Canadian neo-folk, local hip-hop and rock, and local singer-songwriters are the blackboard specials this week.

In local musician sightings, I spotted Jason Spooner sitting at the bar at Figa Restaurant the other night and laid a guilt trip on him for taking so long to send me his new CD, “Sea Monster.” How dare he be on tour around the country and not be around for the past several weeks? The nerve! Just the same, look for a review of said album in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, how is it possible that Thanksgiving is next week? Really? 

Canadian neo-folk duo Dala will be at the Chocolate Church in Bath on Sunday. Dala is Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine, and their harmonies will knock your socks off. Since their debut at last year’s Newport Folk Festival, they’ve played the New Orleans Jazz Festival, the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival and several others, and have opened for Donovan, The Wailers, Billy Bragg and Arlo Guthrie.

Their online home is, where you can listen to several tracks and watch the arresting video to the song “Horses.” The song stopped me dead in my tracks, and Walther and Carabine led me into aural paradise. Next, listen to “Hockey Sweater” and fall further under their spell.

Dala. 7:30 p.m. Sunday. The Chocolate Church Arts Center, 804 Washington St., Bath. $12 in advance; $14 at the door; $10 for members.

A three-day hip-hop festival goes down this weekend at the Big Easy, with more than 30 local artists performing in celebration of Portland’s vibrant hip-hop community. A partial lineup list includes Spose, Educated Advocates, Lady Essence, Moshe, Brzowski, A Frame & Mike Clouds, Sandbag, Thommy and a bunch more. Check out the full line-up at The Friday and Saturday shows are for ages 21 and older, and kick off at 9 p.m. Sunday is for all ages with a 4 p.m. start time. Hip-hop hooray.

Rock That Hip-Hop Festival. Friday (ages 21 and older), Saturday (ages 21 and older) and Sunday (all ages). 9 p.m. (4 p.m. Sunday). The Big Easy, 55 Market St., Portland. $10; tickets at Bull Moose locations. 

The Maine Songwriters Association is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Maine songwriters and their art form. Along with monthly showcases at assorted Portland venues, the organization is putting on its fourth benefit concert at the St. Lawrence.

The lineup is Falmouth high school junior Tommy Bazarian (he’s fantastic) along with Lisa Redfern, Josh Madore and John Schindler. Learn more about MSA and all of Wednesday’s performers at

MSA Concert Showcase. 7 p.m. Wednesday. St. Lawrence Arts Center, 76 Congress St., Portland. All ages, $5 at the door. 

Even if you don’t want to imitate Twinkletoes Flintstone and knock down pins, there’s plenty of non-lane space to hang out in over at Bayside Bowl. On Saturday night, you can enjoy the musical stylings of three entirely groovy local bands — Marie Stella (, Villanelles ( and Theodore Treehouse (

Marie Stella, Villanelles and Theodore Treehouse. 8 p.m. Saturday. Bayside Bowl, 58 Adler St., Portland. All ages, $5 (includes free shoe rental).

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

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