1. I’ll tell you what I did last weekend. Sunday, to be exact. I hooked up our projector, sat down with some friends and watched the season premiere of “Game of Thrones” on the big screen. Ooooh, buddy! That Red Woman, yo! And obviously, that’s what I’ll be doing Sunday. If I wasn’t going to be on vacation, out of the country, that is. For those other two days you’ll be looking for fun, on Friday night in Bangor take your pick of either the seasonal DJ battle at the Central Gallery, this time pitting Van Halen vs. Guns n Roses; there’s also Him & Her at Nocturnem Drafthaus, the Lost Woods at Paddy Murphy’s, Stone Free at Woodman’s up in Orono, and Fules Gold at the Boomhouse in Old Town. Saturday is a jam-packed day, including the UMaine drag show, set for 9 p.m. at the Memorial Union on campus, featuring RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Mimi Imfurst. In Bangor, Paddy Murphy’s hosts the annual Halfway to Halloween event, so bust out those costumes and get down with local band Rotating Taps. At the Central Gallery, there’s Flooding Panama, Cool Tara, Superorder and They Called Me Legion; there’s Riff Johnson and Hal Meyers at Nocturnem, there’s Right Amount of Wrong at the Downunder Lounge at Season, and there’s a a CD release party for the Allison Ames Band at the Sea Dog. Just up the highway, there’s the Cards and Wyld Lyfe (pictured above!) at Black Bear Brewing Company in Orono and Smoked Salmon at the Boomhouse, and just a few miles down the road in Bucksport, the venerable Kave host a night of hardcore with Cruel Hand, Rude Awakening, Street Sweeper and Standard Issue.
2. Man, Friday night in Portland is one for the ages — it’s kind of the best of what that fair city has to offer! Take your pick from either experimental musicians Julianna Barwick and Nat Baldwin at the Space Gallery, EDM artists SoMo, QuinnXCII and Academy at the State Theatre, or Grateful Dead tribute the Dead Sessions at Port City Music Hall. You want more? How about the Roots in the Attic songwriter’s showcase, featuring Chris Ross, Jesse Ahern and more, at Empire? Or Pete Witham and the Cozmik Zombies at Bayside Bowl? How about You Won’t with Jocelyn MacKenzie at One Longfellow Square, or the Superhero Lady Armwrestlers of Portland at Geno’s, or the International Heritage Music Series at Mayo Street Arts, featuring Newpoli, playing traditional Italian folk music? That’s a lot. Wow. On Saturday, there’s Tribal Seeds, Fear Nuttin and EN Young Port City, there’s a double CD release with Purse and Brenda at Empire, there’s punk rock with the Outsiders, Whiskey Kill and Bart Joy at Bayside Bowl, and there’s Erica Brown and the Bluegrass Connection at One Longfellow Square.
3. On the Midcoast this weekend, take your pick from either the Fremont Street String Band at the Speakeasy in Rockland, or songwriter and guitarist William Joseph Jiordan at Rock City Coffee, again in Rockland. On Saturday, there’s Silent Sam and the Evens at Rock City, there’s rockers the Blast Addicts at the Mill in Belfast, and the enchanting Cuban-style band Primo Cubano plays at 7 at the Rockport Opera House in Rockport.
4. The third annual Emerge Film Festival is set for Lewiston this weekend, featuring 40 films from all over the world, from Maine to Argentina. The 2016 line-up includes award-winning films that have recently screened at Sundance, Slamdance, South by Southwest, Telluride, Cannes and other top fests. There are screenings all day on both Friday and Saturday, and there are multiple ticket options including two types of “all film” passes. Individual tickets are sold for all films as well. Other film-centric events this weekend include a screening of Prince’s “Purple Rain” at 9 on Friday at Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville.
5. For some family-friendly fun, enjoy some things like the Birdacre spring owl show at Fields Pond Audubon Center in Holden, at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, or down south, the Portland edition of the Great Maine Bike Swap, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday at the USM Sullivan Gym. It’s also Independent Bookstore Day on Saturday, so go out and spend money at one of your fabulous locally owned bookstores! There are also a bunch of local museums that open for the season, including the Cole Land Transportation Museum in Bangor and the Woodlawn Museum in Ellsworth. Spring has truly sprung!