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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: December 15, 2015

Kate Schrock, Zeile August & Funanimal show benefits addiction treatment at First Parish Church on Friday

Kate Schrock will play Friday at Portland’s First Parish Church.

Kate Schrock will play Friday at Portland’s First Parish Church.

Want to hear some incredible live music while supporting an important cause? I’ve got just the show for you. Three acts are converging at the First Parish Church in Portland and 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the Milestone Foundation, which provides substance-use treatment programs and emergency shelter though its homeless outreach mobilization engagement, or HOME.

“I think in general, if we collectively knew more about what is happening on our streets and towns and learned more about the people who are doing the good work of helping those struggling and in need, we could come together and help support and improve the situation on every level. I had the thought that I could at least do my part and donate a concert as a way to provide a forum for discussion education and support,” said Kate Schrock, who put this show together and is one of the performers.

As for the music, Schrock’s got one of the most soulful, luminous voices in the state and she’s been releasing albums for 20 years. There are seven in all, including a live one. “Kör” is the latest, and Schrock recorded new versions of her songs at the legendary RCA Studio A in Nashville.

Also on the bill, all the way from Deer Isle, is Funanimal, an Americana/electronica mashup. They forged a friendship with Schrock when they played a show together in their hometown. Funanimal’s got a four-song EP out called “Life’s Constant Passenger,” which I suspect they’ll have on hand at the Portland show so bring some extra cash for music purchases. Rounding out the lineup is Portland singer-songwriter Zeile August. She’s got a fantastic voice and sound, so get there on time; you don’t want to miss any of these acts.

Kate Schrock with Zeile August and Funanimal, 7 p.m. Friday. First Parish Church, 425 Congress St., Portland, $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Tickets available at all Coffee By Design locations in Portland and Freeport. Nonperishable food items will be accepted, as well as layer-able clothing, (especially warm socks), small soaps, toothpaste, toothbrushes and general first-aid items.

Jeff Beam: We don’t know what he’s saying, but we love the way he says it.

Jeff Beam: We don’t know what he’s saying, but we love the way he says it. Jacob Greenlaw photo

HUGE CONGRATS go out to Jeff Beam for the release of “Is Believed to Have Been.” The celebration goes down Friday night in Portland, where you’ll be able to pick up a copy of the CD at Beam’s show.

It was a dismal, foggy Friday morning when I first listened to this album. Yet as I gazed out the newsroom window unable to see Casco Bay through the whiteness, it seemed somehow perfectly matched with the atmospheric sound Beam has created. In fact, wind chimes was the first sound I heard upon giving it a spin with the opening track “Human Clouds.”

As more reporters and editors started to fill the room and chatter increased, I sat transfixed with my headphones, oblivious to the outside world, other than the aforementioned fog. The nine-song journey was awash with interplanetary, psychedelic sounds.

Beam’s vocals were recorded on one of Saturn’s moons, so I’m not sure what he’s singing about, but that’s besides the point. It was like exploring subterranean chambers: The more I listened, the more sounds were revealed – some subtle, some in full force. Along the way were cello, trumpet, sitar, keys and euphonium. Guitar, bass and drums are at the heart of the songs and they’re all played by Beam.

He also takes a bold step with the song “Cherryfield” as it clocks in at just less than nine minutes. But I was all in during those minutes. “I was chasing the silver lining/but when I reached out it turned to gray,” sings Beam. The songs end like an electronic whisper and when my eyes reopened and adjusted to the light, I felt a sense of gently reverberating calm. If that isn’t the hallmark of a good song, I don’t know what is. Hear for yourself on Friday night.

Jeff Beam album-release show with Nat Baldwin and Henry Jamison, 9 p.m. Friday. One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland, $8 in advance, $10 day of show.



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