1. I don’t know how to take it when my phone sends me a big red warning alert, telling me that if I go outside on Friday evening I might get frostbite because it’s going to be so cold out. Thanks? Duh? OK? Ah, Maine. You really never know. On Friday night, you can bundle up and enjoy some of the following events, including songwriter Stesha Cano’s record release show at COESPACE at 6 p.m.; Allison Bankston and Hippie Soup at Nocturnem Drafthaus at 8 p.m., the Singepole Mountain Band at Paddy Murphy’s at 9 p.m., songwriter Paige Bacon at the Sea Dog, and standup comedy at the Bear Brew in Orono with Adam Hatch, Jeremy White and others. On Saturday, there’s a triple bill of excellent local rock with Marathon Man, Livid Orange and Bad Island at the Central Gallery; there’s also Fifth Freedom at the Sea Dog, and Meghan Clark at Nocturnem.
2. There are a bunch of super fun shows this weekend in Portland, starting with local legend Spose’s annual pDank Christmas, featuring the man himself and guests at Port City Music Hall. Also that night is the Maine Dead Project at Portland House of Music, local bands Seepeoples, Hiss and Chambers and Loom at Empire, and a quadruple record release from Buddusky, Wedding Camp, Diva Cup and Badfellows at the Space Gallery. Saturday brings the annual Fogcutters Super Fantastic Christmas Extravaganza at the State Theatre featuring the beloved local big band; there’s also venerable local rockers the Boneheads’ 25th anniversary party at Portland House of Music, a benefit for Standing Rock featuring Five of the Eyes, Long Time, Mirth and Back River Union at Empire, the Don Campbell Christmas Show at One Longfellow Square, and a metal show with Apollyon, Impenitant Theif, Hatred Alive and Exclave at Geno’s. On Sunday, check out the LeeVees with Adam Gardner of Guster at Port City.
3. What’s tasty on the Midcoast this weekend? Well, in Rockland Friday night there are two fun shows, including the Pinwheel Brothers at Rock City Coffee, and an ugly sweater party at Trackside Station with the band Just Teachers. On Saturday, take your pick from either Two Dollar Pistol at Threshers Brewing in Searsmont, songbird Lindsay Mower at Rock City, a holiday party with O’Chang Comics and the Villains at Myrtle Street Tavern, and a new age concert with David Arkenstone’s Winter Fantasy at the Camden Opera House. On Sunday, Maine rock duo Armies perform at 4 p.m. with the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra at the Camden Opera House.
4. I suppose now we have to get used to the idea of there being a new Star Wars movie every Christmas — this year’s addition to the growing Star Wars canon is “Rogue One,” which opens this weekend all over the country. There are plenty of fun events planned at area movie theaters. At Bangor Mall Cinema’s, there’ll be vendors, cosplay, live music and a visit from R2-D2, starting Thursday night and going through the weekend. Another fun premiere party is Thursday night at the Criterion Theatre in Bar Harbor, complete with a Star Wars costume contest. Other theaters in Maine will welcome little Han Solos and Reys as well; check your local listings.
5. Hard to believe it’s the last weekend before Christmas! There’s lots to do to celebrate this season this weekend, starting in Orono, with Some Theatre Company’s puppet-enhanced production of “The Velveteen Rabbit” set for 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday at the Keith Anderson Community Center; this weekend also offers up the Robinson Ballet and Bangor Symphony Orchestra’s “Nutcracker,” Saturday and Sunday at the Collins Center. In Ellsworth, the Grand Theatre presents a live theater version of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” set for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Down in Portland, on Saturday evening there’s the annual Portland boat parade of lights through Portland Harbor, while there’s the first-ever “Circus Solstice,” a full circus show at Circus Maine, with performances at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday at the school at Thompson’s Point.