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Wednesday, 06 June 2012 14:50

Don't change a thing

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change' at PTC

BANGOR Love matters.

Once we grow past the 'girls/boys are icky' stage, love is one of our primary fixations as humans. It's one of the few journeys in life that every one of us has embarked upon. Love is a battlefield; engaging in that battle of the sexes can be scary, sure, but it's also one of the most meaningful parts of our lives.

'I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change,' a musical written by Jimmy Roberts and Joe DiPietro, is the sort of show that springs up as a response to the humor and heartbreak of romance not to mention the absurdity of love. Penobscot Theatre is producing the show through June 17 at the Bangor Opera House.

The show consists of a series of musical vignettes, songs and sketches that all share the same basic focal point love. Moments all along love's timeline are explored. There's a look at the complicated world of dating both early on and late in life. Couples are drawn close by passion, only to slowly cool due to familiarity. There are beginnings and endings and everything in between. The wins and losses pile up, but through it all love. 'ILYYPNC' manages to make a stop at all of love's various checkpoints, illustrating truths that are sweet and poignant.

Published in Happenings
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 14:27

No failure to entertain for Zac Brown Band

Threat of rain fails to dampen crowds

BANGOR - It seems Mother Nature likes it 'Chicken Fried' and held off the rain for the 12,000-plus attendees of the Zac Brown Band's (ZBB) June 2 performance at the Bangor Waterfront Pavilion. Braving the cold and predictions of rain, fans flocked to see this special blend of Southern music hospitality.

The show opened with two young artists from Atlanta, Ga., signed to the ZBB label, Southern Ground. Nic Cowan was energetically fresh, mixing funk, rock, and reggae. His songwriting is a smart twist of smirk and style evident in his single 'Hardheaded' and the humorous 'Double Wide.' Sonia Leigh, reminiscent of a young Melissa Etheridge, had a sound somewhere between garage band and honky-tonk. She was all rock n' roll on 'My Name is Money,' but true country with her single 'Bar.' Ending with a cover of 'Born to Run,' she was dead on with her gutsy rendition of this classic.

Published in Music
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 16:11

A 'Throwdown' review

BANGOR Country music fans were plentiful Sunday as the Country Throwdown Tour made a stop at The Bangor Waterfront Pavilion. The lineup of acts ranged from sweet traditional acoustic to heavy Southern rock and a lot of twang in between. 

Fans were welcomed by Maggie Rose, a cute little blonde with a big old voice who sang from a young woman's perspective of fighting back and standing up. Her band jumpstarted the afternoon and was followed by Florida Georgia Line, a seemingly drinking game-inspired group. Eric Paslay, who has several published songs to his credit, delivered a deep talent for lyrics harkening back to Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. He is a young man to watch if he can find some traction in a music market saturated with backwoods worship. Sunny Sweeney, always a fan favorite with her rhinestone bedazzled guitar, performed her own brand of trailer park songs. This is her second time in Bangor, last appearing with Lady Antebellum in September 2011.

Published in Happenings
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 14:35

Do Facebook Ads Work?

The short answer: Yes and no. To many marketers, Facebook advertising is a challenge. Most brands want to maintain contact with their target audience globally, using the most widely-adopted social network - but doing so is more complicated than it first seems. The truth is that most marketers haven't yet been able to prove the success of their Facebook advertising campaigns through verifiable conversion rates, but rather only through an increase in their fan base on the platform.

According to an article written by Ben Bunz of BusinessWeek, Facebook 'likes' have become a devalued currency. 'Liking [has become] as common as blinking, and a like' no longer signals that a consumer loves your brand,' said Bunz. Most organizations do not experience interaction with all of their fans; in fact, most fan interaction is at the other end of the spectrum, averaging less than 1 percent per day.

It's hard to convince business owners and marketers to continue to invest money into Facebook advertising, as they haven't yet been able to reap the fruits of their past investments on the platform. One striking example was the recent announcement that GM is going to withdraw its $10M Facebook advertising budget this year. Why? Among many reasons, including budget cuts, there is a simple one: Facebook hasn't been able to prove that their ads work.

Published in The Marketing Edge
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 12:02

Local Dish

How some area restaurants serve it up slow

Going to the local farmers' market creates a sense of community, not only for individuals, but businesses as well. Melissa Chaiken, chef and co-owner of The Fiddlehead Restaurant, 84 Hammond Street in Bangor, started the business with that in mind.

'I use a lot of local meat, local dairy, eggs, greens, lots of produce especially going into the spring and summer. I like using it. It's really nice to support the people immediately around you. It builds a strong sense of community,' said Chaiken. 'When people come here [to The Fiddlehead] to eat they feel that tie of knowing where your food comes from.'

That intimate knowledge of knowing your food, knowing who grows it and how they cultivate it, makes for good eating all around.

Published in Cover Story
Photos from the May 19, 2012 concert at the Bangor Waterfront Pavillion featuring Brook Royal, Hellyeah, Staind and Godsmack.
Published in Happenings

BANGOR - Joe Shaw is a lover of all things music. After years of working on flutes, saxophones and numerous other instruments at the Bangor Music Center, Shaw decided it was time to finally start his own music business. So in May, he opened the doors to Bangor Brass & Woodwind Repair on Hammond Street.

"I always wanted my own shop, so when Bangor Music Center on Harlow Street closed it was just the push I needed," Shaw explained.

Being able to purchase a lot of the tools and parts necessary to mend broken instruments from the Bangor Music Center also played a big role in Shaw's decision to go out on his own.

"That helped me make the decision [to do it]," Shaw said. "Otherwise it would've been a big financial burden to set up a business."

Published in Biz

With so many marketing channels available and competing for your advertising dollars, it's hard not to fall into the trap of marketing fragmentation. Each advertising channel will offer a 'better solution,' with a 'higher ROI,' and 'guaranteed exposure.' These offers are, of course, very appealing to business owners and marketers coming out of a recession with an enormous thirst for business growth.

In reality, 'integrated marketing' is simply what good marketing should be! The over-use of the word 'integrated' has turned it into another buzzword. Any good marketer knows that consistency is the most important ingredient in a successful marketing campaign.

To test how integrated or effective your marketing program is, take a look at all of your campaigns and see if they are all communicating the same message. Marketing integration is a lot more than using your brand's colors, logo and tagline. As a matter of a fact, unless you're Apple, Google or IBM (the top three most recognizable brands in the world, according to an Accenture report) most people will not remember this information if asked on the spot to describe your brand.

Published in The Marketing Edge
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 12:39

Criminal Mischief - May 23, 2012

All subjects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Man sought for identification

BANGOR - Police are looking to identify a man who allegedly withdrew money using someone else's credit card.

A 44-year-old Bangor resident reported to police that she lost a bundle of credit cards between her home and downtown Bangor on May 1. However, the resident didn't report the cards stolen for a couple of days in hopes that she had just misplaced them.

But on May 4, one of her cards was used three times for cash withdrawals, two of which successfully went through. Two of those transactions were captured on still photographs from the Court Street Market and an ATM machine in Bangor.

stuart-case-1
image courtesy Bangor Police Department

Anyone who knows the identity of the person in the photographs is urged to contact Officer Jason Stuart at jason.stuart @ bangormaine.gov. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call 947-7382 and press 6 to leave a message on the tip line.

Published in Criminal Mischief
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 11:17

The next 10

A decade after its opening, Maine Discovery Museum looks to sustain its future

BANGOR A little more than a decade after opening its doors, the Maine Discovery Museum has been a staple of downtown Bangor's landscape. Its familiar marquee of a toad sitting atop a clock with a paint brush, globe and violin tucked underneath has greeted visitors to the Main Street corridor where, if you stick around long enough, you'll hear its ubiquitous 'ribbit' chime on the hour.

For families living in the greater Bangor area, the museum has become one of the major activity centers for children since it began operating in February 2001. For the city itself, the museum has become one of Bangor's major tourist destinations that attracts thousands of visitors a year.

Built in the lower three floors of the former Freese's Department Store at an original cost of $4.5 million, the museum has treated nearly three quarters of a million visitors in both children and adults alike over the years who have walked through its doors to a variety of exhibits dedicated to learning, discovery and enjoyment. According to Niles Parker, MDM's executive director, the last decade has been a successful one but the next represents a unique set of challenges that has led to the launch of a major campaign to raise funds to reset the museum's operations, and achieve long-term sustainability.

Published in Cover Story
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