1. In case you hadn’t noticed, West Market Square in downtown Bangor is finally not a mass of holes, gravel and construction equipment. You can eat outside in the square now, and in a few weeks, all the renovations will be complete, which is very exciting, yeah? Celebrate downtown this weekend, starting with the fall edition of Bangor Pecha Kucha, set for 6 p.m. at Tantrum, followed by an afterparty hosted by Linear Live with DJ ThermoMatt. Later that evening, enjoy either the Bill Barnes Trio at Nocturnem Drafthaus, a double bill featuring the 220s and the Trendy Robots at the Downunder Lounge at Seasons, or rockers Dom Collizzi and Riff Johnson at Paddy Murphy’s. In Brewer the Focus Group does their improv comedy thing at 8 p.m. at the Next Generation Theatre, there’s the kickoff for Brewer Days at 7 p.m. at the Brewer Auditorium featuring rockabilly rockers Waylon Speed (pictured) and the Ian Black Band, in Winterport the Eric Green Party is set for 4Points BBQ & Blues, and the Skastitutes are set for the first show of the semester at Woodman’s in Orono. On Saturday, Waylon Speed continue their weekend in the Bangor area with a show at 4Points, while back in Bangor, swing band Cousin B and Downeast Rambling is at Nocturnem, Bizzy Gruntry is at Big Easy, the Junkyard Cats are set for Paddy’s, and Juicebox will rock the funk out at Ipanema. On Sunday, O’Changs Comics screens their latest Temp Tales videos at Tantrum, with musical guests Between Dead Stations and Mike Billings.
2. It’s art walk night in Portland! Always a good time. There are some very cool events happening around said art walk, including a neat show at Mayo Street Arts showcasing the art — not just the music — of the collected members of Portland psych-pop darlings Phantom Buffalo. Also that evening, the wonderful songwriter M. Ward is set for Port City Music Hall with guest Jennifer Castle, Lord Earth (pictured) plays with Dom Damiami and the Psychologist at Empire, and the First Friday deep house/tech dance party at Flask Lounge, this time with DJs CPU and Soul. On Saturday, rockers Moon Hooch are at Port City, Greg Klein and the Right of Way offer a CD release party at Empire, punk standard bearers the Outsiders are at Bayside Bowl, and Cold Engines — featuring former members of regional jam favorites the Brew — are at One Longfellow Square. There’s also a performance of the experimental rock opera “Progress in the World of Fantasy” at the Oak and the Ax, out in Biddeford, with local guests NE Patriots, Sediment Club, Power Masters and IDM Theft A Ble. Remember, the Oak and the Ax will close its doors at the end of the month after several years of bringing excellent indie rock, folk and psych music to Biddeford. Bummer.
3. Just a short jaunt down Route 9 the annual Aurora Music Festival is set for all day Saturday; a full day of camping, wood-fired pizza, and great bands including A Band Beyond Description, The Cadillac Grainer String Band, Brotha LuvBone, Jacob Augustine, Lonesome Willie Blues Band, Pitch Black Ribbons, Sure Shot, Ellafunt and more. Admission is $25 per person, $10 for kids, and you can camp both Friday night and Saturday night; visit the Aurora Music Festival Facebook page for more info. Across the bay, the Midcoast has an exciting few days of music, movies and fun planned, starting on Friday, when your pals at O’Chang’s Comics (see above in Bangor) screen their latest stuff at Trackside Station in Rockland, while at the Speakeasy, also in Rockland, the enchanting Primo Cubano performs, and Rock City Coffee hosts the By The Bay jazz trio. On Saturday, Bill Barnes takes over the Speakeasy, and Miner’s Creek, a bluegrass band, is set for Rock City. Up in Belfast, the ridiculously fun dance band People of Earth hosts a party at Waterfall Arts Saturday night, starting at 8 p.m.
4. Summer’s not over yet, and the annual Sandsation Sand Sculpture competition at Pine Point Beach in Scarborough is there to prove; from noon to 3 on Saturday, enjoy some sun, some waves and some fun sand art with friends or kids or both. Up the coast, the Belfast City Park hosts on Sunday the annual Wienerfest — nope, not a hot dog festival, but a celebration of dachshunds, the adorable little weiner dogs that for one day in September get to take center stage. Gates open for Wienerfest at 10:30 a.m. the fun goes til 3; there’s a dog costume contest, a “Doxie Derby” and a grand parade of dachshunds. This all sounds pretty unbearably cute. Just look at the pictures on the website. OMG. Or, on Saturday there’s also the annual Medieval Tournament at Fort Knox State Park in Prospect; the Society for Creative Anachronism offers what has become Maine’s largest medieval demonstration, including armored combat, fencing, youth fighting and youth fencing, thrown weapons, combat archery, live music, medieval dance, and a fashion show. Admission is free with park admission; it’s set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
5. Maine’s regular theater season is starting to heat up — Penobscot Theatre opens its 41st season with the premiere of “Honky Tonk Angels,” a charming tale of three ladies trying to make it big in country music, with a soundtrack of classic country songs; shows are at 7 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the Bangor Opera House and continue for two more weekends. On the coast, Everyman Repertory Theater, one of the best theater groups in coastal Maine, presents the Maine premiere of “Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike,” the acclaimed new Christopher Durang play; performances are at 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Camden Opera House, and continue for two weekends afterwards.