Let’s go down the spring checklist, shall we? Ice is out in streams and ponds, check. Crocuses spotted in eastern Maine, check. Baseball season has started, check. My car is covered in a mass of mud and bird poop from the battalion of robins and chickadees congregating in my driveway, check. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling it.
In Bangor this weekend, on Friday night, check out bands and other fun around town including the Rotating Taps at Nocturnem Drafthaus, Stesha Cano at the Sea Dog, or Improv Acadia doing their comedic thing at 8 p.m. at 51 Main. Up in Orono, the Muddy Ruckus is at Black Bear Brewing, and Drive-By Todd, the Orchids and Livid Orange play at the Boomhouse in Old Town. On Saturday, folk duo Piedmont is at Nocturnem, the Karmaceuticals play at Paddy Murphy’s, Celtic harpists Grainne Hambly and William Jackson are at the Bangor Arts Exchange, and country artists Justin Moore and Dylan Scott are at the Cross Insurance Center.
In Portland, on Friday night, there’s the long-awaited show from Bleachers at the State Theatre, with guest Charly Bliss. There’s also Portland contemporary dance favorites the Dance Cartel with DJ Che Ros at the Space Gallery. Elsewhere, Wild Child is at Port City Music Hall; Ada, Lisa/Liza and Pits are at the Apohadion; Port City Saints, Marko and the Bruisers, Time Out and No Good are at Geno’s; Worried Well and Borderlines are at Bayside Bowl; Battery Steele, the Big Sway and Spillers are at Empire, and there’s a Townes Van Zandt tribute night at One Longfellow Square. On Saturday, Maine icons Rustic Overtones play with Bella’s Bartok and The Very Reverend at Port City Music Hall; there’s the Donut Queen’s Burlesque Ball at Portland House of Music; there’s Kenya Hall, Ock Cousteau, Sarah Violette and Renee Coolbrith at Empire; songwriter Bri Lane with the Pages at One Longfellow, and Johnny Cremains and Iron City Preachers at Bayside Bowl.
In a true sign of spring, the very first canoe race of the season kicks off this Saturday, with the 39th annual St. George Canoe Race. Organizers say that given the balmy temps of the week and the rain we’re getting, the race should be good to go on Saturday morning. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. at the Methodist Church on Route 131 in Searsmont, and the race kicks off at 11 a.m. BYOC or BYOK (bring your own canoes or kayaks).
It’s also Easter weekend — which doesn’t seem possible, does it? — and there are several egg hunts in the Bangor region to take the kiddos to, including the Brewer Parks & Rec egg hunt at 6 p.m. Friday, at their HQ on Wilson Street, and then on Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Leroy Smith Elementary in Winterport, and at 10 a.m. at Glenburn Elementary School. On Sunday, whether you go to church or not, lots of places around town have Easter brunches, including usual brunch-y suspects like Blaze, the Sea Dog and Timber in Bangor and Mason’s in Brewer, and special brunches like the ones at the Tarratine on Park Street in Bangor and at Heritage on 9 in Eddington.
In theaters this weekend, Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi romp “Ready Player One” hits screens nationwide. There’s also a bunch of new TV shows to watch on various streaming platforms, including premiere episodes from HBO series like “Silicon Valley” and the brand-new (and very, very good) “Barry.” Also on HBO is the two-part documentary, “The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling,” about the beloved, late comedian, which is exceedingly well done, though probably only of interest to serious comedy nerds or TV lovers. Also of interest to 90s comedy and TV fans, on ABC, the premiere of the reboot of “Roseanne” aired earlier this week. It’s available to watch on Hulu.