1. UNCLE! Uncle! Jeez, OK, I give up! You win, winter. You beat us all into submission. I’m ready for it to be over, please. I can’t take it anymore. In Bangor this weekend, you can raise a glass to the worst winter in years, starting on Friday night with either singer-songwriter and recent New England Music Award winner Chris Ross (pictured at left) at Paddy Murphy’s, the Bill Barnes Jazz Trio at Nocturnem Drafthaus, the Aurora Jazz Project at the Big Easy, a country music throwdown party at Tantrum featuring a mechanical bull, line dancing lessons and more; and finally, at 4Points BBQ & Blues in Winterport there’s the bluesmen of the Eric Green Party. On Saturday, Rotating Taps rock out at Ipanema, Rebel Riot takes the stage at Paddy’s, One Shot Nothing is set for the Big Easy, and at Nocturnem, there’s rockabilly swingers Three Button Deluxe.
2. I’m really bummed that Friday I won’t be able to make it to the Record Party record sale at Portland-Flea-For-All, set for 5:30-9:30 at their spot on Kennebec Street. Do it again, please. It’s First Friday Art Walk night, so of course there’s lots to see in galleries and museums all over town. Also in Portland this Friday, Pink Floyd tribute act The Machine are set for the State Theatre, the North Mississippi All Stars are at Port City Music Hall, a double act featuring Bangor-Portland band Feather Lungs and Volcano Rabbit are set to take the stage at Bayside Bowl, at One Longfellow Square there’s the classic songs of The Band performed by The Band Band, and out at the Oak and the Ax in Biddeford there’s Quiet Lion and songwriter Preston Clarke Edmands. On Saturday, Scott Ian of Anthrax brings his spoken word tour to Port City Music Hall, jazz band the Old Bones are set for Bayside Bowl, and at One Longfellow Square, there’s lounge jazz masters Ethan Lipton and his Orchestra. Wrap it up Sunday with My Gay Banjo at St. Lawrence Arts.
3. Friday night in Bar Harbor you can take your pick of either the high energy sounds of the Trisha Mason Band at the Thirsty Whale, or acclaimed songwriter Micah Blue Smaldone with Caethua at the Lompoc Cafe, or on Saturday, funk band Clusterfunk at the Side Street Cafe. Also on Friday in Hancock County, the Black Anchor Pub in Blue Hill hosts the Derrick Semmler Band, and rockers Sudden Karma are set for Chummies in Ellsworth. Across the bay in Waldo County, Friday night brings roots band Roosevelt Dime (pictured above) to the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts, it brings songwriters Tom Wixon and Steve Devito to the Brickhouse in Searsport, and it brings the wild and fun First Friday Contradance to the American Legion Hall in Belfast. Saturday night, check out either the Crown Vics at the Myrtle Street Pub in Rockland, or a reschedule performance from the Gawler Sisters and Bennett Konesni at the Aarhus Gallery in Belfast.
4. OK, the Oscars are over, so now you pretty much have to see “12 Years A Slave,” if you haven’t already. That film is showing at Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville and at the Nickelodeon in Portland; also at Railroad this weekend is Best Foreign Film winner “The Great Beauty,” and at the Nick is are fellow nominees “American Hustle,” “Philomena” and Hiyao Miyazaki animated delight “The Wind Rises.” Reel Pizza Cinerama in Bar Harbor hosts “The Wolf of Wall Street,” the Martin Scorsese tour de force that was robbed of any Oscar recognition. It also hosts “The Invisible Woman,” a Charles Dickens biopic, which is also at the Strand in Rockland. The 2014 Oscar nominated animated shorts program is at the Frontier Theater in Brunswick, while at the Strand in Rockland there’s also their own shorts program, Rockland Shorts, a Farnsworth-curated series of international short films, set for 8 p.m. Friday.
5. Every year over 150 vendors, from sporting goods dealers to hunting and fishing guides, gather at the Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show at the Field House at the University of Maine, and of course, this year will be no different — except that the Field House is all spiffed up and renovated. The show runs 4-6 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m-8 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8 for those 12 and older, free for 12 and under, and a three-day bracelet is $15. The BDN has staffed a booth for more than a decade: This marks the 12th straight year that our outdoor staffers will be on hand to chat with the crowd and talk about the outdoors, including my pals Aislinn Sarnacki and John Holyoke. Spring is coming. Promise.