1. We are just about at peak fall, though the weather this past week has felt more like June. I have no complaints, aside from the fact that a bunch of people in Washington DC are doing some incredibly stupid things. In the Bangor area this weekend, starting with Friday, there’s the long-awaited return of jazz guitarist Bill Barnes to Nocturnem Drafthaus, there’s the gifted maritime-Celtic rockers the Galley Rats at Paddy Murphy’s, there’s Mark Miller at the Big Easy, and up in Orono at the Bear Brew Pub, there’s night one of a two-night string of Bangor area shows with indie rockers Temperature of the Sun and Forget Forget, as well as comedian Bob Marley at the Collins Center for the Arts. Saturday brings Oktobeerfest, an afternoon-long beer fest in Pickering Square in downtown Bangor, with $10 for tasting tickets and music from the Mallett Brothers Band and the Adam Ezra Group. That night, at the Rock & Art Shop there’s the unique songwriting and visual arts duo Pocket Vinyl (pictured above) at 8:30, there’s Dave Mello at Nocturnem, there’s Bizzy Gruntry at the Big Easy, there’s night two of rock with Temperature of the Sun and Forget Forget at Paddy’s, and up in Old Town, there’s Frank Hopkins and the Line of Force at Kingman’s.
2. Oh boy oh boy, it’s First Friday Art Walk night in Portland. The weather is expected to be gorgeous, so get ready to get your fill of street performers, tiny cups of wine and, oh yeah, lots of really cool, totally local art. Also on Friday, you can enjoy jam favorites Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad (pictured at left) at Port City Music Hall, DJs Atomik and Mechanism spinning deep house at Flask Lounge, at Slainte there’s For Morning, 28 Degrees Taurus, Gimme Goldar and Friend of a Friend, a CD release party for indie folk band Rural Ghosts with Johnny Cremains and the Aquanauts at the Big Easy, and at the Oak and the Ax in Biddeford there’s songwriters Mara Conner, Katie von Schleicher, Evan Parker and Jeff Beam. Saturday is packed, with Toubab Krewe with the Beat Horizon at Port City, the Misfits, sans Danzig, at the Asylum, bowling and music from Britta et Les Non Pareilles with the Flipsides at Bayside Bowl, blues from the Alexis P. Suiter Band at One Longfellow Square, and after Maine Roller Derby battles it out with two other derby teams at the Portland Expo, starting at 6 p.m., you can attend the after party at the Big Easy. On Sunday, there’s indie dance duo Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr at Port City, there’s the Mallett Brothers Band at the Big Easy, and there’s a CD release party for songwriter Connor Garvey at One Longfellow.
3. It’s bound to be lovely on the coast, too, so on Friday in Knox County you can make it a double header, with songwriter Tom Albury at 7 p.m. at Rock City Coffee in Rockland, and at 8 p.m. the Latin jazz trio Primo Cubano at Billy’s Tavern in Thomaston; up in Unity, folk duo Arborea (pictured at left) plays with singer-songwriter Christopher Paul Stelling at the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts. On Saturday, rock cellist Rushad Eggleston performs at 7:30 p.m. at the Camden Opera House. Across the bay, the Grand Theatre in Ellsworth hosts on Sunday afternoon a night of Maine folk music and storytelling, to celebrate and benefit WERU-FM, featuring Noel Paul Stookey, David Mallett, Tim Sample and more.
4. There’s an assortment of other events this weekend, statewide, starting with the annual Foreign Auto Festival at the Owls Head Transportation Museum, a gathering of over 150 antique, foreign vehicles sure to make any car lover salivate; it’s set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. There’s also the annual Paws on Parade event on the Bangor Waterfront, a walk with your furry friends to benefit the Bangor Humane Society; it’s set for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. Pictured above is BDN spokesdog Oreo Sarnacki, because he’s so gershderned cute. If you’d rather stay indoors, two of Portland’s fine theater companies have two great productions up right now. Portland Stage offers August Wilson’s contemporary classic “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” with performances set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at their theater on Forest Avenue in Portland. Mad Horse Theatre Company presents David Ives’ adaptation of the Moliere play “The School for Lies,” set for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Hutchins School in South Portland.
5. Am I a bad Mainer because I’ve never been to the Fryeburg Fair? I know, I know — everyone I know says that it’s the best classic fair in the state, with tons of animals, demonstrations, crafters and vendors, above the bar fair food and, yes, rides. I’ve just never been. I grew up on the coast! We rarely went to western Maine! Sorry! Well, this year, I intend to change that. The Fryeburg Fair is in its second and final weekend, and is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. until Sunday, with general admission at $10 per person. Want more info? Check out their website.