1. It’s a very good weekend for music in Bangor, very good indeed. Friday night, troubadour Travis Cyr & the Strings of Calamity (pictured) make their first appearance at Paddy’s, one week before Cyr’s musical festival, Arootsakoostik, will hit the stage in the County. At Ipanema there’s the melodic sounds of Rotating Taps, at the Sea Dog there’s soul mama Stesha Cano, the Big Easy’s got the alt-country sounds of Bizzy Gruntry, and at Nocturnem Drafthaus the Bill Barnes Trio will swing into action. Moving onto Saturday, get groovy with Mellow Endeavor at Paddy’s, Magnetic North will rock the house at Ipa’s, and Trisha Mason will play with her differently-named-each-week band at Nocturnem. There’s also the rock n’ roll magic of the Shambles at Hollywood Slots on Saturday, and don’t forget the fourth annual autism benefit at the 300 Bar & Grill all afternoon and evening on Saturday, featuring the likes of Bizzy Gruntry, George Skala, Guilty by Association and many others.
2. What’s not to love about this weekend, besides the fact that it’s supposed to be totally gorgeous the entire time? Friday night in Portland there’s a few fun shows, including bass god Victor Wooten at Port City Music Hall, Sidecar Radio at the Big Easy, some electronica with Hess is More, Vistas and Trust at Space Gallery, and, er, Tommy Lee – yes, that Tommy Lee – is at the Asylum. Oh, and Hersey State, Greg Sun and Manners are set for the Oak and the Ax in Biddeford. As for Saturday, there’s a great show at Slainte featuring Mouth Washington, Great Western Plain, Wesley Hartley and Pineries; the Grant Street Orchestra will play its farewell show – awww! – at Empire, and Kenya Hall is at the Big Easy. Sunday night brings the much anticipated Fiona Apple concert at the State Theatre.
3. Summer has kicked into high gear on the coast, if the traffic on Route 1 and Route 3 is indication. In Bar Harbor, there are two nights of wonderful music at the Lompoc Cafe, with the magical Arborea on Friday and folk punkers Butcher Boy on Saturday. Saturday night at Chummies in Ellsworth enjoy the sounds of the Calypso Strangers. And in Rockland, Rock City Cafe continues with the whole excellent music thing, with electro-acoustic duo Algorithm on Friday night, and roots rockers Sideways Highways on Saturday.
4. The Portland Performing Arts Festival and accompanying Port Fringe festival takes over the city this weekend, with a huge amount of events of all kinds happening all over the place. Some highlights include classical guitarist Sharon Isbin on Friday night and jazz composer Doug Wamble on Saturday night, both at the State Theatre; a new dance work by Alison Chase on Saturday night at Merrill Auditorium; two performances of the Celebration Barn Ensemble’s new play “Thumbs Up” at 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at Portland High School; and a number of intriguing performances from bellydancers, burlesque performers and experimental and indie theater troupes at Geno’s Rock Club, St. Lawrence Arts and Lucid Stage all day and evening, Friday through Saturday. Visit portlandfestival.org and portfringe.com for more info.
5. Besides some good movies opening in theaters this weekend – “Magic Mike,” anyone? – Bangor’s own River City Cinema kicks off its free summer movies series in Pickering Square, with a showing of the classic Busby Berkeley flick “42nd Street” (pictured) at sundown on Friday. On Saturday, take your pick of festival to attend – there’s Bangor Pride all afternoon and evening in West Market Square, and the Penobscot Theatre Company hosts its first annual Block Party starting at noon, with theater tours, ticket giveaways, a barbecue and a screening of “The Puffy Chair” with filmmakers Mark Duplass and Katie Aselton.