Spiritualized gets inspirational on ‘Sweet Heart Sweet Light’

Posted on April 22, 2012 by Ryan Cutler in Album Reviews

Jason Pierce, founding member and front-man for alt-rock band Spiritualized, contracted a life-threatening liver disease while recording his newest album, Sweet Heart Sweet Light. Being forced to take experimental medicinal drugs to cure his sickness, Pierce — the only constant member of the group for over 20 years — produced the record under the induced […]

Jeff Beam steps away from the Union for ‘Be Your Own Mirror’

Posted on March 30, 2012 by Ryan Cutler in Album Reviews, Arts & Culture

Jeff Beam is one of those Portland staples who is difficult to not notice. You have seen him walking down Congress Street with the lanky stride of John Lennon crossing Abbey Road, perhaps you have even caught him pulling off a Hendrix-influenced solo at various bars around town. Chiseling away for years at his own artistic vision, […]

Somewhere between Sonic Youth genius and Xtina, Lee Ranaldo falls short

Posted on March 28, 2012 by Ryan Cutler in Album Reviews, Arts & Culture

For fans of Sonic Youth, Lee Ranaldo’s ninth studio album Between the Times and the Tides will be very familiar territory. Don’t look here for an ultra-modern update of the hyper-loud and noise-ridden experimentation of the Daydream Nation days. Instead what you will find is Ranaldo wandering through his comfort zones with ten assemblages of hazy noise and sappy love-rock standards. […]

Springsteen comes to the frontline the 17th time around

Posted on March 17, 2012 by Ryan Cutler in Album Reviews, Arts & Culture

Bruce Springsteen has always spoken for America’s unheard voices, from the love-torn rock operas in 1975′s Born to Run, to the American Dream-turned-broken nightmare of 1984′s Born in the U.S.A. After witnessing and retelling the effects of a wayward nation for decades, The Boss now assumes the roles of judge and jury to accuse “all them fat cats” with […]

Of midwest moonshine in Great Western Plain’s ‘Mustache Eye Patch’

Posted on March 09, 2012 by Ryan Cutler in Album Reviews, Arts & Culture

Despite their residency in the Pine Tree State, Great Western Plain encapsulates those expansive west-of-Mississippi flats that stretch from Texas to Canada in sublime isolation. With their sophomore release Mustache Eye Patch, the Portland trio lets their frustrations loose like a drunken twister in Kansas. Mustache Eye Patch is a recipe for the perfect cowboy garage rock record, […]

The science of Mango Floss and ‘Semper Augustus’

Posted on March 04, 2012 by Ryan Cutler in Album Reviews, Arts & Culture

Picture Albert Einstein alive and well in 2012, joining Portland’s indie rock scene to propose his theory of indie-rock relativity: a carefully engineered theory seeking a fresh approach to a tried-and-tired music genre that combines science theory and sci-fi monsters with catchy hits. Semper Augustus, the new album from Portland indie-pop trio Mango Floss, would […]

Air to the moon in ‘Le Voyage Dans La Lune’

Posted on February 10, 2012 by Ryan Cutler in Album Reviews

Pop-weavers Jean-Benoît Dunckel and Nicolas Godin boldly tackle science fiction as French electronic duo Air, providing the vessel for a spaced-out experiment with their seventh studio album Le Voyage Dans La Lune. Le Voyage Dans La Lune is a concept album inspired by Georges Méliès’ “A Trip to the Moon,” a French silent film from 1902 in which a group of astronauts ride a […]

Leonard Cohen faces mortality in ‘Old Ideas’

Posted on February 03, 2012 by Ryan Cutler in Album Reviews

Leonard Cohen used to think he “was some kind of gypsy boy,” traveling those spaces between his heart and his soul on his long voyage through romantic and spiritual strife. Now at 77-years-old, the Canadian singer-songwriter is preparing for his final journey at the end of life with his latest album Old Ideas. Old Ideas […]

Annual USM Faculty Exhibit brings big ideas to an intimate setting

Posted on January 28, 2012 by Ryan Cutler in Arts & Culture

Monica Chau, a staff member for the USM department of marketing and brand management presents her work "I Ching, Forest of Steles" at the USM Faculty Art Exhibit at the USM Gorham Art Gallery.

From a large pile of knotted hay strewn in corner, to a man trapped inside a pair of larger-than-life wine bottles, a diverse mix of abstract-expressionist paintings, organic sculptures, and 21st century new media installations adorn the floor and walls of the USM Art Gallery in Gorham as part of the annual USM Art Faculty […]

Behind boarded-up windows, 131washington brings an all-inclusive DIY space to Portland

Posted on January 19, 2012 by Ryan Cutler in Arts & Culture

Portland’s newest DIY art and music space. Renovation funds were raised through the fundraising website Kickstarter.

At the foot of Munjoy Hill rests a small warehouse with a weathered exterior and boarded-up windows, unabashedly displaying its survival through 84 harsh Maine winters — outlasting many surrounding buildings throughout the years. But behind the warped walls and crudely-painted doors lies an ambitious new arts and music venue run by two young artists […]