1. Did everyone have a nice Fourth? Swimming? Barbecues? Explosives? I know I had all of the above. Now that we’ve reached peak summer, what else do you have planned? Friday night in Bangor, take your pick from the following. There’s the second Downtown Bangor Art Walk Friday night, set for 5 to 8 p.m., there’s divisive Canadian rockers Nickelback at the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion, it’s the final weekend of The Full Monty at the Penobscot Theatre, and at sundown, there’s the first film of this year’s River City Cinema outdoor movie series, with Roger Corman’s B-movie classic “Attack of the Crab Monsters” set for sundown in Pickering Square. Later in the evening, Between Dead Stations is at Paddy Murphy’s, and the Bill Barnes Jazz Trio is at Nocturnem Drafthaus. On Saturday, take your pick, musically speaking from either the Calypso Soldiers at Paddy’s, Dave Mello at Nocturnem, Orange Blossom Special at the Downunder Club at Seasons, or Fifth Freedom at the Sea Dog.
2. It’s also art walk night in Portland, as well as the first-ever Portland Maine Comedy Festival, with stand up comedy all weekend at Empire. Also on Friday night, there’s a benefit for K9s on the Front Line featuring the Substitutes, there’s a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Lilith Fair, with songwriters Ronda Dale, Sharon Goldman, Lara Herscovitch and Lisa Redfern at One Longfellow, there’s reggae legend Ziggy Marley at Aura, and there’s country singer Billy Currington on the Maine State Pier. On Saturday night, a plethora of local bands will play a fundraiser at Bayside Bowl for local nonprofit Hope Acts, featuring SeepeopleS, Five of the Eyes, Pretty Sad, Akela Moon, Sea Level, Joel Thetford and Clara Junken. Elsewhere, 311 is at the Maine State Pier, the Space Gallery hosts a record release show for the new album from acclaimed Portland indie rockers Tall Horse, with guests Purse, $300 and Ossalot; Raekwon, Stann Smith and Ill by Instinct are at Port City, there’s a comedy cabaret show at Portland House of Music, and Celtic group Cadence at One Longfellow. On Sunday, the witty comedian John Hodgman and Jean Grae do a show at Port City Music Hall.
3. On the Midcoast, on Friday night, songwriter Matthew Frantz is at Rock City Coffee in Rockland, while on Saturday, Thresher’s Brewing in Searsmont celebrates its one year anniversary starting at noon, with beer, food and music from Vicky Andres and Upland Drive. There’s also songwriter Simon Quist at Rock City Coffee, and country singers Mike Preston and Kim Curry are at Trackside Station, both in Rockland. On Sunday, in Belfast, there’s the grand opening celebration for The Crosby Center, the new performing arts space, with an array of musical and theatrical performances starting at 2 p.m.
4. Two of the most Maine things you can imagine are set for this weekend in southern and western Maine. Down East Magazine hosts its first-ever Lobster Roll Festival, set for noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at Thompson’s Point in Portland, with lots of live music, kid’s activities and, of course, plenty of lobster rolls with all the fixings. In Lisbon Falls, the annual Moxie Festival — a celebration of that odd-tasting, totally Maine soft drink — is set for Friday through Sunday, with all sorts of fun, family-friendly events like fireworks on Friday night, a parade and road race Saturday morning, tons of great food and music, and even a Moxie-chugging contest. For a full schedule, visit moxiefestival.com.
5. What else is good? How about the annual Arts in the Park festival in Belfast, with lots of Maine artists and artisans selling their goods on the Waterfront, during the day on both Saturday and Sunday? Or, how about the annual Scottish Tattoo, set for 5:30 p.m. at Fort Knox State Park in Prospect (kilts, bagpipes, pageantry!)? Or how about those always fun Stonington Lobster Boat races, starting at 10 a.m. Sunday? It’s a rip-roaring good time. Man, I love summer.