About a half-hour ago, I turned around in my chair, looked at a co-worker and spouted something to the effect of, “There’s so much cool music this week, I barely know what to do with myself.” I’ve literally been going from one amazing aural experience to the next. Welcome, autumn, and thanks for bringing with you a killer soundtrack. Let’s get to it.

Brown Bird is the Rhode Island duo of David Lamb and MorganEve Swain. I’ve been writing about them for years — and with good reason. Their sound is one that lives on the darker side of American folk, ensconced in Eastern European roots music. Their latest record is called “Salt for Salt.” It’s not out until next month, but you can hear songs from it tonight at Space Gallery.

Lamb takes lead vocals on most songs while playing guitar, banjo and percussion. Swain plays her fiddle, cello and upright bass, and delivers soul-stirring harmony vocals. “Chairkickers” is a superb example, so here’s hoping they play that one live. Do the Facebook thing or make your way to brownbird.net.

Also on the bill is Olas, a band that describes itself — quite well — as “heavily influenced by Andalusian flamenco and Arabian folk music, translated through a blend of American folk, rock, Arabic and Afro-Cuban sounds.” This will be the last show from the eclectic collective for a while, because some of the members are leaving the country, according to singer Chriss Sutherland. Vermont’s Barika will close out the night with deep Malian grooves.

Man alive, one practically needs a passport to go to this show — or to be a stowaway on an Olas globe-trotting adventure.

Brown Bird, Olas and Barika. 8 p.m. Friday. Space Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland. $10. Ages 18 and older. space538.org


The Humans are a three-piece experimental rock band made up of Toyah Wilcox, Bill Rieflin and Chris Wong. The group came to be in 2007, and dig this: The Humans consist of a voice and two bass players. That’s it, though you may hear some programmed drum beats or guest guitar during the live show.

Here’s a quick anatomy lesson: Wilcox is an English singer and actress who’s released 22 studio albums, written two books, and has appeared in 40 stage plays and 10 feature films. Translation: She’s a legend. Rieflin is a multi-instrumentalist whose most recent gig was as drummer for R.E.M. He’s also worked with Robyn Hitchcock, Swans, Ministry and Nine Inch Nails, just to name a few bands. Wong is a professional guitarist, bassist, arranger, orchestrator, composer and musical director. Dare I call The Humans a supergroup? If the shoe fits

The Humans. 9 p.m. Saturday. Empire Dine and Dance, 575 Congress St., Portland. $8, $10. Ages 21 and older. portlandempire.com

Not to shock you, but it was literally 20 years ago to the day today when Nirvana released the album of all albums, “Nevermind.” To mark the anniversary, 12 local bands will be performing the album in its entirety, from “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to “Something in the Way.” The lineup of locals includes Twisted Truth, Vanityites, Samuel James, Murcielago, Div Kid, The Mallet Brothers Band, Pigboat, 6Gig, Army of Squirrels, Baltic Sea, Clubber Lang and Pinsky. In the almost-lyrics of Kurt Cobain, “Here they are now, entertain us.” Proceeds benefit the Rusty Rocket fund, which supports music programs in Maine schools.

NEVERMIND Portland. 8 p.m. Saturday. Asylum, 121 Center St., Portland. $6. Ages 21 and older. portlandasylum.com

I hope you hold onto your passport from the Friday night show at Space, because you’ll need it again when you head back there Monday. As I write this, the sounds of accordion, violin, bouzouki, flugelhorn, tuba, dumbek, bass drum and cymbals are coursing through my ears, thanks to A Hawk and A Hacksaw, who will be taking a left turn from their home in Albuquerque when they come to Maine for the first time. (Thanks, Bugs, I owe you one.) A Hawk and A Hacksaw is accordionist Jeremy Barnes and violinist Heather Trost. Their sound is European-, Turkish- and Balkan-inspired lightning in a bottle. I’m obsessed with their “Cervantine” CD.


Dark Dark Dark plays atmospheric, multi-instrumental chamber folk music. What? Hearing is believing, my friends, so drift over to brightbrightbright.com for an earful of Nona Marie’s soaring-through-the-clouds voice backed by a melange of piano, strings, percussion and a flotilla of dreamy, perfectly blended sounds. Opening the show is the Chicago trio Pillars and Tongues.

Dark Dark Dark with A Hawk and A Hacksaw and Pillars and Tongues. 8:30 p.m. Monday. Space Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland. $10. Ages 18 and older. space538.org

Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti can becontacted at 791-6455 or at: aponti@pressherald.com


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