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Mike Dow

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BANGOR – The 28th annual edition of Paws on Parade, Bangor Humane Society’s largest annual fundraiser, promises to be extra groovy this year in both theme and venue. The fun dog walk, which traditionally draws hundreds of supporters and their beloved pets, will be held at a new location, Husson University, 1 College Circle in Bangor, on Saturday, October 2, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

Paws on Parade’s primary sponsors are Cross Insurance, Darling’s VW and Veazie Veterinary Clinic.

This year’s event will be the first in-person edition of Paws on Parade since 2019. Because of the pandemic, a virtual version was held last year. To represent the community coming together once again under a common cause, Bangor Humane Society has selected “Woofstock” as a theme, a reference to the iconic Woodstock music festival.

It’s almost impossible to predict the next move by progressive rock legend Rick Wakeman. The keyboardist, songwriter, radio and TV host, producer, author and actor has become almost as well known in his native U.K. for his comedic exploits, and that trademark wit was at full throttle during an interview with The Maine Edge. 

Wakeman’s virtuosic keyboard skills graced classic albums by the band YES, along with iconic songs by David Bowie, Elton John, Cat Stevens, T. Rex, and Al Stewart, among others. His solo output is astonishing in breadth and volume, comprising dozens of entries. Wakeman’s gold-selling concept albums include “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” and “The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.”

His sold-out 2019 “The Grumpy Old Rock Star Tour,” a mix of solo piano performance and humorous stories, provided a spellbinding evening for anyone lucky enough to score a ticket. Wakeman says he’s keen to return to America next month to take that concept to the next level with the “Even Grumpier Old Rock Star Tour,” telling The Maine Edge, “I’m calling it that because it was postponed four times. By the time you see me next month, it will be called “The Unbelievably Grumpier Old Rock Star Tour.”

That tour is scheduled to begin October 13 in Natick, MA, followed by dates in Derry, NH, Northampton, MA, New London, CT, and Fall River, MA. You can find the complete schedule at www.RWCC.com.

One of the stars of “The Office” says she accepted an invitation to be part of season 30 of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” in the hope viewers might come to know the real Melora Hardin. Hardin is best known as Jan Levinson, the boss both loved and feared by Steve Carell’s Michael Scott, and for her roles on “Monk,” “Transparent” and “The Bold Type.”

Hardin tells The Maine Edge she’s ready to go for the mirror ball trophy on the dance competition series. The show’s 30th season premiered live Monday, September 20, and is scheduled to air new episodes each Monday at 8 p.m.

When the band Tesla took the stage in Roanoke, Virginia, last week, it was a moment that guitarist and founding member Frank Hannon says he won’t forget. August was supposed to be go-time for Tesla’s “Let’s Get Real!” tour when Covid struck each member of the band, setting the trek back more than a month. Now healthy, and with an attitude of gratitude, Hannon says Tesla is recharged and ready to rock.

Hannon, along with bassist and band co-founder Brian Wheat, lead singer Jeff Keith, drummer Troy Luccketta and guitarist Dave Rude, plan to do just that on September 23 when the “Let’s Get Real” tour arrives at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts, with southern rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Four decades after the earliest incarnation of Tesla first got together in Sacramento, California, Hannon says he’s most proud that Tesla’s songs that have withstood the test of time. “To see people respond to our songs 35 years later, because the music makes them feel good, that is a feat,” Hannon said, adding “Songwriting is the most important part of what we do.”

Wednesday, 15 September 2021 12:13

Becoming lost and found on tour with Phish

“If life were easy and not so fast, I wouldn’t think about the past.”

That lyric, from the song “Roggae” by Phish, succinctly sums up a summer vacation road trip that will stay with me for the rest of my life, but not for the reasons you might expect.

My mission was to spend a week on the road with Phish and their fans as a representative of JEMP Radio, an enormously popular web-based radio station dedicated to the jam-band scene with a heavy emphasis on all things Phish. Since the station signed on more than six years ago, I’ve been hosting “The Other Mike’s Corner” each Wednesday at 2:00 p.m.

My traveling companion was Race Allen, JEMP Radio’s founder. This adventure provided an opportunity for much of the station staff, a group scattered around the country, to actually meet in person. It also gave us a chance to personally interact with listeners at two shows in Hershey, Pennsylvania, followed by a three-show run on the beach in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The waning days of summer have offered a bounty of new releases from a number of well-known artists, some of whom have just issued their first new music in years. This week, I covered three of them – and also invited a guest reviewer to share his thoughts about one of this week’s new titles.

When the Liverpool-based new-wave band A Flock of Seagulls appeared on the scene in the early 1980s with hits “I Ran (So Far Away),” “Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You),” and “Space Age Love Song,” they sounded like no one else.

Founding member and front man Mike Score’s space-aged haircut from the time may be gone, but the original lineup of the band is intact on the new LP “String Theory” (August Day Records) recorded with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.

Like 2018’s “Ascension,” which hit the top 10 on Billboard’s Classical chart, “String Theory” features brothers Mike and Ali Score, Frank Maudsley and Paul Reynolds, revisiting songs from A Flock of Seagulls’ back catalog enhanced with restrained orchestral arrangements.

During an interview with The Maine Edge, Mike Score explained his intent behind his band’s two recent collaborations with the Prague Philharmonic and also drops news about a probable album of new Seagulls songs for next year. He explains why he reluctantly agreed to take part in a VH-1 episode of “Reunite the Band” and he gives a preview of A Flock of Seagulls’ upcoming fall tour that will bring Score and a different band lineup to Norwalk, CT, on October 10 and Boston on October 11.

The creators of two award-winning films shot in Maine have taken their craft to a new level with the outrageous Hollywood comedy “Queenpins,” inspired by a true story. The film is scheduled for a limited theatrical opening on September 10 and will arrive digitally on the Paramount+ streaming platform on September 30 and later on Showtime.

Written and directed by the husband-and-wife team of Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly, “Queenpins” is the story of a frustrated housewife (Connie, played by Kristen Bell of “The Good Place” and “Frozen”) and her best friend (Jo-Jo, played by Kirby Howell-Baptiste of “Killing Eve” and “Barry”) who together hatch a $40 million counterfeit coupon scheme.

The “Queenpins” cast includes Vince Vaughn (“Swingers,” “Wedding Crashers”), Paul Walter Hauser (“Richard Jewell,” “I, Tonya”) Joel McHale (“Community”), Stephen Root (“Office Space,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”) and singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha in her first film role.

Gaudet, an Old Town native, and Pullapilly, are perhaps best known for 2009’s “The Way We Get By,” the powerfully moving documentary film about a group of tireless senior citizens who find fulfillment in their golden years when gathering at all hours to greet incoming and outgoing troops at Bangor International Airport. The film took its creators and cast to screenings around the country, including Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. and to Hollywood, where AARP named it the best documentary of the year. It has since screened numerous times on PBS.

Four years later, the filmmakers returned with “Beneath the Harvest Sky,” an indie drama largely shot in Van Buren, about friends whose lives are upended when one becomes embroiled in the illegal prescription drug trade along the Canadian border. The film starred Emory Cohen (“Brooklyn”) Callan McAuliffe (“The Great Gatsby”) and Sarah Sutherland (“Veep”) and won the Directors to Watch prize at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Legendary singer, songwriter and performer Paul Anka isn’t interested in discussing retirement. His 80th birthday at the end of July coincides with the release of “Making Memories,” a baker’s dozen of original Anka tunes, both new and reimagined, including a TikTok-inspired duet with Olivia Newton-John on his classic “Put Your Head on My Shoulder.” The song hit the top of the Amazon sales chart earlier this year.

Anka wrote career-defining hits for Frank Sinatra and Tom Jones. He composed the theme for “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.” Hundreds of artists have recorded Anka tunes, including Buddy Holly, Patti Labelle, Celine Dion and Michael Jackson, but Anka says he was totally taken by surprise to learn that one of his songs had inspired a social media movement that had users putting their own spin on of his signature tunes.

When a family member is convicted of murder, the consequences can be devastating for all involved and the appeals process can leave the accused and their family in indefinite legal limbo. On Investigation Discovery’s “Reasonable Doubt,” retired homicide detective Chris Anderson and trial attorney Fatima Silva reexamine contentious trials and try to help families decide whether to pursue an appeal or accept the guilty verdict. The show’s fourth season airs new episodes each Monday at 10:00 p.m.

Anderson spent 21 years with the City of Birmingham police department. Today, he’s a cold case investigator with the District Attorney’s office and the head of Birmingham’s Conviction Integrity Unit.

During the following interview, Anderson explains how he and Silva apply different sciences to achieve a balanced investigation. He explains how families have difficulty coming to terms with their loved one’s guilty verdict, and he admits that it’s easy for him to become consumed with an investigation.

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