1. It’s that weekend in Bangor in between KahBang and the Folk Festival, in which people take it easy and assess their lives now that there’s only three weeks left of summer. And by taking it easy and assessing, I probably mean either weeping or drinking. Or both. On Friday night in Bang-town you can enjoy either the Junkyard Cats at Paddy Murphy’s, songwriter Jacob Augustine’s last Bangor appearance for a while at Nocturnem Drafthaus, River Bottom Funk with Stesha Cano at the Big Easy (along with an art opening there for Bangor artists Einstein Hickman and Pigeon), or you can take a stroll down to the reopened Luna Bar & Grill on Park Street. On Saturday, Rotating Taps rock at Paddy’s, Sus4 is set for the Big Easy, and at Nocturnem, there’s local favorite Dave Mello. On Sunday, blues legends Sugar Ray & the Bluestones are at 4Points BBQ & Blues in Winterport.
2. I think there might be a CD release party every weekend in Portland this month! The chanteuse Anna Lombard (pictured) releases her new album at Port City Music Hall on Friday, while over at the Big Easy there’s a big night of ska featuring Bim Skala Bim, the Beat Horizon and El Grande, and out in Biddeford at the Oak and the Ax there’s Lonesome Leash and Hersey State. On Saturday at Port City there’s electronic band EOTO, Donavon Frankenreiter is at the Asylum, there’s a dance party at Space Gallery with Chuck Caseroc, Chris Gauthier and Ed Gah, and Michael Blue Smaldone and Daniel Bachman are playing out at the Oak and the Ax. Punk rock marching band the What Cheer Brigade at Space, Sparks the Rescue and Dean Ford at the Big Easy, and Mickey Hart at Port City all wrap the weekend up on Sunday.
3. Friday night kicks off the annual Harborfest in Belfast, and Three Tides is hosting a big party to celebrate. Doors open at 5 p.m. for a waterfront bash featuring four great Maine bands: Whale Oil, When Particles Collide (pictured), the Ghost of Paul Revere and the Toughcats. Now that, my friends, is a lineup. The Marshall Wharf beer will be flowing. Down the road a piece, there’s roots duo Kriika on Friday and a dance party fundraiser for the Coastal Children’s Museum on Saturday at Rock City Coffee in Rockland, and at Billy’s Tavern in Thomaston there’s Midcoast songwriter Andre Lascoutx. Across the bay, dig the Crown Vics at Black Anchor Village Pub in Blue Hill on Friday, Trisha Mason at the Thirsty Whale in Bar Harbor on Friday, Jacob Augustine at the Lompoc in Bar Harbor on Saturday, and again at the Lompoc on Sunday there’s Robert Sarazin Blake.
4. I love the Machias Wild Blueberry Festival, which is set for this Friday through Sunday. Want to know why? Well, besides the fact that Machias is a gorgeous town that is well worth the trip down Route 1, it’s one of the last truly old-fashioned fairs left in the state. You can eat your weight in unbelievable blueberry treats – the mind reels at the choices – you can ride the rides, check out the vendors, enjoy performances from local musicians and actors, and just take in the crisp ocean air and walk around and enjoy yourself. You can also stick around Saturday night and attend the Beehive Collective’s annual Black Fly Ball, an outrageous hootenanny featuring this year the wildly entertaining What Cheer Brigade (mentioned above), the Machias Ukulele Orchestra, and local jazz ensembles. Fun starts at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Machias Grange.
5. You could go to an MLB game. Or you could take in some baseball the way it’s meant to be played – honestly, by people who love it. The Senior League World Series has taken over Bangor again, at Mansfield Stadium, and there are so many great games to check out. Friday are the semifinal games at 11:30 a.m. at 2:30 p.m., and on Saturday is the championship game at 2 p.m., broadcast on NESN. A full schedule of games – of which there are plenty on Thursday as well, if you’re reading this column early – can be found on its website.