1. Happy holidays! I hope your Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or Solstice or Whatever was relaxing and fun. Me, this weekend I’ll be planning my summer vacation on my one square foot of a Maine island that I was gifted yesterday. In Bangor on Friday night, there’s good stuff happening like the When Particles Collide holiday show at the Big Easy, rockabilly trio Three Button Deluxe at Nocturnem Drafthaus, and master of the funk Mike Billings at Paddy Murphy’s. On Saturday, the dynamic duo Him & Her are at the Big Easy, the 220s rock Ipanema, blues people the Blood Orange Martinis are at Nocturnem, and the always entertaining Magnetic North (pictured above) play at Paddy Murphy’s. It’s also the last weekend of “The Wizard of Oz” at Penobscot Theatre.
2. Friday night in Portland soul man Zach Jones (pictured) play a CD release for his new album “Love What You Love,” at Empire, with guest Old Soul; there’s also the awesome 80s cover band The Awesome at Port City Music Hall. On Saturday, Empire hosts some local punk and rock with Battery Steele, the Seasonal Disorders, Restless Atlantic and Vicious Images. At Port City Music Hall, there’s the annual Stevie Wonder tribute night with the Kenya Hall Band, while at One Longfellow Square, two great Maine songwriters, Ellis Paul and Chris Trapper, take the stage.
3. In Rockland on Friday night there’s some delightful shared silliness at the Strand Theatre, which offers a big singalong screening of “The Sound of Music,” set for 1 p.m. On Saturday, the Ghost of Paul Revere (pictured at left), Maine’s fantastic Americana band, is set for an 8 p.m. show at the American Legion Hall in Belfast with guests songwriters Rossi Meachum and David Johnson; admission is $12 and it benefits the good folks at Our Town Belfast. Also on Saturday are rockers Raised By Wolves at the Speakeasy in Rockland, and a traditional Irish music session at Rock City Coffee, also in Rockland.
4. The kids are on vacation, and you’re looking for something fun to do. I like these suggestions: at the Space Gallery in Portland there are four straight afternoons of truly great, family-friendly movies, all at 2 p.m., Friday through Monday; they are “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” (Gene Wilder, not Johnny Depp, you heathens), “The Muppet Movie,” “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” and “Coraline.” At the Grand Theatre in Ellsworth, they’ll be showing “The Lego Movie” at 1 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday; they’ll also be showing the U.S. season premiere of “Downton Abbey” on the big screen at 5 p.m. For grownups, there’s also three nights of comedian Bob Marley, set for 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
5. What the hell is going on? It’s going to be in the 40s all weekend. It’s December. Insert obligatory climate change comment here. I’m going outside. You should too. Enjoy these last few days of 2014, and get some sunlight during the darkest time of the year. 5 Things To Do This Weekend will see you, dear reader, in the New Year.