1. Holy moly, that stream is high! It’s Kenduskeag Stream Canoe race weekend in Bangor, as sure a sign of spring as crocuses and shivering through lunch on an outdoor patio. The race kicks off at 8 a.m. Saturday out in Kenduskeag and starts to flow through downtown Bangor around 10:30, and if you want to register it’s $20 per person until 1 p.m. Friday, $40 the day of. There’s plenty more to do in Bangor this weekend, starting Friday with Nocturnem Drafthaus’ 3rd anniversary weekend, featuring music from songwriter Travis Cyr; there’s Dustin Saucier & the Sad Bastards at Paddy Murphy’s, there’s rockers Bizzy Gruntry at the Charles Inn, there’s country throwdown night at Tantrum, there’s the monthly contradance set for 8 p.m. at the UU Church on Park Street, and up in Orono, there’s Magnetic North at Woodman’s. On Saturday, the fun continues with Knotty Pine at Paddy’s, the Bangtown Swingers at Nocturnem, One Shot Nothing at the Big Easy, and at the Cross Insurance Center, there’s Central Maine Roller Derby vs. the Western Mass Furies, set for 6 p.m. There’s also two cool events at the Rock & Art Shop in Bangor this weekend, with an art opening for photographer Bryan Dubay on Friday, and a Norumbega Collective poetry reading featuring poets Brian Foley, Luke Bloomfield, and Wendy Xu.
2. I can’t go for that. Wait, yes I can. I totally can! A who’s who of Portland musicians have signed on to play a Hall & Oates tribute night at the Asylum Friday night. There’s also a special appearance Friday night from alt-folk bands David Wax Museum (pictured) and Kingsley Flood at Port City Music Hall, there’s jam heroes Chaos Sauce and Shut Down Brown at Empire, Mary Fahl from the October Project is at One Longfellow Square, and at Mayo Street Arts, you can enjoy a quadruple bill of some loud indie rock, with Video Nasties, Margy Pepper, Parasol and Fur. On Saturday, there’s a huge night of hip hop at Port City Music Hall, featuring Spose with Sly Chi, Ock Cousteau, Cam Groves and Essence, while at Empire there’s North of Nashville with special guests, and at the Asylum, there are rock legends Blue Oyster Cult. Also on Saturday, the iconic Tony Bennett is set for Merrill Auditorium, in a 7:30 p.m. show, and at St. Lawrence Arts, there’s Stripwrecked Burlesque, featuring lovely ladies dancing starting at 7:30 p.m. at St. Lawrence Arts. On Sunday — April 20, which when written out appears as 4/20 — Port City Music Hall features Cow Pastures Productions “Somewhere Maine: The Marijuana Musical,” which is exactly what it sounds like. A musical about marijuana set in Maine. Happy April 20, guys.
3. Wow, apparently Thomaston is the place to be this Friday on the Midcoast. There’s a big benefit concert for the Laken Harrington Scholarship at Medomak High School, set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Union Hall in Thomaston, featuring two of the most popular acts in Maine: Spose (pictured) and Rustic Overtones. Also on Friday are the 220s, set for the Waterdog Tavern in Thomaston, and reggae-rock band the Good Time People will be at the Speakeasy in Rockland. On Saturday, check out either OC & Sarah at Rock City Coffee around 6 p.m., there’s cover band fun with Sea Train at the Speakeasy, there’s Tilden Katz at the Myrtle Street Pub in Rockland, and at the Trackside Station in Rockland, the derby gals from Rock Coast Rollers host their annual Milli Vanilli Lip Syncing Contest, to benefit the league; it’s set for 8 p.m., and it’s $7, plus $2 per lip synch. Across the bay, Mainely Meat on Main in Ellsworth hosts Him & Her on Friday, and Chummies in Ellsworth hosts their birthday bash weekend featuring bands Soulfront on Friday and Overdrive on Saturday.
4. Yay, Saturday is Record Store Day! I wrote about this earlier this week, but it’s worth repeating here. If you’re a music fan, you should get out of bed by 9 a.m. Saturday and get thee to your local participating record store; all nine Maine Bull Moose locations — Bangor, Brunswick, Lewiston, Portland, Sanford, Scarborough, South Portland, Waterville and Windham — are participating; also participating is Everyday Music in Farmington, Newbury Comics in South Portland and Record Connection in Waterville. I’ve been saving up for a few weeks to splurge on some of the limited edition stuff available this year. Yes, I’m a nerd. You knew that when you started following this blog, dudes/dudettes.
5. Sunday is Easter. If you’re religious, this is of course an important day. But even if you’re not, it’s still a day for celebrating spring, eating chocolate and ham and probably eating brunch. On Saturday, community Easter events including the Bangor Easter Egg Hunt set for 10 a.m. Saturday at Hayford Park in Bangor; Town of Newburgh’s Easter Egg Hunt set for 10 a.m. to noon at the Newburgh Town Office, an Easter Carnival set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Play Days in Rockland; an egg hunt and egg decorating at the Children’s Museum of Maine in Portland starting at 9 a.m. Saturday. More into brunch? In the Bangor area we suggest getting reservations at either the Sea Dog, Seasons, Blaze or Woodman’s; try Chase’s Daily, Delvino’s or Nautilus in Belfast or 3Crow, the Samoset or the Home Kitchen Cafe in Rockland, or in Portland, try one of the many lovely brunch places including Local 188, Hot Suppa, Sonny’s, Bintliff’s or Caiola’s.