Friday, February 27, 2009

SAT 2/28: Indie, Art, African, Rock, Chinese

WTF is wrong with me?

I could've posted something a while ago, but I started listening to K'Naan who's playing at Harpers Ferry on Sunday night. He was on NPR this week, and his sound is addictive. The beats are have a funky groove informed by the original continent with plenty of live instrumentation. The flow is damn good! As a rapper from Somalia, he laughs at American gangstas who think they're hard. It's $12 at the door, but you can pick up tix for $10 at Harpers after 8pm tonight.

Lots of cheapness at universities today, go ahead. They're all open to the public. My friend Ting Ting (really!) wants to people to whoop it up at the Chinese New Year celebration at MIT.

A little love to my fellow Somerville winos: There is a sale/thing at Downtown Wine & Spirits from noon to 6pm today; lots of bottles under $10 and tastings...


SAT 2/28

Noon to 7pm
Polkfest 2009
at All Asia Cafe, 334 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
Donation Suggested (one drink minimum) / All Ages

I mainly investigated this, because I was wondering if it might be misspelled 'polka fest'. Polk Records have a deep love to support creativity and a good ear for a wide spectrum of music. There's a bunch of indie/rock/noise and acoustic-based stuff and other weirdness. I only recognized a few of the bands and didn't listen to all them, but neither do you. Think of it as a chance to look around All Asia Cafe (if you haven't been there before) and hear some tunes for free -- but you throw a buck or two for the bands.

Tentative schedule:
Reverend (Noon), The Mirror Neurons (12:15pm), Tyler (12.35pm), Milk 3000 (12:45pm), Jess Lawrence (1pm), This Buildings on Fire (1:20pm), Alive and Awake (1:40pm), The Sinbusters (2pm), Not Art (2:20pm), Mother Mary and the Disciples (2:40pm), Brief Awakening (3pm), Coalmine Canary (3:20pm), Ghost in the Basement (3:40pm), Gypsy Cab (4pm), The Beasts of England (4:20pm), The Musical Theatre (4:40pm), The Bright Hours (5pm), Noel Vickery (5:20pm), Ladderlegs (5:40pm), Streight Angular (6pm)

Some pix from last year.

SAT 2/28

"Allston-Brighton Art Bonanza"

1pm to 3pm
2nd Anniversary Party
at Brighton-Allston Heritage Museum, 20 Chestnut Hill Ave, Brighton

4pm to 7pm
"Illustration vs Photography"
at Nile Lounge, 70 Brighton Ave, Allston


"AB-AB" is my creation for the two arty events happening not too far away from each other. (I'd walk it, but you could take the #57 if you felt like it.) Six local artists will be on display at the Brighton-Allston Heritage Museum as well as a couple historical exhibits.

It's not exactly around the corner, but if you headed to the Heritage Museum closer to 3pm, then you have an hour to amble to the "Kick for Nick" fundraiser. Nile Lounge doesn't look like my kind of Allston spot, but there's going to be "illustrations & photographs" on display for sale to encourage peace by giving soccer balls to kids in war-torn areas of the world.

SAT 2/28

6:30pm, 8pm
MIT Stages Griot Festival
at Endicott World Music Room, MIT Museum, 265 Mass Ave, Cambridge
at Kresge Auditorium, 48 Mass Ave, Cambridge (MIT Campus)

Griot ("gree-oh") was brought up in conversation last week. It conjures an image of traditional African music, but I didn't know how to really explain it. This gig comes up, and I get a chance to dig into it a bit. From Senegal, the griots are tradition of tribal troubadour that passes down their history. No matter where they travel, the performers keep the stories and pass it down -- and they keep it in the family. The Mbaye Family Drum Troupe are the big attraction tonight. The elder of the family, Masikh Mbaye, will join the panel discussion on the history of griot at 6:30pm.

A giant concert of mindblowing music follows at 8pm with the Mbayes, some Malians Balla Tounkara, & Balla Kouyate, MIT's Rambax ensemble, and othe griot performers that live in the area.

SAT 2/28

"The Cover-Up": Elvis Costello
w/ Brendan Boogie Band, Ryan Schmidt, Beau Roland Band, The Rationales, One Happy Island, Blizzard of 78
at Lizard Lounge/Cambridge Common, 1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge (between Harvard Sq & Porter Sq)
$10 / 21+

I sense this is the start of something good. Brendan Boogie Band anchored a Tom Petty tribute in September, and they've hooked up with the mastermind behind some sensational Boston Pop Underground shows a few years ago. The premise and blueprint is pretty clear: Take a great musical act and some of Boston's best, then combine with a big scoop of fun.

Most people either love or hate Elvis Costello. The adenoidal groan is probably what might be holding you back, but there's a barrel full of great singers besides the bands playing: Ad Frank, John Powhida, Scott Janovitz, Bo Barringer, and Dylan Connor.

Get there about 8:30, if you really want to get in. (Hey, guys. Why not get out of the comfort zone and do a Tom Waits Cover-Up someday?)

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

SAT 2/28

Chinese New Year's Banquet
at Room 100, Walker Memorial Bldg, 142 Memorial Dr, Cambridge (MIT campus)

I rarely mention stuff over $10 -- but the food you can try (Szechuan, Shanghai, Cantonese, Taiwanese, and more) would be a deal at $13, and there's going to be entertainment like martial arts demonstrations, dancing troupes, and Hsu-Nami, a band that played in Beijing during the Olympics and does Chinese music with a western twist. MIT Chinese Students' Club and my new friend Ting Ting aren't screwing around. All the MIT alumni I know are focused on excellence, and Chinese don't usually do anything half-assed.

You might even win a prize... Get your Year of the Ox on, babies!

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