Port City Music Hall
Guster On The Ocean (Night 2)

State Theatre presents

Guster On The Ocean (Night 2)

Rubblebucket, Kat Wright, Weakened Friends, Tall Heights

Sat, August 10, 2019

Doors: 2:00 pm / Show: 3:00 pm

Thompson’s Point

Portland, ME

$46 Advance / $51 Day of Show

This event is all ages

Night 1 at First Parish is SOLD OUT

Everything you need to know about Thompson’s Point CLICK HERE

Thompson’s Point has limited on-site parking available (but it’s within walking & biking distance from downtown Portland!) CLICK HERE TO BUY PARKING

Buy tickets in person at the Port City Music Hall box office (504 Congress Street) Wednesday-Friday 10AM-5PM, charge by phone at 800-745-3000, or online right here.

Guster
Guster
Guster returns to Portland, Maine from August 9-11, 2019 for their third annual On The Ocean Weekend.

The main event will be taking place at Thompson’s Point on Saturday August 10th and feature two sets from the band, including a 20th anniversary Lost And Gone Forever full album set. Guster will be joined at Thompson’s Point by Rubblebucket, Kat Wright, Tall Heights and Portland’s Weakened Friends. Saturday will also include a Joe’s Place stage with performances from former Guster member Joe Pisapia, Spicy V’s Hot Sauce Contest (in partnership with Vermont’s Butterfly Bakery), a lobster bake, food trucks, family games and more.

Saturday night’s festivities at Thompson’s Point will be capped off with an afterparty at Halo at the Point featuring amazing internationally-acclaimed EDM supergroup PIPPI who will be making their first ever amazing public appearance.

Guster will be kicking off the weekend with an intimate acoustic concert on Friday night at Portland’s First Parish and rounding out the weekend on Sunday with events across Portland including a Reverb service project, an island bike ride, and a storytellers event featuring Guster drummer Brian Rosenworcel. Rosenworcel has been documenting Guster’s touring exploits since 1999 in his road journal and this event will feature him sharing the stage with Guster fans in a Moth-like setting.

Following on the success of 2018’s Big Friendly Pale Ale, Guster will be teaming up with Maine-based brewery Mast Landing once again for a limited edition On The Ocean beer. The custom brew will launch on Friday August 9th and be available throughout Portland all weekend.

Tickets for Saturday’s concert at Thompson’s Point and Friday night’s acoustic concert at First Parish go on sale Friday April 19th at 10AM EST on Ticketmaster.

Stay tuned to ontheoceanfest.com for On The Ocean Weekend updates.

Want to make the trek to On The Ocean, but don’t have anyone to go with? Connect with fellow Guster fans who will also be there in the Official Guster Fan2Fan Reboot on Facebook.
Rubblebucket
Rubblebucket
Kalmia Traver - Lead vocals/baritone saxophone
Alex Toth - Trumpet/vox
Noga Shefi - Bass
Ryan Dugre - Guitar
Sean Smith - trombone
Jeremy Gustin - Drums

In summer 2015, after finishing a year of intense touring, Rubblebucket’s Kalmia Traver and Alex Toth began the process of bringing their next record to life. As an experiment, Kalmia asked Alex (her longtime romantic partner) to move out while they worked on the album, then accepted the marriage proposal he made during a recording session just a month later. Although Alex soon moved back in, their 11-year relationship ended when the two chose to ‘consciously uncouple’ the following spring—a decision they honored by ceremoniously giving each other matching triangular daisy tattoos (a nod to the title track from Rubblebucket’s 2010 EP). But despite all the sadness brought on by their breakup, Kalmia and Alex kept on writing and recording together, ultimately creating Rubblebucket’s most transcendent album to date.

Co-produced by Kalmia and Alex, Sun Machine documents the pain of ending their romantic relationship, yet emerges as an unbridled and often-euphoric celebration of their lasting connection. While the breakup inspired much of the album, Sun Machine is deeply informed by several other life-changing occurrences in recent years: Kalmia’s diagnosis with ovarian cancer in 2013 (followed by a round of surgeries and chemo treatments), Alex’s decision to get sober after a long struggle with alcoholism, and the couple’s three-year-long attempt at maintaining an open relationship. The result is a strange and beautiful paradox: a party album rooted in radical mindfulness, a breakup record imbued with each partner’s palpable love for the other.

With its airy melodies and lavish textures, dream-logic sensibilities and dancey rhythms, Sun Machine radiates the bright and joyful energy encapsulated in its title. “It’s a reference to the sun as this abundant natural resource we all have available to us—but it’s also about the inner sun, the magma in our hearts,” says Kalmia. “When you can access that, you’re able to get through really hard moments, and evolve and develop creatively. I think that’s the best way to explain how I was able to work through the process of the two of us transforming our relationship in a positive way.”

As Rubblebucket’s most fully realized album yet, Sun Machine finds Kalmia and Alex tapping into their creative instincts more freely and directly than ever before. “Kal and I are both jazz musicians, and jazz is very much driven by improvisation—it’s about getting in touch with that inner spontaneity, where you’re channeling ideas rather than thinking them up,” says Alex. “There’s a lot of moments on this album that happened from us being in a trance-like zone, and coming up with weird sounds in the middle of the recording, sometimes by accident.”

The hypnotic opening track to Sun Machine, “What Life Is” unfolds in lyrics that arrived through pure stream-of-consciousness. “I had recently gotten sober, and the only music I could listen to was drone music,” Alex recalls. “I’d put it on and pace around my little studio apartment, and those words just started coming out of me.” With Kalmia delivering a wild sax solo later on in the song, “What Life Is” centers its refrain on a gently unshakable question: How many hours a day are you a broken tape? “We have so many distractions now, with all the crazy things happening in the world and all the devices we get to observe those things through,” says Kalmia in reflecting on “What Life Is.” “There’s so many different and confusing directions for us to get drawn in every day.”

Throughout Sun Machine, Rubblebucket adorn their exploration of love and sexuality and grief and healing with bursts of collage-like experimentation. “Annihilation Song” is woven with ambient tones constructed from a sample of Alex whistling, while the wistful but breezy “Fruity” was built from a beat supplied by Kalmia’s cousin, Ben Swardlick (a member of San Francisco-based electronic duo M Machine). And though it was written in the throes of their breakup, “Lemonade” captures a carefree romanticism (“We used to ride around on rollerblades/You kissed me on the mouth and my pupils dilated”), then magnifies that playful mood by layering in fragments of improvised conversation at the bridge. “Kal and I just hit record and pretended we were in a music venue during the trumpet solo,” Alex explains. “We talked about Kafka and chakras and existential philosophy, and at one point we talked shit about the trumpet player—which is actually me.”

From song to song, Rubblebucket infuse Sun Machine with a sweetness and generosity that speak to the devotion behind their conscious uncoupling, a process Kalmia defines as “signaling to the world that you’re doing everything you can to preserve the relationship.” With Alex describing their breakup as “the single-most significant life event beyond me being born,” both band members hope that Sun Machine encourages others to see the possibility for transformation in painful experiences of all kinds. “When I got cancer and Alex quit drinking, that was the beginning of a huge journey for both of us,” says Kalmia. “So much of that journey has been about giving myself the freedom to exist on my own terms, believing in my ideas instead of self-editing. I think this album represents both of us allowing ourselves that freedom in a totally new way, and hopefully it’ll give people inspiration to be creative in their own lives, and to just soften up a bit too.”
Kat Wright
Kat Wright
Kat Wright, whose voice is both sultry and dynamic, delicate yet powerful; gritty but highly emotive and nuanced, has been described as “a young Bonnie Raitt meets Amy Winehouse”. Add to that voice enough stage presence to tame lions, and the combination of feline femininity proves immediately enchanting. There’s soul flowing in and out of her rock ‘n’ roll with a serpentine seduction. Some of soul music’s sweet, grand dames belt, shout, seethe, and succumb, while Wright sings gently like a heartache’s apology. It’s funky in spots and beautiful all over. And it hurts a little … like it should.

Supporting her is a rock solid rhythm section of bass, drums and keys; a powerful, three-piece horn section; an electric guitarist who dances beneath the surface before exploding to the top. Seven players, each a soloist and entertainer in their own right, blending Memphis soul and new school R&B with a level of improvisation that more than a few Vermont bands have been known for. They aim right for the heart and move your soul without overlooking your ass.

Confident, cool and, well… indomitable.

Working their magic throughout the Northeast and preparing to extend far beyond the region, Kat and the band are on a simple quest to “send people out feeling better than when they walked in” to the show…
Weakened Friends
Weakened Friends
Common Blah is the debut full-length by Portland, Maine’s Weakened Friends. Founded by songwriter Sonia Sturino, bassist Annie Hoffman, and drummer Cam Jones in 2015, the trio is a low pressure outlet for emotionally volatile music. Engineered and produced by Hoffman and perfected over the last year, the record broadcasts heavy feelings amid screech and feedback with little more than a fuzz pedal to clog up the signal chain.

For Sturino, writing in Weakened Friends is more of a physical process than a mental one.

“I have to feel the vibration or sound coming out of my body. I need the physicality to do it, to enjoy singing it,” she says. “People probably hear the vocals and think, ‘she just puts on that weird voice,’ but it’s really just what comes out. It’s my body making that sound.”

Many of the songs reckon with deep mid-20s malaise — with the feeling of being young, stuck, and settling for less. “Sometimes, things look good on the outside, but they’re not working. That’s how it used to be for me. I’d hear, ‘You have a really cool job. You live in a cool city. Your band is cool.’ It was ‘Common Blah’ though because I was miserable. I didn’t care. Now, I’m at the other end of the spectrum. People do something that they think they’re supposed to do when it’s not what they should be doing and it doesn’t make them happy. In a lot of ways, this is the first time I’ve found happiness. I wrote the lyrics about the time before that happiness.”

On Common Blah, Weakened Friends use volume — instrumental and emotional — to reassert a sense of control in a time when daily life has slid out of tune. The album also features guest shredding by peer and kindred spirit J Mascis on the song “Hate Mail.” Common Blah will be out on CD, LP, and digital download via Don Giovanni Records on October 19th..
Tall Heights
Tall Heights
Getting there is half the fun, as the old saying goes, but the journey is really the whole point for Boston electrofolk duo Tall Heights. Singer/guitarist Tim Harrington and singer/cellist Paul Wright know where they’ve been, and where they want to go. As for the route, well, “we’re just mapping it out as we take it, day by day,” says Harrington.

They’ve reached their biggest junction so far — Neptune, out now, is Tall Heights’ first album for Sony Music Masterworks, and the latest step in the ongoing evolution of their sound and style.

Harrington and Wright formed Tall Heights in 2010, keeping their songs stripped down to their essential elements, in part, to make it simpler to perform on the streets of Boston.

Neptune is a far lusher construct: along with pristine and emotive vocal harmonies, there’s subtly chugging electric guitar and a spare descending bassline on “Iron in the Fire,” ethereal synthesizers and a spacious drum part on “Spirit Cold,” a brittle splash of percussion to open “Backwards and Forwards” and feedback created by two cellphones on “Cross My Mind.”

“It was helpful and I think comforting to define ourselves as two vocalists, guitar and cello,” Wright says. “There was a beauty and a simplicity, and stepping outside of that box is pretty scary, because you’re forced to redefine yourself and do some sonic soul-searching. I think this record reflects the results of that scary step.”

The band’s broadening sound came from the musicians’ conscious effort to push themselves, and each other, to create in new ways. By relying on a few core elements at the start, the duo learned to make the most of their minimalist set-up. “It taught us to be lean and mean and effective with just two voices and two instruments,” Harrington says. “It made us consider vocal tone and the way voices can mesh and interact.”

As those lessons took root, the pair essentially gave themselves permission to push their musical boundaries outward over three separate recording sessions at Color Study studio in tiny Goshen, Vermont, that yielded songs for their 2015 EP Holding On, Holding Out, and for Neptune. Not only did Harrington and Wright expand their sonic palette throughout the process, they also altered their approach to writing. The musicians tend to develop ideas separately, before one brings a new song to the other for further development. It’s a reflection of their early days sharing musical ideas, when Wright was living overseas and Harrington was finishing up college.

“We would send each other terrible sound-recorder voice memo files and we’d write these nice emails to each other about each other’s songs, so creating concepts independently is something we’ve always done,” says Wright, who has been friends with Harrington since they were kids growing up in the central Massachusetts town of Sturbridge.

They changed the formula on Neptune. Four songs on the album — “River Wider,” “Infrared,” “Cross My Mind” and “Growing” — are the result of one musician looping a simple instrumental part and letting the other write lyrics for it. With the last recording session looming, the duo worked faster than usual on those songs, particularly the somber, atmospheric “Cross My Mind.” “We were under the gun, he was downstairs making one thing, I was upstairs making another thing, we put them together and then we workshopped it in the car on the drive up to the studio,” says Harrington, whose Boston apartment is literally upstairs from Wright’s.

Their ever-closer collaboration, and the time they gave themselves in the studio to develop it, is indicative of the band’s developing approach to making music. “I can hear the evolution happening,” Harrington says. “I feel like we’re walking across a bridge from one place to another, and maybe I’ll always feel that way, but I’m really happy with how we’re moving.”

“Intimate and arresting” – NPR

“Tall Heights employ a collection of acoustic guitar, cello, and electronic drums,​ ​reminiscent of contemporary indie folk giants like Justin Vernon and Fleet​ ​Foxes.”​​ – XPN

“In addition to finger-picked guitar, swelling cello and tight,​ ​prismatic vocal harmonies, ‘Spirit Cold’ boasts a bold, airy drum part​ ​that propels the song through the peaks and troughs of the​ ​arrangement.”​ – Wall Street Journal​

“It’s a contemporary sound that is not without its ageless qualities.” – Chicago Sun Times

“Certifiably unclassifiable” – Boston Herald

“There have been many bands in recent years that have employed beautiful close harmonies, but when you add the strings and the great songwriting, Tall Heights is a notch above the pack.” – WBEZ

“Call it simply gorgeous.” – WFUV
Venue Information:
Thompson’s Point
1 Thompson's Point
Portland, ME, 04102