1. December keeps chugging along in downtown Bangor, and now that the lights are lit, it’s prettier than ever. Keep yourself entertained this weekend, when Friday night brings Aroostook County songwriter Travis Cyr at the Sea Dog Brewing Company, as well as soul rockers the Tumblers at Hollywood Slots. On Saturday, you can hear the sweet bluegrass sounds of the Main Street 2 at Nocturnem Drafthaus, Ellsworth’s own Chris Ross at Paddy Murphy’s (pictured to the left), and Waldo County rock overlords the 220s at Ipanema’s Bar & Grill.
2. Down Rockland way, there’s a very special concert set for the Strand Theatre on Friday night. The sweet-voiced roots songwriter Eilen Jewell and the honky-tonkin’ Sweetback Sisters are set for 8 p.m. Friday, and tickets are just $15 at the door. Jewell plays a blend of hot jazz, swing and acoustic country, falling somewhere on the spectrum between Lyle Lovett and Norah Jones — while the Sweetback Sisters perform straight up swingin’ country, with a modern twist. It’s bound to be an entertaining night.
3. Portland’s got loads of fun stuff this weekend. At One Longfellow Square, Darol Anger’s Republic of Strings presents Yulegrass, a night of Christmas-themed progressive bluegrass, at 8 p.m. Saturday. At bowling alley and music venue Bayside Bowl, three excellent Maine bands — Portland’s Theodore Treehouse (pictured to the left), Belfast’s the Class Machine and Bangor’s own When Particles Collide — will play all night, starting at 8 on Saturday. Also on Saturday is a night of Maine made metal at the Space Gallery, featuring four Portland bands including Falls of Rauros, the Baltic Sea, Awaas and Haru Bangs; the show starts at 8:30 p.m. On Sunday, the State Theatre offers a very special night featuring legendary independent filmmaker John Waters, in A John Waters Christmas. If you’ve seen “Pink Flamingos,” then you know you’re in for something truly weird and wonderful. Tickets are $31-$66, with the $66 tickets including a meet and greet with the man himself. Doors are at 6:30 p.m.
4. Jonah Hill’s new movie “The Sitter” opens in theaters nationwide, and after seeing him in “Moneyball,” I’m convinced of his greatness. For something completely opposite, try seeing Lars von Trier’s luxuriously depressing “Melancholia,” which is at the Strand Theatre in Rockland. It stars Mary Jane, Eric Northman and Jack Bauer. Err. Kristen Dunst, Alexander Skarsgaard and Kiefer Sutherland. “Melancholia” also starts at Railroad Square Cinema on Friday, along with Pedro Almodovar’s “The Skin I Am In,” Alexander Payne’s new George Clooney pic “The Descendents,” and “The Way,” an intimate biopic written and directed by Emilio Estevez. Check websites for showtimes.
5. It’s December, which means in every public space available to anyone with a hot glue gun and a sewing machine, there’s a craft fair. Some are pretty good, but some are truly great ways to find unique gifts for family and friends. The Picnic Holiday Sale is set for the entire day of Sunday, Dec. 11 at the Portland Company Complex on Fore Street, and features hundreds of DIY artisans making just about anything you could imagine. Meanwhile, in Unity, Northern Solstice Alpaca Farm and Fibers of Unity, located at 141 Crosby Brook Road, offers daily farm tours and sales of silky, beautiful alpaca wool clothes. Scarborough has its annual Christkindlsmarkt, a German holiday village market with crafts, European foods and children’s activities. And in Stonington — a town with no shortage of talented artisans — offers its annual holiday fair on Saturday with 30 tables of art, crafts, decorations, books, food, and seafood by local artists and businesses. Open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Island Community Center.