1. Just hang on for a couple more weeks, people. I promise, spring is just around the corner. Even if it doesn’t seem that way now. Chase away those winter blues this weekend in Bangor, starting Friday, when earlier in the evening, there’s Bangor Pecha Kucha set for 6 p.m. at the Union Street Brick Church, and there’s the monthly Bangor contradance featuring Perpetual Emotion and Bill Olson set for 7:30 p.m. at the UU Church on Park Street. A bit later on, there’s round three of Tantrum’s battle of the bands, featuring Alter the Tides, Merther (pictured), Fools Rule, Not Yet Lost and Tyler James, there’s masters of the universe Magnetic North at Paddy Murphy’s, there’s the Dave Mello Blues Band at Nocturnem Drafthaus, and up in Orono, there’s the Skastitutes at Woodman’s. On Saturday, the Ian Black Band plays at Paddy’s, the duo Him & Her are set for Nocturnem, Magnetic North play again at Ipanema, and at Tantrum Stone Free and the Skastitutes take the stage — and don’t forget the International Dance Showcase, one of the coolest locally-created performing arts events in eastern Maine, set for 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.. Saturday at the Collins Center for the Arts in Orono. On Sunday, the Central Gallery hosts a 7 p.m.screening of Pink Floyd’s “Live at Pompeii” concert documentary, and the Cross Insurance Center features the touring Broadway production of “Million Dollar Quartet,” also at 7 p.m.
2. No, really, guys. It’ll all be over soon. Even if we just had the coldest February on record and we haven’t seen more than an hour above freezing in three weeks. FIGHT IT. FIGHT THE WINTER WITH YOUR HEART AND MIND AND SPIRIT. This Friday in Portland, Port City Music Hall brings a highly anticipated double bill featuring indie rapper Aesop Rock with Rob Sonic, while at Empire, there’s some fantastic local music featuring Tall Horse (pictured), Ginlab and People Skills, at One Longfellow Square there’s the enchanting songwriter Eilen Jewell, at Geno’s, there’s some dirty rock n’ roll with Nuclear Bootz, Burning Streets and the Jukebox Romantics, and you can shut it down with Shut Down Brown at Brian Boru. On Saturday, Empire hosts Joe Gallant, Diesel Doug and the Long Haul Truckers and Billington Sea, there’s the eclectic indie rock sounds of Sinkane at Space Gallery with guests Cookies and Mosart212, at Andy’s Old Port Pub, enjoy roots duo Lines West, and Merrill Auditorium features the aforementioned touring production of “Million Dollar Quartet.”
3. Friday night in Rockland the 220s (pictured) play their record release party for the new album at the Speakeasy, while at Rock City Coffee, soul woman Stesha Cano takes the stage. On Saturday, gypsy jazz ensemble Mes Amis is at Speakeasy, Celtic rockers St. Huckleberry are at Rock City, and rockers Midlife Crisis are at Myrtle Street Tavern. It’s also Camden Conference weekend, with events set for the Camden Opera House and the Strand Theatre in Rockland; expect an uptick of folks around town. Across the bay, Chummies in Ellsworth features Koostix on Friday night. On Saturday, the Lompoc Cafe in Bar Harbor hosts a triple bill of songwriters featuring Wesley Allen Hartley, Orson Horchler and Steven Connor, while in Ellsworth, the Grand Theatre hosts the annual Ellsworth’s Got Talent event, in which they leave it up to the audience to decide whether or not Ellsworth does, in fact, got talent.
4. It’s Oscar weekend! We ran a big, cool feature today showcasing the thoughts on 2014 movies from some Maine film experts, which also mentioned two of the several fun Oscar night events in Maine, like Bar Harbor movie house Reel Pizza’s annual charity fundraiser gala, and the Strand Theatre’s free screening in Rockland. Aside from the big show Sunday night, if you want to see some of the movies that were nominated, look to places like Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville, which is showing “Still Alice,” “Mr. Turner,” “Two Days, One Night,” “The Imitation Game” and “Inherent Vice,” or Reel Pizza, which is showing “Foxcatcher” and “Selma,” or even Bangor Mall Cinemas, which currently has “American Sniper” and “The Imitation Game” on its screens. Or the Nickelodeon in Portland, which is ONLY showing Oscar-nominated films. Except for, uh, “50 Shades Of Grey,” which, to my knowledge, has not been nominated for any awards. And if it is, I’ll eat my hat. And my hat is a big furry bomber hat, so that will be super unpleasant.
5. Instead of despairing at the frigid wasteland this winter has turned our fair state into, you could also just embrace it. Like with, for example, the Old Orchard Beach Winter Carnival, set for Friday through Sunday on da beach, and featuring fun stuff like a massive sledding hills, hot cocoa and smores, carriage rides and more. There’s also the Ice Festival L/A at the Bates Mill Complex in Lewiston, featuring drinks, food, music and revelry on Friday and Saturday with admission at just $15 and a free family day on Sunday. And in Portland, the Battle of the Sexes roller derby match is set for 5:30 p.m. Saturday pitting Bangor Roller Derby against the Casco Bay Gentlemen’s League, all at Happy Wheels in Portland.