Ten years ago, almost to the exact day, a miracle occurred. It was the first day the Press Herald ran this column. I found out I got the job when I was sitting at the counter at Becky’s Diner on a Thursday morning, the day that the GO section runs in paper. It was Aug. 28, 2003. More on that in a moment.

By a stroke of sheer luck, I was introduced to the features editor by a mutual friend who told said editor I was a writer. She suggested I drop off some samples of my writing, which I did. Then she instructed me to write a “sample column” previewing shows for the week of Aug. 28, 2003. And so I did just that.

So there I am at Becky’s and I flip to the GO section and there’s my column! What’s more, it was accompanied by this Editor’s Note: “This is the debut column of Aimsel L. Ponti, who this week takes over coverage of the music scene for GO. Ponti is a freelance writer from Portland.”

That was how I found out I got the gig. I’m not kidding. Eight years later, I got the full-time job as a features news assistant, where I wear several hats, including still being a columnist.

It is with sincere joy that I extend gratitude to everyone at the Press Herald who has offered their support and guidance over these past 10 years. And it is with even greater joy that I express my appreciation and absolute love for the local music scene. Without the musicians, I’d have nothing to write about. THANK YOU. Now let’s talk turkey.

SPEAKING OF 10-year anniversaries …

Local rock band Headstart! celebrates the big 10 with a show at The Big Easy. Since forming they’ve released seven CDs and all five original members are intact. Singer Kevin Kennie also boasts that the band has survived with no rehab, no divorces, no illegitimate children (they think) and they all still love each other. Along with Kennie, Headstart! includes drummer Adam Parvanta, guitarist Ben Flood, guitarist and vocalist Ian Blanchard and Nate Warren on bass. Keep up the good work fellas. Find the band on Facebook.

9 p.m. Friday. The Big Easy, 55 Market St., Portland. $5; 21-plus. bigeasyportland.com

I’LL LEAVE YOU with a fantastic double bill also happening in Portland.

Arborea is back in Maine after spending a bunch of time this summer on the road touring for their “Fortress of the Sun” album. The band is a duo and their sound is of the alternative folk persuasion. I for one am a big fan and maybe you’ll feel the same way after visiting arboreamusic.com and listening to “Pale Horse Phantasm.”

Then there’s Bar Harbor-based Coke Weed, a psychedelic quintet. “Back to Soft,” is their latest album.

Head to cokeweed.com and hang out long enough to listen to “Anklet” and “Sunseekers.” Electric guitar steers the ship and vocalist Nina Donghia stands at the bow on these two while on others you’ll hear Milan McAleve’s voice take lead. Both songs are superbly produced gems that you’ll want to listen to on repeat as you fall deeper and deeper under their hypnotic spell.

8:30 p.m. Friday. Mayo Street Arts, 10 Mayo St., Portland. $8; all ages. mayostreetarts.org

Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at:

[email protected]