Saturday, December 19, 2009

Peapod Recordings & The Water In Portland

There must be something in the water in Portland Maine or perhaps just at Peapod Recordings. How else could there be three incredible bands (South China, Brown Bird, and Dead End Armory) at one label in one town in the furthest reaches of the north eastern part of America. The starting point should be how far north Portland is from a majority of the rest of the country. I am very lucky to have traveled with my wife on vacation through Portland, Maine to our destination, Bar Harbor and I can tell you that it feels detached from the rest of the U.S. by it's location. We flew into Boston and drove up the scenic Route 1 through some of the most beautiful looking places. The people of this area superseded the beauty of the scenery. Incredibly nice and genuine the people were throughout our trip through Maine. We visited in late Spring. I have a friend who was stationed in the Coast Guard in Maine who tells me that there are harsh conditions in the winter. The people there don't reflect the hardship of that cruel winter. In the music of the aforementioned bands of Peapod Records there can be somber tones, and yet it doesn't feel like isolation or anger.

I was fortunate to stumble onto Brown Bird's The Devil Dancing on Lala and inquired at Peapod about doing a review. Ron Harrity kindly sent me that album along with South China's Washingtons and Dead End Armory's Hope You're Good. I thought of writing a big piece about the label and it's location and small blurbs and recommending all three albums. The more I listened the more I realized it would end up 4 posts, this one to set it up and full reviews of the three albums.

We went to Maine on a working vacation. My wife had a conference in Bar Harbor and we stayed there five days. During the day, I drove almost every bit of major road on Mt. Desert Island, as well as spending some time in Portland. Before this trip I had never thought about moving out of state. After the trip my wife and I were both thinking about Maine quite a bit. She even inquired about possible job openings with the Bar Harbor institute that held her conference. To this day it's my favorite place in the U.S. that I've visited. I will always think about Maine when I listen to South China or Brown Bird or Dead End Armory, and that's a great thing.

So I fully encourage you to check out the full Peapod Recodings roster of artists. I also recommend spending some time in Maine, and see if you feel the same way about that I do.


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