1. For your entertainment pleasure in the Queen City and surrounding environs this weekend, enjoy one of several events designed to make you get up and dance. On Friday night, live hip hop comes to Mezzenine at Zen in Bangor, with The Jumpoff, starting at 9:30 p.m.; you can also catch the disco country bikini punk rock part that is The Larks at Kingman’s in Old Town, and you can enjoy the triumphant return of Sam & Yuri – now known as the Rotating Taps, and pictured above – at Nocturnem Drafthaus, also on Friday night. Saturday night, Bangor’s own Temperature of the Sun and Portland’s Boxes pair up for a double bill at Paddy Murphy’s in Bangor, and Bubba Ganush brings the acoustic pop to Woodman’s in Orono. In Belfast, music and comedy and dance are on the bill for the second New Vaudeville Revue of the year, set for 7 p.m. Saturday at the American Legion Hall on High Street, and featuring the talents of the New Vaudeville players and their House Band, and wow – the Mt. View Barbershop Quartet, and dancers Shana Bloemstein and Helena Malone! And if you feel like venturing to the coast, you can hear two fantastic indie rock/experimental bands at the Lompoc in Bar Harbor, when MDI’s own Coke Weed and Portland’s 13 Crystal Skulls take the stage.
2. For those in more southerly climes, the Oak and the Ax in Biddeford hosts two Bangor bands — the aforementioned Temperature of the Sun, along with power duo When Particles Collide, as well as Boston’s Aloud, on Friday, starting at 8 p.m. Also on Friday, Geno’s Rock Club on Congress Street in Portland hosts Sun Gods in Exile and Heart Shaped Rock, Port City Music Hall brings Jamaica to Maine with the Skatalites and Beat Horizon, and the Empire Dine & Dance, also on Congress Street, provides an excellent night of indie pop and electro rock, with Grand Hotel and The Other Bones. On Saturday, the Space Gallery in Portland is the place to be, if you’re into Maine-made music – read the description on their website about the 48 Hour Music Festival. It sounds really fun and interesting!
Thirty adventurous artists from different Portland bands of all genres agree to step out of their comfort zones and be randomly shuffled into 6 supergroups, announced on Thursday afternoon. No members of these newly formed bands are allowed to have previous musical history with one another. From there, each band has exactly 48 hours to construct and practice a 25 minute set of material, culminating in the Saturday performance. This entirely new pool of local talent, featuring members of Butcher Boy, Isobell, Marie Stella, The Coalsack In Crux, Heavy Breathing and Waranimal – as well as Sean Morin, Sam James and Kate Cox – will be tested by a need for teamwork and a couple of sleepless nights.
3. Hold your partners closer, tiny dancers, and burn the V-Day chocolate off with some of the fantastically fun contra and salsa dances set for this weekend. In Bangor Friday night get your sway on with Sassafrass Stomp and caller Kim Roberts, starting at 8 p.m. at the Unitarian Church on Park Street; admission is $8 per person or $20 for families. There’s another contra dance at the Trenton Grange on Saturday night, featuring the dynamic pair of Chuck Donnelly and Emma Walsh, starting at 8 p.m.; admission is $7. For people who like it a little spicier, on Friday night at One Longfellow Square in Portland you can salsa the night away with Primo Cubano, starting at 8 p.m.; admission is $10.
4. Did you know that the City of Brewer is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year? You did? Good! You didn’t? Well now you know. The city is kicking off a full year of celebrations this weekend, with the annual Winterfest, set for Friday and Saturday. The family friendly fun starts at 6 p.m. Friday, with skating and sledding at Doyle Field by the middle school, and a reception at Schooners – formerly the Muddy Rudder. At 7 p.m., there will be fireworks over the Penobscot, so don’t be surprised when you’re heading out for dinner and hear quite a ruckus. On Saturday, there’s a French toast breakfast at the Brewer Auditorium from 8-10 a.m., followed by loads of community activities until 1 p.m. Schooner’s hosts a chili and chowder cookoff from noon until 2 p.m., with the winners announced at 2:30 p.m.
5. It’s a good weekend to be on campus at the University of Maine in Orono. You can see the second and final weekend of the hilarious “Avenue Q,” set for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Hauck Auditorium. You can also attend the annual International Dance Festival, a yearly explosion of color and worldwide choreography, with two shows set for 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Collins Center for the Arts. At the Alfond Arena, UMaine takes on UMass in two of the last home games of the ice hockey season, with games set for 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. And at the Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium, the SkyLase shows are back, with surround sound and laser show listening parties, featuring the Beatles at 8:15 p.m. Friday, Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” at 11 a.m. and “The Wall” at 1 p.m. Saturday, as well as another Beatles show at 7 p.m. that night; and more Beatles at 3 p.m. Sunday.