DESIRE TRAP | In the film world, it's considered a treat to live in a city that'll screen Stalker, the newly-restored HD release of Andrei Tarkovsky's mindbending 1979 sci-fi film. That Portland is among those cities is a delight. In the film, a mysterious interloper known only as "The Stalker" guides two yearning souls—a depressive writer and a professor looking for scientific discovery—to a place called "The Zone," where the rules of reality are suspended and lies a room said to enable their innermost desires. What happens next belongs to a language better served by a different tongue. One of the most highly regarded films of the last half-century, this souped-up version is a ride worth taking. Screening tonight as well as Saturday and Sunday.
| $8 | 5:30 pm | Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Sq., Portland | www.portlandmuseum.org
BREAKING THE CODE | This month, Portland's Lisa Bunker, whom some may know as the former director of WMPG (as well as a past contributor to this and other in-town publications), celebrates the release of her young adult sci-fi novel, Felix Yz. First published by Bunker as a work of interactive fiction (via her blog), Felix Yz tells of an otherwise typical eighth-grade boy who's been living his life attached to some strange alien presence for 10 years, which has made things far more difficult. Nevertheless, Felix keeps plugging away through life growing up in Maine, enjoying chess and webcomics, enduring strange crushes and fighting off bullies, and along the way learns powerful lessons about transcending the standards and norms of his upbringing. Hear Bunker read from her smart and original novel tonight at Longfellow Books.
| FREE | 7 pm | Longfellow Books, 1 Monument Way, Portland | www.longfellowbooks.com
SEE THROUGH THIS | Three years ago, a group of bold, brazen, sex-positive folks formed the group Maine Educationalists for Sexual Harmony, a/k/a M.E.S.H. They took it as their mission to do the work of making publicly-accessible, consent-based sex education while producing events and shows that were undeniably fun, inclusive, and hot. With a lot of core members moved on to other cities, the present state of M.E.S.H. may be more porous than ever, but their spirit is enough intact to produce a vintage-level program tonight. At Urban Farm Fermentory, a fashion show tonight, titled "Babes, Hunx, and Hairy Punx: An In-Body Catwalk Experience," sells the vulnerable, spiritual act of being near-nude in front of friends, allies, and strangers as much as it sells any actual underwear product (which I believe will also be available). Followed by a "body-reframing workshop" hosted by the Educationalists themselves.
| $5-20 donation | 8 pm | Urban Farm Fermentory, 200 Anderson St, Portland | www.fermentory.com
SHOW UP | On Inauguration Day, the Trump administration erased all references to LGBTQ people and people living with HIV on the White House website. Trump's appointments—from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Health and Human Services Director Tom Price, and Supreme Court judge Neil Gorsuch—each have a history of supporting virulently anti-LGBTQ policies and platforms. The act of resisting this, whether over the last six months, the 48 years since the Stonewall Riots, or long before, has been the slow, necessary, imperative work of those who struggle for human freedom regardless of how they identify. Talking about exhaustion and shared responsibility, a queer Latinx friend of mine posted on social media recently this question: "Whose health is in jeopardy when you never take your turn putting your body and mind on the line? Who carries an overwhelming burden because you choose not to, and someone's got to do it?" Today's Pride Flag-Raising Ceremony is a celebration, not a protest. But for the cisgender hetero white male writing this, it's one humble reminder of the unbelievable, thoroughly exhausting work of fighting for justice and human rights in the capitalist, patriarchal society we live in, and the indefatigable efforts of so many who are in the thick of it.
| FREE | 5:30 pm | Equality Community Center, 511 Anderson St., Portland | www.prideportland.com
ORIGINATOR | Originating over ten plays, operas, and adaptations for the stage, the Portland theater artist Bess Welden has been a dynamic, intelligent force in Maine performance and education since moving to Maine the early 2000s. Her original play Big Mouth, Thunder Thighs was a memoir and solo vaudeville show about a woman's evolving relationship to her body; Passion of the Hausfrau, an adaptation of Portland writer Nicole Chaison's comic series by the same name, was an effort to sublimated the simple pleasures and pains of child-rearing into a glorious fulfillment of the spirit. This week, she opens Legbala is a River, an original multi-disciplinary show about a white woman who transforms during the absence of her doctor-husband while he's away treating Ebola patients in Liberia. Exploring the folds between motherhood, public service, and individual sacrifice, Welden's knack for discovery and transformation is well-defined, and is worth a witness. Running through June 17, Legbala Is A River opens this weekend Thursday through Saturday evenings and Sunday at 2 pm.
| $16 | 7:30 pm | Mayo Street Arts, 10 Mayo St., Portland | www.mayostreetarts.org
LOCAL SIMS | As public discourse between NIMBYs and YIMBYs regarding housing and development in Maine has become as fractured and toxic as political speech, the group Build Maine attempts to broaden the coalition of stakeholders in urban growth decisions. Over a day-long conference in Lewiston, titled Build Maine 2017, the group hopes to synthesize the voices and wishes of "all people involved in the work of building Maine — the builders, funders, elected officials, engineers, lawyers, planners, finance institutions, architects, and rule-makers." Critics of recent developmental efforts might suggest there are some demographics missing from that cohort, (maybe some redundancies too), but this is where we're at. Don your finest reformist cap and sign up for Build Maine 2017.
| $50 to $75 | 8 am - 4:30 pm | 31 Chestnut St., Lewiston | www.build-maine.com
HANDLE THE TRUTH | This weekend marks the convergence of several festivals in town. Pride, of course, converges with the all-encompassing annual Old Port Festival on Saturday, but also the impending PortFringe, which, though technically beginning June 17, kicks off with an evening of dramatized performances of signature movie monologues tonight in Longfellow Square. Hang in the epicenter of some of Portland's finest bars and restaurants this early evening listening to area actors bellow the words of actors from the silver screen.
| FREE | 6 pm | Longfellow Square, Portland | www.portfringe.com
SWEATIN' 2 YR ONLIES | Two major and serious dance parties to contend with tonight. The first is the annual "Pride Kick-off Party" at Grace, which glitzes and glams up under the classic, ripe-for-debauch theme of Angels and Demons (inquire within). The second is over at Oxbow, where a party called "Somewhere Under the Rainbow" returns DJs Don Damiani and Teal Child spinning '90s dance hits and is arguably geared toward a more youthful, next-gen crowd of woke-ass youth. Both are fundraisers—the first supporting the volunteer-run Pride Portland organization (and fiscal sponsor EqualityMaine) and the second turning out for Planned Parenthood, the consent-based sex education org Speak About It, and Maine Boys to Men.
| "Pride Kickoff Party," with DJ Leslie | $10-15 | 8 pm | Grace, 15 Chestnut St, Portland | www.prideportland.com | "Somewhere Under the Rainbow," dance party with DJs Don Damiani and Teal Child | 8 pm | Oxbow Blending and Bottling, 49 Washington Ave., Portland | www.oxbowbeer.com
Diane Cluck (Photo by Scott Yates)
EASY TO BE AROUND | Somewhat buried in the fanfare is an appearance by the songwriter Diane Cluck, a Virginia-based songwriter whose self-styled "intuitive folk" songs are enigmatic as they are guileless. She's a wonder, and her increasingly frequent shows here are a good omen. Cluck plays with the slow-folk duo Snaex and Plains, whom we haven't heard from in awhile.
| $10 | 8:30 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | www.space538.org
GET FREER | This afternoon in Brunswick you'll find an inspired observance of Juneteenth, a celebration of African-American culture linked to the emancipation of slaves in the Confederate South in June of 1865. At St. Paul's Episcopal Church, join a festival with music from blues-folk songwriter Samuel James, multi-instrumentalist Rodney Mashia, and rapper ILLijah, along with storytelling, poetry from Linda Ashe-Ford and others, a gospel performance.
| FREE | noon-3 pm | St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 27 Pleasant St., Brunswick | www.juneteenth.com
SUIT UP | Beyond a litany of Pride Portland events (check that calendar), tonight's the night of the Outright Prom, a soiree produced by the organization Portland Outright, who do vital work providing leadership and intersectional justice-based programming for LGBTQ+ young people. Tonight, they throw a substance-free, astrology-themed dance party, for youth ages 14-22.
| $0-15 donation | 7-10 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | www.space538.org
TIME TO THRASH | Hard to believe it was six years ago someone had the genius idea to troll the Old Port Festival with an endless two-day set of the gnarliest, loudest bands in town, but we are grateful. The Sixth Annual Mathew's Rooftop Festival show has sets from Lyokha, Bright Boy, The Worst, Giant Knife, mosart212, and several dozen more over Saturday and Sunday. Admission is a pittance at $3, and the bar's spacious enough to accommodate tons of folks who need refuge from the Old Port Festival, or the outside world in general. Just don't stand under the leaky ceiling. | $3 | 10 am-10 pm | Mathew's, 133 Free St, Portland
WATER RIGHTS | Another battle activists are fighting in Maine is protection of the state's water reserves, specifically from corporate giant Nestle, who have proposed a groundwater mining project — the Juniper Ridge Landfill Expansion — on the banks of the Penobscot River. Sponsored by a flood of organizations including Community Water Justice and 350 Maine, who join indigenous people of the Penobscot nation, environmental activists, and respective allies to plan a River Rally on a flotilla, with speakers attesting to the importance of water sovereignty. The family-friendly "Water is Life River Rally" begins at noon. | FREE | Noon | Bangor Waterfront Park, Bangor | https://www.facebook.com/No-Juniper-Ridge-Megadump-Expansion-157359154707199/
FRYIN' MY DOUGH | Listen, it's the Old Port Fest. All day. Which means you gotta do what you gotta do in order to stay alive. If that means diving headfirst into the fray, you have our salute. If it means getting out of town, you could attend a demonstration by butcher Logan Higger, who shows folks how to cure and make charcuterie in a program called MaineFare at a Freeport farm this afternoon. Courtesy of Maine Farmland Trust, tickets are a bit steep at $85, but word is you'll take home lots of pork. | $85 | noon | Winter Hill Farm, 35 Hill Farm Rd., Freeport | https://www.mainefarmlandtrust.org
VIEWS | Not all Pride parties are ragers. Tonight, Maine TransNet hosts a picnic at North Street's Fort Sumner Park, a/k/a "The End of the World," where views of Portland are still largely unobstructed by condos. An organization founded in 2005, MaineTransNet provides support and resources for the transgender community. Join them as they carve out a fine patch of grass on a lovely Monday.
| Free | 6 pm | Fort Sumner Park, North St., Portland | www.mainetransnet.org
HOW TO USE A WRENCH | Slightly off-radar but promising considerable emotional impact is a show tonight at Zero Station, where the poised and plaintive songwriter Lisa/Liza plays a set with the Boston farm-punk band Squirrel Flower, and the Maine-born Lina Tullgren, whose dream-folk songs are atmospheric, wistful, and often completely emotionally eviscerating. If you're in need of some post-weekend contemplative space, hit this.
| $5-10 donation | 7:30 pm | Zero Station, 222 Anderson St., Portland
YOUNG AND WISE | Though it's completely mobbed during the Old Port Fest, tonight's a more manageable time to hit Bull Feeney's in the Old Port, where the longstanding Port Veritas open mic and poetry slam throws down. An institution nearly 10 years strong, there's little to prevent you from feeling flickers of inspiration here. If it sparks a full-scale reassessment of your life and its energies, all the better.
| $3 | 7 pm | Bull Feeney's, 375 Fore St., Portland | www.bullfeeneys.com
WHO U DATING? | Another way to get out of town comes to us via Frontier, which has long been the getaway destination for stir-crazy Portlanders. Tonight they screen the film Colossal, a strange and funny monster movie starring Jason Sudeikis and Anne Hathaway, about an unemployed party girl who discovers her everyday actions are being mirrored writ large by a mysterious creature devastating Seoul, South Korea. Wild times! Cocktail here and consider pairing with dinner at El Camino for the full Brunswick experience.
| $8 | noon, 3, and 7 pm | Frontier, 14 Maine St, Brunswick | www.explorefrontier.com
PRAISE | Two crucial films to consider tonight, and the way it works out you can see 'em both. At 5:30, Pride Portland screens the documentary Pay It No Mind: The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson, a film about the trans woman of color, gay liberation activist, and patron of the Greenwich Village bar where the Stonewall Riots took place. The film tracks Marsha's buoyant and kaleidoscopic personality, from her activism with the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) and the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) to her her other identity, the reportedly less at-ease Malcolm, a persona which served as a more able conduit for anger). The film is followed by a discussion with members of Pride Portland.
| FREE | 5:30 pm | Portland Public Library, 5 Monument Sq. Portland | www.prideportland.com
CAUTIONARY TALE | The second film only fronts as less political. Besides being a straight-up thrilling action film consisting of about 85 percent car-chase, the 2015 film Mad Max: Fury Road could be seen as crude and dramatic foreshadowing for a possible future. Nonetheless, it's a good time at the newly revamped Bayside Bowl, as part of the Rooftop Film Series on their incredible new solar-powered patio. Weather-dependent, but right now my WU app's got us down for sunny and mid-70s.
| FREE | 8 pm | Bayside Bowl, 58 Alder St., Portland | www.baysidebowl.com
QUIET SPACE | Quietly, consistently rolling out a series of fine shows is Greg Jamie, the musician, former Oak and the Ax proprietor and present Apohadion Presents producer responsible for tonight's Tashi Dorji appearance at Oxbow Blending and Bottling. Dorji, the Bhutan-born guitarist living in Asheville, North Carolina, brings his hybrid of blues, classical, improvisational and acoustic folk tracks to the dark and cavernous space of Oxbow, where he plays with arresting folk duo Snaex (Chriss Sutherland and Christopher Teret) and Plains, a slow-core supergroup.
| $5-10 | 8 pm | Oxbow Blending and Bottling, 49 Washington Ave., Portland | www.oxbowbeer.com
LOOKING AHEAD | Next week: summer! But, like, for real, tho.
Latest from Nick Schroeder
- Double Negative — Rap Artist Brzowski Drops Fiery Third Album 'ENMITYVILLE'
- This Machine Kills Doubt — An Anderson's Incredible 'Very Machine' is more vital than ever
- The Work of Unraveling — Michel Droge's Powerful 'Hiraeth' at the Frank Brockman Gallery
- Missed Connection — Leverett Release Final Album 'Wires & Tubes'
- 8 Days a Week: Disney Burlesque, Haitian Pop, and Showin' Up