1. It’s been a beautiful October week, hasn’t it? Oh wait. It’s December. The 45 degree weather has confused me. On this balmy weekend in Bangor, you can start off with open mic night at the Central Gallery, rockers the Calypso Soldiers at Paddy Murphy’s or Stripped with Sam acoustic night featuring Meghan Clark and Carleigh Nesbit at Nocturnem Drafthaus, while up in Orono and Old Town, there’s Japansies at Woodman’s, The Middle Men at the Boomhouse, indie rockers Vundabar and Wyldlyfe at the IMRC on the UMaine campus, and Itinerant Visitors at Black Bear Brewery. On Saturday in Bangor, take your pick of either the Dave Mello blues band at Nocturnem, the 220s at Paddy’s, orTomorrow Morning at Ipanema. Irish ensemble Danu’s holiday show is set for 3 p.m. Sunday at the Collins Center for the Arts.
2. Friday night in Portland the State Theatre hosts the annual holiday show from the Fogcutters, Portland’s own big band. There’s also a pop punk tribute night to Blink-182, Jimmy Eat World and Green Day at Empire, there’s Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters at One Longfellow Square, there’s local punk with Port City Saints, Seasonal Disorders and L.N. Degenerates at Geno’s, there’s Raging Brass Reggae at Bayside Bowl, and there’s Zapion, folk music from the Caucasus, at Mayo Street Arts. On Saturday, enjoy a night of roots music with Tricky Britches, Dark Hollow Bottling Company and Roosevelt Dime at Empure, while at Portland House of Music and Events, there’s John Hughes Radio, Sea Level, Purse and Foam Castles. Songwriters Lucy Kaplansky and Molly Mae are at One Longfellow, Crushed Out is at Bayside Bowl, and Ghosts of Johnson City are at Mayo Street Arts.
3. The Midcoast is host to the first of many screening of the Maine Short Film Festival, set for Friday nigh at the Strand Theatre in Rockland and featuring a number of Maine-centric short films. Also that night, electronic duo Quantum is at the Speakeasy, and folk trio Meteora is at Rock City Coffee. On Saturday, Rock City — one of the most consistent music venues north of Portland and makers of fabulous coffee and pictured at left — are holding a benefit so that they might purchase a smokeless coffee roasters; rockers the Dolphin Strikers and First in Maths and poet Dave Morrison will perform all night, and your $10 donation helps them along the way. On Sunday, roots band Roosevelt Dime is at the Speakeasy, and the Downeast Singers holiday concert is set for the Camden Opera House.
4. What fun holiday stuff is going on this weekend? Well, first off, Woodlawn Museum in Ellsworth hosts all sorts of sweet things this weekend, like the holiday high tea at 3 p.m. Friday and the holiday train display all weekend. In Portland, Saturday night brings the boat parade of lights around Casco Bay, beginning at 4:30; the ferry is $10 for adults and free for kids 5 and under. Oh, and don’t forget weekend two of “It’s a Wonderful Life” at the Penobscot Theatre Company!
5. As for some local holiday shopping, there’s the annual Maine Indian Basketmakers sale, set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Collins Center for the Arts and featuring lots of utterly gorgeous baskets made by Native artists. At the University of Maine Museum of Art in Bangor, the UMaine German club hosts a German Christmas market from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, with food, crafts and decorations will be sold. In Belfast, the Roost Holiday Fair is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the American Legion Hall, featuring tons of Maine-made crafts and other items.