Huge congrats go out to The Pete Kilpatrick Band, winner of the 2011 United States Automobile Association Garageband Music Competition.

The locals beat out more than 500 entries that garnered 3.7 million votes across the country and will be on the cover of USAA Magazine, to which a whopping 7 million people subscribe. The win also scored a check for $4,000 and a professional photo shoot.

And if that’s not enough, The Pete Kilpatrick Band has been confirmed to perform next month at the DMB Caravan festival in Atlantic City with the likes of The Dave Matthews Band, David Gray, Grace Potter and The Nocturnals and another guy with Maine roots you may have heard of, Mr. Ray LaMontagne. Nicely done, Pete and company. Nicely done indeed.

Oh, and this just in: Tune in to WBLM (102.9 FM) at 8:30 p.m. Friday and hear yours truly yuck it up — and talk about upcoming shows — with The Captain and Celeste.

The French edition of Rolling Stone called him “The Guardian of Lightning.” Audiences here, in Canada and all over Europe have given him standing ovations. When I listen to songs like “Nineteen,” when I hear him sing lines like “I seen that man die three times in his life but it never did seem to take,” and when I hear him play his guitar, I know with 100 percent certainty that I am listening to the sound of pure genius. And so all I can really say to Samuel James is this: Thank you. He’ll be playing with Dana Gross tonight at Blue (find out more at Brooklynite Sam LoCascio kicks things off at 8 p.m.

Samuel James and D Gross. 10 p.m. today. Blue, 650A Congress St., Portland. All ages. No cover (pass the hat).

“Vs,” the 1982 record from Mission of Burma, earns the description of iconic for everything from its heart-thumping bass and grinding guitar to the lovely little morning glories on its cover. There’s not much to not love about it.

Take for example “Weatherbox”: Clint Conley’s bass is off the hook, and Roger Miller’s guitar is sick. Then there are the special effects midway through. Love it. “Einstein’s Day” is another tune that makes me wish I had been old enough to see them play places like The Channel in Boston before breaking up in 1983.

All these years later, as I cling to the last gasp of youth, Mission of Burma is back. They’ve actually been back for almost 10 years with three records to show for it. See and hear the band in all its brilliant post-punk glory at Space.

Mission of Burma with Haru Bangs. 8 p.m. Saturday. Space Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland. Ages 18 and older. $15 at and Bull Moose locations.

In the Audience makes music that is wise beyond its members’ years. Meaning, I think I graduated college before many of them were born. Um, yeah I digress.

I just took in “Taller Than Trees” at, and it’s a five-minute supersonic shower of guitars and Jordan Stowell’s vocals, making for a festival of melodic fuzz pop with sharpened claws. Said another way, I dig it. I also couldn’t resist listening to the group’s take on Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire,” and was rewarded with a quietly charming two minutes and 12 seconds that shows off the depth of the band.

I rounded out my listening session with “American Names,” which brought me comfortably back into the band’s electric guitar arms. Band members live here and in Ontario and Toronto, so I get the feeling that local live performances don’t grow on trees for this indie-pop collective.

In the Audience EP-Release Party with Dirty Dishes Burlesque Revue and The Milkman’s Union. 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Space Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland. Ages 18 and older. $7 at and Bull Moose locations.

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

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