1. In the Bangor area this weekend, Friday night brings a plethora of entertainment options. There are two comedy shows that night, with The Focus Group improv troupe at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer, and comedian Caroline Rhea at the Gracie Theatre at Husson University; there’s also the annual Acadia Hospital benefit at the Cross Insurance Center, featuring Motor Booty Affair and the Allison Ames Band. Later in the evening, it’s rap night at the Central Gallery, featuring Maze the Visionary, Cal Carter, the Ex Pandas, Young Joku; there’s Magnetic North at Paddy Murphy’s, it’s vinyl night with DJ Thom Cosgrove at Nocturnem Drafthaus, and it’s night one of two nights of Overdrive at the Penobscot Pourhouse. Up in Old Town, the Brad Hutchinson Project is at the Boomhouse. On Saturday evening, there’s a Norumbega Collective reading from Katie Lattari and Dave Kress at The Rock & Art Shop, and there’s some indie rock from ATHOI, Muscle Before Paradise and Beggars at the Central Gallery. Later in the evening, there’s Stesha Cano at Paddy Murphy’s, John Nowak at Nocturnem, or Skyliners Big Bang at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer; Magnetic North is at Woodman’s in Orono, and rockers Seepeoples make their triumphant return to the Bangor area with a show at the Boomhouse in Old Town.
2. It may be getting a little crispy outside, but that doesn’t mean anything is slowing down in Portland. On Friday night, Portland legends King Memphis play their 25 year anniversary show at Portland House of Music. Elsewhere, Christian band For King & Country is at the State Theatre, reggae bands Mighty Mystic and Ballyhoo are at Port City Music Hall, Big Mean Sound Machine and Skyfoot are at Empire, and the Maine Outdoor Film Festival will be screened at One Longfellow Square. On Saturday, take your pick from either The Devil Makes Three at the State Theatre, dub legend Lee Scratch Perry at Port City Music Hall, Americana bands Darlingside and The DuPont Brothers at Portland House of Music, comedian Sean Patton at Empire, or a CD release show for the Truth About Daisies at One Longfellow Square. There’s also Nuclear Bootz, Buddusky, Bumbling Woohas and Captain Martini and the Keystoners at Geno’s, and there’s the Hopelessly Obscure, the Flipsides and the Retro Rockets at Bayside Bowl. On Sunday, Bryan Fallon and the Crowes and Ryan Bingham are at the State Theatre, and comedian Eliot Chang is at Empire.
3. Friday night brings the monthly Fourth Friday Art Walk in Belfast, packed full of delightful creative offerings such as the Science and Comics exhibit at Waterfall Arts, or of work from the artists of the former Aarhus Gallery, on display at the Belfast Framer. Also beginning Friday is the Old Time Music Campout, all weekend at the Searsport Shores Campground; come for the whole weekend or just for a few hours, anytime. Elsewhere, singer-songwriter Robert Hunter is at the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts, and the Kennebunk River Band is at Rock City Coffee in Rockland. On Saturday, beloved Midcoast trio the Toughcats (pictured above) are at Three Tides, Maine legend David Mallett is at the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts, and blues singer Ruthie Foster is at the Strand Theatre in Rockland.
4. Though technically it began on Wednesday, this weekend brings the annual Acadia Night Sky Festival, a yearly fall tradition offering science and astronomy buffs and lovers of nature a chance to explore the vast darkness above Mt. Desert Island. Talks and panels, art workshops, multiple star gazing opportunities and boat cruises are planned for the weekend, all over the island; for a full schedule of all the cosmic goings-on during this festival, visit acadianightskyfestival.com.
5. Finally, it’s one of the best weekends of the year: it’s the Common Ground Fair. This beloved annual celebration of rural living starts Friday afternoon and goes through Sunday afternoon. As always, there’s food, music, shopping, things to see, animals to fawn over, people to observe, sun to be caught, life to be savored. It’s a true Maine tradition. For a full schedule of events, visit mofga.org/thefair. It’s $12 for adults to get in each day.