TO REST OR NOT TO REST | The rock band the Restless Atlantic, from Portland, play a style of emotive post-hardcore that squashes together several iterations of the experience of the young American male. They’ve got a new, six-song EP out titled Afterglow, over which they index several traits of the genre: tortuous guitar licks, mid-tempo rhythms, soaring male vocals in a sugary tenor, you name it. They’re one of the finest groups in town practicing this stuff right now, and are very likely to put together a satisfying, energetic live show. They play with Tim Mercer, whose debut record is said to consist of heartbreaking, vulnerable songs he wrote in memory of his late wife, who passed in 2011. And Very Reverend, a trio whose influences include Queens of the Stone Age, T. Rex, and the Arctic Monkeys. 10 p.m. | $7 advance, $10 day of show | Empire, 575 Congress St. | portlandempire.com
KEEP THE HEAT ON | If you or someone you know wants a hot meal today, you’ve got four options. Wayside Food Kitchen serves food to seniors (55+) at the Salvation Army at 297 Cumberland Ave at noon, and dinners for all at 5:30 p.m. at Hope.Gate.Way (185 High St.), Deering Center Community Church (4 Brentwood St.), and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (678 Washington Ave.).
OFF RADAR | In the waning days of 2016 reality, you’re forgiven if you start courting the holiday delirium a little early. If you find yourself south of the city, pop into Alisson’s Restaurant in Kennebunkport for some pre-holiday sogginess. There’ll be blues music courtesy of the group Bread & Circus, some curated beer selections on behalf of the omnipresent Portland brewery Bissell Brothers, and specials on the chef’s homemade Southern barbecue wings from 5 to 9 p.m. | Alisson’s Restaurant, 4 Dock Sq., Kennebunkport | alissons.com
STAY FUNKY | The magical funk band Shut Down Brown has been playing raunchy R&B music for awhile now — 2007 to be exact. Their sound is exactly the sort of Bill Withers-worshipping groove you’ve heard in thousands of rooms since growing up Yankee, so you’ll know what to do. There’ll be dozens of all-stars popping Long Trails and yanking their necks around at this one, and you could be one of them or stare at one all night. SDB play with the top hat-wearing broseph Jon King, whose bluesy soul music has been around New England for a decade now. Fine way to drop your life and lunge into the holiday steam. 9 p.m. | $15 | Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St., Portland | portcitymusichall.com
DARK INTO LIGHT | Making funk fans think about it is this rivaling greasy show down the street. Model Airplane, who come alive at night and understand the power of brass, hold the fortress known as P.H.O.M.E. What you’ll get here isn’t some weak-ass holiday jambalaya, but instead a slow-cooked, reverential tribute to the fallen musicians of 2016 — far more nutritious. To recap the losses: David Bowie, Sharon Jones, Allen Toussaint, Leonard Cohen, Prince, Phife Dawg, Donald Buchla, Leon Russell, George Martin, Bernie Worrell, Maurice White, Blowfly, Otis Clay, Glenn Frey, Jon Bunch, Alan Vega, Dan Hicks, Keith Emerson, John Stabb Schroeder, Merle Haggard, and more. Sadly, Lemmy died on December 28, 2015, so we won’t be hearing the Model Airplane version of “Ace of Spades” — this year at least. Music still has the ability to confuse your brain into thinking it’s in another time-space, so this night could be overwhelming to many. 8 p.m. | $12-15 | Portland House of Music and Events, 25 Temple St., Portland | portlandhouseofmusic.com
BASICALLY BUDDHISM | Tired of everything? Want to weird out a new friend? Believe yourself a mutant of luck? Then let not the seasonal garlands tie you to the bedpost. It’s time instead for the bingo parlor, my dudes! A crisp tenner gets you the regular paper package (aka the normal game) at the South Portland Bingo Hall, where you’ll be in the company of dozens of citizens whose lives you’ll not know a thing about. If that isn’t Christmas, pray tell what is? Winning here is less impossible than you might think, but you could also use this as a non-denominational way of telling how much karmic coal you deserve. Bingo begins at 6:30 p.m. | $10 (or you can not play and hang out by the concession area eating crème horns, in which case, $1.49) | 200 John Roberts Road, South Portland | sopobingo.com
SHINY NIGHT | Up in the twin cities, Sapphire Night Club hosts a sprawler whereupon all ye might get turnt up gladly. With no cover at the door, the DJs Panda Beatz, Rascal, Lupo, and Sognar each devote an hour to spinning the yuletide top, aka the mighty turntable. They call it the Tap House Trap House: Christmas Spectacular — so casual with the drug reference! Hard to know what particular din they fancy here, but we promise the night will be booty-forward as a whole, if anything at all is forward. They also tempt us with a surprise, but on second thought, that’s a classic rouse this time of year, so may be best to forget it. Regardless, oh come all ye. 9 p.m. | Free | Sapphire Nightclub and Event Center, 150 Center St., Auburn | sapphirenightclub207.com
BUTTON UP | For all those who love and know Portland: listen, you don’t. Not unless you remember the Underground, the gay dance club that pre-dated Styxx in the same building. (I also don’t, so I feel you on this.) But I mention it here because the space itself has been LGBT-friendly since long before Brooklyners came here to splurge on small plates, and the last week of Styxx (it closes 12/31) before it gets revamped into something a little more mainstream has the city’s queer population remembering the old days. Be them or join them at a drag show tonight featuring the performer Brita Filter, a truly spectacular NYC performer originally from Phoenix, who makes her Styxx farewell. 9 p.m. | $5 | Styxx Nightclub, 3 Spring St., Portland | styxxportland.com
CRACKED CHESTNUTS | Other housecleaning: The Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine (142 Free St.) hosts a Hannukah Celebration at noon. Hustle and Flow (155 Brackett St.) ensconce us in a guided meditation (for the solstice, you see) at 6 p.m. Allagash is pouring all sorts of beers they make at Rhum (4 Free St.) And The Victorian Nutcracker at the Merrill is sold out for tonight; forever.
FIZZY FEELINGS | You must be freaking out by now. So many reasons to! Possibly related is your sense of guilt. “Do I belong on this earth if I cannot keep a friendship?” We’ve all thought this, and the truth is that today mainlines protein directly into this particular anxiety. It’s important to remember that it’s a trick question, but if it makes you feel better, gift-giving is still a decent way to maintain friendships (nearly as effective as Instagram likes in some circles). And word of the bird says that gifts are available today at Urban Farm Fermentory, as they host a last-minute Maker’s Market in their tasting room from noon to four p.m., with local art, jewelry, hand-done things, clothes, and other items. Noon | Free | Urban Farm Fermentory, 200 Anderson St., Portland | fermentory.com
STAY SOFT | 10 a.m. on a Saturday in December is one of the fuzziest hours possible. And you can double down fuzz-wise with a trip to Paca Naturals, which has invited all to hang at its Christmas Eve Open House With Alpacas this morning. If you’re getting your kid an iPad/iPhone tomorrow, bring them here first to say farewell to the natural world. 10 a.m. | Paca Naturals, 194 Gray Rd., Cumberland Center
SNEAK ATTACK | In post-truth America, news and information has been replaced by endless expressive intermedial streams of ego. The selfies, sunsets, cool doggos, top 10 lists, even the #notmypresidents, all amount to a kind of empty virtue signaling for a desperately lonely, thinly connected society. Today, however, presents an opportunity. It’s Christmas Day. And while that’s completely meaningless in a cutthroat, despiritualized, capital-driven planet simultaneously winking at both World War III and total ecological collapse on either ends of the bar, even the most isolated and scabrous among us were once pounded with yuletide lessons of kindness and goodwill. That means that compared to all other days in the year, they’re more inclined today to entertain your idea of a good and just society. What is that? Up to you and yours. Maybe that’s jumping on your friend’s back and co-improvising your way through some original carols in the middle of Monument Square (we need new carols, pls). Maybe it’s inviting the winter-rental folks in the Airbnb-shell apartment down the hall of your quaint Munjoy Hill home to walk the 90 minutes to Thanh Thanh 2 (795 Forest Ave.) for some pho. Maybe it’s getting hopped up on green tea with a small cabal of friends and knocking on various houses asking residents if you could do their dishes.
HAN PRIMO | The people are freaking out about Rogue One, the new stand-alone Star Wars film (think of it as Episode 3.5). I can’t say anything about it one way or another, but can admit the FOMO is building. It plays everywhere, of course. But the Nickelodeon is right there (1 Temple St.).
WEEKDAY WARRIORS | It’s a drag that Christmas Day falls on a Sunday. It robs workers everywhere of the extended off days. We hope your employer recognizes that no one does any work in the dark week between Christmas and New Year’s, and that they should pay you regular rates to explore the city’s daytime mistakes, like dollar drafts at Rosie’s, or snowstorm brunches at Ruski’s.
TRIBUTES ARE FOREVER | By now, the young generation has been so beaten into submission by baby boomers’ need to be respected and appreciated that the creative reflex lends itself more to mimicry than originality. So there are tribute nights and cover nights all over the place; it can’t be helped. The undisputed best thing about this week is the reliability of Kenya Hall’s Stevie Wonder Tribute Night, which is done with true love and genuine creativity, and is appreciated appropriately widely. 8 p.m. | $15 | Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St., Portland | portcitymusichall.com
THANK A SISTER | If you read, you may approach the comedy set by David Heti by way of his sister, Sheila Heti, who wrote a quite-good book several years ago called How Should a Person Be? that became a minor literary sensation. I include that not to slight David, but I can’t not see the dude in that light. Siblings have that effect, no matter where they are on the color spectrum, the info is valuable. The comedian Heti, also from Toronto, has degrees in Law and Philosophy and has still chosen the dark life that is stand-up comedy. And what does that tell you? Sheila’s question is truly still on the table. With Colby Bradshaw and Sam Pelletier. Smart booking. 7:30 p.m. | $5 | Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland | portlandempire.com
ETHICS QUESTION | Entrenched Portlanders caught wind of the cultural appropriative kerfuffle regarding last week’s proposed “Tribute to the Ladies of Hip Hop” cover show (called out for having no women of color on the bill, admittedly not a great look, and is reportedly being rebooted for a later date). Will be interesting to see how this night is spun, as two DJs play songs by Janet Jackson and Beyoncé in the playfully competitive schema of modern cover nights. (Competition is crucial, you understand.) VERSUS: Janet Jackson vs. Beyoncé tips off at 9 p.m. | $6-8 | Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St. | portcitymusichall.com
STAY BAD | Next week, the ghost of Sublime still refuses to go into the grave, as Badfish! A Tribute to Sublime swing back through the State Theatre. And the fantastic local goblins the Video Nasties unshackle their new LP at SPACE Gallery, halberds flying through the air, cacophony tasteless and odorous.
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