THURSDAY 2

 

PEOPLE NEED A PUSH | No matter how many of our Facebook friends complain about the latest political issue, voter turnout continues to be abysmal. Imagine if everyone that lamented about today’s current climate actually registered to vote and supported progressive causes. What would that world look like? Gather with supporters of Question 2 — a measure that would expand health insurance to 70,000 Mainers — for a rally that will hopefully inspire those on the fence to care, and perhaps more importantly, get out and vote this week. | 5:30 pm | Lincoln Park, Congress St., Portland | Free | http://mainersforhealthcare.org/

EYE CANDY | Regardless of whether you’ve ever taken up skiing or snowboarding there’s something immensely satisfying about seeing a pro kick up powder and zoom down a slope. If you agree, then check out REI’s new film Rogue Elements because the athletes featured in it are complete masters of their craft; it’s a real visual treat. These guys defy death (and gravity) with such finesse, you just can’t help but feel a pang of jealousy — why can’t I be that badass? Catch these exhilarating displays of total control and tricky stunts during this special screening of a well-received ski and snowboard film. | 6:30 pm | State Theatre, 609 Congress St., Portland | $15 | http://statetheatreportland.com/

Most people love Nick Offerman's character Ron Swanson in Parks & Rec, but not many know his stand-up act is equally hilarious. 

BE A MAN | Comedian Nick Offerman offers up a downright hilarious parody of the ultimate “man’s man” in today’s pop culture. With wit and the perfect amount of dry humor, he’ll try to convince you it’s time to grow out a beard, take up woodworking, or hunt for your next meal. Just don’t take his advice too seriously or you’ll miss the satire and go full libertarian like the government-hating, meat-idolizing character Ron Swanson he plays on Parks and Recreation. If you missed his highly lauded appearance in Portland last year, don’t miss this stopover on his Full Bush tour! | 7 pm | Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St., Portland | $62 | https://boxoffice.por

Black Tiger Sex Machine continues the trend started by Daft Punk in the late '90s: wearing fantastical headgear to their electronic concerts. 

FUTURISTIC MAYHEM | This concert requires you to have some degree of mental stamina, for guests will be subjected to barrage of fierce beats, strange synths, and psychedelic sounds. Such is the nature of a Black Tiger Sex Machine show. The soundscape of their version of electronica is akin to a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and you’ll need a guide to ensure you’re not hallucinating. Thankfully these cat-masked performers are trained in most forms of the amorphous electronica genre — from straight dubstep and dark trap to orchestral stirrings and ambient loops. They’ll ease you through their otherworldly performance until you end up worshipping at their altar of Midnight Terrors alongside other pure bass music zealots. In other words, it’s a trippy good time. | 8 pm | Aura, 121 Center St., Portland | $17-32 | http://auramaine.com

 

ONE SLICE AT A TIME | If you’re shrewd and frugal like me, you never turn down an opportunity for free pizza. Get on my level and come hang out the Oxbow Brewery for some cheesy pie and a screening of Spot Pizza, a gorgeously shot documentary that showcases some urban snowboarders and their crazy antics. | 8 pm | Oxbow Blending and Bottling, 49 Washington Ave., Portland | Free | http://oxbowbeer.com/

 

FRIDAY 3

 

PUBLIC PARTY | The chilly bite of November wind is not enough to stop this hot showcase of music, art, and comedy at Congress Square Park popping off today, which comes by way of an effort by the Portland Culture Exchange. Swing by after work or during your First Friday shenanigans to warm up with the celebratory sounds of AFRiiCAN Dundada, Ben Shorr, Distant Brothers, Gold D, LOC DAB, and Kid Calvin. Life is short; go sing and dance. | 5 pm | Congress Square Park, Portland | Free | http://congresssquarepark.org

ASMR is typically audio only, but Alyssa Freitas is debuting a video component to the art form at her Here/Now exhibit at SPACE Gallery this week. 

EAR-GASM | If you’ve never heard of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), you should Google some examples right now to determine if you’re one of the special few that get pleasurable sensations from accentuated, textured sounds. It’s an odd sort of thing, but once you feel the hair stand up on your arms and a wave of euphoria wash over you, you’ll instantly become an ASMR enthusiast. Trust me. Let Maine-based artist Alyssa Freitas trigger these foreign feelings lurking inside you with her anxiety annihilating project Here/Now. Her sound therapy starts tonight. | 5 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | Free | http://www.space538.org/

BLEACH WEAR | Don’t be fooled into thinking that big clothing corporations and Hollywood stars have a monopoly on what is and isn’t fashion. In our postmodern world where essentially everything is a social construct, you’re free to wear literally anything and call it art. In the minds of Providence artist Nick Carter and Portland’s youth collective Kesho Wazo, bleach-stained streetwear punctuated by patches of screen printed imagery is totally in right now. Or maybe it isn't. The point is, it doesn’t matter. Decide for yourself and see their unique collection at this fashion show billed as featuring items somewhere between urban punk and flashy couture. | 6:30 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | Free | http://www.space538.org/

DARK RITUALS | Wanderers of the dark side of Portland’s music scene take heed, this show’s a legitimate assault on the senses. Don’t despair (or do, if that’s your thing) for these four ear-piercing bands plan on opening a portal to the doomscape at Geno’s tonight: Primitive Man (death-sludge out of Denver), Bellwitch (a minimal metal duo from Seattle), Shabti (Portland’s own purveyor of death sounds), and Scrotal Tear, local ritualists who, like their name suggests, aren’t afraid to dish out some sonic pain. Hosted by Last Mercy Emissions. | 9 pm | Geno’s Rock Club, 625 Congress St., Portland | $8 | https://primitivemandoom.bandcamp.com/

SATURDAY 4

 

SPIN IT | It’s always a delight to discover what kind of musical gems are hiding inside WMPG’s basement. Every year the community radio station drags a portion of their massive collection into the USM gymnasium for their Annual Record Sale, which is likely one of the biggest in town. Join dozens of music junkies as they peruse through both the oddities and mainstays of music history. Maybe you don’t collect and just want to support local radio and talk tunes with other music geeks; that’s cool too. But no matter your purpose or favorite genre — jazz, rock, hip-hop, funk, blues, pop — you’ll find something to appreciate on one of the 60 tables there. | 10 am to 3 pm | USM Sullivan Gym, 66 Falmouth St., Portland | $2 | https://www.wmpg.org/

TREAT YO SELF | Voting a single person or company in as Maine’s “Best Baker” is no easy feat, but there’s a lot of lip-smacking pleasure to be had deciding. The Hemophilia Alliance of Maine invites Portland to what’s essentially the state’s biggest bake sale — dozens of vendors will be offering free mouthfuls of sugar and flour in all its perfected forms. (For reference, Standard Bakery won Best Bakery in our very own ‘Best Of Portland’ contest earlier this year; I wonder how they’ll fare at this event). Skip lunch today and make room for a week’s worth of donuts, brownies, cookies, and cupcakes. You know you want to. | 10 am to 3 pm | Ocean Gateway, 12 Ocean Gateway Pier, Portland | https://www.mainesbestbakers.com/

RUMOURS ABOUND | Musical tastes evolve and change but a love for Fleetwood Mac seldom dies. Join city vocalist Susanne Gerry and her group of faithful re-creators for a nostalgic tribute show that reminds us that heartbreak isn’t such a bad thing. | 9 pm | Portland House of Music and Events, 25 Temple St., Portland | https://www.portlandhouseofmusic.com/

SUNDAY 5

 

This film will certainly make you hungry. Thankfully, it's followed by a tasting of Israeli food.

KOSHER NOMS | Hummus and falafel are often regarded as Jewish foods, but technically they’re not. Although these delicious foods are staples of Jewish cuisine, they were actually invented by Arabs in Egypt centuries before Israel was even a state. Learning this fact last week got me thinking about how much of Jewish cuisine was actually reappropriated from the diverse cultures surrounding Israel. A screening of In Search of Israeli Cuisine hosted by the Maine Jewish Film Festival and the Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine will provide me with answers. Indeed, as the film and follow up food tasting from Portland chefs Daniel Heinrich and Haggai Bernstein will show, Israel has its own rich culinary landscape. So just because Israel can’t claim unique credit for the two most popular Middle Eastern foods, it doesn’t mean they don’t have their own fair share of mouth-watering dishes. | 4 pm | Jewish Community Alliance, 1342 Congress St., Portland | $25 | http://mjff.org

 

A screenshot from Okwui Okpokwasili’s electrifying film Bronx Gothic. 

TOUR DE FORCE | Tonight’s screening of Okwui Okpokwasili’s Bronx Gothic might make those ill-equipped (or unwilling) to confront the realities of race relations uncomfortable. Or to put it bluntly, readers should be prepared for a night that isn’t centered around whiteness (for once). Because Okpokwasili’s acclaimed one-woman show that tours through SPACE today challenges audiences with artistic responses to an important question: What is like for black and brown bodies to move through a world that privileges white ones? Mesmerizing song and viscerally physical dance illuminate this line of inquiry that many have tried to keep in the shadows. Stick around after the screening for a Q&A with the Brooklyn-based Okpokwasili herself, who’ll offer fascinating insight on melding social issues into the creative process. | 7 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | $8 | http://www.space538.org/

MONDAY 6

 

MINI BEER FEST | Does Portland produce the best craft beer in America? Because of the insular, self-congratulatory nature of this city, it’s certainly easy to think so. But we must recognize the wonderful chemistry brewers are enabling elsewhere in New England. Branch out from your usual go-tos and sample some beers that traveled 250 miles to be featured in the Thirsty Pig’s Vermont Beer Fest. Folks there are going to have a selection featuring, but not limited to, Lawson's Finest Liquids, Stowe Cider, von Trapp Brewing, and Foley Brothers Brewing. And yeah, you better pair these fine creations with a sausage or two. | 5 pm | The Thirsty Pig, 37 Exchange St., Portland | http://www.thirstypigportland.com/

LAUGHING > CRYING | Because of the way humans organize themselves around the concept of “work,” Mondays will forever be the Worst Day of the Week. But at least Portland has a coalition of very funny people dedicated to curing people of those bouts of alienation with one of life’s best anti-depressants: laughter. You don’t need to talk to your doctor to see if stand up comedy from Justin P. Drew, Mark Turcotte, Lee Newton, Micaela Tepler, Jed Bloom, Dawn Hartill, and Keith Hebert will work for you. This edition is hosted by Anders J. Nielsen. Be there and cheer up. | 8 pm | Blue, 650 Congress St., Portland | $5 | http://portcityblue.com/

 

TUESDAY 7

 

INCONVENIENT TRUTHS | According to many prominent racial justice writers/activists like DeRay Mckesson, Ta-Nehisi Coates, or Munroe Bergdorf, racism is woven into the fabric of American society. They say that white people born into a society that allegedly prioritizes their experiences can unknowingly slip into racist modes of thinking and communication. While that certainly isn’t a nice thing to hear (speaking as a white person), it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for white folks to be good-natured and supportive of anti-racism work. Social justice activists recommend starting with recognizing an insidious little neurobiological phenomenon called implicit bias. Don’t know what that is? Learn more about the psychological foundations of racist thinking during a free lecture happening today at USM. It could be a great way to dismantle that nasty “us vs. them” mentality. | 5 pm | USM Wishcamper Center, 34 Bedford St., Portland | Free | https://usm.maine.edu/

TINY ACTION | You should make tonight's dinner at OTTO Pizza, because a big portion of the dine in and take out sales will go to Limitless Children, a local nonprofit that provides essential services to children living in slums and orphanages in India. It’s literally the least you could do. | 5 pm to 9 pm | OTTO Pizza, 225 Congress St., Portland |  207.358.7870 | http://www.limitlesschildinternational.org/

This trio of multi-instrumentalists will evoke some dreamy, mysterious moods at SPACE Gallery this Tuesday.

MELODIC MEDITATIONS | Big props to bands like Thor & Friends that embrace idiosyncrasy and ignite imagination with non-traditional instruments like the marimba, xylophone, gongs, duduk, and oboe. The three musicians of this Austin-based group attribute their polyrhythmic wizardry to influences from classic minimalist composers like Terry Riley and Steve Reich as well as ambient music giants like Brian Eno and Aphex Twin. Step into their highly suggestive, percussion-driven world when they perform tracks from their sophomore album Subversive Nature of Kindness at SPACE tonight. | 8 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | $12 | www.space538.org/

WEDNESDAY 8

START SMALL | Mechanisms for progressive changes in society almost always start locally in city government. If you’re interested in getting into politics, (or just becoming an informed citizen) attend this Annual District Meeting where you can shake hands with Councilor Belinda Ray, City Manager Jon Jennings, and Mayor Ethan Strimling, and learn about what’s going on in City Hall. If you’ve already met them and want to just air some neighborhood grievances, this is the time and place to have your voice heard. Take note, this meeting’s geared toward District 1, which covers the peninsula; meetings focused on other districts are scheduled throughout the month of November. | 6:30 pm | East End Community School, 195 North St., Portland | Free | http://www.portlandmaine.gov/

TIMELESS MEDIUMS | Because oral storytelling predates writing — which itself was invented around 3200 B.C. — it may very well be the oldest form of entertainment. In the beginning, people gathered to hear tales straight from the mouths of their creators, and thousands of years later, we’re still doing it. Tonight the Portland Public Library inadvertently honors this ancient and intimate tradition by hosting Tellabration, an event from the Maine Organization of Storytelling Enthusiasts. Storytellers slated include: Jean Armstrong, Vernon Cox, Debb Freedman, Fred Kilfoil, Audrey Mason, Michael Parent, Katy Rydell, and Don Spears. | 6:45 pm | Portland Public Library, 5 Monument Sq., Portland | Free | https://www.portlandlibrary.com/

 

THURSDAY 9

STAY ACTIVE | November’s easily the second dreariest month of the year so it’s crucial to have tools to fight those beasts we call boredom and apathy that seem so ubiquitous to the season. Fortunately, Portland will continue to do what no other Maine town does better: consistently offer stimulating, intellectually rich, cosmopolitan events. And here at the Phoenix we’ll faithfully provide the deets. Check in these pages next week for more on these great antidotes against the doldrums, including an unflinching exploration of America’s prison system, a screening of Loving Vincent, the world’s first fully oil painted feature film, a blind tasting contest of Portland’s most popular beers, and an ornate concert featuring psych pop juggernaut Madaila, and Portland’s Spencer Albee. Pick us up again in 8 days.

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