Wow, the Halloween candy surplus situation in my office is troubling. Wow, the thrust into “the holiday season” is startling. And wow, there’s a lot going on this week.

I’m highlighting two shows, but will also deliver a string of one-liners about several others. I trust you to figure out the details, because you’re all very clever cats. Ready? Tonight at Space, there’s a Gram Parsons documentary film screening and tribute concert. Tomorrow night, George Winston’s at The Landing at Pine Point. On Saturday night, The Baltic Sea is at Space with East of the Wall and Murcielago. On Tuesday, the new Brazilian sensation, Luisa Maita, is at One Longfellow Square. On Wednesday night, you can see the legendary Headhunters at Asylum.

Have a fantastic week, and remember: Almond Joys and Kit Kats do not qualify as breakfast foods. 

It’s been something nutty like six years since Sarah Harmer has played here in Maine and, thankfully, the wait ends Tuesday night. Who is Sarah Harmer? She’s a Canadian singer-songwriter and one of my favorite musicians to ever walk this Earth, that’s all. Ten years ago, she released “You Were Here,” and even if that was the only thing she ever did, it would have been enough, because that record is THAT good.

Harmer, however, has released three albums since, including her latest, “Oh Little Fire,” her first in four years. She rang me from Quebec a few nights ago, and after a healthy dose of, “I freaking love yous!” from me, I reeled it in and fired off a few questions, starting with how she feels about the new record.

“I’m quite happy with it. It’s like with anything people do; you want people to hear it and you want people to like it. I hope it continues to grow,” she said.


As for being on tour, Harmer says her favorite part right now is the show and the after-show. I also wondered how the audiences have been.

“They’ve been good. They’ve been varied, and there have been pockets in the states where there have been 20 people at the show, which sometimes is unexpectedly fun. It’s hard to predict when it’s gonna feel good; I like the variety,” she said.

I assured Harmer that we’ll be turning up in droves at Port City.

“If it all goes well, I’ll probably see more of Portland and Portland will probably see more of me,” she said. Right answer, Sarah!

I did have to ask if she, like everyone else, has felt the sting of the economy.

“Yeah,” she replied. “I’m not sure what to attribute it to; I think it’s a combination of people having less money to spend on going to shows, and also staying out of the picture for four years. I think people’s curiosity starts to wander, and so there’s that. Momentum is a big thing with music and touring.”


Sarah’s online home is, and for one night next week, her touring home will be Portland.

Sarah Harmer with Hey Rosetta. 8 p.m. Tuesday. Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St., Portland. Ages 21 and older. $15 in advance; $18 at the door; $25 VIP seated. Tickets available at

Reindeer Records is back at it with another event that puts young musicians at center stage and lets them shine. Yep, these kids are more than alright. They’re creative, original, inspired, clever, talented and dedicated to their craft.

This Saturday, Reindeer launches the Off-Ramp, a statewide competition for high school bands. Eleven of them will be showcased at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center. They’ll each get 15 minutes to dazzle not only the audience, but a panel of musician critics.

It gives me great pleasure to list the names of all these bands and where the players are from: Armistice (Scarborough High, Biddeford High), Beware of Pedestrians (Gorham High, Scarborough High), Crossed Out (Gorham High), In Pursuit (Windham High), Midnite Haze (Telstar Middle/High), Phantom Companion (Falmouth High, Waynflete), Stuck in Neutral (Boothbay Region High), The Modest Proposal (Freeport High), The Resistance (Erskine Academy, Maine Central Institute), The Study of Wumbo (Scarborough High, Kennebunk High), Where’s Robert? (Mt. Ararat High School, Morse High School, Brunswick High School).

Reindeer Records presents The Off-Ramp. 3 p.m. Saturday. Westbrook Performing Arts Center, 471 Stroudwater Road. All ages. $10 general admission tickets at the door. 

Aimsel is a Portland freelance writer.


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