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Hogfarm Studios

Music seen: February 28, in Biddeford
By SONYA TOMLINSON  |  March 12, 2009

It is our responsibility as the "Music Seen" staff to inform you of great music happenings — not just the who but the where.

Biddeford's Hogfarm Studios is a multi-media art space that occasionally serves as a small venue. What was once an 1880s working farm has now become the eclectic home and workspace of owners/artists, Gil and Coco Corral.

The spot is no longer in the middle of the countryside, though its vibrant colors and lighted porch are visible a ways off. But it's less than a mile off Route 1, and it's hard to believe that these dense little city streets once were home to livestock.

The venue's entrance is located beyond a hip-high gate through which, we can guess, hogs may once have passed. The glass double-doors are surrounded by corrugated steel, and open to a large barn attached to the farmhouse. The ceilings are high, the beams are exposed, and the boards tell stories through their chipped paint. Beneath a glow of perfect lighting, old salon chairs, worn leather couches, and ottomans create makeshift rows in front of the square floor-level clearing that serves as a stage. The chalkboard that runs along one wall bears news of upcoming shows and memorable quotes. The pellet-stove periodically rattles and sheds its warmth.

"It's like going to church," said one patron. This is not just a venue hosting a show — it is an experience. And that is why to be part of the intimate 40-person audience you must do it the old-fashioned way: reservations are required, by e-mail or telephone.

The HFS call their music offerings the "Under the Radar Music Series." It is essentially a house concert that runs strictly off donations, less a gig than an intimate event to commit to memory. The reciprocated appreciation between hosts and musicians is completely evident in the faces of Gil and Coco sitting cross-legged in the front row. Their love of music, generous offering of space, and careful choice of artists (who seem mutually grateful for the experience to be there) recalls philosophies long lost in the club scene.

Tom Thumb + The Accident That Led Me to the World + dilly dilly | April 18 @ 8 pm | at the Hogfarm Studios, Biddeford ||| | 207.282.1583

  Topics: Live Reviews , Gil Corral, Sonya Tomlinson
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