KILLER PARTY | In the spring, we dance. No arguments there. And those who can't (or won't) dance watch others dance, and that group covers more or less everyone. The young hearts at Bowdoin College are as-we-speak preparing a dance performance for this night, itself exciting news. That their show is headlined by an appearance by Rakiya A. Orange, the Bowdoin grad and now-New Yorker whose dual research in Dance and Anthropology has given her a dynamic quiver of influences from which to shoot, makes it especially noteworthy. A 2015 article penned by Orange and published in Contact Quarterly, titled "Behind Barres, Battlements, and Bids: Masculinity and Dance in Prison," offers a glimpse of the scope here, and we frankly envy anyone who's been able to shape a life that looks like this. A recommended trip from Portland, this one-night-only show will stir what must be stirred.
| FREE | 7:30 pm | Bowdoin College, Memorial Hall, Pickard Theater, Brunswick | http://www.bowdoin.edu
WE'RE SPINNING | Winter is gone, and with it, the snow, the heartache, the weird food, the thinkpieces, the mediocre TV. Tonight marking the first First Friday of the warm stretch, people who like art can now return to doing so publicly. We recommend, of course, the exhibition and corresponding events titled "A Distant Holla" at the Abyssinian Meeting House (75 Newbury St.), covered in our feature interview with artist Daniel Minter (see page 10). But you'd also do well to check out the BFA Thesis Exhibition at Maine College of Art's ICA (522 Congress St.), Laura Dunn's psychedelic "Flower Bomb" at the Mechanics Hall (519 Congress St.), and the SMCC student exhibition at Zero Station (222 Anderson St.). If you're stuck up on the hill, hit the Abyssinian and then the St. Lawrence Arts Center, where you'll find Laura Dombek's lovely and textured oil paintings in a show titled "Sacred Spaces." Find the rest of our First Friday art listings on page 19 and stitch together your own quilt of spring delight.
LION IN WINTER | If you like haunting, existential, challenging theater, it's opening night for Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play over at Mad Horse in South Portland. First premiered over at the legendary Woolly Mammoth theater company in Washington D.C., this script by Anne Washburn imagines a post-apocalyptic scenario wherein a group of ravaged, terrified Americans cluster together after some unnamed catastrophic event, finding common ground by sharing their favorite episodes of The Simpsons, which, as time goes on, form the basis for a new society. Could happen! Running for three weeks at Mad Horse Theater Company (a theater ensemble which, in full disclosure, this writer is a member.) | $22 (pay-what-you-can Thursday 7:30 pm and Sunday 2 pm) | 7:30 pm | Mad Horse Theater Company, 24 Mosher St., South Portland | http://www.madhorse.com/
LION IN WINTER | Since Portland was founded, people have explored ways to get loud rock bands to play One Longfellow Square. It's been tough! And as it's typically a jazz, ffolk, and blues club that attracts a more settled-in clientele, it hasn't always worked. But it's beyond us to proffer a reasonable explanation why, because that place sounds quite good and its vibes are intimate. Tonight may look like a loud rock show, with Dave Gutter's longtime side project Paranoid Social Club headlining along with sets from Dominic Lavoie (of Dominic & the Lucid) and Yes We Kin, the solo folk project of Weakened Friends drummer Cam Jones. But it's a compromised version, where Paranoid is said to play the quieter Axis I, in its entirety, a 2004 album with (let's say) a sort of Sublime-meets-Jack Johnson vibe. Everyone's particular conveyor belt toward senescence runs at a different speed, and some rock fans simply like to thrash on the inside, sitting down, emotionlessly sipping gin and tonics. For longtime fans of these Portland musicians, this looks like candy. | $15 adv, $20 day of | 8 pm | One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland | http://www.onelongfellowsquare.com
DANCE SAVES | In Portland rock history, there've been a lot of heretofore unknown rock bands who played memorable, holy shit-level shows before they broke. Of course there was Unwound opening for Fugazi at USM in 1994, but a lot of them have been at SPACE Galllery. Astronautalis made his Portland debut opening for jdwalker in 2005. Larkin Grimm played here in April of 2006, Sara Bareilles in 2007. There was the time an unheard-of Bon Iver opened for Black Mountain in 2008, six days after the release of the ceremonious album For Emma, Forever Ago. And then there was Screaming Females, who've had several coming out parties. Sure, they played Geno's all the way back in 2007, but it was their shows at SPACE Gallery in 2009 and '10 (and that brutal one at the Apohadion in 2011) when they really blew everyone away. Forever led by the arresting Marissa Paternoster, whose ability to front a band seems intuitive and uncanny, Screaming Females is a Portland favorite, and tonight play their 10th show in our city. They're supported here by two local acts, and both could be said to be in the same family. One is Fur, the punked-up garage rock group of ex-Rattlesnakes and current marriage partners Brian and Tara Cohen, who frankly haven't played out in a bit. The other, Weakened Friends, is a soaring melodic rock group "on the up," headed by Sonia Sturino (ex-Box Tiger) and Yes We Kin. All ages here.
| $10 adv, $12 day of | 8:30 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | www.space538.org
EVERYTHING IS A METAPHOR | I watched the trailer for LUNAFEST, the traveling collection of short films by and for women appearing tonight at the University of Southern Maine, and didn't catch a single glimpse of the protein-y energy bar. And that's a plus, because a lot of discerning audiences are understandably down on product placement. It's always an odd marriage when artists and filmmakers make work under the wing of privately held corporations, though it should be said that Clif Bar, the San Francisco-based, environmentally-conscious energy bar manufacturer that produces this "nutrition bar for women," is about as socially conscious as one gets. Additionally, LUNAFEST is essentially a fundraising model for the Breast Cancer Fund and other women's organizations (in this case the Maine Women's Lobby), so yeah, we can get down with it. The festival comes to Portland in its 175-city tour, featuring nine films "by, for, and about" women. Recommended.
| $15 adv, $18 day of | 1 pm | University of Southern Maine, Luther Bonney Hall, 94 Bedford St., Portland | https://vimeo.com/180364195
OVERACHIEVER | The shine of weirdness never wore off David Lynch, the irrepressible film director (and musician?) who birthed the cult favorite TV show Twin Peaks among numerous feature-length films that have stuck with you if you've seen them. For a deep dive into the early art, films, and inspirations that congealed into this very Los Angeles artist, check out Jon Nguyen's documentary, David Lynch: The Art Life, screening Friday through Sunday (which is today, at 2 pm).
| $8 | 2 pm | Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Sq., Portland | https://www.portlandmuseum.org/events/movies
STREET MUSIC | Talked with someone earlier this week about the dearth of smaller music rooms in town, and how they're a vital part of any city's musical ecology. Flask is one of the few that remain in the smaller tier (talking size here, not quality), and this Monday night throws a community hip-hop showcase called "Monday of the Minds," where local acts Mike Wing, James EP B, Visitor 10, GVTZ, Rigatony, and Murka converge.
| 9 pm | Flask Lounge, 117 Spring St., Portland | http://www.flasklounge.com
MANY JEWELS | Ages ago, Mastodon crushed and destroyed. Now, everything having been crushed, they're a good deal more chill. Basic logic there. The Atlanta metal band return to Portland, a city they've slain time and again, with their trade of psychedelic, barrelingly mid-tempo heavy stuff, which somehow doesn't feel weird to hear on the radio? That's no accident. Frontman Brent Hinds stated in an interview a couple years ago that he "fucking hates metal" and "has been trying to get Mastodon to not be such a heavy metal band." Reminds me of the time Jeff Kent, a retired Major League Baseball player of 17 seasons, said in an interview that he hated baseball and would rather be doing NASCAR or something. Kent was notoriously a jerk (just reporting here) and it's unlikely he shares that trait with Hinds. But Mastodon have now been around 17 years themselves, and have battered their way into whatever pantheon of metal lords that would be akin to a Hall of Fame. It's worth considering just what it's like to do something you profess to hate for that long. They play with the Eagles of Death Metal, the sleaze-rock project by former Republican speechwriter Jesse Hughes, a true dark and winding road in human form, and Josh Homme, frontman of Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age. You remember Eagles of Death Metal as the band playing the Bataclan Club in Paris in November 2015, when members of ISIL broke in and slaughtered 89 people in a coordinated terrorist attack. Chicago's instrumentalists Russian Circles open.
| $37.50 adv, $42.50 day of | 7:30 pm | State Theatre, 609 Congress St., Portland | www.statetheatreportland.com
MANY JEWELS | Depending on your tolerance for crowds, you might have an equal or better time at the Mastodon After-party, a spillover hang at Geno's headed by the New Hampshire metal band KYOTY, and treated with a roughhewn trim by DJ Remy Brecht, he of the mighty noise act Scrotal Tear.
MANY JEWELS | If nothing else, tonight's Air Sex Championship will be a new and singular experience for Portland. Styled as a "comedy show," the event consists of 12 individuals whose stand-up routine consists entirely of pretending to perform the sex act on partners who aren't there, with variable flourish, to music. Discovered, developed, and branded by the comedian Chris Trew in Austin, Texas, in 2008, the Air Sex Championship began using the same model as an Air Guitar Championship. (And props to him for realizing the two are essentially the same thing.) Trew has since toured the show around the country nearly a decade, over which time he's worked hard to keep things as safe and inclusive as they are ridiculous. 21+.
| $14 | 7:30 pm | Portland House of Music and Events, 25 Temple St., Portland | www.portlandhouseofmusic.com
DOING THE WORK | You'll have to leave first thing this morning, but today presents an opportunity to rally with local organizations working for equity, justice, and civil rights for women. Which, as Trump rolls back protections for women in many of their life capacities, has of course been made one of the most vital fights of our era. (For example, he recently rolled back the 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order, which affected women in that it actuated paycheck transparency and banned forced arbitration clauses for claims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and discrimination in the workplace.) The Alliance for Maine Women, a new group headed by members of the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence, have a full day planned at the State House, where from 8 am to 3 pm they'll conduct a briefing on current and proposed legislation, head up a lobby, and hold workshops.
| 8 am-3 pm | Maine State House, 210 State St., Portland | https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7NQWKGV
DYNASTY WORK | Had plenty of great wokka-wokka moments lined up for you here, trust me on that, but now that John Mulaney's show is sold out (twice!) tonight, looks like my work here is done. It also means I can't get into the show. Maybe I'll hang out at Denny's and listen to Tom Jones.
| SOLD OUT | 7 & 10 pm | State Theatre, 609 Congress St., Portland | www.statetheatreportland.com
MAKE PACTS | Some of the highlights of next week include longtime Portland instrumentalist Stu Mahan joining Andrew Bailie for a set at Blue; theater artist Kevin O'Leary's original play Lascaux, a Parisian thriller, debuts at Mayo Street Arts; and two of Portland's hardest, heaviest bands -- Shabti and Cadaverette -- collide at Geno's.
Latest from Nick Schroeder
- A Show of Support â€” Able Baker's 'Selvedge' Sees Painting Through a Totally Different Grain
- Getting Off the Map â€” The Magical Properties of Jared Fairfield's 'The Protecting Cloak'
- The Art Of Protest â€” Every Decision Counts in Mainer's Participatory Film 'The Maribor Uprisings'
- Recipe for a Nothingburger â€” Trump's 'High-Quality' Son and Other Senior Officials Implicated in Russian Collusion
- Bully Mammoth Don't Play to the Base With 'Let It Bully'