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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 News Center Maine TV show “207” to talk of course.

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Posted: June 27, 2016

SeepeopleS and Salvage BBQ for a cause

Take Back Home brings together 11 acts for local charity.

Written by: Aimsel Ponti

The party starts at 5 p.m. Friday, so you can segue right from work mode into a night of sensational and diverse live music that supports Hope Acts. Hope Acts is a local nonprofit with a mission to improve people’s lives by addressing their needs for safe housing and economic security. The group provides transitional housing to immigrants and offers a recovery and wellness program to drug users. The show, called Take Back Home, includes free food from Salvage BBQ, and there will also be a whole mess of raffles for concert tickets and gift certificates to local businesses.

SeepeopleS don't fit one genre. Photo by Shannon Thibodeau

SeepeopleS span genres. Photo by Shannon Thibodeau

The main coordinator of this event is the nationally touring Portland-based band SeepeopleS. The rest of the lineup is a tapestry of local music, including Sea Level, Renee Coolbrith and C$Burns=Ex Post, Hannah Daman & The Martelle Sisters, Clara Junken, Giant Knife, Joel Thetford, Akela Moon, Viva and the Reinforcements, Anarkitty and Fred Copeman.

SeepeopleS pride themselves on being impossible to put into any one genre, and they’ll get no argument from me. Listening to the instrumental “Solitary Water Torture” from “Dead Soul Sessions” is a haunting and magical way to let four minutes of ethereal sound wash over you.

“Waltz of the Damned” has a psychedelic bent to it, and singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Will Bradford’s vocal are a hazy, swirling trip through wisps of pink clouds.

SeepeopleS, which has been around for more than 15 years, includes a crackerjack cast of musicians who also sing: drummer Dan Capaldi, guitarist Doug Porter, keyboardist Fred Copeman and bassist Ian Riley. Bradford told me that the band will be dropping their sixth album, called “Love,” in late July.

As for the rest of the acts performing at Take Back Home, I can personally vouch for the worthiness of Clara Junken, Hannah Daman & The Martelle Sisters, Renee Coolbrith and Sea Level, having seem them all live. Sea Level is the one-man show of SeepeopleS’ Capaldi, the king of intricate sampling.

I listened to a couple of songs from Joel Thetford, a Fort Worth, Texas born singer-songwriter and he’s terrific. Giant Knife is a brand new three-piece Portland rock trio. Akela Moon is a six-piece soul, funk, rock, Afrobeat, Latin and hip-hop act. Anarkitty is another new act with an EP due out later this year.

Viva and the Reinforcements describe themselves as “next deco jazz.” I’m not sure exactly what that means, but it may have something to do with a sound that re-visits the jazz of “The Great Gatsby” era but with a modern twist. I can tell you that singer Viva’s got a gorgeous voice.

Fred Copeman is a keys and synth guy who also likes to loop his original tunes on keys, bass, ukulele, vocals and guitar. I tracked him down on Soundcloud, and 20 minutes later was entirely enchanted.

All of this is to say, I suspect a lot of these musicians will be jumping on stage with one another throughout the evening. When it’s all over a lot of notes will have been played, and a fat check will be cut for Hope Acts.

Take Back Home: A Benefit for Hope Acts, 5 p.m. Friday. Portland House of Music, 25 Temple St., Portland, $8 in advance, $10 at the door,


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