1. I’m back! After another extended 5 Things vacation — hey, I get time off too! — we return to your regularly scheduled entertainment listings. We’re deep into the weeds of winter now, or as I like to call them, the frozen dog days of January. Friday night in Bangor there’s a host of good shows, including Portland alt-folk ensemble the Ghosts of Johnson City (pictured at left) at Nocturnem Drafthaus, Bangor rockers Chamberlain and songwriter James Reiss at Paddy Murphy’s, the wildly diverse open mic night at the Central Gallery, and up in Old Town, there’s Ragged Jack at Boomhouse. On Saturday, enjoy either blues man Dave Mello at Nocturnem, Stesha Cano at Paddy Murphy’s, or a screening of “The Big Lebowski” at the Central Gallery.
2. We got a little taste of proper winter over the past few days… but now we’re back into temperatures in the 30s and 40s. Which, I mean, is still OK. On this relatively balmy January weekend, on Friday in Portland it’s a relatively sleepy night, though there’s good music out there from JT Stivers at One Longfellow Square, and the Cajun Aces at Salvage BBQ. On Saturday, One Longfellow hosts a shadow cast of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” while elsewhere, enjoy either The Derangers at Bayside Bowl, Jya Marie’s Broken Resolutions Dance Party at Portland House of Music and Events, punk rockers Battery Steele and Kaltenbrunner at Geno’s, King Memphis at Salvage BBQ, or Flamenco duo Gregoire Pearce (guitar) and Lindsey Bourassa (dancer, pictured at left) at Mayo Street Arts. There’s also the Portland Symphony Orchestra, performing the music of the Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds” 7:30 Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. On Sunday, rockers Hinder, Shaman’s Harvest, Within Reason and Revolve are at Port City Music Hall.
3. There’s a couple fun gigs on the Midcoast this weekend — on Friday Bangor native and songwriter Caleb Orion performs at Rock City Coffee, and on Saturday, Vicky Andres and Max McFarland are at Rock City and the Juke Rockets Blues Band are at the Speakeasy. There’s also a special performance courtesy of the Everyman Repertory Theatre, which brings a dramatic reading of Terrence McNally’s “Master Class” at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Farnsworth Art Museum.
4. Though it was a late start, we’re still glad that ski and snowboard season is here. If you’re out hitting the slopes at one of Maine’s mountains this weekend — and with the snow we got last week we’re finally in good shape to do so! — you can, apres-ski, enjoy some good fun. At Sugarloaf, Richard James and the Name Changers are at the Widowmaker Lounge on both Friday and Saturday night, and on Saturday evening there’s also Capital City Improv Comedy at the Sugarloaf Inn. At Sunday River, Friday brings the Red Bull Frozen Rush tour — off road truck drives on snow courses, all day. We can also expect a bit more snow to fall this weekend, so suit up and head west, Mainers!
5. It’s award season for the film industry, so of course, there’s lots of great movies to see this time of year (in addition to that movie about space and stuff that just became the highest grossing movie of all time nbd omg). First off, big name movies like “The Revenant,” “The Big Short,” “The Hateful Eight” and “Spotlight” all have wide releases and are screening at Bangor Mall Cinemas and the Nickelodeon in Portland, among many, while Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville hosts “The Big Short,” “Spotlight, “Carol,” “The Danish Girl” and “Chi-Raq.” Reel Pizza in Bar Harbor has “Spotlight,” too, and the Colonial in Belfast has “Joy,” as well as that space movie and that one about the talking rodents (yikes).