Mathew’s 4th Annual Rooftop Show Preview and set times

Every year an ominous specter of fried food, tweens and (somehow more) paintings of lighthouses completely shut down an entire city as Portland’s Old Port Festival beats it into our heads that yes, summer is fast approaching. And a plea that we have bands that can make a nice crossover hit or two.

This of excludes the Maine Academy of Modern Music Stage which is doing amazing things like a Mad Scientist on the Children’s Performance Stage, or a MAMM Slam from 2-3:30 p.m. and shows from bands who are ranging in age from children to parents. What the Maine Academy Modern Music does is spectacular and necessary. 

So yes, of course there is music at the Old Port Festival and a complete list of this year’s festival events can be found here — but if our tone didn’t give it away, the Old Port Festival isn’t exactly for everyone, or more likely anyone usually found wandering into Hilly blog territory.

So for those of you who want an alternative to the mass of tourists and selfiesticks — the fourth annual Rooftop Show at Mathew’s Pub located at 133 Market Street kicked off last night  — oh, and is still going on.

Sorry. But don’t freak out too much if you missed some great acts like Fur or Mouth Washington…or the dare we say criminal genius of Jeff Beam

Anyway, this year’s rooftop show started with a set by HillyTown sweethearts Cheerwine upstairs on the roof.

And let’s just say Hillytowncore  will be very represented.

And the group of bands closing it down during the first now…well, downstairs is comprised of everyone’s favorites including ours. Leveret, Jeff Beam, IDMTHEFTABLE and the amazement of what a Hi Tiger show is in person. Day one completely wraps up tonight with a rooftop show at 9:40 p.m. by Great Western Plain that will end Day One of the 4th Annual Rooftop ( what has now become the) Festival.

We don’t know about you, but the $3 that you spent for the whole day will be worth it just for that closing set. Have you listened to Elastic Smile? Because you should.

Continue reading Mathew’s 4th Annual Rooftop Show Preview and set times


Can you believe it’s already that time of the year again? Denmark Arts Center Presents: DAM JAM 2013!

Once again, they’re featuring a few of our favorite Maine acts: Sunset Hearts, Coke Weed, and Jacob Augustine, as well as Mountain Animation, Burlington Taiko Ensemble, and a special set from Kristin Hersh (for the record, we’re big fans of her bands Throwing Muses and 50 Foot Wave, so we find this pretty awesome).

To make the whole thing even better for all of you Portlanders, this year they’re running a bus to get you from the city to the festival! For $20 you get a ticket to the festival and a ride out – leaving from in front of Joe’s Smoke Shop. Get your tickets here (just the festival ticket is $10)!

KahBang 2012 Is Here! Here’s Your HillyTown Guide to the Fest.

It’s already that time! KahBang takes over Bangor, Maine this weekend for a nonstop festival of music, art, and film. Since music is our specialty around here, we’ll address that with some recommendations. Start with this full schedule and follow along. Some bands (locals) are playing multiple shows, so you have a couple chances to catch them.

Here are our picks, starting with the obvious ones (aka HillyTown Presents alumni): A Severe Joy, Sunset Hearts, The Milkman’s Union, Jacob Augustine, When Particles Collide, Miniboone, The Gay Blades, and Lady Lamb The Beekeeper. Catch a show from any of those acts and you’re guaranteed a good time. This Way and Mallett Brothers Band do exceptionally well with their lives show, and fans of theirs will certainly turn out to see them on the big stage – same goes for the Wells, ME rapper, Spose. Music fans in Portland probably know by now that any Astronautalis show is not to be missed, and Pearl and the Beard have also been making a name for themselves with riveting performances on each visit to town over the past few years. Boston’s Aloud have become regulars in Portland and feed on the same power-duo rock vibe as our pals WPC, so fans of theirs should take notice (same goes for NYC band Graveyard Lovers, also playing the fest).

Just because you might not be too familiar with them yet isn’t a reason to miss a hot up-and-coming buzz band, so check out Penguin Prison, Steel Phantoms, The Box Tiger, and Now, Now. There are a few wild cards in the mix who sound promising (but we’re not vouching for them just yet), like Lunic, The Other Bones, No Evil Star, Reptar, The Aviation Orange, Herra Terra, The Bynars, and Darlingside.

Have fun out there!

HillyTown Sponsored Event: DAM JAM in Denmark, ME – July 21

By now you’re probably used to us telling you about cool events that we’re excited about, and promoting the shows and festivals that we’ve organized (like PICNIC), but here’s a new twist. Our friends at the Denmark Arts Center have been quietly hosting intimate events at their space, and now they’re stepping up their game and throwing a whole festival! They came to us to talk music and kick around ideas, and what they came up with looks pretty great, in fact most of the acts confirmed are HillyTown alumni and favorites of ours (The Toughcats, The Milkman’s Union, Coke Weed, Samuel James, Micah Blue Smaldone), so we’re pretty psyched about how it all turned out. The whole thing goes down on Saturday, July 21 at Bicentennial Park in Denmark, Maine. The festival is all ages and has a $10 suggested donation, but you must be 21+ to get in to the beergarden, provided by Bray’s Brewpub of Naples. Don’t forget to bring your bathing suit.

Keep yourself updated on all things DAM JAM by liking it on Facebook here.

PICNIC Band Lineup Announced!

It’s officially summer. That means bands playing outside under the sun in all sorts of unusual places and situations.

One of our favorites (for good reason, since we’re in charge of the music!) is PICNIC, which happens this year on Saturday, August 25 in Lincoln Park in Downtown Portland. We’ve got 9 bands lined up to keep your ears entertained throughout the day. We love to book some of our favorites along with new bands we’re not so familiar with, so we can all get to know them together. Check out the list below, and get more info on the festival here.

11:00 Mr. Neet
01:15 Watchers
04:15 AWAAS

PICNIC is a free event, and open to the public. We look forward to seeing you all there!

ps. Stay tuned, because the very next night, we’re setting sail on Casco Bay for HillyTown’s second annual Hot August Night On A Boat, AKA Party Barge (in collaboration with Pinecone + Chickadee)!

Picnic Music & Arts Festival Lineup

We’re excited to announce the HillyTown Presents-curated lineup of bands playing at next month’s Picnic Music & Arts Festival in Portland, Maine. The free August 27th festival will take place at Lincoln Park on Congress Street and Franklin Arterial from 11am-6pm. We’ve put together a fun day including Maine bands and 3 NYC acts coming up for the fun.

Performing bands (in no particular order):

Butcher Boy
Weird Children (NYC)
Sunset Hearts
Bandana Splits (NYC)
The Outfits
Mouth Washington
Clouder (NYC)
Mango Floss

We sure hope to see you there. Of course, before that, there is the boat on August 7. Contact us to purchase tickets for that one!

Free Range Festival Ticket Contest!

Before I even get to this, congrats to Nick F. who won a pair of tickets to the next 4 HillyTown Presents shows (the prize was given away at our One Longfellow Square show on Saturday).

Moving right along to the next one, we have a pair of tickets to the Belfast Free Range Music Festival happening this Saturday, April 30 at various venues in Belfast, Maine. We’ve already told you about the afterparty we’re throwing with Mango Floss and Vistas and gave you a free sampler of bands playing the festival, and now is your chance to make sure that you’re there to enjoy it all.

To enter, just send an email with your name to with the subject “Free Range!” The contest ends at 5pm on Tuesday (April 26) and a winner will be contacted that evening. Thanks and good luck!

No Nateva This Year?

Update: Looks like it has been confirmed that this was not a joke, the Nateva Festival really has been canceled this year! Sorry to hear it didn’t work out, and I hope they can get things sorted out to return in 2012.

Fact: It’s April Fools Day (did you like our little joke with Jesse Pilgrim earlier today?).

With that in mind, here’s a bit of news that just came in via a press release from the publicist at Nateva:

Nateva Cancels Scheduled Summer Music Festival in Maine

OXFORD, Maine — Due to a series of setbacks and challenges, Nateva Music and Camping Festival has cancelled its scheduled concert weekend at the Oxford Fairgrounds, August 4-7, 2011. Slower than predicted ticket sales and the very crowded summer festival schedule contributed to the festival organizers decision to cancel. Customers who purchased tickets through will automatically receive refunds to the credit card used at the time of purchase in the amount of the ticket face value and per-ticket fees.

“In the end, it’s all about being able to put forth a first rate event that everyone can be proud of and that our customers can enjoy. We just don’t have the confidence to go forward at this time,” said Frank Chandler, festival founder. “After an epic inaugural year, we have found ourselves struggling at every turn as we have tried to push forward with preparations for this summer.”

Organizers for Nateva hope to return to Maine in the future.

With a nearly full lineup already announced (and moe. having been leaked as a headliner just yesterday) it seems more than a bit odd that this news would come so suddenly…

For a joke, taking down the tickets seems like a pretty extreme measure, then again, here we are linking to their ticket page after not mentioning the festival for a little while… they get credit at least for a little self-inflicted potential loss of a few ticket sales.

Festivals Update!

It’s that time of year again – festivals across the state are being announced, and as usual we’re keeping tabs on them here at HillyTown. Here’s where things stand at the moment, but more music, film, and arts festivals are announced all the time and get added to the calendar on the right sidebar of this page.

Free Range Music Fest [April 30, Belfast] 2010 coverage
Arootsakoostik [July 9, New Sweden] – announced today!
Nateva [Aug. 4-7, Oxford) 2010 coverage tickets on sale now
KahBang [Aug 5-13, Bangor] 2010 coverage

MJFF [March 26-31, Portland]
MIFF [July 15-24, Waterville]
CIFF [Sep. 29-Oct. 2, Camden/Rockland]

If you are organizing a festival in Maine or know of one that we have missed here, please let us know at music -at-!