A couple of weeks ago, I drove out to Pet Quarters, looked carefully through the tropical fish section, and selected a purple, pink and blue-colored betta. A half-hour and $5.99 later, it was swimming comfortably in a little plastic fishbowl, complete with gravel and fake plant, sitting on my desk in the newsroom. Welcome home, BDN Mascot Fish.
Unfortunately, two weeks have gone by, and BDN Mascot Fish remains nameless. I’ve had some excellent suggestions — ShopGirl suggested “Sushi,” while BDN photographer Kevin Bennett offered up “Bait.” Apparently my co-workers have rather morbid senses of humor. As poor little fishy swims around, he seems to say to me, “Who am I?” I drop food pellets into his water, and I can’t bear to think of the existential crisis he’s going through. It’s sad.
So I call on you, dear reader, to help me find a name for my fish. Send your suggestions to email@example.com. I’ll pick the best one. You win the great honor of having named my fish. And as a pre-emptive thank you, here’s my bi-monthly statewide show roundup. Please. Help a fish out.
Downtown Portland is home to Asylum (www.asylumlive.com) and Space Gallery (www.space538.org), the former of which will host rapper Brother Ali on Nov. 8, rockabilly band Reverend Horton Heat on Nov. 11 and metal bands the Cruxshadows on Nov. 21; the latter of which will bring punk songwriter Jonathan Richman to the stage on Oct. 18, and indie chanteuse My Brightest Diamond on Oct. 30.
Of the many opera houses and auditoriums in the state, these three offer up great shows this fall and early winter. The Camden Opera House (www.camdenoperahouse.com) offers Shawn Colvin to Maine on Nov. 6. The South Portland Auditorium brings Richard Thompson back for his second appearance in the state this year on Oct. 18. And at the Merrill Auditorium in Portland (www.porttix.com), folk supergroup Great Big Sea takes the stage on Nov. 1.
The Station in Portland (visit www.myspace.com/thestationlove) is a great little bar and club that’s got a lot of stuff, both local and national. Tonight, Oct. 17, Minneapolis rapper Atmosphere plays, while on Oct. 25 hip-hop group Jedi Mind Tricks will take the stage. On Oct. 27 the Plain White T’s will perform, and on Nov. 16 Norwegian songwriter Sondre Lerche is scheduled.
Way out west in Maine the Stone Mountain Arts Center in Brownfield (visit www.stonemountainartscenter.com) brings in big names all the time. Los Straitjackets will play two Halloween surf spectaculars on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. Legendary bluesman Taj Mahal plays on Nov. 3 and 4, and legendary folk singer Arlo Guthrie is set for Nov. 12 and 13. Finally Bela Fleck and the Flecktones will play on Dec. 14.
Who’s playing at Maine’s colleges this fall? Brooklyn indie rockers Yeasayer will play at Bates College (www.batestickets.com) in Lewiston on Oct. 23, while Canadian indie rockers Broken Social Scene will take the stage at Bowdoin College in Brunswick on Oct. 25. Back here in the Bangor area, the University of Maine (www.umainetix.com) will host everyone’s favorite Irish-American punk band, the Dropkick Murphys, on campus on Nov. 6. O.A.R. and the Virginia Coalition will also play in Orono on Nov. 17.
Finally, two newish venues in Portland host some great songwriters in the coming weeks. Empire Dine and Dance (www.portlandempire.com) brings former Soul Coughing frontman Mike Doughty to it’s stage on Nov. 6. One Longfellow Square (www.onelongfellowsquare.com) hosts Loudon Wainwright III on Dec. 5, and songwriter Erin McKeown — who just finished recording her new album right here in Maine — on Dec. 12.