1. While a large percentage of folks ’round these parts will likely be nursing a Jimmy Buffett hangover this Friday, there are plenty that won’t be — and plenty that’ll be partying on, regardless. In Bangor on Friday, there’s the first of two nights of Maine favorite rapper Spose, set for 9 p.m. both Friday and Saturday at 58 Main; tickets are limited, so get there early. Elsewhere, there’s the monthly Penobscot Contradance at 8 p.m at the UU Church, there’s the first of two nights of the Trendy Robots at the Penobscot Pourhouse, there’s Magnetic North at Paddy Murphy’s, Allison Bankston and Hippie Soup at Nocturnem Drafthaus, and there’s the Nikki Hunt Band at the Sea Dog. On Saturday, take your pick downtown from either Stesha Cano and the Wicked Friggin’ Jerks at Paddy’s, another show from Magnetic North at Nocturnem, or in Brewer, the Skyliners Big Band at the Next Generation Theatre. On Sunday, Bangor rock band Wait plays with the band Mirth at the Central Gallery, while country star Miranda Lambert performs with guests Kip Moore and the Brothers Osbourne at the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion.
2. Portland this weekend offers up one of the most jam-packed lineups of shows yet this summer. Seriously. Ridiculous. On Friday, local favorite the Erik Krasno Band (the man himself pictured above) will play a CD release show at Portland House of Music. For an outdoors show, enjoy Bangor boys Wait with Snaex at Slab Sicilian Pizza. The Dead Sessions are at Port City Music Hall, there’s a night of interesting local music at the Space Gallery with Vinyl Cape, Cadaverette, Fenimore and the Asthmatic; there’s a triple bill of indie rock with Stone Cold Fox, Beggers and Is She? at Empire, and at Bayside Bowl, enjoy Rick From Pile, Footings, Greasy Grass and Buddusky. On Saturday, there’s a sold out show from comedian TJ Miller at Port City, and there’s reggae legends Toots and the Maytals at the State Theatre. There’rs the Grant Gordy Quartet at One Longfellow Square, there’s Bootstrap Cannonball, Greg Hall and the Barnhouse Band, Los Federales and Abby Litman at Empire, there’s Airport, Hannah Daman and the Martelle Sisters and Abbie Barrett at Bayside Bowl, and Dominic and the Lucid play at Portland House of Music in a goodbye show for longtime member Nate Cyr.
3. Continuing on with the amazing amounts of fantastic live music all weekend, the Midcoast is no exception. In Rockland this Friday, check out the Dirty Dozen Brass Band at the Strand Theatre, Happy Folk at Rock City Coffee, or 90s cover band Living Room Circus at the Speakeasy. Heading up the coast, there’s an evening of Maine jazz with Greg Abate, Paul Del Nero and John Wheatley, the Wayne Delano Group, and Tom Luther at 7 p.m. at the Camden Opera House, and there’s Celtic music from Colin Grant Adams at the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts. On Saturday, enjoy the Tom Luther Quintet at Three Tides in Belfast, or in Rockland, enjoy Sea For Miles at Rock City, or Two Dollar Pistol at the Myrtle Street Tavern.
4. Take advantage of these remaining weekends of summer, and take your family out for a nice time this Saturday. For instance, here in the Bangor area there’s the annual Hampden Children’s Day, kicking off at 11 a.m. with a parade, and ending at 9 p.m. with fireworks, and in between there’s games, crafts, vendors and lots more family-friendly fun. Downeast, enjoy the Maine Wild Blueberry Festival in Machias, a fantastic Maine tradition celebrating our favorite berry with food, music, theater, dancing and more. Out west, Lewiston-Auburn hosts the Great Falls Balloon Festival, starting Friday and running through Sunday and featuring countless beautiful hot air balloons; visit http://www.greatfallsballoonfestival.org for a full schedule of events. Finally, the Topsham there’s the Maine Highland Games, all day Saturday, featuring those ancient games (pictured above), food and craft vendors, and great live Celtic music; for a full schedule, visit http://mainehighlandgames.org/maine-highland-games.
5. It is going to be bee-yew-ti-ful this weekend — low 80s, clear and sunny — so here’s yet another edition of our totally irregular series on the best beaches in Maine. This week, we look at Roques Bluffs State Park in Roques Bluff, located in the town of the same name, halfway in between Jonesboro and Machias. What’s great about this place is the fact that you can lounge on the little sandy beach on the ocean, or you can take a dip in the nearby pond. The rest of the park is classic rocky Maine coastline, fields and woods, and is often little trafficked by tourists. For more information, visit the website.