As I write this, all that’s on anyone’s mind is Frankenstorm, a.k.a. the deadly combination of Hurricane Sandy and a Nor’easter, that’s got it’s eye on the Northeast. Why, even as I picked up my coffee at Tim Horton’s this morning, the friendly girl at the window asked me if I was ready for it. I replied yes – yes I am. I’ve got chips. I’ve got granola bars. I’ve got a whole bunch of strategically placed candles for maximum spooky atmosphere. I’m watching over-caffeinated, Gortex-clad meteorologists on The Weather Channel stand in front of churning ocean and trees being blown sideways. I’ve got D batteries for the boombox, on which I feel compelled to listen to late 90s pop hits in consideration of its year of purchase. Neighborhood kids, there is a strong possibility we might eat all your Halloween candy, because as we know, storms, be they snowy, rainy or windy, are a great excuse to eat a lot of food. You never know! The roads could be flooded out, and you might need to survive solely on body fat like a hibernating bear, because civilization will be unable to reach you.
In all seriousness, stay safe out there. While the brunt of the storm’s force is expected to hit south of Maine, we could still see some damage, and probably power loss. If it is a damaging storm, aren’t you glad you took precautions? And if it’s a big dud, then won’t it be fun to complain about it on Facebook for the next few days? So huddle up with your family and/or friends, eat some canned beans and drink water straight from a plastic gallon jug, and think about all the upcoming fun, like the holiday season, the first snowfall, and all the great concerts Maine has to offer for the next few months.
State Theatre, Portland (www.statetheatreportland.com)
Well, the big Mainers United for Marriage benefit show on Halloween featuring chart-toppers Fun. is all sold out, but the night after, DJs Pretty Lights, Keys n Krates and Eliot Lipp are set for the State. On Saturday, Nov. 3, you can hang with jam masters Umphrey’s McGee, and on Nov. 7, Canadian rockers the Tragically Hip are set to play. G. Love and Special Sauce and Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad are set for Nov. 10, and on Nov. 15, it’s the Eli Young Band and JT Hodges. Longtime emo fans get a special treat on Nov. 18, when Taking Back Sunday plays with Bayside and the Mentzingers. On Nov. 24 the Portland musician Spencer Albee brings a whole host of local musicians to play a fully orchestrated Beatles night, and on Nov. 29, indie rock legends Dinosaur Jr (pictured) are set to play. Grateful Dead covers band Dark Star Orchestra are scheduled for Dec. 6, and on Dec. 7, the Fogcutters Big Band based right in Portland play its yearly local music blowout show. Band of Horses are set for Dec. 8, Killswitch Engage and Shadows Fall are set for Dec. 20, and to close the year out there are three great shows: The Devil Makes Three and Brown Bird on Dec. 29, and two more nights of jam gods Moe. on Dec. 30 and 31, just as they did last year at the State Theatre.
Port City Music Hall, Portland (www.portcitymusichall.com)
Justin Townes Earle – son of Steve Earle, and pictured here – will play at Port City with Tift Merritt on Nov. 7, followed by the Brew on Nov. 9, and night two of Richard James and the Name Changers four Saturday in a row residency at the venue. Rubblebucket is set for Nov. 15, Max Creek is set for Nov. 23, and metal band High on Fire will play on Nov. 28. There’s also Steve Earle on Dec. 1, just a few weeks after his son plays, and the wonderful Trampled By Turtles and Spirit Family Reunion are set for Dec. 2. Reverend Horton Heat makes yet another Portland stop – he loves this town, doesn’t he? – on Dec. 14, and at the end of the year, it’s Ryan Montbleau on Dec. 28, and Rusted Root on Dec. 29.
Space Gallery, Portland (www.space538.org)
The brilliant rocker and composer Dan Deacon will take the stage at the Space Gallery on Nov. 12, and J.D. Samson of Le Tigre’s new project Men is set to perform on Nov. 16. Up and coming indie rockers Other Lives, fresh off tours with Radiohead and Bon Iver, will play with Danish band Indians on Nov. 26. The moody and atmospheric School of Seven Bells will play on Dec. 1, and KahBang alums Pearl and the Beard are set for Dec. 2. Guitar phenom Kaki King will play with hometown hero Lady Lamb the Beekeeper (pictured) on Dec. 4, and Patrick Watson will play with Lewiston folk duo Arborea on Dec. 9.
Stone Mountain Arts Center, Brownfield (www.stonemountainartscenter.com)
Man, how does this place get such star power? The western Maine venue hosts a wealth of great stuff over the rest of this year; for starters, there’s Toots and the Maytals on Oct. 31, the folk super trio Red Horse (Elisa Gilkyson, John Gorka and Lucy Kaplansky, pictured) on Nov. 3, and Lyle Lovett on Nov. 5. Mary Black is set for Nov. 8 and Nancy Griffith is set for Nov. 9, while Dar Williams will play on Dec. 29. There’s also loads of holiday shows that Stone Mountain maven Carol Noonan plans; check their website for more info.