Tag: Portland

Jiggy Jiggy Joe

Hello friends . The prodigal son has returned.  I just needed to google that to discover exactly what it actually meant.  I’m not necessarily wasteful or extravagant , so at any rate . . .

As you have seen it really has been some time . I get on “kicks” and the most recent one was a new career . This one suffered in consequence . Well given that my cousin commented she “always looking for new tunes and I have been sick of the mundane .” to a recent facebook post , I reasoned I need to get back on my horse .  I am hoping this is like riding a bike .

Since my previous post I’ve been to a couple of terrific shows . First of all we attended Mumford and Son’s first stopover on the Gentleman of the Road tour . It was a stunning day here in Portland . Eight band took to two stages over more or less 8 hours . Heading in I had been psyched to check out St . Vincent and Mumford , however knew little to nothing basically relating to nearly all the other bands on the tour . I enjoy new music that being said I made sure to get there early so I could explore some new sh !t . The musical combo that stole my heart that day ( and still possesses a tight grip it currently ) was a group of three sister from California that call themselves Haim . Initially I had been curious about how they coined this name , but down the line discovered that Haim was their last name . They actually have only one digital EP released titled Forever . I’ve listened to this modest three track sampling of the band again and again since my first encounter with these lovely ladies however I still believe it pales in comparison with experiencing them live . I recommend taking a listen to the EP, but also checking out about the video of an acoustic performance of the song Go Slow .

More recently I got to see Ben Harper at the State Theater here in Portland . It was the second show this year that I been to with my sister , the initial one being the Black Keys back in March. Ben Harper is truly one of my younger siblings most loved performers , thus she was seriously fired up in the days leading up to the show . I had been excited at the same time , just simply not as much as her . For this tour Ben was on tour all by himself , his the stage setup consisted of approximately 20 or more stringed instruments resting on stands , and the performance consisted of Ben pretty much randomly choosing one of these brilliant instruments and performing a song from his extensive catalog . For the most part the set was an acoustic one , however occasionally he did play one of his electrics .
In addition to an amazing overall performance was the fact that this was the show that never ends.  Ben took the stage took the stage approximately an hour and a half before departing from for the first time . The crowd , as you would expect , cheered him to return on stage . He then performed for about one more hour before leaving the stage a second time . The crowd had started to thin a bit , however the remaining 2/3rds continued rock the place . Ben came back again for an additional hour long set ! I very seriously believe he would have played longer had it not been for the midnight noise ordinance in P-town . He actually performed his final song after midnight without a mic and only his acoustic guitar inhand . According to BenHarper.com he played a total of 33 songs . It was insanly fun and super exciting to share one of my sisters favorites with her!  I somehow promised her Dave Matthews, which I may live to regret doing, but that is another story…

Check out one of the many gems from the night below.  It is a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Atlantic City.

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Record Store Day

Record Store Day
Record Store Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tomorrow is most important day on my religious calendar. It is a celebration of the holy grail and a celebration of mecca. People of my ilk wait all year for this day.  (well for the last 5 years we have)  I am speaking of Record Store Day of coarse!

For those who do not know, Record Store Day was created by Bull Moose’s Chris Brown.   Yes, Record Store Day was created here in Maine and is now celebrated in independent record stores all over the world.   Chris thought it would be a great way for us music lovers to celebrate music.  At the same time it was a way of to support our local independent record stores.

The best part of RSD is all the releases.  On record store day artist release limited edition vinyl and CD’s.    This year I would guess about 200 or more artist are releasing some sort of material.  Most release are not free, but there is always a ton of free posters, sticker, buttons, and samplers exclusive to record store day.  You can find a fairly complete list of on Record Store Days website.

Another perk of Record Store Day is live music.  Many record store will have special in-store performances, mainly of local and independent artist.  I’ll try hitting up a few record stores for performances by Joe Gallant (Bull Moose Portland), The Mallet Brothers (Newbury Comics Portland), Dilly Dilly (Newbury Comics Portland) and maybe even Steiner Street (Bull Moose Scarborough).

I have been pouring over the releases and although I would like to buy a lot more, I have created a small list of swag I want to target.  It is as follows:

The White Stripes – Hand Springs / Red Death at 6:14 7″
Joey Ramone – Rock N’ Roll is the Answer 7″
The Civil Wars – Billie Jean 7″
Jack White – Sixteen Saltines 7″
Mastodon/The Flaming Lips – A Spoonful Weighs A Ton 7″
Mastodon/Feist – Commotion/Black Tongue 7″
Eddie Veder – Love Boat Captain/Wishlist 7″
Deefhoof/of Montreal – Stygian x} Bisection 7″
Of Monsters And Men – Into The Woods EP 10″
Xiu Xiu / Dirty Beaches split 7″
Arcade Fire – Sprawl II LP
Sigur Ros – Hvarf-Heim LP
The Civil Wars – Live at Amoeba CD

I certainly wish I could pick them all up, but I’ll be on a budget.   I will post something about the days events in the next day or so!  If you love music I suggest you get out and support the bands and record store you dearly love.  If you are in any of the above locations you can look for me, I’ll be wearing a torn up pair of jeans and a Juliette Lewis t-shirt.  Come say hello!  Get out and have some fun!!

 

The Black Keys – 2012-03-06 – Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland, ME

Yes, I know I have mentioned a few times here (and a million times on Facebook), but I went to see the Black Keys last night.  It was an amazing show! My sister and I had a awesome time! I can’t wait to see them again and again and again…

I am actually a fairly new fan of the Black Keys.  I discovered them through NPR’s All Song Considered sometime around the release of Attack & Release in 2008.  I really liked the album but it wasn’t until Brothers came out that I really started giving them a wider listen.  I fell deeply in love with Brothers, and started to seek out there older stuff as a result.  I gotta say I think it really sucks that I discovered them so late because everything they have put out is so amazing. Better late than never they say.

So when I saw (via the Black Keys email newsletter) that they were coming to Portland, ME I was super excited.  After the euphoria cleared I noticed that the show was on my birthday!  I instantly new it was fate. So a couple conversations with my sister and two days later, I bought our tickets.  I actually bought my tickets two days before the general pre-sale via an exclusive Black Keys newsletter pre-sale.  (tip to readers, sign up for your favorite bands email newsletters).

So last night, after dinner with my new wife and sister at Granny Burritos (do check them out if ever in Portland) and a quick trip to Bull Moose (our local record store), we went to the show.  The Arctic Monkeys were the opening band.  They did one hell of a job although I think much of the Maine crowd was pretty unfamiliar with them.  I myself am a semi-fan of them and was pretty excited to see them live.  They played 15 songs which is quite a lot for and opening band.   If you would like to see the set list go check it out at http://rorypond.tumblr.com.  Annika got a signed copy of the set list.  Cool concert swag!  My picture below is a little blurry, but apparently the only one I took of them.

After a pretty short break and abandoning our spot near the front (we are getting to old for the pushy crowd) The Black Keys came out.  The crowd was amazingly loud.  Lets put that into perspective, Maine crowds are usually pretty tame compared to shows in other places.   I often wonder if fan in Maine are even awake for shows here.  I even think that bands get put off by how subdued a Maine crowd can be, they just have to realize us Mainers are pretty chill.  That being said the fans last night rocked it.

Based on the set-list posted at setlist.fm, they played 21 songs.  I knew they played a lot of songs but I didn’t realize they played that many.  My sister and I totally rocked out and I for one have a very sore voice from screaming and yelling so much.  Below is one of the dozen or so pictures I took during the set.  Amazing show!

I did buy a t-shirt at the show as I always do at all my favorite shows.  As you can see below it is a baseball style shirt with a Black Keys logo on the front and a list of all the tour dates on the back,  I would have like to have purchased one of the tour posters for this particular show but had to refrain from spending to much money.  Anyway, amazing show if you get a chance go see them.  (tour dates are listed on the shirt below).  Thanks for going with me sister!