Happy 45th birthday, Sesame Street!
1. It’s Downtown Bangor Art Walk night Friday, so bundle up and stroll around town between 5 and 9 p.m.; some of the cool stuff on display includes the All Smalls show featuring more than 90 little artworks at the Rock & Art Shop (pictured), and the beautiful string instruments of Nathan Slobodkin at 31 Central St. Later that evening, enjoy music from either Magnetic North at Paddy Murphy’s, jazz man John Nowak at the Big Easy, funk trio the Eclectones at Nocturnem Drafthaus, or the 207 Together showcase of local hip hop, raising money for the families of the victims of Portland’s Noyes Street fire, featuring rappers Dray Jr, Qezo Labo Smalls, Jon Haze, Angel Ideal and Matt Stacey and DJs 2Phat and Mike E. Styx. Out in Winterport, Chris Ross is at 4Points BBQ & Blues. On Saturday, there’s a derby bout at 5 p.m. at Skehan Recreation Center in Hampden featuring Bangor Roller Derby versus the Shipyard Sirens; there’s also the 7 p.m. opening of the latest show at the KahBang Arts Central Gallery, featuring Liam Reading and Emma Soucek. Later that night, check out either Him & Her at the Big Easy, the 220s at Ipanema, the Blood Orange Martinis at Nocturnem, or two record release parties — one for the new Rotating Taps EP, “Take Your Time,” set for Paddy Murphy’s, the other for songwriter Meghan Clark at the Downunder Lounge at Seasons, with guests Bad Penny.
2. Friday night in Portland offers something for just about everyone. Jam band favorites the String Cheese Incident finish up night two of a two night stand at the State Theatre, while at Port City Music Hall, roots rockers the Wild Feathers (pictured), Apache Relay and Desert Noises will perform. Kat Wright and the Indomitable Soul Band are set for Empire, while post rock-rockers Purse, Battery Steele, Kefa and Bully Mammoth are at the Space Gallery. Bayside Bowl hosts Arizona punk rockers the Love Me Nots, there’s a night of burlesque from the Maine Educationalist on Sexual Harmony at One Longfellow Square, Mayo Street Arts hosts psych-folk band Plains and experimental theater troupe Figures of Speech, and Blue Collar comedian Bill Engvall is at Merrill Auditorium. On Saturday, Space hosts chamber pop ensemble San Fermin with Mikhail Paskalev, while Americana is the name of the game at Port City with the Revivalists and Red Wanting Blue. Maine metal and prog-rock is set for Empire with Five of the Eyes, Sunrunner and Capture the Sun, blues man Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters is at One Longfellow, and at Asylum, the monthly Local Laughs comedy showcase happens again. On Sunday, it’s a big day of death, with semi-local heroes O’Death, Death Vessel and Ralph White & Colby Nathan at Space.
3. Friday night in Rockland brings the seasonal Pecha Kucha night at 7 p.m. the Strand Theatre, featuring presentations from creative Midcoasters on everything from sushi to cartoons. Also in town that evening is songwriter Devi Randolph (pictured) at Rock City Coffee, and blues dudes the Old Blues Kats at the Speakeasy, while up in Belfast, the annual Glow Show — an evening of black lights, light-up artmaking and music — is set for 7 to 9 p.m. at Waterfall Arts. On Saturday, bluesman Chicky Stoltz with his band the Captains Courageous are at Fog Bar in Rockland, the Usual Suspects are at the Speakeasy, and the energetic rockers People of Earth are at Highlands Coffeehouse in Thomaston.
4. Doesn’t seem possible, but here it is: ski season has begun. Opening weekend was last weekend and now two out of the three of Maine’s big ski resorts — Sugarloaf and Sunday River — are open and ready for people to hit the slopes, with Saddleback soon to follow on Dec. 13. It’s also looking as though we might get a bit of snow overnight Thursday into Friday, meaning that this weekend may well just be a great weekend to ski, especially with temperatures in the upper 30s and sun predicted for most of both Saturday and Sunday. OK, I’ll admit it: winter is here.
5. Let’s take a look at some of the cool new movies out this time of year, shall we? The big one is “Interstellar,” a big “event” movie that Mr. Cosmos, Neil deGrasse Tyson himself, rather enjoyed. There’s also the totes adorbs “Big Hero 6,” the new Pixar flick with the cute robot. This weekend is opening weekend for “Dumb and Dumber To,” the 20 years in the making sequel to the original. On the indie side of things, the Michael Keaton-led dark comedy “Birdman” (pictured) is playing at both Railroad Square in Waterville and the Nickelodeon in Portland; also at Railroad is the searing comedy “Dear White People.” The Nick and Railroad both host “Whiplash,” a drama that received high praise at Sundance, and at the Nick, Jon Stewart’s directorial debut, “Rosewater,” is set to open Friday.