As I watch him gently lift the perfectly-tuned guitars from their cases, I think “This man treats his instruments as if they are his best friends.” He cradles them while his fingers fall over the strings and a smile appears on his face. If they could speak (and in his hands they can), they might ask, “Are you going to make me sing, cry or laugh today?” On a typical night, they will do all three.
It’s a gorgeous early summer day on the Bangor Waterfront and I’m meeting up with guitarist Mark Miller for a photo session near the water followed by a conversation over lunch at the Sea Dog Brewing Company next door.
The hospitality industry loves and fears Anthony Melchiorri, host of Travel Channel’s “Hotel Impossible.” A “fixer” of struggling hotels, Melchiorri is known for a no-nonsense approach and a keen ability to discern deceit.
Melchiorri’s track record for success is astounding. Starting as a part-time night auditor of an Embassy Suites in Kansas while serving in the United States Air Force and taking business classes at night, he transitioned to his native New York City where he oversaw a rebirth for the historic Plaza, Lucerne and Algonquin hotels.
When Roy Orbison’s “Mystery Girl” album was issued two months after his sudden death of a heart attack at age 52, it became a rare rock occurrence – a posthumously issued recording worthy of standing proud with his most cherished recordings.
As “Mystery Girl” quickly jumped into the top five on the Billboard charts, it joined another album blessed with Orbison’s genius – the first record by The Traveling Wilburys was sitting tight at number three. The most holy of rock super-friend alliances reestablished Orbison’s legend while “Mystery Girl” sealed it. It seemed like Roy was still with us.
The Penobscot Music Festival, a celebration of the area’s local music scene, is scheduled for the evening before Memorial Day, Sunday May 25 at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer. The event, from 4 p.m. to midnight, is set to include eight area bands with admission a mere $2 cover at the door.
Organizer Vinny Cormier, guitarist and vocalist for Dakota (a band celebrating its 30th anniversary this year), says that each of the eight bands will play a 50-minute set. “I’m looking at this as a fun party and a celebration of local music,” Cormier told me during an interview last week. “We’ll have two stages so there won’t be any wait time between bands. As one band is playing, another will set up.”
Twenty years after his death, Kurt Cobain’s influence on music, fashion and culture, continues to grow, according to Seattle-based music journalist, Charles R. Cross in his new book “Here We Are Now: The Lasting Impact of Kurt Cobain.”
Cross has been surveying the music scene more than 25 years with an emphasis on Seattle artists. His 2001 biography of Cobain, “Heavier Than Heaven,” won the 2002 ASCAP Award for outstanding biography. He is also the author of “Room Full of Mirrors: The Biography of Jimi Hendrix” and co-author of “Kicking & Dreaming,” with Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart.
“Beneath The Harvest Sky”, a drama of remarkable depth and beauty, is set to premiere at theaters throughout Maine on Friday, April 25 – one week before it opens nationally.
Dominic (Callan McAuliffe) and Casper (Emory Cohen) are two high school seniors – best friends of antithetical character - determined to leave their small Maine border town amid a backdrop of the potato harvest, sex, drugs, rock and roll, love, death and betrayal.
Why a movie made in Maine turned Hollywood’s head
“Beneath The Harvest Sky” - a long-awaited coming-of-age drama written, directed and produced by Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly - will premiere in theaters throughout Maine on Friday, April 25, one week before it opens nationally.
It’s fitting that Mike Mills has plans to celebrate Record Store Day in Maine at Bull Moose in Scarborough on April 19. The former bassist for R.E.M. and co-writer of some of the band’s most enduring songs makes a point to seek out the best music stores in most every town he visits.
“I still go into Wuxtry Records in Athens,” Mills told me in a phone interview. R.E.M’s Peter Buck was behind the counter at Wuxtry 35 years ago when Michael Stipe was a frequent customer. The store was a catalyst in the formation of one of rock’s most influential bands. “I’ve been to Mississippi Records in Portland, Oregon. I was in Amoeba in Los Angeles not long ago. I hit record stores whenever I can,” Mills said.
The seventh annual Record Store Day, a global celebration of and for music lovers who support indie record stores, is set for Saturday, April 19.
Hundreds of limited-edition vinyl and CD releases will be part of this year’s celebration – many created with full cooperation of the artists.
Nearly four years in the making, “Beneath the Harvest Sky,” the debut narrative drama from award-winning filmmakers Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly, is set to premiere in theaters throughout Maine on April 25- one week before it opens nationally.
For Gaudet and Pullapilly, partners in film and in marriage, bringing “Beneath the Harvest Sky” to the big screen is the realization of a dream they have had for many years. “Hopefully, after people see this, they will look at us as filmmakers who make professional, narrative films,” Gaudet told me in a recent phone interview. “I think we’re still looking to legitimize ourselves after we did a self-released documentary.”
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