Welcome to the debut of “Face the Music.” “The Night is Young” had a heck of a run, but with this stellar new redesign of GO, we thought a new name for this column was also in order.

Now’s also a good time to remind all of you local musicians out there to get in touch me with about your upcoming shows and your new music. I am — as always — all ears.

This week, I’m sending you to one of Portland’s newest hotspots, Bayside Bowl, for a CD-release show from the band (not the person) Marie Stella, with two superb support acts also performing.

Speaking of CD releases, the prolific singer/songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman is at the St. Lawrence tonight with songs from her latest, “Return to Love.” Or, for those of you who feel like dancing your pants off, Space is the place to be tonight for the Soul Clap dance party and dance-off. Head back to Space on Tuesday night for DM Stith, Inlets and Silje Nes. 

Congrats to singer/vocalist Sydney Bourke, guitarist Bryan Bruchman and guitarist Matthew Erickson. They’re better known by their band name, Marie Stella, and they’ve just released their EP “Trust.” And trust me, this is great stuff. You can, in fact, listen to it in its entirety in all of its glory at mariestella.band camp.com.

Credit also goes to Derek Gierhan, who played drums, and Katherine Hulit, who lent her vocals and synthesizer to the EP. I was pleasantly reminded of ’90s Boston band Fuzzy as I listened to the six fantastic songs that are “Trust.”

Dead Man’s Clothes, another grin-inducing band, is also performing. Check out “Gift Wrap” at www.myspace.com/deadmansclothes. But wait, there’s more. The Art of Shooting, from Brooklyn, will also be lighting things up at Bayside Bowl. The group was aptly described by Time Out NY as “an art-punk outfit that plays spacey, shimmering rock songs.” Upon hearing the song “Japanese” at www.myspace.com/theartofshooting, I was a believer.

The Art of Shooting is singer/vocalist Kelly Irene Corson, drummer Jim Archer, bassist/vocalist Julie Rozansky and guitarist Gavin Dunaway. They’ll be playing songs from their debut album, “Traveling Show,” and you’ll likely want to travel the short distance to the merch table to pick up a copy — along with Marie Stella’s, of course.

Marie Stella CD Release Show with The Art of Shooting and Dead Man’s Clothes. 8 p.m. Saturday. Bayside Bowl, 58 Adler St., Portland. Ages 21 and older. $5. www.baysidebowl.com


Nashville-based Beth Nielsen Chapman just kicked off her North American tour in support of her new record, “Return to Love.” As a songwriter, Nielsen Chapman has written for Emmylou Harris, Bette Midler, Elton John, Bonnie Raitt, Neil Diamond, Trisha Yearwood, Roberta Flack, Olivia Newton-John, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, among others. Faith Hill’s 1999 smash hit, “This Kiss,” is also on her resume.

Nielsen Chapman has also been releasing her own music for 20 years, and “Return to Love” is her 11th album. With a voice that draws you in and lyrics that are from the heart, Nielsen Chapman is a seasoned, talented performer, writer and survivor. Spend some time at www.bethnielsenchapman.com/index.php?page=world, where you can hear her music, trace her career and read her intimate portrait of surviving cancer.

Beth Nielsen Chapman. 7:30 tonight. St. Lawrence Arts Center, 76 Congress St., Portland. $15. www.stlawrencearts.org; 775-5568


Everyone should attend an old-school, for-the-sheer-fun-of-it dance party now and again and, man alive, there’s an epic one happening tonight at Space. Yes indeed, Congress Street is the next stop for New York City rock and soul DJ Jonathan Toubin’s cross-country Soul Clap and Dance-Off party train extraordinaire.

Toubin’s gonna spin you right into orbit with his collection of 45s that go from Etta James to James Brown. Come to dance or don’t come at all, people, because this is not a wallflowers kind of night. In fact, you may even opt to slap a number on and compete in the dance-off, because there’s a $100 cash prize — and the adoration of everyone — at stake.

All that stands between you and glory is a panel of local celebrity judges. The clock is ticking, so you may have to “go home sick” from work today to allow time for practicing your best moves.

Soul Clap! 9 tonight. Space Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland. Ages 18 and older. $5 tickets at Bull Moose or www.space538.org


Everyone needs a good mentor. Luke Skywalker had Obi-Wan Kenobi, Daniel Larusso had Mr. Myagi and musician DM Stith had Sufjan Stevens, who signed Stith to his Asthmatic Kitty label.

Stith sets his dreams to music with cellos, pianos, voice, creaking wooden doors and other overlapping instruments of gorgeous noise. I listened to seven songs at www.dmstith.com and another three at www.myspace.com/dmstith, and Stith took me on a memorable sonic tour.

Should you only have time for one, try out “Braid of Voices” on the MySpace page. It’s got an ancient intensity to it and it took me to the kind of place that, say, This Mortal Coil or Sigur R?an. “Tied, from the back of my head,” is repeated with a multi-layered swirl of sounds happening around it.

Inlets are also worth your time at www.myspace.com/inlets and the same can certainly be said of Norwegian Silje Nes. Give her a moment of your time at www.myspace.com/siljenes.

DM Stith with Inlets and Silje Nes. 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. Space Gallery , 538 Congress St., Portland. Ages 18 and older. $7 tickets at Bull Moose or www.space538.org



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

[email protected]


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