IN MEMORIAM | Almost 100 people are dying every day from drug related accidents or overdoses. Experts say that half a million Americans will die from opiates in the next decade. The problem isn’t going anywhere, and we’ve heard disturbingly little out of both LePage and Trump’s administration on strategies to alleviate this deadly crisis. For now, Mainer’s will gather in Monument Square for International Overdose Awareness Day, to do the one thing they unfortunately know all too well: grieve the loss of a loved one impacted by this epidemic. If you know of anyone who’s perished from drug addiction, write their name on a paper lantern, and honor them with others who might share your pain.
DRAWN AND QUARTERED | Any aspiring cartoonists or visual humorists should definitely swing by MECA this evening for a dose of inspiration (and maybe some jealousy). The talented illustrator Mimi Pond (whose work has appeared in the Simpson’s, the LA Time, Seventeen Magazine, and National Lampoon to name a few) will be sharing some tricks of the trade, as well as some insight into what it takes to create a compelling graphic novel.
| FREE | 7:00 pm | Osher Hall, Maine College of Art, 522 Congress St., Portland | https://www.meca.edu/ |
HATE THYSELF | This “sad af” emo, pop punk dance party at Empire, could easily double as a chance to purge whatever emotional baggage has been weighing you down all week. Pretend it’s 2002 and come shake it off to some post-hardcore hits.
| FREE | 10:00 pm | Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland | http://www.portlandempire.com/ |
RALLY AGAINST HATE | In light of massive amounts of resistance, word on the street is that several far-right/white nationalist rallies that were once scheduled across the country have now been canceled. While those fools are hugely outnumbered, countering their racist agenda is far from over. While some Portlanders use First Friday as a chance to buy and sell art, local activist Harlan Baker is fulfilling a small but important role: he’s utilizing the increased foot traffic downtown to urge others to publicly denounce white supremacy. Join him and others for the monthly Say No To Racism rally.
| FREE | 5:30 pm | Monument Square, Portland |
BYE BYE SUMMER | Fans of controlled explosions won’t get any other chances to see fireworks locally this year. If that bums you out, take advantage of this big show igniting into the sky after the Seadogs take on the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Boom.
| $14 | 6:00 pm | Hadlock Field, Portland |
CHARMS AND HOPE | One of the area's best, and most dedicated reggae acts play tonight at Mayo Street Arts. Mystic Vibes, a Portland five-piece, debuted in 1998, and have been the primary source of Rastafari philosophy, and true to form reggae music for Mainers ever since. If the events of this week have put you in a bad mood, these guys might hold the cure.
| $12 | 7:30 pm | Mayo Street Arts, 10 Mayo St., Portland | http://mayostreetarts.org/ |
FIST PUMP TIME | New York based band Wild Adriatic is known to put on a flawlessly tight rock-n-roll show. They mix in the right amounts of grit, groove, and grime to keep their sound interesting, and do get a little predictable with their guitar riffs, but only when the moment calls for it. They’re playing a full-throttle show tonight at Port City featuring lyrical themes of personal evolution, political strife, and frequent heartbreak. Joining them are the McLovins, another politically conscious, but 100% fun prog-rock foursome.
| $12 | 8:00 pm | Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St., Portland | http://www.portcitymusichall.com/ |
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED | Trying to describe Dreadnaught’s music in words is like trying to sing underwater; it can be done, but it still doesn’t sound right. I’ll give it a shot anyway. At times the ambitious Portsmouth trio sounds like conventional prog-rock, other times they let loose with funky grooves, avant garde blues, and deranged punk anthems. And they’ve also flirted with country rock and black metal too. Take their latest 6th album Hard Chargin’, it’s all over the place stylistically, but that’s what their fans have come to love. It seems like Dreadnaught’s built around bucking rock trends and combining that attitude with a whirlwind pace for an exciting time. Also on the bill are Sunrunner and Galactacos.
| $10 | 8:00 pm | Portland House of Music and Events, 25 Temple St., Portland | http://www.portlandhouseofmusic.com/ |
FIGHT BACK | John Jenkins, an author, educator, and martial artist says that the difference between being paranoid and prepared is being informed. I would agree. And when it comes to self-defense, Jenkins wants local women to get informed. He’s launching an accessible, approachable, and incredibly useful self-defense course built around these four tenets: simplicity, avoidance, focus, and escaping. We are lucky enough to live in a fairly safe city, but it can never hurt to feel empowered and ready if a street encounter turns ugly.
| $28 | 11:00 am | Portland New Church, 302 Stevens Ave., Portland | http://movementnerdsunite.com/ |
2017 IS WEIRD | Surely it can’t be overstated that we live in unsettling times. We’ve got a reality star president who’s undermining our national security by going off on Twitter (to name just one of countlessly disturbing behaviors). Nazis and Anarchists are relevant again, and battling it out on the streets. Trust in the press is at an all time low. People are debating what is and isn’t free speech. The oceans are rising, and robots are getting exponentially smarter. North Korea’s successfully testing ballistic missiles. This particular moment in time is simultaneously strange, scary, exciting and absurd, yet many of us (particularly those with social privilege) seem content with ignoring our collective issues in favor of updating our Snapchat and tuning into the new Rick and Morty episode. Well, the creatives over at Mayo Street Art want you to snap back to reality and experience their latest performance: Bread & Puppet: Our Domestic Insurrection. With a giant puppet spectacle, the aim to highlight all the urgencies and absurdities of life in America today.
| FREE | 5:30 pm | Fort Allen Park, Eastern Promenade, Portland | http://mayostreetarts.org/ |
HUMAN SOUNDS | Four great bands are converging at Geno’s for such a cheap, introspective, and talent packed show, that it’d be a faux-pas to miss. Portland’s quintet Arcadia will be there and are stoked to debut their new single “Dryspell,” a tune about a couple struggling with love and loss. Also on the bill are on the Maine made jam rock band Hours North, the ethereal rock band Dreamer & Son, and the thought-provoking indie-rock trio Mirth. If you’re uncertain about where you're floating off to in life, these bands offer sounds that make you feel grounded and confident.
| $10 | 9:00 pm | Geno’s Rock Club, 525 Congress St., Portland | https://bandofmirth.bandcamp.com/releases |
JERK CHICKEN AND TUNES | Kicking back with some authentic live reggae music and deliciously spicy Caribbean food, in the best park in Portland, sounds like the perfect way to break up a lazy Sunday afternoon. Bring a blanket and just witness the present moment for a minute during Reggae In Da Park 2017.
| FREE | 2:00 pm | Deering Oaks Park, Portland |
WORSHIP THE IDOL | If I asked you who won American Idol in 2011, is there any chance in hell you’d be able to produce a name? Google tells me the winner was a chap named Scotty McCreery, who used the publicity in tandem with his talent to launch an enviously successful career in country music. Indeed he became the youngest artist to have a country music album debut on the top 200 general Billboard charts. That’s impressive for a dude born in ‘93. Anyway, he’s coming to town today, which is probably a big deal for some people and just whatever to the rest of us. If you like mainstream country-rock, and maybe wouldn’t mind staring at some sparkly blue eyes and a chiseled jaw line (the dude’s a handsome one), this show’s for you.
| $30 | 8:00 pm | Aura, 121 Center St., Portland | http://auramaine.com/ |
WORKERS UNITE | In more ways than one, we work in an economic system that favors profits over the well-being of its workers. The folks over at the Southern Maine Workers Center believe that everybody has a right to dignified employment. What does that mean? Well, for starters, it means people shouldn’t be working while they’re sick, yet many do out of fear of losing what few wages they could earn that day. Here’s a crazy idea: why not send them home and pay them anyway? Everybody gets sick after all. This labor day, join the SMWC and at least eight other progressive organizations in a march and rally that’s calling for paid sick days in Maine, so that lower middle-class earners don’t have to forsake their very well-being for a couple more dollars in their paycheck. They believe that paid sick leave for everyone isn’t just a moral imperative, but a public health necessity.
| FREE | 10:00 am | Maine Irish Heritage Center, 34 Gray St., Portland | https://maineworkers.org/ |
BRIGHT BEATS | Watch the sun retreat behind the horizon to the otherworldly beats of DJ and producer Mosart212 when he performs an elevated set on the rooftop of Bayside Bowl. Known for his eclectic trip-hop style and beautiful grooves, Mr. Nunez will surely create the perfectly chill atmosphere to whittle down the stresses of the day.
| FREE | 6:00 pm | Bayside Bowl, 58 Alder St., Portland | https://www.baysidebowl.com/ |
NOT SO WILD | We’re running out of truly wild places in this country. Sure, we’ve got protected wildlife reserves, and National Parks, but even those aren’t completely free of human impact. Take it from Les Stroud, who traveled to the world’s remotest places on his genre-starting hit show Survivorman, and reflected on a recent podcast that even in the middle of nowhere it’s still easy to find evidence of human activity, whether it be through power lines, railroad tracks, or even a discarded plastic bottle just beginning its 1,000 year decomposition cycle. Although we humans have thoroughly dominated every corner of the world, we still have to share the space with other organisms. The process of “rewilding,” a conservation strategy that involves restoring natural ecosystems to their former, pre-industrial glory, could help reverse some of our most egregious encroachments upon nature. Could rewilding count as an effective form of environmental activism? What would local efforts look like? Nature loving Portlanders will gather to discuss, will sipping on some sweet booch from the Urban Farm Fermentory. Join them, if you care.
| FREE | 5:00 pm | Urban Farm Fermentory, 200 Anderson St., Portland | https://www.fermentory.com/ |
VR HACK NIGHT | Enthusiastic techies are confident that we’re only a decade or two away from virtual reality technology that’s indistinguishable from real life. I think that’s a bit optimistic. If you’ve ever messed around with a VR headset, you know what I mean; choppy frame rates, less than photorealistic graphics, and a short but noticeable delay in rendering when you turn your head, makes it hard to sell the illusion that you’re in another world, and not just wearing a heavy pair of goggles with screens in them. However, current technologies still offer a unique, fun, and bizarre experience. Seriously, if you’ve never tried them, they’re definitely worth a first-time demo. Big Room Studios is opening its doors for folks to try out some hardware including the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift with Touch, a bunch of Samsung Gear, Google Cardboard, a PlayStation VR, and some 360 video cameras.
| FREE | 7:00 pm | Big Room Studios, 4 Thompson’s Pt., Portland | https://www.bigroomstudios.com/ |
Eilen Jewell has been playing hard to categorize "country music" since 2006. Photo By: Joanna Chattman.
FINDING TREASURE | Described as honest, confident, and powerfully versatile, Eilen Jewell’s nothing short of a bonafide musicologist. Her undying passion for studying American music has armed her with the skills necessary to thoroughly captivate a crowd. This “Queen of the Minor Key” does this by disarming listeners with her gorgeous voice, and then transfixing them in place with vintage sounds and vision of forgotten country backdrops. And she plans to do just that when she tours through Portland with her newest release Down Hearted Blues. But writer her off as just another country singer. With her intimate knowledge of styles spanning bluegrass, blues, folk, rockabilly, surf-noir, and classic rock, and a palpable love for musical storytelling, such a label would surely be selling her short.
| $18 | 8:00 pm | One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland | https://onelongfellowsquare.com/ |
CERTAIN FUTURES | Consult these pages next week for details on what we humbly believe are Portland’s finest cultural, educational, and recreational offerings. There’s never enough space to highlight everything Portland has to offer, so we curate the ones we think are most worth your precious time. There’s only so many hours in the day after all! Next week we’re thinking of looking into these (likely) memorable events: a panel discussion at the SPACE Gallery about what it’s like to navigate through life in Maine as a young Muslim girl, another discussion/lecture at the Portland Ballet Studio about women in the arts industry, a very fun free film screening at Congress Square Parks (wuxia fans, stay tuned), and an Overnight Low concert at the Portland House of Music with Bri Lane as the opener. Until then, hit us up on Facebook or Twitter if you feel like there’s something else that should be blinking on our radar.