I’m not aware of too many things. I know that I’m freezing, if you know what I mean. Do you? (My apologies to Edie Brickell — Editor.) I realize it’s the end of January, but the shiver in my bones just thinking about the weather is relentless. And I am fairly certain that the last-minute miracle trip to St. Maarten that happened last winter just ain’t in the cards this year.

Therefore, pull on the long johns and all things wool, and take back the arctic night from Mother Nature by heading to your favorite music venue for a hot toddy of live music. Here are three suggestions to start your defrost in your veins. 

The Acoustic Mixtape Review happens tonight at One Longfellow Square with a trio of acts. From Amesbury, Mass., come The Brew (www.myspace.com/thebrew1) and their blend of rock, jazz, reggae, world beat, indie, funk and even orchestral pop. Next is Bostonian Will Dailey (www.willdailey.com). Check out Dailey’s “Down the Drain.” Rounding out the evening is Mainer/Massachusetts resident, experimental/indie singer-songwriter Audrey Ryan (www.myspace.com/audreyryan). Listen to “Shiny Things” for a worthy sample of what Ryan’s all about.

Acoustic Mixtape Review: The Brew, Will Dailey, and Audrey Ryan. 8 tonight. One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland. All ages. $15. 761-1757; www.onelongfellowsquare.com 

You can witness the debut show of Brian Carpenter and The Confessions along with two other super-deluxe cool bands at The Oak and The Axe on Friday night.

Carpenter’s been at it for a number of years as a singer, songwriter, composer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist, filmmaker, radio producer, engineer and actor. The Confessions is his latest project. Sample his earlier work at www.briancarpenter.net.

The formerly-of-Portland-now-of-Rhode Island duo of David Lamb and MorganEve Swain are better known as Brown Bird. They’ve long been a favorite of mine from the Peapod Recordings family, and you should definitely lend an ear at www.myspace.com/brownbird to “Danger and Dread.” Big beat and classical is what Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Skeleton Breath brings to the table. Check out the scintillating “Caveman” at www.myspace.com/skeletonbreath.

Brian Carpenter and The Confessions, Brown Bird and Skeleton Breath. 8 p.m. Friday. The Oak and The Ax, 140 Main St., Suite 107, Biddeford. All ages. $8. theoakandtheax.blogspot.com 

My winter depression doesn’t usually arrive until March, but it has taken root early this year thanks to too much shoveling and windshield scraping. I suspect I am not alone in this sentiment, so what better time for a sun-drenched reggae show than now?

Saturday night is the Forest City Reggae Revival, with enough music to warm the frostiest soul. My first stop on the research tour was at www.myspace.com/mightymystic, where I smiled my way through Mighty Mystic’s “Revolution.”

From there it was on to the land of Portland’s very own The Royal Hammer (myspace.com/theroyalhammer) and the tune “Downtown Runnin,’ ” which was another ray of sunshine on an obscenely cold evening. Fitzie Niceness (myspace.com/fitzieniceness) came next with his warmth-inducing “Back to Jamaica.”

Add to this mix Lukaduke and DJ Queen B and the afterglow should last until April.

Forest City Reggae Revival with Mighty Mystic, The Royal Hammer, Fitzie Niceness & Soul Union, and more. 8 p.m. Saturday. Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St., Portland. 899-4990; www.portcitymusichall.com. Ages 21 and older. $10; $25 VIP. 

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

[email protected]


filed under: