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Aimsel Ponti

Aimsel Ponti is a Content Producer at MaineToday.com and a music writer for MaineToday.com 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 Mainetoday.com. 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 about...music of course.

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Posted: May 28, 2014

“Turn Yourself Around” to hear wordsmith Heather Maloney in Portland

Written by: Aimsel Ponti
Kevin Hill photo

Kevin Hill photo

Weather-wise, May was iffy, but not musically. For me the month started off with M.I.A., followed by The Maine Youth Rock Orchestra with Sara Hallie Richardson and Lyle Divinsky, then Katie Herzig and Maia Sharp, Garrison Starr and AG. Did you get out there to hear some live music? If the answer is yes, I applaud you.

And if the answer is no, consider yourself nudged. Firmly and enthusiastically nudged.

You can wrap up this musical month on Friday night with Heather Maloney’s show at One Longfellow Square. She’s a singer-songwriter from western Massachusetts. I’ve been spending time with her latest, self-titled album and have forged lasting friendships with the 11 songs on it.

Take “Dirt and Stardust” for example. “I am made of all the same stuff that makes the seasons what they are/I am made of dirt and stardust/my daddy’s dreams, my mother’s heart.” I played the song for a friend who said that when she listened to it she felt like she was being taken over the hills and through a valley, then alongside a stream. No argument from me on that.

Maloney only started down the path of writing songs a few years ago after she lived and worked for three years at a silent meditation retreat center in Massachusetts. I would have survived maybe three days. Maloney did this for three years. I’m beyond impressed. One can only imagine how internal dialogue is impacted by the lack of speaking aloud.

What I do know is that the songs she wrote for this latest record are full of wordsmithery, soul, inspiration and observation, and more gets uncovered with each listening.

“Turn Yourself Around,” is one I keep going back to. “I went a long way from you today/I took a car, took a bus, took a plane, took a train/And I heard a voice on the other line said you better come home if you wanna be mine,” sings Maloney over an acoustic guitar that’s joined by drums and electric halfway through.

Her voice has a bright and almost jazzy sound to it and her phrasing and pauses give the songs an extra edge that this listener always craves.

Heather Maloney. 8 p.m. Friday. One Longfellow Square. 181 State St., Portland. $10/$12; onelongfellowsquare.com

IT’LL BE A DECIDEDLY Swedish celebration of song during Wednesday night’s Clash of the Titans. Two of the biggest acts to come out of Sweden are being resurrected via local musician super-groups. Yes music fans, we’re talking ABBA vs. Ace of Base.

You can count on the music of both bands being sensational, as a total of 18 musicians comprise the two groups and they’ve been practicing their tushes off. However, on a song by song basis, my heart belongs to ABBA. Sure, Ace of Base saw the sign, but they’ll never take a chance on me. Yes, Ace of Base wants another baby, but they’ll never be a mamma mia. And although Ace of Base hopes you don’t turn around, I’m too busy being a dancing queen to care.

Clash of the Titans: ABBA vs. Ace of Base. 10 p.m. Wednesday. Empire, 475 Congress St., Portland. $6; 21-plus; portlandempire.com

Contact Aimsel Ponti at 791-6455 or at:

aponti@mainetoday.com

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