1. Friday night is THE night, apparently, in downtown Bangor; there are three awesome shows featuring an array of excellent area bands. Paddy Murphy’s hosts its first-ever Mustache Party starting at 9 p.m., which capitalizes on the facial hair-centric Movember movement, and encourages all those who cultivate a luscious beard or snazzy ‘stache to come down and show off. Music is provided by the soul/funk/r&b group Juicebox, featuring the dynamic vocal duo of Stesha Cano and Amy Briggs. For a more laid back scene, try First Friday Jazz at Nocturnem Drafthaus, featuring jazz trio Shades of Blue, starting at 8 p.m. And in the square, indie rock rules at Ipanema’s Bar & Grill, when Bangor’s own indie pop favorites Temperature of the Sun, the Blondie-meets-Led Zeppelin rock of the Tree Streets and the Orono/Portland fuzz rock trio Great Western Plain take the stage, starting at 9:30 p.m. Here’s a rather dark but overall pretty decent video of Temperature of the Sun, if you haven’t heard them yet.
2. Pecha Kucha Bangor actually takes place in Orono this time around, at the University of Maine’s Stodder Hall, starting at 6 p.m. Friday. Presenters this time include artists Andy Hurtt, Peg Killian and Kate Dawson, teacher and musician Mark Tasker, Joey Lawlor,
Jeremiah Gorman and upcoming eastern Maine publication Tarratine. Admission is $5. Don’t know what Pecha Kucha is? Basically: you have 20 slides, and 20 seconds to explain each slide, meaning you have five minutes to present whatever it is you’re presenting. Could be your art, a community event, a book, a research project, whatever. Kinda neat, huh?
3. ‘Tis the season for holiday performances, and there’s lots opening this weekend. Penobscot Theatre opens its delightfully zany production of “A Christmas Story” this weekend, with shows at 7 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Meanwhile, the Belfast Maskers will perform their holiday treat “Anne of the Green Gables” — and this time, they’re taking their show on the road, since they lost their black box theater over the summer. They’ll perform “Anne” at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Union Hall in Searsport. In a not particularly holiday-centric show — but a fantastic show, nonetheless — Orono Community Theatre presents Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple,” at 7 p.m. Dec. 1, 2 and 3 and 3 p.m. Dec. 4 at the Keith Anderson Community Center. Tickets in Orono and Searsport are $10-$15; they start at $20 for PTC.
4. The New Vaudeville Revue is back again, and this Saturday at 7 p.m., it’s time to roll into the American Legion Hall in downtown Belfast, settle down amongst friends and laugh with some talented local performers. The annual Christmas show is hosted by Ando Anderson, and features the usual suspects — Peter Conant, Kristen Burkholder, and Jenny Tibbetts — along with actors Jennifer DeJoy and Erik Perkins. The poet of the month is Belfast resident Arielle Greenberg Bywater. The musical guest is Emilia Dahlin, from Portland, who plays acoustic roots with a vintage jazz twist. The New Vaudeville Revue House Band will be on hand, featuring with Phil Clement on guitar, Jeff Densmore on drums and Max McFarland on bass. The show is filmed live for Belfast Community Television. Tickets are $12 and will be on sale at Aarhus Gallery, 50 Main Street in downtown Belfast, and also at the door.
5. There’s some lovely stuff going on in Portland this weekend. Friday night, get ready for a totally unique evening of music, as the Fogcutters Big Band, a 17-piece local big band, will play a night of original arrangements of local bands songs, starting at 7 p.m. at the State Theatre. Yes, you read that right: the Fogcutters have arranged songs by the likes of Spose, the Mallett Brothers, Dominic Lavoie, Jacob Augustine and more. I don’t think Portland has seen anything like it before. Tickets are $15 at the door. Then, there’s a very special show by the Barr Brothers, set for One Longfellow Square Saturday night. The Barr Brothers are 2/3 of The Slip, an excellent improvisational rock group, who have come together with a harpist and keyboardist to play awfully pretty music. They’ll take the stage at 8 p.m. Saturday, with folksinger Jocie Adams. Finally, also on Saturday, the wonderful Biddeford indie music venue The Oak and the Ax plays host to double bassist and singer-songwriter Nat Baldwin (formerly of the Dirty Projectors), along with songwriter Kurt Weisman and Portland indie rockers Phantom Buffalo, starting at 8 p.m., with an $8 cover.