THURSDAY, Dec. 8
Reverb Holiday Bash | The local non-profit Reverb is offering up a fun opportunity to “go green.” They’re making it so “helping the environment” is incredibly easy for you- all you have to do is show up and party! While you gulp down beers, mingle with friends and dance your ass off to live music (courtesy of Pete Kilpatrick, Hannah Dama & the Martelle Sisters), money will be funneled from the event to support the environmental sustainability work done at Reverb. Music. Environment. Action. Let’s get the party started.
| $10 | 5:30 pm | Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St., Portland | http://www.portcitymusichall.com/ |
Brewery Concert | Craft beer just tastes better when it's complemented by the sounds of a raucous live performance. Biddeford’s metalcore quintet Mill Fire will kick things off and make sure you’re listening to their very loud tune “Ice Catcher.” Worcester’s emo-indie-ambient band Wayfarer will also be there encouraging the audience to dance on the graves of the dead to remind themselves they're still alive. Rounding out this spooky and aggressive bill is Portland’s post-hardcore four-piece, The Restless Atlantic (performing their latest Afterglow) and Sam Ellis, who’ll be debuting some solo material.
| $6 | 7:00 pm | Lone Pine Brewing, 200 Anderson St., Portland | http://lonepinebrewery.com/ |
FRIDAY, Dec. 9
Million Dollar Lounge | You know what would make a trip to Urban Outfitters A LOT more interesting? A punk concert. Local art for sale. And some free Holy Donuts. Thomas Shadis has gone corporate and planned a concert with his garage-punk band The Doug Quaids, that will transform afternoon clothes shopping into an all-out party. He’s also brought South Portland’s indie-psych jazz band, Million Dollar Lounge on board to help fill the store with weird chords and too much chorus. Shop, snack and rock out!
| FREE | 3:00 pm | Urban Outfitters, 188 Middle St., Portland | http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/index.jsp |
The Nightmare Before Christmas | No, Jack Skeleton won’t be found anywhere during this concert, so don’t expect those classic Danny Elfman tunes or Christmas montages. However, what you can expect is the three smile-spreading dudes of the Marshall Nelson Trio. They’ll be emoting some festive vibes while jamming out to covers of Spin Doctors, Sublime, Lorde, Police, the Foo Fighters, the Beatles and BB King. Damn, they’re musical tastes are all over the place. Darker themes will be embraced once Portland’s sludge rock legends Eldemur Krimm take the stage. Special guests include Tim Mercer and Saiyid Brent.
| $10 | 8:00 pm | Portland House of Music, 25 Temple St., Portland | http://www.portlandhouseofmusic.com |
SATURDAY, Dec. 10
Sandglass Theatre | Internationally touring artists, Jana Zeller and Shoshana Bass will grace the Mayo Street Arts stage and bring an enchanting tradition of imaginative puppetry and entertainment. The family- friendly show “Punschi,” is whimsical, hilarious and just too cute. It features live music, compelling visual imagery and even a miniature circus. Lovers of this ancient and endearing art form can take part in a puppet workshop before the performance at 2:00 pm. This is a show for the perpetually curious and those that constantly daydream.
| $15 | 3:00 pm | Mayo Street Arts, 10 Mayo St., Portland | http://mayostreetarts.org/ |
The Winter Mystery Tour | Prepare yourself Portlanders, for the arrival of Rubblebucket. Reviewers write that Rubblebucket is many things and nothing at all; it’s a mindset, a legend, a feeling, a mystery; a mischievous, playful, boundary-smashing blast of sound that you can sit still and wonder at, or turn off your mind and move wildly to. One thing’s for sure: you’re going to love this criminally underrated indie-pop-rock band. The band balances splattering synths, tasteful horn blasts and a polyrhythmic percussion with the most delightful instrument in their arsenal: the lead singer, Kalmia Traver’s mesmerizing voice. She’s a vocal acrobat and well worth the price of admission all on her own. Joining this Brooklyn outfit is the magical Mal Devisa, a genre-defying solo artist and the experimental rock-art-garage-something-punk-psychotropic-kind-of band, YAIRMS. You’ll likely lose your mind somewhere within these lush sonic dreamscapes.
| $18 | 8:00 pm | Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St., Portland | http://www.portcitymusichall.com |
| $25 | 8:00 pm | One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland | https://onelongfellowsquare.com |
BASSLiGHTS | Are you bummed out that the electronic odyssey known as BassLights was canceled this year? Are you looking to re-conjure some memories from your college years with a head-spinning electronic dance rave? You’re in luck; you won’t have to travel farther than Empire. Word on the street is that local DJs Daze Inn and DHost will be spinning special tribute sets, featuring the mind-melting dubstep music of Bassnectar and Pretty Lights. Prepare to ingest this dose of heavy bass, intra-subwooferly.
| $10 | 9:00 pm | Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland | http://www.portlandempire.com/ |
Squids Will Rise | Get up close and personal with Boston’s aggressive death-funk dance trio lespecial, when they explode into an energetic live-set of their latest album Omnisquid. It’s just going to be them, and their dark, heavy, synthy, polyrhythmic grooves all night long; so get ready for repetitive head-bobbing to cinematic soundscapes. Their styles weave all over the place: from jam and prog rock, to melodic metal, glitchy gloom tunes and post-apocalyptic math rock. This is a concert geared for the fierce, the fed-up and the aimless wanderers.
| $15 | 9:00 pm | Portland House of Music, 25 Temple St., Portland | http://www.portlandhouseofmusic.com |
SUNDAY, Dec. 11
Magic of Christmas | Bring some friends to this holiday circus show, so they can help you pick your jaw up from the floor. That’s because organizers promise you’ll be stunned once you witness the unexpected, yet dazzling synergy of The Portland Symphony Orchestra and the high-flying, death-defying acrobats of Cirque de la Symphonie. With elegance, grace, precision timing and a little humor, these spectacular performers will usher in the Christmas season against the sonic backdrop of orchestrally performed carols. This is the kind of ear and eye candy that you need to experience at least once in your life.
| $35-50 | 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm | Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St., Portland | https://tickets.porttix.com |
Raise the Roof | Rock My Soul, a secular, 30-member-strong, roots and blues based secular gospel choir will easily get your hands clapping and your feet shuffling. The full choir and accompanying band (complete with horns) will send your soul skyward, with a number of emotionally charged renditions of Christmas carols and doo-wop tunes. You seriously don’t need to be religious to feel the magic these artists can summon. So come boogie, atheists.
| $25 | 3:00 pm | One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland | https://onelongfellowsquare.com |
MONDAY, Dec. 12
The Thievery Corporation
Thievery Corporation | The veteran performance duo of Eric Hilton and Rob Garza (Thievery Corporation) have designed their hyper-inventive sounds around truly diverse musical tastes and cultural influences. Watch and listen thoughtfully as they bounce from Brazilian bossa nova to Jamaican dub reggae and then to vintage film soundtracks and psychedelic space rock, with confidence and a carnival-esque approach. They’ve been performing their politically-conscious world music for two decades now and have shown others that tossing out labels can be creatively liberating. “We’re still chopping up beats, but this time we’re making them sound warm and vintage—which is not at all what’s happening in electronic music right,” said Hilton about their latest album Saudade. “What we’re doing here is pretty traditional and timeless-sounding, and in that it’s completely contrarian.”
| $45 | 7:30 pm | State Theatre, 609 Congress St., Portland | http://www.statetheatreportland.com |
TUESDAY, Dec. 13
Cocktails and Creatives | Swerve off the cold streets and descend into the atmospheric, warm and welcoming chambers of the Bramhall Pub, Portland’s modern, candle-lit speakeasy. There you’ll be encouraged to order a tantalizing cocktail and sip it with other creatives during AIGA Maine’s final mixer of the year. There are plenty of cocktails at Bramhall that utilize the flavor enhancers of bitters, liqueurs, herbs and tinctures, to inspire the adventurous drinker within you. With enticing names like the Witch Doctor, Satan’s Lawn Chair, Black Flower and the Mad Monk (to name a few), these cocktails are begging to be tried for the first time.
| VARIED | 5:30 pm | Bramhall, 769 Congress St., Portland | http://www.bramhallme.com/ |
Sonita Screening | Sonita Alizadeh, an 18-year-old Afghan refugee in Iran, dreams of becoming a big-name rapper and looks up to Michael Jackson and Rihanna as her spiritual parents in this deeply personally and joyful film. Titled Sonita, after the protagonist, this film picked up two awards at the Sundance Film Festival and has shown audiences the “intricacies and shifting contrasts of Iranian society,” through a generation-defining young artist. This is the best film you’ll ever see about a female rapper using art to escape from a forced marriage. It’s also an inspiring narrative showcasing the successes and setbacks many women face while forging their own path in life. Come for the timeless themes of “sticking to your guns,” and stay for the feels.
| $8 | 7:30 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | http://www.space538.org/ |
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14
Follow the Grain | Ever wonder how exactly Maine-made grains get transformed into Maine-made beer? The brewers over at Oxbow want to reveal the process. Sample their farmhouse-style ales, while you take a “field to glass” tour of the entire process, right alongside the people that grow, malt and brew for a living.
| $5 | 7:00 pm | Oxbow Blending and Bottling, 49 Washington Ave., Portland | https://www.mainefarmlandtrust.org/event/field-to-glass-at-oxbow/ |
| $18 | 8:00 pm | One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland | https://onelongfellowsquare.com |
THURSDAY, Dec. 15
| $9 | 8:00 pm | One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland | https://onelongfellowsquare.com |
| $5 | 9:00 pm | STYXX, 3 Spring St., Portland | http://www.styxxportland.com/ |