WATER WORLD | Do you care about the health of our oceans but know precious little about them? A film, titled Ocean Frontiers III, is screening this week and will illuminate the most pressing threats and challenges to marine conservation. As residents of a coastal city, it’s imperative that we discuss these issues and empower those fighting for a sustainable ocean future. A panel of regional experts will lead an interactive discuss after the credits roll, so stick around.
| FREE | 6:30 pm | University of Southern Maine, Hannaford Hall, 88 Bedford St., Portland | https://usm.maine.edu/
THEY’RE BACK | The four-piece acoustic bluegrass band Northwood return to Blue this week for their monthly residency. If you’re looking for a chill, free (leave a donation if you’re a nice person), and casual live performance paired with a burger or beer, this is the ticket.
| DONATION BASED | 7 pm | Blue, 650A Congress St., Portland | http://portcityblue.com/
Caroline Spence and Connor Garvey, two folk musicians that easily double as poets.
GET PENSIVE | The award-winning troubadour and simply lovely singer/songwriter Caroline Spence is showcasing her latest folk/Americana album Spades and Roses today. Her wispy vocals float above her rich arrangements and heavy narratives of love, loss, and existential moments. Real country music comes from the heart, and Spence seems to be keenly aware of that. She’s joined by Portland’s own poetic folk storyteller, Connor Garvey.
| $15 | 8 pm | One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland | https://onelongfellowsquare.com/ |
FRESH, YET RETRO | New York City’s a veritable melting pot of artists trying to carve out a name for themselves. It seems that Tash and Chris from the hard-hitting rock band The London Souls are halfway there. They’ve been unloading their classic Zeppelin-like riffs, Beatles-esque melodies, and decisively funky grooves since 2008, garnering praise from serious music critics and rock zombies alike. But they still do their thang relatively under the radar. Their intoxicating blend of both old and new approaches to rock-n-roll works; go see them when they play on the same bill as When Particles Collide and Midwestern Medicine.
| $18 | 9 pm | Portland House of Music and Events, 25 Temple St., Portland | http://www.portlandhouseofmusic.com/
PEDALING ART | Bike your ass over to the Portland Museum of Art this week. Why? Because apart from the fact that gazing at fine art is a dependable way to slow the tides of existential dread, there are some bicycle-related goodies outside! The Bicycle Coalition of Maine and CycleMania will be right outside the museum offering free tune-ups, a chance to win a brand new L.L.Bean bike, and a "make-a-take" art project that will make your two-wheel ride even spiffier.
| FREE(ISH) | 5 pm | Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Sq., Portland | http://www.portlandmuseum.org/
Jay Bragg, a former Portlander, is coming home to debut two new singles ahead of his first solo record in the fall.
MUSICAL JOURNEY | Jay Bragg, formerly of the “outlaw country” duo North of Nashville is coming home. He left Maine last year to set up shop in Nashville, Tennessee, evolve as a country artist, and satisfy his musical curiosity with the question: “what would it sound like if Merle Haggard wrote music with Ed Sheeran?” He’s bringing back what he’s learned from the humid heartland during this homecoming show at Empire, the same venue where Bragg released his first album 10 years ago. Welcome back! The Welterweights join him.
| $10 | 8 pm | Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland | http://portlandempire.com/
KOMBUCHA ROCK | Portland’s reliable. You can expect a low-key but enjoyable brewery show somewhere in the city almost once a week. This time, the fuzzy Americana band Milk, and South Portland’s lo-fi indie rockers Million Dollar Lounge, are set to perform at the Urban Farm Fermentory.
| $8 | 8 pm | Urban Farm Fermentory, 200 Anderson St., Portland | https://www.fermentory.com/
FRISKY FANDOMS | Would you ever describe the dragons from Game of Thrones as sexy? How about the Stormtroopers from Star Wars, or Caesar from Planet of the Apes? Drop dead gorgeous right? Probably not. You might think that sexy’s not often synonymous with fantasy universes (or the people obsessed with them) but the performers of the Suicide Girls Blackheart Burlesque show are here to challenge your narrow perceptions. They’re putting a geeky twist on classic burlesque with a show chock full of sultry women and pop culture references. Has this show been inspired by a teenage boy’s midnight fantasies? Regardless, we’re into it.
| $20 | 8 pm | State Theatre, 609 Congress St., Portland | http://www.statetheatreportland.com/
STAR IN THE MAKING | Quinn Sullivan used to be known simply as “the kid with a guitar.” That was back in 2006 when he enamored audiences on The Ellen Degeneres Show. After that, in 2007, the legendary blues guitarist Buddy Guy asked Sullivan to join him on stage during a live performance. Since that brief mentor moment, Sullivan’s amassed some impressive musical experience, from sharing the stage with the Roots and Eric Clapton to playing at storied venues like the Hollywood Bowl and the Madison Square Garden (and making even more late-night television runs). This dude’s success is inspiring; he’s been playing music over 10 years and he’s only 18! Cheer on this eager youngster from Massachusetts as he rocks the house at Aura and showcases what he’s learned from some of rock’s legends.
| $10 | 9 pm | Aura, 121 Center St., Portland | http://auramaine.com/ |
AUDREY’S ALIVE | David Worobec’s hosting one of his whimsical and musically rich miniature puppet shows this week (he’s a trained opera singer, ya know?), a production he calls the Tophat Theater, performed, essentially, in his house. This time he’s taking on the classic dark comedy The Little Shop of Horrors. Aren’t you curious to see what the bloodthirsty plant looks like in tiny puppet form?
| DONATION BASED | 7 pm | Tophat Productions, 44 Carleton St., Portland | http://tophatshows.com/
BEER ME UP | Finally a rally people from both sides of the aisle can get behind: a rally dedicated to beer! Shipyard and the American Home Brewers Association invites you to come party with them and get an exclusive tour of their brewery on Newbury Street. Gulp down your favorite pours, learn about the brewing process, and win some prizes. Who doesn't love swag and gift certificates? ACHBA members get in for free, but you can sign up to be a member at the event, and if you're crazy about beer, or ever wanted to start brewing your own, we highly recommend you consider joining the club.
| VARIED | 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | Shipyard Brewing, 86 Newbury St., Portland | https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/ |
OH FUNK YES | Lyle Divinsky, who’s been doing amazing things around the country touring with his outfit The Motet, is returning to Portland to join the band that helped launch his deliciously groovy career, Model Airplane. Opening for them is the Jason Spooner Band. Don’t miss the “Sasquatch of Soul,” because he’s a free funky spirit, and who knows when he’ll return to Maine again!
| $18 | 8 pm | Portland House of Music and Events, 25 Temple St., Portland | https://www.portlandhouseofmusic.com/
BLACK METAL ACTIVISM | Hey, maybe not all men are trash? The dudes at Last Mercy Emissions are hosting a hard rock/metal concert where a portion of the proceeds will go to support Planned Parenthood, a health organization that’s literally a lifesaver for thousands of women across the country. They need our support now more than ever. You can help PP (in an admittedly roundabout and totally removed kind of way) by thrashing around to the sonic nightmares of Apollyon, SIRE, Brazen Gate, and Imipolex.
| $8 | 9 pm | Geno’s Rock Club, 625 Congress St., Portland | https://www.plannedparenthood.org
SCREW PHYSICS | Gravity’s a scientific law; its effects can be observed across the breadth of the universe, influencing the movement of planets, stars, black holes and even entire galaxies. It’s truly eternal. Yet, the Earthling artists at Circus Maine don’t seem to be bothered by this mysterious and ubiquitous force. With their high-flying acrobatics, juggling, tight-rope walking, and aerial stunts, they’re basically going to be saying “f*ck you” to gravity. And it’s a delight to watch.
| $15 | 4 pm | Circus Maine, 4 Thompson’s Pt., Portland | http://www.flyinggravitycircus.com/
BEND AND BREWS | Practicing yoga’s been in mainstream Western culture for so long, it’s kind of lost its edgy hipster coolness. But if a yoga class is held in one of Portland’s most popular breweries, and is paired with a delicious Bissell beer, then it wins back some relevance points with the millennials — get with the times, older readers. Kay Cynewski from The Northeast Yogi is leading a one-hour class on vinyasa flow yoga (heads up, it’s challenging) that ends with you gulping down your favorite pour.
| $30 | 5:30 pm | Bissell Brothers, 4 Thompson’s Pt., Portland | http://www.bissellbrothers.com/
Local indie-rock band Weakened Friends (pictured above) join Old Etc. this week for a reunion show.
THE RETURN | Is it just a coincidence that some of our favorite local bands (that left us, or in this case, broke up) are returning home for special shows all in the same week? How fortuitous. This time, I’m referring to Biddeford’s cathartic indie-rock band Old Etc. They’re reuniting to play their well-reviewed, highly emotive, and majestic rock album Forever. Come sing, laugh, and cry with them one last time. Portland’s Weakened Friends, Bangor’s Wait, and Manchester’s Badfellows, are also scheduled to cause some mayhem.
| $10 | 8 pm | Portland House of Music and Events, 25 Temple St., Portland | http://www.portlandhouseofmusic.com/
VERSES VS. VERSES | If you end up having a shitty Monday (which is quite typical), a good story might help you forget about it. Stories clear up the cobwebs in your head. It’s why you should check out this monthly reading series at Blue, hosted by the Portland songwriter Chris Robley. He’s invited a solid trio of local wordsmiths to share their work during a night of poetry, prose, and music. This month’s theme is “Time: Travel,” and will have songwriter Caroline Cotter, journalist Egan Millard, and teacher Marita O’Neil, grapple with putting elegant words to this eternal theme.
| FREE | 5:30 pm | Blue, 650 Congress St., Portland | http://portcityblue.com/
GOT MILK | Over the past 50 years, New England has lost over 10,000 dairy farms, leaving just 2,000 scattered across the northeast. What happened to the farmers? What’s the general state of the dairy industry nowadays anyway? Is there a declining demand for milk? Or are there some insidious class divisions happening at the policy level? Because farmers can work for generations building a farm, and lose it all within an hour. If you care about this sort of thing, then your questions might be answered during this screening of Forgotten Farms, which will be followed by a discussion with the filmmakers, Amanda Beal of Maine Farmland Trust and Dave Colson of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.
| $5 | 6:30 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | http://www.space538.org/
WORDPLAY | The Telling Room, a Portland non-profit dedicated to nurturing the powerful, yet sometimes fragile creative force that is youth storytelling, hosts their annual showcase. Each year, student writing is honored with the official release of the yearly anthology Sparks. Dubbed The Big Night 2017, this event is sure to reveal Portland’s budding, bright, literary talents.
| FREE | 5:30 pm | University of Southern Maine, Hannaford Hall, 88 Bedford St., Portland | http://tellingroom.org/
PRACTICE FIRST | Portland’s most well-known (and often quite funny) drag-queen personality Cherry Lemonade (real name Conor Leigh Tubbs) is hosting a new weekly series called “Mouth Off.” Competitors will take to the stage for a lip-sync battle while trying not to embarrass themselves in the meantime. The most convincing lip syncers won’t just take home bragging rights, but also cold hard cash! For the rest of us watching, this just sounds like a night of absurd, and likely hilarious, entertainment.
| $5 | 9 pm | Portland House of Music and Events, 25 Temple St., Portland
SUNNY MELODIES | Brooklyn’s psych-pop four-piece Maybird team up with the grunge-soaked power pop band Sun Parade for a serendipitous night of clean, bubbly tunes. Ride the warm waves of sonic bliss these eight musicians will likely pump out with ease. Maybird will showcase their latest single, “Keep in Line,” which the DIYMag called a “contemporary, but timeless little number.” Recommended.
| $12 | 9 pm | Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland | http://portlandempire.com/
DANCE FOR LIFE | Summer means Congress Square park is going to be 100 percent more lively. The warm air brings with it the return of the Portland Swing Project. The group’s core includes Caroline Cotter on ukulele, guitar and vocals, Tyler Lienhardt on fiddle and vocals, and Jed Bresette on standup bass and vocals. This powerhouse musical group exhibits a clear passion for swing music (from the 20s until today) and have earned a reputation for getting the timidest amongst us dancing and wiggling to their infectious grooves.
| FREE | 6 pm | Congress Square Park, 599 Congress St., Portland | http://www.portlandswingproject.com/
EARTHLY DELIGHTS | With school ending sessions and the temperature finally reaching 80 degrees, I’m going to officially dub next week as the start of summer. And the change of season brings a whole slew of social opportunities and cultural experiences. Our next edition of 8 Days will undoubtedly preview Portland’s first “Death Cafe” (a roundtable of folks sharing experiences with mortality), a sexual health story slam, an urban foraging workshop, pop group the xx at Thompson’s Point, weird rockers Jesus Cactus at the SPACE Gallery, and the return of Irish punk group Flogging Molly at the State Theatre. And there’s so much more; so pick up these pages next week for the full scoop.