I can't help myself! There are plenty of cheap options tonight, and I'd like to give you a choice.
If you wanted my opinion, I might: grab a couple free drinks at the "New Scientist" party, see a movie at MIT, and/or catch Ron Sexsmith or Bill Janovitz.
(I will likely grab a few drinks with some friends then work on the weekly list...)
FREE Movies @ MIT
8pm to 10pm
"Year of the Fish": Sneak Preview
at Room 100, Bldg 26, 60 Vassar St, Cambridge (MIT Campus)
7pm to 9pm
"Delicatessen": MIT French Film Series
at Room 133, Bldg 3, 33 Mass Ave (Rear), Cambridge (MIT Campus)
-- If I don't see "Year of the Fish" tonight, I'd like to see it on a big screen when it opens in theatres this weekend. The story is based on an ancient Chinese version of Cinderella and takes place in New York's Chinatown, but there are animated enhancements that give it a magical-realism quality that I admire in works like Gilliam or del Toro or Jeunet et Caro (see below).
-- I love "Delicatessen", and the few others I've seen by the directors Jeunet et Caro, like "City of Lost Children" and "Amelie" (Jeunet solo). This is absolutely the funniest film about a cannibalistic butcher and the building full of people that are his customers -- and his product. It's a love story too, and there's a peculiar sub-plot involving a different kind of "French underground"... There should be free pizza there (it would be funny to serve meat toppings), and it wasn't crappy pies when I was last at a MIT screening with food.
(French with English subtitles)
Richard Bond, "Cosmology Then and Now": Lecture & Observatory Night
at Phillips Auditorium, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St, Cambridge (between Porter Sq and Fresh Pond)
It's an exciting time for science, especially in physics where we may be on the cusp of further discovery about the origins of the universe. Prof. Bond (University of Toronto) will talk about the early energy and dark matter after the Big Bang and how it still surrounds us. I have to believe the Large Hadron Collider will be mentioned. These lectures on "observatory nights" are meant for the layperson to better understand some topic. Then all are invited to the roof for some telescopic stargazing, if the weather allows.
(Free parking is available.)
Alexandra Kerry, "Notes From The Trail": Reading
at BU Barnes & Noble, Reading Room, Level Five, 660 Beacon St, Boston (Kenmore Sq)
Filmmaker Alexandra followed Papa John Kerry around during his presidential campaign in '04. (Remember that one?) After looking at the footage, she decided a book would be a better medium for the project. I doubt she'll wear that revealing dress (NSFW) from a few years ago, but she'll discuss the book (and sign copies afterwards).
Rock Bottom (11:30pm), Hel Toro (10:30pm), Swinedells (9:30pm), Jay Allen & the Arch Criminals (8:30pm)
at Abbey Lounge, 3 Beacon St, Somerville (Inman Sq)
Save the Abbey!
From the Weekly List:
4pm to 7pm
"New Scientist" Tech Square Block Party
at Technology Square Courtyard, 500 Technology Sq, Cambridge (Kendall Sq)
FREE / 21+
You don't need to be a scientist -- or a geek -- to enjoy some free drinks and fun 'n games (but it might help). If you're nearby, I'm guessing you'll hear the nerds congregating somewhere near Main St... This link will lead you to a PDF flyer for the event.
Ron Sexsmith (11:30pm), Meaghan Smith (10:30pm), Vanessa Kafka (9:30pm)
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
Wow. There's a lot of value-added gigs this week! Ron Sexsmith for a sawbuck? This guy is the "Canadian Elvis Costello", but he can actually sing -- and sing with reedy perfection. His albums often make the top-ten lists of every credible music critic. Ron (w/ rhythm section) won't disappoint. Ever. Although he ain't much to look at, there are two lovely & talented singer-songwriters from Boston & Nova Scotia opening... (Yes, I listened to their music, but I'm getting to the end of my list.)
Bill Janovitz & Friends
at Toad, 1912 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Porter Sq)
I'm not saying anything more than Bill is awesome and he has great friends. You might not even be able to get in.
Music of Elliott Sharp
at Brown Hall, 30 Gainsborough St, Boston (New England Conservatory/Fenway)
"Elliott Sharp is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and performer." The CV goes on from there... I know him as an incredible guitarist who has a modern-classical/experimental, rock, and jazz pedigree. After a couple "master classes" with the Conservatory student, he'll perform 2 sets with some of the students for mainly improvisational music. And this won't be Grateful Dead jams...