Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

Say bye-bye to boredom and hello to HillyTown

Posted on March 07, 2011 in Arts & Culture
By Anna Flemke

“There’s nothing to do in Maine. Maine is boring.”

If you grew up in Maine, chances are you’ve heard this statement before. If you’re new to the state, you’re going to hear it eventually — perhaps you’ll even say it yourself.

Most Mainers can admit the state probably won’t be the center of the next cultural revolution. There are, however, parts of the state that are growing exponentially more interesting, particularly in the arts and music scene.

The Portland-based blog HillyTown aims to promote Maine artists and musicians, as well as informing readers of musical events happening in the city of Portland and beyond. With show listings, reviews, photos and more, HillyTown is a useful resource for every bored Mainer.

Started by Bryan Bruchman, a former Brooklyn resident who moved to Portland two-and-a-half years ago, HillyTown has grown into an impressive database of Maine music.

Bruchman originally created the blog due to lack of a better music reserve. “When I moved here I pretty much started HillyTown right away,” he said. “I was trying to find out what was going on musically [in Portland] because I didn’t find any resources. I didn’t find a good show list with concerts that I wanted to go to. It didn’t seem like there was one.”

Bruchman tries not to confine his coverage to events happening in the Portland area alone. Past coverage includes last year’s Nateva Festival in Oxford and the Free Range Music Festival in Belfast.

“I really enjoy things that are more than just a rock band playing at a club,” said Bruchman. “There’s definitely a deeper involvement.”

Last October, Bruchman and other HillyTown contributors took part in College Music Journal’s Music Marathon, an annual event intended to showcase up-and-coming bands in the world of college radio.

Attended by a myriad of record labels and industry professionals in New York, CMJ is a great place for any band to gain exposure.

Using the website kickstarter.com and the HillyTown blog to promote Maine band’s involvement with CMJ, Bruchman was able to raise enough money to send seven bands to the festival.

Bruchman has also started HillyTown Presents, a concert series curated, booked and promoted by the website. A relatively new endeavor, the series brings together Bruchman’s experience booking shows and his connections within the Maine music scene. The goal is to put on more musical events in Portland, with the HillyTown blog serving as a promotional outlet.

The musical genres covered on HillyTown tend to lean a little to the indie-rock side.  Bruchman does try to be fair and include events he finds noteworthy or appealing on a general level, but ultimately HillyTown is still a blog that expresses his own personal taste.

“Sometimes I get people submitting things to me or asking if I’m interested in covering stuff, and it gets to be kind of complicated to explain,” he said. “It really is just what I am interested in; it’s not even a judgment.”

With photos, reviews, audio clips and videos being contributed by more people than just Bruchman, HillyTown is taking on the appearance of an Internet-based music collective. Although Bruchman serves as sole editor for the website, the information provided on the blog continues to be a true representation of the success found in the Maine music scene .

The popular Austin, Texas festival South by Southwest is just one of many upcoming events to be covered on HillyTown. In addition to music, SXSW features a variety of new media presentations and film screenings. Bruchman is currently on the hunt for any Maine bands who plan to participate in the festival.

Another installment of HillyTown Presents is also set to take place at One Longfellow Square on April 23 at 8 p.m. Playing are the Brooklyn based band Milagres, Portland’s own The Milkman Union and Husband & Wife from Bloomington, Ind.

HillyTown has a simple design and is easy to navigate, which comes in handy if you plan on having a few glasses of wine before you hit the town. Other useful features of the website include the ability to search show listings by venue, in addition to viewing upcoming events.

Links to other Portland-based blogs, businesses, record labels, and band websites are also positioned in the sidebars. With everything located in such a convenient, organized manner, there’s no excuse not to stay up-to-date with your favorite Portland artist or band.

For more information on HillyTown send an email to hello@hillytown.com. All music-related news and submissions are to be sent to music@hillytown.com.

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