There are several types of gift-givers out there. There’s the one who does Black Friday, scores a TV and an iPad for next to nothing and has all their shopping done by the first week in December. There’s the one who does everything homemade, from jam and candy to hand-knit scarves and doilies and cat sweaters. There’s the one who waits until Dec. 23 to start shopping, and ends up with a blender and Batman underwear for everyone. And then there’s the one who somehow gets it right every time, whether it’s some indispensable kitchen things for the foodie, a baseball scoring book for the sports fan, or concert tickets for the music lover. The latter of which, naturally, would be the thing yours truly would want. Like tickets for some of the shows, statewide, listed below. Not that I’m saying that would be a great gift for me. Of course not.
State Theatre, Portland (www.statetheatreportland.com)
Well, you can start with a non-musical offering from the State, when they show a double feature of holiday movies: “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15; after that, it stays holiday-themed with Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “The Wizard of Winter” show, set for Dec. 21. On New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime and ska band Big D and the Kids Table will ring in 2014, and then it’s another month before another show, with Walk Off the Earth and Parachute set for Jan. 28.
Port City Music Hall, Portland (www.portcitymusichall.com)
Port City Music Hall stays happening right though January, starting with four straight days of great shows, including Carbon Leaf on Dec. 12, Eleanor Friedberger of the Fiery Furnaces on Dec. 13, Richard James & the Name Changers on Dec. 14 and Blackalicious (pictured above) and Eyenine on Dec. 15. A two-day break, and then it’s onto Bro Safari on Dec. 18, local favorites Anna Lombard and the Other Bones on Dec. 21, Stephen Kellogg and Mark Erelli on Dec. 26, Rubblebucket on Dec. 28, Enter the Haggis on Dec. 29, and a New Year’s Eve show with Rustic Overtones on Dec. 31. On Jan. 9, there’s Trigger Hippy featuring Joan Osbourne, Jackie Greene and Steve Gorman; on Jan. 17 there’s the Alternate Routes; on Jan. 23 there’s John Brown’s Body; and on Jan. 30 there’s Bruce Springsteen tribute show Bruce in the USA.
The Asylum, Portland (www.portlandasylum.com)
A rather light December and January in terms of shows at the Asylum, though there’s a really neat one with Black Francis — a.k.a. Frank Blank of the Pixies — coming up on Saturday, Dec. 28. On Jan. 31, New Year’s Eve, the 99.9FM The Wolf Jack Daniels Ramblin’ Revival features a triple bill of Maine roots and Americana music with North of Nashville, the Ghost of Paul Revere and the Tricky Britches. On Saturday, Jan. 18 there’s country singer-songwriter Eric Paslay, and on Sunday, Feb. 9 there’s electronica-tinged British singer-songwriter Beth Orton.
Stone Mountain Arts Center, Brownfield (www.stonemountainartscenter.com)
For two weekends, the Stone Mountain Arts Center hosts bluegrass legends the Gibson Brothers for four night of holiday shows, set for Dec. 13-14 and Dec. 20-21. Ring in the New Year at this beautiful western Maine venue with blues goddess Shemekia Copeland, and on Jan. 11, there’s a songwriter’s summit with folksingers Rose Cousins, Miss Tess, Laura Cortese, Sean Staples, Kristin Andreassen, Caitlin Canty, Dietrich Strause, Annie Lynch, Zachariah Hickman and Dinty Child. Singer-songwriter Paula Cole is set for Jan. 24, the Don Campbell Band is set for Jan. 25, on Jan. 30 there’s Erica Brown and the Bluegrass Connection and on Jan. 31 there’s roots ensemble Girls, Guns and Glory.