TWINKLIN' | Were this 1992, the multi-instrumentalist Ahmad Hassan Muhammad would be pumping out records on Nonesuch or ESP-Disk or some other independent jazz label of mighty caliber, but in the oversaturated music landscape of 2017, the Bowdoin graduate and upper echelon Portland musician showcases his incredible fusion compositions at spots like Blue. Lucky us. Under the name Kafari, the jazz pianist and member of hip-hop fusion group Jaw Gems plays with tenor saxophonist and drummer Henry Redman tonight. If you haven't figured it out by now, all genre-based musical tastes will evolve toward jazz anyway (along with classical music, house music, Rihanna and Drake). May as well figure it out. The duo play at 9 pm, preceded by a set by local intergenerational Klezmer quintet the Casco Bay Tummlers. | one-drink-minimum | 7 p.m. | Blue, 650A Congress St., Portland | http://portcityblue.com/ |
GERMAN JAZZ BLAST | Elsewhere jazzwise, the German team known as the Alliage Quintet -- four saxophones and a piano -- are a fine pull for those looking for an adventurous night on the Maine coast. Their "Dancing Paris" themed set includes works from Poulenc, Gershwin, Shostakovich, Satie, and more, and they swing through the lovely Boothbay Harbor Opera House tonight.| $22 adv, $27 day of | 7:30 p.m. | Boothbay Harbor Opera House, 86 Townsend Ave., Boothbay Harbor | http://boothbayoperahouse.com/ |
INNER LIMITS | You may be running out of time to claim ignorance about the composer Robert Stillman. A Maine-born dude now living in the United Kingdom, Stillman's music has traveled from a wistful, flickering sort of post-Fahey archaic future Americana-folk to a mournful, ecstatic type of parlor jazz, to be heard on last year's gorgeous and resplendent Rainbow, a touching and tender album that invokes Alice Coltrane as part of Stillman's process of memorializing the loss of his daughter, Ruthie. Tonight, he plays saxophone as part of a one-time-only improvisational quartet, also featuring Eliot Krimsky of the electro-pop act Glass Ghost and the Brattleboro-based brothers Kurt and Chris Weisman. Emergent, bathe-able music forms with much wider appeal than genre-Orthodox folks might imagine. With Maine's foremost oud practitioner Tom Kovacevic opening up. | FREE | 9 p.m. | SPACE Gallery, 538 Alder St., Portland | http://www.space538.org/ |
STAND ON YOUR PALMS | To a friend earlier this week, I remarked aloud that Studio 408 was "killing it lately." After a moment's embarrassment at using such a 2011 phrase, I reflected internally on run that the South Portland dance studio has had since opening in August of last year. They run exploratory dance classes for kids and adults, contact improv-y sessions for more adventurous folks, and a fairly-steady calendar of guest artists and performers, from the musique concrete artist id m theft able, performance artist Chani Bockwinkel, Portland trio Hi Tiger, and more. Tonight, they host the performer Mersiha Mesihovic, a New York City-based professional dancer who escaped the Bosnian War for Sweden in the 1990s. Mesihovic performs with her work-in-progress piece, which she's titled BOSNIANBORN *SHE IS A REFUGEE STAR* - which, she writes, explores notions "of identity, the diasporic experience, and the struggle for self-determination" in the immigrant experience within America today. Recommended. | By donation | 8 p.m. | Studio 408, 408 Broadway, South Portland | http://www.studio408portland.com/|
LIKE TWO FLAMINGOES IN A FRUIT FIGHT | Do you love Tandem's biscuits and breakfast sandwiches and cookies enough to trust how they'd handle a hot dog? You don't even need to answer, my fine dude! One giant yes wafts through the West End air tonight as chief baker Briana Holt and co. kick off Hot Dog Night, a party with Hawaiian dogs, spicy cauliflower salad, beer cocktails, banana pudding, and more. To stamp it with additional weirdness, they screen a classic baseball game on a large projector screen, rumored to be heavy on Cuban pitcher and Red Sox Hall of Famer Luis Tiant.| FREE | 6-9 p.m. | Tandem Coffee + Bakery, 742 Congress St., Portland |
IT GOES HEY-HO | Hailing from Western Maine having met at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, the group GoldenOak have positioned themselves as rising actors in the roots revival folk scene. Young and chill, the quartet play fiddle, guitar, banjo, bass, accordion, and the occasional trumpet. They play with Norway's folk revival act Bold Riley. Stompy! | $15 adv, $20 day of | 8 p.m. | One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland | www.onelongfellowsquare.com |
SPRING STREET IS BURNING | 17 years strong, the institution the USM Royal Majesty Drag Show is still gaining — in support, in joy, in expressiveness, and in defiance of oppressive and boring-ass patriarchal norms. The largest community drag show returns this weekend, and you should join the party, however you are.| $10, $5 | 7:30 p.m. | Holiday Inn By the Bay, 88 Spring St., Portland | http://usm.maine.edu/diversity/usmdragshowentryform |
GOOD LOOKING OUT | You could spend this morning dropping $22 on a glamorized, full-service plate of eggs-and-items at your local brunch spot, or you could learn how to more ably and responsibly participate in direct political action. The activist groups SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) and Portland CONFRONT join forces today, opening the toolbox and hammering out the principles of non-violent direct action and civil disobedience in this "intro" workshop. If you're really up for it, you could brunch before you attend, but maybe skip the mimosa. | FREE | 2-5 p.m. | Intercultural Community Center, 36 Patrick Dr., Westbrook |
FOR THE LIVING | Brooklyn's Bassoon, a sludge-metal group featuring members of the complicated Atlanta-based noise trio Harvey Milk, come caroming through Portland tonight -- at Geno's, of course -- where they meet up with our own eminent post-rock doom unit All Night, comprised of current and former members of Ocean, Cushing, Lynx and North Atlantic. Locals Lousy open this Monday night showcase of matured compositional metal, patient and measured but nonetheless ecstatically loud. | $7 | 8 p.m. | Geno's Rock Club, 625 Congress St., Portland |
SLIP INTO SOMETHING | Early April is a time of the year marked for its awareness of bodies. You may discover increased flexibility in your shoulder girdle, for example, or discover a mole on your thigh, heretofore flat, has suddenly gone convex. If these seem like pedestrian pleasures, you might benefit from seeing local troupe Voules-Vouz Burlesque explore themes of "religious naughtiness" in their progressive burlesque and cabaret show "The Original Sin" tonight at the Portland House of Music. (If you can't make it, or want a double-dose of them, head to Liquid Riot Thursday, where they do up a variety show called "The Spice of Life.") | $10, $12 day of | 8 p.m. | Portland House of Music and Events St., 25 Temple St., Portland | www.portlandhouseofmusic.com |
RALLY ROUND | In Governor LePage's emboldened quest to squelch as much state support and privatize as many government functions as possible, his most recent budget included $65m in cuts to state anti-poverty programs, including affordable housing programs. Citing homeless shelters like Preble Street at or near capacity, the Portland advocacy group Homeless Voices for Justice plan a rally at the State House in Augusta today. | Noon | Maine State House, 210 State St., Augusta |
ONE WOMAN'S WORK | It was a full, full life lived by Maya Angelou, the author, poet and civil rights activist whose biopic screens at the Music Hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, this week. Through HBO-style interviews and old footage, directors Rita Coburn Whack and Bob Hercules stitch together the full range of people that Angelou became, covering her process as a writer, her recovery from childhood trauma and abuse, and her work as a fry cook, sex worker, actor, director, and journalist. Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise screens four times in the arbitrary weeklong spread we cover in this section, including tonight. | $11, $9 seniors | 7 p.m. | The Music Hall, 131 Congress St., Portsmouth, NH | http://www.themusichall.org |
LEAVE IT TO NAT GEO | It's no less a source than Katie Couric behind Gender Revolution, an odd and, as some have argued, problematically mainstream documentary about the movement for rights, justice, and visibility for gender non-conforming, transgender, intersex, and non-binary folks in America. In a film screening produced by USM's Women and Gender Studies program, continuing their fantastic work in LGBTQ advocacy, the film centers around the nationally recognized story of transgender Virginia teen Gavin Grimm, whose case against the Gloucester County School Board over his bathroom use has reached the Supreme Court. Over the course of a documentary intended to raise awareness, empathy, and understanding about an intensely marginalized and at-risk group, transgender teens, this National Geographic-produced film suffers some from its approach, clearly directed at a straight cis audience in a way that might register anywhere from clunky to downright offensive to those who identify differently. On a related note, Couric herself was castigated after a 2014 interview with transgender model Carmen Carrera and actress Laverne Cox, during which awkwardlyrdly focused her line of inquiry on surgery and genitalia and was publicly called out (or in, perhaps) by Cox. (Couric has since apologized.) Seen another way, there's a ton of people out there who lack the vocabulary on this issue who now have an opportunity to learn from watching Couric grapple with (and be held accountable for) this stuff publicly, and it's hard to argue that that sets the movement backward. With a post-film discussion by a panel, the names of whom are TBA at press time. | FREE | 6 p.m. | University of Southern Maine, Luther Bonney Hall, Portland |
EVOLVED AGGRESSION | One of next week's major splashes is the record-release show from Falls of Rauros, one of Maine's best-kept secrets and a hidden gem in the national black metal scene. Expect a review in these pages of Vigilence Perennial, their gorgeously atmospheric and fierce fourth album, and attend their show (they rarely make appearances) at SPACE Gallery tonight. They're joined by the doom-folk collective Ada, black metal act (and Falls' drummer side project) Obsidian Tongue, and Forêt Endormie. | 8:30 p.m. | $8 adv, $10 day of | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | www.space538.org |
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