SOLAR OBLIVION | President Trump says he loves coal miners. He’s also said, at various points along the campaign, that he loves “the Hispanics, the Evangelicals, the Mexican people, the wounded warriors, the generals, the Saudis, the Mormons, and the poorly educated.” As voting blocs go, those in coal mining country are pretty high up there, and the 24 percent increase in American coal production over last year at this time (according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration) might suggest those folks might feel rewarded for voting GOP. Regardless, it’ll probably be another 15 to 20 years before coal ceases to serve as a political wedge in campaign electioneering, and maybe another 35-40 before farmers in Ohio can no longer grow soybeans because of intense and prolonged droughts, so you better strap in. For a lot of Americans in Appalachia and the Rust Belt, digging up coal has been, of course, the primary means of getting food on the table for generations. And you can’t exactly blame them for feeling pride about it. But the fact remains that this thoroughly nonrenewable resource is the single biggest source of air pollution in the United States. A new and high-profile documentary titled From the Ashes explores the legacy of coal country in America and tries to predict its future in a Trump administration. Produced by 350Maine and funded by National Geographic, filmmaking collective Radical Media, and Bloomberg Philanthropies.
7 pm | FREE | St. Ansgar Lutheran Church, 515 Woodford St., Portland | www.fromtheashesfilm.com
AFI Photo by Jiro Schneider
PRAY TELL | The goth-tinged rock band AFI come to town tonight, celebrating their tenth album, a self-titled thing they’re also calling The Blood Album. Launched in the early 90s in Mendocino County, AFI always seemed to take themselves a little more seriously and introspectively than their friends in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, an appealing move for the “politics begins at home” crowd. Now a sort of darkly amalgamated rock band, AFI play a little bit into the Interpol/Killers/Placebo/Bloc Party side of things now, which seemed to have been a smart career move. They play with the Philadelphia shoegaze band Nothing and Swedish husband-wife pop duo Souvenirs.
8 pm | $25 | Aura, 121 Center St., Portland | www.auramaine.com
SEVERAL FRIENDLIES | The women’s empowerment activist and fashionista Judicaelle Irakoze launches a program tonight called Girl Talk, a women-centric discussion series I’m frankly shocked doesn’t exist yet. The first of its series, Irakoze talks with director Clara Porter of the anti-violence organization Prevention.Action.Change on the subject of the notion of “Self-Love is Power.”
5:30 pm | FREE | Mayo Street Arts, 10 Mayo St., Portland | www.mayostreetarts.org
RESPECT THE FORM | Seal your commitment to the food scene with a dive into the Portland Food Festival, a catch-all celebration of local food, music, and art with vendors and chefs from all walks. With flights of local beers and how-tos and introductions to folks working in Maine’s creative food economy, this low-entry festival looks like a solid way to break into the weekend, whether you play it for pleasure or networking.
| $10-15 | 8 pm | Thompson’s Point, Portland | www.portlandfoodfestival.com
ALERIC'S WORLD | Blues player and Portland cultural pillar Samuel James plays two sets tonight — one solo, and another with a band comprised of standout local musicians, including jazz singer VIVA, D. Gross, Clara Junken, Megan Banner, and Max Garcia Conover. Recommended.
8 pm | $10 adv, $15 day of | Portland House of Music and Events, 25 Temple St, Portland | www.portlandhouseofmusic.com
ARM YOURSELF | Hard to believe we’re only on the fifth album from Spose, the comedic hip-hop rapper from Wells. Dude’s only 31, and he’s been a vital part of Maine since the tail end of last decade. Always playing around with Maine-identity tropes, Ryan Peters works super hard at creating the Spose/P-Dank brand. His show tonight, with collaborator God.Damn.Chan and fellow Maine rapper Shane Reis, should be as fun and smart as his albums are. Read this writer’s review of his new one, titled Good Luck With Your Life, elsewhere in this issue.
9 pm | $15 adv, $18 day of | Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St., Portland | www.portcitymusichall.com
Chris Ross And The North
GOOD WERK IF U CAN GET IT | From Bangor, Chris Ross and the North has turned heads as one of the state’s most intriguing and emotionally satisfying country acts. Ross’s most recent album, 2015’s Young Once, drew marks for its steely emotional weight and storytelling. He doesn’t make it down here a ton, so tonight may be the night for cold ones. With the pop duo Armies (Dave Gutter and Anna Lombard) and Wise Old Moon.
8 pm | $8-10 | Portland House of Music, 25 Temple St., Portland |www.portlandhouseofmusic.com
ESCAPE EVERYTHING | Sooner or later you’re gonna need to get in the woods. Or the beach. Or both! Merge those primal needs with a will to expose yourself to Maine’s jam band scene, as Topsham’s Gruvenwood hosts the 8th Annual BAND CAMP Festival of Music and Art, a three-day/two-night affair with 15 bands from Maine and New Hampshire, plus — wait for it — a silent disco scheduled for Saturday night. Hard to know how that’ll go! With a lineup that includes Jaw Gems, Deadheads A Band Beyond Description, Whitehouse on Trial, and many more.
June 23-25 | $60 | Thomas Point Beach, 29 Meadow Rd, Brunswick | www.bandcampfest.com
MODERN ALCHEMY | As the homegrown PortFringe festival barrels onto another weekend, with nearly 50 local and national performances, they set aside today for a few workshops and teach-ins related to the art of the performer. This afternoon, Bare Portland director JJ Peeler leads one called “Creating Theater in Sacred Space – Tool of Ritual in Creation,” about the art and practice of devising original works (like standout The Yellow Wallpaper, reviewed by Megan Grumbling elsewhere in this issue). | 3 pm | FREE | Portland Stage, 25A Forest Ave., Portland | www.portfringe.com
HOIST THAT RAG | He’s always been in favor, but if you think about it, the last true Tom Waits revival wave was back around the turn-of-the-century. Now pushing 70, we figure he’s got at least one more record — and one more persona — in him. But in the meantime, Portlanders can appreciate the ones he’s already given us tonight on the east end when the group Magic 8 Ball play from his vast catalog. "A Tribute to Tom Waits" is one-night-only.
7 pm | $15 | St. Lawrence Arts Center, 76 Congress St., Portland | www.stlawrencearts.org
STRINGS AHEAD | The second weekend of the Portland Bach Festival blankets the city in the timeless baroque sounds of the Thuringian composer. Tonight, we recommend a concert titled “Before and After Bach,” a concert honoring the composers the dude revered as well as his disciples. It convenes at St. Luke’s Cathedral on the outskirts of town. A little lower a price point than the festival’s other main concerts, this one should be lovely.
7 pm | $20 adv, $25 at door ($5 students) | St. Luke’s Cathedral, 143 State St., Portland | http://portlandbachfestival.org/
YOU GONNA LAUGH AT THAT? | After a strenuous weekend (all of these weekends should be strenuous or you’re doing it wrong), soaking up a comedy show can be the right move. Sunday nights bring the Ian Stuart-hosted comedy showcase at Empire, and tonight’s headliner is the supposedly filthy Florida comic Damien Figler. | 8 pm | $5 | Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland | www.portlandempire.com
SPOKEN ONCE | This afternoon, celebrate along with cycle gurus the grand opening of highly appreciated bike shop Portland Gear Hub in their new location. There’ll be game-playing (they’re boasting cornhole), music, and food, and hangs with some of the city’s hottest bike gangs. | 4 pm | Free | Portland Gear Hub, 155 Washington Ave., Portland | www.portlandgearhub.org
SECRET SOCIETY | Ten years ago it was Metal Mondays. Today it’s Monday of the Minds, a showcase of local hip hop on the drabbest night of the week. If you’re the type who thrashes six nights of seven, here’s your congregation.
9 pm | FREE | Flask Lounge, 117 Spring St., Portland | www.flasklounge.com
THIS IS THE WORK, FOLKS | Fine idea tonight from the folks of Maine-Wabanaki REACH, an organization that educates and facilitates efforts of decolonization and the repatriation of indigenous lives and cultures. Tonight, they host an immersive, interactive storytelling experience titled Maine-Wabanaki History, that illustrates to participants the ways in which Maine’s indigenous population lived, while offering a frame for understanding decolonization work today.
6:30-8:30 pm | By donation | Friends Meeting House, 1837 Forest Ave., Portland | www.mainewabanakireach.org
MAKE PLANS | A compelling, out-of-nowhere, and multiform show over in Bayside positions the dreamy pop songs of John Andrew Fredrick, who’s fronted the rather obscenely underrecognized band The Black Watch over 15 albums of gorgeous and soaring psychedelic rock. Fredrick headlines a night that also includes sets from Portland kinetically gifted art/dance act Hi Tiger, dancer Moxie Sazerac, and Maine author Cybele, a transgender/non-binary storyteller of children’s tales. Fredrick plays an acoustic set, so fans of his fully saturated psych sounds should plan for a softer bath. 21+.
7:30 pm | By donation | Zero Station, 222 Anderson St, Portland
WHITE SUITS | Gotta keep pumping these Bayside Bowl rooftop films while they hot. Tonight’s screening is the epic documentary Stop Making Sense, the Jonathan Demme documentary that served as many Americans’ entry to the band Talking Heads. Memories can’t wait, my dudes.
8 pm | FREE | Bayside Bowl, 58 Alder St., Portland | www.baysidebowl.com
SOCIAL STUDIES | If you’ve had any thoughts about rising rents, or the overall vanillification of the Port City, you’d be interested in a talk tonight by journalist Peter Moscowitz. His recent book How To Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood explains in precision detail how city officials slowly cede power to private interests and development, reducing requirements on affordable housing and weakening the power of unions, which has the effect of killing the city’s traditions and culture in exchange for more population and money. With a Q&A moderated by affordable housing advocate Joey Brunelle, who’s running for City Council.
7 pm | FREE | Longfellow Books, 1 Monument Way, Portland | www.longfellowbooks.com
ONLY ONE WINNER | A new festival arrives on Thompson's Pt. next week, that, among other things, asks: what's the best food truck in Portland? As an attendee, your vote counts at this event that honors small businesses in Maine. Eat well and let your opinion be heard! We'll bring you the details in our next issue. In the meantime, hit the streets and try to find the fairly new Thainy Boda food truck; their selling a delicious new soft serve ice cream flavor that tastes just like sweet Thai Iced Tea. It's a delight!
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