EVERYTHING IS COMPLICATED | Among the many forums the world needs is one where sensible, woke-ass people can talk in person about how bizarre, amazing, and fucked up pop music videos can be. Wait, we got that. This evening, journalist Nadia Prupis and art critic Jenna Crowder (of the Maine arts journal The Chart) return with their series MTV Crits!, dissecting videos by Mykke Blanco, Grace Jones, Jenny Lewis, and Double Duchess, this time through the lens of gender. Moderated by the illustrious Portland artists Terrence Wolfe and Julien Langevin.
| 6 pm | FREE | étaín boutique, 646 Congress St., Portland | http://etain.shoplightspeed.com/
STORIES TO GO ROUND | Last week in these pages, theater writer Megan Grumbling profiled Portland's Theater Ensemble of Color, who tonight perform Lived Experiences, an original sketch show of funny and jarring scenes inspired by those from their own lives. See the second of two consecutive evening performances in the public forum of Congress Square Park.
| 6 pm | FREE | Congress Square Park, Portland | http://teoc-maine.weebly.com/
YOUTH ATTACK | There's one park in America tonight where you can hear the voices of Anna Kendrick, Russell Brand, Zooey Deschanel, Justin Timberlake, and Gwen Stefani. Blessings, it's here — the 3D-animated film Trolls gets a screening as part of the summer film series tonight at Bug Light Park, a place which itself sounds like it would make a good kids' film. Next week's screening is The Princess Bride, a film you'll need a decent seat for, so hit this early to scope the grass situation.
| 6:30 pm | FREE | Bug Light Park, South Portland
THROUGH THE FIELDS | If you’re here on an Airbnb excursion, traveling through the city’s bars and restaurants on a long spiritual quest to explain how beer tastes to your girlfriend, take a moment tonight to observe the usual traditions of the locals. It's Friday — First Friday — and the streets are alight in celebration of the works of Maine's visual artists. Some off the beaten path we'd recommend include the bunch of "Jazz Paintings" by Kimberly Convery, a signature Portland artist who seems to be making a bold stylistic leap at the Old Port wellness spa Akari (193 Middle St.). Another real one, the illustrator Sophia Cangelosi, shows works exploring the overlap between self- and social perception in a show titled "Windows" at Pinecone + Chickadee (6 Free St.). And from a bit up north, the abstract color field painter Peter Herley shows some large, abstract, and oddly comforting canvases in "Subtle Moments" at the Oak Lofts Gallery (72 Oak St.)
ENDURANCE TEST |
| 7 pm | $7.77 | Kinonik, 10 Exchange St., Portland | https://www.picatic.com/sevensamurai
RISE & DINE | There's no choosing between longtime bakeries Scratch and One Fifty Ate in South Portland, and their bagels and sandwiches have long been part of Portland's mornings (and mornings after). We recommend you take lunch out there today, follow it up with beach time, and then hit the neighborhood block party WillardFest, a celebration of the culture of the idyllic village neighborhood of Willard Square.
| 3-6 pm | Free | 49-59 Washington Ave., Portland
FIND YOUR PEOPLE | In solidarity nationally, Portland's version of World Refugee Day includes a community dinner of dishes from refugees' home countries, with concentrated doses of movement and visual art. Produced through Catholic Charities, this event is free, but donations are appreciated to help keep up their vital work.
| 4-8 pm | Free | Cheverus High School, 267 Ocean Ave., Portland | www.ccmaine.org/WRD
BEST EFFORTS | More vitality to take part in at Bayside Bowl tonight, where a sprawling party called Take Back Hope collects a panoply of artists raising money for the organization Hope Acts, which serves immigrant populations and those in recovery. Among them are kaleidoscopic indie-rock band SeepeopleS, grizzled country songwriter Joel Thetford, dynamic prog-rock unit Five of the Eyes, and many more. With Bayside's newly embellished complex, there'll be plenty of rooms to explore if you want to take a band or two off.
| 5:30 pm | $10 | Bayside Bowl, 58 Alder St., Portland | www.baysidebowl.com
LEGENDS | On a recent episode of the BET show 'Rate The Bars', in which rappers discuss and evaluate rhymes from other rappers without foreknowledge of who they're reading, Raekwon the Chef of the Wu-Tang Clan topped gave top marks to Busta Rhymes, Biggie, and his own material; and mediocre grades to anonymous lines of the RZA's and Vince Staples. He swoops through town with a crew tonight to play with local rapper ill by instinct and Stann Smith.
| 8:30 pm | $25-27 | Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St., Portland | www.portcitymusichall.com
CHILL HORSE | Suddenly one of Portland's music-scene veterans, the alt-country trio Tall Horse have reason to celebrate tonight, as they steady a new album for public consumption titled Howl Mouth. Given the band's propensity for soggy sounding records, it's impressive that their shows can inspire solidly upbeat, even rowdy behavior. Studies support that listening to depressing, heavy, or otherwise torturous music can put you in a pleasant mood, so we should cherish the bits of melancholia bands like Tall Horse serve us. They play with Ossalot, Purse, and $300, each a Portland band with adventurous ideas about how to play music.
| 8:30 pm | $8 | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | www.space538.org
FAMOUS DUOS | Maybe one day we'll hold the comedy duo Jean Grae and John Hodgman with in the same distinction as Abbott and Costello, Cheech & Chong, and Kid 'n Play. The hilarious union of former rapper and a bookish former writer for the Daily Show, we're lucky their uniquely original comedy act rolls through this fair, fair city. The Brooklyn-via-Cape Town artist and performer Jean Grae took a roundabout path toward comedy, and she's a terrific foil for the bookish fortysomething writer and Massachusetts boy Hodgman. They deploy a carnival wheel to help steer their variety show tonight, which can lead them to riff on topics such as "What Did You Dream Last Night?", "Jean's Hair," and "John's Privilege." The Jean and John show is recommended stuff.
| 8 pm | $25 adv, $30 door | Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St., Portland | www.portcitymusichall.com
SOMETHING CLICKS | The celebrated photographer and educator Rose Marasco, whose work is thought to be the most iconic and influential of all Maine fine art photographers, delivers a free lecture on her process and career this evening at the Maine College of Art. Marasco taught at the University of Southern Maine for 35 years, and while having an accomplished career as an educator doesn't always translate to an artist's facility talking about her work, we fully expect this presentation to be informative and special.
| 5:30 pm | Free | Maine College of Art, 522 Congress St., Portland
HEARD | Last week's collection of readings at Word Portland was abruptly upended for unknown reasons, though it might have to do with the influx of visitors tearing up the city over the long Fourth weekend. But this week, they're back, featuring word usage by local masters Janan Scott, Duncan Whitmire, and Emily Jane Young. Don't be that person talking through it on the back couch.
| 9 pm | Free | LFK, 188A State St., Portland
BASIC NIGHT | There has been much complaint lately about the absence of small venues in Portland, the sort where bands playing their first handful of shows can accrue some performance chops. That's why Empire's Tuesday night 3 for $3 series works so well. It's a low-stakes, high reward type of night. This one, in particular, merges the psychic MoMe, the astral and accordion-driven shanty songs of Boat Dares (from Portland, Oregon), and the edgy action of locals Lacuna.
| 8:30 pm | $3 | Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland | www.portlandempire.com
FIND A FRIEND | Since this is shaping up to be an all-purpose comedy issue, we'd be remiss not to hype an appearance by Tim and Eric tonight. The Adult Swim sketch comedy duo have been friends for nearly 25 years since first meeting as undergrads, and have produced some of the country's most distinctive, particular humor in the digital era, and expanding their aesthetic to film and music videos as well. Little-known fact interesting to possibly me only: Eric Wareheim was once a member of the Philadelphia vampire-punk band Ink & Dagger, whose music weirdly still holds up some 20 years later. Expect this 10th Anniversary Tour to showcase many of the duo's capacities in various sharpnesses.
| 7 pm | $45 | State Theatre, 609 Congress St., Portland | www.statetheatreportland.com
PINCH YOURSELF | One of the first things you noticed about My Morning Jacket are the vocals. The signature high-pitched nasal lamentation of singer/songwriter Jim James has mellowed a bit over the seven albums and 20 years since the project started in Louisville, Kentucky. And while James has admitted to having once felt self-conscious about the pitch of his pipes, there's no disputing that they're a source of pride now. His band plays the present-day iterations of their longtime blues, rock, and psych journey tonight on the edge of town at Thompson's Point.
| 7 pm | $45 | Thompson's Point, Portland | www.statetheatreportland.com
INFLECTIONS | At Blue tonight, hear the emergent folk group Josephine County, an offshoot of the Americana machinations of players Erica Brown and Matt Shipman. The two normally play as the group Darlin' Corey, and for this project are joined by the flautist Hanz Araki and singer Colleen Raney, giving their music a decidedly Irish feel.
| 7:30 pm | by donation | Blue, 650A Congress St., Portland | www.portcityblue.com
MONEY AND THE SACRED | Next week's summer delights include an unlikely appearance from '80s guy Eddie Money, whose life has taken him to Portland to play Aura. Also, a forum about indigenous Gwich'in women's fight to protect the Arctic Refuge from corporate oil drilling convenes at the Maine College of Art. Titled "Solidarity From Maine: Protect the Sacred Arctic Refuge, the event features an appearance by director and activist Miho Aida.
| 5:30 pm | FREE | Maine College of Art, 5 Monument Sq., Portland
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