Category Archives: Maine

Maine, a Music Destination Unrecognized Since 1964

by Kristen

You won't be able to leave your house, so write some songs already.

Last Tuesday night I was in Portland with my Mainer friend, Zack, waiting for the band Titus Andronicus to take the stage. Making chitchat with each other, since we were the only two in our age demographic (of being over 18-years old), I asked Zack how he heard of the band. He discovered them while living in New Jersey, and made the drive back to Maine while listening to their song, “A More Perfect Union” where they ask for a cruel New England winter. A following conversation about great bands associated with specific states made us ask, “What do we have from or about Maine?”

I couldn’t think of a shout out to Maine since the 1964 hit, “King of the Road” when Roger Miller made a destination out of Bangor. I don’t love Howie Day or the Rustic Overtones, and it was a real challenge for me to recall a home state song that I’d actually want to listen to. Much like the Appalachian Trail, you either begin or end in Maine, rarely just passing through to get inspired. I love music, and I love Maine, so here is some indie music that puts a regional glimmer in my eye.

Cerberus Shoal and Fire on Fire
If you are into 90s experimental avant-garde music (how it appears in my iTunes), then take the drugs and listen to Cerberus Shoal from Portland. Members of that band went on to form Fire on Fire, a really noisy, harmonizing, folk rock band comprised of banjos, harmonicas, and guitars. Their album from 2008, The Orchard, is great, but if you have a short attention span and only .99 cents, just get the song from their EP, “Hangman.”

“Pink Chimneys” by The Promise Ring
The band is from Wisconsin, but I dare you to not want to put on this song whenever you cross the bridge from New Hampshire to Maine during the winter. Even if I grew up and was told this band isn’t cool anymore, those pink chimneys in Maine couldn’t keep me away either.

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Posted by on April 2, 2011 in Kristen, Maine, Pop Culture, Top Fives


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Things to do to enjoy yourself in the great state of Maine

by Kristy

1. Go to a bean supper, see how the brown bread is made in a can
2. Line dancing and square dancing at the town hall
3. Visit a maple sugar shack
4. Take part in stitch-n-bitch quilting circles
5. Outdoor activities…..endless options
6. Take up archery
7. chop wood and build a fire
8. go on a hike, set up camp near a lake, go boating and fishing (also see #5)
9. Take a bizarre adult ed class
10. beach yoga/mountain yoga
11. Rake blueberries, pick tree fruits
12. leaf-peep
13. shop at dollar stores, flea markets, antique or consignment shops, vintage/thrift shops (ie: penny pinch)
14. Go to a pot luck concert at a commune (everyone welcome)
15. Pub trivia, bar games
16. Look for a moose along the side of a road (and then just settle for seeing a deer)
17. Go to a Kiwanis meeting
18. Play bingo at the VFW hall (and stay for the dance)
19. taxidermy something (preferably something you trapped your self, after identifying its paw prints…but roadkill is also OK)
20. Ride a snowmobile, go mudding, 4-wheeling, offroading, do donuts in snowy parking lots
21. drink craft beers and local brews (or brew your own in your bathtub)
22. visit a small town library (read the magazines! check email!), then find the old local town theater, and the green
23. learn beekeeping and other agrarian skills
24. visit a haunted site
25. go to a country fair (ride a ride, win something, eat something deep-fried, see the farm animals and tractor pulls)
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Posted by on March 20, 2011 in Kristy, Maine, Travel


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Winter Camping & Hiking Checklist

by Kristy

Map (with protective case)
multifunction watch with altimeter

Health and Safety
sunglasses and/or ski goggles
headlamp, flashlight, batteries
first aid kit and medications
survival kit (plus extras -in pocket of jacket)
personal locator beacon (on person)
avalanche transceiver, avalanche probe (can be rented)
slope meter
snow shovel/saw

extra batteries, or a solar charging bag

trail-marking wands

waterproof matches
waterproof container; freezer bags
knife and multi-tool
duct tape (ie: around a pencil)
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Posted by on March 19, 2011 in Kristy, Maine, Practical Lists, Travel


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Portland, Maine – do it like the locals do it

by Kristy & Friends

Kristen just moved back to the Northeast, so I compiled a list of my favorite things in Portland hoping to inspire her… and asked a few friends to do the same.

Zack’s Portland Awards:

Best dog-friendly beach: East End Beach
Best dive bar with late night food: Ruski’s (West End)
Best bar (and best beer selection in New England): Novare Res (Old Port)
Homegrown Tea Shop on (Munjoy Hill)  — guaranteed coziness
Best coffee shop — Hilltop Coffee (Munjoy Hill)
Best soup: Kamasouptra (Monument Square, upstairs in the public market)
Best place to encounter crazy people: Around Joe’s Smoke Shop (congress st.)
Best place to hang out for hours without buying much: Upstairs at the Public Market.
Best grilled peanut butter and fluff sandwich: Upstairs at the Public Market
Best place for fried pickles and/or milkshakes (and many other great things): Silly’s (Washington Ave/munjoy)
Best place to watch the sunset — Eastern Prom.
Mondays (Bluegrass night) at the Empire (Congress St.)
Thursdays (Bluegrass night) at Gritty McDuffs (Old Port)
Most intimate music venue (folk/blues): Blue
Best music venue for a fairly big act: State Theater
Everything at the Space Gallery is awesome! — concerts, lectures, films….
Free admission to art museum every Friday night.
Best bowling (I hear): Bayside Bowl
Best local alternative publication: The
Best place to be if Portland is once again burned down by the British navy: Fort Gorges.
Best breakfast: Front Room (Munjoy Hill)
Best hair salon: Options Hair Studio (Old Port)

Kristy’s Portland Favorites:

Food & Drink:
-Otto (pizza)
-Duck Fat
-Sushi: Miyake, Fuji
-Flatbread Pizza
-brunch at Bintliff’s
-Best Bagels: Mr Bagel
-Local Sprouts
-Coffee: coffee by design, Bard coffee
-dive bars: Rosie’s, Bubba’s silky lounge, J’s Oyster, Amigos
-Pubs: Gritty’s, Brian Boru’s (live music often), Bull Feeney’s, RiRa, Sebago Brewing
– bars with better drinks: Empire, Novare Res, Local 188, Sonny’s

-nice restaurants: 555, The Front Room (and other ‘Rooms’), Street & Co, Fore Street, Bresca, Evangeline, Hugos, Bar Lola (lots of good ones on Munjoy Hill…and lots of great spots popping up all around Portland, all the time!)
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Posted by on March 17, 2011 in Kristy, Maine, Travel


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