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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: November 18, 2015

The Ballroom Thieves and Decompression Chamber Music play shows in Portland

Matthew Lomann photo The Ballroom Thieves will play the Portland House of Music and Events on Friday, with The Bros. Landreth opening.

The Ballroom Thieves will play the Portland House of Music and Events on Friday, with The Bros. Landreth opening. Matthew Lomann photo

For a band with just three members, all on vocals and instruments, Martin Earley (guitar), Calin Peters (cello) and Devin Mauch (percussion), The Ballroom Thieves have a huge sound. The Boston folk-rocking trio returns to Portland for a show at The Portland House of Music on Friday night, and you’ll hear exactly what I’m talking about the moment the lights go down and the band steps on stage.

They are still early in their career, with two EPs and a full-length album, “A Wolf in the Doorway,” released earlier this year, under their belts. Here’s hoping they live long and prosper because they’ve carved out a special niche for their sound in a crowded field of folksy acts trying to set themselves apart. In fact, they’re in the midst of working on their next record and will likely work some new material into their performance.

The Ballroom Thieves formed in 2010 when Earley and Mauch were both attending college outside Boston. The band’s original cellist, Rachel Gawell, joined a year later, and they were off and running, playing 150 shows in two years. Gawell parted ways with the band in 2013 and Peters stepped in, filling the role gloriously. If you’ve never seen them live, don’t miss this chance to see a band that will calm your soul in one moment and then tear it apart the next.

Here they are performing “Oars to the Sea”

Opening the show is The Bros. Landreth out of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The two brothers are Joey on guitar and Dave on bass, with Cody Iwasiuk on drums and Ariel Posen on bass. They’re Americana/ sound pairs sublimely with that of The Ballroom Thieves. Rich harmonies and thoughtful lyrics abound, so get to this show on time. You don’t want to miss these guys. Plus they do an awesome cover of Steely Dan’s “Reelin’ In The Years.”

The Ballroom Thieves with The Bros. Landreth. 8 p.m. Friday. Portland House of Music & Events, 25 Temple St., $10 in advance, $12 day of show, 21-plus.

Decompression Chamber Music offers “Delicious Dissonance” on Monday.

Decompression Chamber Music offers “Delicious Dissonance” on Monday.

AND LET ME LEAVE YOU with something happening on Monday night. I often feel bad for Mondays as they’re the black sheep of “nights to go out.” But with Thanksgiving upon us, a Monday night show just might be the ticket to calm and center yourself before “the holidays” begin in earnest. That said, let me tell you about Decompression Chamber Music. The show is billed as “an informal, entertaining introduction to small ensemble chamber music.” What’s more, it starts at 6 p.m. so as to allow people to catch an hour of music before “decompressing from their day.” The show is called “Delicious Dissonance,” and you’ll hear works from Haydn, Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Bartok.

The series creator, artistic director and cellist is Priscilla Taylor. She’s a member of the Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra and Symphony in New Hampshire, and she played with Frank Sinatra. Yeah, you read that right, she played with Sinatra, not to mention Paul Anka, The Temptations and Mary Wilson of the Supremes. You’ll also hear violinist Piotr Buczek, violinist Colin Davis and Emily Rideout on viola. Wanna make friends with Monday night? Let Decompression Chamber Music broker the deal.

Decompression Chamber Music. 6 p.m. Monday. One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland, $15 in advance, $20 day of show.


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