1. I’m sure everyone’s already sick of the following terms: sweater weather. Pumpkin spice. Scarf season. Crisp autumn air. Other fall-centric cliches. But that’s the deal in October, yo. On Friday in Bangor on this cool autumn weekend you can rock your pants off at Tantrum with One Sixty One and the Resistance, while over in Brewer you can laugh your pants off with improv kings the Focus Group at 8 p.m. at the Next Generation Theater. Later that night in Bangor, there’s Bill Barnes Jazz Trio at Nocturnem Drafthaus, there’s songwriter Chris Ross at Paddy Murphy’s, there’s guitarist Mark Miller at the Big Easy, and in Winterport, there’s the Pitch Black Ribbons at 4Points BBQ & Blues. Saturday brings Oktoberfest to downtown Bangor, with Nocturnem Drafthaus setting up a party in Pickering Square featuring the Mallett Brothers Band, Chris Ross and more German beers than you can shake a stick at. There’s the magical, atmospheric folk of Arborea at the Rock & Art Shop, there’s the raucous bluegrass fun of Nevah at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer, both at 8 p.m., so take your pick. Later that night, at the Big Easy, there’s bluesmen Joe Mamma and the Swamp Walkers, there’s David Raitt and the Main Line at Paddy’s, and up in Orono, Maine’s comedy king Bob Marley is at the Collins Center for the Arts.
2. It’s art walk night on Friday in Portland, and some of the cool creative events planned between 5 and 9 p.m. includes a wine tasting and dance performance from Liz Pettengill at One Longfellow Square, a tour of the recently renovated Kotschmarr Organ at Merrill Auditorium, open studios at the Dooryard collective on High Street, and experimental chamber music group the Metropolis Ensemble at the Victoria Mansion at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Later that night, you can check out songwriters Marco Benevento and Jeff Beam at Empire. On Saturday, the Asylum hosts the monthly Local Laughs showcase, featuring a huge array of Maine comics, while at Empire there’s Darlingside and Jacob Augustine (pictured above), and Geno’s hosts Upstart Fest, a night of punk rock, rockabilly and surf, featuring bands including the Virus, the Svetlanas (from Russia!), Left Alone, the Sharp Lads and Maine’s own the Murder Weapon. On Sunday, enjoy either BoomBox and Ramona at Port City Music Hall, or some excellent metal with Lacuna Coil, Devil You Know, Starset and Leaving Eden at the Asylum.
3. Also in Portland this weekend is the Saltwater Celtic Music Festival, which is likely the biggest Celtic music event in the state — and a can’t miss chance to see some great bands and artists all in one fell swoop. A short list of some of the music set to take the stage on Saturday at seven different venues around town includes Eileen Ivers (pictured at left) and Immigrant Soul, the Prodigals and Celtic punk band the Pubcrawlers at Port City Music Hall, the Mari Black Trio and the John Byrne Band at One Longfellow, an array of music workshops and groups at Acoustic Artisans on Congress Street, Irish step dancing at the Maine Irish Heritage Center, and a variety of intimate performances at Blue, also on Congress Street. For more information and a full list of performances and events, visit http://www.saltwaterfest.com/.
4. Two cool movies open this weekend that really couldn’t be more different, except that they’re both pretty dark. David Fincher’s take on Gillian Flynn’s bestselling book “Gone Girl” hits theaters everywhere, starring Ben Affleck, and the possessed toy doll flick “Annabelle” also takes to the screen. It’s also the opening of the new comedy “The Skeleton Twins,” starring “Saturday Night Live” albums Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig, which along with “The Drop,” a crime drama starring Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini in his last screen role, is at both Railroad Square Cinemas in Waterville and the Nickelodeon in Portland.
5. So, the latest weather forecasts for this weekend are calling for a lovely Friday, a nice Saturday morning, and then rain most of Saturday afternoon into the evening. It’ll clear up Sunday morning and then be in the mid 60s and sunny Sunday afternoon — a perfect time to do those fall things mentioned above. You could also check out events like the Freeport Fall Festival, featuring vendors and artists all weekend in downtown Freeport, or the last day of the Fryeburg Fair. Or just go for a leisurely foliage drive. Get it while the getting’s good, folks!