Shawn Colvin, Phantom Buffalo and back-to-back jazz nights at Blue. See, I told you the transition into September wouldn’t be so bad. Enjoy the long weekend, play some badminton and go see some live music. That is all.


Shawn Colvin is like an old friend. It’s OK that you haven’t talked for a while, because you know you can get right back into things, get caught up and be filled with the kind of contentment that only a longtime friendship can bring. The other thing about Colvin is that while I don’t embrace all her work, the stuff that I love, I really, truly love. From the first few chords of “Polaroids” to the last few notes of “I Don’t Know Why,” Colvin’s 1992 album, “Fat City,” is ingrained in me, and my appreciation for its songs has never wavered.

“Because we’ve broken down the wilderness/ And we’ve blackened up the skies/ And we cry ’cause we’ve got no vision left/ While the smoke gets in our eyes,” sings Colvin on “Orion in the Sky.”

But let me also pay homage to 1989’s “Steady On,” another record teeming with Colvin’s songwriting artistry. “Cry Like an Angel” is one of 10 examples: “So I went out walking on the streets of the dead/ With a chip on my shoulder and a voice in my head/ It said, you have been brought here, but you don’t know what for.”

She has also won me over with a couple of well-chosen covers, namely Dylan’s “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” and Talking Heads’ “This Must Be the Place,” both from her “Cover Girl” album.

I think it’s been about eight years since I’ve seen Colvin live (and never in a room as small as the space at Jonathan’s), and I look forward to being on the receiving end of her charm, talent and poetic song expressions. After all, Colvin herself said it best when she wrote: “If there were no music, then I would not get through.”

Shawn Colvin. 6:30 and 9 tonight. Jonathan’s Restaurant, 92 Bourne Lane, Ogunquit. $60. 646-4777; www.jonathans


What is it about Jon Balzano-Brookes’ voice that I dig so much? If only all of life’s questions were so entertaining.

Balzano-Brookes is, of course, the vocalist of Phantom Buffalo, one of the best bands from Portland. For the first couple years of its existence, it was The Ponys, but a rose by any other name still smells as sweet. Phantom Buffalo has just released “Cement Postcard with Owl Colours,” and if the songs “Atleesta” and “Ray Bradbury’s Bones” are any indication, it has, as the saying goes, done it again. Give a listen at and

Phantom Buffalo, Run-On Sentence and The Hairdresser’s Husband. 8:30 p.m. Friday. Mayo Street Arts, 10 Mayo St., Portland. All ages. $8.


“Garage Jazz” — now that’s a genre that brings a smile to my face. And that’s what you’ll get from Abram Taylor Saturday night at Blue. It’s a surf-jazz-Western swing affair featuring Abram Taylor on guitar, Jeff Taylor on fretless bass and drummer-percussionist Nick Mastrella. Pick up what I’m throwing down at

Abram Taylor. 8 p.m. Saturday. Blue, 650A Congress St., Portland. Donations.


The Cangelosi Cards is a band out of New York City. The members of the band love early American jazz, and have been performing together since 2006. I’ve heard that spontaneous swing dancing happens at their shows, and that fans of old-time jazz swarm to them like moths to a flame. Tamar Korn’s got an old-timey voice that can teleport you into a New Orleans speakeasy, a long-since boarded-up and bulldozed Chicago jazz club or a Greenwich Village hot spot that’s been a Walgreens for as long as most people can remember.

If Woody Allen decides to make another black-and-white period film, this band has got to do the soundtrack.

Most shows at Blue aren’t ticketed ones, but this is the rare exception, so don’t think too long about it, because we all know how small Blue is, and you don’t wanna be out on the sidewalk for this one. Read all about The Cangelosi Cards and hear some tracks at

The Cangelosi Cards. 6:30 and 10 p.m. Sunday. Blue, 650A Congress St., Portland. Call 774-4111 for $12.50 tickets.


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

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