OK, so wanna hear something really cool? One fine day not long ago, Portland rock darling Darien Brahms saw Portland hip-hop empress Sontiago perform an a cappella version of the song “Like Love.” Brahms tapped Sontiago on the shoulder and asked that she send her the song. Sparks flew, and a collaboration was born.

Brahms essentially locked herself in a room and played a mess of instruments, rebirthing Sontiago’s original beats.

The pair’s next meeting was at Brahms’ home studio, where Sontiago laid down vocals, adding new ones to the ending. Brahms in turn worked her magic in weaving a layered tapestry of vocals. their third get-together, Ric Loyd was on the scene to record live drums.

Brahms put her nose back to the grindstone, and after several volleys of mixes and endings, “Like Love” was ready for primetime. It’s crazy good, and it can be yours at tinyurl.com/likelovesingle.

After grooving on it, read about shows this week from Craig Matheson, Line of Force, Sara Cox and a very special launch party.



My friend Jenny G told her friend Craig Mathieson to drop me a line, because he’s a musician and she knows I’m always looking to make connections. He heeded her advice, and the next thing you know, I was the proud owner of Mathieson’s debut CD, “Flight 143.”

Mathieson came to Maine by way of his native Scotland after a four-year stretch of globe-trotting. All of his wandering fueled his songwriting.

“Flight 143” touches on scorn (“Ms. Demean”), longing (“Forlorn”), homecoming (“Falling from the Moon”), survival (“The Trooper”) and love (“Dreams” and “Message”).

“Flight 143” is a fairly slow and moody acoustic album. But just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, there’s a surprise attack on the instrumental “Insight” and its absolute tantrum of drums and percussion.

the way, Mathieson’s no slouch on the acoustic guitar either. “Interlude” is but one example.

He’s got several local shows lined up, with Monday night at Portland Lobster Co. for starters.


Hear songs and see his schedule at www.myspace.com/craigmathieson.

Craig Mathieson. 6 p.m. Monday. Portland Lobster Co., 180 Commercial St., Portland. Free.


Rock-funk-soul purveyors Line of Force is giving us what we want — cool tunes on a Monday night that will have us home well before anyone’s cars, bikes or sneakers turn into pumpkins. And for this, I applaud them.

This Monday, and in fact every Monday this summer, they’ll be holding court down at the Big Easy, and the music starts at, can you believe it, 6 p.m.

Get a preview of Frank Hopkins and his Line of Force crew at www.myspace.com/frankhopkins.


Line of Force. 6 p.m. Monday. The Big Easy, 55 Market St., Portland. Ages 21 and older. Free.


There’s a new online service started by Megan Dougherty and Stephen Quick called Factory Portland. FP assists local musicians and artists with social networking, business, marketing, production and the like.

It’s also home to a database of 400 (and growing) local acts. They’re online at www.factoryportland.com.

To help christen the endeavor, they’ve enlisted a killer cross-section of musicians for a show at Space on Friday night.

Here’s the lineup: The No. 9 and Greyshield, the Red F and Wesley Hartley and the Traveling Trees, Jose Ayerve, TJ Metcalfe and a Bullyclub reunion for good measure.


Factory Portland Launch. 8 p.m. Friday. Space Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland. Ages 18 and older. $6 tickets at Bull Moose and www.brownpaper tickets.com.


Sara Cox doesn’t play out all that often these days, so catch her while you can and catch her whilst the sun goes down over the Western Prom.

She’ll be joined by Nate Schrock. Bring a lawn chair, mix yourself an Arnold Palmer and enjoy the evening.

Sara Cox with Nate Schrock. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Sunset Folk Series. Western Prom, Portland. Free.


Aimsel Ponti is a Portland freelance writer. Contact her at: aimselponti@yahoo.com


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