Tuesday, June 30, 2009

TUES 6/30: Harborfest, Lemonheads, Film, Music & Robot Talks

The Lemonheads, Hatch Shell
Yeah, a lot of stuff is happening around 7pm tonight. Although I usually try to offer a spread, I don't schedule these things...

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TUES 6/30 (thru SUN 7/5)

Noon
Harborfest Opening Ceremony
at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, 1 Faneuil Hall Market Pl, Boston (between Faneuil Hall & Quincy Market)
FREE

If you work downtown (or are visiting) there is free cake at 12:30pm after the Mayor speaks. Fifes & drums by Bostonia Allarum Companie; 'big band' music by Four Guys in Tuxes.

There are some other free events around town today, but it really picks up tomorrow with Children's Day then Chowderfest (SUN 7/5) and obviously the Pops 'n fireworks on Saturday.

TUES 6/30

6pm
The Lemonheads: Performance & Signing
at Newbury Comics, 332 Newbury Street, Boston (Back Bay)
FREE

With their EarthFest appearance, this is The Lemonheads' second free Boston appearance in about a month. It's going to be acoustic and shorter (30 minutes or less), but it's still Evan Dando.

All of the songs on the new CD are covers. Dando choose them from various mixes that Gibby Haynes (Butthole Surfers) made for him over the years. So we get a variety "from early British psychedelic to Dutch electronica" including tunes by GG Allin, Townes Van Zandt, and Leonard Cohen.

TUES 6/30

7pm
"Humpday": Screening
at Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square, Somerville
FREE w/ Flyer [PDF]

It's a classic set-up: Two college buddies haven't seen each other in 10 years; one has married and settled down, and one is still just as wild as before. When they unexpectedly meet up again, things take a left turn. They dare themselves into an amateur porn contest and decide to have sex with each other. Is it beyond gay? Is it art?

Writer/director Lynn Shelton ("Someone to Watch Award", 2009 Independent Spirit Awards) will be in attendance.

Print the PDF flyer and arrive early. "Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and is not guaranteed."

TUES 6/30

7pm
Elijah Wald, "How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll": Reading
at Porter Square Books, 25 White St, Cambridge (near Star Market)
FREE

It's a provocative title, but author/musician/teacher Elijah Wald presents valid arguments which might change whatever opinions you have about the history of popular music over the last century.

TUES 6/30

7pm to 9pm
Dorkbot-Boston: "People Doing Strange Things With Electricity"
at AXIOM gallery, Green Street T, ground floor level, about 150 Green St, Jamaica Plain
FREE

It's my understanding that Dorkbot meetings have always been open to the public, but I didn't keep track when they usually met in an unfamiliar (to me) Davis Square space. The group seems to moving to a new location in Union Sq, so it could explain the venue change.

Presentations by Leah Buechley, Gideon Weisz, and Brian Knep will be followed by an "OpenDork" session where other mad scientists will show off what they're working on -- or you could bring your own bizarre, electric work(-in-progress).

Monday, June 29, 2009

MON 6/29: Climbing, Science, History, Rock


So there wasn't much dry time to chalk up a sidewalk to win Wilco tickets, but you still have until tomorrow to enter. I was told there's going to be drawings tickets at 3 farmer's markets this week. You could enter today at Central Square -- or at Davis Sq on Wednesday or Copley Sq on Friday.

Look for the Wilco table. If you "donate" $5 to the Mass Farmers Markets, you'll get a Wilco organic tote bag and be entered in that day's drawing.

Wilco rocks in concert, and I like Conor Oberst too. You could buy tix to the show in Lowell, but winning them isn't bad.

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MON 6/29

5:30pm to 7:30pm
Rock Climbing Wall Open House
at Fitness and Recreation Center, 915 Comm Ave, Boston (BU campus)
FREE w/ Registration

This is a good chance to try rock climbing at no cost -- and you don't need to crack your head open at the quarry where no one will find you for days. For some reason, BU is offering their climbing wall for free.

Try to register here. There are a few steps, but maybe you'll want to do something free again in the future. You'll be halfway there for the next time...

Warning: This is may be exhilarating, and you'll want to pay to do it again.

MON 6/29

7pm
Cafe Sci: "Music & Science"
at People's Republik, 876 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE / 21+

Every now and then, the folks at WGBH have an event that corresponds to the latest episode of Nova scienceNOW.

One of the segments in the season premiere is about "autotune" software that's becoming more and prevalent in music to the point where it's not just used to fixed a singer's flat or sharp notes. Autotune is the effect when you hear Kanye or T-Pain sounding like a melody robot.

Tristan Jehan, co-founder of local music technology company The Echo Nest, will speak about the music of the future. They'll also show a clip from the show.

The good thing about Cafe Sci is that the speakers consciously avoid using technical terms with which the average person may not be familiar. It's also a freewheeling forum for anyone to ask questions, and there's a lot of directions for the discussion to go.

Did I mention free appetizers? Yes, there'll be free food. With the combo of the presentation and the free bites, I had a great time at a previous session.

MON 6/29

7pm to 10pm
Julie Arrison, "Franklin Park Photo History": Book Release Celebration
at Doyle's Cafe, 3484 Washington St, Jamaica Plain
FREE

Since 1880, Franklin Park has been a prominent green space for the city, which covers 527 acres. "The Images of America" photobook series do a great job of collecting archival images of different neighborhoods and towns.

It's unclear if Julie Arrison, who put the book together and is a Franklin Park volunteer, will give an organized address; but I imagine it would be around 7pm. Otherwise, she'll be around talking about the project and the history of the "jewel" in Frederick Law Olmsted's Emerald Necklace.

MON 6/29

9:30pm
Magic Magic, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Bedtime
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$8 / 18+

Magic Magic and Cymbals Eat Guitars played together downstairs at the Middle East last month. Both bands have been getting a lot of buzz on the music blogs as well as positive reviews in the UK press. Magic Magic might be more popular in England than in Boston, but it's not too late get into their poppish, retro/psych indie-rock that might remind you of The Flaming Lips. I dig the two-drummer lineup.

With Cymbals Eat Guitars, there's definitely an influence from bands like Pavement or Modest Mouse when they were trippier and noisier. But it's better to listen to the jangly, droney guitars and the cool melodies, and enjoy it for what their songs sound like to you.

Kentucky band Bedtime fits right in with blasts noisy tunefulness.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

6/28: Sunday Night Off-Topic Video

I didn't want to get sappy about Michael Jackson.



Do you want download some of my favorite MJ tracks? Check some of these links:

- "I Want You Back"

- "Billie Jean", "Beat It", "Human Nature", "Smooth Criminal", "Leave Me Alone"

- "Wanna Be Starting Something"

- "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"

- "Rock With You"

SUN 6/28: Drawing, Chili, Poetry, Jazz


Yeah, it sucks that Sunday arrived so fast. But you should enjoy it. Maybe one of these could be a part of the fun.

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SUN 6/28

8am to 8pm
Drawing Marathon
at Mobius Art Space, 725 Harrison Ave, Boston (South End)
$10 Donation

Mobius asks, "What is a drawing?" and "What happens when you draw for a long sustained period of time?" I ask, "How hot and humid will it be on Sunday?" because they say their space is air conditioned. (Free parking in the area, since it's Sunday.)

Bring your drawing materials (including paper or cardboard or whatever you draw on). They say there will be still and "not so still" subjects for the whole day. Obviously you don't need to get there at 8am and you don't have to stay until the end. On the other hand, maybe quantity trumps quality for this session...

Obviously, all levels of ability are welcome. I assume you can bring water and snacks.

SUN 6/28

3pm
The Boston Chili Takedown
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$10 / 18+

It's an all-you-can-eat chili event, and you'll be able to buy as much beer as you need. I went to a chili-fest like this at the Abbey Lounge a couple years ago, and most of the batches were damn good. There should be at least 19 different entries to judge.

This could be lunch and dinner, if you do it right...

(I even tried to tell you about it in case you wanted to bring your own chili.)

SUN 6/28

4pm
"Salute to John Updike"
Feat: Christopher Lydon, X.J. Kennedy, F.D. Reeve
at East Lawn, Longfellow National Historic Site, 105 Brattle St, Cambridge (near Harvard Sq)
FREE

It's not hard to agree that John Updike was one of the greatest living writers, so it's sensible and appropriate that we commemorate a man who stirred us with verse and prose. And he lived in Beverly for decades! His last (posthumous) book was a set of poetry just like his first book. There's no doubt that Updike will be remembered for ages. Why not get literary at Longfellow's old house where Washington slept?

It's rain or shine (on porch if it rains), and there'll be some chairs, but it wouldn't hurt to bring blankets or lawn chairs of their own.

SUN 6/28

10pm
Paul Ahlstrand Quartet
at Alchemist Lounge, 435 S Huntington Ave, Jamaica Plain
FREE

If you've heard saxophone on a Boston band's recording, it was probably Paul Ahlstrand. His quartet is classic straight-ahead jazz. We're pretty lucky to hear to hear this top-notch music on a regular basis. Especiially for free.

(I also think Paul looks like Christopher Walken. Am I right or am I right?)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

July 4: Adventure Opportunity


Sunday events are coming, but you only have a day act upon this idea...

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Do you want to get close to the fireworks on Independence Day? These people do packages at $45 or less in rafts.

My buddy who has worked on tourist boats was skeptical of this idea. He was wondering about the crowded river that is almost like sitting on the crowded Esplanade, but these folks have been doing it for 5 years...

You could get the equipment yourself, but they do the foot work for you...

It seems like there's enough room for a few adult beverages on the raft, but you have to register by 8pm on Sunday night 6/28.

All the details are here.

Friday, June 26, 2009

SAT 6/27: Drinking, Rocking, Sailing, Sewing, Acting


Okay, so this wasn't the pleasant surprise I was hoping for a few days ago. At the very least, this is not surprising. More to come, but probably not tonight...

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SAT 6/27

Noon to 7pm
"SligoFest"
at Sligo Pub, 237 Elm St, Somerville (Davis Sq)
$3-ish

Naragansett Beer is ramping up the promotions. I saw a photo of a new can design... New beers are being introduced... They want to starting in Rhode Island again... I like the 'Gansett; it's my cheap brew of choice.

It's not as if one needs another reason to day-drink at Sligo, but bands will play and shwag of some kind will likely be around. Narragansett is on tap; sadly I don't think it's legal for them to reduce the already low price.

From what I can glean: Woodbury will probably go on first, Andrea Gillis Band maybe around 2pm, probably John Powhida International Airport afterwards, followed by Joe Klompus (usually Tony Goddess) & The Johns who will probably do some Rudds songs and various covers.

SAT 6/27

1pm to 5pm
Sailing Open House
at Boston Sailing Center, Lewis Wharf, Boston (North End)
FREE

Enjoy a free sail in the harbor. It even be sunny this time (but be prepared for cooler temps on the water).

If you want to sign you up for lessons, they're offering discounts -- or you could just check it out and enjoy the ride and free refreshments. Again, this on Lewis Wharf, north of the Marriot.

As they say, "No sailing experience necessary. All ages welcome. Sailors of all abilities are welcome." It's a "first come, first served", so who knows what kind of wait (if any) there will be.

SAT 6/27

3pm to 7pm
"Sew What?!?"
at Union Sq Plaza, Somerville (nexus of Somerville Ave, Washington St , Bow St)
FREE

I like the Swap-O-Rama-Rama aspect of the event. Bring some stuff you don't like to wear and make it better. Or put your clothes into the collective pile and pick out something that's already there. Sewing machines and "notions" (I had to google that) will be available to create something fabulous. People will be there to help you "make it work".

If not, vendors will be selling their handmade clothing, jewelry, accessories, etc. Maybe they will sew you something awesome on the spot...

(Raindate: SUN 6/28)

SAT 6/27

6pm
Jason Crigler

10pm
Three Day Threshold

at Atwood's Tavern, 877 Cambridge St , Cambridge
FREE

Two good shows in one location. Check out the top-notch, poppy folk/rock from the amazing Jason Crigler, who's life is a friggin' inspirational story (and documentary).

Three Day Threshold inspires me to drink and have a good time. If I was single, they'd inspire me to dance with every pretty girl in the bar (reality: get rejected by every pretty girl in the bar). You're in store for some kickass, hard-drinkin', good-time alt-country/Americana.

SAT 6/27

7:30pm
"A Workshop of Original Student Plays"
at Loeb Drama Center Experimental Theatre, 64 Brattle St, Cambridge
$8 / $6 students, senior citizens, Harvard ID

I can't tell you how to spend your evening. This is somewhat of a crapshoot. One -- or both -- of these plays could be entertaining and stimulating. Or the opposite of entertaining, or somewhere in the middle. I think the experience could be worth the price. A bit more info below. (I also harbor the feeling that creative people might still attend Harvard...)

SAT 6/27

8pm
"A Night of Torch Songs"
at Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville (Spring Hill)
$7

As the finale of Joe's Jazz & Blues Fest, a variety of vocalists will perform the music of Nina Simone, Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday, etc with a small combo.

I couldn't confirm web pages for most, but those scheduled include: Gabrielle Agachiko, Catharine David, Richard White, Marva Wooden, Leslie Anderson

Thanks Mayor Joe and Somerville.

SAT 6/27

9pm
Taxpayer, The Good North, The Information, Thick As Thieves, Barnicle
at Middle East - Downstairs, 480 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10 / 18+

The highlight of this show is the return of The Good North. They broke up in '06, and I haven't thought about them much (even though ex-TGN guys play in novelty-metal band, Bang Camaro)... I remember digging their punchy, new-new-wavey sound with the richly-textured guitars. I've listened to their new songs (available for free download), and they still got it. I read somewhere, "Hear what rock used to sound like in 2004," and it made me laugh.

They've put together some of their buddies (synthy-rockers The Information and Taxpayer) and a couple newer bands for a night of rock that just might make you want to pump your fist. I've said before that Taxpayer left me with a bland taste a few years ago, but the new stuff sounds pretty good with a bit more dynamics than I remembered. Thick As Thieves get a little too 'progressive' for me, but they're really good.

The dudes from The Pill will DJ in between (some Michael Jackson???).

FRI 6/26: Art, Dance, Soul, Jazz, Country, Plays

Super Soul Spectacular, at Church
Say whatever you want about Michael Jackson's personal life, but he made some great pop music over the years. As an entertainer, he may have actually been the King of Pop. I doubt Michael's family will find much peace in the near future, but at least he has.

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FRI 6/26

6pm to 8pm
"Atomic Hearts & The Electrical Brain": Opening Reception
Feat: Veronica Heabard, Andy Fish, Allison Bamford, Lindsay Small
at Space 242, 242 E Berkeley St, 2nd Fl, Boston (South End)
FREE w/ RSVP

It's been a good time whenever I go (scroll down), mainly due to the cool art and beer on tap. But mainly the art. Probably.

The exhibit seems like it'll be a fun collection of images. One of the artists, Veronica Hebard, said she drew her inspiration from "a mash of low budget Ed Wood film and the fake sparkle of the 1980's Flash Gordon film." Of this exhibit, Lindsay Small wanted to create pieces that were "heavy on design, heavy on color, and light in content."

You have to RSVP, and it's a good idea not to wait. It might not look as if you're on an old RSVP list, but you're okay.

Space 242 is practically in the Weekly Dig offices; my best location description is that it's next to Medieval Manor.

FRI 6/26

7pm to 11pm
Annual City of Cambridge Dance Party
in front of Cambridge City Hall, 795 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE

Cambridge stops the traffic to get down and boogie, and all are welcome. There’s dancing in the street for 4 hours, and it really is a party. For some reason, there's an uninhibited atmosphere that might come from the big crowd of all ages. There are bars in either direction, if you need a bit of liquid inspiration.

It looks like DJ Joey Demers is returning again, and he knows how to get the crowd moving year after year. Do want to bet on how many Michael Jackson songs will be played tonight?

(If you’re not getting your dance on, you obviously can’t drive down Mass Ave between 6pm and 11:30pm.)

FRI 6/26

8:30pm
Super Soul Spectacular
Feat: The Swinedells (11:55pm), Jordan Valentine & The Sunday Saints (11:05pm), Jenny Dee & The Deelinquents (10:25pm), The Jackals (9:40pm), Black Mosettes (9:05pm), Young Tremors (8:30pm)
at Church, 69 Kilmarnock St, Boston (Fenway)
$10 / 21+

Soul music is making a comeback, but there have been plenty of Boston bands that don't need to jump on the bandwagon. They were already on! Okay, maybe Jenny Dee recently decided it was a good time to explore this direction, but there was already an element of girl-group soul while she was singing in the Downbeat 5.

The beauty is that you want hear the same thing over again six times, there's going to so much splendid soul variety. Some rock it out (like Black Mosettes) and some are more trad (e.g. The Sunday Saints).

The Jackals look like the same amalgam that did a gig as The Bee Eaters in December: Amy Griffin & Matt Murphy of The Raging Teens with Dana Stewart and Andrea Gillis.

FRI 6/26

9:30pm
Leo Genovese, Japhy Ryder, Tim Collins
at Lizard Lounge/Cambridge Common, 1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge (between Harvard Sq & Porter Sq)
$9 advance / $10 door / 21+

There's not too many jazz nights at Lizard Lounge, but it's a perfect dark, cellar-like like location to bop the head and snap fingers. Pianist Leo Genovese is performing in a trio, and he's already making a splash outside of Boston. This is going to be a great night of music in an intimate club.

Japhy Ryder and Tim Collins sound pretty good too, although Tim Collins is more experimental jazz/rock than jazz/jazz -- if you know what I mean.

FRI 6/26

The Stumbleweeds (11:30pm), Nate Gibson & The Gas House Gang (10:30pm), DJ Easy Ed (9pm)
at The Midway Cafe, 3496 Washington St, Jamaica Plain
$7-ish

Believe it or not, the Midway Cafe is a great location for country and rockabilly. It reminds me of a divey honky-tonk bar I found near Bakersfield, CA -- home of Buck Owens and Dwight Yoakum.

DJ Easy Ed is going to set the tone with an hour or so of solid tunes. Nate Gibson & The Gas House Gang will hit the stage for their final appearance. (Nate is the second local singer in a month to leave town for grad school.) Maybe I'm not someone who can speak with authority; I liked The Gas House Gang when I saw them, but I didn't pay close attention. The Stumbleweeds do jump out for me. This is damn good honky-tonk.

FRI 6/26 & SAT 6/27

7:30pm
"A Workshop of Original Student Plays"
at Loeb Drama Center Experimental Theatre, 64 Brattle St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$8 / $6 students, senior citizens, Harvard ID

Want a little drama in your life? Or some theatre for under $10? I really can't say much about this. (I meant to add it in the original post.)

Each performance seems to be comprised of 2 student-written plays: "Still Fighting It" by Alex Breaux and "Breaking Up" by Jack Cutmore-Scott. Talk-back sessions will follow to give you a chance to discuss with the playwrights, director, and cast.

"Still Fighting It" involves three different story threads that explore what it means to grow up, dealing with the consequences of one’s actions, and the ambivalence that can ruin relationships.

In "Breaking Up", one young man waits for his roommate to return from a date where he was going to break up with his girlfriend. Every re-telling of what happened on the date gets more absurd.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

FRI 6/26: Art Reception to RSVP

Atomic Hearts & The Electrical Brain
6pm to 8pm
"Atomic Hearts & The Electrical Brain": Opening Reception
Feat: Veronica Heabard, Andy Fish, Allison Bamford, Lindsay Small
at Space 242, 242 E Berkeley St, 2nd Fl, Boston (South End)
FREE w/ RSVP

"Final Fridays" have been a good time whenever I go (scroll down), mainly due to the cool art and beer on tap. But mainly the art. Probably. Anyway, it's a good way to start your Friday night!

You have to RSVP, and it's a good idea not to wait. It might look as if you're on an old RSVP list, but you'll get an email confirmation.

Space 242 is practically in the Weekly Dig offices; my best location description is that it's next to Medieval Manor.

THUR 6/25: "Get Local", Indie Film, Rock, Drama


Howdy, folks. I might have a pleasant surprise for subscribers and readers tomorrow. [fingers crossed]

Some cheap options for today...

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THUR 6/25

5pm to 9pm
ShiftMob #1
at Clear Conscience Cafe / Harvest Co-op, 581 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE

You don't need to live in Cambridge to go to this event to encourage people to buy from independent businesses. Call me crazy, but the benefit to the local economy must be better when the profits don't need to go to a distant multi-national headquarters...

It's going to be an info-session/rally with brief presentations by local politicians, business people, and movement leaders. There's also going to be free food samples and much folkiness from: Elana Read, Keppie Couts, Sal Baglio, Johnny Nicholson, Jordan Tarrant, Tamsin Wilson

THUR 6/25

7pm to 9pm
D.L. Polonsky, "Non-Violent Anarchy Film Festival"
at Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St, Brookline
$5

If you've walked around Allston, you may have seen a D.L. Polonsky poster painting here and there and said to yourself, "Hmmm..." or "Huh!"

Tonight is a compilation of about 10 films (approx. 2 hours) he has made from a short from his early-teens (shot on a Super-8 film camera in the 70's) through the present. I didn't watch any of them recently, but these are probably going to be edgy stuff in all sorts of genres.

Some titles include "Urban Fairy", "To Mock a Killing Bird", "Midlife Cowboy", and "Dream Sequence for A Tree Grows in Brookline". This is real independent cinema, my friends!

THUR 6/25

Old Jack (11pm), The Lights Out (10pm), The Blizzard of '78 (9pm), Robots & Butterflies (8:30pm)
at Church, 69 Kilmarnock St, Boston (Fenway)
$8 / 21+

Ain't it a kick when three kickass bands play together on a Thursday night? This might be a good reason to start the weekend fun earlier than usual. It might even be nice day!

I saw Old Jack at the Abbey one time, and I really liked the soul-infused rock; it's cool songs with a tight band. I remember wishing they would play more often. Speaking of "tight:, The Lights Out are a lean, mean, powerpop rockin' machine.

Sorry to say: When you combine the middle-of-the-road pop-rock of Robots & Butterflies and their annoying MySpace page, I can't recommend showing up on time...

BUT get there as close to 9pm, because you don't want to miss any of The Blizzard Of '78. I'm shocked that these guys playing to thousands. It's easy to cross my "line of indifference" when you make a big rock sound with immaculate pop sensibility, but TBO'78 put it together and rock so well. I heard they've been throwing in Elvis Costello covers into their set since they appeared at the Lizard Lounge tribute show. Sweet!

Update:

THUR 6/25 thru SAT 6/27

7:30pm
"A Workshop of Original Student Plays"
at Loeb Drama Center Experimental Theatre, 64 Brattle St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$8 / $6 students, senior citizens, Harvard ID

Want a little drama in your life? Or some theatre for under $10? I really can't say much about this. (I meant to add it in the original post.)

Each performance seems to be comprised of 2 student-written plays: "Still Fighting It" by Alex Breaux and "Breaking Up" by Jack Cutmore-Scott. Talk-back sessions will follow to give you a chance to discuss with the playwrights, director, and cast.

"Still Fighting It" involves three different story threads that explore what it means to grow up, dealing with the consequences of one’s actions, and the ambivalence that can ruin relationships.

In "Breaking Up", one young man waits for his roommate to return from a date where he was going to break up with his girlfriend. Every re-telling of what happened on the date gets more absurd.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Contest: Win Wilco Tix with Chalk


Just like the Dropkick Murphys before them, Wilco will rock LeLacheur Park (home of the Lowell Spinners) in July. They're doing a mini-tour of minor league stadiums that includes a stop in Delaware and a couple gigs in New York.

Who cares why it's happening, but the band is holding a "Sidewalk Chalk Graffiti Contest" to win a pair of tickets to one of the shows. A grand prize winner gets 2 tix to all 4 concerts.

Here is the deal:

Step #1 -- Create a chalk drawing on a sidewalk with the details (date, location) of one of the 4 shows. Here's all the info I've gathered about the Lowell show:

Saturday, July 11

Wilco w/ Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band

at LeLacheur Park
450 Aiken St, Lowell
Gates -- 5:30pm, Show -- 7pm

All Ages. Rain or Shine.
$40 / $36 advance / Children 8 & Under Admitted Free
General Admission seating

(All You Can Eat Barbecue Picnic from 5:30pm to 7:30pm available for $25)
Step #2 -- Take a picture of it.

Step #3 -- Send it in. You can email it (maximum file size: 1MB) or add it to the Flickr Contest Pool.

Note: Entries to be judged on their creativity and informativeness.

You have a good chance to win, if you're reading this!

I know there are a lot of creative people out there, but I have the feeling there may not even be a lot of entries.

It may have been difficult to find, but there are currently no images in the Flickr contest pool. Could I find any entries via Google Image Search? No...

Give it a shot! There's an example of something like this at the top. You can lie down next to the drawing for this effect.

Think about it, you potential Sidewalk Sam's -- Free Wilco concert tickets! Maybe 4 pairs of tickets! Get creative and sell them if you must.

If the forecast is correct, there might be a chance to create an entry in the next couple days...

The submission deadline is TUES 6/30.

WED 6/24: Words & Music


Although I don't post as many original photos as I'd like, I do take quite a few. Maybe my recent surliness was caused by losing my camera last week. It was a cheap, crappy thing; but it was MY cheap, crappy thing. I took the plunge and bought a camera (with a real lens) last night.

I'm happy to report that I answered a Craigslist ad and was not robbed or murdered. Lotsa options tonight, folks! There's a chance I might be at the Lily Pad, but be nice if you see me.

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WED 6/24

7pm
Mary McManus, "Poetry In Motion"
at Marathon Sports, 1638 Beacon Street, Brookline
FREE

This made the list for its inspirational properties. When a lot people are feeling more pressure than ever before, it might help to hear about someone who stricken by polio and trained her way to running the Boston Marathon this year. She'll read from her book, "New World Greetings: Inspirational Poetry and Musings for a New World", which aims at body, mind, and spirit.

It might be crowded. There was an RSVP option, but it's too late for you to do that... There will be light refreshments and a free raffle of Mizuno gear.

WED 6/24

7pm
Bill Wasik, "And Then There's This: How Stories Live And Die In Viral Culture"
at Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard St, Brookline (Coolidge Corner)
FREE

Wasik is generally acknowledged as the inventor of the "flash mob", so maybe someone should organize a silent rave to take place during his reading!

It seems like Wasik has attempted many Internet experiments, and he examines how professional media outfits are in some ways competing with the home-generated material. What does all of this web activity mean to us? Maybe you'll hear some thoughts about it. (Isn't it funny when people write books about the Internet?)

WED 6/24

9pm
Ezra Furman & The Harpoons, Faces On Film, Carter Tanton, Sarah RabDAU & Self-Employed Assassins
at Middle East - Upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$9 advance / $10 day of show / 18+

Ezra Furman & The Harpoons first caught my eye when reading about Boston bands at last year's SXSW. These Tufts undergrads had been playing for two years, and I finally noticed them when they play a national music fest. Well, they've graduated and moved to NYC (I think) but still are playing punchy, witty, folky rock with youthful abandon.

Things might get a bit mellow in the middle with Faces On Film and a solo set by Carter Tanton (Tulsa). Whenever you can get a chance to hear Carter with or without band, a massive wave of killer songs will swarm around and sting you in the most pleasant way. With her Self-Employed Assassin drummer, it's great to hear keyboardist Sarah Rabdau unfettered by extraneous instruments. Hear the thoughtful songs via her wonderful voice.

WED 6/24

9:30pm
The Most Serene Republic, Bon Savants
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$10 / 18+

I hate to do this to The Most Serene Republic, but I will make the easy comparison: If you like Broken Social Scene, you should dig these fellow Canadians who are signed to the same record label. It's good stuff; it's very much in the same vein. The Bon Savants are some of our finest purveyors of clever, dark, swirling-guitar modern-rock. With two bands, the crowd might be able to get home earlier than usual...

WED 6/24

10pm
Starnes&Shah, The Bella Birds
at Lily Pad, 1353 Cambridge St, Cambridge (Inman Sq)
$5 suggested donation

Starnes&Shah are a welcome arrival on the music scene; when a really good band moves between Boston and New York, they're usually heading south. In this case, we have two new voices that sound so good together. Starnes&Shah dance splendidly on the fence between folky-rock and rockish-folk, but it doesn't matter with great lyrics and melodies. S&S have been joined by a local bassist and drummer, and the acoustics are great at the Lily Pad.

The Bella Birds are eerily well-matched as another folky duo with sweet harmonies who met at college and who've added collaborators along the way.

Free treat alert: Starnes & Shah give treats upon treats. "...you can expect a giggle, a bop and even a homemade cupcake!"

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

SUN 6/28: Do You Make/Like Chili?


3pm
The Boston Chili Takedown
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
FREE to enter / $10 all-you-can-eat / 18+

Do you want the masses to enjoy your chili -- and maybe win a prize...?

Email Matt for more details about chili entries.

TUES 6/23: Iran Talk, Drawing, Rock

Kepi Ghoulie, at Church
I guess I was suffering from the 'Monday blues' yesterday and the weather isn't helping. Plenty of cheap stuff to keep your mind off the grayness.

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TUES 6/23

6pm to 8pm
"Human Rights and the Iranian Situation": Panel Discussion
at Kresge Auditorium, 48 Mass Ave, Cambridge (MIT campus)
FREE

It's unlikely that any American news resource has devoted 2 straight hours on the current events in Iran. This discussion will center around human rights issues taking place in Iran, but that seems like an encompassing topic.

Nazanin Afshin-Jam, co-founder of Stop Child Executions, and Dr. Fatemah Haghighatjoo, former Iranian Parliament member, are scheduled to speak. There will be opportunities to ask questions, so you'll likely be more informed than most citizens by attending. Feel free to check out the Facebook page.

Update: After introductions, there will be a panel discussion for about for about 50 minutes and 45-minute Q&A. Afterwards, everyone will take a short, silent walk to the front of the main building at 77 Mass Ave followed a few words about Neda (the protester who was killed the other day) as well as a song and brief silent vigil.

If you're wondering why the background color is not grey, I changed it about a week ago to support the Iranian freedom movement. I think I'm keeping it for another week.

TUES 6/23

6:30pm to 8:30pm
Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School Burlesque: Life Drawing Session
at O'Brien's, 3 Havard St, Allston
$7 / 18+

Have you wanted to go to Dr. Sketchy, but Sunday afternoons just don't work for you? Every now and then, there's a Tuesday night session. Note the change of venue tonight (Sundays are at Great Scott). From first-timers to professionals, all are welcome to have some art fun with no one to tell you what to do.

A couple of tips: Come on time to get a seat up front. Keep it small so others can crowd in around you. Bring your stuff in a milk crate so you have something to sit on or put your stuff on. (we have lots of seats, but more is helpful) There will be some fancy paper for you to buy if you want.
Tonight's models: Gingerita (who's modeled before) & Toni of Babes in Boinkland

TUES 6/23

9pm
Kepi Ghoulie (Electric), The Pleasure Kills, Little Medusas
at Church, 69 Kilmarnock St, Boston (Fenway)
$8 / 21+

The last two Kepi (of The Groovie Ghoulies) shows in Boston have been acoustic gigs, so it's a bit of a treat to get an electric band performance. The music comes from that vintage Ghoulies punk, but it doesn't seem to have the horror themes. Sounds pretty darn good! The Pleasure Kills might just live up to their name with devastatingly potent powerpop. The music might start earlier than usual since there really isn't an 'opening band'; Kepi is going to open with another side project called Little Medusas.

TUES 6/23

9pm
Team Robespierre, Chinese Stars, Big Digits, Truman Peyote
at Middle East - Upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$9 / 18+

Are you ready to get sweaty? I don't know if Team Robespierre fans are going to get crazy like these people or these people, but there's no point to stand still when the band is freaking out over pummeling rhythms and primitive art-punk synths.

The party gets started with Truman Peyote who doesn't make me want to dance, but it's peculiar and electronic with beats. I do have faith in the quirky hip-hop of Big Digits, because I've seen them turn a hundred-plus strangers into fans. I'm assuming the noisy disco-punk of The Chinese Stars will go third.

TUES 6/23

10:30pm
Stupidity, Skinny Mike
at Plough & Stars, 912 Mass. Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$5

It's Swedish garage-rock and Skinny Mike of The Coffin Lids. Sweden is overflowing with bands, yet Stupidity isn't flashy like The Hives. They're more straightforward, classic garage.

I read there wil be "Free Swedish meatballs and Swedish candy".

Monday, June 22, 2009

MON 6/22: Comedy, Country, Punk

MOTO, at Charlies Kitchen tonight
So the weather is crappy -- you're not going to melt. Monday morning, ugh.

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MON 6/22

8pm to 10pm
Greater Boston Alternative Comedy Sleepover
Feat: Chris Coxen, Robby Roadsteamer, Ken Reid, Nicole Luparelli, Brian Longwell, Gregg Thibodeau
at Cantab Underground, 738 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE-ish / 21+

It looks like Chris Coxen, who hosts (with his cast of 'characters') and Robby Roadsteamer are the conspirators behind this comedy night. Tonight's lineup includes the very funny Ken Reid and Nicole Luparelli of ribald music duo, The Steamy Bohemians. I got a kick out of Brian Longwell and his 'non-motivational speaking tips'.

It's free, but there's a chance that a donation will be suggested at some point in the night...

MON 6/22

9:30pm
The Coachmen
at Atwoods Tavern, 877 Cambridge St, Cambridge (East Cambridge)
FREE

Maybe a night of classic honky-tonk/rockabilly from The Coachmen will brighten up a rainy summer night. It doesn't hurt that Atwoods has good beer selection that leans towards the potent and Belgian.

Back in January, they were joined by local guitar great Duke Levine to rip it up with Coachmen's ace guitarist Jerry Miller. Those who heard the band that night were blown away.

The band's AOL web page went down last year, and I doubt they even care. There wasn't much info there anyway, but here's a YouTube clip if you want to get a taste.

MON 6/22

10pm
MOTO, Midnight Creeps, The Tampoffs
at Charlies Kitchen, 10 Eliot St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$5 / 21+

MOTO -- or Masters Of The Obvious -- started rocking a la Ramones in New Orleans about 25 years ago, moved to Boston in 1987, then moved to Chicago in 1989. They recently resumed playing Boston-area gigs about every two years, so you might have to wait until 2011 for the next time through town.

Midnight Creeps and Tampoffs will get the crowd going. Tampoffs will hit you with a rough, in-your-face garagey-punk. Midnight Creeps are a bunch of crazy punks from Providence with a wild frontwoman, and they must be a sight to see.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

6/21: Sunday Night Off-Topic Video

Sure, I could find some serious viral video from Iran, but it's Father's Day. Let's have some fun at Dad's expense...

This is definitely NOT safe for work. There's an overabundance of the F-word, yet it's a twisted little vignette about a father trying to teach his son ride a bike.



I decided not to write more about Sunday events to get more of the full week done...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sneak Peek: SAT 6/20 & SUN 6/21


Darn it. I'm heading out of town in an hour and returning late Saturday night. We'll see how things go, but I doubt you'll hear from me before Sunday...

Maybe there will be a Summer Solstice miracle and the weather will improve!

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SAT 6/20

11am to 5pm
Life Is Good Festival
at Boston Common, near Charles St & Beacon St, Boston
FREE

Feat: Brett Dennen (2pm), The Blind Boys of Alabama (3:45pm)

Activities, music, and family fun.

Spend some dough; the proceeds benefit Project Joy.

SAT 6/20

1pm to 6pm
Summer Solstice Celebration
at Boston Center for the Arts Plaza, 539 Tremont St, Boston (South End)
FREE

Scheduled Performances:

1pm -- Andy Cambria, Wesley Corbett, Simon Chrisman, David Goldenberg
1:50pm -- Urbanity Dance
2:15pm -- Zili Misik
3:20pm -- Urbanity Dance
3:30pm -- Falling Flight Project
4pm -- Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents
4:50pm -- Phunk Phenomenon
Activities for young people too.

SAT 6/20

2pm to 9pm
Joe's Jazz & Blues Fest
at Powderhouse Park, about 135 College Ave, Somerville (near Davis Sq)
FREE
2pm -- Revolutionary Snake Ensemble (who will parade from Davis Sq to Powder House Park stage)
3:15pm -- Somerville High School Jazz Band
4pm -- Charlie Kohlhase's Explorers Club
5pm -- Paul Rishell & Annie Raines
6pm -- Cuban Jazz Project
7pm -- The Family Jewels
8pm -- The Mystix
The first show of a week-long festival.

SAT 6/20

7pm to 1am
Dancing On The Charles
at American Legion Marsh Post 442, 4 Gerry's Landing, Cambridge (off Soldiers Field Rd)
$10 before 9 pm / $20 after

Rain or shine disco/rave -- there are tents...

SAT 6/20

7:30pm
Big Bang Evolutionary Big Band
at David Friend Recital Hall, 921 Boylston St, Boston (Berklee / Back Bay)
FREE

Modern big-band jazz.

SAT 6/20

9:30pm
MeandJoanCollins, Ketman, Ho-Ag, The Main Drag
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$9 / 21+

Holy crap. Even if you don't think MeandJoanCollins is the best band in town, you might find a new favorite here.

SAT 6/20

10:30pm
Shepherdess, Gramercy Arms
at Plough & Stars, 912 Mass. Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$5-ish

Kickass indie-rock and powerpop. Maybe $7... Start drinking early and get in free...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

SUN 6/21

11am to 5pm
Annual Chinatown Main Street Festival
near the Chinatown Arch, 70 Beach St, Boston
FREE admission

Food, traditional entertainment, arts/crafts.

SUN 6/21

10am to 4:45pm
Father's Day Community Day
at Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave, Boston (The Fens)
FREE

You don't need to bring your dad to get in for free...

Tickets to "Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese: Rivals in Renaissance Venice" are only $8.

SUN 6/21

2pm
Day of Portugal Parade
from Portuguese Sq, Concord Ave, Somerville (near Union Sq) to King Open School, 850 Cambridge Ave, Cambridge (East Cambridge)
FREE

Watch the 1-mile parade, or go to the end to the Portuguese block party. An excuse to eat Portuguese food, if the weather is alright.

SUN 6/21

5pm
Ted Widmer, "Adams, Jefferson and their Korans": Lecture
at Rabb Lecture Hall, Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St, Boston (Copley Sq)
FREE

Keynote address of "John Adams & Thomas Jefferson: Libraries, Leadership, and Legacy" conference, but this is free and open to the public.

SUN 6/21

1pm to 10pm
Make Music Cambridge
around Harvard Sq, Cambridge
FREE

Based on Paris's Fete de la Musique, about 150 acts playing around Harvard Sq for 9 hours, including a "French" dance party in Winthrop Park from 8pm to 10pm.

There's a PDF Guide, but you could just roam and/or do what you might normally do in Harvard Sq.

SUN 6/21

9pm
Rick Berlin, Brett Saiia, Ryan Lee Crosby, Tony the Bookie, Robert Gomez, Old New England Weather, The Theater Fire
at The Midway Cafe, 3496 Washington St, Jamaica Plain
$7

SUN 6/21

9pm
Cotton Jones, The Antlers
at Middle East - Upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10 / 18+

Cool show alert! Read more.

SUN 6/21

9pm
Miss Derringer, Girl In A Coma
at Harpers Ferry, 158 Brighton Ave, Allston
$10 / 18+

You don't have to be goth-y kid who loves psychobilly/punk to enjoy the show...

FRI 6/19: Comedy & Folk/Roots

Rob Cantrell
So it's like "Freaky Friday" except folky... You could try to see The Blackjacks at TT's for $12 tonight or see if they have any more $10 advance tix for tomorrow.

Cheap stuff is going on this weekend. Maybe you won't feel like heading to an outdoor festival -- or the like -- but I hope to tell you about it soon.

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FRI 6/19

7:30pm
The Gas w/ Rob Cantrell, Chris Coxen, Bigg Nez, Ronald Reagan, Josh Gondleman, Mike Pincus
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$5 / 18+

Rob Cantrell is pretty funny guy, and he's got a very likable pot-guy disposition. Cantrell has appeared on "Marijuana-logues" and "Last Comic Standing", so he could've booked a gig at one of the typical comedy clubs. As usual, a load of our local comics will make you laugh, even if it includes playing cheesy '80s covers like saxophone duo like Ronald Reagan.

You can even stick around and dance at The Pill for no extra charge. The New Collisions are going to do a live set too.

FRI 6/19

8pm
Brendan Hogan, Frank Morey, Dietrich Strause
at Newton History Museum, 527 Washington St, Newton (Newton Corner/Newtonville)
$10 suggested minimum donation

The performance space in the Jackson Homestead kitchen holds about 30 people, so this is going to be an intimate show.

With a deep, raspy Tom waits growl, Frank Morey seems more of a bluesy troubadour than a singer-songwriter. As a bluesman out from the Charles River delta, Brendan Hogan nails the "down-home Cambridge blues" sound, which is to say it's somewhat folky, but Hogan sings and fingerpicks quite well. He reminds me of Ellis Paul a bit. Dogwalker by day and singer/songwriter by night, Dietrich Strause has a way with words and with melody.

Kudos to the notloB group for organizing so many special, small-scale folk concerts over the past few years. Keep an eye on them, if you're interested; they do other shows that are over $10.

FRI 6/19

9:30pm
Josh Lederman & the CSARS, Kay McKinstry & the Good Poor, The Klezwoods
at Precinct, 70 Union Sq, Somerville (Union Sq)
$5-ish

Once upon a time, we had Josh Lederman playing around town all the time. He was gathered some of the finest roots players to mix his potent blend of folk/world frenzy, but that's no longer the case. Lederman has moved to Pennsylvania, because he thinks it's more important to further his education instead of serenading barflies. He's back in town for a CD release show by the "Cambridge-Somerville All Stars".

The good news is that some of the CSARs have permuted into The Good Pour led by Lederman's back-up vocalist Kay McKinstry. I happened to be at their debut last week and was blown away that sweet voice in full effect over chilled alt-country/Americana. The Klezwoods gets the party started; they call themselves as "Jew-Jazz", and it fits. Good stuff!

FRI 6/19 (thru FRI 8/28)

Sunset (about 8pm)
Friday Flicks: "Tales of Despereaux"
at Hatch Shell, Charles River Esplanade, Storrow Dr, Boston
FREE

It probably won't be a "kick back on the lawn and watch a cartoon" kind of night, but the "Free Friday Flicks" pick up again on July 10. Some of the movies are even good!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

THUR 6/18: Science, Film, Much Music

Major Lazer, at House of Blues
Unfortunately I didn't get any free tequila last night. Fortunately, my softball team won. I hope some of you got into the Rattlesnake and had a good time.

Was there any free booze at the Peace Corps session? Inquiring minds want to know!

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THUR 6/18

5pm to 8pm
"Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Primate Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask)"
at Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$4.50 / $3.50 seniors, non-Harvard students / $3 ages 3 to 18

The title of the first "Summer Nights at the Museum" session made me laugh, and next month will be "Life's a Niche"... One Thursday per summer month, you can get into the HMNH for half the usual admission (after 5pm).

Besides the mind-blowing "Glass Flowers" and some of the weirdest fossils et cetera, there will be gallery talks by Harvard grad students at 5pm and 7pm based on the theme, for example:

Explore the EVOLUTION exhibit and the Great Hall of Mammals and see how evolutionary processes such as sexual selection have shaped primate social systems and sexual relationships. We'll compare human behaviors to those of our closest living relatives, the chimpanzee and bonobo, and we’ll also learn about Harvard’s primate research and conservation projects in tropical forest communities of east Africa.
THUR 7/16: "Life's a Niche"
THUR 8/20: "The Best Fossils Darwin Never Saw"

THUR 6/18

7pm
"Whatever Works": Preview Screening
at AMC Loews Theatre, 175 Tremont St, Boston (Boston Common)
FREE w/ RSVP

This might be a really funny, because Woody allen wrote it in the 70's, but it was shelved when the original star died.

Larry David is the star of Woody Allen's latest film -- but us fans know this isn't the first time he's been in a Woody movie. (You can see him in "Radio Days" before creating "Seinfeld" as well as a bit part in Allen's contribution to "New York Stories".) Is Larry one of the best Woody surrogates ever? Yeah, probably.

Obviously, this is probably one of those deals where too many people can RSVP and will be accommodated first-come, first-served style.

THUR 6/18

Milquetoast & Co (11pm), Kingsley Flood (10pm), Tall Tall Trees (9pm) Emily Russo (8pm)
at Cantab Underground / Club Bohemia, 738 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$8

This is quite a group of bands that should play well together. They all have a rootsy influence, but it's manifested in different ways and to different degrees. I liked Milquetoast & Co when I first heard them a couple years ago, and they've kept on refining their sound while still evading an easy tag on their sound. Let's say it's twangy, jazzy chill-rock with cello. They get points for the CD title, "Drinking and Smoking Too Much With Women I Hate", and the lyrics match that sardonic line.

Every now and then, a band comes up with a really good line to describe their music; Kingsley Flood's goal is to achieve "a sound resembling what would happen if the Band met the Clash in a back alley throwdown." They're doing a good job, because the music bursts and fizzes in an Americana vein that seems to flow naturally. You should hear this band!

Sometimes New Yorkers are so hip-'n-ironic that it leaves a funny taste in my mouth. Tall Tall Trees sound really really good, but it bugs me when they start by saying they're "an alternative country folk band based in Harlem." Maybe they should just say they're really grad students at Columbia -- or whatever their deal is... Darn them, it's a pretty sweet blend of old-timey music and rock.

Emily Russo plays keyboards and sings, but she's got a strong, soulful approach. It seems like Club Bohemia often puts an acoustic or solo act at the beginning of the night as a warm-up, and it works well.

THUR 6/18

8pm to 10pm
Urban Caravan: "Tribute to Paul McCartney"
at Clear Conscience Cafe, 581 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE

It's Paul McCartney's birthday, and Urban Caravan are doing a tribute show just like they did for John Lennon in October. Song after song, I can imagine McCartney saying, "Oh, I like that one. They sound really good." Together and solo in easygoing way, they'll sing it from periods of Paul's oeuvre.

There's probably no better place to hear some good music while enjoying good coffee.

Happy b-day, Paul -- if you're really alive... (I hope they do "Silly Love Songs"!)

THUR 6/18

10:30pm
Robin Lane & Johnny Angel, Angeline, other guests
at Plough & Stars, 912 Mass. Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$5-ish

It's going to be a pretty special night of music as Johnny Angel is doing an acoustic duo gig with the legendary Robin Lane before two loud, electric homecoming/reunion gigs with The Blackjacks at TT's.

These are probably Johnny's first local gigs in 5 years, and this guy has a lot of friends (and more people that probably think they're friends) after being a huge force on Boston rock in the 80's. Angeline is also doing a stripped-down set that should accentuate their amazing vocals.

If you can get into the tiny club likely teeming with aging scenesters, you'll probably hear some great stuff. Some guests may include: Jen D'Angora (Downbeat 5, Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents), Marnie Hall (violinist), John Felice (The Real Kids, The Modern Lovers).

THUR 6/18

10pm
Major Lazer, A-Trak, Matt & Kim, Steve Porter, Thunderheist
at House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St, Boston (Kenmore Sq)
$10

Unfortinately there's no free rum at this Bacardi-sponsored dance party, but there's some killer music and it's rare to see a $10 gig at House of Blues. (Two PBR's will cost more than admission!) Gotta love indie-rock/dance-pop duo Matt & Kim and Major Lazer that mixes reggae with clubbiness; when it's leaning towards reggae, it's really damn good.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Changing Background Color Temporarily


In solidarity with Iranians who are fighting for their voices to be heard, I'm changing the background to a green. Hey, there was even a small rally at City Hall Plaza yesterday...

Of the few political blogs I read, The Daily Dish has been prolifically posting (as usual) about the situation in Iran. That's where I got the idea for the color change.

Update: There's a way to green your Twitter avatar.

WED 6/17: Peace Corps, Tequila, Jazz, Rock

Pansy Division
All was going well last night until I took a short break on my futon. I think sleep-inducing fumes are released from the mattress... As usual, there's other stuff to do but these are my cheap suggestions.

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WED 6/17

Noon to 5pm
Open House
at Boston Regional Peace Corps Office, 10 Causeway St, Suite 559, Boston (North Station)
FREE

6pm
Information Session
at 1st Floor Auditorium, 10 Causeway St, Boston (North Station)
FREE

Maybe your job in unsatisfying -- or non-existent -- and you feel like trying something new. It's not easy, but volunteering in a foreign country would be an amazing adventure.

The Peace Corps is "seeking applicants with volunteer and professional work experience in education, math/sciences, HIV/AIDS and health, environment, business, IT and engineering."

You can stop by during the day to watch a video and/or talk to a recruiter. There's also an evening session where you can hear Peace Corps Volunteers talk about their experiences. You have to RSVP for the Information Session by 4pm via email or 617-565-5555.

A free trip to a strange land... A monthly living allowance... Looks cool on a resume...

WED 6/17

8pm
"Horny Sauza Cocktails & Contortionists"
at Rattlesnake Bar & Grill, 384 Boylston St, Boston (Back Bay)
FREE w/ RSVP

You might as well try to get in (although I did try to tell you yesterday). There really are free drinks at these things!

It might not be on the rooftop, but it should still be worth it. (Get there early to ensure admission.)

It's a Stuff party, so everyone who wants to go needs to RSVP.

WED 6/17

8pm
New Thelonious Monk Institute Sextet
at Cafe 939, 939 Boylston St, Boston (Back Bay)
$10

Six of the most promising, young jazz musicians in the country are performing tonight before heading to New Orleans for two years of tuition-free music studies with jazz greats at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. Five of the sextet have graduated from Berklee (about half of all Monk Institute students went to Berklee first) and all of them already have an incredible amount of awards and achievements.

Feat: Billy Buss (trumpet), Nicholas Falk (drums), Victor Gould (piano), Hogyu Hwang (bass)
Godwin Louis (alto sax), Matt Marantz (tenor sax)

If you can't make it, it's going to be streamed live on Berklee Internet Radio (BIRN 2).

WED 6/17

Pansy Division (11pm), The Fatal Flaw (10pm), The Motion Sick (9:05pm)
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10

These are my favorite line-ups when you have a special touring band and two awesome local bands.

Pansy Division is experiencing a surge of activity with a new CD, a documentary, and a memoir by singer Jon Ginoli. You can point to earlier musicians, but these contemporaries of Green Day were the first out-of-the-closet gay rock bands. They're still playing catchy punk about liking guys.

The current guitarist Joel Reader lives in Boston and regularly rocks us with his band The Fatal Flaw. Before I knew he's played with so many cool bands (P.D., Mr T Experience, Avengers), I was digging the gritty power-pop with wry humor. It keeps getting better with The Motion Sick serving up the marvelously quirky indie-rock that spans bubblegum ditties to wild, stormy rockers -- and delightful places in between.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

TUES 6/16: Order a Free Personalized T-Shirt

Not one of the free shirts, but you get the idea...
Spreadshirt is holding its 2nd annual International T-shirt Day.

It's really easy to get a a free t-shirt that says whatever you like.

-- Order it today at the special site where you write the text, choose the colors, etc.

-- Type/paste the coupon code T-DAY09BOSTON in the appropriate field, and click the link next to it

-- Enter your personal info as if you're buying something, but the total will say "$0.00" (No credit card info is requested)

-- The only catch is that you have to pick it up between 2pm and 4pm at The Daily Catch at Seaport/Courthouse (2 Northern Ave) on SUN 6/21 when they're having the T-Shirt Day celebration.

(That doesn't seem like a major catch, does it?)

You have to order the shirt today, 6/16. You have to pick it up. I'll say it although it should be understood:

"One shirt per person, while supplies last."

Update: For some reason, I started making a list of possible shirt captions:

- I'm Thomas Pynchon
- I'm Papelbon's brother
- Sexier on the Internet
- I know, I know, I know
- It's on the corner of "Get A Map" and "F*ck Off"
- [your website's name here]
- 100% Fun!
- Dis-Obey
- "yes I said yes I will Yes"
- Thanks for buying me a drink.
- Anyone but Menino
- WTF?
- Free Willy
- If you lived here, it would be uncomfortable for both of us.

6/17: RSVP for F-r-e-e Tequila!


There are a few other listings that are on the calendar, but some advance notice on a 'free drinks' RSVP may be beneficial...

8pm
"Horny Sauza Cocktails & Contortionists"
at Rattlesnake Bar & Grill, 384 Boylston St, Boston (Back Bay)
FREE w/ RSVP

The Rattlesnake is one of the few 'non-divey' bars I actually like in Boston. During my very first week in town, I went to the rooftop bar and thought it was immensely cool.

I don't go there often, but the roof is a must. Unless someone is going to give me free tequila drinks for 2 hours, then you tell me stand almost anywhere in the place.

The invite says:

Enjoy Complimentary Sauza Hornitos Cocktails from 8pm to 10pm
Nuff said! I don't need to drink any tequila fancier than Hornitos; I like it!

I'm guessing the "Sauza Contortionist" and the hula hoop dancers will be easy on the eyes too. A tarot card read will probably tell your future for free. (With Sauza brand tarot cards?)

It's a Stuff party, so everyone who wants to go needs to RSVP. If you don't like the emails they may send you in the future, it's easy to click 'delete'...

Heck, I RSVP'ed even though I need a softball rainout to make it.

TUES 6/16: Films, Talk, Rock, Folk


The daily list is early. This should be an omen of good things to come...

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TUES 6/16

7pm
"Tetro": Preview Screening
at Kendall Square Cinema, 370 Binney St, Cambridge
FREE w/ Pass [PDF]

From what I've read, this movie might remind you that Francis Ford Coppola is one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. Omigod, the trailer looks so good. It gave me the chills.

In his first original screenplay in 35 years (not the mob film), it's the story of an Argentine-Italian family with plenty of flashbacks to let you know what's going on. Coppola still has the storytelling chops, but that doesn't you won't figure out the ending before the final reel. Don't let that spoil the ride. It's black and white... It's color... It's in Spanish... It's in English...

It's also one of those deals where you're not guaranteed entry, but I've made it in on a couple occasions. Print the PDF pass for two and make sure one of you gets there early.

TUES 6/16

7pm to 8pm
Dr. Alonso Ricardo, "Understanding How Life Began": Lecture
in Room C05/C06*, Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St, Boston (Copley Sq)
FREE

Along with our cutting-edge chowder technology, science investigating the origins of life on planet Earth is happening in Boston. Why do they do it? Besides being cool information to geek on, it helps us understand where we come from and how we fit into the universe. Maybe it's like GI Joe used to say, "Knowing is half the battle."

* There were more conference rooms downstairs to the side of the Rabb Lecture Hall...

TUES 6/16

7pm
"Shaun Of The Dead" & Beer Shorts
at Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$9.50

The celebration night for beer availability at the Brattle ($5/pint).

The people voted, and somehow people picked "Shaun Of The Dead" as the premier beer movie. It's good, but WTF? This marks the Brattle's official status as "my 2nd favorite theatre for being the other moviehouse serving beer after the Somerville Theatre".

Good for them serving suds from the Cambridge Brewing Company at $5/pint.

TUES 6/16

9:30pm
King Wilkie, Parkington Sisters, One Happy Island
at Lizard Lounge/Cambridge Common, 1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge (between Harvard Sq & Porter Sq)
$6 advance / $7 door / 21+

I've already said that King Wilkie does ex-bluegrass-godhead turned country-rock/Americana better than anyone else and better than you might imagine. The Wilkie Family have a June residency to showcase an tremendous new album. If The Decemberists have become too electric for you, here's King Wilkie.

Every week, KW has top-notch guests like Parkington Sisters and One Happy Island. These are all exceptional moments of musicality.

TUES 6/16

Big Big Buildings (11:30pm), Ashpark (10:40pm), I Pistol (9:50pm), Tree Frog Avengers (9pm)
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$7

Oooh, lord -- bands that sound pretty good and their MySpace pages! Talk about MySpace backgrounds, I Pistol looks like you've spent too much time underwater and loving it! Who cares about reading the text when you're rocking to that pop-crunch? Ashpark ain't bad; they may not change the world, but you gotta love the abstract expressionist background on their MySpace page.

I might show up late instead of early. The music is still eclectic pop, but I'm having problems embracing the new name of "Tree Frog Avengers" (fka Pop County). I don't like the name of "Big Big Buildings", but he's better-than-most decent folky singer-songwriter stuff.

TUES 6/16

10:30pm
Chick Graning, Abbie Barrett, Kaitlin Dibble, etc?
at Plough & Stars, 912 Mass. Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE

If you haven't done anything yet, there's always the Plough. That's how I usually think of it. It doesn't matter what's going on ther, but it's a good place to hang out and have a few pints.

Chick is kinda local legend, because he was in Scarce and was going to big really big deal in a mega-way with Scarce until he had an aneurysm before the major tour. He's doing it again, including a folky night about once a month with a regular bunch of solid singer-songwriters. When you want to end up somewhere between Central and Harvard, and you don't want anyone to see you...

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