1. So now that it’s getting dark at 4-o’-freaking-clock, I have to start resisting the urge to spend my evenings wrapped in a blanket, watching old episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Press on, I shall! Despite my soul not being quite ready for three months of darkness. This weekend in the Bangor area brings a Friday night featuring the Maritime rockers the Galley Rats (pictured) at Paddy Murphy’s, the Tom Luther Quintet at Nocturnem Drafthaus or the Blood Orange Martinis at the Big Easy, while Saturday offers up Tomorrow Morning at Paddy’s, the East Side River Band at the Big Easy, the Blast Addicts at Ipanema, Dave Mello at Nocturnem, and up in Old Town, there’s Roots, Rhythm & Dub at Kingman’s. Or, depending on how you feel about the whole thing, you could go to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, set for 7 p.m. Friday, 11 and 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at the Cross Insurance Center.
2. Friday night at Empire in Portland there’s the Nerd Rave, which is put on by Coast City Comic Con (more on that later) and which is – you guessed it – an awesome party for nerds. Music by Covered in Bees, 4 Player Co-op and the awesomely-named Free Steak Dinner, escape artistry by Sean Van Gorman, and stand up comedy from Mary Jo Pehl from Mystery Science Theater 3000! Also on Friday, there’s songwriters Matt Nathanson and Joshua Radin at the State Theatre, there’s fiddlers and Maritime music with Hanneke Cassel, Jeremy Kittel and Keith Murphy at One Longfellow Square, and there’s local indie rock with Dan Knudsen, Alex Keaton and the mighty Metal Feathers (pictured above) at Slainte. On Saturday, you have your choice of either the Joint Chiefs CD release at Bayside Bowl, a night of ska and old school punk with El Grande, the Bed Bugs, A Minor Revolution and Dead Man Ramsey at Geno’s, the Kurt Baker Band and the Ghost of Paul Revere as part of Maine Beer Week at Port City Music Hall, or local hip hop featuring k-the-i, Vinyl Cape, Uncommon Nasa and Human Speakers. Or the Box Tiger and Made for TV at Slainte. Or a night of contemporary classical music at the Space Gallery. Wrap it up with Lucero and Titus Andronicus at Port City on Sunday. Now that’s diversity.
3. Coastally speaking, Ellsworth and the surrounding environs play host to three — count ‘em, three — dance parties Friday night. Rockabilly band the Crown Vics (pictured at left) are set for the Grand Theatre, Octavia plays night one of a two-fer at Chummies, and over in Winter Harbor, there’s electric blues with Kip Young at Hammond Hall. On the Midcoast, the highly entertaining amped-up roots group the Blind Owl Band are set for Friday night at Billy’s Tavern in Thomaston, and up the coast a tick, there’s songwriter Bobbi Lane at the Brick House in Searsport. Saturday brings Interplay Jazz at Bell the Cat in Belfast, and bluesman Blind Albert at Rock City Coffee in Rockland. Wrap it up Sunday with David Dodson’s annual fall concert, 7 p.m. at the Camden Opera House.
4. Lots of great theater to see in Maine this weekend. Ten Bucks Theatre Company opens its production of Donald Margulies “Time Stand Still,” set for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Comins Hall in Eddington and pictured at left. Winterport Open Stage, meanwhile, offers the female version of Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple,” set for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at Wagner Middle School in Winterport. At the Bangor Opera House, at 4 p.m. Saturday the Bangor Ballet and Penobscot Theater Company join forces to create a unique telling of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The Everyman Repertory presents the final weekend of “Dracula,” set for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Rockport Opera House. And Portland Stage welcomes weekend two of the dark comedy “Vigil,” set for 7 p.m. Friday, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at their theater on Forest Avenue in downtown Portland.
5. OK, so Coast City Comic Con is in South Portland this weekend, and speaking for myself personally, I’m kind of besides myself with excitement. Why, you ask? Well, as a middle schooler, I had two favorite TV shows, which you have to thank for A. My sick sense of humor and B. My probably somewhat annoying ability to make obscure references. Those would be “Mystery Science Theater 3000″ and “Ren & Stimpy.” As it turns out, at this year’s CCCC, there are people from BOTH those shows presenting — Mary Jo Pehl (Mrs. Forrester!), Bill Corbett (one of the voices of Crow!) and Kevin Murphy (TOM EFFING SERVO), and then Bob Camp, one of the original creators and voice actors of “Ren & Stimpy.” PLUS, artists and writers from “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, “Axe Cop,” “Adventure Time,” “Batman,” “Beavis & Butthead” and more. The fun is set for 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, at the Doubletree in South Portland. It’s $25 per day or $35 for the whole weekend, and you will see me there on Sunday!