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Aimsel Ponti

Aimsel Ponti is a Content Producer at and a music writer for and the Portland Press Herald. She has been obsessed with - and inspired by - music since she listened to Monkees records borrowed from the town library when she was six years old. She bought her first Rolling Stones record at a flea market when she was in 7th grade and discovered David Bowie a year later. She's a HUGE fan of the local music scene and covers it along with national musical happenings in her "Face the Music" column and with artist interviews that appear in print in the Portland Press Herald and online at You'll also find her out and about absorbing live music like a sponge and roaming around local record shops and flea markets. Aimsel is also the host of Music from 207 on 98.9 WCLZ and appears monthly on the WCHS TV show “207” to talk of course.

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Posted: October 29, 2014

Halloween (and Halloween Eve) shows in Portland for live local music

Written by: Aimsel Ponti

Dean Ford as Prince at Port City Music Hall. Tom Couture Photo.

Whether your costume is clever, crafty, cute or curious, put it on and get out there because I’ve got one Halloween Eve and two Halloween night shows for your consideration.

Live local music and fistfuls of candy corn await you. Well, at least the live local music. It may be a bring-your-own-candy-corn kind of night, but next thing you know we’ll (meaning me) be humming “Silver Bells” at work.

So, let’s celebrate the heck out of Halloween before the snow flies and Ponti breaks into holiday songs at will. Ready? Boo!

Purple Brainz: A Halloween Tribute to Prince

Dean Ford’s Prince impersonation, or shall I say embodiment, is spot-on fantastic. Although he’s a white guy, Ford pulls off the Prince look – moves and sound – with precision and obvious love for his royal badness.

I’ve witnessed Ford and his band, The Beautiful Ones, perform the music of Prince, and it was stupendous. So if the elevator tries to break you down, watch Ford go crazy.

You’ll even hear the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra playing with him and … the original keyboard player from Prince & The Revolution, Dr. Fink, will be joining the band for this show. Ford told me they’ll be splitting the night into three sets.

The first one will be Halloween-oriented pop/dance covers from the likes of Madonna, No Doubt, Michael Jackson and many others.

The second set will be a performance of Prince’s “Purple Rain” album in its entirety. Ford and crew will end the night will a melange of Prince hits and deep album cuts. My darlings, can you picture this?

Purple Brainz: A Halloween Tribute to Prince. 8 p.m. Thursday. Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St., Portland. $10, 18-plus.

The Clash presents: Pop v. Rock Monster Mashup

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, the gloves are coming off and the masks are going on as pop dukes it out against rock at a special Monster Mashup.

Sean Slaughter and his team will serve up dance rock of the decades with Queen, AC/DC and beyond in this genre of music. Kris Rodgers and his band will counter with the best of dance pop from Tommy Tutone to Beyonce.

You can also document the evening as Tom Couture’s photo booth will be set up. And yes, Virginia, there is a costume contest with killer prizes.

The Clash presents: Pop v. Rock Monster Mashup. 9 p.m. Friday. Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St., Portland. $10, $8 with costume at the door, 18-plus.

SPACE Halloween Party

SPACE is the place to hear the music of The Kinks, Pink Floyd and Roky Erickson played by local acts.

First off, I’ll just admit it and get it out of the way; I have no idea who Roky Erickson is and if my musical street cred just took a hit, so be it.

Quick research told me he’s a guitarist, songwriter, harmonica player and founding member of 13th Floor Elevators. A band I’ve also never heard of. Apparently, Erickson’s a big deal when it comes to the origins of psychedelic rock.

But, as Meatloaf so eloquently pointed out, two out of three ain’t bad, so I’m still vaguely cool because I know about The Zombies and Pink Floyd.

Lovers of Fiction will be The Kinks and Jeff Beam & Friends will do their thing as Pink Floyd during the Syd Barrett years. The Blood Capsules will handle Erickson duties.

This would be the perfect night to bust out the paisley and anything you may own in the Day-Glo color palette. Or if you own a Peter Max T-shirt, now would be the time. Lava lamps are optional.

SPACE Halloween Party. 9 p.m. Friday. SPACE Gallery, 530 Congress St., Portland. $4 in advance, $10 at the door, 21-plus.

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