Quietly and with little fanfare, the Unity Centre for the Performing Arts has emerged as one of the best live music venues in eastern Maine. Get ready for a diverse lineup of shows for the fall and winter.

The “season,” as it were, kicks off tonight, Thursday, with a performance from Los Angeles-based rockers the Janks. And up-and-coming band in their home city, the Janks blend harmony-laced pop similar to the Beatles and the Kinks with a loose-limbed indie rock sensibility: Think Paul McCartney’s melodies mixed with Pavement’s crunchy, quirky sound. They play at 7:30 p.m. Thursday; tickets are $15.

The Acadian quartet Gadelle performs the next night, Friday. Fresh off their well-received performances at the American Folk Festival on the Bangor Waterfront, the all-female Prince Edward Island group plays traditional maritime songs with an Acadian spin. “Gadelle” itself is an old Acadian word that translates as “wild berries” and also connotes a feisty female, so expect a really fun performance. The show starts at 8 p.m. Friday; admission is $15.

Next Wednesday, the 10-piece reggae band John Brown’s Body takes the stage. While the ensemble boasts a full array of traditional reggae instruments — horns and keys included — its style is just as deeply informed by dub, Latin music and electronica. The band has opened for everyone from Dave Matthews Band to Jurassic 5, and have amassed a loyal following over the years. John Brown’s Body plays at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9; tickets are $21.50 in advance, and $25 at the door.

There are many more concerts after that: Multi-instrumentalist Howard Levy plays on Sept. 12; Kate and Gladden Schrock are set for Sept. 19; and jam band Twiddle will play on Sept. 26. October sees performances from Dog Wants Out on Oct. 3, the Blaggards on Oct. 10, Tree By Leaf on Oct. 17 and Bill Evans and Megan Lynch on Oct. 23. October closes with two Halloween concerts by the Brew on Oct. 30 and 31.

Tickets are available by calling 948-SHOW. For a full schedule, visit www.unityme.org/theater/index.html.

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Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.