Francis Flisiuk

Francis Flisiuk

Post-Saccarappa, Westbrook tries to find its artistic footing

TJI_Westbrook artists 2_100115When the Saccarappa Art Collective, a gallery that featured the work of 70 of Maine’s creative professionals, shut its doors for the last time back in December, there was an artistic void left in the town of Westbrook. The closing saddened the local creative community.

8 Days A Week: Funding a studio and a punk homage


LADIES ONLY | Widely described as America’s “native drink,” and hailing originally from backwoods distilleries in Kentucky, bourbon is alcoholic perfection. Bourbon tastes a little bit like smoky liquid toast with molasses and a bit of a sting. It’s a type of whiskey made primarily from corn, and it easily conjures images of the American South, with rugged male farmers or ranchers ordering the oaky spirit in smoky, dimly lit bars. But the notion that bourbon is a drink for males has been diminishing across the nation. In fact the first known sour mash recipe was done by a woman, Catherine Spears in the 1800s. Today many women hold top positions at distilleries and more and more are ordering the amber spirit the way it should be enjoyed: straight. Locally there’s a group of women dedicated to learning the history, production and tastes of bourbon, proving you don’t have to have a special anatomy to appreciate a complex drink. The Portland Spirits Society is inviting any woman to join them in a special sampling of four different kinds of bourbon, as they discuss the different styles. Bourbon can also be used for cooking, too! Dean’s Sweets will be on hand to educate the vital role that bourbon plays in making chocolate truffles. And yes, they’ll be those delectable sweet treats there as well. | $25 | 6:00pm | GRACE, 15 Chestnut St., Portland |

8Days: Honoring loved ones lost, and taking in reggae goliath Sean Paul

THURSDAY, Sept. 24

SONY DSCDARK ROMANCE | First performed in 1893, the story of Pelléas and Mélisande is a forbidden love story that’s best suited for the opera format. The Friends of Congress Square Park are hosting an evening screening of this strange, tragic and oddly beautiful thwarted love story, directed and designed by postmodernism Richard Wilson at the Salzburg Festival in 1997. And it’s not just a love story. It’s a cycle of creation and destruction where the two title characters govern their actions and walk the thin line between love and peace, and revenge and chaos. But it’s Wilson’s style of stage production that’s really to be admired here. This 122-year-old love triangle is reimagined with a dreamlike, minimalist design, and streaks of shifting, melancholic blues. Each frame of the opera looks like a ghostly painting. Picnic food and blankets are encouraged. | FREE | 7:30pm | Congress Square Park, Portland |

Addiction, relapse and overdose: Maine finds itself in the grip of heroin

I have made the big decision

I'm gonna try to nullify my life

'Cause when the blood begins to flow

When it shoots up the dropper's neck

When I'm closing in on death

And you can't help me not you guys

And all you sweet girls with all your sweet silly talk

You can all go take a walk.

  • “Heroin” by the Velvet Underground

  • Published in News

‘Addicts don’t really have a choice’: the hard road to recovery

Contrary to popular belief, and media like Breaking Bad or Requiem for a Dream, first-time heroin users seldom jump straight to the needle and get an instantaneous, one-hit, addiction. That’s not to say that heroin isn’t highly addictive, it is. The addiction is more benign at first, with users initially feeling clear as a bell after a night of ingestion. But after time, something scary starts to happen.

  • Published in News

8Days: New ‘Playing for Change’ inspiration and Hawaii-themed tunes

THURSDAY, Sept. 17

PLENTY OF ROCK | Despite four-band veteran Blake Schwarzenbach cancelling due to illness, fans of local punk music still have much to look forward to at this upcoming show at Studio 55. Hailing from Kennebunk, and inspired by drunk driving arrests, babes and chain smoking, the band Spillers will be there. You might recognize them from Geno’s Rock Club, where they’ve been tearing it up for the past couple weeks, with their heartfelt vocals and Kerouacian influenced songwriting. Alongside them will be the bands The Ear Bleeds and Ray’s Occult. The show is now free and refunds will be given to people that are still bummed that former Jawbreaker Blake won’t be showing up. | FREE | 8:00pm | 55 Market St., Portland |

8Days: From Passion Pit rescheduled to All Time Low for the masses

THURSDAY, Sept. 10

PSYCHEDELIA | Moved from a backyard in East Bayside, the Sunburned Hand of the Man concert will be played instead at the annex of SPACE Gallery — I suspect due to the psychedelic nature of the show and the suspected discontent of some of East Bayside's older inhabitants. The move is good, though, because this band won’t be playing alone and they need some SPACE, to accommodate folk music cognoscente and former artist in residence Nathan Salsburg alongside fellow tour mate Joan Shelley. Sunburned Hand of the Man has a unique sound, to say the least. Their influences are unique, too, as they list salt, pepper, World War II, the church, dysfunctional families and “the streets” as inspirations behind their trippy, trancelike music. Take the song “Wedlock,” for example, it’s basically an acid trip for your ears. They’re a psychedelic punk trio from Boston and they’re known for their droning improvisations and ethereal vocals. Songs like “Fire Escape,” and “Alpha Beta Adam,” seem chaotic and manic, but it’s fun to hear the droning bits the band throw at you. A lot of Sunburned’s songs are danceable as well, like “Action Figure” with its electro bass and chirping radar blips. If Sunburned isn’t your style, then appreciate the nuanced notes and charming acoustics of Nathan Salsburg and Joan Shelley. | $10 | 8:00 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland |

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