• Among other musical happenings you can expect in 2012, WMPG's new radio transmitter is now running at 100 percent strength, broadening the station's wattage to 4.5 kilowatts and receptivity to areas as far as Lewiston-Auburn and York. This is major good news for those who still prefer music selected by a real live human DJ, rather than commercial radio or via the often-stultifying autogenerated options prevalent today (Pandora, Spotify, even Maine.fm). Cheers to longtime station manager Jim Rand for making this happen. Check wmpg.org/?programming for the station's vast acreage of sonic real estate.
• A bit of sad news about 2012: Maine has to face it without LORD BYRON. The outrageous, salacious performance artist, dancer, and enabler of the avant-garde is moving to Los Angeles this month. For those who don't know Byron: he's been performing in Maine for ten years, as either a founder or crucial member of PV-Scene (a fetish-based performance art troupe), Vivid Motion (where he organized the absurdly successful Nutcracker Burlesque), and OrGaNiZeD cHaOs (a deterritorial radical queer performance troupe). He's been a fixture of Atomic Trash! and a catalyst for numerous drag performances at countless venues. We've lauded him in 2010 as one of our Most Influential in Portland roster and in '10 and '11 with nominations for Best Performance Artist, and in terms of fearlessness and willingness to bare all, he's gonna be hard to replace. Best of luck out west, Byron.
• While we're still in 2011, we'll congratulate BILLY LIBBY on his recent and particularly heartwarming charity collaboration. The pop songwriter — who last year founded Your Song, Your Story, an organization that provides afflicted children with songwriting outlets — recently penned "Can't Wait for Christmas Time," a holiday chestnut available on YouTube and for $1 download. Proceeds benefit his charity, which has become a fixture for Portland's Center for Grieving Children and many such orgs nationwide.
: New England Music News
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