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A good festival becomes a great one in the Midcoast this weekend
Last year, the big stories out of the Camden International Film Festival were its newfound industry cachet and a very noticeable uptick in Portlanders making the trip up to Midcoast Maine's annual documentary showcase.
| September 28, 2011
Four-hour showstoppers and Malcolm McDowell come to Waterville
Into the Woods
Boasting a high-profile selection of archival prints and to-be-buzzed-about small films, the 14th Maine International Film Festival begins on Friday and runs through July 24 at locations in Waterville, primarily HQ Railroad Square Cinema. Herein, a guide to the festivities.
| July 13, 2011
Mod Night at Empire Dine and Dance, June 3
Speaking from experience collaborating with him on the decks, the litmus test that best gauges the success of any Ian Paige DJ night is how well Booker T and the MGs' "Green Onions" goes over.
| June 08, 2011
Review: My Heart Is An Idiot
Davy Rothbart's misadventures in David Meiklejohn's first feature film
Is My Heart is an Idiot an act of utter solipsism or utter self-effacement?
| May 10, 2011
Atomik at Bayside Bowl, March 15
Having a DJ (or, in this case, two) play your bowling night is a luxury, but damned if it doesn't seem like an obligatory one on occasion.
| March 23, 2011
Robyn at the State Theatre, January 29
With each of her three 2010 Body Talk EPs armed with a single-of-the-year contender (in the just-slightly-ironic, pop-chart-averse blog-critic sense), it's been hard to ignore Swedish pop star Robyn's status as in indie icon these past 12 months.
| February 16, 2011
Review: And Everything Is Going Fine (2010)
Spalding Gray's story
"Maybe I should just tell you some of the facts as I remember them," the late, acclaimed monologist and actor Spalding Gray says early on in Steven Soderbergh's documentary collage, And Everything is Going Fine .
| February 02, 2011
Blood Wedding on January 15, at SPACE Gallery
Not a death-metal Billy Idol cover band but a lyrical tragedy written by Federico Garcia Lorca in 1932, last weekend's production of Blood Wedding at SPACE Gallery was at turns graceful and punishingly fraught.
| January 19, 2011
Josh Fox's refreshing, vital eco-doc Gasland
Water on fire
Recently shortlisted for next year's Best Documentary Feature Oscar, and screening at SPACE Gallery on December 16, Josh Fox's Gasland feels, in a way, like the first hipster environmental documentary.
| February 24, 2011
But is it a good movie?
Diving balls deep into The Cremaster Cycle
Now that we know something of the visions, allusions, and conceits behind Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle , it's important to acknowledge that you will, in all likelihood, scarcely be able to juggle all of its metaphors as the nearly seven-hour epic unfurls.
| November 11, 2010
Review: Halloween Party at SPACE Gallery, October 30
It's humiliating to admit this, but if you were at SPACE last Saturday you probably agree: a fucking cover band just restored my faith in rock and roll.
| November 04, 2010
Review: Damnationland: The Way Life Should Bleed
Seven short and locally-grown horror films
I lost track of the body count of "Damnationland," a program of seven short and locally-grown horror films screening across the state from Thursday-Saturday, about halfway through its second installment.
| October 27, 2010
Further adventures in literary obsession and authenticity with Brock Clarke
Idolatry in Watertown
Reviewing Brock Clarke's last novel, An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England (Algonquin), three years ago — before the author moved to Portland, started teaching at Bowdoin College, and released his new book, Exley , which he'll read at Longfellow Books next week — I admired its mischievous streak.
| October 12, 2010
Screaming Females at SPACE Gallery, September 27
Screaming Females have played Portland regularly as their blog-fueled star has risen; the buzz behind them is of a time-honored punk tradition (their albums are fine, but they are essential live viewing), but their punk itself is not.
| October 07, 2010
Intimations of life: Camden International Film Festival 2010
CIFF's sixth program is its best and most diverse yet
Just six years into its life, the Camden International Film Festival — a four-day documentary showcase running from September 30-October 3 at venues in Camden, Rockport, and Rockland — has achieved breakout status on the crowded festival circuit.
| September 29, 2010
Fall Music Preview: Stay positive
The local concert calendar is filled to capacity
The face of the local nightlife landscape undergoes a major change in the form of a renewal this autumn, as the State Theatre’s exhaustively maligned absence ends on October 15, with 10 fall concerts on their docket already. But that’s not the only new venue to look out for.
| September 15, 2010
Fall Film Preview: Underground big-screen shows
The local film scene revs up for fall
One of the happiest and most unexpected developments in local arts culture over the past year has been the subtle yet persistent proliferation of DIY and/or locally-oriented movie nights in the area.
| September 15, 2010
Block Party celebrates, consumes the Arts District on Saturday
The first time SPACE Gallery closed off a chunk of Congress Street, in 2005, they filled it with sod grass and turned it into an urban lawn. The second, a year later, inflated plastic structures dotted the Arts District. This Saturday — in theme, in spirit, and in execution — they do it again by throwing a good old fashioned Block Party.
| September 08, 2010
From solid to standout
Brenda’s big summer ends at Wilco’s festival
Maybe the most surprising thing about Portland indie band Brenda’s set at the Wilco-curated Solid Sound Festival on the Mass MoCA campus in North Adams, Massachusetts, on Saturday was that people were actually there to see it. Lots of them.
| August 20, 2010
Solid Sound Festival, Aug 13-15, Mass MoCA
Even if you don't love Wilco (anymore), it's hard to imagine a festival being much more pleasant and casually engaging than their inaugural event in North Adams.
| August 20, 2010
Staying small, going analog
Catching up with the L'Animaux Tryst family as they bring Ducktails to Portland
When we last formally checked in with L'Animaux Tryst, the label's operator, Matt Lajoie, was a 23-year-old librarian at the University of Southern Maine making hand-crafted small runs of CD-Rs of music with a squad of friends.
| July 21, 2010
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The Current Issue
Table of Contents
Where To Follow Me
| March 24, 2013 at 11:09 AM
Mo Takes His Turn
March 21, 2013 at 12:59 PM
[Q&A] KMFDM's Sascha Konietzko on art, Columbine and having balls
On The Download
| March 18, 2013 at 3:22 PM
See this film series: The Belmont World Film Series @ Studio Cinema in Belmont
Outside The Frame
| March 18, 2013 at 11:00 AM
See this film: This is Spinal Tap [with post-film talk by expert from Acoustical Society of America] @ the Coolidge
March 17, 2013 at 12:00 PM
BLOG POSTS BY CHRISTOPHER GRAY
Wilco (The Pier Concert)
Empire Carnival of Arts: It's on.
Music from Music Seen: Cerf-Volantes
Whitney Art Works
Black Mountain + Bon Iver
(South) Portland Hits Pitchfork
Credit Where Credit's Due
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