1. And just like that, it was really fall, just in time for Halloween. However, since actual Halloween falls on a Thursday, it’s left some with a dilemma — have a party on Oct. 31, since it’s so close to the weekend, or just have it on the Saturday before? In lieu of that, and in what’s not the worst thing ever, we basically get to have two Halloweens. On Friday in Bangor, there’s Aurora Jazz Project at Nocturnem Drafthaus, there’s a CD release party for bluegrass band Maximum Blue over at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer, and in Orono at the Bear Brew, there’s rockers One Shot Nothing. Saturday is the big day though, including trick or treating from 3 to 6 p.m. at downtown Bangor businesses, the Bangor Zombie Walk set for 4 p.m. starting at the Bangor Waterfront and ending with an all ages after party at 6:30 p.m. at Tantrum, and two performances of the belly dancing and performance art extravaganza Paraween (pictured above, photo by Cara Pelletier), set for 7 and 10 p.m. at Nocturnem. There’s also the Blood Orange Martinis at Paddy Murphy’s, rockers Bizzy Gruntry at the Big Easy, a Halloween dance party with Eightysomething at the Penobscot Pourhouse, the Juke Rockets at Hollywood Casino, and a Halloween drag show and dance party set for 9:30 p.m. at Tantrum. Oh, and definitely see “The Woman in Black” at the Penobscot Theatre at either 8 p.m. Friday or Saturday or 3 p.m. Sunday. It’s excellently directed, acted and produced and it’s super creepy Halloween fun.
2. Portland is no exception to the two-Halloween rule. Friday night at Port City Music Hall there’s what’s probably going to be an epic night of electronic music, featuring Of The Trees and Lazerdisk Party Sex. On Friday there’s also a CD release party for the lovely new album from The Coloradas, and they’re joined by fellow Americana band Girls, Guns and Glory at One Longfellow Square; meanwhile at Mayo Street Arts, there’s a rock show featuring Great Western Plain, Headband and Fur. On Saturday, you can do several things. You can enjoy a funky time with a Halloween show with the longtime Maine favorites Motor Booty Affair at the Asylum; you can dance with DJ Red Tide at the Sub/Merge Queer Halloween Dance Party at Flask Lounge, or you can enjoy Fitz & the Tantrums at the State Theatre or a CD release for the band Encore, with the guests Fifth Freedom and Derek Wilkinson, at Empire. It’s also important to note here that the The Big Easy, which has been a stalwart of the Portland music scene for a number of years now, had its last shows earlier this week, before closing its doors for the near future. I have no more concrete information, other than the fact that’s it’s closed. Very sad.
3. There’s another weekend of Fright at the Fort in Prospect, which is open from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; there’s also some other fun in Hancock County, including the Bad Daddys at the Thirsty Whale in Bar Harbor on Friday and a Halloween party at Chummies in Ellsworth with Chris Ross and Trisha Mason. On the Midcoast, you’ve got the 220s playing reggae at the Myrtle Street Tavern on Saturday, and you’ve got he Arts for Hunger benefit at the Unity Center for the Performing Arts starting at 6 p.m. Saturday with tasty food and music from Tremolino.
4. Orono and Bangor will be full of interesting, creative people, as the Maine Arts Commission hosts its first-ever statewide conference on the arts at the Collins Center for the Arts. Workshops and panels are scheduled all day, and at night on Friday there’s an art walk in downtown Bangor, and there’s also the tenth iteration of Bangor Pecha Kucha, set for 6 p.m. Friday at the Union Street Brick Church, and a performance of Mike Daisey’s “The Secret War” (Daisey pictured above), set for 7:30 p.m. at the Collins Center. The conference continues during the day Saturday. There’s also an array of performances set for the conference, including dance from Rachel Boggia, Hyphen and Alison Chase/Dance, Acadian quartet Boreal Tordu, Maine and Canadian songwriters including Bryan Laurier, Dave Gunning, Emilia Dahlin, Jessica Rhaye and Samuel James, bands like the Ghost of Paul Revere and and international ensembles including Okbari and Cinder Conk. For information, visit their website.
5. Halloween not your thing? You could care less about dressing up? That’s fine – perhaps your tastes run more towards the finer things in life. Harvest on the Harbor, the annual blowout of food, wine and other tasty treats, is already off and running for this week, and continues all weekend at the Ocean Gateway Pier in Portland. There’s beer and wine tastings, there’s things like a farm to table cookoff on Friday, a sampling fest featuring more than 120 vendors, set for noon to 2:30 p.m. and then 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, and an enormous marketplace in which to buy culinary goodies. For information, visit harvestontheharbor.com.
NOTE: A full listing of Halloween events statewide can be found online in the calendar listings on the Bangor Daily News website and in print in Friday’s edition.