1. FEND OFF THE TORSCHLUSSPANIK
Co-presented by Boston's Goethe-Institut and the German Film Academy, a film series at the PMA offers rare opportunities to see contemporary German art-haus cinema. They've prepared a six-film series screening every week or other week (hard to detect a pattern). The first is THREE DAYS IN QUIBERON, a faithful recreation of the final interview given by Viennese actress Romy Schreiber, who died at the age of 46. | December 6 | Thu 5:30 pm | Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Sq, Portland | $8
2. WHAT IS THE DIVA?
Oregon's Kaj-anne Pepper seemed to make a lot of friends when they came to Portland East in June 2017, spending two weeks in a "Diva Workshop Research Tour" working out the kinks of a forthcoming performance piece. They return with that piece intact, titled DIVA PRACTICE (solo), an interactive, multimedia performance about "drag queens dancing with uncertainty, technology and identity." For additional benefit, Pepper has mounted a video installation titled "Pink Moment" in the window, which should offer some memorable imagery those desolate January nights. | December 6 | Thu 8 pm | SPACE, 538 Congress St, Portland | $15-18 | www.space538.org
3. NO SHARP EDGES
Match the sound of R&B artists Macy Gray and Jill Scott with a sprinkle of the aesthetics of the B-52's and you'll end up with something like MOONCHILD, an immaculately smooth neo-soul trio out of Los Angeles. They're in town and good for a warm time. | December 6 | Thu 9:45 pm | Empire, 575 Congress St, Portland | $15-18 | www.portlandempire.com
4. GOT A WALL FOR THAT?
It can feel a little intense in there for the annual MECA HOLIDAY SALE, but we only say that because we're a little less social in December and there's usually a ton of people. There is always something we want to take home at this sale of works by student and alumni artists (sometimes only one thing, that's just the way it works). We recommend getting here early — these are A-grade holiday gifts. | Dec 7-8 | Fri 5-9 pm; Sat 10 am-5 pm | Maine College of Art, 522 Congress St, Portland | FREE
5. CLANGIN' ONE
The Brooklyn band RUBBLEBUCKET wins the award for Band Whose Name Makes Them Sound Like a Jam Band every year over here (*points to head*). In reality, of course, they're a artful and sassy indie-rock group that sound like St. Vincent, Dirty Projectors, and Tune-Yards, and sings about messy things like love and sex and staying alive. Their new album, Sun Machine, is weird and catchy, full of earworms that earn their keep. They play with Northampton's AND THE KIDS. | Dec 7 | Fri 8 pm | State Theatre, 609 Congress St, Portland | $20-25
6. JOIN THE MOB
Emerging from the latest wave of D.C.'s endlessly regenerative punk scene, PRIESTS are a uniquely exciting band, something it's not possible to say about the overwhelming majority of so-called punk bands making music these days. Charged by the electric presence of frontwoman Katie Alice Greer (formerly of Chain and the Gang), the group are legendary in their hometown, and have evolved to play a reconstructed style of punk that mixes funk, thrash, old style rock 'n' roll, noise, and soul. It veers into pop territory more often than folks expect. They play with psych-rock act EMPATH and New Hampshire's RICK RUDE, always a treat. | Dec 8 | Sat 8:30 pm | SPACE, 538 Congress St, Portland | $10-12
7. MITTENS UP
We'd get all of our holiday gifts at the 10TH ANNUAL PICNIC HOLIDAY SALE if we had our way (our way being to have disposable cash, of course). Stocked row by row with 130 cherub-faced vendors selling jewelry, books, clothes, hand-made goods and tools, and immaterial concepts (if you ask nicely), Picnic is an essential. | Dec 9 | Sun 11 am-6 pm | Brick South Building, Thompson's Point, Portland | www.picnicportland.com
8. MONDAY FUNDAY?
Takes a lot of effort and luck to keep a project going these days, exponentially so for anything scheduled for a Monday. That's one of the reasons why the weekly "Monday of the Minds" hip hop showcase at Flask is worth some attention. Want another? Here: They’re nice. A rotating group of artists (who sometimes lead volunteer public works projects like cleaning up the Eastern Promenade) celebrate their three-year anniversary tonight, with performances by jazz singer VIVA, rapper and producer GRAPHIC MELEE, New York's "lady hip hop/soul" duo NEW FAME, and MOTH CHILD. | Dec 10 | Mon 9 pm | Flask Lounge, 117 Spring St, Portland | $5-20 donation | www.flasklounge.com
9. MELT SHOW
We remember indie-country band the OLD 97s from their album Too Far to Care, which we thought was a pretty solid collection of lovesick country-punk anthems for a high schooler to consume (and which represented the deepest this writer got in the genre). Led by songwriter Rhett Miller, a native Texan with coastal sensibilities, the group has persisted for a nifty 11-album career. Somewhat inexplicably, they've released a collection of Christmas songs this year, titled Love the Holidays. We imagine they'll play "Salome," but you might get "Auld Lang Syne" instead. | Dec 10 | Mon 8 pm | Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St, Portland | $20-25 | www.portcitymusichall.com
10. DON'T GO BLANC
It's Tuesday night. You've already seen Suspiria at the Nickelodeon and the thought of seeing it again doesn't feel good. And maybe you haven't laughed all day (we hope this isn't the case, but it happens). A thing you can do in this scenario is bring a friend to Brian Boru, where the RUM RIOT improv jam sees how it feels to play improv games at Brian Boru. We're 100 percent in support of improv in spirit and practice, but we're the first to admit that it doesn't always make the best entertainment. Nonetheless, we think this is a classically good venture. If it's terrible, you're already at the bar | Dec 11 | Tue 7-8:30 pm
11. GET INTO GEAR
We weren't sure whether they made motorcycle-appreciation films the way they do for snowboarding, skiing and mountain climbing. Is there a market for that? Turns out yes. They might not sell out the State Theatre, but there's plenty of interestingenough aspects to the culture of motorcycling, and -cyclers, to keep tonight's attendees at "Motorcycle Movie Night #6" sated. Over at the Apohadion, they screen ONE CRAZY RIDE, a 2009 documentary that follows a motorcycle expedition on uncharted roads across the Himalayan state of Arunachal Pradesh in North-east India, and along the way tells a fine and redeeming tale of friendship | Dec 12 | Wed 8 pm | The Apohadion Theater, 107 Hanover St, Portland | by donation