1. Man, I take a vacation for one stinkin’ week and you guys get all upset. Last week I got multiple messages and even two people in the street asking me where 5 Things was! Actually, that really makes me happy, because I know you’re reading. So thank you. I promise that the next time I take off I’ll give you proper warning. ONTO THE SHENANIGANS! Friday is Art Walk night in downtown Bangor from 5-9 p.m. Some of the unique exhibits up this time include painter Rebecca Krupke at the Gallery at Blue Heron, experimental photographer Caleb Charland (pictured at left) at The Rock & Art Shop, paintings and multimedia work from Brian Monahan, Lawton Mann, Sylvia Belanger, Autumn Tierney and others at The Charles Inn, illustrator CornApple at Coespace, and the 1-95 Triennial at the University of Maine Museum of Art, which if you haven’t yet checked out you must. It also happens to be First Friday Art Walk night in Portland, and of course there’s loads to see and do, like “Cardboard Monster,” an exhibit of huge cardboard sculptures at the Meg Perry Center, embroidery artist Sophia Narrett at the Space Gallery, Siri Beckman and Barbara Putnam at the Phopa Gallery, and Sebastian Meade’s robots and monsters at the PelotonLabs Gallery, and at Coast City Comics their annual pop culture art show features “Game of Thrones” themed art.
2. Aside from art walkin’ in Bangor, you can on Friday night enjoy heavy rockers OneSixtyOne (pictured at left) at Tantrum, reggae rockers Knotty Pine at Ipanema, a CD release party for local jazz vocalist John Nowak at Nocturnem Drafthaus, and at Paddy Murphy’s it’s an epic 80s dance party, DJed by me! Yes, me! Wear a costume and come have fun with me! On Saturday, let loose with some Parisian jazz from Mes Amis at Nocturnem, the funky sounds of Big Time at Paddy’s, songbird Trisha Mason at Ipanema, and at the Next Generation Theater in Brewer it’s the nine-piece Main Street R&B Revue. On Sunday, wrap it up with Paranoid Social Club and the 220s at 4Points BBQ in Winterport.
3. In Portland this weekend there’s a veritable smorgasbord of different kinds of music. Friday night there’s Katie Strait and Andi Fawcett for an early show and the Beat Horizon and Eight Feet Tall for a late show at the Big Easy, Texan songwriter Shelley King at One Longfellow Square, Maine’s own Jacob Augustine at St. Lawrence Arts and the enchanting western sounds of Calexico at Port City Music Hall. On Saturday, there’s another great show at Port City, with the Mountain Goats rolling into town; there’s also local metal at Geno’s with Murcielago, Rozamov, Statis and Shroud of Bereavment, HD R&B and the Tonekings at the Big Easy, the Squid Jiggers and the Half Moon Jug Band at the St. Lawrence Arts, and Aoife O’Donovan at One Longfellow Square. Sunday, it’s a wonderful double bill of local indie rock, with Hi Tiger and (my personal favorite, pictured at left) A Severe Joy at the Oak and the Ax in Biddeford.
4. Friday night in Rockland get thee to a punk show at the Time Out Pub, featuring the Murder Weapon, the Never Nudes and Afghan, with DJ Dirty Rock in between; also on Friday night is the trad-folk duo Velocipede at Rock City Coffee in Rockland, and kings of Maine reggae Royal Hammer at Billy’s Tavern in Thomaston. On Saturday night you can rock with Two Dollar Pistols at the Myrtle Street Tavern in Rockland, at Rock City hosts the Ale House String Band. Across the bay, there’s a few fun options for your weekend, including Dakota both Friday and Saturday at Chummie’s in Ellsworth, at Mainely Meat on Main in Ellsworth there’s the super fun duo Him and Her on Friday, and at the Lompoc in Bar Harbor on Saturday night it’s noisy rockers Butcher Boy (pictured).
5. What’s new for movies this weekend? Well, to start, there are three big openings this weekend, including the action thriller “The Purge,” the Owen Wilson-Vince Vaughn comedy “The Internship” and what looks to be a lot of fun, the bank heist-slash-magic caper “Now You See Me,” all of which are at multiplexes statewide. There’s also the truly awful-looking M. Night Shyamalan-Will Smith-Jaden Smith vaguely Scientologist-seeming sci-fi bomb “After Earth.” Why does anybody let M. Night Shyamalan make movies anymore? Yeesh. You should just go see “Epic” instead, an utterly delightful animated film that’s in its second weekend. For smaller, independent films, the acclaimed Matthew McConaughey vehicle “Mud” is at both Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville and the Strand Theatre in Rockland, while Noam Baumbach’s “Frances Ha” is at Railroad Square and at the Nickelodeon in Portland. The sleeper indie hit “The Sapphires” about an Australian Aboriginal girl group, is at Reel Pizza in Bar Harbor, and the highly acclaimed “Stories We Tell” is also at Railroad Square. Finally, River City Cinema shows “Room 237,” the documentary about the conspiracies about Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining,” at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Bangor Opera House. Go see it. It’s so weird and so cool.
6. BONUS! It’s Old Port Festival weekend, guys. That annual chance to hear music, eat food, dance, sing and hang out with your fellow Portlanders – and what luck, the rain expected for Saturday will head out in time for it to be nice out on Sunday! There’s music from everyone from pop singer Amy Allen to Celtic rockers Enter the Haggis, from country duo North of Nashville to Dominic Lavoie’s ShaShaSha project. And it’s free. You win. Oh, and don’t forget the Mathew’s Rooftop Showcase from noon to 10 p.m. concurrently with the OPF, at the venerable Portland bar, featuring countless Portland indie bands including Sylvia, The Rattlesnakes, Hessian, Gravel, Young Lungs, Mouth Washington, I, Barbarian, Awaas, Conjjjecture, Zud, Gimmie Goldar, Mr. Neet, Eastern Spell, Superorder, Synthetiv Vision, and Altered Gee.