I’m betting that there’s someone in your life who has, in various pinched, high-pitched
British accents, repeated dialogue to you from Monty Python and the Holy Grail ad
nauseam. Even if you’ve never actually seen the movie, this (probably lonely, Dungeons &
Dragons–playing) friend of yours has seen to it that you know at least all the major scenes
by heart. Clearly, your life has been culturally enriched. Now’s your chance to give back.
Take this poor soul to mix with others of his or her kind at the Freeport High School Drama
Club’s version of Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail. Tim Ryan directs
a 40-minute version that will be entered into competition later this year. The zaniness
commences at 7:30 p.m. today through Saturday. Tickets are $5. Call (207) 865-4671. Whew!
Made it through with no quotes!
Members of the Elephant 6, a sprawling indie-rock music clique from Athens, Georgia, are adept at
creating a lot out of very little. From Elf Power’s space-folk concept albums to Olivia Tremor
Control’s cinematic scope to Of Montreal’s psycho-pop psychedelia, these artists use everything
in their lo-fi means to produce truly elephantine works. See what I mean when Of Montreal’s Kevin
Barnes brings his multimedia “A Pollinair Rave” to SPACE Gallery (538 Congress Street, Portland)
tonight at 8 p.m. Barnes will have help from prerecorded backing tracks and dialogue, as well as
live dialogue and pantomime from brother David (who also happens to illustrate all of the band’s
album covers) and Nina Grottland, of the Norwegian group the Ethnobabes. In addition to
illustrative slides, a short story, and some Montreal tunes, Barnes and company have prepared
a short parody of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Since this tragedy also sets the
framework for Salman Rushdie’s The Ground Beneath Her Feet, the performance couldn’t
come at a stranger time; the militant Islamic fatwa against Rushdie for his book
The Satanic Verses has, sadly, just been renewed. Call (207) 828-5600. $6.
Maine’s roots-music tradition goes back a long way. Schooner Fare has cranked out 13 albums
in more than 25 years, filling the time between pressings touring from Halifax to Washington, DC.
Their blend of folksongs, traditional Irish songs, and Maine–inspired maritime music prepared
local audiences for today’s large crop of local roots groups. Their performance at the State
Theater (609 Congress Street, Portland) tonight marks their 25th annual reunion concert with
Devonsquare. A benefit concert originally organized by Jack McPhillips back in the ‘70s,
the yearly event still benefits charities in the Greater Portland area. Tickets to the 8 p.m.
show are $22. Call (207) 775-3331.
As it is with Dark Star Orchestra, the country’s premiere Dead cover band, so it goes with the
Machine, Pink Floyd’s tribute group: the era and album being covered are key. Will the
Machine’s show at the Asylum (121 Center Street, Portland) tonight feature prime Barrett–era
druggy cosmic wonder, Ummagumma experimentation, the self-indulgency of The Wall, or
the ickily slick sax sounds on 1988’s Delicate Sound of Thunder (Live)? These are
important questions. Pink Floyd of 1965 bear little resemblance to Floyd of ’85 or even ’95.
(Is the LED on your copy of Pulse still blinking away?) On most of their stops on the
current tour, the Machine are covering Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety, so
that’s a good guess. Call (207) 772-8274 to find out for sure. The 8 p.m. show is $10:
Set the controls for the heart of the sun.
Portland, Oregon’s Imago Theatre started out life as a little tadpole, exploring the bounds of
their small stage with physical comedy and masks. Twenty-four years on, Imago has grown into
a renowned touring ensemble that creates and stages its own experimental works, the latest of
which is FROGZ. Written by Carol Triffle and Jerry Mouawad, FROGZ shows the troupe
sticking to its original ideas — combining physical comedy and masks — but expanding the
concept’s scope. In most cases, the “masks” are full-body costumes, abstract glow-in-the-dark
ribbons of light, or projected faces on blank heads. Frogs hop pneumatically, waddling penguins
bully audience members to give up their seats, and a cat attempts to fight its way out of a
gigantic paper bag at Bowdoin’s Pickard Theater in Brunswick on Friday. Call (207) 725-3375
for tickets to the 7:30 p.m. show ($10, children $5). FROGZ overruns the Music Hall
(28 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire) the following night at 7 p.m. Tickets range
from $14 to $28 and can be had by calling (603) 433-3100.
Jabe Beyer’s new double disc, Drama City, runs the alt-country gamut from the
shuddering cow-punk of “Those Times Are Over” and the slow-burn Neil Young–guitar threaded
through “Damn Them Big Brown Eyes” to the more laid-back Americana of “Pitch Black Road.”
Jabe’s gift for songcraft and vocalýdelivery is in evidence at every point on the record;
check out his gruff Shane MacGowan delivery on “Kelly Maguire”: “I met this girl named Kelly
Maguire/With hair like straw and a tongue like fire./She had whiskey, and we had fun.” Makes
you wish for a girl cut from the same cloth. Jabe holds a CD-release party at the Barley Pub
in Dover, New Hampshire, at 10 p.m. on Friday, call (603) 742-4226, and at Gritty McDuff’s,
396 Fore Street, Portland, Saturday at 9 p.m. Call (207) 772-2739 for cover.
Dwight Mitchell was flipping through the pages of Relationships, a quarterly Christian
youth-group publication, when he was struck down, he says, Saul-on-the-road-to-Damascus style by an
article featuring a young woman’s diary entries that described her finding God. Some frantic phone
calls to the editor of the mag, collaboration with the diarist, several trips to a Michigan recording
studio, and three and a half years later, Mitchell had a full-blown Christian rock opera on his hands.
Mitchell’s dream to put the words to music was brought to fruition through a set of happy
coincidences — trading construction gigs for studio time, letting the Eastern Michigan Gospel
Choir sleep on his floor in return for backing vocals, getting the album art done for free,
roping in Joe Brien at Big Sound to help with some of the recording — completed (seemingly)
only through God’s grace. Dwight Mitchell, Christina Grant, and others rock with the
Lord at the CD-release party for The Diary, at Stroudwater Christian Church,
1520 Westbrook Street, Portland. At 7:30 p.m. $5 suggested donation. Call (207) 671-9300.
For the skater Betty and the slack-jawed baggy-panted boy she loves, there’s no better way to
spend today than hanging out at the Ramped: Skate and Sound show at Rye Airfield, Route 1,
in Rye, New Hampshire. FNX will be there at 3 p.m. as professionals and amateurs compete in the
skate park for prizes (sneakers, cash, and the like). At 9 p.m., Crowne Vict open for
6gig, who are recording a video there: this is your chance to play the rabid fan in
the pit! Tickets to the skate are $6, concert and video shoot are $8, $12 for both. Call (603)
Since 1869, the Portland Rossini Club has presented annual classical concert series
featuring its members and guest artists. That makes it the oldest still-operating such organization
in the United States. Still kicking after all these years, the Rossini presents its members and
this year’s guest group, the Bonney Eagle High School Select Chorus, performing Vivaldi’s
Gloria, an opera duet by Delibes, and sonatas by Scarlatti. The 3 p.m. concert is at
Trinity Episcopal Church, on the corner of Coyle Street and Forest Avenue, Portland. $5.
Call (207) 878-6286.
Stillhouse Studio Theatre makes its first run of the spring season with an evening of musical
performances by Chriss Sutherland and Colleen Kinsella. Momentarily shedding
their band mates in Cerberus Shoal, Sutherland and Kinsella will play original folk songs.
That’s “folk” with a fully enunciated “l”: their music is as highly personal and idiosyncratic
as the folk music of pre-war Appalachian hill people and backwater bayou strummers. As they
put it, the music’s intended for “strong stomachs and the architecturally minded.” Sutherland
and Kinsella are at the Stillhouse Studio on the second floor of 108 High Street, Portland,
at 7:30 p.m. for a suggested donation of $5. Call (207) 879-5498 for more information and
look out for upcoming Stillhouse Run events.
The deluxe packaging for Tori Amos’s latest release, Scarlet’s Walký(sounds
like a trudge to the gallows, doesn’t it?), includes stickers, a bracelet charm, Polaroids
from Tori’s post–September 11 trip across America, and a bonus DVD: boo-yah! The real bonus,
of course, is that the album seems to be a return to form foé the artist — good, original songs,
sensitively arranged. In this modern DVD-extras/re-mastered-with-bonus-tracks/deluxe-boxed-set age,
one girl alone at a piano might not be enough, so Amos will bolster her set by bringing bassist
Jon Evans and drummer Matt Chamberlain on stage with her tonight at the Merrill
(20 Myrtle Street, Portland), at 7:30 p.m., as well as newly added opener Rhett Miller
of Old 97s, purveyors of all things Texas: beer, barrooms, women, rock, and country music. Call
(207) 842-0800 for the $45 tickets. The tour moves on to the Whittemore Center in Durham,
New Hampshire, tomorrow night. Call (603) 868-7300 for tickets.
Cafe, untainted milk, that is? Many poor and working-class families in urban areas in the late
1800s didn’t; in many cases, by the time the calcium-rich white stuff had made it from udder
to the kitchen table, it had gone sour, or worse, carried diphtheÛia, tuberculosis, or typhoid.
It wasn’t long, however, before the government attempted to correct this problem: Munjoy Hill
got its first milk station, part of the public-health plan to dispense “clean” milk, in 1911.
Annette K. Vance Dorey gives a talk on this topic today at noon entitled “The Milk
Connection: Portland’s Infant Milk Station and Public Health Education.” The free lecture
is at the Maine Historical Society, 489 Congress Street, Portland. Call (207) 774-1822.
Vacating their posts at the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Daniel Stabrawa, Christian
Stadelmann, Neithard Resa, and Jan Diesselhorst sneak out on the road every so
often as Philharmonia Quartett Berlin and still manage to retain their day jobs. Perhaps
that’s because all the critical praise they generate on their own eventually trickles back to
the mother ship. Or it could be that they hold the linchpin positions of principal concertmaster
and string-section leaders in the orchestra. The fabulous foursome perform a quick one while
they’re away, an all–Beethoven program, at Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle Street, Portland at
7:30 p.m. Call (207) 842-0800 for tickets ($28, $37).
MY NAME IS MUD
What is there to separate Mudvayne from the horde of bands mired in the nu-metal muck?
Not a heck of a lot, honestly. They are from Peoria, Illinois — that’s kind of a novelty
birthplace. And they do dress in costume and sport adopted stage names — Kud, Gurrg, sPaG,
and Ryknow (or Chüd, Güüg, Spüg, and R-üD, depending on which album you’re listening to).
But in spite of these gimmicks (or because of them) they play predictable heavy metal for the
disaffected youth of the nation. The fact that they aren’t that distinguishable from their peers,
however, also means that they grind out the kind of crunching, low-end riffs and
glass-shard-gargling vocals that youngsters know and love. Their show at the State Theatre,
609 Congress Street, Portland, tonight opens with local costumed freaks audioblacK
and Ransom. Call (207) 775-3331 for tickets to the 7:30 p.m. show.