1. First off, the University of Maine hosts the All-American Rejects (pictured at left), the pop-punk band best known for hit singles like “Swing, Swing” and “Gives You Hell;” they’ll play with Boys Like Girls on Friday night at the Field House on campus, and tickets are $20 for students, $35 for the general public. Also in Orono on Friday are ska band the Skastitutes at Woodmans. In Bangor, you can catch the sweet sounds of Bizzy Gruntry at the Big Easy on Friday, River Bottom Funk on Saturday at Paddy’s, Live Wire at Ipanema, also on Saturday, and Nocturnem Drafthaus has a mighty weekend, featuring the Pitch Black Ribbons on Friday, and the 220s on Saturday. You can also check out weekend two of “Always… Patsy Cline” at the Bangor Opera House, and there’s Ten Bucks Theatre’s 24 Hour Playwriting Invitational, set for 7 p.m. Saturday at Comins Hall in Eddington.
2. Now here’s a show I wish I was attending: Galactic (pictured at left), purveyors of out of this world New Orleans funk, are set for Port City Music Hall on Sunday, with special guest Corey Glover of Living Colour. At Empire, you can catch electro-acoustic violinist Joyce Anderson on Friday, and Beat Horizon with Pete Doom, El Grande and the Wondermics on Saturday. The Space Gallery has a really neat event on Friday; the Found Magazine 10th anniversary tour, featuring music and stories from the founders of the extremely cool publication. The Big Easy in Portland hosts the Tonekings and Line of Force on Saturday, and at the Asylum Saturday, it’s Sparks the Rescue. At Geno’s, it’s Dark Hollow Bottling Company with the Outsiders and Gang of One on Friday, followed by Hessian, Seax, Paige Turner and Possessor on Sunday. There’s also zydeco kings BeauSoleil on Saturday at One Longfellow Square, and the WMPG-FM Bowl-a-Thon at Bayside Bowl on Sunday, featuring the music of the Toughcats and Pete Witham and the Cozmik Zombies.
3. Rockland rocks this weekend, with two fun shows: psychobilly band the Murder Weapon (pictured at left) on Friday night at the Time Out Pub, and on Saturday night Rock City Coffee celebrates its 21st year in operation, with music, cocktails and much more. Meanwhile, in Hancock County, you can hear the Blast Addicts on Friday at Toziers II in Bucksport, you can catch Trisha Mason at Chummies in Ellsworth on Saturday, and you can dig Portland folk-punk band Butcher Boy at the Lompoc in Bar Harbor, also on Friday. Finally, the Grand Theatre in Ellsworth hosts an evening with Noel Paul Stookey.
4. This weekend, there are two opportunities to get a peek into two rather beautiful parts of Maine life. One’s time-honored, the other’s a relative newcomer. Open Lighthouse Day is set for Saturday, Sept. 15, and 25 different lighthouses from West Quoddy to Cape Elizabeth will open their doors from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. those days for visitors to take a peek. Then, on Sunday, grownups can partake in Open Winery Day, in which 13 wineries statewide will give tours of the vinyards and tastings of their quaffables. Whether you want to call it late summer or early fall, this weekend is expected to be warm and lovely.
5. Have you noticed that now that summer blockbuster season is over, the smaller, more thought-provoking movies are making their way back into theaters? A selection of some of the choice films out there this weekend includes “Cosmopolis,” a David Cronenberg mind-trip, which stars that British guy (pictured) who plays a vampire in that romance movie, and “Sleepwalk With Me,” starring a comedian named Mike Birbiglia and which is purported to be hilarious and heartwarming. Both those movies are at Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville, along with “The Well-Digger’s Daughter” and music biopic “Neil Young Journeys.” At the Nickelodeon in Portland, another great fall film entry is “The Queen of Versailles,” a searing but highly entertaining look into an explosively wealthy family’s downfall during the economic downturn of 2008. There also “Robot and Frank,” a thoughtful comedy starring Frank Langella as an elderly man who has a house robot as an assistant.