8 Days A Week: Time Machines, Politically Conscious Comedy, and the Fight of a Generation

Hari Kondabolu $33 | Wednesday 30, 8 pm | Aura, 121 Center St., Portland | auramaine.com Hari Kondabolu $33 | Wednesday 30, 8 pm | Aura, 121 Center St., Portland | auramaine.com

THURSDAY 24

FLASHBACK | In these anxiety-inducing times, where it seems that World War III, Civil War II, or domination from technological overlords could each easily be over the horizon, many of us are missing our youth. If you’re a '90s kid like me, you probably yearn for those simpler times, back when your only concern was pulling a rare Pokémon card from a booster pack and making it home from school on time to catch TRL on MTV. (Apparently, MTV is rebooting the music video show this October — people love nostalgia!) The point is, it might do you good to pretend you’re in the carefree '90s again, and here’s an easy way to do so: Hello Newman’s playing nothing but '90s pop hits for free at Hadlock Field. After their throwback concert, the Portland Sea Dogs are playing the Rumble Ponies complete in their old 1997 baseball uniforms. I recommend leaving your smartphone at home to really sell this illusion of time travel. | FREE | 5:00 pm | Hadlock Field, 271 Park Ave., Portland | http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t546

 

GET UNCOMFORTABLE | What happened in Boston last week was surely inspiring; an estimated 40,000 people showed up with signs, chants, and, in light of the violence of Charlottesville, their vulnerable bodies to reject white supremacy and those that encourage it. But America’s oppressed classes are asking for more from the so-called “resistance.” What are all those well-intentioned leftists going to do in their everyday lives to dismantle white supremacy? Because yelling at racists is easy, but leveraging one’s role in a system that privileges one race over others isn’t, the folks at the Treehouse Institute plan to host a forum addressing this unfortunate reality called A Seat At The Table. It’s planned as a structured discourse, but also a radical listening session. There are more meaningful ways you can resist white supremacy that go beyond just posting a status, and marching in the summer sun for a couple hours. Find out about em. | FREE | 5:30 pm | Red Thread, 1 City Ctr., Portland | http://thetreehouseinstitute.org

 

BYE BIG BROTHER | There’s a lot of talk about extreme political polarization nowadays, and if we’re to continue that conversation, perhaps it’s best if we brushed up on some history of fringe movements. Let’s hear from an expert about it! The Pulitzer Prize winning writer Thomas Ricks is visiting Portland (thanks to Longfellow Books and the Portland Public Library) for a talk about his latest work Churchill and Orwell: The Fight For Freedom. He’s studied the lives and works of Winston and George extensively and thusly can shed light on the commonalities between resisting an authoritative right and left. Fascism and oppression can take many forms; let’s not forget that. | FREE | 6:30 pm | Portland Public Library, 5 Monument Sq., Portland | https://www.portlandlibrary.com

 

FRIDAY 25

 

WINTER IS COMING | Summer’s winding to an end; how much time did you spend outside? Your answer is likely “not as much as I’d have liked to.” Yet, considering the next month, September, is often just as beautiful as August in Maine, you’ve still got time to embark on some nature adventures. Today kicks off the annual Life Happens Outside Festival, an event that’s practically begging you to unplug for a bit and take up a sport or some other recreational activity. Over 40 workshops and vendors will be there (as well as booze, food, and live music if you get bored) designed to explore topics like solar energy, coastal navigation, hiking safety, camping tips, how to find clean water outdoors, and how to read a map and compass. Plan one more big trip before it gets too nasty outside! (But then again, we feel like autumn is the best time to hike a mountain.) | $20 | 6 pm and All Day August 26 | 10 Thompson’s Pt., Portland | https://www.lifehappensoutside.org

 

THE RHYTHM OF LIFE | I’m convinced that there isn’t a single person that could honestly say they dislike the sounds off of Bonobo’s sophisticated new album Migrations. While Bonobo (real name Simon Greene) might not awaken a budding obsession for hazy downtempo electronica, you can’t deny that his latest is virtually diss-proof. He’s touring at the State Theatre today for a show that will undoubtedly be easy listening at worst, and an evocative sonic journey through language, culture, and dreamy textures at best. | $25 | 8 pm | State Theatre, 625 Congress St., Portland | http://www.statetheatreportland.com

 

CHILDREN OF THE SUN | The Micromassé jazz trio are sharing the stage with Katie Matzell, an accomplished local soul singer for a concert that’s bright, super-affordable, and wholesome. Pete Dugas on Micromassé’s organ playfully dominates over the sound and leads the ways through some tightly choreographed, and downright groovy compositions. Their latest work, Anthropocene, is a delight, but if you’ve paid a modicum of attention to the local jazz/funk scene, you already know that. | $12 | 8 pm | One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland | https://onelongfellowsquare.com

 

THE SHOW GOES ON | Management at Geno’s Rock Club fell into some hot water last week. I won't go into too much detail (it's mostly he said, she said at this point), but the gist of the drama is that a former employee wrote a widely read post online accusing the manager's fiancee of transphobia, amidst what she reports as a "malicious, sustained campaign of harassment against her." The person that deployed the hurtful language in a private conversation has since publicly apologized, as well as the rest of the Geno's management team. But people are still really pissed. Some have promised to never visit the club again. However, I do suspect that Geno's will weather this storm of controversy. The venue serves so much more than just its owner and manager, however intolerant of different gender identities they may or not be. Geno’s has been one of the few remaining spots in town where musicians/bands across the genre (and talent) spectrum are welcomed on stage for a chance to earn their chops with a dedicated crowd — often times free from judgment! But smaller, more inclusive venues like this need the community’s trust in order to pay their hard working acts, and who knows where that’s at right now given the torrent of one-star reviews it received on Facebook in the past week. Ultimately these murmurings of a boycott hurt the musicians that are just trying to get some rare paid stage time. Perhaps that’s the best argument for continuing to support the club; musicians need your ears. This evening Last Mercy Emissions presents a stimulating bill of loopmasters: Crimewave (electonica, hip hop), Trele the God (trap music), and Fenimore (vaporwave). | $5 | 9 pm | Geno’s Rock Club, 625 Congress St., Portland | 207-221-2382

SATURDAY 26

 

SUPPORT ARTISTS | About 100 local craftspeople will be showing off their wares today in between High and State streets. Think of it as a little mini First Friday Art Walk. It’s probably high-time that you bought something special for your parents. Here might be a good place to buy them something nice; older people love baskets, ceramics, fabrics, trinkets, and fine-art pieces, I hear. Besides, random gestures of goodwill seem to be a scarcity nowadays, and you don’t want to join the crowd do you? | FREE | 9:00 am to 4:00 pm | Congress St., Portland | http://www.mainecrafts.org

 

WHO’S THE ALPHA? | Today’s a huge day for fighting sports fans. They’ve waited all summer for this historic matchup: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor. This fight’s a big deal because Floyd’s an undefeated boxer, and McGregor’s a notorious MMA fighter, which means it will be not just brutal, and unpredictable, but the first fight pitting together opponents from different fighting backgrounds. The two have been at each other throats with vicious insults and brags, hyping up the fight to max for several months. These two fighters are such zany characters that the drama of it all has even attracted the interest of non-MMA fans like me. McGregor’s a hot-headed, tattooed, Irish monster who’s the type to order a million-dollar suit with the words “Fuck You” printed as the pinstripes, while Mayweather’s a legendary African-American boxer, with huge arms, an unavoidable right hook, and an ego that’s only eclipsed by his penchant for shit-talking. If you don’t have Pay-Per-View to watch the battle, there are two good spots in town airing the madness. For a $15 cover charge, you can watch the fight at Binga’s Stadium or the Fore Play Sports Pub. You might want some people around for emotional support anyway.

| $15 | 6 pm | Binga’s Stadium, 77 Free St., Portland | http://www.bingasstadium.com

 

FINE STRINGS | The exceptional mandolinist Joe K. Walsh and the Grammy-nominated bluegrass performer Celia Woodsmith are on stage tonight at One Longfellow Square, reminding guests that soul-stirring string music can easily double as an antidepressant. | $20 | 8 pm | One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland | https://onelongfellowsquare.com

 

TRUTH TO POWER | Some powerful forces in underground hip-hop, both locally and beyond, are converging on the SPACE Gallery for an onslaught of intense beats, rhymes, and maybe even some sociocultural analysis. Maine’s BRZOWSKI will be there debuting his third proper solo album, backed by the metal rock dudes of Vinyl Cape. Also on the bill is the genre-tweaking Ceschi Ramos, Portland’s rapper and hip-hop mobilizer Stay On Mars, the fun and lighthearted Spoken Nerd, and the trip-hop DJ Quiet Entertainer. There’s a lot of talent available to sample here for the measly fare of $8. | $8 | 8 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | http://space538.org

 

SUNDAY 27

 

YOUNG AND OLD | If for some reason you’ve ever wanted to dunk Mayor Ethan Strimling in a tank of water (or maybe just meet him, I guess), this Senior Carnival Smash would be the chance to do it. It’s an outdoor gathering in Edward Payson Park geared towards kids and seniors. If someone in your family fits that description and/or gets excited about magicians and hot air balloon rides, stroll by the fun if you’re in the area. | FREE | 10 am to 2 pm | Edward Payson Park, Ocean Ave., Portland

 

 

MONDAY 28

 

BREAK BREAD | I don’t know about you, but I’m not one to turn down a free meal, especially one featuring food from Baharat, the Portland Food Coop, and Wayside — all of which are top-notch quality. They’ll feed the neighborhood at this pop-up picnic that might make you realize the benefits of urban farms and community-led sustainability efforts. | FREE | 6 pm | Boyd Street Urban Farm, 2 Boyd St., Portland | www.waysidemaine.org/picnics

 

GET SILLY | Laughter’s strange and great, isn’t it? It’s a form of communication understood around the world. It makes breathing easier, and can help with depression. And at the very least, it feels good to submit to a completely involuntary burst of laughter. You can nurture this often overlooked, but quite mysterious emotional response at Blue, where these comedians will share their material: Kwasi Mensah, Colby Bradshaw, Connor McGrath, Jack Slattery, and Dawn Hartill. The hilarity starts on the Worst Day of the Week. | $5 | 8 pm | Blue, 650 Congress St., Portland | http://portcityblue.com/

 

ONE OF A KIND | Monday of the Minds, virtually Portland’s only serial show dedicated to local hip-hop, returns tonight with epic performances from GVTZ, Shameek The God, Notoriety, Spocka Summa, Peace Out Pat, Murka, and Ill Murray. | FREE | 9 pm | Flask Lounge, 117 Spring St., Portland | http://flasklounge.com

 

TUESDAY 29

 

WATERWORLD | Plenty of our readers aren’t leaving Portland anytime soon; some never will. And if you’re committed to this coastal town, at some point, you should familiarize yourself with how it could be impacted by climate change. In many ways, we live in a bowl with rising waters on three sides. With the rate the world’s warming, it’s almost guaranteed that coastal cities like ours will soon deal with problems related to this encroaching mass of seawater. Some like New Orleans, Miami, and Venice, already are. The scientists and educators over at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute are hosting a 90-minute presentation of what Portland might expect, and what you can do about it. | FREE | 6:30 pm | Gulf of Maine Research Institute, 350 Commercial St., Portland | http://www.gmri.org/events/calendar/preparing-sea-level-rise-0

 

HOW IT'S MADE | There’s no doubt the present (and future) of media exists on some version of the Internet. And experts say the primary way Internet users consume story-driven media is through video. Because of our obsession with smart editing, beautifully framed shots, and creative perspectives, cinematographers are typically respected across the board by the general public (unlike some directors or actors that work alongside them). We often think of cinematography as a “made it” career. But have you ever wondered what it takes to make a good video? Learning the techniques behind the craft should be super interesting, when the Emmy award-winning, globe-trotting cinematographer Zach Zamboni joins Portland Press Herald Features reporter Chelsea Conaboy for Maine Voices Live to discuss his time working on Anthony Bourdain’s travel food shows, where he brought cinematic aesthetics to nonfiction videos. | $10 | 7 pm | One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland | http://www.pressherald.com

 

WEDNESDAY 30

TRUTH TELLER | Hari Kondabolu, a steadily rising star in the comedy scene is returning to Portland for a stand-up show that shouldn’t be missed. His jokes are smart, poignant, and cut through political hypocrisy like a verbal razor. Kondabolu’s material explores race, gender, and class issues, but doesn’t hold back any punches that might make white folks in the crowd uneasy. For example, his most recent work The Problem With Apu, debuting this fall on TruTV, is a documentary exploring racist stereotypes of Indians and other people of color in comedy and films; it’s depressing, but at the same time, Kondabolu somehow made the issue funny. Fans of his report that he jokes about oppression and representation issues, but without making light of them, or resorting to any homophobic, racist, or classist caricatures. One might even call him woke. Go see him and restore your faith in truly progressive comedy. | $33 | 8 pm | Aura, 121 Center St., Portland | http://auramaine.com

 

THURSDAY 31

 

NEXT TIME | Maybe I still haven’t gotten used to disassociating September with the start of a new grueling school year, but there’s something depressing about the last day of August. It just feels like since the last summer month is over, there’s nothing but cold weather and workplace drudgery ahead of us for the next several months. But of course, this mindset is simply an illusion; good times only end if you let them. These escapes from the monotony of it all seem worthy of previewing next week: five metal bands of varying degrees of nihilism will throw down at Geno’s, the Bayside Trio will perform chamber music in Congress Square Park, an evening vigil for Mainers lost to drug overdoses will commence solemnly in Monument Square, the Downeast Soul Coalition will funk out during a free concert at Fort Allen Park, No Plan B will kick off at Thompson’s Pt, a light and sound show being billed as an “immersive, multi-media tent event,” and the Anju restaurant will take over the Urban Farm Fermentory for a kombucha and noodle pairing party.  

Last modified onTuesday, 22 August 2017 13:21