1. Halloween (observed) is this weekend – at least, it is in downtown Bangor – so while there might be a few family things happening on actual Halloween (this Wednesday), most of the grownup fun is happening Friday and Saturday. Friday night, there’s the debut of new local band Sauce. at Paddy Murphy’s; there’s DJ Reid at Ipanema and Bizzy Gruntry at the Phoenix Pub; and up in Orono there’s Chamberlain (formerly Tree Streets) and Rotating Taps at Woodman’s. Also on Friday, Nocturnem Drafthaus hosts dance performance event Paraween, set for 8:30 p.m., featuring the talented likes of A Severe Joy, Remaria Live and the ladies of the Haus of Paradigm (who I wrote about last weekend). Saturday, it’s an all-out Halloween blitz, with treat or treating during the day at downtown Bangor businesses, the Bangor Zombie Walk at 4 p.m., starting at the Waterfront, and the annual party at Paddy Murphy’s, featuring a costume contest and music from two power duos, When Particles Collide and Lit on the Flash (pictured). There’s also Stesha Cano and the Wicked Friggin’ Jerks at Ipanema, Bill Barnes Jazz Trio at Nocturnem, hip hop band The Jumpoff at Phoenix Pub, and in Old Town, the Hornitz and Goosepimp Orchestra at Kingman’s. Costumes not required, but highly recommended.
2. There’s a whole heck of a lot happening in Portland this weekend, too, starting with Hot Day at the Zoo and Tricky Britches at Empire, the Fogcutters Big Band Halloween Speakeasy Ball at the Big Easy, the Inquisition Ball (a goth kid’s dream) at Asylum, and the Pubcrawlers, the Kilmaine Saints and Brzowski at Geno’s, all on Friday. Meanwhile, on Saturday KahBang alum Paper Diamond (pictured) is at Port City Music Hall, while at Empire there’s quite the local lineup, with Gin Lab, Anna & The Diggs, The Other Bones and policewomanwithfangs. The Space Gallery hosts its annual Halloween party, in which local bands dress up and perform as another famous band; this year, you can see The Coalsack in Crux as The Gun Club (one of my favorite bands ever), Sunset Hearts as the Talking Heads, and various local musicians as Fugazi. There’s also country singer Suzy Bogguss at One Longfellow Square, and soul and r&b with Adam Waxman, Kenya Hall and Model Airplane at the Big Easy. And don’t forget Sunday, with Dan Blakeslee, Tan Vampires and Old Soul at Bubba’s Sulky Lounge.
3. We’re very glad Rock City Coffee in Rockland has music scheduled again, because it’s an awfully pleasant place to enjoy a cup of coffee and listen to some local tunes. Friday evening there, you can hear the Pitch Black Ribbons, and on Saturday, Midcoast ingenue Alices Limoges (pictured) will perform, both at 5 p.m. You can also check out Peter Wolf – he of the J. Geils Band – at the Strand Theatre in Rockland on Friday, and the Eric Green Party play a Halloween show at the Myrtle Street Tavern on Saturday. In Belfast, electro-jazz duo Logorithm plays at Aarhus Gallery on Saturday evening, there’s a big Halloween party at Bowen’s Tavern that same night, featuring the 220s. Across the bay, there’s a double bill for a Halloween party at Chummies in Ellsworth on Saturday, featuring Chris Ross and Trisha Mason. If one night of Trisha Mason isn’t enough, however, she’s also at the Thirsty Whale on Friday in Bar Harbor. And it’s Last Friday Coffeehouse night at Hammond Hall in Winter Harbor, featuring songwriters Bobbi Lane and Phil Kell.
4. There are so many great haunted houses around the state each Halloween, it’s hard to choose which one. Should you check out the old standby, the Fright at the Fort at Fort Knox State Park in Prospect, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday? Once you’re down in those dark, dank tunnels of the fort, it starts to get genuinely scary. What about the Kenduskeag Haunted House, at the Cole Memorial Ball Field, from 7 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday? It’s now in its 26th year, and the folks in Kenduskeag really put their all into their yearly horror show. Or, perhaps, you could hop on board the Gauntlet Haunted Hay Ride in Mechanic Falls, which is offered nightly through Oct. 28? A spooky ghost lady, a whole host of terrifying creatures, and maybe even a jaunt through a corn maze at the end? There’s also Destination Haunt in Lebanon, a hugely popular southern Maine scare experience, which is offered starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday. I’m sure there’s plenty more I don’t know about
5. If Halloween just ain’t your bag – forgive me, as it’s totally mine – there are several intriguing movies opening this weekend. “Cloud Atlas,” the hotly anticipated new film from the Wachowskis, opens Friday, an adaptation of David Mitchell’s sprawling, centuries-spanning epic novel, and starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant and many others. There’s also “Chasing Mavericks,” a surf movie starring Gerard Butler, “Silent Hill: Revelation,” an absurd looking horror movie, and “Fun Size,” a teen comedy. There’s also the incredibly entertaining-looking new film “Seven Psychopaths,” opening at Railroad Square in Waterville this week and starring Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson and Christopher Walken, which is as hilarious and bizarre an on screen combination as I can think of. Or, you can check out one of several “Rocky Horror Picture Show” screenings around the state, including 9:30 p.m. Saturday night at the Alamo Theatre in Bucksport, 8 p.m. Saturday night at the City Theater in Biddeford, and 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer, as part of the Rocky for Equality marriage equality fundraiser. Get your fishnets now!