ARM YOURSELF WITH KNOWLEDGE | Set to tour her debut album — aptly titled Have you SEEN This Woman? — the jazz-cabaret singer VIVA plays a sayonara set at Sonny's tonight. 6 pm | $15 adv, $20 door | Portland House of Music, 25 Temple St., Portland | portlandhouseofmusic.com
SOFT LIGHTS | Probably write about him too much, but there's a strong chance Portland's id m theft able is the city's "best" artist — if that were anywhere near a conceivable category. Normally an experimental, Fluxus-influened "musician" of sound collage and noise events, the dude's visual work has thusly gone underrated. A smattering of his collages have been tacked up on the walls of Mayo Street Arts, and I could think of a thousand worse things you could look at tonight. The show stays up through March 10, but it opens with a reception from 6-8 tonight. | Free | Mayo Street Arts, 10 Mayo St., Portland | mayostreetarts.org
DUDE, THE WORLD | Winged Migration, right? A true holy moment in cinema. If this 2003 joint about the world's flighty subjects lit a fire inside you long ago, then you're going to love the new one by filmmaking team Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud. They call it Seasons, and it's about the green forests and megafauna that populated Europe since the Ice Age. Might not be as immediately fetching or herb-ready as their earlier work, but it's still quite an experience. Screening January 3 through 8 at Frontier, and at 2, 6, and 8 p.m. today | $8 | Frontier, 14 Maine St., Brunswick | explorefrontier.com
LOVE IN THE DARK | It's the first week of January. We all need a dance-heavy regimen of evening activities, and this one tonight is a hot ticket. DJ Jamie O'Sullivan has been hosting his party, Love, every first Friday of the month at Flask for years now, featuring wonderful house and techno DJs from Portland, the Northeast, and beyond. Tonight he plays alongside longtime city DJ Jack MF, a/k/a Jack Master Flash, spinning deep house and techno in a positive, supportive space. 2017 should not be a year of alienation and atomization, and we should all make efforts to be around each other, being vulnerable, physical, and kind. 9 p.m. | Free | Flask Lounge, 117 Spring St., Portland | flasklounge.com
WATER WARS | Since September, the indigenous peoples of the Dakota Sioux tribe have been in protest of the planned construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, an effort that has rallied many thousands of supporters from around the country, and has sparked conflict and aggression from North Dakota police. Surely your personal politics will have already colored your perspective. But the developments have placed the opposing values in stark relief — water protection and civil rights on one side, and the proceedings of corporate capital and big oil on the other. As Pete Seeger sang, which side are you on? While President Obama ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deny a permit to Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline owner, earlier this month — a victory for the protestors, for sure. But with president-elect Trump literally holding stock in the companies building the pipeline, many expect the fight isn’t over. Tonight’s rock show, headlined by the energetic prog group Five of the Eyes, benefits the protestors, tribes and water protectors in their next chapter. With scads of free OTTO pizza. A rescheduled show from December.
| $10 | 8:30 pm | Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland | http://www.portlandempire.com/ |
WALKING STICKS | It's the first Friday of the year, which means an art walk is literally unavoidable. Highlights include some thought-provoking work about the veracity of the image in our post-truth times in the form of a photography show by Raymond E. Hulse at Inked Wing Massage and Bodywork (Suite 626 in the State Theatre building, 142 High St.); a dizzying live performance by experimental sound collagist/national treasure i dm theft able at Mayo Street Arts (10 Mayo St.); and a dance party by the Maine Marimba Ensemble, who play music inspired by Zimbabwean Shona culture. That's at 7 p.m. | $7 | One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland | onelongfellowsquare.com
LESSONS OF SKIN | The sex-positive performance group M.E.S.H. (Maine Educationalists for Sexual Harmony), who did valuable work in Portland for the last two-plus years, are technically no longer. But several among that scene have morphed into the new collective Consensual Daydreams, who endeavor to bring us steady and sexxxed-up Rocky Horror shows (just like M.E.S.H. did) as well as intermittent dialogues about sexuality, slut-shaming, accountability, and consent. Their annual Rocky Horror performance, with two showings tonight, is becoming the stuff of local legend. In case you're wondering, they'll be super good about making this a safer space. Shows at 8 and 11 p.m. | $10 in advance, $12 at the door | One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland | onelongfellowsquare.com
PROCESSIONS | With the surfeit of popstar deaths in 2016, one of the most popular musical genres in America was grief-core. Paired with the practicality of cover and tribute nights, it also became a safe book for producers, backed with tons of measurable social media data (literally how did people die before Facebook?). Tonight, the Portland musician Mat Zaro, formerly of Bass Box, heads up a tribute to the mighty David Bowie, playing both Station to Station (1976) and Blackstar, the duke's last platter. 8 p.m. | $10 in advance, $12 at the door | Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St., Portland | portcitymusichall.com
THE REIS, THE FALL | The indie-rapper Shane Reis headlines a raw and raucous affair tonight at PHOME. The dude's been at it several years now, and his funk and soul nods are drawn out tonight with appearances by local diva Renee Coolbrith, the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra, DJ Rew, and Essence (formerly Lady Essence). It's a party. | $10 in advance, $12 at the door | Portland House of Music and Events, 25 Temple St., Portland | portlandhouseofmusic.com
FIGURATION | This evening, throw your drawing hand a bit of a curveball at Bright Star World Dance, a Portland dance studio that teaches classes in belly dance, zumba, ballet 4 to 5 p.m. They host a figure-drawing session with one of their dancers as a model, wearing various costumes and appropriate dress. 5 p.m. | $10 | Bright Star World Dance, 108 High St. Portland | brightstarworlddance.com
FOR WORSE OR WORST | In 2017, local comedy scenes are as much about building and sustaining friendships as they are some hoary notion of making it. Not that any of the Worst Day of the Week crew couldn't break through at any moment, but the trick is you've got to act like you don't want it, otherwise those elites in the Illuminati won't feel comfortable sharing the wealth. These folks act like they don't want it, like they just want to gather together in a dark room on a trash night and support each other in saying brazen shit to strangers. It's a good front! 8 p.m. | one-drink-minimum | Blue, 650A Congress St. | portcityblue.com
TAKING STEPS | If you're the type to make resolutions, it's usually around the 9th that your relationship with them has hardened into a mutual respect. You know each other now. The gym visits no longer seem excruciating. Your face looks slightly less like a strawberry waffle and the sobriety actually feels possible. Someone somewhere considers forgiving you. By the 9th, you should know if you're a person who wants to be a person who wants to learn to swing dance, and if so, you should at least ironically text your crush if they want to join you in Biddeford tonight (where few if any of your Portland frenemies will see you), when Engine hosts a workshop on how to do the lindy-hop, a jazz step originating to 1930s Harlem. Tonight launches an eight-week class hosted by Lindy Maine (it's their specialty!). $80 for the whole course. 6 p.m. | Engine, 128 Main St., Biddeford | feedtheengine.org or lindymaine.weebly.com
HOMEMADE MUFFINS | This one very interesting documentary, One Big Home, explores gentrification as it plays out in a unique area: Martha's Vineyard. A rarefied community, sure, but one not immune to the same unchecked market forces that play out and muck things up everywhere, so feel free to tune in even if you're not huge on Yankee nostalgia. The basic premise in this doc by carpenter-turned-filmmaker Thomas Bena is that wealthy people love Martha's Vineyard — love it! — so they move there and build enormous trophy houses that have, over time, threatened the island's character. Bena, a resident on the front lines of the action, compiled this living history on film over the course of 10 years. On a smaller scale, this is happening with our own Peaks Island, except with slick-looking condos. One Big Home screens from January 10 through 15, and at 2, 6, and 8 p.m. today. | $8 | Frontier, 14 Maine St., Brunswick | explorefrontier.com
TIME TO THRASH | A real steal of a good-time, Empire trots out some slick new framework for a rock show: Three for 3, where a trio of Portland bands play for a $3 cover, with $3 shots and $3 Geary's IPAs (which do the trick). Tonight's offering is the sensorily overwhelming hardcore punk group Cadaverette, the astoundingly good math-rock quartet An Anderson, and power-pop band Wedding Camp. 8 p.m. | $3 | Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland | portlandempire.com
YOUR EDGE | Listen! Sometimes people get older and forget the songs they used to love. They forget the names of the songs and the lyrics. They realize they haven't attended campfire and been invited to sing drunkenly with others in a dog's age. And they haven't made a mix tape for a colleague, let alone a lover, in years. All this can happen to you if you're not careful. One way to nudge yourself back is by taking the karaoke plunge with a cluster of weird ones. Longtime selector DJ Johnny Red has what you need at Empire tonight. 9 p.m. | Free | Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland | portlandempire.com
NEW DAY RISING | Next week! The newly launched Civil Rights Film Series continues its every Thursday run of films throughout January. This one, also at the Portland Library's Rines Auditorium, is the 1989 film The Road to Brown, a documentary about the late Charles Hamilton Houston, a black U.S. veteran who became a civil rights attorney after WWII and fought Jim Crow segregation laws until his death. 6:30 p.m. | Free | Portland Public Library, 5 Monument Sq., Portland | portlandlibrary.com
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