1. Friday night in the beautiful Bang Bang, take your pick from the following: River City Cinema screens the Oscar nominated film “45 Years” at 7:30 p.m. at Coespace; there’s heavy rock with Buddusky, At the Heart of It, Waking Life, Half Past Five and Cam Mitchell at the Central Gallery, and there’s jazz man Bill Barnes at Nocturnem. Up in Orono/Old Town, there’s Rotating Taps at Woodman’s, Adam Babcock at Black Bear Brewing, and Between Dead Stations at the Boomhouse. On Saturday, there’s the First Saturday Art Opening at Central Gallery featuring Abigail Annis, there’s the supercharged rockers the Blast Addicts at the Downunder Club at Seasons, there’s Positive People at Nocturnem, there’s River Bottom Funk at the Sea Dog, and in Old town, there’s local rockers Wyld Lyfe (pictured above) at the Boomhouse. On Sunday at 7:30 p.m., enjoy some local rock with Cupido, Vivian K, fk mt, Model T and the Shivs and Dear Father at the Central Gallery.
2. It’s First Friday Art Walk night on Friday in Portland — wow, that one crept up on me! — and after you’ve wandered the town checking out lots of fantastic visual and performing arts, take your pick from either Leveret, Jeff Beam, Medaila at Empire, David Wax Museum (pictured) and Darlingside at Port City Music Hall, Goldenoak and Ellie Buckland at One Longfellow Square, Five of the Eyes at the Jon King Band at Portland House of Music, and music from the likes of Darlin’ Corey, Okbari and the Evan King Group at Blue. There’s also a huge punk show at Geno’s featuring Torn In Two, the Crackhead Mikes, Tsunami Bots, Ascent to Power, Ripfence, Cryptid Slaughter and Green Jello — yes, they of 90s metal hit “Three Little Pigs.” On Saturday in Portland, there’s gypsy punk legends Gogol Bordello at the State Theatre; there’s Parachute, John McLaughlin and Brynn Elliott at Port City; there’s composer Robert Stillman and Glass Ghost at the Space Gallery, and there’s Sue n Blue, Kendall Moore and the Duncan Hardy Quintet at Blue. There’s also the Barnstormers Music and Art Festival at Portland House of Music and Events, on both Saturday and Sunday; there’s a truly dizzying array of artists all afternoon and evening, so check out portlandhouseofmusic.com for a full list. On Sunday, the amazing Jonathan Richman is at the Space Gallery, and Basia Bulat and Twin Limb are at One Longfellow.
3. The Midcoast has a plethora of fun stuff happening Friday night, including the Flying Shoes Contradance at 8 p.m. at the American Legion Hall in Belfast; the annual Poets and Fools celebration at Waterfall Arts featuring games, a costume contest and music from Chamberlain and the Acetones. In Rockland, there’s the Midcoast Music Academy showcase at Rock City Coffee, and in Camden, the Kinetic Energy Alive Dance Company is at the Camden Opera House. On Saturday, the Free Range Music Series presents Geist and the Sacred Ensemble, Taboo and Corum at Waterfall Arts in Belfast; there’s also acoustic duo American Ride at the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts, there’s Skyfoot at the Speakeasy in Rockland, there’s 90s cover band Hello Newman at the Myrtle Street Tavern (also in Rockland), and there’s Sea for Miles at Rock City Coffee. Also, rock fans and Bowie fans can check out a screening of the remastered Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars concert film, set for 8 p.m. at the Strand Theatre, again in Rockland.
4. Here’s something you don’t see very often. Heck, you don’t see ever, as far as I can tell. Saturday afternoon in downtown Bangor, Pickering Square will play host the first-ever Great Maine Chowder Wrestling Tournament. For just $10, participants can crawl into the ring — filled with creamy, piping hot New England-style seafood chowder — and take on an opponent in a delicious, no holds barred, just-like-your-Grandma-used to make fight to the finish. Space is limited to 24 participants, which will be whittled down to a final four and an overall winner, who will receive a lifetime supply of claw crackers, pickers, bibs and butter dishes from Maine Lobster Supply Company. Spectators may purchase $5 buckets of oyster crackers to throw at the wrestlers, and for the final match up, a giant bread bowl will be brought into the square and filled with extra chunky chowder to add an extra level of challenge for the wrestlers. For the kids, there’ll be a chowder slip n’ slide (parents bring children at their own risk). Proceeds benefit local charity Sandals for Seniors, which provides light yet comfortable footwear for area seniors. Can’t contribute to the fund? Bring in that old pair of sandals! For more information, like Great Maine Chowder Wrestling Tournament on Facebook. We’ll see you there — and bring a spoon!
5. There’s plenty of other good stuff happening this weekend, like the Rural Living Day, set for Thorndike on Saturday, which celebrates all things homesteading, small town and rural from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Mt. View High School; the State of Maine Sportman’s Show on Friday through Sunday at the Augusta Civic Center; and, on Sunday, the Popovich Comedy Pet Theatre, set for 3 p.m. at the Collins Center for the Arts in Orono. It is also worth mentioning that the Great Maine Chowder Wrestling Tournament mentioned above is — you may have guessed! — an April Fools Day joke. I mean, I wish it wasn’t. Don’t you wish that were a real thing? Mmm. Chowder.