The cover of Miho Aida's book which features the work of several photographers documenting the lives of Indigenous peoples in the Arctic.
ARCTIC ACTION | You should get familiar with Miho Aida. She’s a Japanese activist and filmmaker who’s devoted most of her career to amplifying the voices of women of color in environmentalism, a field where they typically don’t get a lot of recognition. Aida’s biking from Washington DC to Portland touring her latest short film The Sacred Place Where Life Begins – Gwich’in Women Speak, which documents the concerns of the Indigenous people living in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. A massive oil pipeline project has been proposed by Trump to run through this huge swath of land that many consider to be America’s last truly wild place. Experts say this oil project will alter the habitats and migration paths of some 200 odd bird species, as well as the caribou which has an immense cultural and dietary significance to the Gwich’in people. This is a classic case of big corporations trying to stomp over Indigenous rights and natural treasure, which just isn’t right. Get inspired to take action, and stand up for the rights of the original Americans. Co-sponsored by the Sierra Club of Maine.
| FREE | 5:30 pm | Maine College of Art, 522 Congress St. Portland | https://www.meca.edu/ |
Photo from the New Moon Ensemble/Mayo Street Arts.
LES MARÉES | When alternative rock and folk jam band shows get dull (and let’s be honest, they do sometimes), consuming sounds stemming from a completely different continent usually helps break the mold. Join the good cheery folks of the New Moon Ensemble at Mayo Street Arts this evening, for a culturally authentic West African dance and drum session. Expect the real deal from Namory Keita who’s bringing some heart pounding rhythms from Guinea, while Portland’s Marita Kennedy-Castro choreographs.
| $15 | 7:00 pm | Mayo Street Arts, 10 Mayo St., Portland | https://embodytherhythm.com/ |
TWO LEFT FEET | Town Meeting, an Americana quintet (made up of three brothers and two others) from Boston promise easy folk vibes but delivered with a rock show intensity. Think of their set as a seamless blend of New England country and city styles. Stomp your feet around to their addictive rhythms when they take the stage alongside Hours North from Wells, and Paper Monsters from Manchester, two bands which’ll offer a bit more pop, but the same high energy. You should consider dancing.
| $10 | 8:00 pm | Portland House of Music and Events, 25 Temple St., Portland | https://www.portlandhouseofmusic.com/ |
Self-sketched box set art from Jeffrey Lewis' album, Four Seasons.
BIZARRE BUT BRILLIANT | A true creative demon, spawned from the hard streets of NYC descends upon us this day. Jeffrey Lewis is back in town. Not often can a single person juggle multiple art forms and have most of their endeavors receive favorable reviews in the New York Times and the Guardian. What can’t Lewis create? He’s a musician, a writer, a comic book illustrator, a funny dude, and pioneer of the anti-folk genre. He’s a talk-singer, and even draws most of his own album art. Because we too enjoy breaking the rules and stretching creative wings, we recommend you go see this subversive artist during his return to Portland. He’s joined by Portland’s beguiling vocalist Morgan Boulton and the honeyed female-folk collective Altar Boys.
| $10 | 8:30 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | http://www.space538.org/events |
A GREAT DOC | Although America has made great strides toward equality and social justice since the 60s, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Raoul Peck’s illuminating documentary on James Baldwin I Am Not Your Negro, is an unflinching look into the black experience. It’s screening again this week, back by popular demand, and is required viewing for anyone who claims to care about these issues, as it provides links from the Civil Rights Movement to today’s #BlackLivesMatter initiative. Know your history.
| $8 | 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm | Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Sq., Portland | http://www.portlandmuseum.org/ |
PRIVILEGE CAMP | It’s quite simple really; if you’re a white, straight, male like me, then you move through life with considerably less social barriers than others. Join this 9-hour mini conference from the Ferry Beach State Park Association to learn how you can harness that privilege to help others that don’t have it. At the very least, this training will increase your empathy and help reduce the harmful notion of “othering,” that too often degrades human interactions.
| $75 | 2:30 pm | Ferry Beach, 5 Morris Ave., Saco | http://www.ferrybeach.org/whiteprivilege.html |
FIRE IT UP | I’m taking a desperate stab in the dark here, but I’m guessing your love life needs some spicing up. No, I’m not talking about sex, I’m talking about the everyday stuff. The dates. The times where you’re fully clothed and really feel the love. How easy is it nowadays to reduce a date with your special someone to take out from your favorite restaurant, and rewatching Game of Thrones in bed? While I can’t deny the simple pleasures of Netflix-n-Chill, life calls for variety. I recommend you join Danza Latina and Dj Onax in Congress Square Park for La Noche Romantica, a night of salsa lessons. It’s a beautiful (and quite tiring!) way to rekindle any flames of desire toward your loved one that might have been snuffed out by time.
| FREE | 6:00 pm | Congress Square Park, Portland | http://congresssquarepark.org/ |
NOM NOMS | Listen up! This is a free food event! The Fork Food Lab is gearing up for their biggest market day yet, by offering some samples of what they’ve been cooking in that shiny new kitchen. Food trucks will be parked there as well, but likely charging for their treats. Enjoy the sun in their outdoor area as you mingle with other foodies.
| FREE | 10:00 am to 2:00 pm | Fork Food Lab, 72 Parris St., Portland | http://www.forkfoodlab.com/ |
HOT CHUCKLES | Wait, whaaaaaat? Aura’s hosting comedy shows now? You read that right. The fairly new venue is opening its basement to Maine’s Best Comic (as determined by you local Phoenix readers) Connor McGrath who’ll be cracking jokes and telling stories alongside Micaela Tepler, Kevin Neales, Phoebe Angle and Aharon Willows-Hebert. Bring on the jokes, and bid farewell to Aharon — he’s moving away at the end of the month!
| FREE | 8:30 pm | Aura, 121 Center St., Portland | http://auramaine.com/ |
STEP UP | Want to extinguish whatever amount of social anxiety you have? Try being a stand-up comic. No, really you can! Two Portland comedians, Ian Stuart and Paul Hunt, are hosting some casual, yet rewarding classes on comedy and stage presence. If that doesn’t sound like you, it still might be worth checking out for some laughs. An amateur comedian bombing on stage can be just as funny if you’re chasing the awkward and cringy kind of lolz.
| 3:00 pm | Empire, 575 Congress ST., Portland | http://www.portlandempire.com/ |
PIZZA PARTY | If it’s been a while, grab a Slab pizza, a cold beer, and hang out on the patio while SlygoRoad shred some strings like only a foursome of middle-aged white bros who love blues rock can do. It’s a summery thing to do, but unfortunately, many other people agree, so you may have to wait a bit for a seat outside.
| FREE | 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm | Slab Pizza, 25 Preble St., Portland | http://www.slabportland.com/ |
BE YOU | Are you going to put your money where your mouth is and show up to support queer and trans people? Well here’s a chance to prove that you’re more than just a Twitter warrior arguing with people who seem so stuck on the gender binary. The SPACE Gallery’s hosting a dance party featuring Paper Bee, Diva Cup, and DJ Kobold, who’ll be fueling a delirious night of human bonding. Maybe you’ll make a new friend and ally! Proceeds from this roof-raiser go to support Lupinewood Collective, a majority-trans living, arts, and organizing collective in Western Mass.
| $5-15 | 8:00 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | http://space538.org/events |
LISTEN UP | For an aspiring musician, putting together your first album is no easy task. It can be months of emotional agony fine-tuning what themes, stories, and sounds are worthy to represent you in your first foray into an extremely saturated scene. Local singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist David Vail is ready to reveal what’s been eating at him creatively with the release of his first full-length album Unvailed (clever title, we see what you did there). It sounds like a neat collection of ideas with songs inspired from Vail’s personal life, as well as Greek mythology and Longfellow’s poems. Oooh, how intellectual; let’s see where he takes it.
| $10 | 6:30 pm | One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland | https://onelongfellowsquare.com/events/ |
LITTLE STORIES | Art can be an incredibly liberating form of expression for creators and consumers alike. And in this political moment, especially for women, certain pieces can be downright cathartic, especially if they tap into shared experiences without being ostentatious. Ann Tracy, a photographer and “digital alchemist” aims to salvage a couple drops from the cyclone of female emotion 2017 has wrought post-Trump, with her new installation Visual Poetics on a War on Women. She uses just fabric, objects, and carefully crafted videos, to tell her story, which has us intrigued.
| FREE | 5:00 pm | Running Scissors, 250 Anderson St., Portland | https://www.rwsartstudios.com/ |
Art from David Cronenberg's 1981 sci-fi cult hit Scanners. A special screening hits Geno's this week.
MIND CONTROL | Last Mercy Emissions is offering a free way to lose your mind. Gather in the dark corners of Geno’s for fragments of industrial noise courtesy of Compactor, and waves of sweet synths and metaphysical sounds from Portland’s Superorder. But before the droning starts and your ears begin to ring, the cult classic science fiction film Scanners will play to prep your mind for what's to come. Fans of cybernetic noises and exploding heads should get in here.
| FREE | 8:00 pm | Geno’s Rock Club, 625 Congress St., Portland | https://superorder.bandcamp.com/ |
LONG FLIGHT | Billed as a master storyteller, an incredible talent, and Canada’s brightest star, Dave Carroll might just be the uplifting voice your tired spirit needs. His claim to fame was about 7 years ago, when his music video honoring the firefighters that lost their lives on 9/11 blew up on social media, with Americans all over the country tearing up for our lost servicemen. Later that year he would go viral again with a series of music videos chronicling a customer service nightmare he experienced on board United Airlines. We won’t spoil the story, but if you’re curious, just google United Breaks Guitars, and join the 200 million people who have already heard about the kerfuffle. It is quite amusing, but also revelatory. Carroll shares these stories and others, as he takes the stage and shows just how strange a musical career can be.
| $20 | 7:00 pm | One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland | https://onelongfellowsquare.com/ |
This book is such a wild-ride, it's hard to believe it really happened.
HIDDEN CIVS | Fancy meeting a real-life Indiana Jones? Well, Douglas Preston isn’t technically an archeologist, and we’re pretty sure he hasn’t gotten into any fist fights with Nazis, but his experience is not unlike the fictional globetrotting explorer. Preston, a writer and academic, will be visiting Portland today to discuss the adventures (and calamities) he endured researching his newest book, The Lost City of the Monkey God. Using clues from a dying man, Preston battled tropical diseases, snakes, jaguars, torrential rains, and quicksand, while searching for the fabled lost civilization of La Ciudad Blanca (the White City) deep in the Honduran jungle. Did he find it? Learn more when this interesting academic shares his incredible story, and takes questions from all you would be explorers.
| FREE | 7:00 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | http://www.space538.org/ |
FLYING TIME | Next week brings plenty of unexpected surprises, and we’ll be sure to bring you details. Empire will debut the first in a series of free emo/punk dance parties called “Sad As F*CK.” There will be a chance to learn what the heck is up with that strange, yet wonderfully vibrant statue outside the Portland Museum of Art (we can’t really decide if we like the piece yet, to be honest). Star Crossed Lovers return to Portland for a show at PHOME. Free summer concerts kick off at Fort Allen Park. The Portland Ballet Studio will debut “Unsinkable,” a powerfully physical performance grappling with heavy themes that hit close to home: addiction and the tortuous road to recovery. And the rising stars from Bowdoin’s school of music will be displaying their chops at a free concert at Rising Tide. Until then, we suggest getting out of town, driving 20 minutes north to Falmouth, and floating down the Presumpscot River; it’s a real treat, we hear.