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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The 1960s mop top is gone, but Ringo Starr is still flashing a peace sign.

The former Beatle marked his 72nd birthday Saturday by holding a 'peace and love' moment at noon. He asked people worldwide to do the same at 12 o'clock in their time zones.

The idea came to him in 2008 when an interviewer asked him what he wanted for his birthday. Since then, he has held events each year in cities such as New York, Chicago and Hamburg, Germany.

'It's sort of catching on more and more, the more we do,' Starr said before the festivities. 'We got lots of blogs from Japan and China and all over the world saying, `We did peace and love.' So it's working.'

Tuesday, 03 July 2012 15:23

Punky reggae party

Written by Justice Barnes
Dave Wakeling and the English Beat to appear at the Grand

There are few things I enjoy more than a nice helping of 80s pop culture. Top it off with a bit of British invasion and I'm a happy girl. On Monday, July 9, the Grand Theater in Ellsworth will be serving the perfect blend of both by hosting an evening with the English Beat.

The English Beat formed in the late 70s predominately as a ska band, but they have created a sound that transcends genre classification and have produced hits that are staples in the soundtracks of thousands of peoples' lives.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:52

Matt Mason, CMT's Next Superstar,' to play Bangor

Written by Mike Dow

Matt Mason, winner of the first season of 'CMT's Next Superstar' in 2011, will visit Maine for the first time on Friday, June 29 when he brings his band to My Fork Restaurant and Sports Lounge on the Odlin Road in Bangor with special guest Chris Ross.

Country music fans were introduced to Mason in 2006, when he was selected from among 20,000 hopefuls to be one of 10 contestants on USA Network's 'Nashville Star.' Judges and fans alike were taken with the young country music traditionalist who was weaned on the music of legends Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings during his formative years in Indiana.

On 'Nashville Star,' Mason placed fourth overall and assumed the show would provide the rocket fuel to get his career off the launch pad. After a move to Nashville, he learned that the music business can be an unpredictable beast, and even a weekly appearance on a popular national broadcast was no guarantee of success.

Thursday, 14 June 2012 07:45

The Beach Boys are coming with Brian Wilson!

Written by Mike Dow
(and why you should be there)

Friday, June 22 promises to be a night of fun, fun, fun on the Bangor Waterfront when The Beach Boys hit town for nearly three hours of hits and rarities - one of only 50 American dates scheduled for the band's 50th anniversary tour.

Nearly 20 years have passed since The Beach Boys have performed with their leader Brian Wilson - the man responsible for most of the band's mojo. For this tour Brian is back, and I was more than a little surprised when the news broke that he agreed to do it. Brian doesn't need the money, he doesn't need the aggravation (Mike Love) and it's been decades since he appeared completely at ease on stage. So why did he did agree to be part of a lengthy reunion tour in addition to creating and producing new material for the band's 29th studio album 'That's Why God Made The Radio?' My guess is that he wants closure to The Beach Boys' saga on his terms.

Not many bands survive to see a 50th anniversary tour, and the few who do have seen their share of weirdness. The Beach Boys are no exception. Under the smiles, striped shirts and Mike Love's ballcap lie decades of lawsuits, dysfunction and strange vibrations.

Over five decades, The Beach Boys have kept alive several communities of therapists and litigators. As recently as 2007, Brian Wilson prevailed in cousin Mike Love's ridiculous lawsuit over Brian's CD of re-recorded Beach Boys hits distributed free to the readership of a UK newspaper. What made Wilson's victory especially satisfying was Love's cockiness in the courtroom. According to Brian's wife Melinda, Mike Love turned to his cousin and said, 'You better start writing a real big hit because you're going to have to write me a real big check.' The judge decided otherwise.

The Wilson brothers had an absolute tool bag for a father. By all accounts, Murray Wilson worked overtime to make the lives of his boys a whirlwind of despair. Archival interviews with Brian, Carl and Dennis are filled with painful childhood tales of emotional and physical abuse many too graphic for The Maine Edge. Here's one we can share with you: Murray took perverse pleasure in scaring his sons by removing his glass eye and forcing them to look in the socket.

NEW YORK - Aerosmith has flown with turbulence for most of their 40-year career, but as the group's summer tour begins this week, things in the band seem to be absolutely blissful.

'We've already gone through all our problems,' Steven Tyler said in a recent interview, laughing with Joe Perry.

Aerosmith has definitely had its share of feuds both public and private, most recently in 2009, when Perry lashed out at Tyler after the 'American Idol' judge fell off a stage during the band's concert tour and injured himself, forcing the band off the road. Perry questioned Tyler's dedication to Aerosmith and even floated the idea of a new lead singer, but they made publicly made up.

Wednesday, 06 June 2012 14:27

No failure to entertain for Zac Brown Band

Written by Ann M. J. Joles
Threat of rain fails to dampen crowds

BANGOR - It seems Mother Nature likes it 'Chicken Fried' and held off the rain for the 12,000-plus attendees of the Zac Brown Band's (ZBB) June 2 performance at the Bangor Waterfront Pavilion. Braving the cold and predictions of rain, fans flocked to see this special blend of Southern music hospitality.

The show opened with two young artists from Atlanta, Ga., signed to the ZBB label, Southern Ground. Nic Cowan was energetically fresh, mixing funk, rock, and reggae. His songwriting is a smart twist of smirk and style evident in his single 'Hardheaded' and the humorous 'Double Wide.' Sonia Leigh, reminiscent of a young Melissa Etheridge, had a sound somewhere between garage band and honky-tonk. She was all rock n' roll on 'My Name is Money,' but true country with her single 'Bar.' Ending with a cover of 'Born to Run,' she was dead on with her gutsy rendition of this classic.

ELLSWORTH Trisha Mason is a candidate for most nervous interview subject ever.

She giggles a lot. Her cheeks, glowing with health, blush. Her accessible gaze suddenly averts up and to the left, then instantly returns.

'I'm sorry,' she says with a giggle. 'You should see me onstage. It's the talking thing that gets me every time.'

She takes a seat at her piano, a vintage Jacobs Brothers. Its wood cabinet is nicked a bit, but the instrument is in good shape and contains a rich sound. A notebook full of song lyrics is on the stand, and more pages of lyrics, along with a cut-glass lamp, is on top. A guitar case leans against one side. The dividing wall, which Mason painted carmine with pattern of circles within quadrangles, is hung with family photos; an image of her grandfather as a young man, accordion in hand, takes center place.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012 14:41

The Pillbugs Hi-def psychedelic pop

Written by Mike Dow

'We were never trying to make it big The Pillbugs' music was made to create a great listening experience for ourselves and to share it with others. If it made money, that would be great too, but it never really has. That's OK; we need people out there like that too.' Mark Mikel of The Pillbugs

I propose the radical notion that the finest of all psychedelic pop-rock bands did not originate in England or San Francisco, nor did they record in the 60s. Many legendary bands have tinkered with psychedelic music, but very few made the commitment for their entire body of work. For my money, the band leading the psych-pop pack in terms of quality and consistency was a quintet from Toledo called The Pillbugs, who released five albums of superbly-crafted songs bursting with uncommon beauty (two of them double CDs) between 1998 and 2008.

Think of Ray Davies's songwriting for The Kinks from 1967-1969 or The Zombies' songs on 'Odessey and Oracle' combined with Phish and Gov't Mule-caliber musicianship, and you have an approximation of The Pillbugs experience.

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