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Friday Roundup: RVIVR, Action Bronson, AFRAID and First Friday


Lady Lamb performing at Port City last month, openers Cuddle Magic will take the stage at SPACE next week. PHOTO: HillyTown/Andrew Foster

It’s true — I’m not Dylan Martin, your usual HillyTown weekly Friday rounder-uper. Dylan is currently working on a more involved story for HillyTown that will be up next week (or so he says; odds are higher that he’s currently playing a pretty intense game of Settlers of Catan with his cats or, whatever this is). So for one week only, I will wear the Friday Roundup Crown of Snark and see what Portland has been up to on both the local and national stages.


– For a certain subset of HillyTown readers, dreams came true as the Asylum (of all places) announced a show headlined by Fat Wreck Chords label stalwarts Propagandhi. While Propagandhi has plenty of fans (even as they made the difficult transition from skate punk to hardcore years ago) the bigger OH MY GOD moment came when the supporting acts were announced —  more specifically, when the politically-powered, female-fronted Olympia, Washington quartet RVIVR was announced as a supporting act.

Why is this such a big deal? — The last time the trio played Portland it was in the basement of a now-defunct punk house where at least 60% of Portland’s under 35 population has lived for at least a week — Coyle Street.

So go see RVIVR if you can — their live shows are amazingly energetic, or at least pickup a t-shirt, which is quickly usurping the token Ramones/Black Flag signifier of “I like music.”

Just don’t swing by Coyle Street unless you want to get emotional — the final bonfire has been replaced with a garden and finely trimmed hedges. But don’t worry, the last time we checked it was still the same porch.

– In what will hopefully become a regular tradition, the Portland City Council voted to close part of Congress Street for June’s First Friday Art Walk.

There are of course some objections to the closing of Congress Street for that month’s First Friday — primarily coming from the Portland Metro Bus Directors:

“Metro Director Greg Jordan said Tuesday that buses were delayed by 10 to 20 minutes in December. Other events that close roadways and force detours throughout the year also disrupt service, affecting commuters and the bus service’s reputation, he said.”

Speaking of First Friday, maybe next month’s First Friday could also have been considered for closing Congress Street for First Friday? The Maine College of Art is having its senior thesis show and annual fashion show: MECAmorphosis. The senior thesis show takes over the MECA campus with around 100 graduating artists displaying their work which ranges from portrait painting to new media installations.

Or, we can stick with the usual paintings of sunsets and lighthouses that cater more to tourists passing through. But hey — free wine and cheese as always.

–  AFRAID just dropped a video for “Visions From the Holy Cross Cemetery” from their most recent release Sinister Vibes. The video is just as gloomy and surreal as you would expect —  we think Luis Buñuel would be proud.

In other AFRAID news, congratulations to the band for selling out of their lot of physical cassettes. If you want to get your own copy (which you totally do — trust us) go on over to their label Crash Symbols‘ site and pick one of these violet beauties for yourself.

– A slew of tickets went on sale this week for upcoming national shows that are stopping by Portland. While we’re sure you already picked up your tickets for Action Bronson at the State Theatre (how good was “Terry” off his newest album Mr.Wonderful?), tickets are also now on sale for alt-country poster boys Old 97’s co-founder Rhett Miller. For you Deadheads/whatever Phish fans are called, Portland’s own Murcielago tickets are also on sale for their show on June 5 at Port City Music Hall.

– Hey remember when Angel Olsen played SPACE in 2013 to promote her sophomore record Half Way Home (supported by HillyTown favorite Lisa/Liza)? Well, after making countless appearances in “best of” lists Olsen has made the move to Port City Music Hall to support her great new album Burn Your Fire For No Witnesses. Let’s just hope the bros that were heckling at the SPACE have grown-up a bit in the past few years since the show at SPACE — tickets are available online now.

The Bollard still writes album reviews, despite the following admission from The Bollard’s head honcho Chris Busby Peet Chamberlain:

“I’ve heard one-and-a-half local records this year, and Action at a Distance is my favorite. I’m excited to find out what they do next.”

Let’s avoid the negativity of his latest review for Leveret‘s Action at a Distance (which I continue to praise, as Gertz showed that he is just as comfortable in a full band setting as he is as a solo act) and play a game of “Guess what the other half a record Chris Busby Peet Chamberlin heard from Portland was this year.” Let’s hope he busted out the eyeliner and tried giving Sinister Vibes a spin.

– Despite where you fall in the whole Portland Sun/DigPortland/Portland Phoenix debacle, Portland Phoenix contributor Jakob Battick continues to kill it with glances into the lesser-known side of local music happenings — 0n Wednesday he reviewed the newest from Sterling Black, S.L.O.G.O.S. Here’s a taste from Battick’s review:

“Here lies Black’s greatest talent: to take something as familiar as Guns N’ Roses, deconstruct it entirely, and reassemble it lovingly into a beast that’s at once recognizable and wildly new.”

– And for the hat trick of local music journalism, Portland blogging king Alex Steed had a chat earlier in the week with Meg Shorette of Launchpad who is putting on the All Roads Music Festival in Bangor next month.

In the last week at HillyTown:

– Cuddle Magic goes from Lady Lamb opening to SPACE headliners

– Father John Misty makes the jump from Port City to The State

– Stop doing what you’re doing to and listen to High Spirits

– Tal National makes the journey from West Africa to SPACE this weekend


Song Of The Week: 

An oldie but a goodie — The Rattlesnakes (RIP) “Secret Government Satellite Communications Base” live on Serious Business: