1. This will go down as one of the most memorable holiday weeks in Maine history. Between power outages, making Christmas dinner over the wood stove, and two-thirds of the state covered in ice, I’m pretty sure nobody will ever forget this one. Fortunately, we’re Mainers, and if there’s one thing we’re good at, it’s making do with what we’ve got. It’s looking as though most power will be restored statewide by Friday, so take yourself a nice, long, hot shower, and enjoy some of what Maine has to offer this weekend. Friday night in Bangor, there’s Queen City rockers Chamberlain (pictured above) at Paddy Murphy’s, with DJ Darb, there’s Dave Mazzarelli at the Big Easy, there’s the Moon Puppies at Nocturnem Drafthaus, there’s Between Dead Stations at the Phoenix Pub, and at Tantrum, there’s a big night of electronic music featuring J. Rabbit, DJ Jeff Buffington and Noremac; there’s also improv troupe The Focus Group at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer, and the final weekend of Penobscot Theatre’s “Cinderella” at the Bangor Opera House. On Saturday, take your pick between Magnetic North at Paddy’s, the Bangtown Swingers at Nocturnem, Bizzy Gruntry at the Big Easy, and the Blood Orange Martinis at 4Points BBQ & Blues in Winterport.
2. A fantastic three days of shows at Port City Music Hall, starting with funk band Model Airplane on Friday, an electronic night with Rubblebucket, Rich Aucoin and Contrapposto on Saturday, and Celtic rockers Enter the Haggis on Sunday with the Band Apollo. There’s much more in town, though, with Friday featuring Inanna’s rescheduled solstice celebration set for One Longfellow Square, the monthly Sub/Merge dance party with DJ Red Tide at Flask Lounge, and night one of a two-night stand (Saturday too) for the Mallett Brothers Band (pictured above) at St. Lawrence Arts. On Saturday, Worried Well premieres a new single with guest band Roz Raskin and the Rice Cakes at Slainte, and at the Asylum, Black Francis aka Frank Black from the Pixies — performs with the band Gambles.
3. Cross your fingers that Hancock County power is fully restored Friday, and then celebrate with either Stesha Cano (pictured at left) at the Bangkok Restaurant in Ellsworth, Chris Ross and Fiddle Doug at Chummies also in Ellsworth, or Tomorrow Morning at the Thirsty Whale in Bar Harbor. On the other side of the bay on Saturday, the 220s are set for the Myrtle Street Tavern in Rockland, and there’s the Barbour Clarke Jazz Duo at Rock City Coffee in Rockland.
4. IF, however, your power is not restored by tomorrow, there are places to warm up and even stay the night if your house is too cold to be safe. It’s not much of a fun thing to do, but if you need it, you can stay at any of the following places: the Bar Harbor Fire Station, the Blue Hill Town Office, the Downeast Family YMCA in Ellsworth, the Hancock Congregational Church, the Brewer Auditorium, the Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast. A full list of warming stations is online at the Maine EMA website. Hey, who knows! You might make a new friend.
5. Or, you know, do what people did before there was the Internet and cell phones. Knit something. Make something. Play board games. Or, play 20 Questions, or Animal-Vegetable-Mineral, or What Am I?, or any of those brain games that require nothing other than an imaginative mind. What are your favorite ways to non-electronically spend a winter night?