Let me start with a word of gratitude to the State Theatre for buying Port City Music Hall. We need a venue that size, and it would have been a huge loss had that space been shuttered. So yeah for that!

I’m also anxiously awaiting the return of Empire Dine & Dance, because we also need that space. Empire should be back in action very soon. And it will involve dim sum on the first floor, so double yeah for that!

SINCE I’M APPARENTLY on a roll about venues, why not mention a few more? On my to-do list this summer is to venture to Lewiston to the Franco-American Heritage Center. From the pics I’ve seen, it’s a terrific space, and it’s booking more and more shows. Heck, Rustic Overtones just played there last weekend. Find ’em at francocenter.org.

I also am going to head south to check out the Inn on the Blues in York Beach, which has a bunch of shows on its schedule. They’re online at innontheblues.com.

Finally, I need to visit a joint right in my own backyard. Andy’s Old Port Pub on Commercial Street in Portland has live music just about every night, from locals to musicians all over the country.

Andy’s calendar is impressive, and you can see it for yourself at andysoldportpub.com.

What venues have you always wanted to check out? Let’s do this, people. Let’s get out there.

WHEN I MOVED to Maine almost 20 years ago, one of the very first local musicians I became aware of and saw perform was singer-songwriter/pianist Kate Schrock. Her debut CD is called “Refuge,” and I all but wore it out. I remember hearing “Mission Beach” on the radio and seeing Schrock live many times through the years. More albums came, and her soulful, gorgeous voice has remained as constant as the Northern Star.

Late last year, Schrock ventured down to Ben Folds’ studio in Nashville, where she recorded new versions of songs from her catalog along with a Bob Marley cover on a Steinway piano. The album is called “kor,” and it should see the light of day by summer.

For now, grab your mother, your significant other, your pals or just yourself and climb Munjoy Hill for Schrock’s show at the St. Lawrence Arts Center, 76 Congress St., Portland, on Mother’s Day. It’ll be just Schrock and her piano telling stories and singing songs. Trust me, it doesn’t get much better than that.

The show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 day of show at stlawrencearts.org.

I RECENTLY CELEBRATED my two-year anniversary as a full-time Press Herald employee, so most of my co-workers are used to me freaking out in gleeful fits of music bliss when I read a press release telling me of an upcoming show that I’m excited about.

Such was the case a few days ago when I got an email that put me right into orbit. I pretty much fell to my knees with the news that The Psychedelic Furs are coming to Asylum in Portland! (And just so we’re clear, if you’re talking to me, call them The Furs or The Psychedelic Furs, but please don’t call them The Psych Furs. That makes me crazy.)

The first time I saw the band was on its 1984 “Mirror Moves” tour at Boston’s Orpheum Theatre with my two best friends. (Yes, parents were involved in the transportation. I’m not that old.) I still have the ticket stub, and I still remember how brilliant Richard Butler and the band were.

The last time I saw the band was probably 1988. But man alive, its first four albums will always be favorites. Songs such as “Sister Europe, “India,” “She Is Mine,” “President Gas” and “The Ghost in You” are etched into my musical DNA. So you had better believe I’ll be there, wearing the three Psychedelic Furs buttons I’ve held onto all these years.

The show isn’t until June 22, but I’m telling you now so you can A) get tickets and B) count down the days with me. Long live proper alternative music with horns!

Tickets for the age-18-plus show are $24 in advance and $27 day of show at portlandasylum.com.

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

[email protected]