1. Yes. This is what I’m talking about. Goodbye, winter, you filthy animal. This weekend in Bangor there’s a whole lot of great nightlife and music to enjoy, so let’s jump right in. Friday night, there’s a double bill of Maine rock with One Shot Nothing (pictured) and The Band Apollo at the Downunder Lounge at Seasons; there’s Tomorrow Morning at Paddy Murphy’s, there’s the Stripped acoustic showcase with Sam Chase at Nocturnem Drafthaus, there’s songwriter Samantha Lynn at the Big Easy, the Trendy Robots rock out at the Sea Dog, indie rockers Goldenoak are at Woodman’s in Orono, and bluesman Eric Green is at 4Points BBQ & Blues in Winterport. On Saturday, there’s some extremely heavy music on Columbia Street with Holy Filth, Afraid and Manic Abraxas at COESPACE starting at 6 p.m.; there’s also Junkyard Cats at Paddy’s, songwriter Chris Ross and his band at the Downunder Lounge, soul lady Stesha Cano and the Jerks at Ipanema, country rockers Joe Gallant and the Transit at Nocturnem, and blues band the Juke Rockets at the Big Easy, while out in Winterport, the Pitch Black Ribbons are at 4Points. On Sunday, the Downunder Club hosts a benefit for Manna Soup Kitchen featuring local musicians including Rotating Taps, Cory Deshane, Luke Cartwright, Riff Johnson, Shannon Denbow, Jennifer Guay, Josh Van Santvoord and comedian Christopher Pierce; donations and non-perishable food items will be accepted.
2. As if one weekend of mustache and beard celebrations weren’t enough, this weekend at the State Theatre in Portland brings the annual Stache Pag at State, the first facial hair party in Maine and still the biggest, with music, dance, comedy and tasty beer to boot, set for 7 p.m. Friday. Also in town on Friday are some noisy rock with No Joy, Metal Feathers and Grooms at the Space Gallery, Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds and Jason Spooner at Empire, the Maine Educationalists for Sexual Harmony offer a burlesque show at One Longfellow Square, there’s a dance party with Atomik and DJ Corbin at Flask Lounge, and there’s Vinyl Tap at Brian Boru. On Saturday, pop punk band A Loss For Words plays at Port City Music Hall with a huge array of bands including Pentimento, Speak Low If You Speak Love, Like Pacific and Crisis A.D.; Empire hosts the rescheduled show from KGFREEZE (pictured), Cool Tara and Old Etc; One Longfellow offers the Maine Acoustic Festival faculty concert, Doubting Gravity is at Brian Boru, there’s experimental metal with Sewer Goddess, Mugwort, Say John Earl and NYCTerant at Space, and there’s a record release party for songwriter Caroline Cotter at Acoustic Artisans.
3. Rockland gets loud this weekend, with the rescheduled local rock showcase Trekkapalooza set for the Strand Theatre, featuring Fading Dawn, the Galactic Seagulls, J-Dawg and the Hounds, Just Teachers, Hologram and Something In The Water. Afterwards (or before) enjoy either the Wayne Delano Jazz Quartet at Speakeasy or Stoned Audio at Rock City Coffee, while up at the Camden Opera House, there’s some local folk with the Waldo County Ramblers and Molly Gawler. On Saturday, there’s another great show at the Strand, with the Mallett Brothers Band (pictured O’Chang-i-fied above) and North of Nashville; later on, there’s Blind Albert at the Speakeasy, songwriter Nat Hussey at Rock City, another show from Just Teachers at Trackside Station as part of their mustache and beard competition, and at the Camden Opera House, there’s a capella ensemble Overboard.
4. The good skiing weekends are coming to a rapid end, so get the good stuff now while you still can. This weekend at Sugarloaf you can gawk at the badass skiers at the US Alpine Championships, which started Wednesday and runs through Sunday; celebratory fireworks are set for Friday night. After skiing both days, your apres ski entertainment includes Jim Austin at Gepettos and Connor Garvey at 45 North, while jam band Harsh Armadillo is at the Widowmaker on both Friday and Saturday. At The Rack, on Friday there’s Glock & Jones and a Gritty’s tap takeover, on Saturday there’s the Dapper Gents, and on Sunday there’s the Ice Out Band. Over at Sunday River, Friday and Saturday brings the Dumont Cup, a huge freeskiing event, and on Saturday night Rustic Overtones (pictured) and Shut Down Brown rock out slopeside at the South Ridge Lodge.
5. Finally, this weekend is shaping up to be sunny and comfortable, with temperatures in the upper 30s and low 40s. Which, if you’re a Mainer that lived through this past winter, means it’s t-shirts and shorts weather. I suggest going out and doing something outdoors, be it slipping on some rubber boots and going for a stroll through the Bangor City Forest or along the Brewer Waterfront or down the bike trails at UMaine in Orono or across and back the foot bridge on the Belfast Waterfront or along the Shore Path in Bar Harbor or (if you’re careful) the Breakwater in Rockland or any of the lovely trails in the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, or along the Eastern Promenade in Portland. Now that was a run-on sentence. What can I say — I’m excited that it’s spring!