Of course, there are plenty of reasons to attend art openings besides the one taught to every cub reporter on the first day of J-school — that it’s a good place to score a free meal, or at least something to take the edge off, and, if you’re a lucky little ink-soaked wretch, maybe some sort of bracing libations. Mmmmmm, libations. You also get, if you’re pushy enough, some face time with the artist, and, of course, there’s always the art, presumably the reason you’re there. If you’re not a reporter, of course. Now, we’re not guaranteeing that there’ll be a decent spread of anything besides art at the reception for Dylan Metrano’s first-ever solo art show next week at Carry Out Cafe, where the Port native will be showing his excellent paper-cuttings of Monhegan Island, and you don’t really need another reason, but there’s something else in the works, another reason to brave the suddenly snarly season. And that is ... nah, you’ve got to go to the next page to find out.
And that would be an opportunity to hear South China, the excellent Biddeford-based experimental folk duo, whose sound is sparse, beautiful and haunting. It’s a vibe described as evoking a dream-like state, like trying to recall something that is just beyond the edges of memory. Very evocative, the music. Like the artwork: Bright, colorful images cut from a single piece of paper with an X-Acto blade and glued onto another. Basic, simple shapes that conjure place, memories.
Metrano, frontman for Tiger Saw and a key figure in the city's new music revival in the late 1990s, has been showing the his paper-cuttings in Down East galleries and shops for the past couple of years. He has also collected the work in "Monhegan Island Papercuttings," published earlier this year by Burst and Bloom. It's his second book. The first was "All My Friends Are Right Here With Me," the story of the first decade of Tiger Saw, the indie music folk collective, that's part travelogue, part studio diary and part oral history.
The Carry Out Cafe show will include Monhegan Island pieces as well as new work.
JUST THE FACTS, MAN: Dylan Metrano’s “Paper-cutting Art Exhibit” opens with a reception at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 7 at Carry Out Cafe, 155 State St., Newburyport. It’s free.