1. Ah, fall. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. That was Keats. I got an English degree. See, Ma? I put that educatin’ to use. Anyway, in Bangtown this weekend there’s another type of Bangtown on Friday night, when punk rockers Bangtown Timebomb play with the Jonee Earthquake Band at Paddy Murphy’s; there’s also open mic night at the Central Gallery and Stripped with Sam at Nocturnem with music from Sam Chase (duh), Wyatt Jenkins and Tom Bennett — and it’s also the start of Nocturnem’s official Oktoberfest celebration, with tons of delicious, special beers on tap and German food on the menu. Up in Orono, there’s the Tricky Britches (pictured above) at Woodman’s, there’s Three Button Deluxe at the Boomhouse in Old Town, and banjo man Hal Meyers is at 4Points BBQ & Blues in Winterport. On Saturday, indie bands The Grinds and Caleb Orion are at the Central Gallery, the Brad Hutchinson Project is at Paddy’s, the righteous dudes of Magnetic North are at Nocturnem Drafthaus, and up in Old Town, Sudden Karma is at the Boomhouse. On Sunday, the Bangor Symphony Orchestra kicks off its new season at 3 p.m. at the Collins Center for the Arts, there’s a 7 p.m. showcase of original music from the cast of “Ring of Fire at Penobscot Theatre (after a full weekend of performances, of course), and that night, there’s a screening of “Donnie Darko” at the Central Gallery and a full moon bike ride (ooooh blood moon) starting at sundown at Broadway Park.
2. It’s a jam-packed Friday in Portland, with indie hip hop band Doomtree with Speedy Ortiz and Serengeti at the State Theatre, metal from Mugwort, Sylvia, All Night and NYCTerent at Empire, and 80s cover band The Awesome at Portland House of Music and Events. On the quieter side, there’s bluegrass from Darlingside and Kyle Morgan at Port City Music Hall, songwriter Slaid Cleaves at One Longfellow Square, songwriters Chris Robley and Myke Coykendall at Bayside Bowl, and the Ghosts of Johnson City at Blue. On Saturday, there’s a very unique even at the Space Gallery, with the kid-friendly Whoop Dee Doo live show — equal parts art installation and performance piece — at 2 and 7 p.m.. That night, enjoy either Eric and Erika at Bayside Bowl, a Sia tribute show at Empire, roots legends Asleep at the Wheel at Portland HOME, or a record release for the debut EP from Weakened Friends (pictured above), with guests Tall Horse and the Dolly’s, at Mathew’s Pub.
3. The weekend on the Midcoast, check out either Andrew Roseman at Rock City Coffee or Raised By Wolves at the Speakeasy, both in Rockland, or Celtic fiddler Eileen Ivers at the Camden Opera House, all on Friday night. On Saturday, Rock City hosts the Kennebunk River Band and Shy Green is at the Speakeasy, while the Eric Green Party rocks the house at the Myrtle Street Tavern, also in Rockland. Across the bay, in Ellsworth the Grand Theatre offers the Manhattan Short Film Festival on Friday night, and pianist Paul Sullivan on Saturday night.
4. Huzzah! It’s Common Ground Country Fair weekend! It’s one of my favorite weekends of the year, when the best parts of summer meet the best parts of fall. So much to love: amazing food. Adorable animals. Interesting people. Cool shopping to be done. Fantastic live music, from the likes of Builder of the House, Meteora, Sorcha Cribben-Merrill, the Gawler Family, the Toughcats and many many more. Contradancing. Workshops. The giant farmers market. I love it. I don’t think I’ve missed a year since I was in high school. It makes me proud to be a Mainer, and a Waldo County native at that. If you’ve never been, grab a bunch of friends to carpool with and head over to Unity. It’s a must-see for all Mainers.
5. What are you doing Friday night? Well, you definitely should be attendin the Maine Chef Challenge, an event that some of the fine folks here at the BDN have organized, pitting three chefs from Blaze, Woodman’s and 11 Central against each other in a battle of culinary skills. It’s set for 5:30 p.m. at the Gracie Theatre at Husson University in Bangor, and tickets are $30 at the door, including lots of yummy snacks. If you want to make it a full foodie weekend, I also suggest going to the annual Pemaquid Oyster Festival, set for Sunday in Damariscotta. There’s a great line-up of entertainment, food, educational exhibits and thousands of oysters fresh from the Damariscotta River.