Rockin’ Out: Southern Maine show roundup, sans snow

I don’t ski. Nor do I skate. Or ice fish. I have been known to go sledding and I build a mean snowman, and I have been snowshoeing twice and did enjoy myself. But overall, my winter activities are largely confined to shoveling and complaining. It’s too dark. It’s too cold. It’s too long. After two or three snowstorms, I’m over it. But even I, who dreads the months of January and February, remain rather disturbed by the lack of winter weather this winter. What gives? Those random storms on Halloween and Thanksgiving don’t count. I feel robbed. Robbed of my Maine-born right to act as though I’ve been to battle, after digging my car out in the morning.As I write this, it appears we may get some snow later in the week. I remain unconvinced, but amazingly, I actually welcome it. It would go a long way to making me feel less frightened that we’re going to be freezing in April. In the meantime, I suppose I can be glad that the roads have been essentially clear all winter, making driving a rather safe prospect. I know I’ve been taking advantage of it so far. Rock shows around the state, here I come!

State Theatre, Portland (www.statetheatreportland.com)
A relatively subdued winter for the State, though there are some gems coming along in the next two months. Songwriter Matt Nathanson will perform on Jan. 25, followed by metal lords Machine Head, with Suicide Silence, Darkest Hour and Rise to Remain, on Jan. 26. Jack’s Mannequin, Jukebox the Ghost and Allen Stone are set for Feb. 2, and oh my God, you guys, Peter Frampton will play “Frampton Comes Alive!” in its entirety at the State on Feb. 7, as part of the album’s 35th anniversary tour. The rescheduled date for bluesman Jonny Lang is set for Feb. 17, and power trio Chevelle will play with Middle Class Rut and Janus on Feb. 28. Indie favorites The Head and the Heart are set for March 16.

Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland (www.thecivicenter.com)
Two shows in the early part of 2012 at the Civic Center, with country star Eric Church on March 1, and a double bill of alt-rock awesomeness with the Black Keys and the Arctic Monkeys on March 6.

Port City Music Hall, Portland (www.portcitymusichall.com)
New England jam heroes The Brew, along with Adam Ezra Group, are set to play here on Jan. 27, sandwiched in between two nights of dubstep and dancing with the Barstool Blackout Tour, set for Jan. 26 and 28. The Soul Rebels Brass Band will offer up a Mardi Gras party on Thursday, Feb. 16, and the Zach Deputy Band is set for March 1. Electronic musician and DJ RJD2 will spin on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.

Space Gallery, Portland (www.space538.org)
Space hosts a night of Maine hip hop on Jan. 21, with performances from Alias, Trails, Sandbag and the Educated Advocates. Punk songwriter Xenia Rubinos will take the stage on Jan. 22. Folk punk and indie folk owns the night on Jan. 27, with O’Death and Brown Bird, and on Jan. 30, avant-garde punk rock legend Thurston Moore, co-founder of Sonic Youth and a guitar lord, will play a very special solo show on Jan. 30.

One Longfellow Square, Portland (www.onelongfellowsquare.com)
Jan. 12 brings Poco, featuring the former members of Buffalo Springfield that are not named Neil Young or Stephen Stills, to the One Longfellow Square stage. Other highlights of the next two months include blues guitarist Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters on Jan. 21, New York songwriter Willie Nile on Jan. 28, Quebecois group and American Folk Festival alumnus Le Vent du Nord on Feb. 10, and Cajun kings Beausoleil on Feb. 25.

Stone Mountain Arts Center, Brownfield (www.stonemountainartscenter.com)
Acclaimed songwriter Aimee Mann plays a rare Maine show in Stone Mountain’s beautiful post-and-beam venue on Jan. 18. Songwriter Marc Cohn will perform on Jan. 20, Livingston Taylor is set for Jan. 21, and Paula Cole will play on Jan. 28. Maine songwriter Catie Curtis is scheduled for Feb. 4, followed by saxophonist David Sanborn on Feb. 9 and prog-bluegrass band Hoots and Hellmouth on Feb. 10. The enchanting Suzanne Vega will play on Feb. 26, Lori McKenna is set for March 3, the Nields will play on March 8, and the Carolina Chocolate Drops will bring their quirky, catchy, brilliant take on old-timey music on March 9 and 10.

Emily Burnham

About Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native, a University of Maine graduate, a proud Bangorian and an arts and lifestyle writer for the Bangor Daily News, where she's worked since 2004. She reports on everything from local bands to local food, from media and the Internet to theater and dance. In her quest for stories, she's seen countless concerts and plays, been lobster fishing, interviewed celebrities, taken belly dancing classes, hung out with water buffalo and played in a ukulele orchestra, to name just a few. She's interested in everything -- especially if it happens in Maine. She welcomes any and all feedback or suggestions for stories.