1. It’s a good weekend to be in Maine – relatively balmy and sunny, and without any holidays to outshine everything else. Just fun. In Bangor, Friday night brings performances from the 220s at Paddy Murphy’s, Jacob Augustine (pictured) at Nocturnem Drafthaus and the Skastitutes at Woodman’s in Orono, as well as a very special night of electronic music featuring Laughing Animal and Shortly After Takeoff at the Bear Brew, also in Orono. Saturday’s where it really shines, however, with the annual March Dragness drag show event at 7 p.m., followed by the CD release from Rock Revelation at Hollywood Slots, Chris Ross and Fiddle Doug at Ipanema, the Juke Rockets at the Big Easy, and bluesman Blind Albert at Nocturnem.
2. Geno’s in Portland has two days of fantastic local and regional music, starting with a night of hardcore and heavy rock featuring Better Than, American Verse, Beach the Whale and Deep Woods on Friday, and indie and post-punk on Saturday with An Anderson, Beasty, Old Night and Where’s My Friend. Both Friday and Saturday have got the Sustain Maine happy hour, featuring the Substitutes, from 5 to 7 p.m., set for the Empire. The Big Easy hosts reggae band Royal Hammer on Friday and Endless Interstate and Hawthorne on Saturday. Joy Kills Sorrow (pictured above) is set for Saturday night at One Longfellow Square, as is Todd Snider and Ashleigh Flynn at Port City Music Hall.
3. Hancock County band Skyscraper returns to Chummies on Friday, followed by the funky sounds of Juicebox on Saturday. Friday night the rockabilly sensations the Crown Vics (pictured) are at Finn’s, also in Ellsworth, and the Larks are set to take over Sips in Southwest Harbor on Saturday, and the 220s head back to their hometown of Belfast on Saturday at Bowen’s Tavern. At Billy’s Tavern in Thomaston there’s an excellent chance to strut your stuff for a good cause – Cuban band Primo Cubano is set for 8 p.m. in a benefit for assistance at nuclear-meltdown Fukushima, Japan. Saturday night at Billy’s, there’s country singer Shana Underwood.
4. The Bangor Symphony Orchestra hosts its annual Pops concert this Saturday, with spot-on Frank Sinatra impersonator Steve Lippia joining the BSO in a “Simply Sinatra” program, set for 8 p.m. Saturday at the Collins Center for the Arts. Don’t forget that Penobscot Theatre’s stirring production of “Wit,” also continues this weekend at the Bangor Opera House, and this weekend marks the state finals of the one act plays featured in the Maine Drama Festival, with Class A finals set for Camden Hills Regional High School and Class B set for Freeport High School, with performances Friday night and during the day Saturday.
5. More hot derby action! Central Maine Derby hosts its first-ever brawl against the Maine Roller Derby Rip Tides, in one of the last events to be held at the Bangor Auditorium; the fun is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, and admission is $10 at the door. Sunday is also Maine Maple Sunday, when more than 30 syrup producers open their doors to the public to get a glimpse of how the sweet stuff is made. For a full listing of events statewide – and there are a lot of them – visit the Maine Maple Producers website.