1. Real talk for a minute: If you haven’t done your part to help relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey, go online and donate to any of the excellent hurricane relief organizations listed on Charity Navigator. And you know more help will be needed once Irma hits. Scary times, my friends. You can spare $20 to help your neighbor. Now onto matters of far less import: This weekend in Bangor, on Friday night, country singer Brantley Gilbert performs with guests Luke Combs and Levi Hummon at the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion, while in town later that night, Stone Free is at Paddy Murphy’s, it’s vinyl night at Nocturnem Drafthaus, and songwriter Joan Kennedy is at the Sea Dog; in Orono, rockers Phosphenes are at Woodman’s, and Stesha Cano is at Black Bear Brewing Company. On Saturday, Rock Revelation plays at the Downunder Club at Seasons, the Scolded Dogs are at Paddy’s, the Dave Mello Band is at Nocturnem, and the super fun duo Him & Her are at the Sea Dog, while in Orono, the first contradance of the season with the Orono Contraband is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Keith Anderson Community Center. It’s also opening weekend for Penobscot Theatre’s season starting musical, “The Fabulous Lipitones.”
2. In Portland this weekend, on Friday night there’s a CD release at Empire for local electro-pop duo Forget Forget, with guests The Empty, Super Psyche and Cape Cannons. Elsewhere, Henry Jamison, Gracie & Rachel and Tall Horse are at One Longfellow Square, Primo Cubano is at Slab, LT Smooth, Signed Anonymous, Warren McPherson and Xander Nelson are at Portland House of Music, and Rigor Samsa and Battery Steele are at Bayside Bowl. On Saturday, the Pubcrawlers and the Pourmen are at Bayside Bowl, and 80s cover band The Awesome is at Portland House of Music. On Sunday, there’s indie rock with Diet Cig, Ratboys and Regi Rkt at the Space Gallery, there’s the Blues Prophets at One Longfellow, and Dillon Francis and Blackbear are on the Maine State Pier.
3. On the Midcoast, on Friday night the bands Wildflower and the Loblolly Boy play at Three Tides in Belfast, while in Rockland, singer-songwriter Isabelle Jonason is at Trackside Station, and the Rusty Hinges are at Rock City Coffee. On Saturday, Sugarbush and Vicky Andres & Life Itself perform at Thresher’s Brewing in Searsmont, the Juke Rockets Blues Band play at the Crosby Center in Belfast, and Hurry Down Sunshine are set for Rock City Coffee in Rockland.
4. There are three fun food and beer-centric events around Maine this weekend. In Bangor, there’s the first-ever Taste of Downtown Bangor event, set for Friday night through Sunday, in which participants can pick up a “passport” to get stamped at downtown restaurants. In Searsport, the first-ever Maine Marine Fare weekend is set for the Penobscot Marine Museum, with talks about Maine’s sustainable fishing industry, a screening of the documentary “Sacred Cod,” a food truck lunch roundup on Saturday, and a fabulous Sunday evening feast from chef Sam Hayward; for info, call 548-2529. Out west, the Sunday River Maine Brew Fest is set for Saturday afternoon; more than 25 breweries will serve up their brews from noon to 5 p.m., with tickets available online at sundayriver.com.
5. On Saturday, Bangor hosts the annual Wheels on the Waterfront car show, a free opportunity to see some seriously cool vintage and antique cars, set for 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday looks to be beautiful — what better day to enjoy Open Lighthouse Day, in which more than two dozen Maine lighthouses are open to the public; a full list of participating locations is online at the Lighthouse Foundation website. And all weekend there’s the 12th Eastport Pirate Festival, three days of swashbuckling fun in beautiful Eastport, with all the pirate madness you can take. A full list of events can be found online at the Eastport Pirate Festival website. ARRR!