at millermusic.

Pete Miller CD Release Show with Sara Hallie Richardson. 8 p.m. Friday. One Longfellow Square, Portland. $8 in advance/$10 at the door. Tickets available at Bull Moose in Portland or online at


Another local singer-songwriter performing this weekend is Lynn Deeves. Deeves is a veteran performer and her years of experience have given her a lot of soul and a terrific sense of humor, both key in my book. She can also sing and play the heck out of her originals and a well-chosen cover or two.

Deeves will be at the Frontier Cafe in Brunswick and she’ll be joined by Bostonian Colleen Sexton. Though familiar with her in name, my ears needed some re-schooling so I made the online rounds and got well acquainted with her sound. Sexton’s voice has a distinct depth to it, which affords her a broad array of song styles.

From folk-rock to jazzy to harmonica soaked blues, there was truly never a dull moment. If nothing else, check out “Mean Streak” at Oh, and just in case curiosity got the best of you, Martin Sexton ain’t heavy, he’s her brother.

Lynn Deeves and Colleen Sexton. 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Frontier Cafe, 14 Maine St., Fort Andross Building, Brunswick. All Ages. $10 in advance/$12 at the door. Call 725-5222 for advanced ticket reservations.


Boston’s “sexy electro-dance rock” band Lovewhip is headlining at Geno’s on Friday night. Lovewhip is lead vocalist and guitarist Erin Harpe, bass player and back-up vocalist Jim Countryman and drummer Dave “Devo” Kocses.

The trio knows how to have more fun than a truckload of Cyndi Laupers and if you aren’t inspired to bust a move at one of their shows then I can’t help you. In fact, why don’t you go to right this minute and listen to “Wrecking Machine.” Just don’t blame me when you get a sideways glance from your officemates when they see you going all Saturday Night Fever.

You may even want to unplug your headphones and host a spontaneous dance break.

Keep the party going with “Gimme That.” Try it with a roomful of Lovewhip fans at Geno’s on Friday night.

You’ll also hear the electronic offerings of Computer at Sea. Check out “Palace of Lightbulbs” at And if that isn’t enough, you’ll also get the reggae/funk/ska of El Grande. Listen to “Crosstown Rivals” among others at

Lovewhip, Computer at Sea and El Grande. 9 p.m. Friday. Geno’s, 625 Congress St., Portland. 21 and older. $5.


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

[email protected]


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