1. Why, hardly a tree has even turned so far this fall. It’s almost a third of the way through October and I’m still waiting on full foliage. It’s coming, though. Just a few more days. This weekend in Bangor, take your pick earlier in the evening with either the Broadway Rocks Bangor show at the Gracie Theatre at Husson University — tons of local talent singing rock-themed Broadway songs — or the Orono Arts Cafe at 6:30 p.m. at the Keith Anderson Community Center. That night, there’s another open mic at the Central Gallery in Bangor, Koostix at Paddy Murphy’s, rockers Perpetual Mood Swing at the Downunder Lounge at Seasons, and Jake Irish at 4Points BBQ & Blues in Winterport. On Saturday, Central Maine Roller Derby takes on the Western Mass Destruction at 5:30 p.m. at the Cross Insurance Center; that night, enjoy either Tall Horse, Accidental Seabirds and Forget, Forget at 32 Central, Her Majesty’s Cabaret (I’m a member of this group!) five year anniversary party with special musical and dance guests A Severe Joy (pictured) and the Haus of Paradigm at 8:30 p.m. at Coespace, jazz group Mes Amis at Nocturnem, the Brad Hutchinson Project at Paddy’s, acoustic rockers The Middle Men at the Boomhouse in Old Town, and songwriter Meghan Clark at 4Points in Winterport.
2. Friday night in Portland there’s a truly broad array of entertainment options, including some local post-punk and indie rock at Port City Music Hall with Conifer, Purse, SS Cretins and Feral; Americana music with The Lazzlo Family Band and the Strangely Possibles at Empire; local rock with Black Cat Road, the Forz and Caged Heat at Bayside Bowl; indie legends Beauty Pill at One Longfellow Square, and comedian Juston McKinney at Portland House of Music and Events. On Saturday, much of the day is dominated by Waking Windows, a new festival for Portland that I wrote about last week, featuring a large array of mostly indie rock bands from both Maine and all over the Northeast, as well as writers, poets and comedians, in venues as big as Portland HOME and Empire and as intimate as Blue or the Bearded Lady’s Jewel Box. Also that night, check out either alt-country band Lucero at Port City, or eccentric rocker Fred Eaglesmith at One Longfellow.
3. There are some really nice things happening on the Midcoast this weekend, like on Friday night, when you can take your pick of two great Maine songwriters in beautiful venues: Cheryl Wheeler is at the Strand Theatre in Rockland, and Dave Mallett and Peter Neils are at Camden Opera House. Also that night, there’s Wheatley Matthews at Rock City Coffee and Just Teachers at the Speakeasy in Rockland. On Saturday night, comedian Bob Marley (pictured at left) takes the stage at the Camden Opera House, and the Meteora Trio is at Rock City and Wayne Delano is at the Speakeasy.
4. There are two fun food, music and fall-centric events this weekend. The first is the annual Swine and Stein Oktoberfest party on Saturday in Gardiner — which is one of the most underappreciated towns in the entire state. It’s a full day of food, music and Maine-made craft beer, set for 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., with tickets going for $20 at the door or $50 for the VIP beer tasting. Then, on Sunday, Atlantic Brewing Company’s 12th Annual Belt Sander Races and War Canoe Races, benefiting the Muir Fund for Local Cancer Support and the Beth Wright Cancer Center in Ellsworth, is set for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Atlantic Brewing in Bar Harbor, featuring belt sander races — yes, you race a decorated belt sander — canoe races and a full barbecue dinner. Entry is $20.
5. For those more literary or art-minded, this weekend also bring the first-ever Bar Harbor Kids Book Festival, set for Friday and Saturday and featuring two full days of free readings, activities, celebrations, workshops and panels. Saturday’s events will be open to all ages and will focus on writing, reading and illustrating. Then, on Saturday and Sunday, the Belfast Creative Coalition hosts Cultivate: The Belfast Area Farm and Art Fall Tour, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. both days. The tour includes open studios, farm tours and special workshops and demonstrations; Southern Waldo County locations will be on Saturday and Northern Waldo County on Sunday. A full list of tour locations can be found at belfastcreativecoalition.org.