Thursday, February 25, 2010

THUR 2/25: YouTube, Americana, Poetry, Songs, Blues

A friend sent me this email today:

I ended up in front of a woman who didn't seem to notice her car was smoking heavily from the front hood.

I tried to figure out a way to point it out to her when another car pulled up next to her. They honked the horn and pointed at her front hood. So she responded in the best way possible. She flipped them off.

Car just kept smoking more and more, she never seemed to notice. I got the hell away from her as soon as I could.
I love stories like this.


THUR 2/25

6pm to 8pm
Tournament of 'Tubing
at Bartos Theater, Lower Level, Wiesner Bldg, 20 Ames St, Cambridge (MIT campus)

I didn't investigate how this will work, but it's a game show claim the title of top Boston Metro "YouTuber". I have a couple ideas: contestants answer questions based on videos that are shown or they go head-to-head to show the coolest videos they've found.

It's free, and it could be funny. I've sometimes enjoy clicking through YouTube now then.


THUR 2/25 (to SAT 2/27)

The New England Americana Festival -- Night #1
at Church, 69 Kilmarnock St, Boston (Fenway)
$8 to $10 / 21+
11:30pm -- Kinglsey Flood
10:50pm -- Movers & Shakers
10:10pm -- Bean Pickers Union
9:30pm -- Brown Bird
8:50pm -- Bryan Pero & the Tired Horses
8:10pm -- Odessa Rose
7:30pm -- Jeff Bird & the Dirty Finch
6:50pm -- The Accident that Lead Me to the World
What used to be known as the "Alt-Country Extravaganza" has a new alias, but the idea is the same. It started out as one really, really long all-day show has spread out over three nights where dozens of local Alt-Country/Americana bands join forces over a few days for wall-to-wall roots-rockin' goodness.

Every night has a three or four bands that are really strong, and there is nary a clunker to be heard. I've had a chance to listen to the new Kingsley Flood CD for the last couple days and it's tremendously good.

The beauty is that about the term Americana is that it's arms open wide to embrace many. Movers & Shakers may relate to the Americana genre, because they blend a lot of roots music into their punky blend. Bands like Brown Bird and The Accident that Led Me to the World seem more folky to me. On the other hand other bands like Bean Pickers Union and Bryan Pero & the Tired Horses fall deep into the twangy, roots-rock Americana sound.

Considering they're only 1 of 8 performances, I spent too much time trying to find any info about "Odessa Rose".

For the hearty music lover, a three-day pass is available for $20.

THUR 2/25

7pm to 8:30pm
"Phillis Wheatley, First Lady of African-American Letters": Reading & Discussion
at Rabb Lecture Hall, Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St, Boston (Copley Sq)

When you consider that Phillis Wheatley was a pre-Revolutionary War slave purchased by a Boston family, I found her poems rather accessible. Besides readings, there will be a discussion about one of the earliest African-American writers that might include Prof. James Smethurst (history & Afro-American Studies, Amherst).

Don't say I didn't find anything to celebrate Black History month...

THUR 2/25

Leo Blais, John Shade, The Neave Quartet, Bo Barringer, Adena Atkins
at Arts at The Armory Cafe, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville (Spring Hill)
$6 advance or door

Okay, so John Shade fooled me. I listened to a few tracks at the beginning of the month when this residency began then a few more last night until I heard one that seemed unusually familiar ("Flashlight"). I dug a little deeper to find that "Shade" is an alias for Dave Godowsky who has plays at Toad occasionally. The Globe wrote him up a couple weeks ago, and today's Metro mocked my ignorance with an article.

He and Leo Blais both deal in literate, bittersweet, hook-laden powerpop that I would've been enjoyable any Wednesday this month (I listed the first two nights). John Shade has been performing with the Neave String Quartet all month and apparently with multi-talented Zack Hickman on bass and fine singer-sonwriter Mark Erelli on guitar.

The guest performers are Bo Barringer from the fabulous MeandJoanCollins and Adena Atkins.

THUR 2/25

T Model Ford, Ten Foot Polecats, Erin Harpe
at PA's Lounge, 345 Somerville Ave, Somerville (Union Sq)
$10 advance / $12 door / 21+

This is a must-see for all those fan of the raw, primal North Mississippi blues that Fat Possum Records releases. R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, and many other originals are gone; and you never know when 90-year-old T Model Ford is coming back around again.

I read that he was going to begin his tour in New haven but was convinced to start one day earlier. It's unfiltered blues with guitar and drums.

The Ten Foot Polecats are are a trio influenced by this minimalist, greasy blues and bring their own local take on it. Erin Harpe is a wicked guitarist who revives the the early acoustic Delta blues tunes.

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