1. And a wet, soggy, windy, yucky Memorial Day weekend to you too! On Friday night, take yourself out on the town and keep your feet dry, with the blues band the Blood Orange Martini’s at Paddy Murphy’s, the danceable sounds of Magnetic North at Ipanema, songwriter Samantha Lynn at the Big Easy, guitarist Dave Mello at Nocturnem Drafthaus, and an epic 80s dance party with Rock Revelation at Tantrum. Saturday, run for cover and dig the sounds of hot jazz with Gypsy Caravan at Nocturnem, modern rockers the 220s at Ipanema, country rockers Bizzy Gruntry at the Big Easy, songwriter Chris Ross at Paddy’s, and up in Orono on Saturday, it’s an all-day punk rock affair, with the fifth annual P.U.N.K. Fest, noon to 11 p.m. at the Keith Anderson Community Center, featuring more than 25 bands from all over New England. Also on Saturday is the all-day fundraising concert for Oklahoma hurricane relief set for 4Points BBQ & Blues in Winterport; eat some ‘cue, dance to some local music.
2. The show to be at on Friday in Portland has got to be indie rockers Ra Ra Riot (pictured, at KahBang in 2009) and Magic Man with Portland’s own The Other Bones, set for Port City Music Hall. But there’s also on Friday night a CD release party for the band Syndicate 19 at the Big Easy, indie hip hop with Newcastle, Violently Ill, Twins of Ares and Entricut at Geno’s, and a benefit concert for One Longfellow Square featuring Kate Schrock, Con Fullam, Tom Dean and others. On Saturday, enjoy comedy early in the evening with Joe Deschaine, Joe Timmins, and Travis Curran, and then North of Nashville later on, all at the Big Easy. Geno’s Rock Club throws a big birthday party for Portland music legend Gina Brown, featuring the Pontiffs, the New Technicians and Euphemia, and at the Space Gallery, it’s a can’t miss affair when the almighty What Cheer Brigade, a 19-piece brass band, take over, with guests Math the Band and the Outfits. And if that wasn’t enough, on Sunday at Space you can hear indie rap legend Sage Francis.
3. Friday night at the Thirsty Whale in Bar Harbor is a dance party with Hancock County rockers the Larks; across the way, there’s Bangor’s own When Particles Collide (pictured) at the Lompoc Cafe, and it’s the first night for Improv Acadia’s summer season in Bar Harbor, also on Friday, as well as rockers Oversoul at Chummies in Ellsworth and Suz and Gibb at Mainely Meat on Main, also in Ellsworth. Down the coast, in Rockland on Friday you can hear the unique sounds of jazz duo Algorithm at Rock City Coffee or songwriter Heather Maloney at Billy’s Tavern in Thomaston, while on Saturday there’s Whoopy Kat at the Myrtle Street Tavern in Rockland, and songwriting duo G.G. Ellis and Bob Myers at Rock City Coffee. Back across the bay, the Stonington Opera House welcomes Valerie Orth and Mike Billings on Sunday, for it’s first concert of the summer season.
4. Because it’s Memorial Day, we get an extra day off – well, most of us – and of course, there’s lots of events in cities and towns statewide to honor our fallen soldiers. A short list of some of the parades and ceremonies include Bangor’s parade, which starts at 10:30 a.m. on Monday on Exchange Street; Portland’s also starts at 10:30 a.m., at Longfellow Square on Congress Street. There are countless parades and wreath-laying ceremonies in small towns, like Dexter (10 a.m., Bangor Savings Bank parking lot), Howland (11:30 a.m., Howland Town Park), Monroe (11 a.m., Monroe School), Rockport (11 a.m., Post Office), Skowhegan (10 a.m. Veteran’s Memorial Park), and many others. A full listing will be printed in this weekend’s Bangor Daily News.
5. Also, fortunately for us, it appears that the gloomy weather that’s been hanging around will finally disperse on Monday. It’ll feel positively equatorial by that afternoon, when the clouds lift and the temperature rises above 60. What should you do? Enjoy the day off, dadgummit!