Mike Allen. I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing him, but I know I saw him play a few times over the years with the band Doubting Gravity.

But this much I do know: I have never seen such an outpouring of love and grief when the news of his departure from this world broke last week. He was 37. Everyone who knew him, played with him or had any dealings with him at all loved this guy.

There are too many heavy hearts to count right now in our local music scene. May you all take comfort in remembering Allen by trading stories, posting photos, watching clips of him playing music and doing whatever you need to do to honor his life.

I’M FROM Massachusetts and even though I’ve called Maine home since the mid-’90s I still don’t know where anything is. Take Denmark, for example.

Turns out it’s only an hour from Portland. Who knew? Probably most of you, but the point is this: I’m giving you a spectacular reason to make that drive on July 27, when the Denmark Arts Center proudly presents Dam Jam 2013 in Centennial Park.

In fact, you don’t even have to drive. More on that in a minute.

Check this out: Dam Jam is an eight-hour festival of music, food and art and it all happens along the shores of Moose Pond. Here’s a rundown of the performers. Get ready to smile hard.

• The Burlington Taiko Ensemble: If you think it’s incredible, jaw-dropping Japanese drumming, you are absolutely right.

• Mountain Animation: They’re the fiddle and banjo duo of Zach Orion and Scott Murphy out of Brooklyn, NY. Take a listen here: mountainanimation.bandcamp.com

• Jacob Augustine: Maine-based experimental folk at its finest. And he’s bringing a band with him. Go here for an earful: jacobaugustine.bandcamp.com

• Sunset Hearts: My new favorite Portland band. They make me happy with electro indie-pop that you can listen to here: sunsethearts.bandcamp.com

• Coke Weed: They’re another band that I’ve recently discovered and am all about right now. “Back to Soft” is the latest from the psychedelic rock band out Bar Harbor. Go here: cokeweed.com

• And now for the headliner. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I give you the one and only Kristin Hersh. Do I mean the singer from Throwing Muses and 50 Foot Wave? You bet I do! Can you even stand it?

I just saw her last summer at Empire Dine & Dance and she is as mesmerizing as ever and continues to be a brilliant songwriter.

So yeah, this whole show only costs 10 bucks. This is the BARGAIN of the summer. It doesn’t get any better or any more affordable then this my friends.

And there’s more. I made reference to a nondriving option above and here’s the skinny on it.

For just another 10 bucks, you can catch a bus to and from Dam Jam. It leaves from in front of Joe’s Smoke Shop at 665 Congress St. in Portland at 3 p.m. and returns you to the spot at the end of the night.

There are only 50 seats on this bus, so book your ticket posthaste.

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

[email protected]

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