1. Wait – you mean there’s other stuff going on this weekend in the greater Bangor area besides KahBang? The downtown Bangor festival ends up permeating just about everything this weekend, and bars, galleries and venues has planned accordingly. On Friday night, Nocturnem Drafthaus hosts jazz men Gypsy Caravan, Paddy Murphy’s has a dance party with DJ Murf, Ipanema has Tomorrow Morning planned, and as part of the KahBang nighttime festivities, there’s the Rice Cakes, Ugly Club and the Dirty Gems at Zen, and Eight Feet Tall and Tha Jist at the Phoenix Pub. Saturday, there’s an early show from Pitch Black Ribbons and a special performance from artist Peg Killian’s alternative retelling of “Pride & Prejudice” set for 5 p.m. at the Rock & Art Shop; there’s also a rare performance by Mikey B & Texas Heat at 6 p.m. at 4Points BBQ & Blues in Winterport, which is guitarist Mike Billings’ frighteningly perfect Stevie Ray Vaughn tribute show. Later that night you can groove with Magnetic North at Paddy’s, Bangor rockers Chamberlain at Nocturnem, and for KahBang sponsored events, there’s the Bynars and Epic Season at the Big Easy, Worried Well and the Ghost of Paul Revere at the Sea Dog, and a DJ night at the Phoenix. Wrap it up Sunday with either the Jimmy Buffett cover band extravaganza the Son of a Beach Festival, all afternoon on the Bangor Waterfront, or at 6 p.m. get your blues on with Sugar Ray and the Bluetones at 4Points.
2. The rain will have mostly left town by Friday afternoon, so it’s shaping up to be a beautiful weekend in Portland. Friday night, there’s some Maine hardcore with Too Late the Hero at Port City Music Hall, there’s reggae legends Morgan Heritage at the Asylum, there’s the roots ensemble Joy Kills Sorrow at One Longfellow Square, and there’s another night of the three-day Relentless Belanger fundraiser for beloved Portland musician Mark Belanger, set for Geno’s Rock Club and featuring Covered in Bees, Manwitch, Hessian and Johnny Cremains. On Saturday, the Relentless Belanger fun continues with some epic Portland metal including Whitcomb (pictured above), Murcielago and Tripe at the Asylum; rapper Chris Webby is set for Port City Music Hall, Portland bands Older Men, Conjjecture and Butcher Boy are at Slainte, and there’s a night of wonderful Maine electronic music featuring Leveret, A Severe Joy, Contrapposto and Dessert Lips at the Space Gallery, starting at 8 p.m.
3. Hey, remember last weekend, when everybody was saying that Johnny Depp was on MDI? Yeah, that wasn’t true. That was LIES FROM THE INTERNET! Doesn’t mean it’s not a great place to be this weekend, though! Downeast ways, catch the almighty Coke Weed at the Lompoc Cafe in Bar Harbor on Friday, while at the Common Good Cafe in Southwest Harbor there’s the r&b sensation the Shambles, from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday. The free music on the Ellsworth riverfront Friday night is Phil Kell and friends, and the Blast Addicts take the stage at Chummies on Friday night, also in Ellsworth. Midcoastally, the wonderful Americana duo Hymn for Her (pictured) takes the stage at Billy’s Tavern in Thomaston on Friday night, and Bob Stuart and Paddy Mills at set for Saturday night at Rock City Coffee in Rockland.
4. Want to get away from it all, and experience some authentic Maine culture? Head up to the St. John Valley for the annual Acadian Festival, a yearly week-long celebration of French-American culture in and around beautiful Madawaska. Music, dance, bed races, baby crawling contests, a car show and lots of traditional Acadian activities, like a Tintamarre – a march through town banging on anything that’ll make noise – and lots of Acadian food, like ployes, Pot en Pot, Canadian Six-Pates and much more. You will never experience anything like it anywhere else in the United States, I promise. Canada, sure. This country? All Maine, and darn proud of it, too. For information, visit the website.
5. OK, here’s a little secret that’s not actually a secret. The best place to get Greek food in Maine is the St. George’s Orthodox Church booth at the American Folk Festival each year, and the best place to get Italian-American food in Maine is at the Italian Street Festival Bazaar, held this year this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the corner of Federal and India Streets in Portland. The Bazaar is an annual fundraising and community event for St. Peter’s Church, the Italian Parish of the Diocese of Portland, which celebrates the Feasts of the Assumption and St. Rocco. It’s also a place to get amazing lasagna, pizza, chicken parmesan, gelato, cannoli and anise cookies – 6,000 of them, to be exact. Plus games, music, shopping and more.