BEST IN THE BIZ | A big reason why Portland — unlike some rapidly growing American cities — retains its unique and hyper-local charm, is because of the success of its small businesses. Without out them, Congress St. would likely resemble Main Street USA: a soulless strip packed with chain restaurants, big box stores, and corporate kitsch. Today Portland honors its vibrant independent business community at the annual Indie Biz Awards. Although we all have our own ideas on which businesses are the best in town, let's gather to see who won the most votes. In addition the award show, guests will enjoy food, drinks, and live music from Saved And Sound, a duo comprised of Portland locals Monique Gaudet and Dave Jacquet.
| $5 | 6:00 pm | Portland House of Music and Events, 25 Temple St., Portland | https://www.portlandhouseofmusic.com/ |
2 + 2 = 5 | Do you really understand the similarities between today’s political climate and the themes present in George Orwell’s dystopian fiction 1984, or do you like to just gab about it to sound smart? If you never read 1984 (or didn't pay attention in high school) I recommend you revisit this classic — it’s a short, thrilling read, and the parallels to today (from mass surveillance and alternative facts to thought-crimes and an overbearing government) are quite striking. Armed with a refresher, attend this special screening of the film starring John Hurt and Richard Burton, and then stick around for a discussion on both the book and movie with Jason Read, the chair of Philosophy at the University of Southern Maine. Tell me, is there anything more exciting than literary analysis in our postmodern world?
| FREE | 6:30 pm | Portland Public Library, 5 Monument Square, Portland | https://www.portlandlibrary.com/ |
Muddy Ruckus. Photo By: Michael Lowe
STOMP YER FEET | Devot some precious minutes this evening to welcome power duo Hymn for Her during their first trip to Portland, and save some energy for the amount of jumping they'll inevitably convince you to take part in; these two don’t play for wallflowers. Hymn for Her has been touring across the country with their juiced-up blend of backwoods country-folk and desert psychedelia and finally decided that Maine needed a taste. I don’t know about you, but any band that’s described as “Hell’s Angels meets the Amish” immediately piques my interest. Joining these two on their hayride to hell is Muddy Ruckus, Portland’s rootsy Americana duo — they’ve got a rad new EP out called Awakening Enkindled, check it out on Spotify.
| $8 | 9:00 pm | Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland | http://www.portlandempire.com/ |
DREAMS OR NIGHTMARES | Take a risk on the unluckiest day of the year and sample these three bands performing tonight at Blue: the transcendent indie-folk band Olive Tiger, the graveyard bluesters of Fat Knuckle Freddy, and fiery Latin jazz group El Malo. Tonight’s not the night to stay at home (and watch Jason movies).
| DONATION BASED | 6:00 pm | Blue, 650 Congress St., Portland | http://portcityblue.com/ |
FOR THE CURIOUS | Chances are, you haven’t touched a VHS tape in years, let alone watched one; they're relics of a bygone era now! A massive amount of strange media from those times is undoubtedly archived somewhere online, but not everything is saved. Currently, the only way to watch something as obscure as an 80s law enforcement guide to Satanic cults, or bloopers from a small town North Dakotan news station is at the Found Footage Festival, a delightfully bizarre showcase of videos from a different time. See this.
| $12 | 7:00 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | http://www.space538.org/ |
SHHHHH! | Back in the days of silent cinema films would play in tandem with a live orchestra in an attempt to provide the sound effects and emotional resonance. Tonight the Art Department and Listen UP music aim to recreate that strange magic with a showing of their own original silent film with a synchronized soundtrack. The topic of the night’s entertainment is a big secret!
| $8 | 7:00 pm | Mayo Street Arts, 10 Mayo St., Portland | http://mayostreetarts.org/ |
DARK CINEMA | Can you believe an eighth Saw movie is in the works? Is it just me or are studios unaware of when to respectfully end a franchise? Here’s my prediction: the film’s commercial and critical success is relying on the popularity of its titular character Jigsaw, but instead will likely just be a 2-hour snooze fest, filled with cheesy jump scares and copious amounts of gore. Good horror sneaks under your skin and plagues your thoughts long after the credits roll. It shouldn’t be predictable. Maybe indie filmmakers that aren’t beholden to soulless cash grabs can conjure up the kind of deep frights seasoned horror fans crave. If that sounds like you, get your ass to Damnationland 2017, which opened up its lineup this year for international films for the first time ever, meaning this roster of shorts will be all over the map thematically. If our feature on page TK didn’t convince you this year’s fest is a scary go time, then I’m afraid you can’t be helped; go enjoy Jigsaw instead you freak.
| $15 | 7:45 pm | State Theatre, 609 Congress St., Portland | http://www.statetheatreportland.com/ |
HIDDEN GEM? | Ya know, I used to think Portland couldn’t sustain any more coffee shops, yet another one opens its doors to the public for the first time today on Wharf Street. Folks over at the new cafe Higher Grounds welcomes the community to preview their shiny space, and sample some of their potent brews and artisanal treats. (It’s still far too early to tell whether this place will be a local hotspot or a tourist magnet.) People who drop in will be offered a discounted ticket to Higher Grounds’ dance party featuring mosart212 and Jasen Loveland that will commence later in the evening at Maine Craft Distilling.
| FREE | 8:00 am to 6:00 pm | Higher Grounds, 45 Wharf St., Portland | http://www.highergrounds.me/ |
HOW TO DEAL WITH DEATH | October seems an appropriate time for such morbid thoughts, so I’m compelled to ask readers: do you know why we wear black at funerals? Or how about this one: why are we buried in wooden caskets anyway? Most of our mourning practices trace back to the 19th century, and most of us continue them without really knowing why. Professor Libby Bischof from the University of Southern Maine will host a fascinating lecture on why we demonstrate grief the way that we do. Bring some weird questions.
| $10 | 1:30 pm | Maine Historical Society, 489 Congress St., Portland | https://www.mainehistory.org/ |
PUFF, PASS, LEARN | God knows when, but eventually, Maine’s recreational marijuana market will open up with government approved regulation. But if you’re itching to launch your own cannabis business, there’s a lot you need to know first. Soak up that necessary knowledge today, and sip on some marijuana-infused coffee at the one and only 3rd Annual New England Cannabis Convention. And yes, you’re allowed to bring and exchange cannabis at the event! We’ve got details on page TK.
| $20 | 10:00 am to 4:00 pm | Portland Sports Complex, 512 Warren Ave., Portland | http://www.necann.com/ |
SLICE A FACE | You know what makes pumpkin carving about 60 percent more interesting? When you add craft beer and turn it into a competition. Some determined folks will team up and speed carve some pumpkins and after one hour you’ll get to judge which one’s the most grotesque. In the past, this AIGA Maine event’s proved to be hilarious and fun. Recommended.
| FREE |1:00 pm to 4:00 pm | Foundation Brewing, 1 Industrial Way, Portland | http://foundationbrew.com/ |
DRAWING WITH LIGHT | Any hobby photographers out there? If you habitually like to take “slice of life” shots, head to Deering Oaks Park for what could be a good photo opportunity — if Instagram influencers are any reliable judge of aesthetic quality, that is. Tonight marks the 3rd Annual Portland Lantern Walk, and I imagine with the diffused light of a setting sun, leaves on the ground, and lanterns floating above a line of Portlanders, it could make for some conventional lovely, atmospheric snapshots.
| FREE | 5:00 pm | Deering Oaks Park, Portland | http://www.deeringoaks.org/ |
SILENT READING PARTY | Reading is typically a solitary affair, but if you’re the type that prefers to be seen with a book, head to Tandem for a silent reading party. Other bookworms will be there too and together you can sneer at the simple fools that consider mindlessly scrolling online newsfeeds as their “reading for the day.” Keep up, screen zombies.
| FREE | 2:00 pm | Tandem Coffee, 742 Congress St., Portland | https://www.tandemcoffee.com/ |
PARTY IN STYLE | This Monday doesn’t have to be drab and boring like the all the rest. Especially when Portland’s lovely songstress Viva and her eight-piece ensemble The Reinforcements are playing a short set at Aura tonight, kicking off a classy night of elegant tunes, sexy dance numbers, and magical connections. Viva’s particularly excited for this show because she’s opening for Pink Martini, a globetrotting 12-piece act that melds a bunch of sophisticated, stylish, period genres together (in multiple languages) — they've served as the leading inspiration for her musical focus in Latin dance and jazz.
| $30 | 6:30 pm | Aura, 121 Center St., Portland | http://auramaine.com/ |
TEXTUAL EMBERS | A rotating lineup of poets and writers take the stage upstairs at Bull Feeney’s every Tuesday for the Port Veritas series, weekly nights of storytelling somewhere on the idea spectrum between silly nonsense and deep revelations. This week, it’s veteran poet Tony Brown’s turn to show you where he finds meaning in a logo-centric world. Visit his blog Dark Matter for a preview of what’s in his head. You’ve been warned.
| $5 | 7:30 pm | Bull Feeney’s, 375 Fore St., Portland | https://www.facebook.com/port.veritas |
KILLING TIME | As cogs in the giant capitalist machine, subconsciously we’re always chasing a sweet deal. Here’s a free tip on a good one: a three-band show for a three dollar cover with three dollar beers at the bar. Can’t beat that. This week’s edition of Empire’s cheap-easy night features Boston’s Best Not Broken, the bluesy rock trio of Bees Deluxe, and Portland’s melody-driven Xander Nelson.
| $3 | 9:00 pm | Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland | http://www.portlandempire.com/ |
COLLABORATION HUB | You should meet some of the people that work at Portland’s fairly new (it only opened this summer) Immigrant Welcome Center. The folks using that space aren’t just interesting and kind, they also might be able to help you or your neighbor. They connect Portland’s immigrant community with organizations, businesses, and people so they can best pursue whatever short or long-term goal lies ahead of them, whether it be learning a language, getting into school or finding a job. It’s only natural that 2 Degrees Portland linked up with them, as their mission is very similar. Tonight the two organizations will gather for a meet and greet, and you’re invited. (There’s free food, too.)
| FREE | 5:30 pm | The Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center, 24 Preble St., Portland | http://www.welcomeimmigrant.org/ |
CHOICES | Although abortion is legal in the U.S., the fervor of the “pro-life” movement — especially in Trump’s America — can’t be understated. (A bill banning abortions after 20 weeks just passed the House and is likely to pass the Senate too.) While third wave feminism and solid journalism have done a lot to elucidate these attacks on a woman’s right to choose, some would say they haven’t done much to shed light on how these political and social battles over abortion affect women in minority and/or impoverished communities. How hard is it, for example, for a low-income earning black woman to get an abortion in the red state of Mississippi? A film titled Jackson follows Shannon Brewer who owns the only abortion clinic in the state and the lives of three young women of color. Jackson’s an emotional heavy journey, but one that’s definitely worth taking. It’s screening tonight at SPACE thanks to an effort from the ACLU of Maine and Planned Parenthood, organizations that mobilize on a daily basis around intersectional issues like this.
| $8 | 7:00 pm | SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland | http://www.space538.org/ |
Diane Cluck. Photo By: Derrick Belcham
CHORDS OF MAGIC | Simply put, Diane Cluck has one of the most interesting and unique voices amongst vocalists today. Her fluttery pitch, haunting beauty, and arresting style are unmistakably hers, and it’s an enchanting experience every time she visits Portland. Don’t miss this semi-rare chance to hear a poet in full control of her intense voice. Joining Cluck tonight are musicians Sam Moss and Jerusha Robinson.
| $10 | 8:00 pm | The Apohadian Theatre, 107 Hanover St., Portland | https://theapohadion.wordpress.com/ |
AROUND THE CORNER | Next week we’ll check in with the critically acclaimed “theatre rock star” Leslie Odom Jr. (he’ll be at Merrill for what’s expected to be a musically vibrant lesson in suaveness), the Apohadion Theatre for details on “an introspective dance party” (whatever that means), the historic Eastern Cemetery for rumors about “ghostly storytellers,” and Mayo Street Arts for a night they’ve dubbed “a hot evening in Hell.” And that’s all just in one evening; Portland knows how to keep its restless busy.
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