1. What’s the deal, October? Aside from the crazy night of wind and rain on Monday, you’ve been uniformly fantastic. Not complaining. OK LET’S GET RIGHT TO IT: Friday night in Bangor your entertainment options for the evening include Tomorrow Morning at Paddy Murphy’s, Jon Nowak and Friends at Nocturnem Drafthaus, blues men and women the Blood Orange Martinis at the Big Easy, and up in Old Town, at Kingman’s there’s dubstep with Noremac and Skylyne. There’s also night one of two nights of improv comedy kings the Focus Group, set for 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer. On Saturday, Hank Williams Jr plays at the Cross Insurance Center, Stesha Cano plays at Hollywood Slots, the 220s are at Paddy’s, One Shot Nothing (pictured above) is at the Big Easy, Emma and Josh play sexy jazz at Nocturnem, out in Winterport there’s Eric Green at 4Points BBQ & Blues, and Ipanema hosts its own Oktoberfest, featuring Chris Ross and the Blast Addicts, and German beer and food specials all day and nights.
2. It’s always Halloween – dark, decadent, and otherworldy – for the Dark Follies troupe, purveyors of carnival and cabaret performance; their annual Vaudeville Victorious showcase is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Mayo Street Arts in Portland. Elsewhere, there’s lots to hear on Friday. On the local side, you can enjoy Dustin Saucier (pictured at left) and the Sad Bastards, Volcano Rabbit and the Desires at the Big Easy, Meghan Yates, Clara Berry and Wooldog at Slainte, or the Partials, Reno Divorce and the Outsiders at Geno’s. Or, you can check out Vanessa Carlton at Port City Music Hall, The Neighborhood, Love Life and Ghost Loft at Empire, a Celtic Fiddle Festival at One Longfellow Square, or Ed Roland (of Collective Soul) and the Sweet Tea Project at the Asylum.
On Saturday, you can groove with HD R&B with Dave Bailin and the Bailouts at the Big Easy, or with Conspirator and Higher Organix at Port City, or sway with the Fred Eaglesmith Traveling Show at One Longfellow Square, or rock with Cuss, Purse and Laces Out at Geno’s. On Sunday, there’s a triple bill of local rock at Empire, featuring When Particles Collide, the Box Tiger (pictured, and, well, they’re mostly Canadian, technically) and Endless Jags. Or you could see Ian Anderson play “Thick as a Brick” at the State Theatre. Or you could see pretty much the opposite of Ian Anderson a mere block down the street, with Hessian, Impaler and Covered in Bees at Geno’s. Wow. That is an amazing music weekend in Portland.
3. Don’t let a little gubmint shutdown get the better of you! MDI is still beautiful, and after you spend the day seeing all the things you can do that aren’t the park, you can check out Pitch Black Ribbons at the Thirsty Whale Friday, or Trisha Mason Saturday at Gilly’s in Southwest Harbor. On the other side of Penobscot Bay, there’s Mike and Susie Fay at the Brickhouse in Searsport on Friday, and comedian Bob Marley is set for Sunday evening at the Camden Opera House.
4. Some year I’d like to go to the Literary Death Match, a yearly event pitting four authors against each other in an entertaining, electrifying read-off. This year’s event is set for 7:30 Friday at the Space Gallery in Portland, and features Maine authors Jessica Anthony, Bill Roorbach, Crash Barry and Mira Ptacin. On Saturday, and on an unrelated note – I don’t always have to have clever segues, guys – in Ellsworth on Saturday there’s the fourth annual Great Ellsworth Puppet Festival, with performances set for 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. featuring Nappy’s Puppets, Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers and the Tanglewood Marionettes, tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. On Sunday, at the Collins Center for the Arts there’s Stuart MacLean’s Vinyl Cafe, for Canadians and the people who love them, set for 3 p.m., and in Portland, and on a slightly more upbeat note, there’s the first in a series of Classic Album Sundays, sponsored by Dispatch Magazine, featuring state of the art sound and audio and music-philes alike; the inaugural event will feature Jimi Hendrix’s “Electric Ladyland,” and is set for 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Empire.
5. Sunday is the Maine Cheese Guild’s Open Creamery Day. That means cheese makers from all over the state will fling open their doors and offer samples of their cheesy treats, whether it’s cow, sheep or goat’s milk. I love cheese. I’m an alcoholic, for cheese. I buy it like people buy scotch or wine. Seriously. There’s like six different kinds of cheese in a special area in our fridge right now. I ration it out like Halloween candy. Except it’s cheese. Mmmm. Cheese. A full list of all participating creameries statewide can be found in the link above.