1. Let’s get straight to the matter at hand: what’s going on this weekend. That’s what you came here for, right? On Friday night in Bangor, take your pick of either the Wax On DJ Battle pitting Daft Punk vs. Chemical Brothers, starting at 9 p.m. at the Central Gallery; there’s Juicebox at Paddy Murphy’s, the Blood Orange Martinis at Nocturnem Drafthaus, the Tyler Healy Band at the Sea Dog, night one of two nights of Dakota at the Penobscot Pourhouse, and in Winterport, there’s Raven at Pub in the Port. On Saturday, there’s Bitchin’ Dudes and HL at the Central Gallery, there’s Between Dead Stations at Paddy’s, Dave Mello at Nocturnem, Octavia at the Downunder Club at Seasons, and there’s the Eric Green Party at Pub in the Port in Winterport. On Sunday, there’s some Maine hip hop with Brzowski, Cam Carter and Bza Wan Kenobi at the Central Gallery.
2. Portland on Friday hosts some very fun musical happenings, including the highly entertaining Kat Wright and the Indomitable Soul Band at Portland House of Music and Events, songwriter Slaid Cleaves at One Longfellow Square, and four great Maine rock bands including Wait, Cape Cannons, Mirth and the Very Reverend at Bayside Bowl. On Saturday, there’s the Easy Star All-Stars at Port City Music Hall, there’s the recently reformed North of Nashville at Portland House of Music, and songwriter Rod Picott is at St. Lawrence Arts. On Sunday, Celtic group Dallahan performs at One Longfellow Square.
3. Our coastal regions have a plethora of good times set for this weekend, but let’s focus on Hancock County first. Friday night, the Ian Black Band performs on the Ellsworth Waterfront, Maine songwriter Howie Day performs at the Legion Hall in Southwest Harbor, while on Saturday, songwriter Jonah Tolchin (pictured above) is at the Lompoc Cafe, the Trisha Mason Band rocks the Thirsty Whale, and comedian Paula Poundstone performs at the Criterion Theatre, all in Bar Harbor. And don’t forget the Deer Isle Jazz Festival, set for the Stonington Opera House all weekend. On the Midcoast on Friday, the Adam Ezra Group play at Savage Oakes Winery in Union Friday, the Barbour Clarke Duo is at Rock City Coffee in Rockland, and the A Day In the Life Beatles experience plays the first of two nights at the Camden Opera House. On Saturday, Pandafan is at Rock City, blues man RC Budaka is at the Speakeasy, also in Rockland, and Bad Daddy and the Brotherhood play at Three Tides in Belfast. On Sunday, composer Jahn Sood will present his musical/operetta “In a Sea of Faces,” set in Maine, at 7 p.m. at the Strand Theatre in Rockland.
4. More fairs and festivals to showcase this weekend — but let’s start with one that’s specific to folks that love all things Italian: the annual St. Peter’s Italian Bazaar, set for Friday through Sunday at St. Peter’s Church in Portland, featuring all the crafts and amazing Italian food you could possibly eat. On the opposite side of the state, there’s the Winter Harbor Lobster Festival, all day Saturday in beautiful Winter Harbor, with parades, a road race, crafts, lobster boat races and lobster dinners. Right smack in the middle, there’s the inaugural Maine Red Hot Dog Festival in Dexter, celebrating the uniquely Maine treat. For the more traditional fair, there’s the Skowhegan Fair and Topsham Fair, both with rides, fair foods, animals and all the other good stuff you know and love.
5. Finally, by all accounts, this weekend will bring one of the best visits from the annual Perseids meteor shower. Apparently, Jupiter is exerting some extra gravitational pull on all the little blobs of dust and rocks that come rocketing out of the debris field in between us and our gaseous giant friend. Instead of 80 to 100 meteors an hour, expert upwards of 150. So — despite the fact that eastern Maine looks like it might be a bit on the cloudy side this weekend — I suggest you find a nice, clear spot, free of light pollution, lay down a blanket between the hours of 9 and midnight, and get to watching. Saturday night is going to be a bit rainy, but Friday and Sunday nights just might be OK. Wishing upon stars is encouraged.