1. This has got to be the busiest weekend of the spring. Seriously. This post is going to be a doozy, so let’s waste no time! In Downtown Bangor on Friday it’s Halfway to Halloween — because the DTBang will take any excuse to wear costumes and act ridiculous — so dig out something fun to wear and check out either Chris Ross at Blaze, Stripped with Sam acoustic night at Nocturnem Drafthaus, the Trendy Robots at the Sea Dog, songwriter Shannon Denbow at the Big Easy, country rockers Bad Penny at the Downunder Club, and “Scaryoke” with Marissa at Paddy Murphy’s. The Gracie Theatre at Husson hosts songwriter Paula Cole; up in Orono, it’s country throwdown night with the Tyler Healy Band at the Roost, and songwriter Meghan Clark is at 4Points BBQ & Blues down in Winterport. On Saturday, during the day it’s the annual Kenduskeag Stream Canoe race, which will be making its way through downtown Bangor during the late morning. That night, enjoy either the 220s at Paddy’s, jazz group the Eclectones at Nocturnem, or blank at Ipanema. In Orono, Black Bear Brewery hosts at 6 p.m. the annual Taste of Orono, featuring loads of local food and beverage and door prizes, with the $30 ticket benefiting the Hammond Street Senior Center; that night in Orono, the Bear Brew hosts stand up comedy at 8 p.m. featuring Freddie Stone, Troy Pennell and Mike Johnson.
2. We like it when places make it easy for us to write our weekly blog posts. For example: Portland, which is full of venues and bars that regularly update websites and social media reflecting their entertainment schedule. What a novel idea! Am I implying anything here? Maybe! In Portland on Friday night, take your pick from either jam band the Disco Biscuits at the State Theatre, a CD release party for the Ballroom Thieves (pictured) with guests Tall Heights at Empire, Maiden New England — seriously kickass Iron Maiden cover band — at Asylum, some heavy rock with Today is the Day, Shabti, Lazer/Wulf and Sylvia at Space Gallery, Americana with Darol Anger and the Furies at One Longfellow Square, and some house music with DJs Mike D, Silverchild and Nocturnal at Flask Lounge. On Saturday, beloved Maine roots rockers the Mallett Brothers Band play a CD release party for their new album at Port City Music Hall, with guests Girls Guns & Glory and the Ghost of Johnson City. Also going on that night are things like some great Boston punk and rock with White Dynomite, the Upper Crust and the Grannies at Empire, stoner rock band Cortez at Geno’s, Maine songwriter Howie Day at Asylum, and Rosa Noreen’s Springtime Spectacular of dance and music at One Longfellow Square. On Sunday, folk-jam band Twiddle plays with Jen Durkin and the Business at Port City Music Hall.
3. Aside from a couple things I want to do in Bangor this weekend, I’m thinking this might be a nice weekend to head down to the Midcoast. Even if it might be a touch rainy. On Friday on the Midcoast, Rockland is happening with country rockers Wingin’ It at the Speakeasy or folksinger Tom Albury at Rock City Coffee, and Camden is rocking with Peter Neils and the Midnight Riders at the Camden Opera House. On Saturday, the Speakeasy hosts the Blamehounds, and acoustic trio Meteora is at Rock City Coffee. Might I also suggest checking out one of the wonderful Midcoast restaurants now, before the summer hits? Such as Primo in Rockland (pictured), Long Grain in Camden or Chase’s Daily on Friday in Belfast? You know. While the locals can get it while the getting’s good.
4. The aforementioned things that I want to do in Bangor this weekend are check out the Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race Saturday morning, and then go to the Bangor Comic & Toy Con, set for Friday through Sunday at the Cross Insurance Center. I wrote about it for the BDN this week already, but just to reiterate, this is a pretty baller affair that’s coming up for anyone even remotely nerdy. Ghostbusters! Power rangers! Comics! Professional wrestling! Hacksaw Jim Duggan, pictured above! Cosplay! Horror movies! Metal bands! LANDO FREAKING CALRISSIAN. You can read my story here for a more in depth breakdown. See you there!
5. What else? Well, let’s see. Waterfall Arts in Belfast with the Midcoast Actor’s Studio presents a night of storytelling Saturday night with “True Stores,” featuring the likes of Maine warden John Ford, director Aynne Ames, O’Chang’s Comics mastermind Andy O’Brien, photographer Charlies Dufour, musician and Reiki practitioner Kristen Burkholder, and many more; it’s set for 7 p.m. at Waterfall Arts. In Winterport, the fine folks at Winterport Open Stage presents the rollicking play “The Complete History of America (Abridged)” on Saturday and Sunday at Wagner Middle School. And in Portland, the Maine-written, Maine-centric play “Papermaker” opens at Portland Stage, a scene from which is pictured above. Maine stories, all around. Happy spring!