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    Thursday, August 28, 2008

    5 things to do this weekend, 8.28.08

    1. The Unity Centre for the Performing Arts hosts Boston chanteuse Miss Tess, who, with her band the Bon Ton Parade, plays a fun, engaging blend of ragtime, swing and blues that brings to mind both Billie Holliday and Tom Waits. She takes the stage at 8 p.m., and tickets are $20 – proceeds from which benefit the Unity Barnraisers. For more info, visit

    2. The Blue Hill Fair is one of Maine’s oldest and most beloved fairs – it’s still got a traditional agricultural feel to it, and it’s not overpriced or overshadowed by the midway. This year’s fair opened yesterday, and continues through Monday. Some of the special attractions include musical performances by King Pirogi, the Gilpin Railroad Incident, the Eric Green Party, Flynnville Train, and, most importantly, Rick Charette and the Bubblegum Band! There’s also Timber Tina’s Great Maine Lumberjack Show, comedians, magicians, a pig race, a blueberry pie eating contest and sheep dog trials, in addition to the various agricultural displays. For more info on admission prices and schedules, visit

    3. For your third thing to do, one of my personal favorite local bands, the always rocking Full Contact Kitty, is set to play Sunday evening at the Belfast Public Library, along with New Hampshire-based gypsy jazz trio Ameranouche and local songwriter Blair Seifkin. Show starts at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $10 in advance at Mr. Paperback in Belfast.

    4. Next up, through September 6, College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor will display the fascinating multimedia installation by artist Sam Van Aken, titled “Eden.” Working with a geneticist, Van Aken created his own strain of hybrid seeds, which he then grew inside a greenhouse that became part of the installation. It’s part Frankenstein, and part meditation on how we relate to the natural world. The exhibit is on view Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at COA’s Blum Gallery, for more info, visit

    5. As it turns out, you get a long weekend, thanks to Labor Day! Celebrate the working man by attending Eastern Maine Labor Council and Food AND Medicine’s Labor Day Solidarity Concert, featuring the likes of the Barncats, Steel Rail Express, Deja Blue, Spare Time and the Working Chorus. $5 gets you in the door, and gets you a locally produced, organic barbecue. The party is set for 4 until 8 p.m. on Monday at the Worker Center on Ivers Street in Brewer. For more info, visit

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008

    Bangor Film Fest highlights.

    Two clips from the 28-Eighty Film Shootout, part of the Bangor Film Festival, held two weekends ago at Peakes Auditorium and at the Bangor Opera House. One of the rules of the contest was that the filmmakers were given a prompt that had to be used in the film, and be acknowledged by the characters. This time around, it was the 1950's educational film "Duck and Cover."

    "Classified," directed by Joshua LeMay:

    "Trippers Through Time," directed by Team No Milton Allowed:

    Extreme blog makeover.

    Hey everyone!

    In addition to sprucing up (tabs! So many tabs...) we also have moved Rock Blogster off the BDN web site, and onto BlogSpot - so change your bookmarks accordingly. We're now at the much more manageable, instead of the gobbledy gook that was the old URL.

    What else is new? Well, there was the Folk Festival, which was a blast, as always (check out the site tomorrow for some video footage, shot by yours truly and BDN photog John Clarke Russ). We got totally excited about some new shows that are coming up in Maine. We marveled at Michael Phelps' torso. We pulled out a henley from the bottom of the shirt drawer in our dresser, since it's gettin' kinda chilly out there. We fell in love with two new bands - Made Out of Babies and Hercules and Love Affair, who couldn't possibly be more different from one another. And, we did the one thing that makes any summer complete: sat by a bonfire, had a couple frosty cold brews and were bitten mercilessly by mosquitoes. Thanks for rocking with us for the summer of 2008. Hope yours was as good as mine!

    Tuesday, August 19, 2008

    Neverending Mix, 8.19.08

    You know what? I don't need any more rain. I'm all set. Seriously. Monday it was all like 85 degrees and sunny and I was wearin' shorts and whatever. Then I wake up this morning and it's monsoon season out there. Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.

    I think a little John Denver is in order, to appease the rain gods.

    Don't worry; I hear it'll be good and hot and muggy for the Folk Festival. Just the way we like it: uncomfortably humid! Isn't that why we live in Maine? For the sheer unpredictable thrill of it? And the low crime rate. And the I-talian sandwiches. Mmmhmm.

    Thursday, August 14, 2008

    5 things to do this weekend, 8.14.08

    1. The third annual Black Fly Ball is set for 6 p.m. Saturday, August 16 at the Machias Grange Hall, during the Machias Blueberry Festival. It's sponsored by the Beehive collection, the super cool activist organization who spent the past five years renovating the Grange Hall into its current state - which is eco-friendly, loyal to its traditional roots and totally beautiful. The Black Fly Ball is one of the wildest, most fun hootenannies you'll experience in Eastern Maine - every year, the Orange River Jazz Band plays good, old-fashioned big band music. The Machias Ukulele Club rocks it Hawaiian style, and that's followed by a punk rock marching band that the Beehive folks bring up each year - this time, it's the What Cheer Brigade, out of Providence, R.I. Partygoers are encouraged to wear costumes; the more ridiculous, the better. It's all ages and chem-free, and it's there's no admission, but donations are gladly accepted. For more info, visit

    2. Eric Green and his Party play at the Sea Dog in Bangor Friday night. Drinking is encouraged. Yes.

    3. The Bangor Film Festival kicks off tonight at Peakes Auditorium with a screening of John Carptenter's "The Thing" at 7 p.m. There's a short film program tomorrow, also at Peakes, and Saturday the films from this year's 28-Eighty Film Shootout will be shown at 7 p.m. at the Bangor Opera House. For more info, visit

    4. The Bar Stewards, a.k.a. that totally insane Irish punk band who play at Paddy Murphy's sometimes, are playing Friday night at the Wrong Turn Pub in Kenduskeag. PBR is a dollar. It's a hell of a joint.

    5. Starting at noon Saturday, Bangor is going to the dogs: it's the third (or maybe fourth?) annual Dog Day. Come to Pickering Square. See a whole lot of dogs go crazy and chase each other, and see a whole lot of dog owners go crazy and chase each other. It's actually really fun. Check out for more info.

    Thursday, August 7, 2008

    5 things to do this weekend, 8.7.08

    1. Hot on the heels of the double musical whammy of last weekend (The Shangri-La Festival and the Beltek Festival), there's yet another music fest set for this weekend. The first-ever Up North Festival will kick off on Friday at the Ossipee Valley Fairgrounds in the western Maine town of Hiram. The lineup is so full of jam bands that you won't be able to get the patchouli stink out of Oxford County for weeks. Check out Bob Weir and Ratdog, Umphrey's McGee, the Wailers, Assembly of Dust, Soulive, RJD2 and many more on Friday through Sunday. In all fairness, it's actually quite a stellar lineup of acts, and it's a festival that hopefully will come to be a regular part of the Maine summer music scene. For more info, visit

    2. The Penobscot Theatre will present a concert version of "Guys and Dolls" live in Pickering Square in downtown Bangor, starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy some of the area's best voices, as they bring to life the "musical fable of Broadway."

    3. Friday night in Bangor, Big Time plays at Paddy Murphy's, starting at 9 p.m., and DJ Emily Bee spins rock n' roll and electro at the Red Martini, starting at 9:30 p.m. Hey, wait a minute. That's me. Whoops. I forgot. Silly moi.

    4. Old Grey Goose plays some serious Celtic-style old timey rockin' tunes. They'll play starting at 9 p.m. on Saturday at 3 Tides in Belfast. Pickle martini. Bocce court. Fire place. Quesadillas. Yum.

    5. While you're in Belfast, it would totally be worth stopping by Waterfall Arts on High Street to see the two fantastic exhibitions currently on display: Beth Henderson's encaustic paintings, and Avy Claire's "For the Trees," an environmentally-minded installation. For more info, visit

    Neverending Mix, 8.7.08

    Man. Wolf Parade is so good. I don't think their new album, "At Mount Zoomer," is as good as "Apologies to the Queen Mary," but it's still pretty freaking good. Spencer Krug is a phenomenal songwriter, and for me, that's saying a lot, because as far as I can tell his lyrics don't make any sense. He's just got such an incredible sense of melody and of how to write powerful, anthemic rock songs, without letting it get bogged down by pompousity. And the keyboard sounds are awesome.

    Canada! You've got some great indie rock bands. And you have poutine. And standardized health care. And polar bears. I vote that Maine becomes the next province. Whaddya say?