THURSDAY, Nov. 17
Moby Dick Marathon | Drop in anytime you want during the next 4 days, to hear a spirited reading of Herman Melville's literary masterpiece, Moby Dick. Curators, artists, women, writers, students and business leaders will take the stage to bring this epic tale to life. Think of it like a live audio book. Organizers promise some refreshments, special activities and some surprises along the way. They also encourage you check out the rest of the museum, where a new exhibition titled “Of Whales In Paint,” hangs on the walls and beckons visitors to experience three generations of American artists who’ve beautifully depicted the struggle between man and nature, as well as adventure and catastrophe at sea. Call me Ishmael.
| FREE | 4:00 pm | Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Sq., Portland | http://www.portlandmuseum.org/exhibitions/whales-paint |
The Art of Self Care | After this vitriolic election year, we could all stand to develop some strategies to preserve our mental health. This workshop with kinesiologist and personal trainer Christie L. Orcutt could help us find harmony. She’s going to help guests overcome the barriers in their life and achieve peace, equilibrium and truth. How does one start? By first developing an open mind. Many alternative forms of therapy will be explored during this monthly workshop including: music, dance, herbs, holistic essential oils, meditation and stretching. Bring a yoga mat and slow down the spinning cycles of chaos and negativity in your life.
| $15 | 5:00 pm | Urban Farm Fermentory, 200 Anderson St., Portland | https://www.fermentory.com |
| $8 | 8:00 pm | One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland | https://onelongfellowsquare.com |
FRIDAY, Nov. 18
Assembly of Dust | Displaying some lovely guitar picking skills and evoking the style and swagger of 70s Americana (think The Band, Traffic and Neil Young) is Assembly of Dust, a superior jam band. These bright stars in the alternative country universe aren’t shy to admit where the inspiration for their good-natured music comes from, but they’re also brave to put their own funky, improvisational spin to it. “As a child, I can remember locking myself in my room with a big old set of headphones and listening to The Band's Music From Big Pink album over and over again,” said Reid Genauer, the lead singer and founder of the New York-based quintet Assembly of Dust. “Besides loving the hell out of the music, I was intrigued with the production value in the recordings. As I listened I felt almost like I was there in the room with The Band at a moment of perfection. That intimate listening experience drew me in and is what inspired me to be a musician.” Joining these Grammy winners is the New Hampshire six-piece Todo Bien, a “roots-rock group known for writing upbeat tunes with good vibes, strong messages and lush harmonies.”
| $18 | 8:00 pm | Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St., Portland | http://www.portcitymusichall.com |
Saviours of Soul | Here’s a progressive idea that you can get behind. A new treatment program launched by the Portland Police Department dubbed L.E.A.A.P., aims to rehabilitate, not incarcerate those suffering from addiction issues. You can offer your support for this cause in a blissfully detached sort of way: by immersing yourself in the glory days of soul and disco music. This benefit concert is headlined by The Saviours of Soul, a tribute to The Commitments, a Dublin-based cover band that was immortalized in a 1991 documentary. Sure, this show features a cover band of a cover band, but I’m sure you’ll have a good time; especially if you like Irish-British musical comedies and watch the cult hit beforehand (it’s on Netflix).
| $10 | 8:00 pm | Portland House of Music and Events, 25 Temple St., Portland | http://www.portlandhouseofmusic.com |
Sassquatch Strikes Back | Sassquatch is known for their intimate, small coffee shop/campfire vibe dominated by vocal harmonies and a laid-back improvisational feel. But they get can rowdy too. The band members will undoubtedly showcase their wild and unpredictable side, as they tend to break out into bouts of faster eclectic jams and infectious singalongs. Sassquatch, like most bands nowadays, don’t like to be tied down by labels or restricted by genres. But I’m going to do it anyway. Their styles range from rock, folk, funk and jazz fusion. Their influences include Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, the Grateful Dead, Jack Johnson and Amy Winehouse. Good friends of theirs, Happy Folk, are also on this tasty acoustic lineup, as well as New Noise.
| $7 | 9:30 pm | Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland | http://portlandempire.com/ |
SATURDAY, Nov. 19
Season of Light Celebration | Six distinct cultural holidays (EID, Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Diwali and the Winter Solstice) all share the theme of light. The folks over at One Tree Center want to bring kids and adult together to learn and embrace these cultural holidays. This event aims to promote peace, partnership, and pluralism through multiculturalism and education. Bring your little one so they can learn what meaningful social change looks like. “First and foremost, we hope guests will have a fun time with their family,” said organizer Virginia Dearani. “Season of Light has many kid friendly activities including art projects and local storytellers. We also hope that guests will learn something new about the six holidays represented and be moved by the commonalities across cultures. Finally, we would love for guests to be inspired by One Tree Center's mission and to join us in spreading peace and radical love in our community and beyond.”
| FREE | 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm | Portland Public Library, 5 Monument Sq., Portland | https://www.portlandlibrary.com/ |
Best Way To Vent | Crack open a PBR and prep your limbs for aggressive moments of swinging and your eardrums for an unstoppable beating. The lineup is strange, brutal and just the sort of thing Portland needs right now: the outrageous sheet metal band Gwell-O (they’re straight out of hell), the street punks from New York, the Shooting Gallery, the heavy ska band Meanmugg and the cryptozoology band Cryptid.
| $5 | 8:00 pm | Matthews Pub, 133 Free St., Portland | https://www.facebook.com/events/198340500605703/?active_tab=about |
Soule Monde | Lose your mind within a deep chasm of funk and soul courtesy of the indestructible duo of Russ Lawton and B3 wizard Ray Paczkowski. Together they’re Soule Monde, and they’ve been jamming hard displaying remarkable synergy for quite a while. I like these words written about them: “Lawton’s beats and fills push melodies along a tightrope. There’s nothing thrown together haphazard or indulgent about this band. They are dressed down impresarios, seeming at times to be of one mind, pushing the limits of the traditional “jazz duo” or “jam band” to include tones of deep improvisational funk and alternative jazz.” And I like their music more. Check them out and get pelted by an onslaught of unpredictable grooviness.
| $10 | 8:00 pm | Portland House of Music, 25 Temple St., Portland | http://www.portlandhouseofmusic.com |
All Natural Adventure | Are there any skiers or snowboards out there that are itching for the snow to arrive so you can hit the slopes? Perhaps some purists that can’t stand the fake stuff? In the meantime, this new Warren Miller documentary titled Here, There and Everywhere, can tame your craving for the sport. You’ll appreciate the breathtaking mountain visuals, action shots of flying powder and footage of the death-defying stunts these adventurers conquer all over the world in a movie that’s high intensity sure, but also slows down enough for audiences to get a feel of the beauty, humor and camaraderie within ski culture. Professional, celebrity skiers (is that a thing?) Rob Kingwell and Seth Wescott will be there to chat for a minute and sign things. Oh boy.
| $17 | 8:00 pm | State Theatre, 609 Congress St., Portland | http://www.statetheatreportland.com/ |
SUNDAY, Nov. 20
Symphony and Spirits | Young people! Expose yourself to a different side of music and culture with the Portland Symphony Orchestra’s soul-stirring classical performance of Sibelius’ Fifth. This concert is designed for those between the ages 21-39, so don’t think for a second that it’ll be boring. The PSO are adept at harnessing the emotional power of the orchestra, and let me tell you, it packs a punch. Afterward, take the short walk down from the Merrill Auditorium to the Portland Hunt and Alpine Club to quell those post-concert jitters with some craft cocktails. Now’s the time to become a true art and performance aficionado.
| $25 | 2:30 pm to 6:00 pm | The Hunt and Alpine Club, 75 Market St., Portland | https://portland-symphony-orchestra.ticketleap.com/ |
Film Screening: First Light | Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Attend this eye-opening film screening and discussion with filmmakers and participants that will shed light on the plight of Native Americans in Maine. According to the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Native people in Maine continue to be the targets of cultural genocide. The film, First Light, follows the Wabanaki children that were taken from their homes and denied access to their traditions, culture and identity. The brutal and disturbing history of colonialism has deep roots; yes, even here in sleepy ol’ Maine.
| FREE | 7:00 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | http://www.space538.org |
Jeffrey Foucault | Jeffrey Foucault, a musician described as “high caliber” and “pure,” is bringing his spirited, “impeccably tailored” and international lauded performance to the intimate OLS stage. He plays the blues bold and loosely and crafts intricate narratives around the themes of love, memory, God, desire, wilderness and loss. People are raving about his new album, Salt As Wolves which quickly climbed to the very top of the iTunes blues chart. Joining Foucault is the honest and evocative acoustic storyteller, Chris North. Take this sonic journey through the culture and atmosphere of Midwest Americana as you tread through emotionally draining but familiar sonic terrain.
| $22 | 8:00 pm | One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland | https://onelongfellowsquare.com |
MONDAY, Nov. 21
Friendsgiving at Fork | Thanksgiving is all about food, drinks, and family. But before you do the family thing, meet up with some locals at the Fork Food Lab’s first annual “friendsgiving,” where you’ll dine like small-town royalty. Make some new pals, as you feast buffet-style on some new and tantalizing food offerings. The menu’s still being kept secret, but expect wine to be flowing like a waterfall and enough food on the table to put you into a coma. Because nothing says, “hey nice to meet you,” then stuffing your face amongst strangers.
| $50 | 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | Fork Food Lab, 72 Parris St., Portland | http://www.forkfoodlab.com/ |
TUESDAY, Nov. 22
Cassie and Maggie | The dynamic sister duo of Cassie and Maggie MacDonald are described as exciting and innovative; one of those acts that has that uncanny ability to make the traditional seem new and exciting. With a keyboard and fiddle, they give Celtic folk a modern twist and strike the perfect balance between “musical integrity and sheer entertainment.” Gaze on and imagine steep highlands covered in mist as these enchanting sisters from Nova Scotia perform their latest, The Willow Collection.
| $20 | 7:00 pm | One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland | https://onelongfellowsquare.com |
The Story of the Stooges | This film screening is for many types of viewers. Fans of counterculture will get cozy in their seats. Appreciators of aggressive rock-n-roll and free-form jazz will be interested in this film. Or even if you’re just all about the musical history of the 60’s, you’ll find something to love in the film, Gimmie Danger, which documents the adventures, impact and legacy of the iconic band, The Stooges. Why does their music still resonate to this day? Explore that question during a screening of a film that examines the Stooges through musical, cultural, political and historic lenses.
| $8 | 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | http://space538.org/events/|
Ear Splitting Sonic Energy | An LA mag has described Fell Runner, yet another not-your-typical-rock-band as “a wicked thicket of prickly guitars, asymmetrical rhythms and raw, emotive vocals: Post-punk meets world music meets math rock, if you will.” They’ll be leading the thunderous barrage of avant-garde garage rock with some devious local punks in tow: Ossalot, Buddusky and Tall Horse.
| $5 | 9:00 pm | Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland | http://portlandempire.com/ |
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 23
Dance, Relax, Dream | Twiddle, a quartet from the granola state is a musical melting pot. Like so many musicians that want to keep expanding their skills and repertoire, these band mates flirt with a number of genres like rock, jazz, bluegrass, reggae and funk. Don’t believe the hype? Stream them yourself (I’d start with the Natural Evolution of Consciousness) and pick apart the handful of distinct influences between the band’s masterful instrumentation and captivating layers of emotive qualities. Joining Twiddle will be the Connecticut-bred, death funk trio of Lespecial, a band that for better, or for worse, will leave lasting memories of dark, foggy dance floors imprinted in your memory. Closing out this concert with an identity crisis is The Jauntee, a Boston band that abandons conventions and performs a refreshingly uncommon set of psychedelic jazz and blue with a touch of Latin reggae. Once you hit the sheets after this genre-shredding party, you’ll be subject to some trippy dreams.
| $25 | 7:00 pm | State Theatre, 609 Congress St., Portland | http://www.statetheatreportland.com |
Incubus Tribute Night | The local recording and live performance artist Renee Coolbrith has teamed up with her musician friends, Dustin Saucier (Cape Cannons, Pretty Sad), Evan Haines (Nashville session player), Joe Harding (bass guitarist), Cameron Lopez (drummer from Sassquatch), Christopher Gilman (Lorde Earth) and Darrell Foster ( Five of the Eyes) for a cover show they’ve debated about doing for a while now: a tribute to Incubus. Now it’s becoming a reality. They’ll be performing songs from Fungus Amungus, S.C.I.E.N.C.E., Make Yourself, Morning View, A Crow Left of the Murder, Light Grenades and more. “I basically have a group of some fine young gentlemen musicians that will do these songs justice,” said Coolbrith. “...and no, I won’t be dressed in male drag.”
| $8 | 9:30 pm | Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland | http://portlandempire.com/ |
THURSDAY, Nov. 24
Run And Help Others | You know would be a great way to justify the inevitable stuffing of your gut with turkey, potatoes, gravy, pie and beer? Running in a 4 mile race through Portland’s Old Port beforehand! Seriously, if you’re going to stuff your face this Thanksgiving, you might as well put in the work and burn some calories before the gluttony begins. Like most races in Portland, this one’s for a good cause. Your participation and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the St. Patrick’s Secondary School in Iten, Kenya, the USM Women’s Track team, the Rafiki Foundation, Portland Trails and Partners for World Health. Worth it? Worth it.
| $25 | 9:00 am | Portland High School, 248 Cumberland Ave., Portland | https://www.athlinks.com/event/portland-thanksgiving-day-4miler-19831 |
Hallowell Does the Last Waltz | On Thanksgiving Day in 1976, the Canadian-American rock group the Band performed “the Last Waltz,” their historic farewell concert experience. Martin Scorsese filmed the entire thing and made it into a documentary, which ended up being hailed as the “greatest rock concert documentary ever made.” Some prominent musicians from Hallowell will celebrate the Last Waltz’s 40th anniversary by covering that momentous set and sending audience members flying in a raucous whirlwind of classic rocks and blues. For those that are older, expect that nostalgic, “end-of-an-era” kind of feeling to bubble up inside your soul.
| $12 | 8:00 pm | Portland House of Music, 25 Temple St., Portland | www.portlandhouseofmusic.com/ |