Great Western Plain - Serious Business on BTR [ep154]
Great Western Plain is a trio of dudes from Maine, playing gnarly rock music. Continuing the tradition of Portland-based bands (though drummer Tony would be quick to point out that he lives a couple hours north of Maine’s biggest city, we’re sticking with it) making the trek down for shows and a beer-and-chat session with Travis for Serious Business On BTR, the guys stopped by to play some of their more recent jams, now with more krauty, no-wave goodness slathered on top of their punk jams.

Featured song: “Moving Parts”

Complete broadcast and audio playlist:

Elastic Smile, the latest release from Great Western Plain, is now available.

Great Western Plain on Bandcamp:
Twitter: @greatwstrnpln

Blood Warrior - BTR Live Studio [292]
Blood Warrior is Greg Jamie (of o’death) and Joey Weiss (of Supermonster). Friends for most of their lives, they launched this project as a way to start playing music together after a decade of not doing so. As a band, Blood Warrior is based in Portland, Maine, though Long Island, New York, plays a large part in their story. The music is haunting and gorgeous, as much about the space as the sound, with sparse acoustic guitars and bare drum beats laying the foundation for the chanting and howling confessions of a shipwrecked soul. There’s an intense softness to Blood Warrior’s music that manages to evoke catchy, memorable melodies and the band shared some of these as they work towards the release of their next album.

Featured song: “Untitled Song”

Complete broadcast and audio playlist:

Blood Warrior’s self-titled debut album is now available, they are currently finishing their second album.

Official website for Blood Warrior:

Foam Castles - Serious Business on BTR [ep147]
For the past few years, Tyler Jackson of Portland, Maine, has been turning out fuzzy pop gems — leaning towards psych rock at times, riff-heavy indie rock at others — under the name Foam Castles (previously seen performing solo in an episode of BTR Hear & There). The project began, like many, as a home recording project that eventually featured an amorphous lineup of musician friends before solidifying into a full-fledged band. These days, the band is a tight foursome pop hit-making machine including some of the most accomplished veterans of the local Portland scene (Jaw Gems, Brenda, Endless Jags, and others among their notable projects). The guys dropped by the studio to share some tunes both old and new and to chat with Travis, providing some insight into where they find inspiration for their music.

Featured song: “Sycamore”

Complete broadcast and audio playlist:

Bonanza, the latest release from Foam Castles is now available from Teenarena Records.

Foam Castles on Bandcamp:
Twitter: @foamcastles

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper: Return to Maine (presented by BreakThruTV

Aly Spaltro began her musical career in the back room of a DVD rental shop in Brunswick, Maine. Bart & Greg’s DVD Explosion was where she worked the night shift and spent her nights practicing, writing songs, and sometimes sleeping in her guitar case. She cut her teeth performing — solo, then as part of a duo, then solo again — in the state’s biggest city, Portland, before moving on to conquer Boston and NYC, ultimately landing in Brooklyn as a home base for her critically-acclaimed, internationally-touring project. To celebrate the March 2013 release of her debut full-length album as Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, BTRtv and HillyTown joined Spaltro for a trip home to Maine to visit the town where she got her start and to unveil the new album with the help of a live band at SPACE Gallery.

Check out Lady Lamb the Beekeeper’s previous BTR Live Studio session featuring more music and interview:

Ripely Pine, the latest release by Lady Lamb the Beekeeper is now available from Ba Da Bing Records.

Official website for Lady Lamb the Beekeeper:
Twitter: @ladylambjams

The Box Tiger - BTR Live Studio [ep252]

The Box Tiger is an international indie rock band from the outskirts of Toronto, Ontario, led by songwriter Sonia Sturino; however, as one member lives in Portland, Maine, surely they can be considered international. The band clearly has a lot of heart, as dramatically displayed in their performances, which blast through huge hooks and spirited choruses for an overwhelming experience. Though still a young band, their rigorous tour schedule and opening slots for some popular, like-minded bands such as The Joy Formidable are a clear indicator that they’re on a mission.

Featured song: “Taller Than Trees”

Complete broadcast and audio playlist:

Set Fire, the latest release by The Box Tiger is now available.

Official website for The Box Tiger:
Twitter: @theboxtiger

"Underground Interiors" by Foam Castles - BTR Hear & There [ep73]

For the past few years, Portland, Maine’s Tyler Jackson (also of recent BTR Live Studio guests Endless Jags) has been turning out fuzzy pop gems — leaning towards psych rock at times, riff-heavy indie rock at others — under the name Foam Castles. The project began, like many, as a home recording project that then began featuring an amorphous lineup of musician friends before solidifying into a full-fledged band. Here, Jackson presents a new song, stripped down to its essence, as he first wrote it, and performed with only an acoustic guitar and vocal microphone.

In this, the fourth in a series of BTR Hear & There episodes shot on location in Maine, in collaboration with, Tyler Jackson of Foam Castles performs live and acoustic in his basement practice space in Portland, Maine.

Featured Song: “Underground Interiors”

Foam Castles’ Bonanza vinyl edition will be out soon from Teenarena Records.

Foam Castles on Tumblr:
Twitter: @foamcastles

Official website for HillyTown:
HillyTown on Facebook:
HillyTown on Twitter: @hillytown

Endless Jags - BTR Live Studio [ep197]

Endless Jags is a Portland, Maine-based rock band, comprised of members of Brenda, Gully, Foam Castles, Haru Bangs, Jaw Gems, Astronautalis, and more. With jangly guitars, dual lead singers, killer pop melodies, and a uniquely collaborative approach to songwriting, they’ve quickly made a name for this group with potential to eclipse even their existing — and well-established — other groups. The guys stopped by the studio on a recent tour to play some songs, and to chat with guest host Bryan Bruchman (of Portland music blog, HillyTown, and BTRtv) about their songwriting process, and how they’re not a supergroup, despite being a pretty super group.

Featured song: “Endless Jags”

The Endless Jags EP is available now.

Complete radio broadcast and playlist:

Official website for Endless Jags:
Twitter: @endlessjags

There In The Water” by Lisa/Liza - BTR Hear & There [ep72]

Lisa/Liza is the project of Portland, Maine’s Liza Victoria. This ethereal-sounding folk singer has an appropriately hazy mystique about her, offering little more in biographical detail than where she calls home. We know there’s more to the story, but it’s not important. Her gentle songs have such a fragile quality that they just barely make it out of her body, and the reward when they do is high. At this shoot, she spoke about wanting to play electric guitar, and contemplating the addition of more instruments and collaborators; in the time since then, she’s performed as a duo with a saw player and later added a drummer plus, boldly, an electric guitar. This is a fresh, evolving project, captured here at a critical point, just as changes were bubbling up and about to come to fruition, but while still performing solo with only an acoustic guitar — train interruptions and all.

In this, the third in a series of BTR Hear & There episodes shot on location in Maine in collaboration with, Lisa/Liza performs solo on a foggy day in the backyard of her apartment building in Portland, Maine’s West End.

Featured song: “There In The Water”

Lisa/Liza’s Humble Noon EP is available digitally now.

Lisa/Liza on Bandcamp:

Official website for HillyTown:
HillyTown on Facebook:
HillyTown on Twitter: @hillytown

“Undone” by if and it - BTR Hear & There [ep70]

if and it are a prolific Portland, Maine, trio with a knack for creative dynamics. Playing sparse folk songs in a modern indie rock format, the group has a warmth and sensitivity often lost on your average rock band.

In this, the first in a series of BTR Hear & There episodes shot on location in Maine in collaboration with, if and it perform live at Bunker Brewing Company in Portland’s developing industrial neighborhood of East Bayside.

Featured song: “Undone”

if and it’s Grrr Boo Hiss (Cabin Recordings II) is available now.

Official website for if and it:
Twitter: @ifandit

Official website for HillyTown:

Bunker Brewing Co. on Facebook:

BRAINSTORM - BTR Live Studio [ep180]

BRAINSTORM is an experimental pop group from Portland, Oregon, who use memorable melodies, polyrhythmic singing, and shimmering guitar lines to build songs bound to lodge themselves in peoples’ heads. Everything the trio does is high energy, danceable, and simultaneously familiar and refreshingly new. The band chatted with Maia about how they blend their eclectic outsider music influences in an organic way, the mixtapes that brought them together, taking internet band friendships offline, and more. Bonus: bassist Dasha gets a new nickname!

Featured song: “Maybe A Memory”

BRAINSTORM’s latest release, Heat Waves, is out now on Tender Loving Empire.

Complete radio broadcast and playlist:

Official website:
Twitter: @brainstormpdx
Tender Loving Empire on Twitter: @TenderLovingEmp

The Rattlesnakes - Serious Business on BTR [ep97]

The Rattlesnakes are a psych-punk band from Portland, Maine, with a touch of an amiable “who cares” attitude that lends a bit of excitement to what they do. Growing from a home recording duo to a three piece to the current quintet, the group’s growing pains show through in their music in the best possible way. Aggressive garage rock and punk at the core, they manage to fit in quite a lot of weirdness alongside their tight pop melodies. The band sat down with Travis (with a noticeable lack of beer, being early on a Sunday) to talk about other Maine bands who’ve graced the studio, as well as their latest cassette tape release.

Featured song: “Spine”

The Rattlesnake’s Spine is available digitally and on green cassette tape.

Complete radio broadcast and playlist:

The Rattlesnakes on Bandcamp:

Twitter: @therattlesnakes

Kurt Baker - Serious Business on BTR [ep96] 

Kurt Baker is a singer, songwriter, and rock n’ roll performer from Portland, Maine ,who has always gone by the famous saying “Have a Good Time All the Time.” As the founding member of notable pop/punk outfit the Leftovers, he toured the world and grew into the living, breathing party machine that he is onstage today. Highly reminiscent of Elvis Costello and backed by the venerable KB Band, Baker breathes new life into the power pop genre with high energy guitars and well-crafted pop songwriting. The guys stopped by the studio to play some tunes and to chat with Travis about classic pop history, helping each other out, and — most importantly — getting girls.

Featured song: “Don’t Go Falling In Love”

Kurt Baker’s Brand New Beat is available now on CD from Collector’s Club Records and on vinyl from Jolly Ronnie Records.

Kurt Baker’s official site:
Twitter: @Kurtmiltonbaker

“Inside Out And Hand Grenades” by A Severe Joy - BTR Hear & There [ep60]

Based out of Portland, Maine, A Severe Joy is the new electro-pop project of musician José Ayerve, formerly of indie rock band Spouse. On stage he wears a Batman-like mask as he plays his beat-heavy pop ballads. Though the music is vibrant and booming, it still retains a sentimental tone, as he often sings about love stories. Here he performs under Tukey’s Bridge in Portland. Thanks to Chelsea Dowd for audio assistance. /// A Severe Joy’s self-titled album is his latest release. /// Official website: /// Twitter: @aseverejoy

Ramona Falls - BTR Live Studio [ep116] (by btrlivestudio)

Based out of Portland, Oregon, Ramona Falls is the experimental indie-rock project of former Menomena member Brent Knopf. His debut album, Intuit, was released in 2009 and featured over 30 various musicians and friends, such as Benjamin Weikel (The Helio Sequence) and Janet Weiss (Wild Flag, Sleater Kinney). Here, the band performs “Brevony,” a new, unpredictably explosive and crunchy track from the forthcoming release, Prophet. /// Featured song: “Brevony” /// Ramona Falls’ sophomore album, Prophet, is out May 1st via Barsuk Records. /// Complete radio broadcast and playlist: /// Official website: /// Twitter: @ramonafalls