1. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, indeed. What a gorgeous autumn it’s been! Celebrate the season in Bangor this weekend, starting Friday, with a variety of options including the monthly contradance at the UU Church on Park Street at 8 p.m., rock-jazz-fusion band High Variance at Nocturnem Drafthaus, party band Magnetic North at Tantrum, rockers One Shot Nothing at the Big Easy, a double header of Maine indie rock with Chamberlain and Forget, Forget (pictured) at Paddy Murphy’s, and up in Orono, folk trio GoldenOak at Woodman’s. On Saturday, the afternoon is full of fun including Central Street Farmhouse’s mega local beer-centric Homebrew-toberfest, noon to 3 p.m. in the Pocket Park next door, followed by a derby bout at 6 p.m. the Cross Insurance Center featuring Central Maine Roller Derby against Maine Roller Derby’s Calamity Janes. That night, rapper Juvenile with guests Ryda and Cause and Effect are at Tantrum, the Trisha Mason Band is set for Paddy’s, Stesha Cano with her Wicked Friggin’ Jerks will play at Nocturnem, and Dysart’s Flatbed Pub on Broadway — where you can enjoy delish Dysart’s food AND have a drink — will host its first of many nights of live music, featuring the dynamic duo Him n’ Her.
2. Holy guacamole! It’s a weekend for dancing, isn’t it? For your health. Friday night in Portland jam band fans can rip it up at Empire, with a double header featuring Gorilla Finger Dub Band and the Hornitz; there’s also the The Band Band at One Longfellow Square, and it’s Friction Friday bass night at Flask Lounge. On Saturday, there’s a free show in Congress Square featuring Portland jazz weirdos Jaw Gems set for 4 p.m., while later that night, Scottish indie rockers play with the Twilight Sad at Port City Music Hall, while over at Asylum, rockers Flyleaf perform with Ryan White and Lullwater. At Empire, Maine-via-North Carolina band Seepeoples take the stage with guest El Shupacabra, and at One Longfellow Square it’s Maine Academy of Modern Music showcase night featuring songwriter Pete Kilpatrick. On Sunday, there’s some beautiful music at the Space Gallery at 4 p.m. featuring Maine folk duo Arborea (pictured above) and NYC-based chamber pop ensemble Cuddle Magic.
3. Good God, there’s a lot of beer stuff happening on the Midcoast this weekend! Fortunately all of it includes music and other fun stuff right alongside the brews. All weekend Rock Harbor Brewing in Rockland hosts its one-year anniversary party that is also an Oktoberfest celebration, with German food and music each night from the 220s (Friday), Jeff King (Saturday) and Paddy Mills (Sunday afternoon). On Saturday, the brand new Liberty Craft Brewing unveils its brews in a grand opening celebration set for the brewery, located on Coon Mountain Lane in Liberty; check them out between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. There’s also Beer & Mussel Fest at Three Tides (pictured) in Belfast, set for 5 to 11 p.m.; for $30 bucks you can eat piles of mussels and Belgian fries and drink lots of delicious Marshall Wharf beer samples. Also happening on Saturday night in Rockland are two fun shows in town, including bluegrass band Rusty Hinges at Rock City Coffee, rockers Raised By Wolves at the Speakeasy, and rockers Cranston Dean at the Myrtle Street Tavern.
4. If you don’t care about beer or loud music, there’s still plenty for you to do, my sane, mature friend. Bangor hosts the annual Bangor Book Festival all weekend, which, ironically, offers a beer-centric book reading at Nocturnem Drafthaus Friday afternoon, as well as a poetry reading Friday evening at the Rock & Art Shop, a signing from outdoors author Tom Hennessey and children book illustrators Hazel Mitchell and Russ Cox; visit the Book Fest on Facebook for a full schedule. In Belfast, their annual Poetry Festival is set for Friday night and all day Saturday and features an illustrious array of Maine poets reading, talking and working with visual artists and poetry fans; a full schedule of events is up on the Belfast Poetry Festival website. For those theatrically minded, don’t forget that both Penobscot Theatre’s production of “The Mystery of Irma Vep” opens this weekend at the Bangor Opera House (pictured above), the Grand Theatre’s production of “Spamalot” opens this weekend at the Grand Theatre in Ellsworth, and the Midcoast Actor’s Studio offers up the final weekend of Neil Simon’s “Plaza Suite” at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast.
5. Now this is a great weekend to take in some excellent, spooky, creative Halloween-y creative events, especially in Portland. Friday night, take your pick of the following. There’s a special screening of “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” with live score by Mark Tiptons’s Les Sorciers Perdu set for 8 p.m. at Mayo Street Arts. The Portland Museum of Arts hosts “Dead of Night,” a collection of short horror films from the 1940s, set for 6:30 p.m. Friday. At the State Theatre Friday night there’s the seventh edition of Damnationland, a yearly collection of Maine-made horror and suspense shorts, set for 7:30 p.m. at the State Theatre. Finally, the Victoria Mansion — ground zero for Maine steampunk fans and pictured above — hosts its annual Tales of Terror storytelling event with Lynne Cullen, set for 6:30 p.m. Friday and 8:30 p.m. Saturday.