Friday, February 01, 2008

Cheap Thrills: 2/1 to 2/8



Well, I was having issues buckling down and writing cheapness over the last couple nights. There was so much stuff on Friday that I wanted to pass on, and I still couldn't pick what to post.

Tomorrow is Groundhog Day, Super Bowl on Sunday, Mardi Gras (on Mardi), and the Year of the Rat begins on Thursday -- which is fitting for an election year... So: No shadow, Phil! Go, Pats! Laissez les bons temps rouler! Gong Hay Fat Choy!

I was telling the guy at the Kinkos in Downtown Crossing about 'this thing I do' last night, and he said, "With the economy the way it is, people need cheap entertainment." I wanted to laugh, because I always want to laugh. But it felt good; I think people do need cheap entertainment. Anytime. BTW: If you're looking for friendly, helpful service at Kinkos, you'll find it on Washington St.

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FRI 2/1
* The Last Town Chorus, The Low Anthem
* The Vital Might, The Bleedin Bleedins, The Appreciation Post, Build a Machine
* Death & Taxes, Dave Smith & The Country Rebels, Padded Hell, The Kickbacks
* Sad Marvin, A.K.A.C.O.D., The Big Disappointments, The Murder
* "Inappropriate Touching": Opening Reception
* "Love, Sex & Chocolate"

SAT 2/2
* Scamper, Baker, Harris, Aloud
* Pancake Breakfast For Art
* Shaun & Suzi's Mardi Gras Ball XV
* Vietnamese TET 2008 Celebration
* Going Green Expo Boston

SUN 2/3
* Super Bowl XLII
* What else is there?

MON 2/4
* "Valentine's Voodoo": Art Opening w/ Thee Monkey Butlers
* Terryl Givens, "The Several Lives of the Book of Mormon": Lecture

TUES 2/5
* Monique Ortiz & Vuk, The Blue Ribbons
* Presidential Primary Election
* "The Abbey Lounge Primary" w/ The Lights Out, American Car, Topheavy, Old Jack

WED 2/6
*"Best Recommended" w/ Steven Pinker, Robert Pinsky, Leslie Epstein, & Maureen McLane
* Boston Boylesque Follies
* "Jeoparody"

THUR 2/7
* Free Beer and Chocolate Tasting
* Messiaen Centennial: "Vingt Regards sur L'enfant-Jesus"

FRI 2/8
* Bach Competition Winners Concert

SUN 2/10
* Abbey Lounge Chili Cookoff

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FRI 2/1

9pm
The Last Town Chorus, The Low Anthem
at Lizard Lounge/Cambridge Common, 1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge (between Harvard Sq & Porter Sq)
$10 / 21+

Excellent rootsy chill sounds. When she did a free set at Lizard Lounge last year, I think I said her version of Bowie's "Modern Love" was somnambulistic. It is Last Town Chorus / Megan Hickey proves that all you need is a lap-steel guitar and a dreamy voice to enrapture crowds. The Low Anthem should be a tasteful complement as an opening duo.

FRI 2/1

9:30pm
The Vital Might, The Bleedin Bleedins, The Appreciation Post, Build a Machine
at Paradise Lounge, 969 Comm Ave, Boston (near BU)
$10 / 18+

FRI 2/1

Death & Taxes (11:45pm), Dave Smith & The Country Rebels (10:45pm), Padded Hell (9:45pm), The Kickbacks (9pm), Mark Lind (8pm)
at Abbey Lounge, 3 Beacon St, Somerville (Inman Sq)
$8 / 21+

For those who like to throw Social Distortion, AC/DC, Johnny Cash, The Replacements, and maybe The Cramps into their shuffle; here's some blue-collar, boot-stomping punk and rock. Show up early and listen to Mark Lind at 8pm.

FRI 2/1

9:30pm
Sad Marvin, A.K.A.C.O.D., The Big Disappointments, The Murder
at Middle East - Downstairs, 480 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10

This is a last-minute show with bands that range from awesome to pretty good. AKACOD features saxophonist Dana Colley (Morphine/Twinemen), vocalist/bassist Monique Ortiz (ex-Bourbon Princess), and drummer Larry Dersch of Binary System. They're walking down the same road as Morphine, but the band is not treading over old ground. The Murder is going to throw down the rock hammer. Sad Marvin plays a funky alt-rock that sounds better now with their new female vocalist. The Big Disappointments do a scuzzy blend of bouncy post-punk riffage and rockabilly reverb, and I mean that in a good way.

FRI 2/1

6pm to 10pm
"Inappropriate Touching: Dirty Comics and Art": Opening Reception
at Washington Street Arts Center, 321 Washington St, Somerville (Union Sq)
FREE (donations appreciated)

There's all kinds of dirty pictures from humorous to erotic to downright weird (to all of the above?). Perhaps you'll see there's an artistic streak that runs through all of them. Or maybe you'll just point and giggle -- that's cool. Besides dirty disco DJ Area D, enjoy live electro and hip-hop from Real Life Time Machines, Plunge into Death, and Angela (which is a duo).

FRI 2/1

6pm to 9pm
"Love, Sex & Chocolate" (an art show)
at The Art Kitsch(en), 450 Harrison Ave, Boston (South End)
FREE

Joe Kitsch has a pretty small studio as it was set up when I went, but he puts the effort to have a theme to the monthly SoWa Open Studios on 'First Fridays' (of the month). There are a crap-load of artist studios to visit (and to enjoy their 'refreshments') -- and a bunch of people who look around -- but go ahead and pop into Joe's.

The other artists include Seth Diamond, Mike Howard, Sara Theophall.

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SAT 2/2

9pm
Scamper, Baker, Harris, Aloud
at Middle East - Upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$9 advance / $10 day of show / 18+

It's Scamper's last show, and I liked them on other occasions. I have a feeling there going to rock it to their full capacity and finish off with a joyous bang. I actually like the other 3 bands more, esp. Baker -- great hooks, band plays great, and I was immediately listening to the words. Harris has a good mix of catchy and quirky rock that should please most people that dig bands like Piebald/Ted Leo/Fugazi. Aloud rocks with attention to melody, and I hear an earnestness about something in their music.

SAT 2/2

10am to Noon
Pancake Breakfast For Art
at Nave Gallery, Clarendon Hill Presbyterian Church, 155 Powder House Blvd, Somerville (Teele Sq)
$6

All-you-can-eat pancakes with all-you-can-drink coffee & juice for $6 to support local arts. It's really not that far from Davis Sq either. Shovel it into your craw for culture!

SAT 2/2

*** Not-So-Cheap Thrill ***

9pm
Shaun & Suzi's Mardi Gras Ball XV
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$12 / 18+

It's slightly over $10, but there are so many good performers.

SAT 2/2

10am to 5:30pm
Vietnamese TET 2008 Celebration
at Bayside Expo Center, 200 Mount Vernon St, Boston (Columbia Point)
$5

Tet, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, is actually the same day as Chinese New Year. (Who da thunk?) This could be lame or a interesting glimpse into Vietnamese culture. Food, performances, activities, carnival games. If any of the North End sausage guys are there, you know it's a bogus Asian festival.

SAT 2/2 and SUN 2/3

10am
Going Green Expo Boston
at Bayside Expo Center, 200 Mount Vernon St, Boston (Columbia Point)
$10 / Under 16 free

Saturday: 10am to 8pm
Sunday: 10am to 4pm

Get your sustainability on and learn how you can make your life more green. (I'm sure there will be other events during the year that''l be free, but you can do whatever you want to do.) The Sunday session might be quiet...

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SUN 2/3

Umm, it's the Super Bowl...

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MON 2/4

9pm
Jenn Swansen & Jim Downes, "Valentine's Voodoo": Art Opening w/ Thee Monkey Butlers
at ZuZu!, 474 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE

Another art reception, but the fantastic garage-rockers in monkey masks, Thee Monkey Butlers, will do a set at 10pm. It's sponsored by Pabst, so maybe there'll be some free cheap beer. Or a keychain...?

MON 2/4

5:30pm to 7:30pm
Terryl Givens, "The Several Lives of the Book of Mormon": Lecture
at George Sherman Union Conference Auditorium, 775 Comm Ave, 2nd Fl., Boston (BU campus)
FREE

A scholarly look at the origin of Mormon philosophy more than session wondering how someone in the 1800's would lose track of a GOLD book that an ANGEL gave you.

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TUES 2/5

7am to 8pm
Presidential Primary Election
at Various Locations
FREE

Vote early and often! For MA residents, you can find your voting location here. It also tells you who your elected officials are...

TUES 2/5

8pm
Monique Ortiz & Vuk (8pm), The Blue Ribbons (10pm)
at Toad, 1912 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Porter Sq)
FREE

So you didn't see AKACOD on Friday. Singer/bassist Ortiz plays a solo set of her own stuff. Vuk is from Finland, Bjork comparisons might be a little lazy (Iceland is just another cold place). It is curious, Scandinavian-flavored avant-pop. The Blue Ribbons are playing darn good Americana every Tuesday at 10pm.

TUES 2/5

"The Abbey Lounge Primary"
w/ American Car (11:45pm), The Lights Out (10:45pm), Topheavy (9:45pm), Old Jack (9pm)
at Abbey Lounge, 3 Beacon St, Somerville (Inman Sq)
$7

Wow, this is a tremendously good line-up for a Tuesday night. Do you really want to listen to the 'experts' blather on when the numbers will probably tell their own story? Follow the results with your ears filled with muscular power-pop of The Lights Out. They told me that everyone in the band is secretly a superdelegate too. All four bands sound really good.

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WED 2/6

6 PM
"Best Recommended"
w/ Steven Pinker, Robert Pinsky, Leslie Epstein, & Maureen McLane
at Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$5 (tix available at Harvard Book Store or 617-661-1515)

Note: "Your $5 ticket may be redeemed for $5 off a single item at Harvard Book Store for one month following the event."

WED 2/6

10:30pm
Boston Boylesque Follies
at The Midway Cafe, 3496 Washington Street, Jamaica Plain
$5

Their intent is to create a vaudevillian show with a contemporary, progressive sensibility. I think it would be fair to say this will be a gay, old time...? Expect boylesque and burlesque (Thru The Keyhole dancers), music, comedy, magic, and who knows what else. NY cabaret performer Jeffrey Marsh will also appear.

WED 2/6

10pm
"Jeoparody" with Your Host, Alexi Tribecca
at The Alchemist Lounge, 435 S Huntington Ave, Jamaica Plain
FREE

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THUR 2/7

5pm to 7pm
Free Beer and Chocolate Tasting w/ DrinkCraftBeer and Taza Chocolate
at Wine Gallery, 371 Boylston St, Brookline (near Brookline Village)
FREE

The DrinkCraftBeer guys are good guys who love their beers. I'm sure they put a lot of effort to find the right matches for chocolate -- and Taza doesn't just throw together their organic sweets. Maybe a good gateway if your significant other doesn't like beer.

THUR 2/7

8pm to 10pm
Messiaen Centennial: "Vingt Regards sur L'enfant-Jesus"
at Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough St, Boston (New England Conservatory/Fenway)
FREE

Olivier Messiaen would've been 100 this year, and it seems the NEC is performing all of his piano compositions. He had various themes to his work (e.g. other works are the songs of birds), but this is an avant-garde meditation of the childhood of Jesus. I have listened to some of it, and it might hold my attention for 2 hours.

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FRI 2/8

8pm
Bach Competition Winners Concert
at CFA Concert Hall, 855 Comm Ave, Boston (BU campus)
FREE

Winners of the annual performance competition of unaccompanied works of J.S. Bach. (I know, "More classical?")

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Contest of the Week:

SUN 2/10

2pm to 5pm
"The Great Chili Cookoff"
at Abbey Lounge, 3 Beacon St, Somerville (Inman Sq)
FREE to eat & vote / $5 to enter

There should be over 25 different chilis to taste in two categories: meat and veggie. Eat free chili, vote for your favorite, and drink cheap beer!

They have a couple slots open if you think your chili is the best around. To enter send your name, email, contact phone, category (meat/veg), city, and state (by MON 2/4). You'll need to cook your stuff ahead of time. Utensils, bowls, and cornbread will be provided. I think it will be served in chafing trays. Prizes will be based on number of entries.

Any questions, contact: Mike

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Links of the Week:

I went to the MIT Museum, and I so loved the 'kinetic sculptures' of Arthur Ganson. There are some videos on his site, but they don't do justice. (Go there for free if you can.)

Also, funny and real website names.

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Quote of the Week:

"Society is like a stew. If you don't keep it stirred up you get a lot of scum on the top."

-- Edward Abbey

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1 comment:

Jeff said...

Thanks for the mention of the DrinkCraftBeer.com/Taza tasting. We really tried to come up with some unexpected pairings. I think people will find them quite delicious. In fact, we personally challenge people who don't think they like beer to come out to this event and try the combos. Some of the brews we're pouring will totally change your ideas on what beer can be.

Jeff Wharton
Co-Founder
DrinkCraftBeer.com
jeff (at) drinkcraftbeer.com

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