1. I look at my schedule for the months of June, July and August, and it’s almost ridiculous how much stuff there is going on. I don’t even know where to begin. Well, yes I do — how about this weekend? After a Thursday that brings Tim McGraw to the Waterfront, there’s a Friday that brings some fun stuff to downtown Bangor, including the Leaky Boot Jug Band (pictured) at Nocturnem Drafthaus, banjo player Hal Meyers with friends at the Big Easy, DJ Ms Strange at Paddy Murphy’s, and one of those male revue type things — you know, “Magic Mike”? — at Tantrum. On Saturday, Paddy Murphy’s has the eternally popular Chris Ross, Jake Irish is at the Big Easy, singer Stesha Cano returns to Bangor after a winter in New Orleans and performs at Nocturnem, there’s a pride night dance party at Tantrum, and at 4Points BBQ & Blues in Winterport, the Lawn Chair Concert Series kicks off with blues guitarist Chris Duarte on the mainstage.
2. Last Friday means it’s the Penthouse Dance Party at Empire in Portland, so get your swerve on that night. Also happening on Friday in Portland is a performance from songwriter Heather Maloney at One Longfellow Square, a metal show with NoToX, Sylvia, Livver and Locusta at Geno’s, and out at the Oak and the Ax in Biddeford, there’s Dan Blakeslee and the Resonant Rogues. On Saturday night, take your pick of either Primo Cubano at Empire, Dudefest featuring Lebowski celebrations and a screening of “The Big Lebowski” at One Longfellow Square, Darol Anger and Emy Phelps with the Gather Rounders at St. Lawrence Arts, the Gamma Goochies, the Secret of Esrever and Jimmy Jacked at Geno’s, and a triple bill of local indie rock with Purse, Swarmlord and Mouth Washington at the Space Gallery. Out in Biddeford, Bella’s Bartok and If and It are at the Oak and the Ax.
3. It’s a jam-packed weekend on the Midcoast this time around, starting with the Last Friday Art Walk in Belfast — a switch in days from previous summers, which means you could conceivably attend both the Belfast and Portland art walks all summer. Also on Friday, enjoy either Eric Green at the Brickhouse in Searsport, or in Rockland, check out 2 Dollar Pistol at the Speakeasy. On Saturday, the Rock Coast Rollers offer up a double header roller derby match — the men’s leagues play first, pitting the Rock Coast Perfect Storm against the Casco Bay Gentlemen’s Derby, followed by the ladies, with the Rock Coast Breakwater Blackhearts against the Bay State Brawlers. It all goes down at 5 p.m. the Midcoast Recreation Center Rockport, and there’s an after party at Trackside Station in Rockland with band No Guts No Glory — or you could see Americana band the Ragbirds at the Strand Theatre in Rockland, or maritime duo Old Town Road at Rock City Coffee.
4. Two wonderful, groundbreaking theatrical productions open this week, in both Belfast and South Portland. The Midcoast Actor’s Studio — one of the few community theater groups in the state that does only straight plays, and happens to do them very well — will present “August: Osage County,” the searing, blackly funny Pulitzer Prize winner that was recently adapted into an Oscar-nominated film. “August” will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the theater at Troy Howard Middle School; admission is $15. Down in South Portland, the Mad Horse Theatre Company offers up the musical version of “Grey Gardens,” based on the landmark, cult classic 1975 documentary of the same name, which tells the true story of the Bouvier Beales sisters (Little Edie pictured), relatives of Jackie O and odd, truly odd characters. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at their theater at 24 Mosher St. in South Portland; admission is $20.
5. Wouldn’t you like to ride in my beautiful balloon? The second annual Piscataquis Heritage Hot Air Balloon Festival is set for Friday through Sunday at the fairgrounds in Dover-Foxcroft, with balloon liftoffs set for 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., with balloon glows Friday and Saturday evenings between 8 and 9 p.m.; admission is $2, and there are also food vendors, craft vendors and musical entertainment. Also this Saturday is Bangor Brewer Trails Day, set for 10 a.m.-noon. People will gather at Bangor’s Waterfront Park and walk (or bike) across the Joshua Chamberlin Bridge to Brewer. Finally, down in Freeport, Wolfe’s Neck Farm hosts its annual Spring Festival, complete with music, games, farm demonstrations and lots of family fun; admission is $7, free for children 2 and under, and the fun starts at 9 a.m. and goes until 2 p.m.