MIC DROP | There’s one person sinfully omitted from the Best Noise Act category of our Portland Music Awards, it’s Crank Sturgeon. That’s because he’s basically already received a lifetime achievement award for being the most inimitable soundmongerer this state has ever seen. Specializing of contact microphones, box harmoniums, and aural transmissions of various lymph, he’s in the realm of Mainers of singular appreciation throughout the world that 99.99 percent of the local pop wouldn’t recognize if he were on the back of a Frosted Flakes box. In these times, aren’t these the folks we need most? See this legend with fellow Portland passionplayers id m theft able, Sterile Garden, and Dan Knudsen. | 8 pm | The Apohadion Theater, 107 Hanover St., Portland | $5-10 sugg. donation
ANOTHER VIEW | In conjunction with World AIDS Day — that’s today — the Frannie Peabody Center pairs with SPACE Gallery and the Portland Museum of Art to screen BPM (Beats Per Minute), a vital film by French filmmaker Robin Campillo about the AIDS epidemic in Paris in the 1990s. | Fri 2 & 6:30 pm; Sat-Sun 2 pm | Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Sq., Portland | $8 |www.portlandmuseum.org
BEHIND THE SCENES | Elsewhere tonight, you can hit the leadership awards ceremony hosted by Environmental Health Strategy Center, a public health organization that ensures basic necessities like drinking water, groceries, and furniture aren’t laden with toxic chemicals (think of them kind of like the Consumer Financial Protections Bureau, but advocating for reduced exposure to toxins instead of reduced exposure to predatory loans). They dole out leadership awards to grassroots activists, state legislators, and other exemplary citizens doing the work of environmental justice in 2017. With food, drinks, and a kids’ pizza party zone. | 6 pm | O’Maine Studios, 54 Danforth St., Portland | $25 | www.ourhealthyfuture.org
GIVE RIGHT | Priorities shift this time of year. Entertainment options are packed more tightly into the fibers of the season, so it makes sense to recommend service and outreach events. Besides, it’s hardly a novel to pivot your consumer instincts toward civic participation, and this hellscape of a year couldn’t be better fodder for it. Tonight, Maine Initiatives hosts a Racial Justice Fair, convening representatives from activist groups on the frontlines of transformational justice and equity work in the state. There’s Gedakina, the Native American leadership development group who facilitates outdoor educational programs in the northern part of the state. Youth arts and culture collective Kesho Wazo had a huge year, launching a festival, clothing line, and a debut album. The Southern Maine Workers’ Center is no stranger to these pages, and they’re currently working on a campaign to bring Portland workers the ability to accumulate earned paid sick leave with every 30 hours on the clock. The LGBTQ youth advocacy group Portland Outright recently collaborated with Maine Inside Out (also present) to help present stories from incarcerated young people in Long Creek Youth Development Center. The Black Artists Forum had a galvanizing month of May, fused works from Maine black artists at the soon-to-be-restored Abyssinian Meeting House. And many more for interested parties to get involved as a donor, volunteer, or advocate. | 5-8 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | FREE www.maineinitiatives.org
NEIGHBORHOOD FLAVOR | Bayside’s Mayo Street Arts, awash in witty paintings by Portland art legend Pat Corrigan (they make good presents for someone you know very well), plays host to the semi-regular International Open Mic series, a community event showcasing artists of all stripes, demos, ages, and cultures. | 7 pm | Mayo Street Arts, 10 Mayo St, Portland | $10-15 | www.mayostreetarts.org
AN ACTRESS | Meanwhile, the big ticket item of the day is St. Vincent, a/k/a Annie Clark, who some say is our generation’s Kate Bush. Or maybe our generation’s David Bowie? Neither are perfect comparisons, but the index should give you an idea of how scorchingly hot the New York-based popstar is right now. On new album MASSEDUCTION, Clark leans more fully into the hitherto latently erotic undertones of her songwriting. Not all artists who make that leap can land it, but certainly she has. An indie diva for our generation, complete with the postmodern pastiche of contemporary stardom, the carefully maintained Instagram stories, the ubiquitous deployment of her unbelievably photogenic visage, all of it. She’s here, and she rules. And it’s exciting to imagine the various contortions — like Bush and Bowie — the rest of her career will take. | 8 pm | State Theatre, 609 Congress St, Portland | $35-40 | www.statetheatreportland.com
NOT YOU, COFFEE | Raise the hand not holding this paper if you’ve ever freaked out that you were stressing out your adrenals. Well, even if you haven’t thought of it in those terms, you know what I mean here. Sustained stress and anxiety are like scythes to your immune system, and because bodies and habits differ, it’s not always clear what’s ramping that shit up for you. In the early parts of the holiday season, peek into this afternoon’s workshop on Stress, Fatigue, and the Adrenal Glands at the holistic wellness center Soul Being to learn some crucial habits in regulating your own stress response. | 3 pm | Soul Being, 662 Congress St., Portland | $10
THE BUSINESS END | We all know the Rink at Thompson’s Point is open for business (and that business is ice-skating), but few are aware that they’re peddling fir trees today as well. As my auntie would say, that’s called feedin’ two ducks with one crackah. The Christmas Tree Fundraising Event benefits the Cancer Community Center and runs all day. | 10 am-10 pm | The Rink at Thompson’s Point, 10 Thompsons Point Rd., Portland | www.therinkatthompsonspoint.com
POINTS OF ACCESS | For a more immersive and multivalent approach to World AIDS Day, head to Zero Station today for a three-part program titled AIDS, Art, Outreach. Organized by the mutable art vessel Hi Tiger (steered by the artist Derek Jackson, also a Phoenix contributor) in conjunction with the Frannie Peabody Center, the event is intended as a redress to the erasure of black people and other people of color from national conversations about AIDS awareness. (In 2016, African Americans constituted 44 percent of all new HIV diagnoses in the U.S.) The day begins at 2 pm with a zine workshop hosted by Peter Cramer and Jack Waters, longtime NYC-based activists cross-disciplinary multimedia artists who directed the art and performance space ABC No Rio in the late ‘80s, and which is still active in various capacities today. If you’ve ever wondered about making your own print media, especially one that travels beyond the edges of mainstream culture, this is recommended. Then at 6 pm, the film suite Alternate Endings, Radical Beginnings compiles short videos from a collection of black artists — like Mykki Blanco, Kia LaBeija, and Reina Gossett — offering narratives to the AIDS epidemic that aren’t heard in conventional channels. The evening starts its third chapter at 8:30 pm, when DJ Zenzin plays pop, hip-hop and R&B for a dance party into the night. With visuals and performance elements by Derek Jackson/Hi Tiger and others, it’s a rare feat of programming that covers as many facets, emotions, actions, and energies as this one. | 2 pm-midnight | Zero Station, 222 Anderson St., Portland | www.visualaids.org
GO FOURTH | Few Portland bands have amassed as devout a following as Mouth Washington, the post-punk/indie-rock band who celebrate the release of their fourth album, Fourth Floor, tonight at SPACE. Look for a review in these pages soon, but fans of their cathartic, squallish take on alt-Americana should catch them tonight, with FonFon Ru, feminist party band Phallus Uber Alles, and honky-tonk punkers Barbecue. | 8:30 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress Rd., Portland | $8 | www.space538.org
GET ON YOUR HORSE | If you haven’t been reminded recently that regular cardiovascular exercise helps slow the shrinkage of your hippocampus, consider this it. Otherwise, that little seahorse will shrivel at a rate of 5 percent per decade, and you won’t be able to remember your childhood friends’ names. It’s science, you fool! The point is, it’s hard to do that in the winter, which is why it might help if you joined today’s Sunday Road Run, an effort by the loosely organized Runaways run club, which meets for Wednesday night pub runs and Sunday morning trail runs, at all speeds and levels. That’s some community-driven hippocampus maintenance. This morning, they meet at (or more likely outside) Hilltop Coffee at 8:30 am. No fee. | 8:30 am | Hilltop Coffee, 100 Congress St., Portland | www.runawaysrunclub.com
RESTRUCTURAL | If you were one of those in attendance at the sold-out performance of Maine Inside Out, the original theater group comprised of current and former incarcerated young folks at Long Creek Development Center, then you’ll know how powerful the group’s work is. Peek in on their monthly open mic, tonight at Local Sprouts and featuring the the multi-instrumentalist Rodney Mashia. | 7 pm | Free | Local Sprouts Cooperative, 649 Congress St., Portland | www.maineinsideout.org
ANOINT ME | Folks, I’ll give it to you straight. Tonight’s the 2017 Portland Phoenix Music Awards, the return of an annual awards ceremony meant to honor the efforts of those who make music in this state and invite the adoring public to think and talk critically and thoughtfully about them. Unlike previous years, we limited the voting to one-vote-per-person, which we thought was more fair than the early versions of this event, when people could stuff the digital ballots ad nauseam using the same email address. (And as someone who saw the vote tallies at my first Best Music Poll in 2010, let me tell you that they did.) Even with this limitation, this year’s nominees have amassed more than 13,000 votes. I’ll admit the conceit of competition can be a little distasteful, but the whole point is engaging people at a level at which they care, and sometimes that requires a little drama. We’ll reveal the winners at tonight’s awards ceremony, along with sets from the fiery new art-punk band Color Hex and the otherworldly Superorder, and some other surprises too. | 6 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | FREE | http://portlandphoenix.secondstreetapp.com/The-2017-Portland-Music-Awards
COME BACK TO US | Join us again next week, as we push deeper into the wilderness of all things non-yuletide.
This has been updated to reflect that ABC No Rio is still active.