A&C Recommends: Jeff Beam, Tanner Smith and Billy Carr at Poland Street

Posted on March 17, 2012 in Arts & Culture
By Liza Miller

Kevin Steeves | The Free Press

This Friday, the D.I.Y music venue Poland St. will host an evening featuring Portland’s finest young talent. Your weekend will be sure to start off with a bang as Jeff Beam Boombox, Tanner Smith, Billy Carr and Boston natives Holiday Mountain take the stage at 26 Poland St.

Prolifically creative psychedelic-indie rocker Jeff Beam will be debuting songs from his new album Be Your Own Mirror set for release early next month, after a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for its release.

Beam said he has been looking forward to playing at Poland Street for a while and will be mostly preforming new songs. Beam also said Friday’s show will be a warm-up for his April 6 album release party at Empire Dine & Dance.

“[Be Your Own Mirror] is about translating existential feelings into soundscape and melodies,” said Beam. “Universal things that humans can relate to, and trying to turn that into sounds.”

Also performing that night will be Tanner Smith of the indie-psyche-rock band Laminated Cat. Smith’s songwriting is characterized with heavily metaphoric language accented by moments of humble directness and hints of the human experience.

Smith’s guitar style is reminiscent of a cross between Rambling Jack Elliot and Neil Young. In 2009 Smith’s band, Laminated Cat, recorded their album Umbrella Weather with Garden Gate Records — the record label of Elephant 6 legend Robert Schneider of Apples In Stereo and Craig Morris of Thee American Revolution. According to Schneider, Laminated Cat is “the best young psychedelic band in years.”

Portland folk-punk pioneer and poetic lyricist Billy Carr will also be playing on Friday. Carr’s music is filled with the surrealism of numerous collected memories and edgy fast-paced, sporadic rhythm guitar. Carr takes you along with him as he reminisces on stark northern Maine imagery.

Friday night’s show begins at 6 p.m. and will end at 9 p.m. Although the cost is free, small donations to help support the artists and the touring band are suggested.

“[Poland Street is] cozy and relaxed,” said Beam. “It’s refreshing to be able to play at a place that is centered on the concert listening experience over anything else.”