McQueen

McQueen [Photo by Eric Korenman]

1. GAME ON!

 

PARTY TIME EXCELLENT may take their name from Wayne and Garth’s most excellent theme song, but the only thing the band shares in common with the SNL sketch is that they love to rock! Get out onto the patio at SLAB before the weather turns cold for their colorful, delightfully self-conscious and completely ridiculous (in a good way) pastiche of ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s hits and have a beer from SLAB’s interestingly-curated draft list along with a slice of pizza big enough to weigh you down and prevent you from breaking out your best dance moves from your junior high days. | Aug 23 | Thu 7 pm | SLAB Sicilian Street Food, 25 Preble Street, Portland | $7-9 | 21+ | www.slabportland.com

 

2. (SWEET ‘N) SOUR MASH

 

Earning the rare distinction of having impressed Radiohead’s Thom Yorke in Miami a few years ago when he opened for the reclusive band, MCQUEEN (a collaboration of comedian/producer Jesse Adams and Phantogram drummer Tim Oakley) presents a hot mashup of music, comedy and video splicing and dicing along the lines of the Everything Is Terrible crew, and a kind of fresh standup that doesn’t challenge the audience so much as it surprises them with its haute couture nerdiness. Fans of Reggie Watts, super-popular-for-five-seconds mixtape master Girl Talk, Kids in the Hall, or Key and Peele could fall in love, and don’t worry if you’re fatigued by all things Trumpian - you’ll find less political content here than most contemporary stand up acts. Expect a skewering of pop culture, not Robert Mueller. Local comedy heavy hitter Connor McGrath opens. | Aug 23 | Thu 8 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress Street, Portland | $12 | all ages | www.space538.org

 

 

3. DANK PLATES

 

Weed is the new craft beer; taking up its inevitable position as the darling of foodie culture as decriminalization and recreational use settle onto Maine like a cozy blanket and a bag of Cheetos after a few righteous bong hits, weed is the central ingredient of honor at the CULTIVATOR COUNTRY FAIR, a collaboration of art, food and cannabis culture. Wander around the grounds of Caswell Farms while enjoying infused courses prepared with the farm’s fresh ingredients by local chefs, including Josh Potocki and Roux Sutherland of Bread + Butter Catering and Scott Nikol of Duckfat. Live entertainment and opportunities to enjoy Tom Forcade’s precious flower in myriad ways (liquids, edibles, combustibles, you name it) abound throughout the night, and for a good cause: proceeds of the event benefit the Maine Center for Grieving Children. | Aug 24 | Fri 5 pm | Caswell Farm, 120 Whitney Road, Gray | $100 | 21+ | www.caswellfarmmaine.com

4. NO HUMAN IS AN ISLAND

 

Maine Transnet, a nonprofit endeavoring to empower transgender humans throughout Maine, create a culture of safety and care around trans individuals and educate our communities in allyship and supportive behavior is offering a free two hour workshop at Hope.Gate.Way church tonight. Their TOUR FOR TRANS ALLIES offers the opportunity to learn about basic terminology and pronouns, and participate in an open discussion on the meaning and practicalities of being an ally to transgender people in Maine. After the discussion, a panel of local transgender Mainers and allies will answer questions about what life is like for trans folx in rural Maine. This event is for all ages, and provides a welcoming forum in which to listen, learn and expand our understanding of all corners of the human experience. | Aug 24 | Fri 6:30 pm | Hope.Gate.Way, 509 Forest Ave, Portland | Free | All Ages | www.mainetransnet.org

 

5. LOBSTAHBILLY

 

It’s late summer in Portland, and the annual LOBSTER STOMP, Portland’s micro-celebration of all things rockabilly, once again returns to BAYSIDE BOWL. Rockabilly culture, though alive and well on the West Coast and in its place of origin, the Southeast US, has a smaller but still dedicated following here in Maine. MA band THE DEMON SEEDS, along with locals THE GAMMA GOOCHIES and I SUPPOSE YOU KNOW KARATE hold down the live music end while DJ MATT LITTLE from WMPG spins your rockabilly hits ranging from Wanda Jackson to the Reverend Horton Heat. Think 1950s chic; expect victory rolls, a classic car or two out in the parking lot, push-up bras and maybe even a brylcreem’d pompadour here or there. | Aug 25 | Sat 9 pm | Bayside Bowl, 58 Alder Street, Portland | Free | 21+ | www.baysidebowl.com

 

 
+1 
GenWeatlh

Film: Generation Wealth

 

6. KULT OF KA$H

 

As economic inequality continues to decimate our communities, as dollars quickly get sucked up from the hands of workers into the vacuum of the world’s most elite and wealthy, most of us are left wondering: how did we get here? Where does this all end? Though filmmaker and visual artist Lauren Greenfield may not have the answer to the latter question, she explores the former in her deeply personal but widely pertinent film, GENERATION WEALTH. Taking a hard but empathetic look at the pathologies that have created the richest society the world has ever seen, Greenfield exhumes the long obscured corpses of consumerism and the devastating effects that the commodification of bodies, gender, beauty, age and material accumulation have on our relationships and culture. Hopefully you can take a couple hours away from your second (or third, or fourth) job to check this matinee out today. | Aug 25 | Sat 2 pm | Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Square, Portland | $8 | All Ages | www.portlandmuseum.org

 

7. THIS ART IS ON FIRE

 

The Kindling Fund offers artist residents of Maine small grants that support projects with a purpose. The fund looks for artist-organized events, projects, installations or shows that engage the community directly and inspire dialogue, collaboration, community or experimentation. Are you an artist with this kind of vision? Attend this KINDLING FUND INFORMATION SESSION at the Apohadion Theater and learn how to qualify and apply for a grant ranging from $1,500 to $5,000. Is your vision weird? Excellent — the fund values the unconventional and the new, so don’t be afraid to give it a go. Administered by SPACE Gallery as part of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Regranting Network, the Kindling Fund is one of those little Maine gems we want all visual artists to know about. | Aug 26 | Sun noon | The Apohadion Theater, 107 Hanover Street, Portland | Free | All Ages | www.kindlingfund.org

 

8. DID WE JUST BECOME BEST FRIENDS?

 

Since it’s not 1975, we can breathe easy that when we hear the term “pet rock,” we’re not getting bamboozled into buying a stone in a cardboard box for $4 (though that guy down in the Old Port who sells rocks with googly eyes on them out of his van might take issue with this). Rather, PET ROCK IN THE PARK is a sweet event in Deering Oaks Park presented by Portland Veterinary Specialists at which attendees can bring their dogs and check out the vendors of all things pet-related, listen to some live music and enjoy some snacks, but most importantly, folks can check out the beautiful animals living in the region’s shelters who are looking for their forever home. Is it time to make good on your promise to your kiddo that if she got an A in History she could get a new kitty? Excellent. Stuff the whole fam into the station wagon and head down to pick out your new family member. | Aug 26 | Sun 11 am | Deering Oaks Park, Portland | Free | All Ages | www.portlandvetspecialists.com

 

 

9. SMELLY CAT

 

Superlatives are mostly pointless in journalism, but let’s just break the rules once in a while because we can. THE GREAT OPEN MIC NIGHT on Monday nights at Empire is the best open mic in town. Lovingly helmed on the front end by the duo SIRENS & SAILORS (Kari Hodgens and Luna Colt), this open mic has a casual and jovial atmosphere that embraces the self consciousness and awkward charm of an open mic. For two hours you get the “serious” arts of music and spoken word from a wide swath of local artists. Then, at 9:30, the night shifts gears to the comedy open mic hosted by IAN STUART and JIM MARTIN, giving rise to some super genuine moments that leave you wondering what the comic was thinking in some cases, and snorting your Citizen Cider out of your nose from laughing so hard in others. Either way, you win. | Aug 27 | Mon 7pm | Empire, 575 Congress street, Portland | Free | 21+ | venue.portlandempire.com

 

10. BOATS. BEERS. BABA GANOUSH.

 

If you actually live and work here in Maine, it’s unlikely that you have a cool hundo lying around to do this thing, but it’s worth mentioning anyway for our tourist friends and for those times when our parents come to visit and want to treat their destitute millennial child to something nice, for once. For $99, climb aboard PORTLAND SCHOONER COMPANY’S sailboat for a SUNSET RIDE with dinner catered by the Thirsty Pig, and beer from Bissell Brothers. It’s an all hands on deck situation, with reps from all three companies on hand to talk beer, boats and, uh… beets? Beef? Baba Ganoush? Who knows! The menu changes with each sunset dinner, so call ahead if you have dietary concerns or are picky (they accommodate vegan, gluten free and more). Let’s set sail. | Aug 28 | Tue 6pm | Portland Schooner Company, 56 Commercial Street, Portland | $99 | All Ages | www.portlandschooner.com

 

11. THERE AIN’T NO PLACE I’D RATHER BE

 

Summer is drawing to a close, which is a bummer for so many reasons. Who among us truly looks forward to wearing Bean boots every day for the next six months? One of the reasons the end of summer is so sad is because all of the fun weekly gigs that we didn’t go to all summer long draw to a close. One of the most notorious of these is the MAINE DEAD PROJECT every Wednesday night. Starting at 9 pm, you can get loose and — let’s be real here — baked as shit (not inside the venue, relax man) alongside Portland’s best middle-aged hippies, confused w00ks and basic bros who were told somewhere along the line that liking the Grateful Dead is cool. Well, guess what: liking the Grateful Dead is indeed cool, so get that tie dye out from your shame drawer before it’s too late and go show some love to MDP, a legitimately excellent Dead cover band who draws a hilarious, super stoned and joyful crowd every week. | Aug 29 | Wed 9 pm | Portland House of Music and Events, 25 Temple Street, Portland | $5 | 21+ | www.portlandhouseofmusic.com

 

 

12. A GOLDEN TICKET

 

Every so often, the team behind THE KNACK FACTORY open the doors of their studio so that the unwashed masses can see how the sausage is made. And though it sounds eerily like the premise of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, we can be relatively certain that there’s no chocolate river inside of the Knack Factory itself … or, wait a second. They do make that Food Coma TV show, so … maybe strike that, reverse it. Join the owners and creative team behind some of Maine’s best photography and video production for an END OF SUMMER PARTY at which the owners will reveal a new mural by local artist Taylor Mirabito. Live music, food and beverages for both adults and the under 21 set will be on offer, as well as a chance to see what the elusive crew has been up to for the past few months. Keep your hands off those fizzy lifting drinks, though. | Aug 30 | Thu 6 pm | The Knack Factory, 72 Auburn Street, Portland | Free | All Ages | www.knack-factory.com

Victoria Karol is a contributing writer for the Portland Phoenix, covering local music and the Dance Card listings. She produces Music Video Portland, Maine's video music awards and writes about feminism and culture on her blog hottrashportland.com.

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