Monday, December 14, 2009

MON 12/14: Watching, Reading, Caroling, Funking, Rocking

The Curses
So I went to the Crafty Gangsta party on Friday night, and I had a great time. Somehow a rapping crafter inspires one to let loose and embrace the concept of gluing and painting and bedazzling is not just for old people and shut-ins. I wish I had made it to all of the various tables, but we left with a very cool beer-can ornament...


MON 12/14

at Rabb Hall, Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St, Boston (Copley Sq)

The "All About Altman" Film Series saved one of the best for last. Widely considered to be one of Robert Altman's films, "Nashville" weaves multiple story lines with country music, politics, and grim examinations of human nature.

MON 12/14

Garrison Keillor, "A Christmas Blizzard": Reading
at First Parish Church, 3 Church St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$10 / $5 students with ID

Garrison Keillor's new book tells the story of a modern-day Scrooge. You might have to be a die-hard "Prairie Home Companion" fan to shell out $10 to hear Keillor read from some passages, but I pass it on.

MON 12/14

100th Annual Christmas Carol Services
at Memorial Church, Harvard Yard, Cambridge

Normally I'd be on the fence about listing some undergrads singing Christmas carols, but it is the 100th year. It makes me think of the influential people of the last century who sat in this church and listened to a program rather similar to what will be sung in the present.

It does seem like it'll be a full church service that includes the singing, but the general public is welcome tonight. "Doors open one hour before the services. Admission is free; an offering for charity is collected."

MON 12/14

Berklee Tower of Power Ensemble
at Berklee Performance Center, 136 Mass Ave, Boston (Back Bay)

A big horn section blast of funk and soul might be a good way to shake off any holiday stress one might have. It's actually good to shake off the blahs at any time of the year -- or simply to shake for the hell of it.

The real Tower of Power has visited Berklee in the past, and even they've been impressed at how well the students perform their material. Besides the 8 horns, there a 5-piece rhythm section and 6 singers.

MON 12/14

The Wandas, Guillermo Sexo, Art Decade
at Middle East - Upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$9 / 18+

Even though I get the feeling that The Wandas might be a band of snotty rockers, I still enjoy their taut, melodic, sonic power-pop dumplings. They've got their act together, and rock stars should have some attitude. I like them enough to ignore that they're keyboard player is actually a Mac laptop. Art Decade is another band that is serious about climbing the ladder of success; these Berklee kids are working it with smartly constructed tunes and strong musicianship. Bringing some contrast to the picture is the darkish, noisy yet sophisticated psych rock of Guillermo Sexo.


The Curses, The Egos, The Mess Me Ups
at Charlie's Kitchen, 10 Eliot St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$5 / 21+

On most Monday nights, there's a better than 50-50 chance to hear some kick-ass garage/punk upstairs at Charlies. This is one of those lucky nights. The Curses do a great job of reviving the best ideas of the time when new wave could have a punky angularity and snarl. The Egos have got the reverby, surfy garage sound with a helping of a creep vibe. The Mess Me Ups excel at rip-roaring rock.

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