1. It’s Memorial Day weekend, guys. When did it get to be late May? Wow. Wow, wow, wow. In Bangor this weekend, Friday night brings a couple of fun gigs, including acoustic duo Him & Her at Nocturnem Drafthaus, rock duo When Particles Collide (pictured) at the Big Easy, the fun Hancock County band Tomorrow Morning at Paddy Murphy’s, and a big electronic night with TrollPhace, Paul Wolfe, Tranceform, NTeGR8TeD and Positron at Tantrum nightclub. On Saturday, there’s the jazz group Interplay at Nocturnem, there’s the always entertaining Magnetic North at Ipanema, there’s rockers Trendy Robots at Paddy’s, there’s Sus4 at the Big Easy, there’s Between Dead Stations at 4Points BBQ & Blues out in Winterport, and there’s the Blast Addicts at Johnny’s in Old Town.
2. Four great shows Friday in Portland. At Bayside Bowl, Holy Shadow, Leveret and Lisa/Liza ply their unique indie rock, while at the Space Gallery, the future sounds of Portland ring out with Metal Feathers, Foam Castles and Contrappostro (pictured), at Empire there’s Dean Ford, One Shot Nothing and the Band Apollo, and at Geno’s, there’s some dirty rock n’ roll with The Nasty, Crystal Methodist, Phallus Uber Alles and Swarmlord. Alternately, there’s an electronic dance party set for Flask Lounge, there’s a double feature screening of “Anvil: The Story of Anvil” and “Searching for Sugarman” starting at 8 p.m. at One Longfellow Square, and out in Biddeford, there’s Elliott Brood, Jacob Augustine and Greef at the Oak and the Ax. On Saturday night, the hilarious hair metal band Steel Panther plays with Future Villains at the Asylum, and Maine metal band Loki is at Geno’s. There’s also a night of dance, burlesque, puppetry and music at the Space Gallery, featuring an assortment of Portland artists.
3. The Midcoast shines this weekend — and as luck would have it, we might actually get some sunshine this weekend. The Speakeasy in Rockland hosts a triple bill of music this weekend, which actually starts Thursday night with folk duo the Coloradas, and continuing Friday with rockers Waylon Speed and Saturday with bluegrass ramblers the Tricky Britches (pictured above); also on Saturday is amped-up ukulele ban Nukulele at Rock Coffee in Rockland, who will also play a late night set at the Myrtle Street Tavern. Up the coast, on Saturday night take your pick of either the intelligent jazz of the Tom Luther Quintet at the Aarhus Gallery in Belfast, or some Maine rock with Jim Dandy, Merther and When Particles Collides at Waterfall Arts, also in Belfast. Across the bay, at Chummies in Ellsworth there’s Octavia on Friday and Oversoul on Saturday, while in Bar Harbor, Friday night brings fun stuff including the Crown Vics at Carmen Verandah, the Bluesboy Revue at the recently reopened Black Friar Pub, and a grand opening for the Bar Harbor Beer Works — formerly known as Rupununi.
4. As summer approaches, there are a number of special seasonal creative events opening up for this time of year. The Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport opens its four summer exhibitions, including Jon Imber: Force of Nature; Shoshannah White: Undercurrent; Mary Armstrong: Troposphere @ 12 Kilometers of Heaven; and Four Painters: Hannah Bureau, Elizabeth Hoy, Robin Reynolds, Jay Wu. The event is set for 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday. Also this weekend, the Portland Museum of Art opens its major summer exhibition, a retrospective of the Maine-based photo-realist painter Richard Estes; this is the first weekend the show is up for viewing.
5. Even if it looks like it’s going to rain for part of the weekend, it’s still Memorial Day, and that means there’s some fun things for all ages planned — and it also means you should take a moment to think about the people in your lives who sacrificed in conflicts past. There’s parades in towns and cities across the state, of course, from Bangor to Portland and everything in between; check out our BDN listings for specific information on parade routes and start times. There’s also some fun, laid back events, like the Family Feast Party set for Bunker Brewing in Portland, complete with barbecue, sno-cones, bouncy houses and, yes, beer, set for 3 p.m. Monday; and in Bar Harbor, as the aforementioned Bar Harbor Beer Works opens for the weekend, there’s reggae Sunday with Catchavibe during the afternoon.