1. It’s a lively weekend in the Queen City this time around. Friday night, the evening starts off with the presently sold out BDN Dirigo Speaks event with Michael Frinkel, author of the book about the North Pond Hermit, set for 5:30 p.m. at the Bangor Public Library. Later on, enjoy Maine rockers the Very Reverend and They Called Me Legion at the Central Gallery, some laughs with Queen City Improv at 58 Main, songwriter Paige Bacon at the Sea Dog, Koostix at Paddy Murphy’s, or vinyl night with DJ Thom at Nocturnem Drafthaus; up in Old Town, Mike Rodrigue is at the Boomhouse. On Saturday, it’s day one of two days of the Professional Bull Riders at the Cross Insurance Center; that night, take your pick of either Canadian songwriter Lennie Gallant at 58 Main, more rock from Marathon Man and Borderlines at the Central Gallery, Sam Shain and the Scolded Dogs at Paddy’s, top 40 cover band Tickle at the Downunder Club at Seasons, The Fox and the Hound at the Sea Dog, and bluesman Dave Mello at Nocturnem.
2. Friday night in Portland, there’s a big benefit concert for the ACLU at Port City Music Hall, featuring lots of great Portland bands and artists including Spose, Weakened Friends, Bright Boy, Jeff Beam, Sunset Hearts, Amarantos Quartet and Anna Lombard. Also that evening, the Fogcutters big band perform with Eldemurr Krimm at Portland House of Music, there’s a Notorious BIG tribute night at Empire, blues legend James Montgomery is at One Longfellow Square, and multimedia performance artist Jenny Scheinman at 8 p.m. at Hannaford Hall at USM. On Saturday, freak folk songwriter Devendra Banhart plays with H. Hawkline, ROGOV and Josiah Steinbrick at Port City, Shufflin’ Tremble is at Portland House of Music, it’s an EDM night with Joe Nice, Deez, Coast, Dot.Wave and Be See at Empire, the Tarbox Ramblers are at One Longfellow, and Amarantos Quartet play a second weekend show at Mayo Street Arts. On Sunday, I See Stars, the Restless Atlantic and ECHOS are at Port City, and Japanese musician Hiroya Tsukamoto is at Mayo Street Arts.
3. This weekend brings the 78th annual Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show, set for Friday through Sunday at the Field House at UMaine. Featuring over 120 exhibitors from canoes, boats, camping and outdoor wear, to fishing, hunting, taxidermy and archery, it’s a favorite for outdoor lovers all over Maine. It’s also a place to say hi to BDN outdoors peeps, like John Holyoke and Aislinn Sarnacki, the latter of whom has a book coming out! “Family Friendly Hikes in Maine” isn’t out til June, but you can get a sneak peek of some of its content at the show this weekend.
4. This weekend is loaded up with fantastic folk music and folk arts events statewide. The fine folks at DEFFA — Down East Friends of the Folk Arts — list nearly 20 events occurring from Portland to Ellsworth, including at 7 p.m. Friday community contra dance at Brighton Hall in Portland, a 7 p.m. Friday concert from fiddler Jenna Moynihan and guitarist Owen Marshall at the Moore Community Center in Ellsworth. On Saturday night, there are contra dances at 6 p.m. at the Topsham Grange, at 7 p.m. at the Dexter Universalist Church, at 7:30 p.m. at the Keith Anderson Community Center in Orono, and 8 p.m. at the West Farmington Grange Hall. On Sunday, legendary Maine songwriter Gordon Bok plays with the January Men and Then Some at Longfellow Greenhouses in Manchester.
5. March comes in like a lion, and yes, it’s going to be a tad bit chilly and lion-y this weekend. It may perhaps even be the last real cold snap before we bid adieu to Daylight Savings Time and inch closer to spring. If you can find a lake that’s frozen safely, go ice fishing. If you are a skier or snowboarder — go skiing! If you’re a snowshoer, winter hiker or other winter sports enthusiast, well, you know the drill. If you’re none of those things, don’t worry: it’ll all be over soon. Lambs are approaching.