1. The temperatures will rise from -5 to a balmy 16 in the Bangor area this weekend, so take advantage of the “warm spell” and get out of the house you’ve been too terrified to leave since Monday. Friday night in Bangor, check out Sam Shain and the Scolded Dogs at Paddy Murphy’s, folk duo Him & Her at Nocturnem Drafthaus and songwriter Samantha Lynn at the Big Easy, as well as the Flonomial EDM night at the Bear Brew in Orono, and Frayed Knot at Woodman’s, also in Orono; there’s also improv comedy with the Focus Group at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer on Friday at 8 p.m. On Saturday, you can catch bluegrass band This Way (pictured) at Paddy Murphy’s, pianist Kevin Bate at Nocturnem, funk master Mike Billings at the Big Easy, epic 80s cover band Rock Revelation at Hollywood Casino, and at the Next Generation Theatre there’s roots ensemble Nevah. New in town is the opening of the new bar at Schooner’s in Brewer, playfully dubbed “The Poop Deck.” It’s open for cocktails and snacks beginning Friday night.
2. Start your weekend off right at the Empire on Friday night, with an early show featuring the The Substitutes, followed by a late show featuring Coke Weed (pictured), An Evening With and Micah Blue Smaldone; on Saturday, there’s a reggae night with the All Feel Good Collective, Eight Feet Tall and the Joint Chiefs. At the Big Easy Friday, there’s When Particles Collide doing a cover to cover show featuring Green Day’s “Dookie;” on Saturday, it’s Sly-Chi. Friday has also got Greg Jamie, Lisa/Liza, Wesley Allen Hartley, Acid Smoke at Mayo Street Arts and Martin Sexton at the State Theatre. Friday at Geno’s there’s amazing indie rock with Miniboone, Great Western Plain, Bunny’s a Swing and RSO; on Saturday at Geno’s, there’s a night of comedy and music with Her Majesty’s Cabaret and Chamberlain from Bangor, A Severe Joy from Portland an improv supergroup from Providence. Rounding out Saturday is the Gin Blossoms with Crash Boom Bang and Worried Well at the Asylum, and at the Oak and the Ax in Biddeford there’s O’Death, “Little” Timmy Findlen and His Aroostook Hillbillies.
3. It’s a fun weekend, musically speaking, on Mt. Desert Island. On Friday at the Thirsty Whale in Bar Harbor there’s the Trisha Mason Band, on Saturday at Sips Cafe in Southwest Harbor there’s the hilariously fun party band the Larks, while at the Lompoc on Saturday in Bar Harbor there’s the sweet harmonies of Portland band Forget, Forget paired with Bangor indie-poppers Temperature of the Sun. In Winter Harbor, the Last Friday Coffeehouse hosts singer-guitarist Eric Horschak at Hammond Hall. Across the bay, at Billy’s Tavern in Thomason on Friday there’s the 220s, while at Rock City Coffee there’s Nick Dimoulas. Finally, at the Strand Theatre in Rockland on Saturday there’s the intoxicating sounds of the JP Jofre Hard Tango Chamber Band (pictured).
4. There are lots of neat classical music, jazz and theater events occurring over the next three days, starting Friday night, when the TEMPO Orchestra performs live accompaniment to Charlie Chaplin’s “Gold Rush,” starting at 7 p.m. at the Grand Theatre in Ellsworth. In the south, Friday night also brings a performance from jazz icon Wynton Marsalis at the Merrill Auditorium in Portland. On Sunday, both the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and the Portland Symphony Orchestra perform; the PSO, with a Mozart program, at 2:30 p.m. at Merrill, and the BSO, featuring Mahler, at 3 p.m. at the Collins Center for the Arts in Orono. Finally, at the Gracie Theatre at Husson University comes the long-awaited performance of “Potted Potter,” a wild ride through all the Harry Potter books in one two-man show, with performances at 3 and 8 p.m.
5. From the BDN Outdoors desk, here’s some fun info for you ice anglers out there, whether you’re seasoned pros or just trying it for the first time: ice fishing derbies! A short list of events happening this weekend include the 6th annual Moosehead Lake Togue Ice Fishing Derby from Jan. 25-27; the 8th annual Long Lake Ice Fishing Derby, on Long, Cross, St. Froid, Square, Eagle, Glazier and Beau lakes, from Jan. 26-27, on Jan. 26 the Men’s Auxiliary of VFW Post 3108 derby, on all legal waters in Waldo County, and on Jan. 27, the Waterville Elks Lodge 905 derby, statewide. If that’s not your scene, how about dog sledding? Stephen Madera and his furry friends invite the public to a dogsled adventure at 10 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, along Hirundo Wildlife Refuge trails in Alton. Make reservations by Friday, Jan. 25, by calling 944-9259.