Before I tell you about three sensational shows happening this week, I send a shout-out to all the male parental units (a.k.a. dads) out there. My dad loves The Pointer Sisters and Barry White, which is all well and good, but I thought I’d fire off some slightly hipper tunes to say happy Father’s Day with. These are most definitely tongue-in-cheek and meant to amuse, like the flatulence-related card I manage to find for Joe every year.

So here’s a fatherly soundtrack to listen to while rocking in the hammock: “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin, “Oh Father” and “Papa Don’t Preach” by Madonna, “Daddy Could Swear, I Declare,” by Gladys Knight & The Pips, and “Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line” by Waylon Jennings.

I am all about Alina Simone, despite not knowing who she was until about a month or so ago. Since then, I’ve dived headfirst into her “Make Your Own Danger” CD. Her book of essays, “You Must Go and Win,” is on my summer reading list.

Simone was born in Kharkov, Ukraine, and arrived on American soil as the daughter of political refugees when her dad just said no to the KGB. She earned an art degree and moved from the outskirts of Boston to Austin, Texas.

That’s when she starting performing in public, and that’s when her musical fate was sealed. She’s now a Brooklynite, and her first EP came out in 2005, followed by full-length records in 2007 and 2008.

“Make Your Own Danger” is a compelling record on many levels. Along with her haunting, bloodthirsty vocals, you’ll hear flute, autoharp, horns, Brazilian drumming and vocal loops. “I’m Just Here to Watch the Show” is my June song of the month for sure. Longfellow Books will be in the house Tuesday selling copies of “You Must Go and Win,” and I plan to get mine signed!

Alina Simone. 7 p.m. Tuesday. Space Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland. Free; all ages.

Let me start by wishing Local Sprouts a belated happy first anniversary. May you live long and prosper, and continue to make the greatest egg-and-cheese sandwich this side of the Mississippi. Head there Sunday and enjoy the 12-string Delta blues of Poor Howard Stith.

Stith has been playing blues for more than 30 years, and came of age in the 1960s Minneapolis folk and blues scene. He’s known for his stellar finger-picking and bass lines. Stith’s love for country blues of the ’20s and ’30s shines through his music, as does his more recent appreciation for roots music. Check out some tunes at

Poor Howard Stith. Noon Sunday. Local Sprouts Cooperative, 649 Congress St., Portland. Free; all ages.

Pearl and the Beard ( is three voices, one cello, one guitar, one glockenspiel, one melodica, several drums, one accordion, 96 teeth and, as it says on the website, one soul. The New York City trio’s most recent record is “Killing the Darlings,” and that’s where I focused my ears’ attention.

The harmonies on “Reverend” get a solid “wow!” and the song becomes a happy runaway train of redemption: “How do I clap with these two hands, beat sorrow down, I will withstand.” I listened to the song three times in a row and could have gone for four. The same could be said for the infectiously mesmerizing “Hot Volcano” and the lonesome “Black Hole of Calcutta.” Another day, another band to utterly adore. All in a day’s work.

Pearl and The Beard, with Kath Blom and The Frontier Needs Heroes. 8 p.m. Saturday. The Oak and the Ax, 140 Main St., Biddeford. $8; all ages.

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

[email protected]