1. Really, March? Really? Really. REALLY. I have had enough of your bullroar! Bring me spring! Bring me maple syrup and canoe races! Bring me spring RIGHT MEOW! At least this Friday it’ll be a little warmer and a lot less windy, just in time for Downtown Bangor’s March Art Walk, set for 5 to 9 p.m. in spaces throughout downtown; afterwards, enjoy either a contradance at 8 p.m. at the UU Church, the alt-country sounds of Despair at The Big Easy, soul chanteuse Stesha Cano (pictured) at Nocturnem Drafthaus, ska band the Skastitutes up at Woodman’s in Orono and songwriter Meghan Clark at 4Points BBQ & Blues in Winterport. On Saturday, up in Orono there’s a standup comedy showcase set for 7:30 p.m. at the Bear Brew featuring comedians Krazy Jake, Adam Hatch, Travis Cowing and Jeremy White, and in Bangor, there’s rockers the 220s at Paddy Murphy’s, there’s the always enjoyable Magnetic North at Ipanema, songwriter Aaron Beaulieu at the Big Easy, jazz with Sonja Harrington and the Harem of Sound at Nocturnem, and out at the Bangor Grange on outer Ohio Street, bluegrass wanderers Nevah take the stage at 7 p.m.
2. There are two great big events happening on Saturday, but we’ll get to that in a minute; let’s do Friday first. On Friday, songwriters Todd Snider and Ashleigh Flynn are at Port City Music Hall, there are two shows from comedian Bob Marley at One Longfellow Square, at the Space Gallery there’s a tour kickoff for local band Mouth Washington with guests Haru Bangs, Cheerwine and Sterling Black, and at Geno’s, there is some seriously epic heaviness with a record release party for metal band Stone Tools, with guests Hessian and Chalice. Now, on Saturday, the third edition of Maine band showcase State of the State, sponsored by clothing company Katalyst, is set for 7 p.m. Saturday at the State Theatre and features the likes of Spencer Albee (pictured), Tall Horse, When Particles Collide, 6Gig and Crusoe, all backed by the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra; another SOTS show is set for 1 p.m. earlier that day at One Longfellow Square, with Dave Mallett, the Tricky Britches, Tumbling Bones and Denny Breau. There’s also the Bearded Brew Fest at USM’s Sullivan Complex (more on that later) with an afterparty at Empire features heavy bands Eastern Spell, American Burn and Holyfilth. At Port City enjoy jam bands Particle and Greenhouse Lounge, and Flask Lounge hosts the Noonday Crawlers and Jared McCloud.
3. Another great weekend for local music is set for the Midcoast, but again, we’ll get to that in a minute. On Friday, honky tonker David Scott Norton is at Rock City Coffee in Rockland, and ska band El Grande at the Speakeasy. Also on Friday, at Waterfall Arts in Belfast, the Spring Fling Music Thing is set for 6 to 10 p.m., Friday and will feature a huge array of local bands including a youth program featuring the Waterfall Arts Children’s Chorus, Judson Thomas, Leander Andrews, Mia Rae, Maiara Rebordao, Dakota Jones, Corey Ward, Luna and Story Carlson, Jane Irish, Lexi and Fiona Smith and Dana Anderson. The second half will feature grownup bands and artists including Bridget Matros, the Ace Tones, the Knot Brothers, Merther (pictured above) and Earth Person.
4. Believe it or not, this weekend welcomes several spring-centric events. Over 80 sugarhouses and farms around the state will be open for Maine Maple Sunday, with free samples and demonstrations for all ages — check out mainemapleproducers.com for a full list. Also this weekend in Bangor is the annual Chili & Chowder Cookoff, sponsored by Bangor Firefighters and set for 6 p.m. at Seasons Restaurant — I can speak from personal experience that this is a great event and the chili is stupidly great. Finally, in Portland, there’s the Bearded Brew Fest, set for the Sullivan Complex at USM, with tastings at 1 and 5:30 p.m. Saturday. More than 20 breweries have been invited to create a special beard (or moustache) inspired beer. Entry includes a tasting glass and three hours of sampling; there’s also a beard and moustache competition for you hairy beer-loving gents out there.
5. The inaugural edition of the Maine Science Festival is set for this weekend in Bangor, and it’s a jam-packed three days of science, engineering, programming and nature and how they are intertwined with daily life, the arts and our world. The entire festival is completely free (except for a 7:30 p.m. keynote address at the Cross Center from Tony DeRose of Pixar). There are too many events to list here, but they include workshops on science literature for children and homebrewing, an art exhibit by Caleb Charland, discussions about drones and renewable energy and the State Science Fair, also at the Cross Center. A full schedule of this unique, informative and fun event can be found at mainesciencefestival.org.