1. Halloween tends to be two weekends regardless of whether the day actually falls on a weekend night. This weekend, you can start it off in a rather non-spooky way on Friday, with music from the Bangor’s own Rotating Taps at Tantrum, bluesman Dave Mello at Nocturnem, a dance party with DJ Thermomatt at Paddy’s, songwriter Stesha Cano at the Big Easy, or rockers Fools Rule at Woodman’s in Orono. There’s also a highly anticipated performance by hitmaking songwriter and Brewer native Howie Day, who will give his first Bangor performance in ten years at 7 p.m. at the Gracie Theatre at Husson. On Saturday, however, it’s Halloween Part One in Bangor, starting with downtown trick or treating for kids from 2 to 4 p.m., followed by the fourth annual Bangor Zombie Walk on the Waterfront — gather there at 4 p.m. in your best zombie duds and stalk the streets. Afterwards, Bangor dance troupe the Haus of Paradigm hosts their annual colorful costumed extravaganza dance performance Paraween, with shows at 7 and 9 at Tantrum; there’s also Celtic rockers St. Huckleberry at Nocturnem, Tomorrow Morning at Ipanema, and the 220s at Paddy’s, and up in Orono, the Swim House venue on College Avenue hosts rockers Feels Like Home, the Banner Year, the Eff Chord, Bangtown Timebomb and Friday Night Lights; 8 p.m., all ages. Wrap it up Sunday with rock star cellist Matt Haimovitz at Minsky Recital Hall on the UMaine campus.
2. This weekend is packed to overflowing in Portland. On Friday night, there’s some great electronic/rock in several venues around town, including Lights and Rush Midnight at Port City Music Hall and Phutureprimitive and Kaminada at the Asylum. On the folkier side of things, songwriter Jen Kearney is at One Longfellow Square, and there’s an album release for Muddy Ruckus with guests Riley Coyote and Pete Witham and the Cozmik Zombies at Empire. At Geno’s there’s some dirty punk rock with the FUs, Livver, Goat Felch and Big Meat Hammer, and there’s the Saints and Souls Ball at Mayo Street Arts featuring delicious food, fun costumes and music from Phantom Buffalo, the Last Sip and the Soul Proprieters. On Saturday, indie rappers Aer and Dizzy Wright are at the State Theatre, there’s the sold out Shakey Graves show at Port City, there’s a country show with Jon Pardi and Joey Hyde at Asylum, there’s songwriter Melissa Ferrick at One Longfellow, and there’s a CD release party for the new Tall Horse album (pictured above) with guest In Flight Safety. On Sunday, enjoy some punk rock and psychobilly at Geno’s with the Murder Weapon, Days n Daze, Outsiders and Be Aggressive.
3. Rock-o-land is a very fine land indeed this weekend… on Friday night, the always popular Lovewhip (pictured) takes the stage at the Speakeasy, while on Saturday the Nikki Hunt Band is at the Myrtle Street Tavern, Blind Albert is at the Speakeasy, and the Ale House String Band plays at Rock City Coffee. Might not be a bad weekend to get cozy at one of Rockland’s many restaurants, like the brick-oven fired Cafe Miranda, the Cajun-inspired 3 Crow, the fabulous Suzuki Sushi Bar or the most excellent breakfast and lunch at either the Brown Bag or the Home Kitchen Cafe. Let’s cross our fingers that all this crazy rain we’ve been inundated with this week will clear out by Friday night and we’ll have ourselves a nice weekend!
4. OK, it’s seriously crazy how much theater is up this weekend. In the Bangor area alone, there’s “The Mystery of Irma Vep” at the Penobscot Theatre, there’s “The Turn of the Screw” by Ten Bucks Theatre at Comins Hall in Eddington, and there’s the University of Maine School of Performing Arts production of “Little Shop of Horrors” at Hauck Auditorium. A little further away, the Grand Theatre has got its third weekend of “Spamalot” (pictured), there’s the second weekend of the Public Theater in Lewiston’s production of the intelligent comedy “The Cocktail Hour,” and the Biddeford City Theater opens Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap.” Whew!
5. Foodies, take note: there’s some great stuff to try this weekend, starting, of course, with Harvest on the Harbor, the four-day extravaganza of food, wine and culture at Ocean Gateway and the Portland Company Complex. The big days are Friday and Saturday, with events including Saturday’s “Big Eat” tastings at the PCC, which, for $45, you can literally eat your way around Portland in one day. Epic noms, for real. Visit harvestontheharbor.com for a full schedule of events.