A friend in Alabama writes:

uhm … the high in maine today was below zero … how on EARTH do you deal with that?

Well, obviously — you stay inside and listen to music.

Spouse in the house

Spouse in the house

Spouse, a genre-shifting combo of flexible lineup centered around José Ayerve of Brunswick, surfaced lately on an implausibly good compilation called “Maine Tracks” conceived and distributed by a bank. Yes, a bank. The stand-out tune is “Catch-22,” and while the final release version is good, the rough-cut original has a lo-fi charm that somehow goes down better with sub-zero temperatures and a dyspeptic boiler.

Micah Blue Smaldone of South Portland, another artist featured on the “Maine Tracks” compilation, is making a bit of noise with an album called The Red River. I kind of dig this goth-folky ballad:

Closer to home — about 50 yards away, as the Jack Russell flies — my neighbor Dave McLean has built a little recording studio with antiquated equipment and nonexistent sound isolation from which he turns out lovingly crafted tunes like this: