CANDID CONVERSATION | How do you feel about the contentious designation of a big chunk of Maine’s northern wood region as the North Woods National Monument? You’re living in Portland, and Obama approved it, so I’m guessing you’re all about it. But the determination was still not without controversy. Regardless of how you feel, a conversation with the man behind the monument, Lucas St. Clair, can only be enlightening. Learn more about what the future of that vast swath of land will look like at the Maine Historical Society, and gain some truth based-ammo for future arguments on the subject.
| $10 | 6:00 pm | Maine Historical Society, 489 Congress St., Portland | www.mainehistory.org |
POOR YOUR SOUL | That’s not my clever teaser phrase; it’s the name of a new memoir from Mira Ptacin, a fantastic writer living out on Peak’s Island. The new work, Poor Your Soul, is described as a “short and muscular memoir about survival and preservation, immigration and one’s relationship with grief and recovery, and the confounding layover between youth and adulthood.” No matter who you are, or where you’re at on life’s journey, you could benefit from exploring those themes and finding strength through this creative work. Let the gracious and erudite Ptacin unpack those concepts through her personal experience with an unplanned pregnancy. She’ll be reading from her memoir at Portland’s newest bookstore, while you sip on wine, nibble on cheese, and contemplate your purpose on this spinning rock.
| FREE | 7:00 pm | Print: A Bookstore, 273 Congress St., Portland | http://www.printbookstore.com/ |
PAPER LIONS N CHILL | An indie pop-rock band from our gloomy neighbor to the North, Prince Edward Island, is desperately trying what all bands are trying: luring you from the unchallenged comfort of Netflix on the couch to experience a live music performance. I know right? What a crazy idea. But the four dudes that make up Paper Lions might actually be worth shaking off the winter-hibernation dust. Their goal on the current tour of their new album Full Colour (see they really are Canadian) is simply to chase away the doldrums with sunny melodies and remind listeners that when we focus our thoughts on the moment, life is good.
| $18 | 8:00 pm | Portland House of Music and Events, 25 Temple St., Portland | www.portlandhouseofmusic.com/ |
HYPER-CHARGED AND HYPNOTIC | It’s cold outside. Go warm up to the spicy sounds of the roots rock band Bronze Radio Return. They’ve self-described themselves as a big ol’ bowl of chili, so you should probably go get yourselves a scoop. Each member comes with a different musical flavor and once they’re stirred up together on stage, they create a brand new taste. And it’s quite good. That is, if you like swirling electronics, striking falsettos and cinematic soundscapes. These rabble rousers are joined onstage by the bright and edgy musicians of Air Traffic Controller.
| $15 | 8:00 pm | Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St., Portland | http://www.portcitymusichall.com/ |
SHADOWING ROCK LEGENDS | If a band’s going to make a career channeling another’s talent, they might as well take some notes from the hugely successful Satisfaction. They’re an internationally touring group with over 2,500 Rolling Stone cover shows under their belt. Rock geeks swear their cover performances are spot on. With close attention paid to costuming, stage effects and, most importantly, musical authenticity, these guys are the closest thing to seeing the Stones on stage in your lifetime. Well, the real Stones are technically still touring, but since you probably won’t be flying out to Paris this summer, my statement still stands.
| $20 | 10:00 pm | Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland | http://portlandempire.com/ |
SHARE YOUR SPACE | If you’re a longtime local you’ve no doubt witnessed the changing demographics here in Maine. If you’re also a kind person with a working moral compass, then this isn’t bothersome; you do what you can to make Portland a welcoming place for everyone, including people that don’t share your same beliefs, values, and culture. You also realize, that being different is okay, and every single person on Earth has some new perspective to offer, some new wisdom to absorb. The folks at Global Shapers Portland Hub get it. They’ve hosted a dinner and storytelling event called “Hi Neighbor,” which aims to “strengthen relationships, support happier, better-connected communities, and overcome bias and segregation. Go introduce yourself to other people that call Portland home and examine the connection between identity and geography.
| DONATION BASED | 5:30 pm | Babylon Restaurant, 1192 Forest Ave., Portland | https://www.globalshapers.org/hubs/portland |
THE DUDE FEST | Okay, here’s a disclaimer that would easily make many of my friends shake their head in dismay: I’ve never seen The Big Lebowski and I’m not drawn to the film in any way. I am, however, aware of the huge cult following this random comedy has had after all these years. Maybe you’re one of the cult members that quotes this movie all the time, orders White Russians ironically, and doesn’t bowl without attempting a Jeff Bridges’ impression. If so, assemble with your brethren during this costume party, trivia challenge and film screening of this “cultural phenomenon.” This event’s poised to have a fun and quirky atmosphere: something you can’t download on PirateBay.
| $5 | 8:00 pm | Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St., Portland | http://www.portcitymusichall.com/ |
PHISHY FUN | Are you one of those poor souls that hasn’t found a local act worth leaving the house for? Do they all just seem too loud, weird and specific? Do their lyrics confuse or even slightly annoy you? Well, if you’re a newbie to the local music scene, or are just looking for a laid back performance of a grab-bag of genres, head out to PHOME for the Skosh show. Their name literally means “a little bit of everything,” and that’s what you can expect from these eclectic rockers from Buckfield. Don’t gamble on a band and settle for one type of sound. Funk up your life with Skosh instead.
| $7 | 8:00 pm | Portland House of Music and Events, 25 Temple St., Portland | www.portlandhouseofmusic.com/ |
CHEAP INK | Friday the 13th’s not all about bad luck. Especially when Lucky’s Tattoo Company is offering $13 dollar tattoos all day long. This doesn’t apply to custom pieces though — you have to choose from their big ol’ binder of small(ish) symbols. But hey, symbols are powerful and I’m sure there’s something there that resonates with you. Maybe it’s finally time to get that pair of red cherries tattooed on your lower back. At such a low price, it’s only fitting.
| $13 | ALL DAY | Lucky’s Tattoo Company, 102 Exchange St., Portland | 207.874.1313 |
HOW TO RESIST | Taking not just the outcome of last year’s election into consideration, but also the myriad of social injustices that have long been gestating in this country, and one realizes that now is truly the time to organize and defend our democracy. But first, we all need training to become effective allies, advocates for equality and impactful activists for peace. A series of educational seminars hosted by Peace Action Maine aims to do that by exploring the definition and appropriate use of nonviolent direct action. Attending this first training will arm you with the necessary knowledge needed to proceed along the dark road ahead. Godspeed.
| FREE | 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm | Maine Irish Heritage Center, 34 Gray St., Portland | https://www.warresisters.org/trainings-nonviolent-action |
SING FOR A CAUSE | Do you love cheap thrills? Or maybe just need a morale boost? Plenty of both are being offered this night, during a karaoke contest designed to raise money for the important work done at the Southern Maine Workers’ Center. If you’ve got a friend that needs to venture outside of their comfort zone, bring them along and make a pledge so they’ll be peer-pressured to sing any song of your choice. I know I’d throw down some money to see my friends attempt an Ariana Grande verse.
| $10 | 7:00 pm | Southern Maine Worker’s Center, 68 Washington Ave., Portland | http://www.maineworkers.org/ |
THE POINTS MATTER | If you were a fan of the show Whose Line Is It Anyway, you’ll probably let a chuckle or two loose during this silly smackdown of a performance. Two improv troupes will take the stage and try to one-up each other during a witty battle for the audience's laughter. Will someone embarrass themselves dreadfully? Is Portland hiding the next Wayne Brady or Colin Mochrie? Only one way to find out.
| $12 | 7:30 pm | Mayo Street Arts, 10 Mayo St., Portland | http://mayostreetarts.org/ |
PARTY PEOPLE WANTED | A soulful experience is planned for this night, but it needs some more wiggling bodies to make it a real good time. A talented, six-strong band called Color Blind promises to bring a non-stop party to the PHOME stage, complete with class, professionalism, and funky grooves.
| $10 | 8:00 pm | Portland House of Music and Events, 25 Temple St., Portland | http://www.portlandhouseofmusic.com/ |
SPELL STRUCK | The Boston-based, musical magicians of Strange Machines are kicking off their year of high-energy performances by headlining in Portland! They’ll be blowing the doors off of Empire, with their dizzying cyclone of rock, funk, livetronica, reggae, pop, metal and jazz tunes. Wondering how they’re going to melt those seemingly disparate genres together? Me too. That’s why I jumped to the conclusion that they are indeed magicians. Fellow funk homies, Harsh Armadillo and Quad are also cashing in on the madness.
| $8 | 8:00 pm | Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland | http://portlandempire.com/ |
POWERFUL SELF-CARE | Does life seem scarier nowadays? Have you ever just wanted to learn how to kick some ass? Or at the very least, protect your own? A fantastic series of classes at Hustle and Flow Studios has been quietly (but intensely) teaching locals a new way to take up space in the world: through the empowering skills of self-defense. Who knows what kind of weirdos might try to accost you during the thousands of interactions with strangers you’ll have in a lifetime. With this class via Prevention Action Change on body language, conditioning and strike and grab defenses, the streets will feel just a little bit safer.
| $35 | 12:30 pm | Hustle and Flow, 155 Brackett St., Portland | https://pacmainecom.wordpress.com/ |
PRIVACY PARTY | Snowden’s still laying low in Russia, but the bombshell he dropped years ago is still pertinent: we’re being watched online. Whether it be from scammers, identity thieves, trolls, hackers, South African princes with a fortune waiting for you, or even members of our own government, no corner of the Internet is safe from potential monitoring and exploitation. You can, however, protect yourself. Don’t click and type away in the vast cyberspace without using HTTPS and encryption softwares. If you’re out there hoarding illegally downloaded movies without at least using a Tor browser, you’re at risk. And you need to come to this CryptoParty to learn how to scan for threats and ensure your privacy online. And in the meantime, you need to run a system restore on your computer. Like now.
| FREE | 1:00 pm | Urban Farm Fermentory, 200 Anderson St., Portland | https://www.fermentory.com/#home |
BURIED HEART | Deviate from the ordinary date-night experience and take your loved one to a soul-stirring classical performance of Chopin’s Second Piano Concerto. Your date will marvel at your creativity and newfound sense of class and culture. No more Slab pizzas and night’s at the Nickelodeon for you; you’re the kind of person that goes out to romantic piano concerts! No longer are they reserved for wealthy church-goers looking to feel fancy in the afternoon! All jokes aside, shows from the Portland Symphony Orchestra never fail to impress. How can they when they’re channeling the emotions from the profound works of master Frederick Chopin?
| $40-80 | 2:30 pm | Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St., Portland | https://tickets.porttix.com/
REVOLUTION OF VALUES | If you’re one of those that tends to misquote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Facebook, or use him as a tool to further a backward/biased argument, it’s high time you learn full-scope of his message and subsequent movement. MLK was a revolutionary. He knew that America was in need of a focused radical revolution to break systems of oppression that didn’t just permeate through policy and law, but also shared values and culture. On MLK Day, the best thing you can do is learn about the man and the dream he shared with the world. Because the fight to actualize that dream is still raging on.
| $60 | ALL DAY | Maine NAACP, 510 Cumberland Ave., Portland | http://www.mlkportlandmaine.eventbrite.com/ |
HONOR HIM | David Bowie would have turned 70 this year, had cancer not took his life. Although his consciousness has passed on, his music and legacy will never die. Longtime fans of his genre-defining tunes and inspiring messages will converge on Flask Lounge for their 2nd Annual Bowie Tribute Night. Organizers encourage you show up in costume as your favorite Bowie incarnation.
| FREE | 8:00 pm | Flask Lounge, 117 Spring St., Portland | http://flasklounge.com/ |
BRAIN FLEX | Here’s a chance to test out if you’re really an endless reservoir of random bits of wisdom (and if you’ve got a low bar on what constitutes as wisdom). It’s an all out trivia night at Empire, but the folks there have pulled a couple stops to make it really feel like a game show. Participants will even get a buzzer! After gulping down a couple beers I’m sure you’ll enjoy having it in front of you. You may even feel important. If you miss the chance to compete or spectate, swing back around next Monday. It’s a weekly series.
| FREE | 9:00 pm | Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland | http://portlandempire.com/ |
HISTORY BUZZ | Is there anything more random (in a good way) than drinking a beer in the place Longfellow once called home, and poring over old Portland maps and manuscripts? Join other learned fellows at this “Beer in the Garden” event, where libations and snacks are combined with special artifacts and historical atlases.
| $5 | 4:30 pm | Maine Historical Society, 489 Congress St., Portland | https://www.mainehistory.org/ |
THIS IS NUTS | The squirrels are onto something; acorns are actually nutritious and delicious. At least that what the folks at the Urban Farm Fermentory are trying to convince the general public. They’re so confident that you’ll think twice about eating acorns, that they’re hosting an event where you’ll sip cider, process the little oaky nuts into a flour and try them in a muffin form. Don’t they already seem much more palatable? Gather with the curious and check out this nutty affair.
| $15 | 5:00 pm | Urban Farm Fermentory, 200 Anderson St., Portland | https://www.fermentory.com/#home |
STRAP IN | Spend the evening with a sobering documentary. It’s an intense exploration of a historical tragedy you probably have never heard of: America’s first school shooting. Titled Tower, it’s combination of archival footage and rotoscope animation has earned it the accolade of “best documentary of the year,” in some circles. Tapping into the visceral fear the families felt on that day might be difficult; I advise you bring a friend.
| $8 | 7:00 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | http://www.space538.org/ |
#NOTMYPRESIDENT | The day of reckoning has come; Cheeto Jesus is about to assume the throne. Local activists who believe that Trump is anti-women, anti-equality and anti-science are combining forces for an all-day showcase of solidarity right underneath Lady Victory. Some will be quietly mourning the death of morality in America. Others will be chanting, marching and proudly displaying their resistance and anger. And others still will be singing and dancing reminding everyone that the “fight’s not over.” If you’re reading this and are fuming at the thought that millions don’t want to welcome an incompetent demagogue, and yet another loser of the popular vote into the Oval Office, than I gotta ask, “who are you dude?” Seriously, email me.
| FREE | ALL DAY | Monument Square, Portland |
LAUGH IT OFF | Sometimes comedy can be a great form of therapy. I imagine many of you Portlanders will be either shouting your cords raw on the streets, or hiding in your home during the hours before Inauguration Day. But if you need to a form of escapism, some local comics have you got covered. They’re joining 23 cities across the country to host “What A Joke,” a show designed to make you laugh, and forget. Proceeds for this show will be donated to the Maine ACLU, to further their work protecting civil liberties. Comics include: Jordan Handren-Seavey, Connor McGrath, Jed Bloom, Ali Simpson, Jamie Roux, Krystal Kamenides, Sam Pelletier, and host Aharon Willows.
| $5 | 8:00 pm | Laugh Shack at Lincoln's, Market St., Portland | http://www.whatajokefest.com/ |