1. The annual Music Saved Me benefit for pediatric oncology at EMMC is set for Tantrum in Bangor this Friday night, with two big headliners: Paranoid Social Club and Maine’s own wildly popular rapper Spose (pictured at left); tickets are $15 at the door. Also on Friday is a Maine indie rock double bill featuring Portland’s Forget, Forget and Bangor’s Temperature of the Sun at the Sea Dog, the smooth sounds of the Aurora Jazz Project at Nocturnem Drafthaus, funk quartet Big Time at Paddy Murphy’s, the Junkyard Cards at Ipanema and the Blood Orange Martinis at the Big Easy. Also on Friday is the ninth edition of Bangor’s Pecha Kucha night, with presentations from area artists, activists and people with interesting stories; the event is set for 6 p.m. at the Union Street Brick Church. On Saturday, your options include Bill Barnes at Nocturnem, Trisha Mason at Paddy’s, Knotty Pine at Ipanema or Larry and Leslie Latour with Dave Meek at the Big Easy.
2. This weekend in Portland brings Shaguzapalooza, a three-day electronic music festival set for Port City Music Hall; it actually starts on Thursday, with DJs Figure and Digital Bonesaw Society, followed by Reid Speed and Helicopter Showdown on Friday and headliner and DJ icon DJ Shadow (pictured) at 9 p.m. on Saturday. Also in P-Land this weekend are two shows at the Big Easy, with Dirty White Hats, Conor McGrath and The Other Bones on Friday, and Paranoid Social Club and the London Souls on Saturday. There are two nights of rock at Geno’s, with the Coalsack in Crux and Awaas set for Friday, and then local metal with Seax, Hessian, Fires of Old and Shabti on Saturday. In another in a series of double shots, at One Longfellow Square you can hear the entrancing sounds of Daisy Castro’s Gypsy Moth Quartet on Friday, followed by songwriter Willy Porter on Saturday. Your weekend rounds out with Led Zeppelin cover band Get the Led Out Zep on Saturday night at the Asylum, and for the childrens, it’s Gustafer Yellowgold on Saturday afternoon at the Space Gallery.
3. Midcoast rockabilly wizards The Murder Weapon (bass player Derek Johnson pictured at left) will have a record release party Saturday night at the Myrtle Street Tavern in Rockland; they’ll play with Texas band the Dead End Cowboys. Billy’s Tavern in Thomaston hosts two great events this weekend, with Jacob Augustine on Friday night and Rock Coast Roller Derby’s hilariously fun lip sync competition “The Ballad of Milli Vanilli” on Saturday. Rock City Coffee in Rockland offers up the Bill Barnes Trio on Friday, and southern Maine indie rockers Ginlab on Saturday. Across the bay, Chummes in Ellsworth hosts the Downeast debut of hard rockers Octavis, who play both Friday and Saturday night, and at Mainely Meat in Ellsworth on Saturday night you can hear the Crown Vics. Saturday night also brings the London Boys at Sips in Southwest Harbor, and at the Pines in Milbridge the Blast Addicts will take the stage, also on Saturday night.
4. It’s canoe race season, as the snow is melted and the streams are high. There are two races this weekend, starting with the Soudabscook Stream Race, with registration beginning at 10:30 a.m. near the Emerson Mill Road Grange in Hampden, and the race starting at noon and running a 7.5 mile course to the Hampden Water District building. On Sunday, the Marsh Stream Race also starts at noon, with registration beginning at 11 a.m. at the Winterport Snowmobile Club. Registration for both races has been taken over by the Bangor YMCA, so contact them at 941-2808 for info. Also this weekend is the Maine Bicycle Coalition’s annual Great Maine Bike Swap, set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the UMaine Student Recreation Center on campus. Admission is $3, and there’s a high likelihood that if you’re in the market for a new set of wheels, you’ll be able to find a great one for not a lot of money at the swap.
5. Gen-Y nostalgia-lovers, hold onto your butts: “Jurassic Park” is back in theaters, in 3D. Go see whether the dinosaurs still look amazing, and whether or not it’s still scary! There’s some other silly pre-summer films out there, like the gore-tastic “Evil Dead” remake, “The Host” which is from the creator of “Twilight,” and, for some reason, yet another installment of the “Scary Movie” franchise. Between that and “Jurassic Park” it’s the 1990s all over again. For some slightly more adult options, at the Strand in Rockland there’s the Chilean drama “No” and Studio Ghibli’s (read: Hiyao Miyazaki) latest offering, “From Up on Poppy Hill”. The Tina Fey and Paul Rudd vehicle “Admission” is at both Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville and Reel Pizza Cinerama in Bar Harbor; Railroad’s also got “The Place Beyond the Pines,” which stars a tattooed, bleached blonde Ryan Gosling who apparently mostly doesn’t wear a shirt in the movie. Raise your hands if that’s a problem. I thought so.