Note: I wrote this maybe an hour before the news about Prince’s death broke. By all means, Bangor — go to the Prince tribute show at the Downunder Lounge this weekend! A poignant but possibly cathartic coincidence. Also undoubtedly going to be an EPIC dance party.
1. What’s your guilty pleasure? I have many. And honestly, they aren’t particularly guilty — I have no shame when it comes to my love of white wine spritzers, Billy Joel, hot dogs, Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee, the Great British Baking Show and Broadway tunes. Speaking of Broadway tunes, this weekend brings the annual Bangor Rotary Music Off Broadway shows, with performances featuring a who’s who of local talent singing showtunes and pop songs, at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Peakes Auditorium at Bangor High School. Elsewhere in town, on Friday night take your pic of either songwriters Lindsay and Lauren and Meghan Clark at Nocturnem Drafthaus, Little Rodeo at Paddy Murphy’s, Wyld Lyfe at Woodman’s in Orono, or the Cards at the Boomhouse in Old Town. On Saturday, there’s a pretty diverse array of shows happening, including hardcore with Infernal Diatribe, Ratleg and Lockdown at the Central Gallery, jazz group Sassquatch at Nocturnem, funky lady Stesha Cano with her Jerks at Paddy’s, the Purple Brainz Prince tribute show featuring Dean Ford and the Keepsakes at the Downunder Lounge at Seasons, jam band the Cliff Randall Band at the Union Street Brick Church, the Skyliners Big Band at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer (swing dancing!), and rockers Skyfoot at the Boomhouse. On Sunday, wrap it up with the Bangor Symphony’s big, splashy season closer: “La Boheme,” at 3 p.m. at the Collins Center for the Arts.
2. The King of Maine himself returns to Portland Friday night, as Spose is set for Portland House of Music. Also on Friday, there’s Happy Holidaze, a hip hop night with Wisdom, Phantom Blade, Ill by Instinct, Ben Shorr, KTF and El Shupacabra at Empire; there’s local punk with the Gamma Goochies, Cheerwine and the English Muffins at Geno’s, there’s Tim Shannon, Zak Trojano and Canned Bread at Blue, and Rising Tide Brewing Company hosts a huge array of local stand up comics starting at 8 p.m. On Saturday, take your pick of either the Jeremy Kittel Trio at One Longfellow Square, the Bob Charest Band at Portland House of Music, Steve Wark, Nico Gahlo Trio and Steve Grover at Blue, or burlesque night at 8 p.m. at Studio 55. On Sunday, the weekend winds down with The Wild Feathers and the Shelters at Port City Music Hall, and Penny and Sparrow and Rose Cousins at One Longfellow.
3. On the Midcoast, Friday night offers up a wealth of riches in Knox County in particular. Celtic duo Searson is at the Strand Theatre in Rockland, local soundscape-makers Quantum, Vicky Andres and Max MacFarland are at the Highland Coffeehouse in Thomaston, it’s honky tonk and rockabilly night at the Speakeasy in Rockland, and American ensemble Willy Off The Pickle Boat is set for Rock City Coffee, also in Rockland. On Saturday, Mes Amis is at the Speakeasy, and folk trio Meteora is at Rock City.
4. Friday is Earth Day, which brings a plethora of events statewide; on Friday, there’s a day of play from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Fields Pond Audubon Center in Holden; there’s an opportunity to make “seed bombs” at Maine College of Art in Portland from 5 to 8 p.m., while on Saturday, enjoy the annual HOPE Festival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the University of Maine Student Recreation Center, an Earth Day Film Fest at 3 p.m. at the Strand Theatre in Rockland, or, in Bar Harbor, the state’s largest and longest-running Earth Day celebration, at College of the Atlantic from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., featuring tons of vendors, food, performances, workshops and more.
5. Last weekend we made a fire in our fire pit in the backyard, and we drank wine and laughed with friends and it wasn’t cold. I don’t know about you, but to me, that sounds like an excellent thing to do this weekend. Among many other things; far more than five, clearly.