Here’s what’s making me happy as I write this: thinking of new or soon-to-be-released albums from Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Gypsy Tailwind and a whole mess of other acts; continuing to listen to WBLM’s crazy annual A to Z music love fest (they’re almost in the Ds as I write this); plans for hearing live music played outside in various locales in and around Portland; and, most definitely, the chance of watching a Red Sox game when John Lackey isn’t pitching.

Happy late May. Now let’s get on with it.

Along with fellow Brooklynites Murder Mystery, the duo Project Jenny, Project Jan are playing at Empire tonight. They consist of programmer/keyboardist Sammy Rubin and vocalist Jeremy Haines. I went to and was in a happy place within seconds of hearing the experimental synth-pop electronica that greeted me. I wanted to dance around with arms flailing and head bobbing while running up to strangers and tickling them.

NPR picked “Pretend” as its song of the day just a few weeks ago. I just listened to it minutes ago, and made it my song of the day.

And get this: Project Jenny, Project Jan appeared in “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist,” a nifty little movie I adored, performing the song “Negative.”

Project Jenny, Project Jan and Murder Mystery. 9 tonight. Empire Dine & Dance, 575 Congress St., Portland. Ages 21 and older. $7 at

I’m having a total Homer Simpson smack my head and exclaim “Doh!” moment for not knowing who Dawn Landes is.

Yeah, I know, forgive myself and move on. Easier said than done though, because Landes is sooooo good. Originally from Kentucky and now a New Yorker, Landes’ indie folk-pop sound has won me over like a root-beer float. Her voice doesn’t knock the barn door down, but it does march on in, looks you in the eye and ensnares you with celestial artistry. Surf away and listen to “Young Girl,” “Wandering Eye,” “Romeo” or anything else you can get your ears on (there’s a lot out there).

Landes’ most recent record is 2009’s sensational “Sweetheart Rodeo,” but her Facebook page reveals that a new album is in the works. She’ll be playing plenty of new material at Saturday night’s show.

Dawn Landes & The Hounds with David Wax Museum. 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Olin Arts Center, Bates College, 75 Russell St., Lewiston. $10 for students; $18 general public. 786-6163.

The 317 Maine Street Community Center in Yarmouth is a nonprofit music school founded in 2004. It offers private, semi-private and group lessons in guitar, banjo, violin/fiddle, mandolin, acoustic bass, dobro, piano, cello, flute, harp and voice. The center also runs a satellite campus in Portland.

A Friday-night concert at the St. Lawrence will benefit the scholarship fund at 317. As you can imagine, the folks at 317 know a musician or two, and have cooked up quite a show. Performers include Melissa Bragdon, Erica Brown, Diane Hansen, Robin Jellis, Danielle Langford, Carter Logan, Matt Shipman, Joe Walsh, Tom Whitehead and bands Jerks of Grass, The Stowaways and Niaia, to name a few. There will also be some student guests.

317 Main Street Community Music Center Benefit Concert. 7 p.m. Friday. St. Lawrence Arts Center, 76 Congress St., Portland. All ages. $20.

Steven Patrick Morrissey turns 52 on Sunday. The first time I saw him perform was when he was half that age and fronting The Smiths. I was lucky enough to see The Smiths on their “Meat Is Murder” and “Queen Is Dead” tours. I still let my Smiths flag fly because, of all of the brilliant bands from the 1980s, they are top of the heap, in my humble opinion. And while I haven’t stuck close to his solo career, I will always adore Morrissey and wish him the happiest of birthdays.

It pleases me to no end that I’m not alone in this appreciation. and the time has rolled around again for the now annual event of Morrissey’s Unhappy Birthday Bash at Empire. There’ll be performances from the members of Grand Hotel, Sunset Hearts, Elf Princess Gets a Harley, Jack Tar, Marie Stella, and Hiss & Chambers.

I hope someone covers “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore” and “Frankly Mr. Shankly.” Most of all, I hope the candles on Morrissey’s cake are a “light that never goes out.”

Morrissey’s Unhappy Birthday Bash. 9 p.m. Saturday. Empire Dine & Dance, 575 Congress St., Portland. Ages 21 and older. $4 at

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

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