THIS CHARMING MAN | When I was an undergrad student in New York and performing stand-up comedy, I had a mediocre joke near the top of my routine about the weird names people call their grandparents. It wasn't the world's best joke, but it got the ball rolling, because for the punchline I'd bellow the words mamou and papou at the audience in various tongues, and it loosened everyone up. Now get this! While this week researching Sebastian Maniscalco, the far-more-successful-than-me Italian-American comedian playing the Merrill Auditorium tonight, I watched a clip of him performing the exact same joke. Of course, he plays the ending differently, because his rubbery, muscular body is more adept at physical comedy than the doughy, sleep-deprived 22-year-old unit I was operating at the time. But the experience was nonetheless uncanny. Of course, I never had anything funny to say about Chipotle, Prince, or foibles in American airports, and that's why it's Maniscalco playing the Merrill tonight. The dude's a pop comic who likes to play low, but he's lively and energetic, and his story (he was a former waiter at a comedy club in a hotel) is a good one. | $49.75-69.75 | 7 p.m. | Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St., Portland | http://www.porttix.com |
OBJECT CARE | The window of time known as spring cleaning is coming near, and that is a blessing (disguised, on occasion, as an irritation). But before you celebrate, tossing half of your possessions into the cold memorylessness of the highway, you might pop into the Resilience Hub tonight. The Bayside permaculture group hosts an experimental hangout tonight they're calling the "Spring Repair Cafe," where folks help repair their neighbors damaged goods, possibly swapping out some here and there. Along with the Maine Tool Library, the event encourages folks to bring in broken and dull tools, frayed electrical cords, hole-y sweaters, and more. | FREE | 6 p.m. | Resilience Hub, 222 Anderson St., Portland | resiliencehub.org |
REMOUNT | A few months ago, the Portland pop group Leverett added an extra T at the end of their name. A minor move in the grand scheme of things (the group, led by Jesse Gertz, have been at it since their sparkling little EP, Beak, in 2013), but it seemed to indicate a grand re-opening of the band, who plan to release a new album, Wires & Tubes, later this summer. See if those songs shine for you while vibing along to gems still aglow from their first two albums, Infinity and Action at a Distance, tonight at Bayside Bowl, where they play with Million Dollar Lounge and Midwestern Medicine, the latter featuring members of Whale Oil. | FREE | 9 p.m. | Bayside Bowl, 58 Alder St., Portland | www.baysidebowl.com |
BASIC DEMOCRACY | Gotta rise up for this one. At 10 am this morning, a protest converges on Portland's City Hall in opposition to Trump's selection of Neil Gorsuch. Framed as a "People's Filibuster" of a Supreme Court appointment that, if you believe in anything resembling democracy, should have been Merrick Garland's. | FREE | 10 a.m. | Portland City Hall, 389 Congress St., Portland |
KEEP MOVING | Since the painter, singer, and performance artist Derek Jackson founded Hi Tiger years ago, the group has functioned nimbly. Sometimes they're a street performance group, sometimes a beautiful dance-pop band. Their presence can herald a hot house party or a fiercely political display, making the energies of desire and love visible within frames that seldom permit them. Tonight, we don't know how they're going to show up, but the present iteration - with Jackson's voice and lyrics anchoring catwalk-style physicality from dancers Nicole Antonette and Amandaconda. They finish up a residency at Studio 408, which hosts improvisational dance and other kinetic arts, and should be in top form for it. With DJs Lima and Innox.| $5 | 8 p.m. | Studio 408, 408 Broadway, South Portland | www.studio408portland.com |
FALLING FORWARD | "Rapping is the only way out," speaks AFRiCAN DUNDADA, the Portland artist originally from South Sudan, in his new track "Hold Me Down." In his early twenties, and performing benefit concerts for the ACLU of Maine, South Sudan Care, Mayo Street Arts youth programs and Action Against Hunger, we're interested in what else he's got to say. He headlines a hip-hop show also featuring Portland artists Mr. Lumemo, Dequhn Lobutua, and the Acholi Traditional Dancers. Recommended. | $15 | 7 p.m. | Mayo Street Arts, 10 Mayo St., Portland | www.mayostreetarts.org |
DRONE RIGHTS | Drone artist Ben Chasny has kept his guitar project Six Organs of Admittance alive for nearly 20 years, coursing through wistful acoustic folk, disarming noise-squall, and psyched out comet trails. His new album, a comparatively gentler affair titled Burning the Threshold, expands further on the Hexadic system, Chasny's originally constructed methodology of guitar composition. He plays with the central Maine artist Asa Irons, whose woodsy folk songs have enough heft to haunt you for years. | $10-12 | 8 p.m. | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | http://www.space538.org |
BIG QUESTIONS | A few weeks ago, this paper featured the first in a series of dialogues about the role of police in the city. Titled "Policing, Protection, Community, and Trust in the 21st Century." At the first session, a panel tackled the question of what makes a criminal, which in this era of a widening and increasingly privatized carceral state, is a thorny question indeed. Tonight, they ask "What Makes a Police Officer?", focusing on what citizens want from their police force, and inquiring about the steps and accountability measures that secure their training. Produced by the Maine Humanities Council and facilitated by Samaa Abdurraqib from the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence, tonight's panel includes Sarah Walton, Executive Director of PE+ACE (Police Education & Active Civic Engagement) and Jamie Rooney, former Maine Assistant Attorney General and co-author of the Maine Law Enforcement Officer's Manual. Hopefully a member of the PPD will show up this time. | FREE | 6:30-8 p.m. | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | www.space538.org |
THE RIGHT THINGS | Some mornings this past winter, it's been difficult not to stay under the covers submerged in dread, slapping that snoozer five or six times and browsing Facebook/Insties on the phone until the eyes feel like quahogs. It's unavoidable! But perhaps today's the day to commit to that morning walk instead. Then at night, you'll be psychically prepared to attend the #Earth2Trump Roadshow of Resistance at the State Theatre. Because frankly, there's no better place to be. A roster of electrifying performances and speakers headline this roving protest, including Lakota elder Cheryl Angel, hip-hop artist Lyla June, and more. No matter what color your activism's been glowing lately, there'll be plenty of opportunities to shine it here, where there'll be letter-writing stations, buying prints supporting the Lakota Peoples Law Act, listening to activists strategize the #NODAPL fight, or, you know, just showing up where you can and leaving the social media war alone. | FREE | 7-9:30 p.m. | State Theatre, 609 Congress St., Portland | www.statetheatreportland.com |
CULT FILMS | Next week, a screening of the cult film Donnie Darko marks the re-opening of SPACE Gallery, which has gone dark for spring cleaning the last few weeks. The debut film by then-26-year-old Richard Kelly, Donnie Darko's weird sci-fi vibe and light nostalgic sorcery struck deep chords with disaffected young viewers in the early Bush era, introducing the citizens of the world to Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal, reminding them of the brilliance of Drew Barrymore, and stretching their appreciation for Patrick Swayze. If you missed it in the theaters when it first came out, during the weeks after 9/11, you can make up for that here. | 7:30 p.m. | Nickelodeon Cinemas, 1 Temple St., Portland | patriotcinemas.com |
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