1. The All Points North Festival starts Thursday night at Kingman’s in Old Town, so you can start your weekend early – and even better, it continues Friday night, with more than 30 bands from all over the country playing all evening into the wee hours. Thursday night ranges from the groovy jams of The Cyborg Trio to roots rockers the Mallett Brothers, while Friday’s got a stellar lineup of DJs, interspersed with bands like the Running Gags, Line of Force and headliner J. Wail. Tickets are $15 for the full weekend or $10 for a day. If you’re feeling more Bangor-centric, however, there’s a pretty good lineup downtown, including bluesmen the Bad Daddys on Friday and Stesha Cano with the Wicked Friggin’ Jerks on Saturday at Paddy Murphy’s. Ipanema has rockers Axiom on Saturday, and at Nocturnem Drafthaus – celebrating its one year anniversary this weekend — it’s Everett Dumas and Jimmy Morang on Friday, and melodic indie rockers the Rotating Taps on Saturday.
2. The big show in Portland this weekend — besides the sold out Pat Benatar concert at the State — is Wells rapper Spose’s CD release party for his new album, “The Audacity,” at the Empire on Friday night. He’s doing two shows that night (an all ages one at 5 p.m. and a 21+ one at 9:30) featuring the likes of Sly Chi, Cam Groves, Educated Advocates, Spencer Albee, Lady Essence, Shane Reis, Rapper Ashley and more. At Geno’s on Friday you can get heavy with Pigboat, Armstrong and the Bedroom Rehab Corporation and at Port City Music Hall, Mayer Hawthorne and the County play on Saturday night. Sunday’s got some fun stuff too, with Christopher Paul Stelling, Old Soul and Lisa/Liza at the Oak and the Ax in Biddeford, and family-friendly kookster Gustafer Yellowgold at the Space Gallery on Sunday.
3. Wow, it’s been really nice out this week, right? Well get ready to get disappointed, because Saturday and Sunday it’s supposed to be totally crappy out. It would have been great to have some rain earlier in the week, so that the 46th annual Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race in Bangor could have a little more water in the stream for all those paddlers, but the race goes on bright and early Saturday morning. In the southern half of the state, Maine Roller Derby kicks off the 2012 season, with a bout up against the Pair O’ Dice City Rollers from western Massachusetts, set for 5 p.m. Saturday at the Portland Expo; admission is 13 at the door and 5 for kids, and there’s an after party at Flask Lounge in Portland.
4. There’s two theatrical productions opening in the area this weekend, including Winterport Open Stage’s hilarious domestic comedy “The Smell of the Kill,” set for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at Wagner Middle School in Winterport. The Belfast Maskers unveil their take on “Steel Magnolias”, set for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Waldo County Shrine Club. And the Robinson Ballet brings it’s spring showcase to the Bangor Opera House this weekend, with performances at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday.
5. A sure sign of spring is Record Store Day, a holiday for music fans, who can buy a bevy of special releases from artists as diverse as Bruce Springsteen, M83 and Tinariwen. This Saturday, Bull Moose Music stores all over Maine will have all kinds of fun events. Performances include Worried Well and Old Abode in Lewiston, Zach Jones and Steiner Street in Scarborough, Chris Ross and When Particles Collide in Bangor, Whitcomb in North Windman, Dean Ford and Joe Gallant in Portland, Prospect Hill in Waterville and Too Late The Hero in Sanford; check out recordstoreday.com for a full schedule.