1. Heavy metal makes winter go down easier, doesn’t it? At least I think so. Bangor’s own OneSixtyOne (pictured) will rock the house down at Tantrum on Friday, with special guest Riff Johnson. Also on Friday in Bangor is the Bill Barnes Trio at Nocturnem Drafthaus, rockerts Ranura at Paddy Murphy’s, the Jon Nowak Quartet at the Big Easy at the Charles Inn, and out in Winterport there’s Everett Dumas at 4Points BBQ & Blues. On Saturday, you can enjoy either the 220s at Ipanema, the energetic duo Pistols at Dawn at Nocturnem, and at 4Points, Bangor’s dirty blues rock band the Eric Green Party will play a full band set.
2. Friday night in Portland there’s a triple bill of great Maine music at Slainte, featuring Portland’s Dustin Saucer and the Sad Bastards (pictured), the Brunswick-based Ginlab and the Bangor-via-New Hampshire wunderkids When Particles Collide. Also on Friday are DJs Mike Said, Mr Dereloid and Kid Ray at Flask Lounge, Phish cover band Pardon Me Doug at Empire, Afro-New Orleans fusion sounds with Charles Neville and Youssoupha Sidibe and The Mystic Rhythms at One Longfellow Square, and a Phil James benefit concert featuring music, dance and poetry at Mayo Street Arts. On Saturday, check out either songwriters Eszter Ballint and Chris Cochrane at One Longfellow, or Video Nasties, Caethua, Despoiler and the Asthmatic at the Oak and the Ax in Biddeford.
3. One of the best bands in the state — in my humble opinion, at least — is Coke Weed (pictured), and they are playing a rare theater show on Friday at the Grand Theater in Ellsworth. If you like rock n’ roll, don’t miss that one. Also on Friday is Bobbi Land at Finn’s in Ellsworth, rockers Rebel Riot at the Black Anchor Pub in Blue Hill. On Saturday, enjoy jazz night with Bruce Cassaday at the Bangkok in Ellsworth, Bizzy Gruntry at the Ellsworth Ale House, and a night of rockabilly with the Crown Vics at the Common Good Cafe in Southwest Harbor. Across the bay on the Midcoast, there’s songwriter Shanna Underwood at Billy’s Tavern in Thomason on Friday, there’s songbird Alice Limoges at Rock City Coffee in Rockland at 6 p.m. on Saturday, and there the Juke Rockets Blues Band at 8 p.m. at Bell the Cat in Belfast, also on Saturday.
4. The highly anticipated new Coen Brothers film, “Inside Llewyn Davis,” finally lands in Maine; you can see it at the Nickelodeon in Portland or at Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville. Also opening this weekend is Spike Jonze’s “Her,” which is at the Nickelodeon and at Bangor Mall Cinemas, and for horror fans, “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” hits major theaters too. Other, smaller flicks out and about this week include the mordantly funny “Nebraska” and the charming British film “Philomena,” both at the Nick and at Railroad; and “Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom” at Railroad (starring my dream boyfriend Idris Elba). There’s also a chance to see the Hitchcock classic “Rear Window” on the big screen at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Grand Theatre in Ellsworth.
5. Like your musical theater really old-fashioned? The Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Maine presents the 1884 opera “Princess Ida, or Castle Adamant” at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, at the Bangor Opera House. In Portland, the Portland Stage Company hosts it annual Studio Rep series, featuring experimental theater from Maine in a black box theatre setting. On Friday, the Improvised Puppet Project will perform at 8 p.m., and the Maine-based play “Temporary Living Arrangements,” written by Maine playwright Elizabeth Lardie, is set for 8 p.m. Saturday. For more information on both shows, visit portlandstage.org.