WATCH THIS | Perhaps the most aesthetically ambitious film of 2017 returns for more hotly requested screenings this weekend at the Portland Museum of Art. At its core a beguiling mystery, Loving Vincent brings the work of Vincent Van Gogh to life while attempting to answer one of the biggest questions we have of the artist. How does a man go from calm to suicidal within six weeks? The film is thoroughly breathtaking, both from a narrative standpoint and a technical one — a team of artists painted every frame of this film with Van Gogh’s signature style guiding every brush stroke. Part thriller, part art history, and all parts eye candy. | Thu 3 & 6:30 pm; Fri 2 & 6:30 pm; Sat 11:30 am & 2 pm; Sun 11:30 am | Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Sq., Portland | $8 | https://www.portlandmuseum.org |
IN MEMORIAM | Somber but vital, Portland’s Annual Homeless Vigil commences tonight with a candlelit procession starting at the Preble Street Resource Center. At least 32 people died on Portland’s streets last year and the numbers for 2017 are likely just as grim. According to Mark Swann, Preble Street's executive director, the life expectancy of people who endure chronic homelessness is 23 years shorter than those who are housed. Show up in large numbers to honor these poor folks and hopefully send a powerful message to whichever people or groups failed them. Chances for deeper engagement around this complex and pervasive citywide issue will present themselves tonight as reps from Preble Street, Mercy Hospital, Maine Medical Center, and Greater Portland Health will be in attendance as co-sponsors. | 4 pm | Preble Street Resource Center, 5 Portland St., Portland | https://www.preblestreet.org/
PLUCKED FROM REALITY | Been trying awhile now to come up with a lede for tonight’s appearance by the Obsessed that doesn’t mention how frontman Wino was recently found attempting to transport eleven grams of amphetamines into Norway. Looks like I failed. Having paid his debt to society, Scott “Wino” Weinrich — who played in the seminal doom metal band Saint Vitus, which formed in Los Angeles in 1979 — brings his metal group The Obsessed for various gesticulations of psychosis at Geno’s tonight. Vitus had an obvious nod to Sabbath (per their track “St. Vitus Dance”), and though Wino joined in ‘86, after the band toured with Black Flag, he became its most notorious member. A cult figure and living legend, Wino re-formed the Obsessed to release Sacred, the first offering the band has made in nearly 20 years. Minus the legacy and personnel, it can be difficult to parse Sacred from a well-honed bar-rock band, but legacy is what you’re buying here, and this dude’s about as auth as it gets. The Obsessed play with Murcielago, the on-again/off-again Portland heavy rock band who just took home first prize in the Best Band Who Broke Up category in our Best Music Poll. But it’s not awkward. This is what they do. Manic Abraxas open. | Geno’s Rock Club, 625 Congress St., Portland | $14 | https://lastmercy.tumblr.com
YAH BUB | Grab your trusted flannel shirt and bunker down in the Little Tap House for a night of celebrating stereotypes called Wicked Mainah. Some care has been taken to throw this party in honor of all the people toughing out yet another winter in Maine. But the real draw to this shindig is a tap filled with at least a dozen of the states best local beers — an we mean the best. Come drink, dine, mingle, and chat about the rising the cost of heating in an exaggerated Mainer accent with your buds. | 6–11 pm | Little Tap House, 106 High St., Portland | https://www.littletaphouse.com/
THUNDERSTRUCK | Old age and a maturing rock scene hasn’t dampened the influence that AC/DC still has on the cultural consciousness. The masses who haven't grown bored of their legendary hits will writhe together for a tribute show tonight helmed by the lead guitarist and singer of Fifth Freedom, Alan Jones. Widely regarded around the world as “the best” — whatever that means — AC/DC is hard to imitate. But these dude rockers will try their best and probably have you shook all night long. | 8 pm | Portland House of Music and Events, 25 Temple St., Portland | $10 | http://www.portlandhouseofmusic.com/
SOARING SOUNDS | You might have caught on that dynamite vocalist Sara Hallie Richardson is back in town, having traveled from her new home in California for a string of heartfelt back-to-your-roots shows. Her style and influences are hard to pin down, but there’s no denying that her feathery yet emotionally dense vocal arrangements sound beautiful in just about any genre. She’s joined for a carefully crafted night of music alongside soul sisters Megan Jon Wilson and Sara Cox. | 7 pm | One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland | https://onelongfellowsquare.com
LOSE TIME | Beautiful sounds slam into each other tonight during a fuzzy showcase of lo-fi wonders a la Vermont’s Bleach Day and Portland’s the Doug Quaids. The concert’s also a celebration for some, as Million Dollar Lounge will take the stage and debut their newest EP Pinwheel, a dreamlike collection of songs designed for contemplative moments. Come get caught in the inherent messiness of interpreting their lyrics. | 8 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | $10 | http://space538.org/events
LIFT OFF | A Portland-based pop songwriter nearly 20 years and a culture producer nearly as long, Spencer Albee assembles another party night for for folks to congregate in merriment. With the 2017 release Relentlessly Yours less than a year old and still on (or adjacent) area turntables, Albee trots out new jams and old as he shares a stage tonight with Zach Jones, his former bandmate, whose music fuses ‘70s power-pop and R&B over by where he lives, which is Los Angeles. They're joined by funk act Red Eye Flight Crew, winners of the Best House/Residency Act award in this year’s Portland Music Awards. | 9 pm | Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St., Portland | $15 | https://www.portcitymusichall.com/
SLAY THE MOUSE KING | Here’s your last chance to journey to the Kingdom of Sweets and other surreal locations with the incredibly graceful dancers of Portland Ballet because there are only two more Victorian Nutcracker shows. Complete with sets and costumes inspired by the city’s Victorian Mansion, this magical performance is a Portland tradition; if you haven’t seen it at least once, snag some tickets and let this whimsical fairy-tale hold your imagination hostage. | 2 & 7 pm | Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St., Portland | $23 | https://boxoffice.porttix.com
FUNK EARTHQUAKE | Becoming almost as synonymous with the holidays as the Fogcutters, Model Airplane plays a big bash tonight complete with everything we’ve come to love from the band: tight harmonies, punchy brass sections, and a keyboard sparkling from the brightness of some tweaked, yet still familiar Christmas melodies. Much like their Thanksgiving show last month, this band’s Quistmas Spectacular — honoring legendary Portland instrumentalist Tyler Quist — is the infusion of funk we need to enjoy the season properly. The band’s original frontman Lyle Divinsky returns to lead the shenanigans tonight, singing alongside his father, Phil, who may or may not be the de-facto Santa Claus of the evening. | 9 pm | Portland House of Music and Events, 25 Temple St., Portland | $18 | http://www.portlandhouseofmusic.com/
FIND A FRIEND | Well it’s Christmas Eve tonight, which admittedly feels a little underwhelming after a year full of tragedies, scandals, and political nightmares. So we don’t blame you if you feel like any amount of holiday cheer was forcibly sucked from your soul, like a Dementor’s kiss, leaving you with little faith for humanity or cause for celebration. Regardless, we’re going to paint with a broad brush and assume that you’re still joining the rest of the country tonight by indulging in at least one of these activities: getting ready for a holiday feast (Hannaford’s open until 6 tonight, fyi), traveling to go see family (watch out for drunk drivers), watching the Patriots play the Bills, or shopping for embarrassingly last minute gifts (the Maine Mall pulls out all the stops for Christmas today). You might even be in the pious minority and ready yourself for midnight mass — which is happening in several Portland area churches. Or maybe you’re spending today doing nothing special at all, like many we know, because societal expectations irk you or you simply can’t muster the holiday spirit. That’s okay too. But whatever you decide to do tonight, we hope you’re around people that love you! Because even for the non-observant, holidays like Christmas can still suck to spend alone.
LIGHT IT UP | There’s virtually nothing open today besides a smattering of gas stations and Asian restaurants, so if you don’t want to spend the day cooped up in a house with family members, you’re going to have to get creative. A relaxing walk through an illuminated Deering Oaks or Congress St. with a hot chocolate in hand might be appropriate cure for boredom. Or you could plan a mini-trip out of town. About a 45-minute drive north are the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, a sprawling complex of art and natural wonders that will light up tonight in a bunch of dazzling colors for Maine’s largest light show. It’s worth checking out if not to listen to your inner voice urging you to do something unconventional this Christmas. (It also doesn’t hurt that the Gardens Aglow event is pretty damn beautiful.) | 4–9 pm | Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, 132 Botanical Gardens Drive., Boothbay | $12 | http://www.mainegardens.org/
FREE WILL | For many, the day after Christmas is a recovery day. If you’re not returning to work, and/or taking care of your kids, and/or tending to a hangover, you’re likely going to commit to some couch-centered activities today. Or you can take our wacky and unsolicited advice and slip one of these random activities into your post-holiday routine: Repeat what you’re doing now — presumably reading the news or scrolling your social media feeds — but just inside Portland’s newest coffee shop, Higher Ground. Visit the Portland Public Library and rent a movie to watch from Videoport’s old collection. Shop at Reny’s for winter gear because they’ll have insane discounts today. Gorge yourself with all you can eat tacos at either Tortilla Flat or Margaritas. Shoot a cheap game of pool at Union Station Billiards. Grab some poutine or garlic fries at South Portland's Foul Mouthed Brewing and test your knowledge in their Geeks Who Drink trivia event. Or you can finish the night at Sea Dog Brewing in SoPo for a nice Maine beer and some live — albeit possibly amateurish — music. The choices are always yours.
FOOD & MOOD | Whatever goes into our stomach affects our brain in profound ways. Most of our serotonin — the neurotransmitter that makes us happy — is released during digestion, and some foods are better than other when it comes to providing the body with the necessary nutrients to kick off that chemical process. For example, foods like soda, bagels, cold cuts, and french fries can make you irritable. Woah! Find out which foods promote good moods tonight at New Fruit where community herbalist and educator Isa Beaulieu will lead a useful workshop and sampling session. | 6 pm | New Fruit Collective, 82 Parris St., Portland | https://newfruit.net/
TWO BAD ASS FLICKS | Make tonight a movie night with two films that are actually hard to find on streaming services and the bay where pirates lurk. They’re easily worth 2 hours of your time, and yes, they’re both “Certified Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes. First up, at 6:30 pm the SPACE Gallery screens Blade of the Immortal, the 100th film from visionary Japanese director Takashi Miike. Violent, bizarre and gripping, Blade of the Immortal follows a criminal in feudal Japan who’s cursed with immortality and enlisted to serve as a young girl’s bodyguard. The hi-jinks these two get up to are absolutely bonkers and, let’s just say, result in piles of body parts and rivers of blood! If you’re into acrobatic battles and creative gore, settle in for a rewarding experience. The second special screening tonight is 98 percent less violent but just as badass, only in a different way. Jane screens tonight at 7 pm the Portland Museum of Art, a film that tells the complete story of Jane Goodall, the famous conservationist who gave the world remarkable insight into the complex social structures of chimpanzees. The engrossing documentary features a treasure trove of never before seen images from Jane’s research in Tanzania with the enigmatic beasts.