I bonded with my soon-to-be-husband over shared love of many bands and artists. Wilco. Tom Waits. Meatloaf. Steely Dan. Sam Cooke. Ronnie James Dio, may he rest in metal peace. He turned me on to the tuneful experimentation of Blur, the glam-goth rock of Suede, and the guilt-free arena rock joy of Boston and Electric Light Orchestra. I had no shame in expounding about my love for bad ’90s pop, Justin Timberlake, Edith Piaf, Sonic Youth and the obscure new albums I dig up on the Internet every month or so. It’s very much a marriage made in music.
We’re both busy people and don’t get around to seeing anywhere near as many bands as we’d like. I won’t say which of the many shows happening around the state over the rest of the summer we’re going to, but I will say that anybody fortunate enough to meet somebody who shares the same passions is a lucky person indeed.
Port City Music Hall, Portland (www.portcitymusichall.com)
July 7 brings Maine favorite Amos Lee, a soulful songwriter, to the Port City stage. Canadian indie rockers Wolf Parade play July 11, followed nearly two weeks later by California beach rock songwriter (and friend of Jack Johnson) Donavon Frankenreiter on July 23. The Beltek Festival, normally held in a field in Belmont, is taking a year off to regroup and will be held at Port City this year on Aug. 7. Actress turned rock star Juliette Lewis will play on Aug. 19 and Cajun masters Beausoleil avec Michel Doucet round out the month on Aug. 20.
Maine State Pier and Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland (www.theciviccenter.com)
Two venues, one place to get tickets. Check out weirdo rockers Ween, the contemporary answer to Frank Zappa, July 16 on the Maine State Pier, with electronic world beat pioneers Thievery Corporation appearing on the Pier the next day, July 17. The Civic Center hosts country stars Jo Dee Messina and James Mongomery on Aug. 20.
One Longfellow Square, Portland (www.onelongfellowsquare.com)
This charming Congress Street venue hosts some great folks, blues and roots rock talent. July 16 brings acclaimed songwriter David Dondero, followed by Maine born, Texas bred Slaid Cleaves on July 24. The Lost Bayou Ramblers, who have appeared at the American Folk Festival, will play July 29. Patty Larkin takes the stage July 30, and blues powerhouse Roomful of Blues performs Aug. 6.
Space Gallery, Portland (www.space538.org)
In addition to the excellent art, film, dance parties and interesting programming Space offers, the venue also hosts great bands. Portland-based Samuel James, last seen in the Penobscot Theatre Company’s production of “Spunk,” will play his gorgeous Delta blues with Portland bands Brown Bird and the Wrong Reasons on July 9. Minneapolis hip-hop duo Eyedea and Abilities perform July 16.
L.L. Bean Discovery Park, Freeport (www.llbean.com)
Each summer L.L. Bean headquarters in Freeport bring great artists to their Discovery Park for a series of free shows. New Orleans funk rocks the house July 10, with Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue. Indie rockers Rogue Wave perform July 24, followed by former Soul Coughing frontman Mike Doughty on Aug. 7. Songwriter Ingrid Michaelson wraps up the season Aug. 21.
Bangor Waterfront Park (www.bangormaine.gov)
Isn’t it nice to see that Bangor is hosting big-name acts again? Unless you’ve been living under a rock — or not reading the Bangor Daily News — you know that Lynyrd Skynyrd and Charlie Daniels Band are playing on the Bangor Waterfront Aug. 6, followed by country legend Alan Jackson Sept. 10.
Jonathan’s, Ogunquit (www.jonathansrestaurant.com)
This long-running southern Maine venue brings all kinds of talent in. Sixties icon Judy Collins plays July 25, followed by Hot Tuna July 26. “American Idol” winner Taylor Hicks performs July 27. Buckwheat Zydeco, king of zydeco music, plays Aug. 4, followed by songwriter and Maine native Catie Curtis Aug. 6. Country songwriter Lori McKenna is set for Aug. 7, ’90’s chick rocker Paula Cole will play Aug. 8, and soul singer Joan Osbourne takes the stage Aug. 12. Grammy winner Shelby Lynne is set for Aug. 15, Woodstock legend Richie Havens is booked for Aug, 29, and Shawn Colvin will play Sept. 2.