1. A few weeks ago I placed an informal bet with some friends: when would we get our first real snowstorm? Not the few inches we got earlier this week — while pretty, not a proper snowstorm. I’m talking at least seven or eight inches, plows out, school canceled. My vote was December 18. What would you say? Either way, the roads are clear enough for weekend fun starting this Friday, so here’s some fun stuff to do. In Bangor on Friday, there’s the next edition of Wax On at the Central Gallery, with your intrepid DJs pitting punk rock against disco; the fun starts at 9 p.m. There’s also vinyl night at Nocturnem Drafthaus, rockers Skyfoot at Paddy Murphy’s and Stesha Cano and her Jerks at the Sea Dog. Up in the Orono area, Magnetic North is at Woodman’s, Wyld Lyfe is at Black Bear Brewing, and the Cards are at the Boomhouse in Old Town. On Saturday, there’s some local rock with Contempt, Prison Hit, V-Sect, Combatant at the Central Gallery, there’s Bangor band Chamberlain’s final show set for 8 p.m. at 58 Main, there’s guitarist Rob Benton at the Sea Dog, blues man Dave Mello at Nocturnem, and the Calypso Soldiers at Paddy’s.
2. In Portland this weekend, Friday night brings the long-sold out Norah Jones concert at the State Theatre; there’s also an excellent bill of local rock with KGFREEZE (pictured above!), Bully Mammoth, Wait and Husk at Empire, there’s the Marshall Nelson Trio at Portland House of Music, and there’s Woodshed Mystics, Miss Maybell and Slimpickins, and El Malo at Blue. On Saturday, the entertaining Rubblebucket, Mal Divisa and Yairms are at Port City Music Hall; songwriters Lucy Kaplansky and Dan Blakeslee are at One Longfellow Square, there’s a night of EDM at Empire, there’s funk band L’Especial at Portland House of Music, and there’s jazz from Michael Belling Quartet with Brad Terry, the Jared Steer Trio and the George Garzone Trio at Blue.
3. On the Midcoast this weekend, take you pick Friday night from either Nat Hussey at Rock City Coffee, a screening of the Maine Short Film Festival at the Strand Theatre, or the premiere of new musical “The Night Kitchen” at the Camden Opera House, which I wrote about earlier this week. On Saturday, there’s A Broadway Christmas, presented by Bay Chamber Concerts at the Rockport Opera House, there’s folk group Meteora at Rock City, and 90s cover band Hello Newman is at the Myrtle Street Tavern, both in Rockland.
4. Plenty of holiday fun to be had this weekend all over the state. Let’s start with Portland, where Picnic Holiday Sale is set for Sunday afternoon at the Portland Company Complex, featuring tons and tons of excellent Maine artisans and crafters. Also in Portland is the always lovely Victoria Mansion Christmas, with the historic manse gussied up for the holidays. Further north, there’s another weekend of Gardens Aglow at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbday; there’s the Belfast Maskers reading of “A Christmas Carol,” set 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Belfast Free Library; and in Bangor, there’s the Bangor Band’s annual Christmas Concert, set for 7 p.m. Sunday at Peakes Auditorium at Bangor High School.
5. Sunday looks like it’s going to be a crisp, clear December day! And after the bits of snow we’ve gotten over the past week, Maine’s ski mountains are up and operational. Not all trails are open, but enough are that there’s skiing to be had. Sunday is Maine Ski Day at both Sugarloaf and Sunday River, meaning Maine residents get discounted ski passes; there’s also a tree lighting festival on Saturday at Sugarloaf, and the Adam Ezra Group that night at the Widowmaker. Also, Mt. Abram in Greenwood and Big Rock in Mars Hill both open for the season this weekend. Enjoy!