And just like that, it’s time to cue up the old Kate Smith recording of “God Bless America” as we celebrate another Fourth of July on Sunday. Hmmm, this has me thinking about a couple of other tunes for the occasion. Here are three: “4th of July” by X, Paul Simon’s “American Tune” and “Independence Day” from Ani DiFranco.

Here’s a whole bunch of shows to hear a whole bunch of songs not pertaining to putting a feather in one’s cap and calling it macaroni:


From Russia with love. Three local Americans — Victor I, Victor II and Victor III — invite you to a night of dancing, drinking, sweating, screaming, vodka and a nod to all things Russian as Kino Proby plays its first local show since January. Clink your glasses at and then head to Empire tonight.

Kino Proby. 9:30 p.m. tonight. Empire Dine & Dance, 575 Congress St., Portland. Ages 21 and older. $8 in advance/$10 at the door.


Heidi Barton Stink is a male-to-female transgendered hip-hop artist from Minneapolis. Hear her take oppression head-on with songs like the fantastic “Love Who.” The lyrics “Love who you gotta love, be who you gotta be, don’t be repressed, shame’s the father of hypocrisy,” are repeated by Stink, and I found myself reciting them throughout the day. Get a whiff of a good kind of Stink at, and then see and hear her and our very own DJ Lady Zen on Friday night at North Star.

Heidi Barton Stink with DJ Lady Zen. 8 p.m. Friday. North Star Music Cafe, 225 Congress St., Portland. Pass the hat.


After perusing the artistic creations of the Kitchen Sink Society during the First Friday Art Walk at Geno’s, you can head right back there after night has fallen for some local punk from Covered in Bees (Ed, Boo, Doug and Tristan) and the Hot Tarts (Cyndi Pappenfus and Lana Eddy). Hear Pappenfus keep the beat while Eddy sings and rocks her guitar nine ways to Sunday on the catchy-as-all-get-out “No Oh” at

Covered in Bees with the Hot Tarts. 9 p.m. Friday. Geno’s Rock Club, 625 Congress St., Portland. Ages 21 and older. $5.


How cool is this? The Building of Song Festival — a continuation of last year’s Tower of Song Festival — is happening on Saturday. There will be a hipster arts fair kicking off at noon with performances from the Congress Square stage as well as from five flights above the State Theater building.

The whole thing is free, and check out this lineup: Samuel James, Meghan Yates & the Reverie Machine, Uke of Spaces Corners, Dead Man’s Clothes, Jesse Pilgrim, Over a Cardboard Sea, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, Town Founder and the Lucid.

And speaking of Samuel James, if you have yet to see the clip of him performing a cover of MJ’s “Billie Jean” from a show last month at One Longfellow Square, you’ll want to clear your calendar for eight minutes of sheer brilliance. Head to YouTube and type in “Samuel James Billie Jean.” You can thank me later.

Building of Song Festival. Noon to 8 p.m. Saturday. Congress Square (corner of High and Congress), Portland. Free.


Montana/Maine singer-songwriter Connor Garvey will be at the Slainte Wine Bar tonight. He plays acoustic and electric guitars, ukulele and a loop pedal, and proves you can be optimistic and self-aware without being boring. “I put my soul on the line, despite my worries, everything could be fine,” he sings in “Soul on the Line.” Hear that one and others at

Connor Garvey. 10 p.m. tonight. Slainte Wine Bar, 12 Preble St., Portland. Ages 21 and older.


Aimsel Ponti is a Portland freelance writer. Contact her at:

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