Monday, November 30, 2009

24-Hour "Medicine Wheel" -- World AIDS Day

Medicine Wheel
MON 11/30 to TUES 12/1

Midnight to Midnight
Medicine Wheel
at Cyclorama, Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St, Boston (South End)
FREE

Maybe you won't be able to sleep tonight, and you'll want to commemorate World AIDS Day.

You could start early at 11:30pm with the procession from Eliot Norton Park (about 285 Tremont St) to the Cyclorama where you can help carry the shrines and pedestals that are the mainstays of each year's installation.

The exhibit changes every year, for instance you'll see a 22-foot high lantern that incorporates photos of people that have been affected by AIDS.

For a full 24 hours, one can reflect on the impact of the disease in a quiet, safe, and beautiful place. It's dimly lit, and most people are respectfully quiet; but there are periodic performances (on the hour).

As someone who thankfully has known only a few who've lost their lives to AIDS but is old enough to remember the immense fear people of all orientations felt, my visit a couple years ago was a heavy experience. There's something special in the air.

Anyone is free to "leave an offering (personal object, letter, picture, jewelry, poem...) for the healing and remembrance of all affected by HIV and AIDS."

MON 11/30: Film, Theater, Music


I think I'd like to go to any and all of the events below. Have a good night!

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MON 11/30

6pm
"McCabe and Mrs. Miller"
at Rabb Hall, Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St, Boston (Copley Sq)
FREE

Part of Robert Altman's genius is that every film is not a home run, but he usually keeps steady on his course either way. I haven't suggested several of the movies the "All About Altman" series, because you don't need to watch the singles and strikeouts.

Tonight's film is one of his best. "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" was made shortly after "M*A*S*H", and it was named one of the "Top 10 Westerns" by the American Film Institute a couple years ago. Unlike most westerns, the protagonist is not your typical hero -- Warren Beatty plays a turn-of-the-century rascal who sets up a brothel in a small WA mining town. Things go bad, and the ending is not the typical happy ending.

MON 11/30

7pm
Thornton Wilder’s "The Long Christmas Dinner" & "The Happy Journey": Dramatic Reading
at Calderwood Pavilion, Hall A, 527 Tremont St, Boston (South End)
FREE / "donations gratefully accepted"

From the people that bring us "Shakespeare in the Common" every summer, it's a "Script in Hand" reading of two one-act plays from the author of the classic play "Our Town". Both plays were written during the Great Depression, and they're going to be wry. Does a 'long christmas dinner' or a 'journey from Trenton to Camden' sound like a cheery, good time?

To add curiosity, actress Zuzanna Szadkowski will play parts in both plays; she may be known to people as Dorota on "Gossip Girl". (Thanks, Wikipedia!) The show is trash by most accounts, but Szadkowski must have serious talent since she previously performed with A.R.T.

MON 11/30

9pm
The Young Republic, Adrien & the Fine Print, The Seedy Seeds, Webb & the Wisenheimers
at Harpers Ferry, 158 Brighton Ave, Allston
$8 / 18+

I was just thinking about The Young Republic a couple months ago. They played a really fun, melodic, upbeat set that blended elements of indie-chamber-pop, folk, country and jazz at ArtBeat a couple years ago; and I haven't heard much from them in the last couple years. Apparently these former Berklee students have been touring around and making fans. It's cool to think that a band can go from playing in the park behind the Somerville Theatre to the Glastonbury Festival.

Most of the tonight's supporting bands are local folks that share the same aesthetic (who also went to Berklee). The Seedy Seeds are on a similar-yet-individual trajectory in their clash of synth-pop-alt-country, and it sounds pretty darn cool -- great party music for music geeks that always want to hear something new and fresh.

MON 11/30

9:30pm
"Here Come The Waves": "The Hazards Of Love" Visualized
at Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$5

If you dig The Decemberists, you really should listen to "The Hazards Of Love" from beginning to end. Let's call it a concept album instead of a rock opera, but there's a story that runs through the songs that each stand on their own quite well. The sum is a bit greater than the parts, and I enjoyed the snippet of the animated version that seems to elevate it to another level.

The 60-minute video is going to be available on iTunes tomorrow, but this would be really cool on the big screen -- especially if you can get your hands on something to "enhance your mood".


MON 11/30

10pm
Coyote Kolb, Bethany Dinsick, Teaadora
at ZuZu!, 474 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE

Monday nights are usually a good bet on Monday nights for some interesting live music. Coyote Kolb fall on the 'city' side of alt-country to me; it's rock that dabbles with the fuzzed-out dirges that I loved from Neil Young. They do they're own thing to make it modern.

Bethany Dinsick and Teaadora sound like soft and quiet avant-folk.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

11/29: Sunday Night Off-Topic Video

Thanksgiving leftovers may still be in the fridge, but this is the last item from me. Besides my love of the 'chicken dance', this is just a little bit of unironic good times.

May the rest of your holiday season be spent with loved ones having laughs and tasty treats.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

SUN 11/29: Film, Punk


Well, there's not much cheapness going on today. You could roam around for free or consider a couple early diversions.

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SUN 11/29

1:40pm to 3:40pm
New Japanese Cinema: "Cyborg She"
at Remis Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave, Boston (The Fens)
$10 / $8 seniors, students

In the last week or so, the MFA has shown five recent Japanese films. The final in the program already gives away one of the plot points in the title. From the trailer, I'd describe it as "Terminator" meets "Amelie". In a quirky romantic comedy with a dash of sci-fi, a man sends a beautiful female cyborg to give a warning to his past self. She protects him, they "fall in love", they argue, and I'll let you guess the rest.

SUN 11/29

2pm
Red Invasion, The Murder, The Spoilers, The Egos
at Middle East - Upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10 / All Ages

Early Sunday all-ages punk shows do not get any better than this. I haven't paid enough attention to Red Invasion, but I saw them play at the DMZ reunion show last year, and they're young guys whoo play genuine kick-ass early punk with a glam tip. They've got good songs, charisma, passion, and they rip it up.

The Murder are soldiers in the Boston punk army fighting the good fight as it should be: loud and fast and raw with catchy, in-your-face tunes and plenty of devil-may-care attitude. The Spoilers don't mess around either, and the female fronted vocals add a really good melodic element (and I'll say it, I like the sassiness). The thick-reverb gothy garage-punk of The Egos brings another flavor to the party.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Sneak Peek: SAT 11/28


Man, I'm still dragging from Thanksgiving... Here's hoping will be fun and/or productive -- for everyone.

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SAT 11/28

2pm to 3:30pm
Holiday Tuba Concert
between Faneuil Hall & Quincy Market, 1 Faneuil Hall Market Pl, Boston
FREE

The weather may not be conducive, but it must be amusingly absurd notion to hear over a hundred tubas, euphoniums, sousaphones playing holiday music. At least, it might be amusing for a few minutes.

SAT 11/28

4:30pm
City Of Lights Parade & Holiday Art Stroll
around Downtown Lowell [PDF map]
FREE

Again, probably not a great day to historic downtown Lowell but do what you like. The parade starts at 4:30pm, and the Grand Marshall will be Micky Ward (soon to be famous outside of boxing circles). If you want to go early, the check out some Lowell art studios and galleries from noon to 4pm.

If you're walking around, you should sample beverages along the way to judge the "hot chocolate competition". (It's probably too late to reserve a seat on one of the trolley tours, but you could try.)

There's a lot of info on the PDF flyer.

SAT 11/28

9pm
The Deli Magazine - New England Launch Party
Feat: 28 Degrees Taurus, Muy Cansado, Otis Grove, The Day's Weight
at Middle East - Upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10 / 18+

Music website The Deli Magazine have opened a New England branch and celebrating by presenting this show with a diverse selection of local bands that won't clash as I see it -- some inventive rock, jazzy organ-funk, and Americana from Vermont. The doors open at 8pm, and the first 60 people in the door get a free Narragansett beer.

SAT 11/28

8:30 doors
The Gilded Splinters, Andrea Gillis Band, Forest Fires
at Lizard Lounge/Cambridge Common, 1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge (between Harvard Sq & Porter Sq)
$6 advance / $8 door / 21+

It could be a musical cocktail. Combine the rockin' Americana of The Gilded Splinters with the rockin' soul-mama Andrea Gillis and chill with a set from Forest Fires, solo project by Christopher Pappas of The Everyday Visuals. Served in a pint glass, because I like the club's beer selection.

SAT 11/28

10pm
BrownBoot: Post-Thanksgiving Tryptophan Danceathon
at Rosebud Bar & Grill (behind Diner), 381 Summer St, Somerville (Davis Sq)
$5 / 21+

If you missed BrownBoot on Halloween, Jordan Valentine and some of Noble Rot will bliss you out with another rock-soul union. They'll do the Rod Stewart/Jeff Beck/Small Faces covers again along with some other choice tunes. They might even play an original...

Miz Valentine will keep party going by DJing after 11:30pm (like she often does on Friday nights at this Davis Sq hidden nightspot).

FRI 11/27: Rock, Comedy, Film


I feel so logy after overdoing it yesterday. I'll do my best to get weekend stuff up.

If you feel like going out tonight, there is some indoor cheapness. Macy's was going to light their Xmas tree, but I bet there won't be any hoopla tonight.

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FRI 11/27

Bryan Scary & The Shredding Tears (Midnight), The Black Hollies (11pm), Joe Turner & the Seven Levels (9pm)
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10

Why couldn't Bryan Scary & The Shredding Tears have played at the International Pop Overthrow last week? These guys create superb powerpop that remind me of Sloan, Jellyfish, and even Queen at some points. The lyrics are interesting as well.

Kudos to The Black Hollies for picking a name that matches their music so well. What is surely a tip of the hat to the swinging British pop, they twist it just slightly that makes it sound completely different (and maybe claiming they're more soulful than the original Hollies). It's like listening to a high-fidelity recording of '60s classics that you've never heard before.

Joe Turner & the Seven Levels will get the mojo flowing with his "delicious rock shish-kebab".

FRI 11/27

9pm
Blood Vessels, Bryan McPherson, Paul & the Strings, Jason Bennett & the Resistance, Lenny Lashley & Friends
at Church, 69 Kilmarnock St, Boston (Fenway)
$10

I like the approach of this show that mixes punky punk with folky punk to get some variety yet keep a similar spirit. Lenny Lashley of Darkbuster is playing with some 'friends'; it could rock or he could get a little country -- should be damn good whatever they play.

All proceeds benefit the Jimmy Fund/Dana Farber Cancer Institute, so buy some raffle tickets. Okay? Narragansett is 'sponsoring' the night which makes me think that cheap tallboys may be available...

FRI 11/27

9:30pm
Union Square Round Table: "Sings the Body Electric"
at PA's Lounge, 345 Somerville Ave, Somerville (Union Sq)
$10 -- 21+ / $13 -- 18+

These shows almost always get listed, because I generally like the idea of shows with assorted performances to keep things surprising and I specifically laughed a lot when I was there. I didn't even mind being at PA's Lounge... much... It's their "3rd birthday" birthday show, so they could've have a purple dinosaur theme. We'll see how "Singing the Body Electric" works out -- could be Whitman or Serling or both?

The word is that frequent guest Eugene Mirman will be there. (I wonder if anyone has ever said, "Catch Mirmania!")

Usually featuring: Ben Dryer, Chris Braiotta, Nick Branigan, Marian Didio, Keira Horowitz, Caitlin Roy, TD Sidell, Erik P. Kraft, Gretchen Gavett, Katie McCarthy

FRI 11/27 & SAT 11/28

Midnight
"Planet Of The Apes"
at Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St, Brookline
$7.75

Some of you may want to catch the original. Personally, I like the wooden acting of Charlton Heston in this film better than Marky Wahlberg's wooden acting in the remake. Overall, it's good sci-fi fun.

The Coolidge Corner Clubhouse is offering some kind of special "including 2-for-1 appetizers" if you show your pre-purchased tickets.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

THUR 11/26: Turkey Day


I hope everyone has a happy and wonderfully gluttonous and thankful day.

My favorite Thanksgiving-themed news item? Supervisor Admits Throwing Turkeys At Employees To "Motivate" Them.

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THUR 11/26

9am, 4pm
"Alice's Restaurant Massacree": Thanksgiving Broadcast
at WERS, 88.9FM
FREE

Way back in 1965, Arlo Guthrie celebrated Thanksgiving out in the Berkshires. As hippies they were often oppressed by "The Man", so he and a friend were arrested for 'littering'.

It's kind of funny -- and it goes on for more than 18 minutes -- so I might listen whille doing my Thanksgiving prep...

THUR 11/26

Noon
Thanksgiving Meal
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
Free / All Ages

For almost 20 years, Great Scott has hosted a free Thanksgiving turkey and fixins dinner for anyone who wants to come for whatever reason.

Several hundred people usually show, so you'll have some company...

It was previously listed as starting at 2pm, now it's noon. They will probably be serving for a while.

THUR 11/26

10pm
Bitches Brew
at Alchemist Lounge, 435 S. Huntington Ave, Jamaica Plain
FREE

Let's give thank to these local jazz vets that bring us live music every Thanksgiving, and you can give thanks for having something to do if you want to escape a feast that has gone on too long...

Our local Miles Davis tribute band is tweaking their tradition a bit. Their keyboardist won't be there this year. Instead of just tunes from the "Miles goes electric" era, they'll be blowing through a lot of standards. Alto saxophonist Nancy Loedy will also be joining the guys.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

WED 11/25: Punk, Rock, Reggae


We all have some reason to be thankful, but let's keep it simple and say that today is like a Friday for most people. Then there's another Friday after you stuff your face.

If you're in the music tonight, here are some cheap options.

I was wondering what I listed for last Thanksgiving (slim pickings again), and I noticed that the Abbey Lounge closed on the Wednesday before. It was really crowded, and I was stuck in the wine bar so I didn't stay long.

While it's not a dive bar, Trina's Starlight Lounge is a decent replacement. After having dinner with friends, everyone was satisfied if not blown away. My double-cheeseburger was darn good (way better than Charlies Kitchen), and they have cheap cans of beer like Schaefer.

Update: If you're out drinking at a bar ot restaurant in Cambridge, including all 3 of the venues below, the City has decided to help you get home safely by paying up to $35 of your cab fare -- you tip the cabbie -- if you call 617-876-2000 tonight between 10pm and 3am. (Maybe you should pin the PDF flyer to your jacket?)

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WED 11/25

Mark Lind & The Unloved (11:50pm), Death & Taxes (11pm), The Scars (10:10pm), The Rebel Dead (9:20pm), Marc Cannata (9pm)
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$7 / 18+

There's a lot of cross-pollination between Mark Lind & The Unloved and Death &Taxes. So much so, that there have been times that I confuse the two bands in my mind. On my latest listening it seems like Death & Taxes continues to get rootsier and twangier, and Mark Lind still carries the torch for solid punk while adding dimension.

It's going to be damn good punk show all the way through with The Scars and The Rebel Dead. Marc Cannata, drummer/songwriter of Far From Finished, will also do a short solo set.

WED 11/25

9pm
Dennis Brennan & Friends
at Lizard Lounge/Cambridge Common, 1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge (between Harvard Sq & Porter Sq)
$7 / 21+

I'm thankful that Dennis Brennan plays so often around town. Not only is he a great singer-songwriter, but he's an awesome rocker who loves to play who'll do gigs to satisfy his blues side, country side, folk side, and points in between. I think he should be in the rock pantheon, so we're lucky to have him play at places like Lizard Lounge.

Advance tickets are sold out, but some will be available when doors open at 8:30pm.

WED 11/25

9:30pm
Toussaint & Buru Style, Guns of Navarone
at Middle East - Upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10 / 18+

I like how this has been dubbed a "Skanksgiving Celebration". Are you hungry for funky reggae/soul and old-school ska? Former Soulive/China Band/etc vocalist Toussaint has has hooked with dub-funk outfit Buru Style, and this is really good stuff. The grooves are really deep in the pocket with a confidence to provide the perfect complent to Toussaint soulfulness. I might prescribe this gig for those who are tense about spending time with family tomorrow. Get loose and happy!

Guns of Navarone have been voted the "Best Ska Act" in Worcester County, and I'm sure that's an impressive feat... When anyone thinks of ska, they obviously think of Woostah! Named after the Skatalites song, they testify the early sounds of ska, rocksteady, and reggae by playing classics and the hidden gems of the era.

Monday, November 23, 2009

TUES 11/24: Yo-Yo, MJ, Jazz, Rock


At this moment, I have nothing on my ming except turkey-eating on my mind. Well, I also envision oyster dressing, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole on the plate... I bought a bird last night which is earlier than usual. (Am crossing fingers that I won't have a frantic defrosting moment on Thursday morning.)

Update: I added the gig at The Plough & Stars, 'cause it should be a good one.

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TUES 11/24

6:30pm
Duncan Yo-Yo World Tour: Demonstration & more
at Brookline Courtyard Marriott, 40 Webster St, Brookline (Coolidge Corner)
FREE

I like to watch fancy yo-yo tricks, and I can't be alone. If you're doing something else, you could swing by the Courtyard Marriott... For the 80th anniversary of the Duncan Company, they're sending "yo-yo pros" to dazzle the masses and teach them how to do some tricks.

Nearby shop, Eureka Puzzles, is hosting the fun so there's a good chance that yo-yos may be for sale.

TUES 11/24

7:30pm
"Michael Jackson: A Work in Progress"
at David Friend Recital Hall, 921 Boylston St, Boston (Berklee / Back Bay)
FREE

I didn't find out anything besides the blurb, but it could be quite interesting...

Students in the Advanced Theater Scriptwriting workshop will do a staged reading of the script they are preparing for the spring musical, Michael Jackson: A Work in Progress.
TUES 11/24

7:30pm
Dario Pinelli Trio
at Johnny D's, 17 Holland St, Somerville (Davis Sq)
$10 / 21+

When you see someone playing the same guitar type as Django Reinhardt, it's not an accident. It's going to be gypsy-flavored jazz. Reinhardt lived in France, but the "Romani" are hardly strangers to Italy. On two guitars, stand-up bass and vocals, this is top-notch stuff.

TUES 11/24

9pm
John Powhida International Airport, Ice Dragon, The Invisible Rays
at Enormous Room, 567 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$5 / 21+

This should be a fun and weird little show. It has to be a little show, because the room is far from enormous. (The couches are quite comfortable, the dim lighting is relaxing.) John Powhida has always been a crowd-pleaser whenever I've seen him. Since doing his solo project full-bore, it's still quite rocking (and I think I hear some Rundgren-esque touches).

Ice Dragon claims they're going to do their psychedelic thing acoustically tonight. Maybe the instrumental rockers Invisible Rays and Powhida International Airport may tone it down for the venue. (On the other hand, they often have DJ's and dancing up there.)

Have you been to the MFA recently? Besides John P., some of the other musicians may look familiar.

TUES 11/24

9:30pm
Tony The Bookie Orchestra, Headband, Evil Bill, Man Alive
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$8 / 18+

It's a night of country-rock and garage-rock, and the lines are somewhat blurred. I've really come around on Tony the Bookie Orchestra over the past year and fully embraced their kick-ass, country-tinged pysch-rock. They're my favorite band on the bill. Although Evil Bill's noisy, minimalist garage-rock with nihilist lyrics is very compelling. Headband seems garage it up with laid-back riffiness. Man Alive is supposed to be a country/rock outfit with some members of this band.

TUES 11/24

10pm
Quilt, The IOA, Audrey Ryan
at Plough & Stars, 912 Mass. Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE

Whoops, I missed this one. Hanging out at the Plough* is wonderful, and the music is free on most nights. It's a night to prick up the ears with some experimental sounds like the folky, primal, psychedelic Quilt and The IOA who do a funky, afrobeat/rock blend. The singer of IOA told me he's going to Burma/Myanmar for 2 months -- crazy! The amazing Audrey Ryan will cap the night, so you can hear her music in your strange dreams.

* When people ask me about my favorite Irish bar, this is the answer.

MON 11/23: Politics, Skepticism, Trannies, Rock

Previous Traniwreck at Middle East
Without really paying attention, every Monday happening is on one side of the river. Besides all the Cambridge cheapness tonight, the annual Medicine Wheel art installation begins tonight at the Cyclorama and culminates on World AIDS Day (TUES 12/1).

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MON 11/23

7pm
As'ad AbuKhalil, "Obama's Middle East Policies: The Persistence of the Bush Doctrine"
at Austin North Bldg, about 1511 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Harvard Law School)
FREE

It's funny that there has been little uproar about this presentation. You have an anti-Zionist anarchist poli-sci professor at Cal State Stanislaus who will criticize Obama yet who is supposedly critical of Fatah, Hamas, and Saudi Arabia. Maybe because people both disagree and agree with him at the same time. If you're not frustrated enough, you can read his blog, The Angry Arab News Service.

MON 11/23

7pm to 10pm
Skeptics in the Pub: Thanksgiving Special w/ George Hrab
at Tommy Doyle's (upstairs), 96 Winthrop St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
FREE

Even more so than most months when folks get together for some critical thinking, healthy skepticism, and drinks; tonight's forum may be quite entertaining with guest, skeptical singer/songwriter/musician George Hrab who will also perform some songs.

Don't let me convince you of anything. See for yourself if you enjoy it -- or if anyone is even there...

MON 11/23

8:30pm
TraniWreck Transgiving Spectacular
at Middle East - Downstairs, 480 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10 / 18+

Oh, the Pilgrims and Native Americans probably never imagined a Thanksgiving party like this. Before binging and football with family and friends, it's men and women dressed as women and men... Singing and dancing and bawdy fun once described as:

TraniWreck is an all gender, all genre, irreverent performance art cabaret/variety show... brings the best tranny/trashy drag, burlesque, dance, comedy, trashy vaudevillian mayhem, dirty lap dancing, challenging sexy political feats of gorgeousness.
Expected performers include: Heywood Wakefield, Frieda Fries, Becca D'Bus, Johnny Blazes, M. Hanora, Hava (Havalah?) Heart, Goldie Peacock, Red Rider, Khane Kutzwell

DJ Kat Fyte will provide the nominal excuse for loads of dancing.

Maybe you didn't know it was Transgender Awareness Week, but this show is a fundraiser for the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition.

MON 11/23

10pm
Vagiant, Cocked N' Loaded, Gibby & the Buzzkills
at Charlie's Kitchen, 10 Eliot St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$5 / 21+

If they haven't played together before, band names like Vagiant and Cocked N' Loaded remind you that a lot of rock springs from the loins! It's a loud and fast rock party that would be a good night to take your hands out of your pockets and through the goat horns. Vagiant the devil-may-care/bad-ass quartet of punk rock chicks serve it up as you might expect. Cocked N' Loaded throw down the hard-rock hammer pretty hard. You'll probably even dig the catchy garage-rock of Gibby & The Buzzkills.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

11/22: Sunday Night Off-Topic Video

Imagine if wonderful art like this (by Allison Schulnik) was actually broadcast on TV?

Even if this wasn't Grizzly Bear, I doubt this would ever be shown on MTV. It would make every other video look like two-dimensional fecal matter.



Despite the commercial at the beginning, I saw this clip at a party on Friday night and laughed. Yes, that's Gerard Butler in the white suit. "What up with that?"

Saturday, November 21, 2009

SUN 11/22: Sale, Art, Classical, Folk, Sexy Trivia, Pop, Rock, Country

Sex, Drugs, and Turkey? Savant Project tonight.
Not a bad Sunday of cheapness... I would've whittled down the music options, but they're good in their own ways.

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SUN 11/22

11am to 4pm
Papercut Zine Library Indoor Yard Sale
at The Democracy Center, 45 Mount Auburn St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
- Whatever you spend -

About 18 vendors with stuff like books, movies, music, art supplies, clothes, etc. This ain't a holiday listing. There could be some cool stuff there...

SUN 11/22

Noon to 6pm
Annual Open Studios
at Brickbottom Studios, 1 Fitchburg St, Somerville (near Lechmere)
at Joy Street Studios, 86 Joy St, Somerville (near Union Sq)
FREE

See art, talk about art, walk to more art, maybe buy some art... About 110 artists in various media are participating between the 2 locations that are quite close to each other.

SUN 11/22

3pm to 5pm
Symphony Orchestray of the Kurmangazy Kazakh National Conservatory, Turan
at Kresge Auditorium, 48 Mass Ave, Cambridge (MIT campus)
FREE

There will be no sign of Borat near the Kazakh symphony orchestra and traditional folk ensemble consisting of orchestra members. The classical music will surely be fine, but the Central Asian music with traditional instruments and throat singing. I watched a clip, and it sounds sitting in a Coleridge poem.

Be cautious, I read that it's "free, but tickets are required." If you really want to go, you should call 617-253-2906 for info, or you could show up if you're in the neighborhood. It could be crowded since this is one of the five US tour stops.

SUN 11/22

8pm
Sex and Drugs Trivia: Turkey Giveaway
at The Savant Project, 1625 Tremont St, Boston (Mission Hill)
FREE

It's like other pub trivia, except topics cover what you really care about... When I helped Team Bostonist win, I think there were 4 rounds that each had a theme that was similar in form to other pub trivia. As far as team sizes, they welcome "3somes, 4somes and full on orgies."

Sex and drugs fun happens almost ever Sunday. I like that tonight's grand prize will be an actual turkey that you can cook.

SUN 11/22

8pm
International Pop Overthrow: Night #4
at Church, 69 Kilmarnock St, Boston (Fenway)
$8

On the last night of IPO, it's pretty much powerpop as you'd expect it. Jangly guitars from bands that probably wear bracelets that say "What Would John, Paul, George & Ringo Do" and frown upon turning amps to 10. It's poppy, but it's the kind that isn't really popular anymore so you don't have to apologize to like it. With 7 bands, that's a pretty decent cover charge ratio...

8pm: Bird Mancini
8:30pm: Salvatore Baglio
9pm: The Dayzies
9:30pm: Skyler
10pm: Powderhouse
10:30pm: Jason Bourgeois & the Silver Jasons
11pm: The Rationales
SUN 11/22

9:30pm
Talk Modern, Quixote, Ghost Box Orchestra
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$7 / 18+

Here are three smart, original rock bands in town. Talk Modern is thick, layered brew of heavy rock riffage. Quixote keeps it interesting from hopping around influences within each song; they play with all sorts of groovy bits of folk and rock to make a new picture of their own.

Instead of bashing through, chord to chord, Ghost Box Orchestra move through musical ideas together like a reptilian rock monster slithering around and rising and pouncing. I didn't really miss the vocals; whenever I started wondering when they were about to sing, the song changed.

SUN 11/22

9pm
The Sweetback Sisters
at Atwoods Tavern, 877 Cambridge St, Cambridge (East Cambridge)
FREE

It's new-time, old-time country from Brooklyn or thereabouts. Is there anything sweeter than those dual-female harmonies in front of a honky-tonking, twangfest? I don't know, you could make up your own mind. (And there's Bridget Kearney on stand-up bass who used to play in a bunch of Boston bands.)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sneak Peek: SAT 11/21

Boston League of Women Wrestlers, Saturday at PA's Lounge
It seems unnaturally warm, so you might as well enjoy it. More to come, I hope...

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SAT 11/21 & SUN 11/22

Noon to 6pm
Annual Open Studios
at Brickbottom Studios, 1 Fitchburg St, Somerville (near Lechmere)
at Joy Street Studios, 86 Joy St, Somerville (near Union Sq)
FREE

See art, talk about art, walk to more art, maybe buy some art... About 110 artists in various media are participating between the 2 locations that are quite close to each other.

Slim Jim & The Mad Cows are playing at Brickbottom at 6:30pm.

SAT 11/21

5:30pm
Jason Crigler
at Atwood's Tavern, 877 Cambridge St , Cambridge
FREE

The early evening can be pleasantly spent in an East Cambridge bar with many beers on tap and folky rock on stage from a man who's living inspirational story (and documentary).

SAT 11/21

8pm
Jeff Huckleberry, "A Very Beautiful Art Show For You": Closing Reception
at Meme Gallery, 55 Norfolk St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE

Could be interesting; I think the exhibit will many be a video of performances that have occurred during the show. It's probably be something weird. I walked by the gallery last week, and the artist has a wild look in his eyes.

SAT 11/21

8pm
International Pop Overthrow: Night #3
at Church, 69 Kilmarnock St, Boston (Fenway)
$10 / 21+

8pm: Cliff Hillis
8:30pm: Carlene Barous
9pm: Popfilter
9:30pm: Golden Bloom
10pm: The Motion Sick
10:30pm: The Montgomerys
11pm: Topheavy
11:30pm: The Lights Out
I said earlier this week to pick any night and enjoy, but this is the best night of this year's IPO from beginning to end.

SAT 11/21

9:30pm
El-P (Midnight), Bodega Girls (10:50pm), Faces On Film (9:45pm)
at Johnny D's, 17 Holland St, Somerville (Davis Sq)
$10

Alias "The Echo Nestival", it's the performance portion of a music-app building get-together -- with rapper El-P, funky dance-rockers Bodega Girls, and folky Faces On Film.

Looks like you can get in as a listener for an eclectic line-up.

SAT 11/21

9:30pm
"The Cover Up" does "The Last Waltz"
at Lizard Lounge/Cambridge Common, 1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge (between Harvard Sq & Porter Sq)
$9 advance / $10 / 21+

Feat: The Rationales, The Phil Aiken Army, The Teenage Prayers, The Beau Roland Band

Special guests: Ad Frank, Andy Cambria, Brendan Boogie, John Powhida, Mike Verge, Pip, more

Did you ever see the movie about The Band's farewell concert? Some of the biggest rock stars joined them, and there were more hits than misses.

(I would wager this group of musicians will ingest a much, much smaller amount of drugs and alcohol.)

SAT 11/21

9:30pm
B.L.O.W.W., Guillermo Sexo, Young Tremors
at PA's Lounge, 345 Somerville Ave, Somerville (Union Sq)
$8 -- 21+ / $11 -- 18+

Boston League of Women Wrestlers is fun and campy. Yes, girls rock. Live bands will rock you too.

SAT 11/21

10pm
Eddie Japan, Kingsley Flood
at Rosebud Bar & Grill (behind Diner), 381 Summer St, Somerville (Davis Sq)
$5 / 21+

Kickass rootsy rock and some really cool, classy pop-rock at my new favorite secret bar in Davis Sq.

11/20 to 11/22: Boston Ski & Snowboard Expo


Various Times
Ski & Snowboard Expo
at Bayside Expo, 200 Mount Vernon St, Boston (Columbia Point)
$10 online or with coupon / FREE 12 and under

Friday: 4pm to 10pm
Saturday: 10am to 8pm
Sunday: 10am to 6pm

Do I have to mention the Ski Expo? I saw a buddy of mine on the way to this thing last night.

If you're going to ski or snowboard this season, there's a good chance you're going to save more than $10 by going...

There are discounts and packages to dozens of ski locations in New England -- including popular ones -- and around the country.

People tell me there are good deals on equipment (at least on the first night, haha).

You can print out this page for $2 off the $12 admission or give them your email address if that page isn't working.

(There's a coupon near the back of this week's Phoenix. Take the T to JFK/UMass and grab one out of the kiosk if you must.)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

FRI 11/20: Film, Russian, Nightmare, Pop, Rock

Will the exhibit have a snow globe?
Oh-me, oh-my! Things did not go quite as planned, but I'll to recover. There is a chance of a soft re-launch of the weekly email this week. Stay tuned. We now present another sub-par post...

Hey, I think I found cheapness that's spread around the area...

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FRI 11/20

7pm
An Evening with Paul Schrader
at Room 102, Sargent College, 635 Comm Ave, Boston (BU campus)
FREE

This is a pretty big guy to get for BU (and with relatively little fanfare as far as I know). If I wasn't already busy, I'd love to hear Paul Schrader talk about filmmaking.

If Schrader's name doesn't sound familiar, he wrote the screenplay for a bunch of Scorsese films such as "Taxi Driver", "Raging Bull", "The Last Temptation of Christ", and "Bringing Out the Dead".

He's also a fine director in his own right of movies like "American Gigolo", "Light Sleeper", "Affliction", and the movie that will be screened tonight: "Auto Focus".

FRI 11/20

8pm to 10pm
Russian Guitar Night & Blinchiki
at Room 491, Stratton Student Center, 84 Mass Ave, Cambridge (MIT campus)
$5 suggested donation

This sounds like a pretty casual time. I do know that Russians know how to party. Guys with guitars singing songs and eating filled pancakes? This is a good time. I bet people won't even be angry if someone was enjoying a little vodka...?

FRI 11/20

8pm to 10pm
Museum of Toys & Pop Culture, "The Nightmare Before Christmas": Opening
at Comicazi - West, 1305 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington
$10

I recently said I wasn't going list any "Christmas" stuff before Thanksgiving, but I consider this more of a Halloween film than Xmas.

It was easy to forget that there's a Museum of Toys & Pop Culture in Arlington, because it's in Arlington -- and I've never been there. I've taken the bus past the store a few time, but it must have a lot of space to house separate exhibits from the regular merch.

There's going to be a screening of "The Nightmare Before Christmas" on their big screen to along with the movie-themed toys, etc. Tim Burton is the man in my opinion, so this could be really cool. Expect some spooky food treats, and there will be a raffle to win a event-specific shirt.

Admission is limited to 50 and includes a free 'Nightmare' button.

FRI 11/20

8pm
International Pop Overthrow
at Church, 69 Kilmarnock St, Boston (Fenway)
$10 / 21+

8pm: Bittersweets
8:30pm: Pastiche
9pm: Fox Pass
9:30pm: Fireking
10pm: 1.4.5.
10:30pm: Big City Rockers
11pm: The Stompers
11:30pm: The Varmints
There is nothing wrong with this lineup. There is classic powerpop from Fox Pass. Vintage upstate NY powerpop is represented by 1.4.5. (from the ashes of The Flashcubes). Big City Rockers include members of classic Boston band The Atlantics, and they're doing an all-Atlantics set tonight.

FRI 11/20

Township (Midnight), The Dirty Truckers (11pm), The Long Time Darlings (10pm), 66 Breakout (9pm)
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10

There is no screwing around here. You get 4 no-nonsense, down 'n dirty, bluesy, rootsy rock bands. Whether it's Township's classic 70's-rock squeezed through a modern strainer, the Stonesy rock of The Dirty Truckers, the blues explosion of 66 Breakout, or straight-up ballsy rock of Pittsburgh's Long Time Darlings -- it's a good time. And there may be Narragansett shwag to be had...

FRI 11/20

9:30pm
Thalia Zedek, Shepherdess, Audrey Ryan
at Milky Way Lounge / Bella Luna, 284 Amory St, Jamaica Plain (The Brewery Complex)
$7

Previously Thalia Zedek reminded me of a female Leonard Cohen, but I listened to her 7-minute version of "House of the Rising Sun" the other night. I think Zedek's could better be compared to latter-day Marianne Faithfull, but her songwriter has the intensity of Cohen or Nick Cave.

Shepherdess makes delightfully askew, catchy indie-rock that I really like whenever I listen. Any Audrey Ryan should be on your radar, because this so damn awesome stuff.

FRI 11/20

Drago (11:45pm), 007Hundred Club (11pm), The Spoilers (10:15pm), The Doll Eyes (9:30pm)
at Midway Cafe, 3496 Washington St, Jamaica Plain
$10ish / 21+

This is going to be a killer hardcore punk show. This is the real thing, folks. Like they played it in my youth...

It turns out that Drago and 007Hundred Club have put out a split album, and both bands have two former Darkbuster members. Talk about friendly rivalry.

Follow this link, if you're interested in getting a discounted Narragansett tallboy tonight.

It's hard to get an exact cover charge at the Midway in advance. I'm guessing $8 or $10.

FRI 11/20 & SAT 11/21

10pm
The Beatle Butchers
at Toad, 1912 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Porter Sq)
FREE

I love The Beatles. You probably love The Beatles. These guys do a damn good job at playing the songs. One of the guys moved away about 6 months ago, but it's time for a couple reunion gigs around Thanksgiving.

Friday: 1963 to 1966
Saturday: 1967 to 1970

I assume they won't exclusively play stuff from the 'Red' and 'Blue' albums...

THUR 11/19: Talk, Rock, Comedy, Film, Jazz, Pop

Super Time Pilot
I don't know why everything is starting early tonight. I hope I'm not going to miss something important later...

And again there is too much good stuff happening on one night. The International Pop Overthrow lasts 4 nights, but each show is really good.

For the record, I'm not going to list any event related to Christmas/Chanukah/Kwaanza before Thanksgiving. Starting the holiday crap beforehand is ridiculous.

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THUR 11/19

6pm
"American Cities At A Crossroads"
at JFK Forum, Belfer Center, 79 JFK St, Cambridge (Kennedy School of Govt)
FREE

Mumbles will have a 'conversation' with Greg Nickels (Mayor, Seattle) and Michael Nutter (Mayor, Philadelphia) to be moderated by Bill Purcell (former Mayor, Nashville).

About 20 new mayors from around the country are attending a 3-day seminar at Harvard's Institute of Politics, and this forum is open to the public.

Newly elected mayors include Brockton, Fall River, Worcester, and Newton. Hello, Boston! Wouldn't it have been nice to be able to say "former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino"?

Update: Hey, I just thought that Menino will probably cancel due to his injury.

THUR 11/19

7:15pm to 9pm
Super Time Pilot, Ken Reid, Chris Coxen, Mehran, Sarah Heggan
at Middle East - Upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$6 / 18+

I met Robbie Roadsteamer last month at the New Alliance Open House last month. He has changed his professional image a few times since I became aware of him, but I was still taken aback by the friendly yet shy fellow that night. I didn't know if he was on something or putting me on, so I decided not to engage into a longer conversation. (Later someone accused me of being an undercover cop...)

In Super Time Pilot, there's a raw earnestness with collaborator Nikki (C4RT, WtLMtS) that still is full of humor. Watch the web series "Quiet Desperation", and you get an idea about this project (along with a general skewering of the Boston music scene).

I assume the comedians will be followed by the Super Time Pilot set. I never thought a song called "Creepy Dickhead Eyes" would be so catchy!

THUR 11/19

7:30pm to 9:30pm
Fellini's "Roma": Screening
at Bartos Theater, Wiesner Bldg, 20 Ames St, Cambridge (MIT campus)
FREE

For two hours, you can take a surreal, occasionally meta-cinematic tour of Rome. Some scenes are autobiographical tales from Fellini's life; some are just footage of the Eternal City.

LVAC Film Night is presented in conjunction with the exhibit "Tobias Putrih & MOS: Without Out" (thru SUN 1/3).

THUR 11/19

7:30pm
The Dred Scott Trio
at The Lily Pad, 1353 Cambridge St, Cambridge (Inman Sq)
$10 / All Ages

The New York City jazz experience returns to Cambridge. The Dred Scott Trio are the real deal -- hard-swinging, bebop-y piano trio with outside flourishes. There's a cheeky playfulness that that elevates rather than distract even thought they've been known to play covers from Black Sabbath or Blue Oyster Cult.

THUR 11/19

7:30pm
Chandler Travis Philharmonic, Tripping Lily
at Johnny D's, 17 Holland St, Somerville (Davis Sq)
$10

The mad musical genius of the Cape, Chandler Travis has a new solo album "After She Left" where he mellows out a bit for a collection described as "ballads, or near-ballads". I think he still might wear some crazy pajamas tonight... Tripping Lily opens with some ukulele-based folk-rock.

THUR 11/19

8pm
International Pop Overthrow: Night #1
at Church, 69 Kilmarnock St, Boston (Fenway)
$8 / 21+

Tonight's opener is a mixed assortment of pure pop (Corin Ashley), powerpop (The Buckners, Lemonpeeler), twangy pop (Jeff Byrd & Dirty Finch, Satch Kerans), loud garage-pop (The Doom Buggies), and folk-pop (Heath Street).

8pm: Corin Ashley **
8:30pm: Jeff Byrd & Dirty Finch
9pm: The Buckners **
9:30pm: Satch Kerans **
10pm: The Doom Buggies **
10:30pm: Lemonpeeler
11pm: Heath Street
Should be a good time. The wonderful Corin Ashley is the perfect guy to kick off the IPO.

THUR 11/19

9:30pm
Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents, Jordan Valentine & The Sunday Saints, The Swinedells, Triple Thick
at Lizard Lounge/Cambridge Common, 1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge (between Harvard Sq & Porter Sq)
$8 / 21+

Super soul band with powerhouse singer Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents has invited another super soul band with powerhouse singer Jordan Valentine & The Sunday Saints to get the joint really jumping with the early-R&B revivalists with a punk spirit The Swinedells and the buzzing garage-rock ruckus of Triple Thick.

I guess Jenny Dee's Thursday-night residency finishes early this month because of Turkey Day...

THUR 11/19

9:30pm
"Self Helpless"
at Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$8

Have you and your friends ever think about making your own movie? This is low-low-budget comedy filmed in Vermont is probably better than what your first couple attempts would produce.

If you can get past the slightly wooden acting and inelegant editing, there's some sparks in this film. It's full of sex-, drug-, and other sophomoric humor as a group of friends try to improve their lives via self-help books. -- I actually laughed out loud at one point in the trailer

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

WED 11/18: Art, Film, Opera, Comedy, Music


Well, there's a lot of high-quality cheapness tonight: Wild opera in a bar... Bawdy bar drawing in a school... Aggressive comedy... A free German art film... Good rock and free singer-songwriter types... Heck, I wonder if any Leonids could be seen at BU's observatory night? It's making me think Wednesday may be the "new Thursday". If you go to MassArt tonight and are ambitious, you can catch two events.

If you want a laugh, this must be the best Craigslist ad of the day: "Gravy Ladler (Saturday Evening)"

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WED 11/18

5pm to 9pm
"Leaving the River": Opening Reception
at Arnheim Gallery, South Bldg, 621 Huntington Ave, Boston (MassArt campus)
FREE

There is still a sign downtown (maybe on New Chardon St?) that welcomes you to the West End, but there's little left of the neighborhood that was razed about 50 years ago. (I love that one building standing alone near the Garden.)

Evelyn Berde's multi-media installation is based on her childhood in the West End including traumatic events in her life and the loss of the neighborhood, which still lives on in the memories of the former residents who still attend reunions.

Exhibit on display through THUR 12/3.

WED 11/18

7pm
"Wings of Desire"
at Harvard Film Archive, Carpenter Center, 24 Quincy St, Cambridge (Harvard campus)
FREE

This movie blew me away when I first saw it, and it was unabated when my friends didn't feel as strongly after I'd force them to watch it.

Yes, there are a lot of angels walking around Berlin. Yes, it's mostly in black and white. Yes, it's in German (with subtitles). Yes, with open mind and open hear you will feel more alive after watching this movie. Beautiful film.

WED 11/18

7:30pm
"Operatic Acrobatics: Opera Without a Net"
at Lizard Lounge/Cambridge Common, 1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge (between Harvard Sq & Porter Sq)
FREE / 21+

Since we're in the middle of National Opera Week, Opera Boston celebrates with a free show of their Underground series.

Every Underground session has had a theme, and Operatic Acrobatics is comprised "difficult, high-wire" pieces -- -- that make opera geeks giddy.

About a dozen young singers (including Sol Kim Bentley, Brenna Wells, and Julia Mintzer) will tackle these high-flying arias without a net. There may be some danger, but let's hope no one is injured or embarrassed.

Hosted by Opera Boston music director Gil Rose.

Doors open at 7pm, and there's a good chance that people will be lined up before then to get into the tiny basement club.

WED 11/18

7:30pm
Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School Cabaret -- goes to MassArt
at Pozen Center, 621 Huntington Ave, Boston (MassArt, enter on Evans Way)
$5 / FREE w/ MassArt ID / All Ages

Feat: Molly Crabapple, Miss Southern Comfort & Dame Cuchifrita of Brown Girls Burlesque, Mr. Reusch, Emperor Norton's Stationary Marching Band

Dr. Sketchy is taking a break from the bars to visit one of our local art schools. You won't be able to order a drink, but it should still be a fun session to draw as casually as you like. Don't let the art majors intimidate you.

Molly Crabapple (Dr. Sketchy's founder) is on the road promoting her graphic novel "Scarlett Takes Manhattan" by visiting branches like Boston.

I think I have a general idea about the program. There's going to be more models than usual: artist Mister Reusch is going kick it off as a musical monster model. The duo from NYC's Brown Girls Burlesque are probably going to pose similar to scenes in "Scarlett Takes Manhattan", and Emperor Norton's Stationary Marching Band will provide the lurid horns and rhythms to make you draw something awesome -- in your own way.

I bet the MassArt kids don't see life models like these...

Update: Maybe 8pm? I don't know.

WED 11/18

9pm
"Improv CageMatch"
at Castlebar, 575 Washington St, Brighton (Oak Sq)
$1 / 21+

This is when comedy gets serious. In a way... But still, y'know, funny... The Castlebar improv team will be facing Bastards Inc in a comedy battle.

I don't know what's going on exactly, but this looks funny. Two stand-up acts will perform as well.

It's only a buck to get in, and there will be $2 High Life Specials and $7 Pitchers. Drinking in a bar doesn't get much cheaper than this. Drink, laugh, repeat.

WED 11/18

9pm
Cub Country, The Big Big Bucks, Yoni Gordon & the Goods, Borrowed Eyes
at Middle East - Upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$9 / 18+

On top of everything else happening under $10, there's a pretty killer rock show. The two touring bands include former bassists of cool bands that are now taking a looser, bluesier, folksier approach to rock. (The Cub Country guy was in Jets to Brazil; the dude behind Borrowed Eyes is formerly of ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead.) Neither is a quiet and soft band, but both might fall under the "rootsy" umbrella. I hear more rock than twang, and it's something worthwhile to check out.

To spice things up, Yoni Gordon & the Goods and The Big Big Bucks get in your face and rock it out. Thumbs up for all.

WED 11/18

Audrey Ryan (10pm), Sarah Blacker (7pm)
at Toad, 1912 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Porter Sq)
FREE

Anytime you have a chance to see Audrey Ryan, you should seriously consider it. I'm genuinely flummoxed that she isn't already adored by millions of music lovers. The multi-instrumentalist dispatches thoughtful lyrics that dance in and around your ears on the inventive melodies. There's a lovably catchy quirkiness to it. Her new album sounds damn good too...

The early show with Sarah Blacker isn't shabby either.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

11/19 to 11/22: International Pop Overthrow


8pm
International Pop Overthrow
at Church, 69 Kilmarnock St, Boston (Fenway)
$8 to $10 / 21+

International Pop Overthrow is the multi-city / multi-national showcase for hundreds of kindred spirits that love the kind of rock 'n roll that was "pop" in '60s and '70s.

A lot of bands still take that classic formula that was taught to us by The Beatles, Beach Boys, Byrds, etc -- and the bands that followed -- and put their own twist on it.

The meaning gets stretched to cover all sorts of bands. Whether jangly, fuzzy, punky, rootsy, and/or whatever else -- the reignind concept should be to make song-oriented music -- to "serve the song".

With 7 (or 8) performers doing short sets, you're bound to hear something you like. Quite a few of them have played the Boston festival in the past couple years. So you can catch some of your favorites and find some new faves.

My advice is to go to any show that you can and bring open ears to love some new music. Maybe pick a night that has a band that you already like... or a band that you've wanted to see... I've always had a good time at an IPO show in Boston (or LA).

"**" = A band I know and like

THUR 11/19 -- $8

8pm: Corin Ashley **
8:30pm: Jeff Byrd & Dirty Finch
9pm: The Buckners **
9:30pm: Satch Kerans **
10pm: The Doom Buggies **
10:30pm: Lemonpeeler
11pm: Heath Street
FRI 11/20 -- $10
8pm: Bittersweets
8:30pm: Pastiche
9pm: Fox Pass **
9:30pm: Fireking **
10pm: 1.4.5. **
10:30pm: Big City Rockers (playing songs of The Atlantics **)
11pm: The Stompers
11:30pm: The Varmints **
SAT 11/21 -- $10
8pm: Cliff Hillis
8:30pm: Carlene Barous
9pm: Popfilter
9:30pm: Golden Bloom **
10pm: The Motion Sick **
10:30pm: The Montgomerys **
11pm: Topheavy **
11:30pm: The Lights Out **
SUN 11/22 -- $8
8pm: Bird Mancini **
8:30pm: Salvatore Baglio **
9pm: The Dayzies
9:30pm: Skyler
10pm: Powderhouse
10:30pm: Jason Bourgeois & the Silver Jasons
11pm: The Rationales **

TUES 11/17: Food, Jazz, Film, Acoustic

Gifrants, on the Red Line
Hey, I read that Sunday's macaroni and cheese takedown filled to capacity with people in line that didn't get in. I hope you got there early ehough...

In other food-related news, some strange-looking people may be handing out bottles of Tabasco sauce around town. Don't worry, it's only a promotion for the TV show "Fringe".

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TUES 11/17

6pm to 7pm
"Sustainable and Local Food": Discussion
at Suffolk Law School Faculty Dining Room, 4th Floor, 120 Tremont St, Boston (Beacon Hill)
FREE w/ RSVP

Feat: Alex Loud (Slow Food Boston), Matthew Kochka (ReVision Urban Farm), Jessica Banhazl (Green City Growers), Jamey Lionette (Lionette's Market)

It's a good way to increase your knowledge by listening to four people with deep knowledge of the local sustainable food scene. The emphasis may be on holiday cooking and eating. (Maybe treat your family with extremely fresh turkey, cranberries, etc?)

You can still RSVP until 4pm today. You also have a chance to wine a bottle of apple wine from Harvard, Mass.

TUES 11/17

7pm
"Puerto Rico Conservatory meets Berklee College of Music"
at Recital Hall 1W, 1140 Boylston Street, Boston (The Fens)
FREE

Students from the Puerto Rico Conservatory will perform a mix of Pan-American, Latin and straight-ahead jazz with Berklee students in a tasty sonic sancocho.

There are more upcoming events in Berklee's Latin Culture Celebration in November.

TUES 11/17

7pm
"Precious": Screening
at AMC Loews Theatre, 175 Tremont St, Boston (Boston Common)
FREE w/ Flyer

This looks like it's going to be a tough movie to watch since the story explores the tremendous challenges of a teen growing up in '80s Harlem.

One might be wary of melodramatic pap, but this film doesn't pull punches from what I've heard. One way or the other, this could be one of the most-discussed movies of the year.

The PDF Flyer will admit two people, if there's room: "Please arrive early. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis."

TUES 11/17

9:30pm
Tuesday Acoustic Showcase
Feat: Dave Alpert, Gifrants
at Tommy Doyle's (upstairs), 96 Winthrop St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
FREE

Coincidentally I was at Tommy Doyle's on a Tuesday night earlier in the year and heard a few decent variety of live music. I prefer the vibe upstairs anyway; it's roomier and brighter -- but not too bright. (Sometimes the ground floor has the feel of a Middle Ages cellar.)

I believe there were more than two acts when I was there, but two are listed tonight. Dave Alpert simply writes organically delightful pop-rock songs, which isn't easy to do. His straight-forward singing is a good complement as well. He'll be joined by his band's drummer and apparently keep it acoustic.

I've listened to Gifrants in 1- to 5-minute segments at various T stations, and it sometimes blends together in my mind as the same song. Perhaps a whole set from the Haitian jazz troubadour will expand beyond what sounds like one long island song in French...

Monday, November 16, 2009

MON 11/16: Food, Spanish, Rock


Yes, most of my music picks are around Central Square...

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MON 11/16

7pm to 8pm
Barbara Lynch, "Stir": Signing & Tasting
at Barnes and Noble, 5th Floor, 660 Beacon St, Boston (Kenmore Sq)
FREE

Another delicious Barbara Lynch food product is in bookstores. Not long ago, she opened a cookbook library / demo kitchen called "Stir" near two of her restaurants, The Butcher Shop and B&G Oysters. The cookbook of the same name includes recipes of some of her most-loved dishes geared to home cook.

Some sound easy, others require more effort. I bet it would be inspirational to hear her talk about it, and you might get to taste something.

MON 11/16

8pm
Berklee Canta en EspaƱol Showcase
at Cafe 939, 939 Boylston St, Boston (Back Bay)
FREE

As part of Berklee's month-long Latin Culture Celebration, tonight's free performance features one of the winners and other competitors of Berklee Canta en EspaƱol, their Spanish-language songwriting contest.

The majority of the stuff is pretty mellow, well-constructed music like co-winner Joel Waldman and fellow Colombian Juliana Ronderos. It gains a bit more toughness with rock band Tornasol and Pablo Latapi, but the musicianship is all top-notch.

MON 11/16

10pm
Pants Yell!, Reversing Falls
at ZuZu!, 474 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$3 / 21+.

Wow, this is a whole lot of jangly indie-pop that buzzes around the room with a relaxed yet incessant gusto. One of the aspects that I also admire about Pants Yell is the short 'n sweet songs. The new album has 9 songs in 26 minutes. Reversing Falls, musical kindred spirits from Montreal, join the relase party which will be over at the T-friendly time of midnight.

MON 11/16

10pm
Viva Viva, Doomstar!
at Middlesex Lounge, 315 Mass Ave, Cambridge (near Central Sq)
$5 / 21+

When I first heard Viva Viva, they seemed to chug along like a more straightforward rock locomotive. It seems like they've taken a turn towards a lo-fi, rootsy indie-rock vibe. The intensity is still there, and the stage presence is as strong as you'd expect from guys who've led a bunch of excellent bands (The Lot Six, Officer May, The Beat Awfuls, etc).

Doomstar! is out there in a punchy, up-tempo way that scrambles my brain a bit on continued listening. There is a lot of interesting melodic ideas and herky-jerky rhythms.

I also like seeing shows in rooms where they don't usually host a lot of rock shows like Middlesex Lounge (although Viva Viva has done quite a few there).

MON 11/16

007 Hundred Club (Midnight), Blood Vessels (11pm), The Varmints (10pm)
at Charlie's Kitchen, 10 Eliot St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$5 / 21+

This is a pretty damn cool punk rock night, especially since there's a good variety of approaches beyond what I think of as the Boston street-punk style. I don't think that applies to any of the bands tonight. Good, honest, hardcore stuff. Get there early for the Varmints led by Billy Borgioli (The Real Kids, Classic Ruins).

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