Wednesday, September 30, 2009

WED 9/30: Tips to Beatles, Sandman, Others

The Bynars, tonight at Great Scott (flyer by Vanessa Irzyk)
I've been slacking on the calendar, but I put these events on there earlier, and I'll hopefully have tomorrow's cheapness up soon (and following days thereafter).

If you want to hear some new tunes, I'll have a post/link to a song sampler later in the afternoon or evening. There are some good bands like Dr. Dog and Spinto Band, but I want to give it another listen.

Did you know Nick Hornby was reading from his new novel at the Coolidge Corner Theatre tonight? It's sold out, but there will be a standby-line, or you can go to book-signing afterward across the street at Brookline Booksmith.

--------------------------------------------------------------

WED 9/30

8:15pm
Tom Appleman & Friends play "Abbey Road"
at Berklee Performance Center, 136 Mass Ave, Boston (Back Bay)
$10 / $5 seniors & ages 12 to 18 / $2 12 and under

Berklee faculty Tom Appleman (bass) and Joe Musella (guitar) will be joined by friends like Corin Ashley (ex-Pills, etc who loves The Beatles so much that he recorded at Abbey Road studios) and Brian King to play "Abbey Road" all the way through.

It's been done before, but The Beatles never did it. As a reminder, the second half features 8 songs that were edited to sound like a suite. Take a look at the songs:

1. "Come Together"
2. "Something"
3. "Maxwell's Silver Hammer"
4. "Oh! Darling"
5. "Octopus's Garden"
6. "I Want You (She's So Heavy)"
7. "Here Comes the Sun"
8. "Because"
9. "You Never Give Me Your Money"
10. "Sun King"
11. "Mean Mr. Mustard"
12. "Polythene Pam"
13. "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window"
14. "Golden Slumbers"
15. "Carry That Weight"
16. "The End"
17. "Her Majesty"
The running time is a little over 47 minutes, but I doubt most "Rock Band" punks could do it without taking a snack break.

They may take liberties here and there, but I bet the performance will be generally faithful. I hope they play a few more tunes afterwards.

WED 9/30

Members of Morphine/Elastic Waste Band (11:30pm), Dennis Brennan (10:30pm), Sarah RabDAU & Self-Employed Assassins (9:30pm), Elle Gallo (8:30pm)
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10

If you didn't go to the Mark Sandman Memorial Concert on Sunday, Boston Band Crush has extensive coverage and video.

Bandmates from various Sandman groups performed, but it's Morphine that is best remembered. In the last six months I've noticed that sax-man Dana Colley and drummer Jerome Deupree have been gigging with New Orleans blues-guitar ex-pat Jeremy Lyons. It appears they've settled on the name "Elastic Waste Band".

Do you want me to tell you it's awesome? It is. As expected it's a different thing with its own vibe, but there's a familiar "low-rock" sound that Colley makes -- especially when with Deupree or Billy Conway. It looks like Lyons also sometimes plays "slide bass"...

I've waxed so much about Morphine that I'll have to be brief in saying that Dennis Brennan is a rock and roll treasure that should be idolized with the greats of all time. Sarah RabDAU is delightfully piano-licious that her Self-Employed Assassins is only a drummer. The Elle Gallo Band is a bluesy North Shore outfit with the soulful vocals of a former Miss Massachusetts (1993).

All proceeds will benefit Mark Sandman Music Project to support youth-oriented music programs.

GimmeSound seems to be sponsoring the night; I like their cleaner interface, so I suggest bands should think about at least having a presence on their site. Like ReverbNation -- or anything but MySpace -- it's easier for someone to find out about you and listen to your music.

WED 9/30

9:30pm
The Bynars, Yoni Gordon & The Goods, The Young Leaves
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$8 / 18+

Would you like to hear some jangly powerpop with loads of vintage synth dancing through the tunes? Our most recent local purveyors would be The Bynars. They have a new CD out called "Party All Nite", and this could be a party soundtrack to get folks in the mood for a good time. It would also work equally well when the sun is almost coming up some people are still going.

On the same musical line of passionate singers and songwriters, you'd find Yoni Gordon. It's likely to be fiery performance since his backing band will be played by one of my faves, The Diamond Mines.

It's easy to hear the influences in The Young Leaves; they mention Husker Du, Dinosaur Jr, Archers of Loaf, Superchunk, etc; and they seem to wholly inhabit individual songs.

Presented by WTBU and Quarter Productions (who made The Bynars' music video).

Monday, September 28, 2009

TUES 9/29: Book & Songs

Rick Berlin
Not much cheapness today. If you really want to rock out, you might consider Ho-Ag, Jordan (on tour from France) and others at at O'Brien's.

--------------------------------------------------------------

TUES 9/29

7pm to 8pm
Jay Wexler, "Holy Hullabaloos: A Road Trip to the Battlegrounds of the Church/State Wars ": Reading
at Barnes and Noble, 660 Beacon St, Boston (Kenmore Sq)
FREE

You're probably going to see Jay Wexler on "The Daily Show" in the coming months, but he lives in town and he's reading from his book. He is a law professor at BU, but Wexler is also an occasional contributor at McSweeney's.

Written less like a text than a modern humor book, Wexler traveled around the country to explore milestones in the separation of church and state such as teaching evolution, praying in schools, and religious displays in public.

TUES 9/29

10pm
Rick Berlin, Ricky McLean
at Alchemist Lounge, 435 S. Huntington Ave, Jamaica Plain
FREE

If you really listen to Rick Berlin, his music will stay with you. Maybe not a particular song or melody, but there's a feeling you're unlikely to forget. After 30+ years on the Boston music scene, he continues to an influence. The songs are vivid (often autobiographical) tales delivered passionately solely with voice and keyboards.

Back at the old Milky Way Lounge, the Nickel and Dime Band was house band for the weekly "live karaoke" night. Vocalist/MC Ricky McLean showcases his own songs tonight.

MON 9/28: Film, Nerds, Quiet & Loud Music


Wow, I have not excelled in posting over the last few days...

--------------------------------------------------------------

MON 9/28

6:15pm
"Whip It": Preview Screening
at Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
FREE

Standing in line is not my idea of fun, but watching a free movie doesn't sound bad -- if you get in. The screening will begin around 7pm. Brattle members will be given "preferred seating" at 6pm, then the rest of the theater will be filled by the public at 6:15pm.

Mona Mour and Killary Clinton of the Boston Derby Dames will be there to introduce the film. I wonder how many other Derby Dames will be there; director Drew Barrymore was in town to promote the film, and local roller-derby folks may have seen it last week... It looks like this could be an entertaining film about roller-derby in Austin...

MON 9/28

8pm
Nerd Nite
at Middlesex Lounge, 315 Mass Ave, Cambridge (near Central Sq)
FREE

Little research was needed to determine NerdNite would be a hit in Cambridge. I wonder if they'll ever go back to JP if tonight's second session goes well.

Both of the speakers have Harvard connections. Anil Seth explains how "Wimpy Supermassive Black Holes" are wimpy yet massive and productive in their own way. Jason Mitchell's "The Psychology of Sexual Attraction" might be very helpful to lovers of all stripes -- nerds and non-nerds alike.

DJ Claude Money will fill the gaps with grooves.

[Facebook]

MON 9/28

9:30pm
Goddess Of My Religion, Hands off Love Affair, In Aeona
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$7 / 18+

Players from various local heavy bands teamed up for a kickass project that doesn't play out very often. Anything with Noelle (of Damone, etc) singing is something everyone should at least give a listen. The singer in Hands off Love Affair sings her butt off too. If you click the "In Aeona" link and see "Baby Boy H", it is supposedly the same or similar band.

MON 9/28

10pm
Micah Blue Smaldone, Quoins, Raymond Morin
at ZuZu!, 474 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE / 21+

It's hard to beat a night of free, mostly acoustic music while hanging out at ZuZu. Micah Blue Smaldone must be tired of people mentioning that he used to play in a punk band and subsequently got into old-time folk/blues, so I won't mention it.

Raymond Morin is half of Pairdown, but it looks like his partner doesn't like leaving Pittsburgh. Quoins seems a little out of place on a bill with two acoustic singers, so who knows what they're going to play.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

9/27: Sunday Night Off-Topic Video

This is Lyric from South Philly:




Bonus video: I saw this snippet of Salvador Dali selling chocolate:

SUN 9/27: Sandman Lives!

There's one thing that I'd strongly recommend today. If you don't want to be blown away, that's fine...

There's a pretty cool show at Great Scott too.

--------------------------------------------------------------

SUN 9/27

Noon to 5pm
Mark Sandman Memorial Concert
at Middle East - Downstairs, 480 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE

Scheduled: Orchestra Morphine, Treat Her Right, Elastic Waste Band, Zili Misik, Mean Creek, Faces on Film, Rite Hook, Amadeus the Stampede, Blak Madeen, Mickey Bones, Hot Tamale Brass Band, more

The great Mark Sandman died 10 years ago, but he's far from forgotten. The exact opposite in my opinion.

Many of his former bandmates (way more than Morphine guys) and admirers get together and celebrate by low-rocking it. More rock, blues, hip-hop, etc.

It was supposed to be an outdoor concert that has been moved to the Middle East (where they have TVs to watch the Pats...)

Get in for free, but make a donation to the Mark Sandman Music Project to benefit music support for young people. Buy a shirt... Buy raffle tickets... There are some auction items...

[Facebook]

SUN 9/27

9:30pm
Wavves, Ganglians
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$10 / 18+

Shake the rain with a couple of tasty, lo-fi, noisy pop experimental bands from California. (Maybe some local support?)

Friday, September 25, 2009

SAT 9/26: Art, Jazz, Fluff, Film, Rock


Okay, wow. Last night didn't turn out as I expected. It was a good night... I think some dude is getting a divorce, but it's not my fault... I did what I could do, ladies and gentlemen...

--------------------------------------------------------------

SAT 9/26 (& SUN 9/27)

11am to 6 pm
Annual Jamaica Plain Open Studios
all around Jamaica Plain
FREE

Some kind of art is being made behind every other door in Jamaica Plain. You can walk in on a well over a hundred of those artists this weekend. And in most cases they won't be stoned out on the couch...

It seems like "Open Studios" season is gearing up, and this is a good spot to start. You're bound to see all sorts of cool, funky stuff. Maybe you'll even find something to fill that empty spot in your apartment.

There's a map in this PDF pamphlet, and it seems like there are clusters of destinations triangulated around Stony Brook T, Forest Hills T, and Jamaica Pond.

SAT 9/26

Noon to 6pm
Beantown Jazz Festival
on (about 580) Columbus Ave, between Mass Ave and Carter Playground, Boston (South End)
FREE

You could just enjoy a casual stroll at any point in the 6 hours, but there are some definite highlights like Joe Louis Walker (2pm) is one of the great blues guitarists around. The real dilemma happens around 4:30pm when the Berklee Tower of Power Ensemble will be joined by Little Joe Cook -- Peanut Man from the Cantab is back! He was a Friday night insitution until he retired(?) a couple years ago.

Then it would be hard to miss Defenders of the Groove on another of the 3 stages at 4:45pm; Two sax legends Ernie Andrews and Plas Johnson are playing with great funk-jazz guitarist Melvin Sparks.

If you want a better idea of the set-up, there's a PDF map.

SAT 9/26

4pm to 7 pm
"What the Fluff?" Festival
at Union Sq Plaza, Somerville (nexus of Somerville Ave, Washington St, Bow St)
FREE

Union Square/Somerville Arts usually doesn't repeat programs, but Fluff sticks around because it's sweet -- and sticky -- awesomeness created in 'hood!

Performances by: Jordan Valentine & the Sunday Saints, Rex Complex, Los Sugar Kings, The Flufferettes (G-rated version of Babes in Boinkland?)

There's going to be all sorts of Fluff treats at very reasonable prices as well as Fluff-themed fun. I don't like Fluff, and I had a good time.

SAT 9/26

6:30pm
"Under the Stars": International Movie Nights
Feat: "Pane e Tulipani (Bread and Tulips)"
behind the Old Fire Station, 165 Broadway, Somerville (East Somerville)
FREE

One of the movie nights was rained out, so you have one more chance for secret Somerville cinema.

The fun starts at 6:30pm with Carmen Spada getting jazzy, food vendors, and maybe even a raffle. The movie starts at 8pm. I saw this movie (Italian with English subtitles) a few years ago, and it's pretty good.

SAT 9/26

9:30pm
Hallelujah The Hills, You Can Be A Wesley, The Big Big Bucks
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$10 / 21+

Sweet! Hallelujah The Hills has a new CD! I haven't heard a song yet that I love more than "Wave Backwards To Massachusetts", but that is one of my fovorites of all time. The new stuff sounds like a step forward, and they were already a friggin' awesome alt/chamber/rock noise. There are other rock shows tonight, but that would be wasting your time.

You should like You Can Be A Wesley and The Big Big Bucks too.

9/26: Free Museum Day (a lot of them)

Water Lilies by Claude Monet, click for larger image
I'm going to post about Beantown Jazz Festival, Somerville's Fluff-Fest and International Movie Night, JP Open Studios, the Hallelujah The Hills show and more...

But this seems like something I should post quickly.

Maybe you wanna see some Monet 'n shit for free...

--------------------------------------------------------------

SAT 9/26

Various Times
Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day
at many Museums around MA and the country
FREE w/ Registration

As I see it, this is pretty straightforward.

As our national museum, the Smithsonian is out there giving a little "stimulus" to other institutions.

It's an easy process to basically enter your name, address, and email -- then you print an "admission card" for you and a guest. I'll probably get on museum mailing lists, but that's not bad...

Local participating museums include: Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Science, JFK Presidential Library, Harvard Museum of Natural History, Mary Baker Eddy Library, New England Wild Flower Society's Garden in the Woods, and more...

Card must be presented for free general admission only. Does not include entry to special exhibits or IMAX screenings.

FRI 9/25: Film, Art, Rock, Comedy


Ay, carumba! This is not a good start of the day for me! Keep your fingers crossed, folks.

Have a good time, whatever you're doing.

--------------------------------------------------------------

FRI 9/25

10am to 9pm
"Free Film Fridays"
at Mugar Omni Theater, Museum of Science, 1 Science Park, Boston
FREE

This is it. The last free Friday of IMAX movies... In September... Maybe they'll do something like this again... Really big science and nature films... Think about it...

Shows are every hour on the hour. Today's times:

"Deep Sea" -- 10am, 11am
"Antarctica" -- Noon, 1pm, 8pm, 9pm
"Amazon" -- 2pm, 3pm
"The Greatest Places" -- 4pm, 5pm
"Mystic India" -- 6pm, 7pm
Can you guess what they're about?

I might go on my way home just for the heck of it. Then maybe I'll check out the MoS's Friday night observatory stargazing from 8:30pm to 10pm (weather permitting).

FRI 9/25

6pm to 8pm
"The Wedlock Project, Part 1: Engagement": Opening Reception
at Space 242, 242 E Berkeley St, 2nd Fl, Boston (South End)
FREE w/ RSVP / 21+

"Confronting perceptions of same-sex marriage through visual, performance, & public art"

As I understand it, artists TTBaum & Michael Grohall are getting married, and they're creating an art experience around it. The art begins tonight with a multi-media exhibit including photography, video, drawings, etc. Other artists have contributed work on the theme: Jay Critchley, Nathaniel Fink, Brian Halligan, Killer Banshee, and Luanne E Witkowski.

Baum and Grohall will also give the world-premiere of movement-based performance piece "Romeos".

It may not be too late to RSVP. If your name doesn't make the final list, throw a tantrum until they let you in. (This probably won't be necessary.)

I wrote a little about one of my visits.

FRI 9/25 to SUN 9/27

7:30pm
"Putting It Together"
at Loeb Drama Center, Experimental Theater, 64 Brattle St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
FREE w/ RSVP

Ever wanted to get acquainted with the songs of Stephen Sondheim? There's a story of a fancy party that provides the anthology of selections from his many musicals.

RSVP by email

(Name and number of tickets would probably be helpful.)

More (free) performances next week: THUR 10/1 to SAT 10/3

FRI 9/25

Township (Midnight), The Lights Out (11pm), Reverse (10pm), Roman Traffic (9pm)
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10 / 18+

Wow, I don't know if this much rock awesomeness is allowed under Puritanical law that's still on the books. I've already dug the tight, punchy, poppish rock of The Lights Out, and they have a new CD out tonight. The tracks I've heard sound really damn good; if radio could still play good music, everyone would be eating this up. Get on the TLO train before it's moving too fast.

The rawk factor is way up with the heavy riffing of Reverse and Township's classic-modern hard 70's-rock (without the scarf on the microphone). Roman Traffic (fka Gravehaven) gets the party started.

FRI 9/25

Buttercup (11:45pm), The Vivs (10:30pm), The Barnies (9:30pm), David Minehan & the Organ Donors (9pm)
at Church, 69 Kilmarnock St, Boston (Fenway)
$10 / 21+

This is a pretty damn good show too. Most of the bands haven't played for a long time. It might be about 10 years for some of these folks. The Vivs were basically the band previously known as Edith, and they got the itch for rock 'n roll after years of family life. The new stuff builds on 90's indie-rock in well-crafted songs.

It's been a while for Buttercup and The Barnies too, yet Dave Minehan perpetually slugs it out so splendidly in The Neighborhoods; Dave and mystery band will rock out some non-'Hoods material tonight.

FRI 9/25

9:30pm
Union Square Round Table: "That's Kind of Incredible"
at PA's Lounge, 345 Somerville Ave, Somerville (Union Sq)
$10 -- 21+ / $13 -- 18+

This is a pretty fun and funny way to spend an occasional Friday. You may get a feeling that the weird, talented guy down the street has assembled a bunch of his friends to put on a variety show in a basement. It's not a basement, and there's an adjoining bar with reasonably priced drinks.

Every show usually has a theme. "That's Kind Of Incredible" offers a wide field of wackiness.

Most of tonight's guests are TBA, besides "Will the Magician" and musical guest Theory Engine that does sorta-ambient hip-hop (in my limited-listening opinion)...

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

Thursday, September 24, 2009

THUR 9/24: Music, College Art Night, Erotic Shorts


Feeling really busy, so it's brief today.

--------------------------------------------------------------

THUR 9/24

7pm to 9pm
Three Day Threshold
at Toad, 1912 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Porter Sq)
FREE / 21+

I guess this is "Kier's Birthday Party", so you know the "main 3DayT dude" and the rest of the rootsy rock band will be ready for a raucous time. I'm guessing the party will start well before 7pm...

Jen Kearney & The Lost Onion play at 10pm.

THUR 9/24

7pm to Midnight
College Night
at Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston (The Fens)
FREE with college ID

Feat: Love in Stockholm (8pm & 9:30pm), Liz Longley (8:30pm), dance party w/ DJ Ghostdad (10pm)

Are you a student (or do you still have your college ID)? Just in case you're not paying attention at school, I this this.

You might as well mooch some food and see some art & music before you blow off whatever you're supposed to do on Friday. More than 3,000 students showed up last year...

Free snacks by Qdoba & free Nantucket Nectars drinks from 8pm to 10pm. Free coffee for the Liz Longley experience from 8:30pm to 10pm.

Besides the permanent collection, several cool exhibits are up. If you go, you must experience "Seeing Songs".

There are two drawing sessions in different locations -- and a hula hooping party (?) from 8:15pm to 9:30pm.

THUR 9/24

7pm
"Love and Hunger": The Life and Music of Billie Holiday
at David Friend Recital Hall, 921 Boylston St, Boston (Berklee / Back Bay)
$10

Reprise of April's performance of an original play for Beantown JazzFest. I didn't find any video or audio, but this should be good.

THUR 9/24

9pm
The Luxury, The New Collisions, Hot Protestants, Muy Cansado, Oranjuly
at Middle East - Downstairs, 480 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10 / $7 with Student ID / 18+

A damn fine selection of local rock bands. I saw The Luxury on Saturday, and I like them a bit more every time. The band don't need me, because they wont the Rock 'n Roll Rumble last year among their many accolades. The New Collisions seem to be on the way up. Muy Cansado is a fave of mine, and Hot Protestants (good name) and Oranjuly could be on the way.

THUR 9/24 (& FRI 9/25)

7pm to 9pm
Erotic Film Festival Pre-Party
at Good Vibrations, 308A Harvard St, Brookline (Coolidge Corner, enter thru the "rear")
FREE

9:30pm
Annual Independent Erotic Film Festival
at Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St, Brookline
$10 / 18+

Erotic shorts program -- as opposed to people sending in amateur scenes from their bedroom -- hosted by drag queen Kris Kineivil w/ sex educator Dr. Carol Queen, Ph.D.

I saw this PG-13 (maybe NSFW) trailer from the first year on YouTube. The Weekly Dig interviewed one of the organizers this week.

Encore screening probably with less fanfare on FRI 9/25 (midnight).

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

WED 9/23: Film & Music

Zoe Boekbinder, at Lily Pad tonight
True story:

My friend was in Downtown Crossing yesterday around 4pm, and he saw a guy running down the street holding a colonial-style hat in his hand.

Benjamin Franklin was chasing this kid.

An undercover cop joined the chase and almost threw the perp into a plate glass window. Ever mindful of private property, he instead slams the guy into a brick wall.

Ben Franklin catches up and starts whacking the thief with his cane, so the cop starts yelling, "Easy with the cane! Easy with the cane!"

After the scrum calms down, the guy says he bought the hat from Mr. Franklin.

Old Ben doesn't break character, "Why I would never sell my hat, and it is valued at twice as much [as the supposed price]."

There was a big crowd by the end, so maybe it'll end up on YouTube today...

--------------------------------------------------------------

WED 9/23

7pm
Tournees Film Festival: "Les Temoins"
at Room 206, Photonics Center, 8 Saint Mary's St, Boston (BU campus)
$2 / Free with BU ID

You might be thinking the same thing as I am: "Contemporary and quality French cinema for $2...?"

That's the beauty of having so many colleges around. They let general public go to a bunch of their cultural-type events.

The Tournees Film Festival is the baby of the French American Cultural Exchange with other screenings on THUR 9/24, MON 9/28, THUR 10/1, and FRI 10/2.

The best local info is on Facebook.

WED 9/23

MyNameIsJohnMichael (11pm), Steve MacDonald & the Okay Win (10pm), Coalmine Canary (9pm)
at Church, 69 Kilmarnock St, Boston (Fenway)
$6 / 21+

We know that MyNameIsJohnMichael has at least 52 songs to select for their set. What started out as a project to write a song every week in '08 turned into a 6-piece band that's out on the road. It's definitely a singer-songwriter pop, but there's little bits of hometown New Orleans here and there; they even won "Best Emerging Group" at the Big Easy Awards earlier this year.

This is one of those nights when all of the acts jibe really well into a big bowl of indie-folky-pop goodness. I think Coalmine Canary is going to start close to 9pm, and they shouldn't be missed.

WED 9/23

The Allstonians (11:15pm), Ska-Prest (10:15pm), Rock Steady All Star Super Soul Revue (9:15pm)
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10 / 18+

Doesn't it make you proud that we still have excellent local ska bands like The Allstonians? They've been doing it for more than decade, and why quit if it still rocks -- er, skanks? Though they don't have the kind of recognition as The Bosstones, Bim Skala Bim to the average listeners, The Allstonians have got the goods.

There's not much info on "Rock Steady All Star Super Soul Revue" formerly known as "Mr. Williams' Rocksteady Super Soul Revue" except that local reggae/ska man Riki Rocksteady leads a band consisting of players from various top-notch local rock/punk bands.

I know less about Ska-Prest, but you get the idea of how things are shaping up. Roots & Razors Sound System DJ's will keep it everything bumping.

WED 9/23

Walter Sickert (Midnight), Zoe Boekbinder (11pm), Mali Sastri (10:30pm), Clara Engel (10pm)
at The Lily Pad, 1353 Cambridge St, Cambridge (Inman Sq)
$10 / All Ages

It's an easy out to call this an eclectic singer-songwriter night, but each performer seems to have an intense personality.

Walter Sickert has a strong voice, and there's the creepy/performance-art aspect to his work with his "Army of Toys". Zoe Boekbinder has a honeyed jazz-pop timbre with slightly quirky songs; I wouldn't be surprised if she catches fire ends up on year-end "Best of" lists. Mali Sastri dominates her band Jaggery with her vocals and piano, so I imagine her set will sound like stripped-down, dark, dreamy soundscapes. And it seems like Clara Engel can grab hold of you quite strongly with just her and a guitar...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

TUES 9/22: American, Australian, Uruguayan, Thai


Did anyone go to RiverSing on Sunday? I walked by before they started, but today is really the equinox.

--------------------------------------------------------------

TUES 9/22

Cassavettes (7pm), Mia Dyson (10pm)
at Toad, 1912 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Porter Sq)
FREE

Cassavettes and Mia have already played two Tuesdays in September; they’ll two more after tonight.

From gig to gig, I've Cassavettes hit multiple points on the roots-to-rock meter. Who knows what mood they'll be in, but the room size suggests they'll be in an easygoing alt-country groove tonight.

For some reason, I haven't paid attention to Mia Dyson despite she's been playing loads of local gigs. It turns out Dyson has a beautifully husky voice, and she writes meaningful songs that complement her bluesy delivery so well. There must be a good story lurking since she's originally from Australia where she won the equivalent of a Grammy in '05. We should catch her solo performances while she's still hanging around town.

TUES 9/22

8pm to Midnight
Beledo
at The Beehive, 541 Tremont St, Boston (South End)
FREE

Uruguayan man of jazz guitar, Beledo, brings his Latin flavor to Boston for the night. The home country is well represented in the locally-based backing band that include pianist Nando Michelin and his son Tiago on percusssion.

When I first saw this, I thought there would be free samples of the Uruguayan wine. I'd pay to taste a difficult-to-find wine. (I'm guessing it's difficult-to-find.)

My new attitude about the drink prices at the Beehive is that I'm listening to the music for free, so I'll pretend those extra dollars are part of the cover charge,

Two great ways to experience a culture is through music and booze.

TUES 9/22

9pm
"Ong Bak 2: The Beginning": Screening
at Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square, Somerville
FREE w/ Flyer

The “Ong Bak” movies are the chance for Muay Thai martial arts to get their due. The first one was pretty kickass, and I have no doubt the sequel delivers. Colin Geddes from Toronto Film Festival said:

A departure from the stunt-based action featured in Jaa's previous roles, "Ong Bak 2" focuses on close-contact combat with fists, feet, swords and knives.

Heavy on action and minimal in exposition, this affectionate nod to older martial-arts films fulfills the promise of jaw-dropping fight scenes.

However, no other film will deliver horse chases, crocodile wrestling, swordplay, explosions, elephant stampedes and dozens of thrilling displays of arcane martial arts.
Print the PDF flyer to admit 2 martial-arts movie fans.

"Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and is NOT guaranteed."

Monday, September 21, 2009

MON 9/21:Movies & Music


Being brief today. I don't know why, but there's an old, science-related screening and a documentary about Hollywood on the same night.

--------------------------------------------------------------

MON 9/21

7pm
"Coma": Screening & Discussion
at Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St, Brookline
$9.75 / $7.75 students

Dr. Robin Cook MD has practiced medicine in Boston for years. About 30 years ago, he wrote a novel about a doctor in a fictional Boston hospital who discovers a creepy, secret experiment with people in comas. It became a movie shortly afterward, which was directed by Michael Crichton.

Dr. Robin Cook will be in attendance for the discussion after screening.

MON 9/21

9pm
"My Big Break": Screening & Discussion
at Kendall Square Cinema, 370 Binney St, Cambridge
$8

This documentary began about 10 years ago when a struggling director started to film the travails of his 4 roommates who were struggling actors. Three of them find some success including Wes Bentley who played Ricky, the troubled pot-dealing kid in "American Beauty".

Director Tony Zierra, producer Elizabeth Yoffe and one of the actors Chad Lindberg are scheduled to appear for a Q&A after the movie.

Part of the Boston Film Festival (movies are shown in Cambridge and most didn't really excite me very much).

MON 9/21

Guillermo Sexo (11:15pm), Apple Betty (10:15pm), Trabants (9:30pm)
at Charlie's Kitchen, 10 Eliot St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$5 / 21+

Apple Betty always rocks with a verve. Guillermo Sexo sounds pretty good as they roll out a darkish, noisy psych rock. The one song on Trabants MySpace is a cool surf instrumental, and I'd expect more of the same.

Times listed above are very rough estimates. My understanding is that music usually starts around 10pm.

Off-topic: Some Friendly Advice


I tried to find the original source, and this was the furthest I could go.

BUT I saw it on bear. I'm really impressed by the cool text and images. Keep an eye on this blog, if you like to be excited by that sort of thing...

One more from "bear":

Sunday, September 20, 2009

9/20: Sunday Night Off-Topic Video

Haven't been to the Beantown Jazz Festival? Concerts have already started, but the free day of music is next Saturday, 9/26. It's a good time; take a look at 2007:



Bonus video:
Poet, author, singer, high-school basketball phenom Jim Carroll died this past week. I didn't follow his career closely, but his work touched in a deep way when we came in contact. One of the best few minutes in history of rock is his song, "People Who Died".

It's a cheesy intro by Donal Logue in character, but...



Rest in peace, Jim.

9/20: Free MFA Day



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

You can still go...

There some really good exhibits currently: "Viva Mexico: Edward Weston & His Contemporaries", "Contemporary Outlook: Seeing Songs", "A New and Native Beauty: The Art and Craft of Greene and Greene"

Saturday, September 19, 2009

SUN 9/20: Get Outside


Darn, me. My schedule has changed, and I'm away from the keyboard before I sent out that weekly thing I wanted to finish. Have a great weekend!

--------------------------------------------------------------

SUN 9/20

Noon to 6pm
Allston Village Street Fair
on Harvard Ave, from Brighton Ave to Cambridge St, Allston
FREE

Yes, family-friendly fun usually doesn't come to mind when I think of Allston, but they're calling it an "urban Mardi Gras" (I read they're even going to hand out a thousand necklaces... Shirts may not rise a la NOLA, but it's bound to be a bit funkier than most street festivals.

There are plenty of bands playing throughout. It seems like some are also playing at the Freedom Rally on Saturday, but I'd suggest to be cool about the special smokes at this festival...

I like the ska/punk bookends of The Allstonians (Noon) and Brunt of It (5:25pm). There two stages with a load of pop, rock, roots, hip-hop, dance, etc that looks good to me like:

Thea Hopkins & Henry Nigro (1pm), Bird Mancini (1:20pm), Bloco Afro Brazil (2:20pm), Three Day Threshold (2:40pm), The Problemaddicts (3:20pm), Casey Desmond (4pm), Bacchus King (5:25pm)
If you can't handle the sunshine, O'Brien's is host a (mostly) most-rawking bunch of bands: The Thickness (Noon), The Big Big Bucks (1pm), Alley Blues (2pm), Dead Like Death (3pm), Payload - some of The FU's (4pm), SuperPower (5pm)

Of course you'll find food vendors, street performers, arts/crafts, kids crap, etc (airbrush tattoos, hello!) will amuse and satisfy to various degrees.

Part of the event's beauty is that it can't look much worse even after all the trash that might be left behind...

Ride your bicycle to enjoy the free valet service. If you don't feel like walking up from the B Line, there's free parking and a shuttle from the parking garage on Guest St next to WGBH.

SUN 9/20

11am to 4pm
First Annual Urban-Ag Fair
at Winthrop Park (corner of JFK and Mt. Auburn), Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
FREE

They say the first marketplace in the town we call Cambridge was located at Winthrop Park. Whether or not you're interested in going to RiverSing; you could taste, learn about, and buy local fruits, vegetables, etc, etc. Besides wonderful flavor, eating local is good for the soul (and environment). Someone out there wants to know about composting, rain barrels, and beekeeping!

They're even going to award "the tastiest, the biggest, and the ugliest" produce -- so look in your garden/fridge.

(It's cool that the germ of the idea was a suggestion in a city committee meeting. Yes, things occasionally happen in government!)

SUN 9/20

5pm-ish to 8pm
Revels RiverSing
over the Charles River, near the Weeks pedestrian bridge, Cambridge or Boston
FREE

The autumnal equinox is around the corner, but it'll still be summer to me. That doesn't mean we can't enjoy a celebration over the Charles River.

Listen and watch the bands, choirs, and giant puppets... Sing along and watch... Okay, what are you supposed to sing? Fake it or download the lyrics. [PDF] It's a lot of traditionals; if you don't know them, you will before the song is over.

People are invited to show up at Winthrop Park (on the Cambridge side) around 5pm and march down to the river at 5:45pm.

It should be a good day for a picnic, but keep in mind that a lot of people will show up.

For the attention-deficit folks, you could stroll by around 7:15 for moment which should be pretty cool: saxophonist Stan Strickland is going be on a boat and just play whatever comes to mind.

"Bring a bell (or wear a bell) to help us ring in the new season and small boaters are encouraged to decorate their boats and join us on the river while we sing."

9/19: Block Party -- Update!

1pm to 9pm
Block Party on the Greene
at Greene Rose Heritage Park, 238 Broadway St, Cambridge (Kendall Sq)
$5 / 21+

Feat: Will Dailey & the Rivals, The Wandas, The Honors, Cocked N' Loaded, King Bacchus, The Cretins, It's From the Sky, Lindsey Starr & the Chemical Smiles, DJs Roguewaves & Randy Deshaies

This may not be big on the radar, but it's the coolest event of the weekend on this side of the Charles.

Some really good bands were supposed to play in a semi-hidden park last weekend, and most of them have rescheduled.

As I was doing a Sunday post, I get an email with the updated schedule:

2pm -- DJ Randy Deshaies
3pm -- Will Dailey
4pm -- theWANDAS
5pm -- DJ Roguewaves
6pm -- The Honors
7pm -- King Bacchus
8pm -- Cocked'n'Loaded
I was hoping to hit the Freedom Rally and catch Will Dailey and The Wandas, but I think it can still happen. You do whatever you like!

If you get there early enough, you might get a free beer. Varieties of Harpoon and Sam Adams, etc will be for sale...

Yes, in a park... in Cambridge... without a paper bag...

[Facebook]

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sneak Peek -- SAT 9/18

Talk Like a Pirate Day, 9/19
Avast!

I didn't notice any specific local celebration, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't celebrate "Talk Like a Pirate" Day.

Believe it or not, there's a good chance of more cheapness posted tonight...

--------------------------------------------------------------

SAT 9/19 & SUN 9/20

11am to 6pm
Annual South End Open Studios
at Various Locations, around 460 Harrison Ave, Boston (South End)
FREE

Hundreds of artists in all types of media invite you in to enjoy (maybe buy) their works at various locations.

I love talking to the artists, and many will have some free cheese and wine...

It's an easy walk, but there will be shuttles going around every 15 minutes or so.

SAT 9/19

10am to 5pm
Software Freedom Day
at Encuentro 5, 33 Harrison Ave, 5th Floor, Boston (Chinatown)
FREE

Software Freedom Day is a "day-long public event focused on celebrating software freedom," and it seems designed for people to stay the whole day.

SAT 9/19

"High Noon" to 6PM
20th Annual MassCann/NORML Boston Freedom Rally
at Boston Common, Boston
FREE

Two stages of music with performances by: Big Shug, Termanology, Graveyard BBQ, Prospect Hill, Keep Me Conscious, Thunder Brothers, DJ Slim, The Organ Beats, The Luxury, The Force, SuperPower, Cars on Mars, and more

Many speakers between bands - maybe even some "special guests"...

Remember: If you're carrying, have less than an ounce! (Maybe you should read the FAQ)

SAT 9/19

1pm to 10pm
Block Party on the Greene
at Greene Rose Heritage Park, 238 Broadway St, Cambridge (Kendall Sq)
$5 / 21+

Update: The new schedule is up.

Feat: Will Dailey & the Rivals, The Wandas, The Honors, Cocked N' Loaded, The Cretins, It's From the Sky, Lindsey Starr & the Chemical Smiles, DJs Roguewaves & Randy Deshaies

I'm not sure if all the bands scheduled from last week will make it, but I'm crossing my fingers. Supposedly there will be an area for outdoor drinking too...

[Facebook]

SAT 9/19

2pm to 4pm
Social Cinema: "D Tour"
at Rabb Lecture Hall, Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St, Boston (Copley Sq)
FREE

Documentary about Rogue Wave's Pat Spurgeon search for a kidney donor.

A discussion with an organ donor and an organ recipient will follow.

SAT 9/19

3pm to 7pm
Urban Country Fair
at Union Sq Plaza, Somerville (nexus of Somerville Ave, Washington St, Bow St)
FREE

Presented by Truth Serum

Feat: Three Day Threshold, Lucky 57, Tin Panhandlers, DJ Brother Cleve

City and Country meet in Somerville with arts-'n-crafty vendors, free workshops (balloon twisting, recycled knitting, yogurt making), down-home music, "non-traditional" country-western dancing lessons by Gays for Patsy...

SAT 9/19

5pm to 8pm
Caliente: A Celebration of Latin Music
at City Hall Plaza, North Stage, Boston (Govt Center)
FREE

Lots of salsa (musical type); Frankie Negron headlines.

The festival program also features performances by Salvadoran salsero Alex Deras, and local artists and organizations including La PiƱata, a unique program that teaches Boston youth Latin American cultural performing arts, and in turn they share these with the community at large through interactive, and educational presentations.
SAT 9/19

6:30pm
"Under the Stars": International Movie Nights
Feat: "Luna de Avellaneda (Avellaneda's Moon)"
behind the Old Fire Station, 165 Broadway, Somerville (East Somerville)
FREE

East Somerville Main Streets presents the one of three free international cinematic street parties. After visiting Brazil and Italy, the fun lands in Argentina with music and food available before the movie at 8pm.

It looks like a very touching film, but it doesn't get too schmaltzy.

(Spanish with English subtitles)

SAT 9/19

9pm
Aloud, Brendan Boogie & The Best Intentions, The Blizzard of 78, VulGarrity, The Grownup Noise
at Church, 69 Kilmarnock St, Boston (Fenway)
$10

Second night of "Boston Band Crush University presents: What's Your Major?"

Aloud rocks. Brendan Boogie & The Best Intentions rock. The Blizzard of 78 have got it together. VulGarrity rocks. I like The Grownup Noise too.

Comedians and spoken-word artists will do short bits between bands, and the Saturday schedule should go like this:

12:15am -- Aloud
12:05am -- Nate Johnson
11:30pm -- Brendan Boogie & The Best Intentions
11:20pm -- Ken Reid
9:50pm -- VulGarrity
9:40pm -- Maria Ciampa
9:00pm -- The Grownup Noise

[Facebook]

SAT 9/19

9pm
The Marvels, Razors in the Night, Sprained Ankles
at The Baseball Tavern, 1270 Boylston St, Boston (Fenway)
$8 / 21+

Punk rock show in the basement. You can go up to the roof deck to see Fenway Park, but the Sox won't be there...

SAT 9/19

9:30pm
Rusty Scott Quartet: "Ultimate Tenor Battle"
at Ryles Jazz Club, 212 Hampshire St, Cambridge (Inman Sq)
$10

Feat: Tim Mayer, Bill Pierce, Andy McGhee

Ain't it fun to hear classic-bop jazz with loads of saxophone?

FRI 9/18: Film, Comedy, Rock, Dance


Did anyone go to the SoCo/Polyphonic Spree show? Or get free rum drinks for Coctail Week?

I went to Wonderland last night to watch the dogs race, because tonight will be the last of live racing in Mass. It was a good time. The dogs seemed to be in good spirits... I ran into my buddy Siraj and his mom -- go figure!

I wish I could've taken some pix, but Paul (security) was clear and steadfast that no photography was allowed. He seemed like a good guy, so I kept my camera in the bag. (Although I did take an interior shot or two on an abortive attempt to see the doggies last year...)

FYI: I mentioned a free "Ong Bak 2" screening a couple days ago, and it has been postponed to TUES 9/22.

--------------------------------------------------------------

FRI 9/18

10am to 9pm
"Free Film Fridays"
at Mugar Omni Theater, Museum of Science, 1 Science Park, Boston
FREE

Dude, you can see really, really big science and nature films. Best of all, they're free all day long on Fridays in September.

Shows are every hour on the hour. The schedule varies, but these are today's times:

"Deep Sea" -- 10am, 11am
"Antarctica" -- Noon, 1pm, 8pm, 9pm
"Amazon" -- 2pm, 3pm
"The Greatest Places" -- 4pm, 5pm
"Mystic India" -- 6pm, 7pm
I think you get the idea from the titles.

It might be a good night for free observatory stargazing, which happens every Friday night from 8:30pm to 10pm (weather permitting).

FRI 9/18

7:30pm
Anderson Comedy: "The Gas"
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$10 / 18+

Feat: God's Pottery, Rick Canavan, Gary Petersen, Drew Mayer, Sarah Heegan

This early-Friday show is usually $5, but God's Pottery are a parody of Christian-folk duo. On one of the few times I've watched "Last Comic Standing", I saw their audition. They were pretty funnt, and the judges liked them too.

A coterie of local funny people will be there as well. As I like to say, it's a comedy show without a drink minimum (or maximum)...

You can even stay for The Pill's dance party. Hooray For Earth are doing a live set tonight.

FRI 9/18

8pm
"The Achievers: The Story of the Lebowski Fans"
at Room 100, Bldg 6, 182 Memorial Drive (Rear), Cambridge (MIT campus)
$8 / Free for MIT card holders

For the LebowskiFest weekend completist, this 70-minute documentary about the creation of the festival and how people bond over one of the funniest films ever.

You might be able to rent this on NetFlix, but director Eddie Chung won't be in your living room for a post-screening Q&A.

You might even win tickets to this weekend's LebowskiFest (both events).

FRI 9/18 (& SAT 9/19)

9pm
The Great Bandini, The Motion Sick, One Happy Island, The Future Everybody, Sarianna and the Swell
at Church, 69 Kilmarnock St, Boston (Fenway)
$10

This is the first of 2 nights called "Boston Band Crush University presents: What's Your Major?", and you don't need a student ID to get in.

There are just way too many good bands playing. Tonight, I especially dig The Great Bandini and The Motion Sick, but I didn't hear anything I didn't like from these bands.

Comedians and spoken-word artists will do short bits between bands, and tonight's schedule will be something like this:
12:15pm -- The Great Bandini
12:05am -- Duncan Wilder Johnson
11:30pm -- The Motion Sick
11:20pm -- Sean Sullivan
10:40pm -- One Happy Island
10:30pm -- Maria Ciampa
9:50pm -- The Future Everybody
9:40pm -- Tim McIntire
9:00pm -- Sariana and the Swells
You can get into both nights for $15 with a pass you can buy via PayPal, because Saturday's bands are equally awesome:
Aloud, Brendan Boogie & The Best Intentions, The Blizzard of '78, VulGarrity, The Grownup Noise
[Facebook]

FRI 9/18

10pm to 2am
Thunderdome XIV: "Thunderdome 3D"
at Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, 85 W Newton St, Boston (South End)
$10 / 21+

Feat DJs: Mistaker, Baltimoroder, Dev/Null, #1 Dad and DJ Fred Mertz

Have you heard that inspirational quote that says "dance like no one is watching"? Well, no one will be watching you at this dance party. If they do, it'll be hard to recognize anyone since everyone will be wearing 3-D glasses!

There will really be 4 hours of 3D projections by ROBOTKID and Matt Boch, a 3D Photobooth (yes -- a 3D photo of you), free PBR for the first hour, and who knows what other goodies...

If you went to any Thunderdomes at the Greek-American club, this venue is about twice as large.

FRI 9/18

*** Almost Cheap Thrill ***

The Raging Teens (Midnight), Barrence Whitfield & The Monkeyhips (11pm), Nick Curran & The Lowlifes (10pm), The Swinedells (9pm)
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$11 / 18+

Wow. So close to $10, it's as if they're daring me not to list the show... But I'll raise the bar one dollar more for incredible rockabilly and revved-up, old-school rock and R&B.

Not only is this the first Raging Teens gig in a few years. Monster rock 'n roll singer Barrence Whitfield will no doubt shout and holler and shake the roof. Hot shot blues/rockabilly guitarist Nick Curran has seriously played with so many impressive bands that is too long to list here.

The Swinedells will get the party started, and my virtual buddy DJ Easy Ed will make sure the between-set music won't ruin the party.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

THUR 9/17: Food, Film, F-Word, and More


Keeping it brief for a better tomorrow (and following days).

Thought of the day:
With 3 fires on the T last night, I wonder how long we can still blame Dan Grabauskas for MBTA problems...

--------------------------------------------------------------

THUR 9/17

Noon to 1:30pm
Annual Taste of the Fort Point Channel
at Children's Wharf Park, 300 Congress St, Boston (Fort Point/near Boston Children's Museum)
FREE

If you work or live around Fort Point, leave your lunch in the fridge. The neighborhood's restaurants are providing lunch today after this event was postponed in June. There are quite a few tasty places near Fort Point too; the restaurants listed on the right side of the page are probably participating...

THUR 9/17

7pm
Jesse Sheidlower, "The F-Word": Discussion
at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
FREE

If you can't handle f---ing profanity, then you should stay the f--- out of the book store. Believe it or not, new f---ing examples of modification of one of my favorite f---ing words.

Seriously, it's a book about the word "fuck" compiled by an OED editor.

THUR 9/17

8pm
Shelley Neill Quartet
at The Lily Pad, 1353 Cambridge St, Cambridge (Inman Sq)
$10

It's bluesy jazz vocals with a piano trio (Laszlo Gardony - piano, Yoron Israel - drums, Ron Mahdi - bass).

THUR 9/17

8:30pm
"Emerson College Comedy"
at Tommy's Comedy Lounge, Charles Playhouse, 74 Warrenton St, Boston (theatre District)
$8 / 21+

Feat: Blake Wexler, Adam J Goldberg, Sam Crimmins, Max Fox, Reggie Williams, Dan Perrault, Shawn Marek, Jordan Clifford, Keele Howard-Stone

Just because Jay Leno is a graduate doesn't mean that there are no funny students at Emerson... Last semester, four of tonight's performers were considered the second funniest college team in the country.

THUR 9/17

7pm
"An Evening with Andrew Bujalski"
at Room B-05, College of Communication, 640 Comm Ave, Boston (BU campus)
FREE

On the eve of his new film opening, local filmmaker and former BU film professor Andrew Bujalski speaks about his "mumblecore" movies and will screen his first feature, "Funny Ha Ha". You'll either love the minimalist style or wonder why anyone likes it.

Yes, this is in a basement room.

THUR 9/17

The Cave Singers (Midnight), Lightning Dust (11pm), Mean Creek (10pm), Old Abram Brown (9:05pm)
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10 / 18+

Elaborate yet rootsy indie-rock from Pacific Northwest join some of the peers from New England for a full night of musical goodness.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

WED 9/16: Tech Party, Discussions, Rock

The Teenage Eyes, tonight at O'Briens
There's a good mix tonight. I wish I could go to all of them but will likely lay on the futon with a blanket over me. Don't fret -- I will live to rock another day!

I have a feeling you can still text to get into tomorrow's Polyphonic Spree show. I suspect the text message with entry cod will be sent around 8pm tonight.

Maybe you didn't RSVP for tonight's Japanese comedy screening at Coolidge Corner, but "Ong Bak 2" is having a free screening on FRI 9/18 in Somerville.

Oh, yeah... And I was also going to mention tomorrow's bocce tournament (for those who can pass as a "young professional") that requires registration.

--------------------------------------------------------------

WED 9/16

4:30pm to 7:30pm
"New Scientist" Tech Square Block Party 2.0
at Technology Square Courtyard, 500 Technology Sq, Cambridge (Kendall Sq)
FREE / 21+

A couple friends went to last year's party, and they had a good time. There is free food... free beer & wine... as well as plenty of tech-minded people. You might even get a goodie bag with chances to put other prizes in it from science pub trivia, etc. (Don't forget a copy of "New Scientist" magazine!)

All indications of a pleasant after-work experience, especially if you're already on that side of the river.

You don't have to register, but it wouldn't hurt. Give it a try to use a shorter line to get in (and you'll be entered into a raffle).

WED 9/16

6pm
"Iran: War...Or Peace?": Discussion
at JFK Forum, 79 JFK St, Cambridge (Kennedy School of Govt)
FREE

Iran will continue to be an international trouble-maker for the forseeable future, and there seems to be no easy solution.

The panel includes Elliot Abrams (spent time in Reagan & Bush 43 administrations, was mixed up in Iran-Contra) and Karim Sadjadpour (Iran analyst with Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, born in Iran), so there will likely be some differing viewpoints.

It should be an arena with thoughtful analysis, with Ambassador R. Nicholas Burns as moderator (Under-Secretary of State in last administration, but a longtime diplomat).

WED 9/16

7:30pm
Philosophy Cafe: "The Problem of Pain: Does It Have to Hurt So Much?"
at Harvard Book Store, Lower Level, 1256 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$3 suggested donation

I'm listing this in hopes that it might help someone in some kind of pain...

Life often seems an unnecessarily harsh proposition. Couldn’t we get along just as well without subjective feelings of intense suffering, whether physical or psychological?

In building artificial intelligence, couldn’t we design a system that seeks to survive, but has no capacity for pain? Or is there a necessary connection between survival and suffering?

Answers to such questions bear on the nature of consciousness and the ethics of creating artificial minds.

No credentials or expertises needed to participate. Donation is to cover the cost of coffee, tea and cookies.
The usual format begins with a brief introduction of the topic, then about 45 minutes of moderated discussion. After a 15-minute coffee break, the group will muse, question, theorize, and contemplate for another 45 minutes.

Personally, I found much relief to my existential angst in "Man's Search for Meaning" by Dr Viktor Frankl...

WED 9/16

9:30pm
Double Nines, The Diamond Mines, The Teenage Eyes, The Culprit Policy
at O'Brien's, 3 Harvard St, Allston
$7 / 21+

Sometimes a band does nothing spectacular except make a joyous sound, and that's exceptional. Somehow I started doubting why I was enjoying The Teenage Eyes, a motley bunch from Memphis who slap together a fun, mod-ish jangle of soul and rock. It makes me bob and sway, so it has to be good!

Although The Diamond Mines seem to be horn-less these days in a streamlined trio, the songs are still catchy tales of love for the space age. Hear them as their unadorned, electrifying "core of rock".

Wow, Double Nines blast away through loud and fast rock without pretension. After I did a little digging, it made more sense: Guitarist-singer Kevin Rheault and bassist Ben Karnavas play in play in other bands, but both have spent time as roadies with the Dropkick Murphys. Yes, that would be Dropkicks guitarist Tim Brennan behind the drum kit.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

9/20: Seasonal Party by the Charles

SUN 9/20

6pm
Revels RiverSing
over the Charles River, near the Weeks pedestrian bridge, Cambridge or Boston
FREE

The autumnal equinox is rapidly approaching, but I refuse to relinquish the summer. That doesn't mean we can't enjoy a celebration over the Charles River.

Listen and watch... Sing and watch... OR do all of that and more!

I got an email on Thursday, and it doesn't hurt to share the relevant part. Revels is still looking for some help.

Earn a few a few karmic points with Mother Nature -- and/or whoever else is out there -- by volunteering:

Are you a strong individual who can help carry lights or speakers or risers?

Do you know a strong individual who can help carry lights or speakers or risers (high school or college students who needs community hours, for example)?

We really need some strong individuals.

Would you be willing to bring some sandwiches or a pizza or chips or cookies to feed our crew? You can just drop the food off, or contact us and we'll arrange to pick it up.
As of last week, they were still looking for all sorts of help. If you contact me, I'll forward the email I received -- or email Jeanne directly and tell her you want to help.

Wouldn't you like to be a part of the magic...?





The fun starts at Winthrop Park beforehand with a parade to the river. Sure, it's going to be crowded by the Charles, but you'll find a spot.

Check out the "First Annual Urban-Ag Fair" at Winthrop Park until 4pm on Sunday.

ShareThis2