1. Oooh, it is summmmmm-mer! It’s looking like it’s going to be a (mostly, aside from Friday night thundershowers) beautiful weekend in Bangor, just in time for the Pride Festival (we’ll get to that in a minute). Entertainment-wise, on Friday night in Bangor, rockers Hambone are at Paddy Murphy’s, it’s vinyl night at Nocturnem Drafthaus, and Lucie and the Undercover Band are at the Sea Dog. On Saturday, jazz man John Nowak is at Nocturnem, the Values are at the Downunder Club at Seasons, the Tune Squad is at Paddy’s, the Tyler Healy Band is at the Sea Dog, and at the Gracie Theatre at Husson University, there’s One Night in Memphis, a tribute to Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis.
2. In Portland this weekend, Friday is jam-packed. Take your pick from either Johnnyswim at the State Theatre, local hero Spose with God.Damn.Chan. and Shane Reis at Port City Music Hall, more local music with Chris Ross and the North, Armies and Wise Old Ghost at Portland House of Music, and JE Sunde, Caroline Cotter and Starcrossed Lovers at the Space Gallery. There’s also Memphis Lightning at Bayside Bowl, the Dupont Brothers and Her Crooked Heart at One Longfellow Square, and the legendary King Memphis at Slab Sicilian Street Food. On Saturday, El Grande rock the house at Portland House of Music, rockers Snowhaus, Wedding Camp, Brr and Amiright? are at Space Gallery, local favorites Covered in Bees play a GWAR tribute show at Bayside Bowl, and the T Sisters and Iron Eyes Cody are at One Longfellow. Lucero and Banditos play on Sunday at Port City Music Hall, as does songwriter BJ Barham at One Longfellow.
3. What could be nicer than a sunshiney weekend on the Midcoast? On Friday night, roots band Roosevelt Dime plays with Jenna Lotti and Harry J and the Bling at Thresher’s Brewing in Searsmont, while in Rockland, songwriter Tom Albury takes the stage at Rock City Coffee. On Saturday, Hunter Finden, Wesleigh Starrs, Quantum and the Ace Tones play a rare show at Union Hall in Searsport, while there’s the Midnight Riders at Thresher’s in Searsmont, Liberty Craft Brewing in Liberty hosts New Orleans bluesman Carl Root plus lawn games and pizza at 6 p.m., and down in Rockland, Whoopy Kat is at the Myrtle Street Tavern, and singer-songwriter Sorcha Cribben-Merrill is at Rock City Coffee.
4. PRIDE! Last weekend it was in Portland, this weekend it’s in Bangor and Bar Harbor. In Bangor, some of the many fun things planned for this weekend include an open mic night at 7 p.m. and a drag show at 9:30 p.m., both at the Sea Dog; the Pride parade is at 10 a.m. Saturday, followed by the festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in West Market Square. That night, there’s a Pride after party at Paddy Murphy’s upstairs, a youth dance at 58 Main, another dance party at the Central Gallery, and a chem-free party for all ages at the Bangor Area Recovery Network at 142 Center St. in Brewer. Meanwhile, in Bar Harbor, on Saturday there’s a Pride fun fair in the Reel Pizza Parking Lot from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and then comedian Ian Harvie performs at the Criterion Theatre at 8 p.m., with the night wrapping up with a drag show at Carmen Verandah at 10 p.m.
5. The annual PortFringe Festival has returned to Portland, with a week of alternative theater that’s already started, and continues through this weekend. There’s a dizzying array of plays, musical performances, comedy and other genuinely unique performance set for venues all over the city, with more than 20 shows each set for Saturday and Sunday. Highlights? Too many to list them all here, but for my purposes, I’d check out things like “One Man Apocalypse Now,” which is, you guessed it, a one man play version of “Apocalypse Now,” with a performance set for 6:15 p.m. Friday at Geno’s; “Jim and Melissa present: Freaky Nasty Trash,” a John Waters-inspired sketch comedy show set for 8 p.m., Friday, also at Geno’s; “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead by Bert V. Royal,” an adult take on classic Peanuts characters, with shows at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Portland Stage Studio, and “There Ain’t No More: Death of a Folksinger,” a one-man operetta by Willi Carlisle and Joseph Fletcher, set for 10:30 p.m. Friday and 1:45 p.m. Saturday at Empire (my esteemed colleague Troy Bennett wrote about this show today!). A full list of shows, alongside ticket info, can be found online at portfringe.com.