1. Lots to do on this lovely, crisp fall weekend in the Bangor area! Friday night, you can hit up downtown Bangor and check out Wells Gordon at Paddy Murphy’s, Dave Mello at Nocturnem Drafthaus, or Live Wire at Ipanema, or you can venture out towards Hermon to Morgan Hill Event Center, where a fundraiser for Mainers United for Marriage brings together the bands Temperature of the Sun (pictured), Rotating Taps and the Roy Hudson Band. Meanwhile, Saturday night there’s Stesha Cano at Nocturnem Drafthaus, Jacob Augustine at Paddy Murphy’s and Rotating Taps at Ipanema. There’s also a very neat event at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Rock and Art Shop on Central Street, as the shop opens its month long Natural History Freak Show exhibit, displaying their huge collection of natural oddities. Up in Orono, comedian Bob Marley will take the stage Friday night at the Collins Center for the Arts. And, of course, Sundays always bring the evening Mostly Irish session at Geaghan’s, where you can hear some wonderful local musicians perform while you drink their excellent microbrews.
2. Friday night at One Longfellow Square there’s a very special performance from Malian ensemble Tinariwen; for more than 30 years these totally unique musicians have played in the face of exile from their homeland, war, poverty and much worse; their music is a wild blend of West African rhythm, electrified blues, spiritual singing and crackling energy, and you would be smart to check out their show Friday at OLS. Elsewhere, before he plays in Bangor, Jacob Augustine will play Friday night at Empire in Portland, where he’ll play his album “Frontier” in its entirety, with guests Butcher Boy and Greg Jamie; Saturday night at Empire there’s an epic night of Portland comedy celebrating Ian Stuart’s (pictured) comedy album release for “Day Drinker.” At the Big Easy Friday night there’s the JT Lookwood Band and Bangor favorites Mellow Endeavor; at the Asylum Friday night there’s a CD release party for Irish rockers the Pubcralwers, and on Saturday there’s an anti-bullying benefit featuring Spose, Dean Ford, Steiner Street and others. Friday night at Flask Lounge there’s a dance party with DJs Mr. Dereloid and the Psychologist. At Geno’s Saturday night, it’s rock n’ roll for your mortal soul with Two Forty Gordy, Society Inc., Thee Icepicks. And also Saturday, don’t forget EOTO, Digital Bonesaw Society and Jansten for a night of live electronica. Also, Monday I am going to see Morrissey at the State Theatre and OMG OMG OMG.
3. In Rockland, Suzanne Vega plays at the Strand Theatre on Friday, and on Saturday at 5 p.m. at Rock City Coffee Bill Barnes plies his smooth, tasty jazz. Don’t forget Saturday night, too, as Hello Newman play awesome 90s hits at the Myrtle Street Tavern, also in Rockland. Across the bay, don’t forget the Larks, who will bring the party at the Thirsty Whale on Friday, and River Bottom Funk, who are at Chummies in Ellsworth on Friday as well. There’s also the Blast Addicts on Saturday, again at Chummies. And finally, Francine Reed – pictured, who is a great blues vocalist and a member of Lyle Lovett’s band – will play Friday night at the Stonington Opera House.
4. It’s a big beer weekend. In Belfast, Three Tides hosts its annual Beer and Mussel Fest, where for a nominal admission fee you can drink all kinds of tasty Marshall Wharf beers, and eat lots of delicious local mussels and Belgian Frites. The fun starts in the afternoon on Saturday, and features the music of the Toughcats. Also this weekend, the town of Gardiner hosts its annual Swine and Stein Festival, with live music from Maine bands; local pork products smoked, stuffed, and sauteed; beer tastings from local Maine brewers, and children’s activities including a pumpkin carving contest, all starting at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in downtown Gardiner.
5. While the furthest northern reaches of the state may have past peak already for foliage, from about Greenville south it’s entirely peak, which means this is an amazing weekend for peepin’ them leaves. Might I recommend something in a, say, Rotue 35, starting down south near Kennebunk and winding up to Bethel? Or maybe the backwoods of Waldo County, say around Brooks, Jackson or Unity? I’m also a big fan of the back roads of the Aurora or Amherst area, off Route 9. Aw, heck, you know where you like to go! It’s all gorgeous. Go ahead, be all autumnal in your sweaters and hot cider and scarves.