1. I read a nice quote somewhere on social media that said that the first week of August is like being at the very top of a big Ferris wheel, and the rest of the summer is the slow descent back to the ground. Nice; also kind of depressing. Enjoy peak summer in Bangor this weekend, when Friday night, River City Cinema screens “Joe Versus the Volcano” at sundown; elsewhere, the Trisha Mason Band is at Paddy Murphy’s, Bill Barnes Jazz Trio is at Nocturnem Drafthaus, and the Tyler Healy Band at the Sea Dog. On Saturday, the fourth annual Homebrew Expo is set for Central Street Farmhouse from noon til 5 p.m.; sample some delicious brews outside in the Pocket Park. Later on, OneRepublic and Fitz & the Tantrums play a concert at the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion, the Adam Babcock Band is at Paddy’s, the River Drivers are at Nocturnem, and OC and the Offbeats play a show at the Sea Dog. On Sunday, Wait and Boston Marriage are both at the Central Gallery. And don’t forget — the Bangor State Fair wraps up this weekend, so get your corn dogs and rides in before they’re gone.
2. Portland this weekend is almost overwhelmingly jam-packed with stuff to do, so let’s get right into it. This weekend is the 15th anniversary of the Space Gallery in Portland, and after at 5 p.m. birthday party, the first of two shows for this weekend is Death Vessel, the Huntress and Holder of Hands, and Micah Blue Smaldone. Elsewhere, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Emily Barker are at the State Theatre, the Dead Sessions at Port City Music Hall, and Hannah Daman and the Martelle Sisters with Western Den and Honeysuckle at One Longfellow Square. For a little louder fun, there’s the the Outsiders CD release, with the Teledynes and Dressed for The Occasion, at Portland House of Music; and there’s a CD release for Too Late The Hero, with Roseview, Lions Lions and Acadia, at Aura. There’s also first Friday comedy, followed by Throwback Night with DJ KTF, at Empire. On Sunday, the Space Gallery birthday fun continues with the What Cheer Brigade, Hi Tiger and Birthing Hips. There’s the long sold out show from Alabama Shakes and Emily King at Thompson’s Point. There’s also Good Charlotte, 3OH!3 and Chapel at Aura, and Lifehouse and Switchfoot at the Maine State Pier. More locally speaking, Wait, Harbor Lights and Cape Cannons play at Empire, local metal with Holy Filth, Earthworm Von Doom, Tovarish and Megog is at Geno’s, and Nuclear Bootz, Koroyov and Gwynne and the Tonics are at Bayside Bowl. On Sunday, Dark Star Orchestra plays on the Maine State Pier.
3. The Midcoast is also a happening spot this weekend; the Maine Lobster Festival takes over Rockland, with all the lobster you can eat, rides to ride, crafts to buy and live music from the likes of oldies classics the Rascals at 7:30 p.m. Friday and the Outlaws at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Also this weekend is the Beltek Festival, which miraculously survived tragedy last summer and has returned for three days of electronic music in Waldo County; the fun starts Friday nights and runs through early Sunday. In Searsmont, the Eric Green Party plays at Thresher’s Brewing Company. And, for something completely different, at 6 p.m. on Saturday, check out Bay Chamber Concerts music on the lake — paddle, row or motor out to a specific spot on Lake Megunticook (coordinates found here) in Camden, and take in a concert from uplifting world hip hop ensemble Brown Rice Family. At 4 p.m. Sunday, Waterfall Arts in Belfast celebrates its birthday with a concert from Starcrossed Lovers and William Jiordan. Ah, summer in Maine.
4. It’s a great weekend to take in both visual and performing arts in the great outdoors in Maine. It’s First Friday, so there’s art walks slated for Bangor, Bar Harbor and Portland all evening. There’s always an interesting mix of local and regional artists at all three; Bangor and Portland’s start at 5 p.m., and Bar Harbor’s starts at 6 p.m. There’s also free or inexpensive outdoor Shakespeare productions all over the state — Ten Bucks Theatre’s last weekend of “The Merry Wives of Windsor” is set for 6 p.m., Thursday-Sunday at beautiful Fort Knox State Park in Prospect; the Camden Shakespeare Festival offers “Romeo & Juliet” at 6 p.m. Friday and Sunday at the Camden Amphitheatre ($25 for general admission) and “Much Ado About Nothing” at 6 p.m. Friday at High Mountain Hall in Camden; MaineStage Shakespeare offers free performances of “The Winter’s Tale” at 7 p.m. Friday at LL Bean Discovery Park in Freeport and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at 7 p.m. Saturday at Lafayette Park in Kennebunk.
5. Finally, Sunday is looking to be a doozy of a perfect day — low 80s, perfectly sunny, just delightful. Swimming, anyone? I’ve gone on and on about how much I love Popham Beach in Phippsburg, and I can’t recommend it enough, though there are, of course, lots of other fun beaches around the state. Reid State Park in Georgetown comes to mind, as does Lucia Beach in Owls Head. And even though it’s not particularly sandy, Roques Bluff in Jonesboro is absolutely gorgeous, and usually not terribly busy. Enjoy!