A friend who lives in Belfast drove to Portland in an hour and 36 minutes about a week ago, so don’t be thinking that it’s in a galaxy far, far away. According to legend, stones have been skipped farther distances. And you’ve got a heck of a good reason to make the trek there on Saturday.
The All Roads Music Festival kicks off at 11:30 a.m. Saturday with free yoga in Heritage Park, then it’s off to the races with four downtown venues playing host to 22 acts spanning a variety of genres throughout the day and night.
Here’s a handy list of venues, all within easy walking distance to one another: The Colonial Theatre, 163 High St.; Belfast Free Library, 106 High St.; The American Legion, 143 Church St.; and Waterfall Arts, 256 High St. As a bonus, the festival closes with a party at Three Tides on Marshall Wharf with a 10:30 p.m. set by Dominic and The Lucid.
Now get ready for the music. For a complete list, head to allroadsmusicfest.org, but allow yours truly to highlight a few as you map out your personal All Roads plan. If you hustle, you could actually catch parts of every single act since the festival has worked hard to keep overlapping to a minimum.
The Colonial Theatre stage features Armies (Dave Gutter & Anna Lombard), Tall Horse and Maine’s favorite rapper, Spose. Waterfall Arts has Butcher Boy and Whale Oil. The Belfast Free Library will have Lisa/Liza. And the American Legion acts include North of Nashville, The Mallett Brothers and Lady Lamb. Brunswick native Lady Lamb is headlining around the country with her latest record, “After.”
Remember, this is just a partial list, so prepare to hear some of the best music Maine has to offer.
The festival director is Meg Shorette, who is also executive director of the Bangor-based nonprofit arts incubator Launchpad, said her past involvement with the Kahbang festival sparked the idea for All Roads.
“The thing I liked the best while working on Kahbang was working with the indie musicians, not the headliners. I liked working with them much more, so I wanted to create an event with all Maine musicians,” Shorette said.
Passes are only $25, a bargain considering all of the music and merriment you’ll have access to in lovely Belfast.
All Roads Music Festival, starting at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, downtown Belfast, $25, allroadsmusicfest.org
LOOKING TO STAY PUT in one location on Saturday night? Look no farther than downtown Portland, where you can celebrate the release of singer-songwriter Heather Maloney’s gorgeous new album, “Making Me Break.”
The Northampton, Massachusetts-based musician has something of a quiet past. Maloney spent three years working at a meditation retreat where long vows of silence were the norm. Her love for songwriting and singing came about from this experience and “Making Me Break” marks her third release in the past couple of years.
“Linger Longer” opens with Maloney’s bright, resonant voice singing “Remember how we stood there? Deep into the night/Shaking in the cold air, shaking with delight.” Bass and drums are the only instruments at first, then keys and guitars come in, and by the 45-second mark the song blossoms like a time-lapsed flower.
“Involuntary” tells of a woman bearing witness to a tormented soldier back from war. “He sleeps through the morning and all through the night fighting someone from somewhere far away/She says ‘there’s just no song, since you got home from the war, there’s no song anymore.’ ”
There is no shortage of singer-songwriters out there with something to say and the means to say it well, but Maloney sets herself apart with vivid imagery, flourishing vocals and a highly capable band behind her.
When you reach the end of the album, it’s like you’ve emerged from vitamin-rich waters feeling wiser, calmer and with a head and heart full of stirring songs. And get this, if you buy the album on iTunes, the bonus track will knock you over. That’s right, Maloney covers Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.”
Heather Maloney, 8 p.m. Saturday, One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland, $12 in advance, $15 day of show, onelongfellowsquare.com
‘R.E.M. by MTV’
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Cinemagic Grand, 333 Clarks Pond Parkway, South Portland, $15, fathomevents.com/event/rem-by-mtv
Calling all shiny, happy people and other fans of the iconic alternative rock band R.E.M. Here’s a chance to see the documentary that features archival footage from the MTV vaults and tells the story of the band’s 30 year history through television performances, award show appearances, concert footage and R.E.M. interviews with Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart.
‘Eight Miles High: A Tribute to Gene Clark’
7 p.m. Thursday, SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland, $10 suggested donation, space538.org
Community radio WMPG invites to celebrate the life of late Byrds musician Gene Clark with both music and film. The night kicks off with music from local acts Jeff Beam & Friends, Dominic & The Lucid and Chicken Wire paying musical homage to Clark. Then you’ll the documentary “The Byrd Who Flew Alone,” a feature length film about the life and work of Clark.
Marshall Crenshaw Trio
8 p.m. Friday, One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland, $25 in advance, $30 day of show, onelongfellowsquare.com
Although he’s best known for the hit “Someday, Someway” off his 1982 debut self-titled album, singer-songwriter Marshall Crenshaw has remained steadfast in his making of music with catchy hooks and pop sensibilities. He’s released 13 albums over the last three decades and the Portland trio performance will prove why he’s remained relevant to his loyal fans.
Mitch Alden: ‘Musical Miles’ Book Release Party and Serenade
7 p.m. Wednesday, Ri Ra, 72 Commercial St., Portland, rira.com/portland
First he’ll read from – and sign copies of his book “Musical Miles” and then Maine-based singer-songwriter Mitch Alden will perform a set of his original tunes. Grab a pen, grab a pint and enjoy the multi-media visit from a guy whose enthusiasm for music is only matched by his enthusiasm for running. He leaves it all on the stage…and on the road.