I bring you early October tidings and three resplendent shows for your live listening pleasure. But first off, a bit of news. Under the heading of “when one door closes, ” I report that this will be the last printed version of Face the Music.

I’m pleased as punch, however, to add that this kid is going global with the debut of the Face the Music blog at pressherald.com. The blog will be home to a steady stream of news and updates about local, live and national music. From infinity and beyond!

Another week, another favorite band to spout about. This time I tip my hat to Boston string band Joy Kills Sorrow. The group just released its second CD, “This Unknown Science,” and I love it. The band takes string-based music and dips it into indie rock and folk waters. The result is 11 well-penned, superbly arranged tunes that left me already anticipating the next record.

JKS’s singer is the bright-voiced Emma Beaton, who also plays cello and something called a “concert bass drum.” Bassist Bridget Kearney is the band’s main songwriter, and I had a heck of a time selecting a lyric to share with you. It was a five-way tie, but I finally settled on one from my favorite “Science” songs, “The Ice Is Starting to Melt”: “I’m gonna stop your bruises from swelling/ And tie up your boots/ And put a hat on your head,” sings Beaton. Her voice is surrounded by a flurry of Jacob Jolliff’s mandolin, Wes Corbett’s banjo and guitar from Matt Arcara.

Speaking of Arcara, he’s one of ours — a Portland West End resident, to be more specific. He started his own instrument-making company called MGA Guitars, and is making a name for himself as both a guitar player and luthier.

Joy Kills Sorrow, which played Unity last night, has another Maine connection. Both of the group’s albums were recorded in an old farmhouse in Parsonsfield. Drop in at joykillssorrow.com.

Joy Kills Sorrow. 8 tonight. One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland. $12 in advance; $15 at door. onelongfellowsquare.com

Here’s the kind of 1-cent coin you will want to pick up. Somerville, Mass.-based band The Pennies makes its first appearance in Portland with a show at Blue. “A Broken Heart Is a Beautiful Thing” is the latest CD. The group digs American roots music from the past 120 years, and its songs reflect that. The members cite Hank Williams and Otis Redding among their influences.

The Pennies’ sound is a vivacious one, with terrific harmonies that deliver a caboodle of nifty original tunes. Check out “Waking up in Galveston” and “Blizzard of ’78” at thepenniesmusic.com. Extra coolness points awarded to The Pennies for nailing the always tricky “National Anthem” at a little green-walled ballpark in Boston last month.

Oh, and check this out: Also Friday at Blue, enjoy the Middle Eastern musical brilliance of Okbari, accompanied by bellydancers.

The Pennies. 8 p.m. Friday. Blue, 650A Congress St., Portland. Free. portcityblue.com

Are you in need of a guaranteed, honest-to-goodness, absolutely, positively fun night of live music? Then I’ve got just the show for you — Jonathan Richman’s appearance at Space. I saw him play there a few years back, and it was a musical visit to the playhouse of his songs. Even when he’s singing about a heart that’s been busted nine ways to Sunday, he does it in a way that makes you want to hug your neighbor rather than sock him in the jaw. His 2004 CD “Not So Much to Be Loved as to Love” is an example of his songwriting sweetness.

Richman, 60, is a charming chap from Natick, Mass., with punk roots from his days with The Modern Lovers (think “Pablo Picasso”). Still in the dark about him? Perhaps you remember a little late-’90s movie by the name of “There’s Something About Mary.” Richman and his drummer, Tommy Larkins, play the part of the film’s “Greek Chorus,” and I can’t imagine that film without “True Love Is Not Nice,” “Let Her Go Into Darkness” and of course the title track.

There’s definitely something about Richman, and if history serves as a reminder, odds are good that this show will sell out.

Jonathan Richman. 9 p.m. Wednesday. Space Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland. $15. space538.org

Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at: [email protected]




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