1. After a crazy KahBang weekend, Bangor offers up a slightly more low-key few days for Queen Citizens. On Friday, you can hear country-punk band Bizzy Gruntry at the Big Easy Lounge, you can rock with the 220s at Nocturnem Drafthaus, and Magnetic North take on Ipanema. Saturday, it’s Waldo County rockers Odlaw at Paddy Murphy’s, Mellow Endeavor at Nocturnem and the 220s at Ipanema, who only have to walk a couple hundred feet down the street to play their gig! There’s also performance on Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Next Generation Theatre from the Teresa Faillon Dance Company, a modern dance troupe, and on Sunday Waterfront Concerts presents an evening of bands beloved in the 1990s – the Barenaked Ladies (pictured), Blues Traveler, Big Head Todd & the Monsters and Cracker, live on stage.
2. Portland brings it in a big way this weekend. For starters, the wonderfully eclectic songwriter Sara Hallie Richardson (pictured) offers up a CD release party on Saturday night at One Longfellow Square, for her excellent new album “Restless.” Back tracking just a tick, another fearsomely talented female, Kristen Hersh – she of Throwing Muses, 50 Foot Wave and many solo albums – plays a rare, intimate show on Friday at Empire; on Saturday at Empire, it’s Reverend Payton’s Big Damn Band. The Space Gallery keeps it interesting this weekend as well, with a night of local hip hop featuring C Money Burns, Sole, Brzowski, Moshe and 32 French on Saturday, and the soaring melodies and hypnotic Ethiopian rhythms of the Debo Band on Saturday. At the Big Easy, you can hear a Jimi Hendrix tribute band on Friday and soul group Mingo Fishtrap on Saturday, and on Saturday night at Bayside Bowl you can rolls some strikes and you can attend the 25th annual Lobster Stomp, featuring punk and rock bands like the Paul Collins Beat, the Electric Mess, the Heebie Jeebies and the Jonee Earthquate Band.
3. Oh boy! There are two awesome festival-like events this weekend, and boy oh boy, are they wicked cool. In Belfast, the annual Harbor Fest will take over the Belfast Waterfront, and the folks at Three Tides have an amazing night of music planned, featuring everyone’s favorite (read: my favorite) Maine indie rock trio, the Milkman’s Union, everyone’s favorite (again, mine) one-man Maine electro-pop experience A Severe Joy, and everyone’s favorite (see a pattern?) three-piece experimental bluegrass trio from a Maine island, the Toughcats (pictured). Meanwhile, over in Machias, as part of the Maine Wild Blueberry Festival, there’s the annual Black Fly Ball, an all-ages dance party sponsored by the Beehive Collective, that this year features music from the Machias Ukelele Orchestra, the Swamp Ward Orchestra, the Tricky Britches, the Orange River Jazz Band, Pariah Beat, the Vermont Joy Parade and Live Bait. Admission is by donation, and you’re encouraged to dress up in whichever way you choose – as well as to stick around to enjoy all the other fun events as part of the Blueberry Fest.
4. Elsewhere on the coast, there’s plenty of fun events including a free show from Chris Ross at 6 p.m. Friday on the Ellsworth riverfront, and on Sunday at Chummies, the fine folks at 430 Bayside bring a very special performance from British blues woman Joanie Shaw Taylor. In Bar Harbor, you can hear Dan Blakeslee and Vermont Joy Parade on Friday and songwriter Adam White on Saturday at the Lompoc Cafe; it’s also the Bar Harbor Jazz Festival, so there’s everything from the Van Burens Jazz Band on Friday at Carmen Verandah, to the Matt Lawson Quartet on the Village Green at 6 p.m. on Saturday. And don’t forget – down Rockland way there’s the big Maine Event Roller Derby Bout, featuring Bangor Roller Derby, the Rock Coast Rollers and Maine Roller Derby, at the Midcoast Rec Center starting at 5 p.m. Saturday. There’s an after party featuring the band Jimmy Jacked at the Waterfront Pub, too.
5. And now for something completely different. Seeing as how there’s only another, what, three weeks of real summer? You should probably get out and enjoy nature, goshdarnit. The Hirundo Wildlife Reserve – a gem of a public resource right in Old Town – has a family fun day set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and there’s loads of activities planned. There’ll be an electrofishing demonstration – it’s exactly what it sounds like – canoe tours in their huge 28-foot canoes, a scavenger hunt, and obstacle course and much more. You will also probably see lots of frogs and birds and deer and other creatures. Fun!