Portland music news, January 27, 2006

Portland local music news for the week of 1/27
By PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  January 30, 2006

The “Sibilance” staff is looking into the Portland Maine Music Message Board (formerly hosted at http://www.b2g2.com/boards/board.cgi?user=coolrecords). It seems to be down, giving us and others a 404 message at our old bookmarks. We won’t go so far as to say this was a treasured resource or anything, but a sizable amount of bassists and drummers connected with lead singers and guitarists there, and the “Sibilance” staff might drop a tear or two should we discover that it’s gone for good. Also, there were some interesting pissing matches there that we have no qualms about admitting we vicariously enjoyed. We love it when posters hunt down other posters’ IP addresses and shit.

The Mammals, who in drummer Chris Merenda boast a Seacoast native with roots in the punk scene (for some reason, we don’t know what banjist/guitarist Michael Merenda used to do on the Seacoast), are set to release their third full-length, Departure, with a show at Newmarket’s Stone Church February 10. If you’re not down with the Mammals and you like contemporary bluegrass and old-timey goodness then you’re missing out. They just spent the past few months backing Arlo Guthrie on his tour to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Alice’s Restaurant.

Chris Grigsby of Los Federales checked in this week to let us know about the band’s new EP, Lavender and Lemongrass. Seems they released it on New Year’s Eve with a gig at the Bramhall Pub, and now they’re going to start letting people know about it. We’d tried to follow directions and check out the EP online at www.losfederales.com, but we got an “under construction” message. Woe is us. Anyhoo, we’ve seen Federales a time or two at said Bramhall, or even Granny’s, and we know one of the guys used to (and maybe still does) work at that Brit-Indi place Haggarty’s out on Forest Avenue, so we can vouch for their description of themselves as “cosmic Americana,” even without hearing the new material.

Aepril Schaile has popped out of obscurity, i.e., a self-imposed black hole, to chime in by saying “abysses and black holes are our specialty.” They’re in the studio currently, after which they will say goodbye professionally to Jerusha Robinson, their cellist, who will move on to concentrate more fully on her indie-folk outfit, Brown Bird. We think the Bird has flown to Boston, judging by their last mailed communication and the return address, and Schaile says she’ll be heading that way herself pretty soon. Thus, if you live in Boston and play cello/viola/violin and like oddly haunting, morbid death-folk, contact Schaile through her myspace at www.myspace.com/aeprilschaile.

The Portland branch of the O’Natural’s mini-chain will be debuting live music in formal fashion starting February 2. The Thursday series, from 5 to 7 pm, kicks off with the hardest working singer/songwriter in Portland, Jason Spooner (accompanied by Andy Rice, who is something of a bass whore but sure does play nice), then continues on to include dates with Matt Shipman, Jordan Benissan collaborator Sorcha Cribben-Merrill, Andy Happel, and Sara Cox (there are some others we’ve never heard of in there, too; you’ll have to keep track of who’s playing when in “Listings”). Looks like the series ends March 23 (the Sara Cox date — as of now, the first date back from a seven-month maternity leave of sorts, but also watch for an currently unconfirmed CD-release show of sorts with the Coming Grass at the Big Easy, March 18).

  Topics: Music Features , Science and Technology, Mammals, Nature and the Environment,  More more >
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