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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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Arts & Entertainment with Aimsel Ponti
Posted: September 9, 2015

Ireland’s Pugwash celebrates new album with show in Portland. On a Monday?!

Pugwash is, from left, Joe Fitzgerald, Tosh Flood, Thomas Walsh and Shaun McGee.

Pugwash is, from left, Joe Fitzgerald, Tosh Flood, Thomas Walsh and Shaun McGee. Credit Joseph H. Adams

Need to clean up your musical act? I’m here to help, with a show by Pugwash. Not only will they wash away whatever ails you, they’ll do it on a Monday night. What? Go out on a Monday night? I will argue that days of the week are in some ways arbitrary and we’re only shackled by them in our heads.

Pugwash understands your need to sleep and so they promise not to keep you out too late. The new single “Hung Myself Out to Dry” is audible sunshine in the form of a snappy, poppy tune during which singer Thomas Walsh cops to letting his heart get the best of him. “The past was my present future/I didn’t want to be a loser/When looking for love.” I’m reminded of The Beach Boys, The Kinks and Elvis Costello all at once.

Take a listen:

“Play This Intimately (As If Among Friends)” is the Dublin-based band’s first international release and it dropped Sept. 4. Their visit to Portland on Monday night marks their third visit to Maine. They love it here and the feeling seems to be quite mutual, as both previous performances were well attended.

The new album was recorded at Konk Studios in London, founded by none other than the aforementioned Kinks, and was engineered and mixed by Guy Massey, who was the mastering engineer on The Beatles’ reissues.

You’ll find a dozen songs on it and contributors to the album include Ray Davies (The Kinks), Andy Partridge (XTC) and Neil Hannon (The Divine Comedy). And get this, you’ll even hear a shout on the album from ELO’s Jeff Lynne.

Pugwash has been releasing records since the late ’90s and gaining serious traction here in America. Once you hear them, you’ll understand why Monday is the new Saturday.

And get there on time because opening the show is An Overnight Low, the musical endeavor of Mainer Chad Walls. You’ll be able to pick up the band’s new single “Magellan With a Timetable,” which also contains “Albert’s Square.” Both are terrific indie rock tunes.

Pugwash CD release show, with An Overnight Low. 8 p.m. Monday. One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland, $15.

Lora Faye will headline a show Friday at Empire in Portland that includes Worried Well and Lisa/Liza.

Lora Faye will headline a show Friday at Empire in Portland that includes Worried Well and Lisa/Liza.

GET THERE EARLY and park yourself for a night of three bands gracing the Empire stage. You’ll be kept out late so plan on extra coffee Saturday morning as you laze around remembering what a fantastic night of music you just enjoyed.

Portland’s Worried Well just released a new record called “Great Appetite, Poor Taste.”

The band is Cam Jones and Daniel James. After a listen on to “Two Parties” and “Low Roads,” I found both entirely satisfying rock tunes with an off-kilter bent courtesy of James’ howling vocals.

From there I navigated to to hear Lisa/Liza. Musician Liza Victoria’s live performances are intimate yet intensely engaging.

Headlining the night is Brooklyn, New Yorker Lora Faye. The name’s new to me, so I started off my YouTube song trip with “The Hollow” and had to keep it at arm’s length because I was at work and needed to hold myself together. The song, at just over two minutes long, expresses acute angst, heartbreak, longing and pain with Faye’s heart-rending vocals.

Halfway through, the gentle strum of an electric guitar and drums kick in as Faye asks, “Am I doing something wrong?” Slip into the vortex at and then I’ll see you out at the show on Friday.

Here’s a super cool live in-studio version of “The Hollow”

During an email exchange with Faye (who responded right at deadline to my request for a photo), she mentioned that she and her band are finishing up a new record and will be playing a lot of it on this tour. She may have also slipped me a private link to some of the mixes.

If for no other reason, the song “Wind Up Bird” is reason enough to catch this show. Trust me on this.

Lora Faye with Worried Well and Lisa/Liza. 9:30 p.m. Friday. Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland, $8, 21-plus.

Music this week(end): Sultans of String, HenryFest & Queensryche

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