Now that the site is in order, don’t mind if we do a little bit of catchup here!
Even though the state of Maine’s music scene can feel pretty small at time – especially if your primary interested is the indie/experimental world – it can still take some time to catch an act. I’d known about the Class Machine for a while before finally catching them during the Free Range Music Fest in Belfast back in April, but they were well worth the wait. A few weeks later they were down in Portland to open for Drink Up Buttercup at SPACE Gallery.
HillyTown contributor Katie Fuller explains why her dad would like this duo from Belfast (and, in turn, so should you)….
Nate Raleigh and Cody Tibbetts are the Class Machine. It’s a fitting name for a band that seems to tackle the work of making music with an almost engineer-like precision and zero pretention. They describe their own sound as “Irving Berlin trying to light a cigarette while running a chainsaw.” The two lovely gentlemen drove down from their neck of the woods to play a Monday night show at SPACE. Opening for Dead Man’s Clothes, and Drink Up Buttercup, Nate and Cody play three (maybe four?) instruments collectively between two people (although at moments Tibbetts’ solos are so ripping that I swear there’s an extra musician hiding out somewhere on stage when they play). In some ways, Class Machine is, at least for me, a quintessentially Maine band, just playing whatever instruments they get their hands on to the best of their ability, and letting the music (and the smart, smart, lyrics) do the talking (and we all know how much good Maine people love to talk, which is, really, not much. I mean, at least my Dad would rather be on his land in Phillips every day of the week hunting turkeys than actually talking to people. With that being said, my Dad would like Class Machine, and I think he’d like the guys in it as well). If anything, Dad would appreciate their work ethic- Class Machine is efficient to say the least (they ripped through their set with lightning speed). Nate and Cody have been together since 2005, but the crew from Drink Up Buttercup took notice, inviting both of them up on stage for a guest appearance on moroccas on a tune I hear they often play off stage and in the audience. If the crowd had been bigger, perhaps Drink Up Buttercup would have joined us on the floor, but seeing as Dr. Dog lured many down the street for their gig, it didn’t seem forced to have Class Machine, who they’d never seen before, join them on stage. (Class Machine also joined Drink Up’s seriously duct-taped instruments…duct tape- how very Maine of them). By the end of the guest appearance, it didn’t really matter that Drink Up Buttercup and Class Machine were the only people on the stage- at that point, we were already up there with them.
The Class Machine have a slew of gigs in Maine this summer, starting with tomorrow night at Roots & Tendrils (where we caught them before, and where the above photo is from). They’ll also be at The Underground Lounge in Rockland on July 30, at the Arootsakoostic Music Festival in New Sweden on August 7, and at Belfast Summer Nights on August 12.