1. Well, seeing as it’s going to rain for a large part of the weekend, I’m pleased to list for you a number of events that can be enjoyed indoors. On Friday night, the Calypso Soldiers perform at Paddy Murphy’s, Bill Barnes Jazz Trio is at Nocturnem Drafthaus, Canadian band Cy is at the Central Gallery, and the Joan Kennedy Band is at the Sea Dog. Up in Orono, the Tough End String Band is at Black Bear Brewing, and rockers Stone Free are at Woodman’s, while in Winterport, the 2 Guys play at the Bacon Tree. On Saturday, UMA Bangor hosts legendary Maine rockers Rustic Overtones, with a free concert set for 1 p.m. on the UMA campus. Also during the day, enjoy the annual Kid Central Festival in downtown Bangor, a free, family-friendly event featuring downtown businesses, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. And, it’s Free Comic Book Day, so get yourself something fun and free at Top Shelf Comics in downtown, and then buy something, too. In the evening, take your pick from either Little Rodeo at Paddy’s, Stesha Cano at Nocturnem, the Nikki Hunt Band at the Sea Dog, or a night of metal and hardcore at the Central Gallery with Conscious Cadaver, Last Ones Alive, Mouthbreather, Weapons At Hand and Matty Carlock. On Sunday, the BSO closes out its season with its “Celebrating Women” Master Works concert at 3 p.m. at the Collins Center in Orono.
2. It’s First Friday Art Walk night in Portland! All the carnival-esque fun you’ve come to expect, plus later on in the night, there’s The Dustbowl Revival and Von Gray at Port City Music Hall, there’s Pardon Me Doug at Portland House of Music, there’s EDM with the Zebbler Encanti Experience and Sixis at Empire, and there’s a special acoustic evening with Paranoid Social Club, Dominic Lavoie and Yes We Kin at One Longfellow Square. Also, at Geno’s, Boston rockers Scarlet Sails (featuring former Dresden Dolls drummer Brian Viglione!) play with Radiator King, Pretty Sad and Cactus Rose. On Saturday, punk rockers Screaming Females, Fur and Weakened Friends are at the Space Gallery, Twiddle and Strange Machines are at the State Theatre, the Maine Dead Project is at Portland House of Music, bands Marbin and Apis Rex play at Empire, there’s a CD release party for Cape Breton fiddler Hanneke Cassel at One Longfellow, and there’s a tribute night to southern rock set for Aura. On Sunday, Real Estate and Frankie Cosmos are at Port City Music Hall, John Craigie and Joel Thetford are at One Longfellow, country legend Dwight Yoakam is set for Aura, and there’s the super sold-out Ryan Adams and Alex Edelman concert at the State Theatre.
3. On the Midcoast, Friday night the Kansas City-based outlaw country singer Sissy Brown plays at Rock City Coffee in Rockland, while on Saturday, the Dustbowl Revival performs at the Strand Theatre in Rockland, indie rock duo Primal Static plays at Rock City Coffee, and in Belfast, the monthly Flying Shoes contradance is set for 8 p.m. at the American Legion Hall. Across the bay, there’s WERU-FM’s annual birthday party, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at station HQ in Orland, featuring Acadian fiddler Gus La Casse and rockers People of Earth.
4. Summer blockbuster season kicks off this weekend with the premiere of “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2,” which screens at all mainstream cinemas across the state; Bangor Mall Cinemas even as a fun kickoff party Thursday evening. On Friday night, also in Bangor, River City Cinema screens the annual Maine Short Film Festival, with screenings at 5:30 and 8 p.m. at COESPACE in downtown Bangor. Elsewhere, indie theater stalwart Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville screens the thrilling “Lost City of Z,” as well as “The Dinner, “The Gifted” and “Their Finest,” while Reel Pizza in Bar Harbor also screens “The Gifted,” as well as Jordan Peele’s “Get Out.”
5. Finally, Saturday brings the Kentucky Derby, that time of year when you have a perfectly good excuse to drink bourbon and wear ridiculous hats. While the OTB parlors in Bangor and Scarborough are always good places to take in the race (and maybe win a little scratch), many bars and restaurants across the state also host parties. Or maybe you host your own! Either way, if you’re going to watch, do so in style. Got a picture of yourself in a fun hat? Post it in the comments.