1. Well, after we all nearly floated away on Wednesday thanks to the ungodly amounts of rain, I’d say we’re ready to kick back this weekend, right? In Bangor on Friday night, there’s a huge amount of things going on, from improv comedy with the Focus Group at the Next Generation Theatre, to the free kickoff party for ARTober — the City of Bangor’s Month of the Arts, which yours truly helped plan — set for 7 to 10 p.m. at the Union Street Brick Church, featuring performances from dance groups Robinson Ballet and the Haus of Paradigm and bands including Nevah and the Galley Rats (pictured). Later that night, enjoy either Bill Barnes Jazz Trio at Nocturnem, Tomorrow Morning at Paddy Murphy’s, Maximum Karaoke at the Downunder Club, and up in Orono/Old Town, there’s Japansies at Woodman’s or The Shizzle at the Boomhouse. On Saturday afternoon, there’s Oktobeerfest in Pickering Square from 1 to 6:30 p.m., featuring music from Danika Portz, North of Nashville and the Ghost of Paul Revere and lots of delicious beer and food; later that night, enjoy either rockabilly rockers the Crown Vics at Paddy’s, Sonja Harrington and her Mystical Harem of Sound at Nocturnem, or Jodi Renshaw’s art opening at the Central Gallery, while up in Orono the Collins Center for the Arts host local legend Patty Griffin. On Sunday, check out an acoustic showcase featuring Bangtown Timebomb and Glass Canyon at the Central Gallery.
2. It’s First Friday Art Walk night in Portland, so after you’ve done your traipsing about town checking out galleries and shops with art, you can enjoy one of two great shows in town, including Burlington punk band Rough Francis (pictured), Endless Jags and Yairms & Alhha at Space Gallery, or the return of Emo Night at Portland HOME, featuring your favorite local bands playing classic emo from the 90s and 2000s. On Saturday, take your pick of either Warren Haynes at the State Theatre, the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra with Tall Heights and the Shook Twins at Port City Music Hall, Gorilla Finger Dub Band and Nick Racioppi at Empire, Erin Harpe and the Delta Swingers at Portland HOME, Tall Horse, Worried Well, Vaughn and Dixon Pendejo Trash at Flask Lounge, or Okbari Middle Eastern Ensemble at Mayo Street Arts. There’s also Upstart Fest at Geno’s Rock Club, a huge night of punk rock with bands including Two Fisted Law, the Hudson Falcons, Avenue Rockers, the Obvious, Kyle Trocolla, OC45, Cry Havoc, A Minor Revolution and Ray’s Occult. On Sunday, The Wood Brothers and Gill Landry are at the State Theatre.
3. On Saturday night in Bar Harbor there is a very special concert set for the Criterion Theatre. All Of Us: A Tribute to Brown Bird honors David Lamb, the late creative force behind the aforementioned band (pictured at left), with performances from the likes of Nat Baldwin, Greg Jamie, Jeff Beam, Wesley Allen Hartley and String Builder. The show is at 8 p.m. and tickets are $12 to $25, benefiting the Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center. I highly recommend checking this out. Across the bay in Rockland, on Friday night Sorcha Cribben-Merrill is at Rock City Coffee and Raging Brass Reggae is at the Speakeasy, while on Saturday, St. Huckleberry is at Rock City and Mes Amis Gypsy Jazz is at the Speakeasy.
4. This Saturday and Sunday brings Maine Craft Weekend — two days celebrating the tradition of craft and artisans here in Maine. It’s a statewide tour of Maine craft studios, breweries, businesses and events, and an opportunity for the public to explore the life and work of craft artists and craft brewers in Maine. There are more than 100 places to check out all day both days; for a full list of events, visit mainecraftweekend.org.
5. Finally, since the temperatures have fully dropped and it’s completely autumnal now, there’s lots of fun fall activities to be had — from corn mazes and apple picking to cider making and pumpkin carving. Get out there and enjoy it, folks!