1. Hot on the heels of the defeat of DOMA in the Supreme Court, Bangor welcomes its annual Pride Festival, which technically kicked off on Wednesday with a movie screening, and continues on Thursday with a downtown art walk from 6 to 9 p.m. There’s a dance at 7:30 Jeff’s Catering Friday night in Brewer (21 plus, $10), and during the day on Saturday there’s of course the Queen City Pride Parade at 11 a.m., and the afternoon-long festival in West Market Square, featuring music, speakers, dancing and lots of celebration. Both Friday and Saturday evenings there’s lots of of other fun stuff happening in Bangor, starting Friday with Chris Ross at Paddy Murphy’s, reggae band Knotty Pine at Ipanema, DJ Terry Frank at the Big Easy, and Rotating Taps at Nocturnem Drafthaus. On Saturday, check out the Matt and the Barnburners at 4Points BBQ & Blues out in Winterport, the 220s at Ipanema, Jenna Campbell at Paddy’s, Between Dead Stations at the Big Easy, and party rockers the Larks at Nocturnem – as well as the Pride after party at Tantrum, which features a drag show, DJs and far too much fabulous stuff to list in one place. Wind down on Sunday with Tomorrow Morning at 4Points in the afternoon.
2. Friday night in Portland there’s a great show featuring three fantastic Maine bands – Forget, Forget, (pictured at left) KGFreeze and Lisa/Liza, set for the Big Easy. There’s a fun night of emo-pop-punk-type-stuff Friday at Port City Music Hall, featuring The Maine (no relation to the state), A Rocket to the Moon, This Century and Brighten, and at One Longfellow Square, check out soul singer Zach Deputy. On Saturday, the Big Easy hosts the bands Texarkana, the Spaniards and Skeletons in the Piano, Mayo Street Arts has got Dan Blakeslee, Old Soul and Plains, while out in Biddeford at the Oak and the Ax there’s Old Soul, Jenn & Basho and Changing Colors. Or, you could see Aaron Carter at the Asylum. Yes, that Aaron Carter.
3. It’s a great weekend for music on the Midcoast, starting Friday night, when the delightful, talented Maine trio the Toughcats (pictured at left) take the stage at Billy’s Tavern in Thomaston. On Saturday, indie folk duo Barnaby Bright are set for the Camden Opera House, along with Chris Ross, Caitlin Canty and poet Dave Morrison. Elsewhere on the Midcoast, Paddy Mills play at Rock City Coffee in Rockland on Friday, and the Juke Rockets play at the Myrtle Street Tavern in Rockland on Saturday. Over in Hancock County, the Lompoc Cafe in Bar Harbor hosts Dan Blakeslee on Friday and Changing Colors on Saturday; on Friday at Chummies in Ellsworth you can groove out to Juicebox, and on Saturday night at Sips in Southwest Harbor it’s the Pitch Black Ribbons.
4. The second annual PortFringe theater festival is happening this week and weekend in three venues around Portland, featuring alternative, independent, strange or otherwise non-mainstream performance from theater, dance, comedy and performance art groups from all over New England. There’s a huge varieties of shows to choose from, some of which have already happened on Wednesday and are set for Thursday, and some of which are throughout the weekend. There’s a production of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” set for 9 p.m. Friday at the Space Gallery; Jimmy Grzelek’s one-man show “How To Be a Terrorist,” set for 8 p.m. Saturday at the Portland Stage Storefront; and “Game Show: The Show” by Cast Aside Theatrical, set for 7 p.m. at Geno’s Rock Club on Sunday. A full list of all the unique shows still to come can be found at the PortFringe website.
5. The tenth year of River City Cinema’s summer-long series of outdoor movies in Pickering Square in Bangor kicks off this Friday. The theme for this summer? Film noir, so be ready for some femme fatales and private investigators. The first movie in the series is “The Maltese Falcon,” which starts at 8:30. The rest of the movies of the season are “Notorious” (July 5), “The Lady From Shanghai” (July 12), “Kiss Me Deadly” (July 19), “Cape Fear” (July 26) and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” (Aug 2.) All are free, all will have refreshments available, and all start at sundown. Bring a blanket or lawn