1. Mmmmm. Bangor, Maine. Drink it in. This weekend in the Queen City, there’s a plethora of parties and proceedings you can attend, perfect for people of many particular persuasions and personalities. On Friday night, there’s Wine on the Waterfront, starting at 5:30 and perfect for all the wine lovers in your life. There’s also weekend two of the face-melting musical “Rock of Ages” at the Penobscot Theatre. A little later on, there’s two ways to dance: the monthly contradance at the UU Church at 8 p.m., and the summer edition of the Wax On DJ Battle, putting Janet Jackson vs Madonna, at 9 p.m. at the Central Gallery. At Paddy Murphy’s, there’s Magnetic North, at Nocturnem Drafthaus there’s the Dirk Quinn Band, across the river at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer there’s improv troupe the Focus Group, and up in Old Town, the Brad Hutchinson Project is at the Boomhouse. On Saturday, the Waterfront drinking fun continues with Tap Into Summer, Bangor’s Beer Fest, set for 1 to 5 p.m.; it’s also the same day as country legend and living icon of fabulousness Dolly Parton’s concert at the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion. That night, check out either the Allison Ames Band at Sea Dog, jazz group Mes Amis at Nocturnem, Magnetic North at Ipanema, bluesman David Raitt at Nocturnem, rockers Octavia at Seasons, the Skyliners Big Band at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer, and Celtic trio the Napper Tandies at Black Bear Brewing in Orono. On Sunday, the Central Gallery hosts its first-ever Gallery Fest, with 18 bands playing all day from noon to 10 p.m.; a full list of artists featured can be found on the Central Gallery website.
2. I reviewed their album earlier this week and I liked it very much, so if I were to be in Portland this Friday, I’d want to be at Dominic and the Lucid’s album release for “Ferret,” with guests Ghost of Jupiter and Is She? at Portland House of Music. Elsewhere in two, there’s night one of two nights at Thompson’s Point with jam legends moe., there’s comedian Kathleen Madigan at the State Theatre, there’s songwriter Robert Ellis at One Longfellow Square, there’s hip hip night with DJ KTF at Empire, and there’s some fantastically strange electronic indie rock with Paul de Jong, Glass Fingers and Computer at Sea at the Space Gallery. On Saturday, take your pick from either Motor Booty Affair at Portland House of Music, the Wicked Woods album release with guests Tall Horse and Elison Jackson at Empire, the Tarbox Ramblers at One Longfellow Square, or two most excellent punk shows at two very different places: Muck and the Mires, the Gamma Goochies and Thee Icepicks at Bayside Bowl, and Leftover Crack with Days n Daze, All Turn Up and Mouth Washington at Space Gallery. On Sunday, rapper B.o.B. is at Port City Music Hall, and Celtic duo Makem & Spain is at One Longfellow Square,
3. Let’s start on the eastern coast this weekend, with our coastal roundup. There”s several great shows this weekend on MDI, starting with Friday, when the Mallett Brothers Band (pictured above) perform at the Legion Hall in Southwest Harbor, songwriters Katherine Perkins and Patrick Davis are at the Lompoc, and it’s also the start of Art in the Park weekend in Bar Harbor. On Saturday, blues guitarist Popa Chubby is at the Legion in Southwest and salsacore band El Malo is at the Lompoc. Meanwhile, on the Midcoast, on Friday night, the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts hosts Mr. and Mrs. Garrett Soucy, Tim Erickson and Trio de Pumpkinton, comedian Juston McKinney is at the Camden Opera House, and in Rockland, songwriter Peter Carriveau is at Rock City Coffee and Cuban group Primo Cubano is at the Speakeasy. On Saturday, jazz group Sassquatch is at the Speakeasy, and the Strand Theatre in Rockland hosts an HD broadcast of a live Iggy Pop concert at 8 p.m.
4. Here’s a few more nifty events this weekend in the Bangor and Portland areas. In Bangor, during the day on Saturday there’s the summertime Downtown Sidewalk Sale, with 17 downtown businesses offering significant discounts on lots of items — do we hear Father’s Day/birthday/anniversary/graduation shopping opportunities? In Orono, the fifth annual Stillwater Artsapalooza starts at 5 p.m., and features an overwhelming assortment of live music, dance, theater and poetry all over the town of Orono; visit the Stillwater Community Arts page for more info. In southern Maine, the city of Biddeford hosts from Thursday to Sunday La Kermesse Franco-Americaine, a Franco-American festival 34 years running, featuring tons of live music, delicious Quebecois food, dancing, kid’s activities and more; check out the schedule here. Finally, Circus Maine at Thompson’s Point in Portland hosts three fabulous circus cabarets featuring circus artists on Friday, Saturday (7 p.m.) and Sunday (4 p.m.); tickets are $16 at the door, and the Friday and Saturday shows will feature cocktails, while Sunday’s show is kid-friendly.
5. Here’s the first of several posts this summer about beaches that I love. Usually ocean beaches, yes, but sometimes lake beaches, too. Today, though: ocean beaches. Namely, Popham Beach, which (in my humble opinion) is The Best Beach In Maine. I plan to go there this weekend! Why is it the best? Well, first: it’s big. Big enough that all the beach-goers can spread out and not be all up in each other’s grills while everyone lays on their beach towels. Secondly, it’s super sandy. Not rocky. Sandy. And third, if you hit the tides right and it’s a nice sunny day, it’s actually pleasant to swim in the ocean here — the water as the tide is going out can be quite warm (relatively speaking). Bonus: cute as hell little piping plovers and sandpipers peeping around — though you should never ever bother them! Do your “dawww”-ing from a distance. Popham Beach. In Phippsburg. South of Bath. It’s terrific.