This week I’ve got tonight, Sunday and Wednesday covered for you. I leave it in your good hands to figure out what to do for the rest of your nights, but believe you me, there is no shortage of options. From huge stages to tiny open-mic nights, get out there, boys and girls. For the most part, summer is here, and it’s time to paint your toenails blue (or green or maybe orange) and the town nine shades of red. Dig? Good. Now let’s get on with it.

If and It is the local trio of Chris Dibiasio, Tim Walker and Evan Parker. I ventured over to their Facebook page and listened to three songs from the “Buffalo Heart” album.

“Winding River” was the first, and Parker’s voice brought to mind Ray Davies. Musically it was a mellow, twangy affair with the distinct sound of a lap steel guitar scattered in. “Cicada Sunset” moved along at a faster clip in a similar country vein. Was that a ukulele I heard? A Hammond organ announced “The Wolf,” my favorite song of the three with lyrics such as: “The heart and the hand have been playing a game, dangerous things are coming down with the rain/ The harder you stand it, the harder it is to be alone.” I dare say it’s official: I love this band.

If and It with Butcher Boy. 8 tonight. Flask Lounge, 117 Spring St., Portland. Free. All ages. 772-3122.

Next up, I give you Scottish-Latin funk. Nope, I’m not kidding, and neither is multi-instrumentalist and Portland native Neil Pearlman with his new CD, “Coffee & the Mojo Hat.” His roots are in Scottish music, and then he discovered jazz and Latin. It all comes together over the course of 14 tracks.

After “Alison House,” an original, the songs are for the most part traditional Scottish ones that Pearlman and his bandmates had their way with. They’re all anchored by Pearlman’s dazzling piano chops. “Farewell” features flutist Nicole Rabata, and her playing conjures images of ancient shorelines in far-off lands. Pearlman’s 22-year-old fingers absolutely soar across the keys on “Laundry Set,” which pours on the funk with plenty of bass and drums. Alasdair Fraser’s fiddle blazes in “Sailor’s Wife.”


Only two tracks have vocals; the first one is “Monymusk Lads,” and Elizabeth Burke’s voice is bright and lovely. Maeve Gilchrist lends her rich pipes to the CD’s closing tune, “Afton Water.”

Pearlman’s core band members are Doug Berns on electric bass, Javier Ramos on congas and Alex Cohen on drums. Hear them all and perhaps some special guests as they celebrate the release of “Coffee & the Mojo Hat” at One Longfellow.

Neil Pearlman CD-Release Show with Ramblin’ Red. 7:30 p.m. Sunday. One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland. $12 in advance; $15 at the door. All ages.

Alela Diane comes to us from the other Portland and brings with her songs from her new record, “Alena Diane & Wild Divine” (Rough Trade). I need to unpack some serious adjectives to give Diane’s voice its due: Burning. Intense. Fierce. Gratifying. Sensual. Stirring. It was all I could do to tear myself away from her Facebook page, because I could have stayed there listening for a good long time. I’m having a moment of true bliss in discovering this artist, and can’t wait to see her and her band live at Space.

Also playing are the Parson Red Heads with their sunny West Coast folk sound. Local cellist (and don’t even get me started about how much I love the cello!) Emily Dix Thomas kicks the evening off.

Alela Diane with The Parson Red Heads and Emily Dix Thomas. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Space Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland. $10. Ages 18 and older. 

Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at:


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