Saturday, January 31, 2009

SAT 1/31: Swap, Jazz, Rock, Sweets, Laughs

Berklee HS Jazz Fest
I think something weird is happening with Google today... What's with the search results being "harmful"?


SAT 1/31

1:45pm to 2:30pm
First Annual Boston Freeform Gift Swap
at Copley Sq, Boston (next to Trinity Church)

I mentioned this yesterday --

See the website for details, but you have to wrap it and should use previously used paper products (e.g. magazines, furniture assembly instructions, etc). Look for a blue-shirted person when you arrive, and please arrive no later than 1:50pm.

SAT 1/31

9am to 5pm
Berklee's 40th High School Jazz Festival
at Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St, Boston (Back Bay)

Oh, if I had a nickel for every "band camp" story told at this shindig... Actually, this is good, clean, family-type fun. I think I stayed for about 2 hours last year and heard a lot of good music.

Some highlights this year: Delfeayo & Jason Marsalis (of THE Marsalis family) are doing a jazz improv clinic at noon. Three tremendous drummers, Gregg Bissonette (1pm), Terri Lyne Carrington (2pm), John Blackwell (3pm); the Berklee ensembles: Salsa (2pm), P-Funk (3pm), Tower of Power (4pm).

Check the site for a full schedule.

SAT 1/31

Baby Made Rebel, The Volunteers, Lifeguard Nights, Jett and The Writers, Fortran, Supa Dupa
at All Asia Cafe, 334 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$6 / $9 for 18+ (21+ after 10pm)

This is going to be really fun indie-rock show with decent variety. It's going to be a long one with six(!) bands playing, but I don't think there's a clunker in the bunch. I'm really digging The Volunteers, and they said I could post an mp3 but I don't have the CD with me...

Update: Found one -- "So Deep for So Cheap"

What I like about the Volunteers' chances is taht they're smart and nimble, and they rock in all sorts of ways that makes it hard to pigeonhole them but everything holds together. It's not hard to believe them when the sound is balls-to-the-wall and when they get a little soulful 'n slinky, AND when they hit sardonic overdrive. You'll always remember when you saw The Volunteers at a crappy Cambridge joint, even if there's no justice in the world.

The leader of Lifeguard Nights seems like another great NJ eccentric that has song diarrhea. If you have time, it's kinda funny to read the reviews they've posted on their MySpace blog; I don't know if they're real, but everyone starts off as a negative review and ends up as a positive review. Another two bands that intrigue me about this show apparently are comprised of MIT students, which makes perfect sense based on proximity. At first Fortran is a ramshackle indie-rock mess, but I want to keep on listening. Supa Dupa going for the Sufjan Stevens/Polyphonic Spree vibe, and I like that stuff too...

SAT 1/31

8pm to 10pm
"Dark Chocolate Tasting"
at Room 100, Walker Memorial Bldg, 142 Memorial Dr, Cambridge (MIT campus)

Try a dozen chocolates in an epicurean (but hopefully not snobby) session. Talk about the flavors like a wine tasting. Expect to hear about the process of chocolate-making and local spots for chocolate indulgence -- besides a big bag of Snickers from CVS.

SAT 1/31

Union Square Round Table
at PA's Lounge, 345 Somerville Ave, Somerville (Union Sq)
$10 -- 21+ / $13 -- 18+

A fun & funny time. This month's theme is "The Rules of Engagement". Some of the expected performers: Eugene Mirman, Nick Branigan, Keira Horowitz, Steven Derocher, Marian Didio, Ben Dryer, Caitlin Roy, TD Sidell, Chris Braiotta

Imagine that you and your friends wanted to put on a variety show in two hour-long sections at a dive bar -- and most of them were very funny. Oh, and someone would also play a couple mini-sets.

Musical guest: Patrick Grenham

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