1. What’s cooking in the Queen City this weekend? Friday night, take your pick from these offerings: the monthly Bangor Contradance is at 8 p.m. at the UU Church on Park Street; rockers the Junkyard Cats are at Paddy Murphy’s, it’s vinyl night at Nocturnem Drafthaus, and Midnight Rose is at the Sea Dog. Up in Orono, the band Fire and Ice are at Woodman’s, and the Itinerate Visitors are at Black Bear Brewing Company. On Saturday, Vermont band Cricket Blue is at the Central Gallery, songwriter Trisha Mason is at Paddy’s, the Nikki Hunt Band is at the Sea Dog, Sonja Hannington and friends play jazz at Nocturnem, and 80s cover band Eightysomething is at the Downunder Club at Seasons.
2. In Portland on Friday night, jam bands Pigeons Playing Ping Pong and Acqueous take the stage at Port City Music Hall, while at the Space Gallery, there’s a book release and performance event for Nat Baldwin’s new book, “The Red Barn.” At Portland House of Music, Kate Beever and friends perform a tribute to Paul Simon’s “Graceland,” the Dirty Bourbon River Show is at Empire, and Mipso and 10 String Symphony are at One Longfellow Square. On Saturday night, roots songwriters Sam Outlaw, Griffin Sherry and Hayley Thompson-King are at Portland House of Music, there’s a night of electronic music with Jackson Whalan, Outlet and STL GLD at Empire, and there’s a benefit for Maine immigrant programs, featuring African Dundada, Mr. Lumemo, Dequhn Lobutua and more, set for 7 p.m. at Mayo Street Arts. On Sunday, songwriters Maia Sharp and Catie Curtis are at One Longfellow Square.
3. Friday night brings a plethora of fun things to do on the Midcoast. There’s a fun show featuring classic ensemble Palaver Strings and the roots trio the Gawler Sisters at the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts; the Camden Opera House’s monthly date night series continues, with a performance by comedian Erin Donovan at 7:30 p.m. followed by a screening of “Moonstruck,” and acoustic band the Honeycreepers are at Rock City Coffee. On Saturday, guitarist Will Brown is at Rock City Coffee, and 90s cover band Hello Newman is at the Myrtle Street Tavern.
4. The amount of local theater currently being produced and performed in Maine is pretty astounding, when you think about it. In eastern Maine alone this weekend, there are a number of options for theater fans. In Orono, Some Theatre Company premieres “Spring Awakening,” with performances all weekend at the Keith Anderson Community Center. Meanwhile, in Blue Hill, it’s the first weekend of the long run of New Surry Theatre’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof,” set for the Blue Hill Town Hall. In Bangor specifically, on Saturday night, the touring company of “Disenchanted,” a musical parodying Disney princesses, is set for 5 and 8 p.m. at the Gracie Theatre at Husson University, and at Bangor High’s Peakes Auditorium, Bangor Rotary’s annual Music Off Broadway will be performed 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, featuring a huge array of local musicians and performers.
5. Earth Day celebrations begin Friday and stretch through the whole weekend, though the eco-holiday is technically on Saturday. There are several yearly events, and the biggest of those has to be College of the Atlantic’s Earth Day Festival, set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, with live music, kid’s activities, sustainability workshops and test drives of COA’s electric car, all on COA’s beautiful Bar Harbor campus. Also on Saturday, Bangor’s Earth Day Festival is organized by Transportation for All, a local organization that promotes public transportation; the fun starts at noon in Pickering Square, and includes free food, live music, seedling planting and a group zumba session. Finally, Unity College has had a whole week of Earth Day celebrations, culminating in events on Friday and Saturday, including an Earth Day Fair and cardboard kayak races beginning at noon and 2 p.m. on Friday, respectively, and a 5k at 8 a.m. Saturday.
6. BONUS THING TO DO! Saturday is the tenth annual Record Store Day, a yearly celebration of independent record stores that was started right here in Maine by the pride of Brunswick, Bull Moose Music. Rare items, one of a kind items, sales and lots of schwag are available at all Bull Moose Music locations; visit recordstoreday.com for more information.