Face the Music: Pair music lovers on your list with these new local releases – Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

I send tidings of comfort, joy and safety your way as we’re now knee-deep in the holiday season. I’m also going to send you out shopping.

From digital releases to CDs, vinyl, all sorts of apparel and a sleigh full of other goodies, every local musical act that you love has stuff for sale that would find a comfortable home in the stocking of someone you know. So, consider this a musical Whitman’s Sampler of gift suggestions for the music lovers on your list. Which should mean everyone, because who doesn’t love music?

And although 2021 was better than 2020 for sure (thanks, science), the local music community is still recovering and can use your support. So pour yourself a glass of eggnog and put on some holiday tunes (I’ve got The Fogcutters “Jingle These Bells” EP playing in my ears as I write this), and start clicking away.

Toby McAllister merchandise. Photo by Toby McAllister

Singer-songwriter Toby McAllister from the pop punk band Sparks the Rescue released a solo EP called “Daydreamin’ ” last week, and all five tracks are excellent. You can shop for it on CD at, where you’ll also find some nifty stickers, T-shirts and a poster.

Speaking of brand new music, on the day after Thanksgiving, roots and bluesman Samuel James dropped an instrumental holiday album, which can be digitally gifted on Bandcamp ( It’s an excellent gift for fans of phenomenal guitar work. It would also make a solid addition to your own repertoire of holiday music, which surely needs some refreshing.

Weakened Friends’ album “Quitter” on colored vinyl. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

Rock band Weakened Friends released its latest album, “Quitter,” on Nov. 19 and celebrated with a huge, sold-out show at Portland House of Music on Dec. 3. It was there that I bought the album on peach and white marbleized vinyl and then ran up to Sonia, Annie and Adam to have them sign it, because of course I did. Head to, where you can order a copy on vinyl or CD and can also snag a cap and T-shirt.

Indie-folk act GoldenOak put out the album “Room to Grow” at the end of June and, woah Nelly, it’s tremendous, especially the songs “These Old Shoes” and “Ash.” Pick it up on CD or vinyl and snag a cool T-shirt at, where you’ll also find tote bags, stickers and their previous releases.

Sara Trunzo music and stickers. Photo by Sara Trunzo

Singer-songwriter Sara Trunzo released the EP “Cabin Fever Dreams” on Sept. 24. It was produced by Rachael Moore, who has worked with the likes of T Bone Burnett, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Guest musicians include Dave Cohen (Reba McEntire, Wynonna Judd) on keys, Adam Ollendorff (Kacey Musgraves, Keb’ Mo’) on …….


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Blac Youngsta Raps Next to Tomb with Young Dolph’s Name in Music Video – TMZ

Blac Youngsta is either clueless or he’s gonna have a wave of hate coming his way from Young Dolph fans after posing next to a tomb with the late rapper’s name on it in a new music video.

Youngsta — who was a known enemy of Dolph — released the video for his song “Im Assuming” Monday, filmed almost entirely in a cemetery. While it’s very brief, around the 1-minute-mark of the video, you see the last n…….


Music Box Cookie Tin is Truly ‘Note-Able’ – Packaging Digest

Isn’t it a wonderful feeling when packaging surprises you in a good way?

My packaging-induced wonder came upon a recent night-time visit to a nearby Aldi’s. As I perused the shelves, there it was: Benton’s “Music Tin with Sugar Cookies”, which captures exactly what it’s about.

It was so unexpected to find such a premium-looking, interactive item at the discount grocer that I was beaming like a kid on Christmas morning. Then I became self-conscious and looked around to see if my fellow shoppers noticed my reaction. If so, they may have thought I’d enjoyed some liquid holiday cheer beforehand.