1. They say that gray skies are better for photographing foliage. So, y’know… we’ve got that going for us. In between dodging raindrops, in Bangor this weekend your choices for musical entertainment on Friday include Pitch Black Ribbons at Paddy Murphy’s, Tomorrow Morning at Nocturnem Drafthaus, jazz man Jon Nowak at the Big Easy, over in Brewer there’s night one of a two-night CD release party for singer-songwriter Stesha Cano’s new album, set for 8 p.m. at the Next Generation Theatre, and up in Orono there’s improv dudes the Focus Group at the Keith Anderson Community Center. On Saturday, there’s the always fun Magnetic North at Paddy’s, there’s the Bangtown Swingers at Nocturnem, and up in Old Town, there’s The Hornitz at Kingman’s.
2. Friday night in Portland, you can get the funk on with Sly Chi (pictured at left) and Kung Fu at Port City Music Hall, you can dance with the Portland Rhumba Project at Bayside Bowl, you can laugh with songwriter Cheryl Wheeler at One Longfellow Square, you can listen to a night of local songwriters at Slainte, or enjoy live readings and storytelling from the Guitar Door project with musical accompaniment by Meghan Yates and the Reverie Machine at Mayo Street Arts. On Saturday, there’s a CD release party for Chaos Sauce with guests Shut Down Brown and Foster and Ulitz at Empire and there’s Celtic rockers Leo Moran and Anthony Thistlethwaite of the Saw Doctors at One Longfellow, and at the State Theatre there’s jam kings Umphrey’s McGee with the London Souls. On Sunday, wrap up your weekend with Mike Doughty at Port City Music Hall.
3. The coolest place on the coast to be is Bucksport, with its annual Ghostport celebration, set for all day Saturday. The big screen premiere of Maine’s own “Ragged Isle” TV series, a coffin race, a costume parade, a rock n’ roll fireworks display and a pumpkin trebuchet. Did you hear me? A PUMPKIN TREBUCHET. And, of course, the Fright at the Fort at Fort Knox. Elsewhere on the coast, on Friday the Blast Addicts are at Chummies in Ellsworth, and at Three Tides in Belfast on Saturday there’s the sixth annual Beer & Mussel Fest, which features mussels, Belgian frites, baked beans and delicious Marshall Wharf beer, all for reasonable prices, all day, along with the music of The Toughcats. Also on Saturday is the Farnsworth Art Museum’s Family Fall Festival, all afternoon in Rockland and featuring free-style pumpkin carving, face painting, crafts, live music by The Rusty Hinges, and refreshments provided by Home Kitchen Café, as well as a screening of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!”
4. Two very cool mini film festivals happening this weekend. In Portland on Friday night, the State Theatre hosts “Damnationland,” the third annual installment of all Maine-made short horror films, a still from last year’s edition is pictured at left. It’s set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at the State, and admission is $10, $5 for students. Also on Saturday is the Grand Theatre in Ellsworth’s annual LGBT Film Festival, featuring three movies that deal with LGBT issues, including “Keep the Lights On” at 2 p.m, “I Am Divine” at 7 p.m. and “Celebrating Diversity: Camp Beaverton” at 9 p.m. Tickets for each movie are $7.
5. Penobscot Theatre’s latest production, the spooky, slightly supernatural play “The Woman in Black,” starts this weekend, with performances at 8 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. In a strange coincidence — apparently people don’t pay attention to these things? — the Center Theatre in Dover-Foxcroft also offers up “The Woman in Black,” set for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. It’s also the final weekend of Portland Stage’s production of August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” set for 7 p.m. Friday, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at their theater on Forest Avenue in downtown Portland.