My most memorable Halloween experience came a few years ago, when I went to see one of my all-time favorite bands, the duo Ween, play in Burlington, Vt., to a packed house. I felt sorely underdressed – in my unoriginal devil horns – when faced with a crowd sporting every conceivable kind of costume (my personal favorite: three guys in a giant papier-mache battleship). Even the band bested me, in a ridiculous Viking-themed get-up. I felt left out.
Every Halloween since, I’ve tried much harder. I’ve been a zombie debutante, a cave woman, complete with big plastic club, and an existentialist – I dressed in black, drank wine and carried around some Jean-Paul Sartre books. This year, I can’t disclose too much information, except to say that if you’re out at one of the many ghoulish galas around the state, and you see someone covered in glitter and green body paint, it’s probably me.
And where are the places to go for fun this Halloweekend? For starters, the 5th annual 105 WTOS Halloween Bash is set for 8 tonight at Ushuaia in Orono. God Forbid, A Life Once Lost, Dead Season and Nobis round out a bill of local rock and metal. In another big lineup of Maine rock, 94 WCYY is sponsoring a monstrous party at the Station in Portland, featuring Paranoid Social Club, Lost on Liftoff, Sparks the Rescue and Loverless at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. Both shows are all ages and are $12 at the door. For information, visit www.eye9d.com.
Also in Portland, the Space Gallery continues with its Halloween tradition of having local bands dress up as and perform songs by some classic acts. This year, Phantom Buffalo pretends to be New Order, and Baltic Sea takes the stage as Sonic Youth. Tickets are $10 at Bull Moose Music stores, the show starts at 9 p.m. Saturday. and is for ages 21 and over.
The punks take over at Watts Hall in Thomaston on Halloween, when the Great Punkin’ Halloween Costume Dance starts at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31. The Spiral Suns, The Murder Weapon, Die Right Now and Misfire will play in a show benefiting the Midcoast Music Alliance, who are hoping to start a new all ages music venue in the area. Admission is $10, or $5 in costume.
Electro-pop band X-Ray Actress will play a special event at the Flye Point Inn in Brooklin, on the Blue Hill peninsula, starting at 9 p.m. Saturday. Food, drinks and fun costume giveaways are all available for $15. The show is open to everyone, but call 359-2188 to reserve a spot and get directions.
Back in Portland, Carn Evil: The 5th Annual Goth Ball kicks off at the Asylum at 9 tonight and features DJs spinning spooky gothic techno, gothic belly dancers, burlesque puppetry by the Grindhouse Marionettes and the Boston-based band Sidewalk Driver. The show is for ages 21 and up, and tickets are $8 with costume, $10 without. For information, visit www.gothicmaine.com.
The Napper Tandies, the Portland-based Irish rabble-rousers (www.myspace.com/thenappertandies), have got the monopoly on St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans in Maine – now they want to take over Halloween? How many holidays do you guys need, huh? All kidding aside, they are bound to bring the fun, so check them out at 9 p.m. Saturday at Carmen Verandah in Bar Harbor, in a special “pirates and harlots” themed party. Do I even have to tell you what kinds of costumes to wear?
The Underground (www.myspace.com/clubug) in Bangor will host a costume ball on Saturday, featuring Radiation Year, the Symmetry, Die Right Now, Lannen Fall and the Jordan Veil. Admission is $10, and the fun starts at 7 p.m. And finally, in Orono, Roost takes the stage for a Halloween party at the Blues Caf?, starting at 10 p.m. Saturday. These guys have been – dare I say it – ruling the roost every Thursday at the Blues for the past month to wall-to-wall crowds, so adding Halloween hijinks into the mix can only make it even more fun.
Emily Burnham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.