I bid you a fond farewell, 2010. I thank you for all of the awesome local music that was released here in Portland. I thank you for all of the fantastic live shows that I saw. I thank you for reopening the State Theatre (though I’m disappointed that North Star Music Cafe closed). I thank you for keeping things interesting, and I most certainly thank you for not letting the Yankees win the World Series.

I shall close out this year with a sensational selection of New Year’s Eve options and two for New Year’s Day. Clink those glasses, honk those horns, stay calm and carry on.

One of our local music scene’s most superb long-standing traditions is Clash of the Titans. It’s a night when musicians band (pun intended) together, form two super-groups and duke it out song by song for bragging rights in front of an exuberant crowd at Empire Dine & Dance. I caught Eurythmics vs. Tears for Fears earlier this year, and it was epic.

For New Year’s Eve, the Clash goes down at the State Theatre, and it should be a clash to end all clashes, with three mega-groups of players. Zach Jones & Friends will be cranking out the hits of the 1960s, and they’ll be up against The Lucid & Friends, who’ll be serving up songs from the ’70s. And Grand Hotel & Friends will be all about the ’80s. This boils down to duels like Beatles vs. Cyndi Lauper vs. Pink Floyd vs. Phil Collins vs. David Bowie vs. The Police, and so on and so on. The possibilities are endless, and the fun is 100 percent guaranteed.

Clash of the Titans. 8 p.m. Friday. State Theatre, 609 Congress St., Portland. All ages. $15 in advance; $20 day of show. www.statetheatreportland.com

Zach Zaitlin, who hails from Saco but now resides in Portland, Ore. (www.myspace.com/zachzaitlin), is a piano player/singer-songwriter with a voice that is so tender yet soul-searing. Listen to “Breakup Song” and “High Road,” and you’ll understand exactly what I mean. His sound strays into an experimental, unpredictable landscape, and it is territory well worth exploring and spending time in. Also playing, and representing this Portland, is Jacob Augustine of Jacob & The House of Fire (www.myspace.com/jacobaugustine). Augustine’s voice is quite different than Zaitlin’s, but one thing they have in common is the ability to pack a huge emotional punch with every note. “Coyote” will convince you.

Zach Zaitlin and Jacob Augustine. 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The Oak and The Ax, 140 Main St., Suite 107 (back alley), Biddeford. All ages. Free. theoakandtheax.blogspot.com

If you still haven’t seen Ellis Paul live, here’s your chance to start 2011 off on a memorable note. I make no bones about it — Paul is one of my favorite live performers. Which is not to say his records aren’t good, because they certainly are, and this includes his most recent one, “The Day After Everything Changed.” But there’s just something about when he performs live that especially spins my spurs.

Ellis Paul. 8 p.m. Saturday. One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland. All ages. $18 in advance; $20 at door. 761-1757; onelongfellowsquare.com

Time to see if you still fit into your little black dress or maybe your vintage tuxedo, because Space is pulling out all the stops for its second annual ICING New Year’s Bash. This is a soiree to be reckoned with and although it’ll set you back 50 bucks, it may be just the thing to kick 2010 to the curb and welcome in 2011 with pizzazz, panache and plenty of aural and edible pleasure.

Second Annual ICING New Year’s Bash with Lady Zen, Dylan Blanchard + Friends, Over a Cardboard Sea, Dirty Dishes Burlesque Review, West African-inspired dancing by Blue Moon Tribe, Kate Cox + Matt Rock and DJ King Alberto. 8 p.m. Friday. Space Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland. Ages 21 and older. Cash bar. $50 (includes champagne toast at midnight, heavy hors d’oeuvres and an array of local desserts). www.space538.org

Aimsel Ponti is a Portland freelance writer. Contact her at:

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