Over the past few months, The Portland Music Foundation has been carefully reviewing submissions for their 2011 CMJ contest which will provide a showcase spot, transportation and accommodations, a consultation with a national public relations agency, as well as a daily stipend. The Portland Music Foundation has announced the seven contest winners who will be performing at their official CMJ Showcase on October 20th at Sullivan Hall in New York City at 7pm. Event is sponsored by The State Theatre and Husson College. Local Portland, Maine artists include:
Spose – 1 AM
Bio: This 26-year-old producer and emcee was named Maine’s “Best Hip Hop Act” for both 2008 and 2009 at the WePushButtons Awards. In 2010, he was named “Best Hip Hop Act”in the Portland Phoenix’s Best Music Poll. After his self-produced track “I’m Awesome” off his mixtape (with fellow emcee Cam Groves) received regional radio play, he landed his first major label contract with Universal Republic Records. The national release of his single went gold after selling over 500,000 digital copies in just a few months. Branching off the success of his single, Spose started his own company, The Preposterously Dank Entertainment Label. Spose’s video for his single “Pop Song” is set to release in October 2011 as a P. Dank Entertainment/Sony-ATV Publishing project, announcing his departure from Universal Republic Records. Spose plans to release two new albums within the next six months with national distribution provided by Sony Red Music Distribution, in addition to acting as producer for artists signed to his own company.
Sunset Hearts – 12 AM
Bio: Currently an eight-piece outfit, this unique electro pop band has quickly gathered a fan following to rival the most-established acts on the local scene. Known for their screaming synths, throbbing percussion, insistent vocals, gentle harmonies and a few megatons of guitar firepower, Sunset Hearts are set to release their awaited debut album on October 1st at SPACE Gallery. The band, known for their attention-grabbing live performance, have had headlining slots at the Belfast Free-Range Music Festival and PICNIC in Portland.
Billy Libby – 11 PM
Bio: He combines elements of indie, folk, and pop to craft ethereal yet captivating music. Hailing from Portland, ME he recently relocated to Brooklyn, NY. Billy took the long 2010 winter to record a collection of new material for his first official album Pitter Patter, which has an official release date of September 20th, 2011 in conjunction with Intrigue Music < http://intriguemusic.com>. With Pitter Patter, Billy presents a record that is subdued, yet deliberate with instrumentation ranging from lap-steel, to ukulele, strings and circuit-bent keyboards. Pitter Patter is an introspective collage of snapshots, which capture both the heaviest and most whimsical moments of life. It is a culmination of years of songwriting and experimenting with multiple instruments and recording techniques. Billy also started a program called Your Song, Your Story, a music therapy and education program in which he travels the country doing songwriting workshops assisting kids who have had traumatic experiences to create a song. Billy then creates a professional recording of each song.
Kurt Baker – 10 PM
Bio: Baker is a founding member of the notable pop/punk outfit the Leftovers, who formed in 2002 and have released many acclaimed records and have toured all over North America and Europe. As a solo singer/songwriter, Baker’s signature unique blend of ultra catchy Beach Boys/Beatles styled melodies under a relentless wall of high energy guitars and pounding rhythms have earned him the praise of Larry Livermore (founder of Lookout Records), Ben Weasel (Screeching Weasel) and Jaret Reddick (Bowling For Soup).
The Milkman’s Union – 9 PM
Bio: An enigmatic three-piece, while their sound can most easily be characterized as indie-rock, idiosyncrasies abound. Drawing from classical, jazz, electronic, and non-western music, the band infuses rock grooves with deft melodic hooks and rhythmic flourishes that combine for a unique sound. Over the past two years, their sound has been broad enough to share the stage with diverse acts such as Deerhunter, The Morning Benders, Wintersleep, Ben Kweller, Woods, S. Carey, White Hinterland, Ducktails and Kate Voegele. They’ve grown popular in the New England college circuit and have played at Dartmouth, Wesleyan, Trinity, UVM, Middlebury, Wellesley, Mt. Holyoke, UMaine, Bowdoin, Bates, Clark, Colby, and Tufts in the past year alone. They were recently named the Deli Magazine’s New England artist of month for March. Their latest full-length. Roads In is currently in rotation at more than 100 independent radio stations across the U.S. and Canada. They have a 7″ single featuring guest vocals from fellow Mainer Lady Lamb the Beekeeper due in September on Eternal Otter Records and an new EP due in November.
The Mallet Brothers Band – 8 PM
Bio: A fuel-injected 6-piece alt-country rock band with accolades from The 2011 Phoenix Best Music Poll (Best Local Act, Best Live Act, Best Local Album) and Top Selling New Local Artist in 2010’s poll. They’ve played the Nateva Festival with world-renowned band The Flaming Lips. Think Steve Earle meets the Stones, in a shack in the woods, with electricity and a bottle of bourbon. On September 18th, The Mallett Brothers Band won Maine’s Rockin’ Country Showdown, taking home a grand prize of $25,000.
The Toughcats – 7 PM
Bio: Energetic. Catchy. Fun. Exciting. Danceable. Memorable. Loveable. Beautiful. Amazing. Toughcat shows are as exhausting for the audience as they are for the beat-red drummer and the blister-fingered string players. With their unusual sound, a blend of old timey bluegrass, thoughtful indie rock, and classic pop twitches a la early Beatles, they bring their audience timeless music that is at once unquestionably danceable and haltingly listenable. The rough cut of their first album, Piñata, was so well received that it was then mastered by Kramer (renown producer and former Butthole Surfer), and landing them multiple national tours and on the bill with music acts such as The Avett Brothers. The band’s sophomore album Run to the Millwas released February of 2010.
The Portland Music Foundation will live stream the showcase to Bayside Bowl, in its hometown of Portland, ME so those who can’t make the trip can enjoy the show.
Board members of The Portland Music Foundation are comprised of a diverse spectrum of the individuals working in the music industry and living in Portland, ME. Board members include Grammy award-winning mastering engineer Adam Ayan who works at Gateway Mastering, Frank Copsidas of Intrigue Music and personal manager to the late James Brown, Program Director of WCYY and WBLM Herb Ivy, Lauren Wayne, talent buyer for the historic State Theater, among others in the fields of management, booking, recording and marketing.
Last year the Portland Music Showcase at CMJ was held at Trash Bar in Brooklyn. This year’s Sullivan Hall Showcase marks the 2nd year The Portland Music Foundation has given local talent the opportunity to play for international tastemakers, press, and industry professionals.
The showcase will be on Thursday October 20th at Sullivan Hall (18+) in NYC. Admission is $10. Get tickets here!