So I went to the House of Blues Mardi Gras party last night. I'm happy to report there was no problem getting it. In fact, everyone was welcomed hassle-free by gaudy-flashing, plastic, souvenir pint glass and a line of Heineken girls giving out green-bead necklaces. I decided to email an RSVP, and I got to roam around the swanky Foundation Room and watch some of the fun from the 2nd floor.
The brass band music combined with the hurricanes hit the spot. The burlesque dances were fun, and Steve Sweeney obviously did a good job as MC. I'll try to post photos in the next couple days.
Steven Pinker & Rebecca Goldstein, "Mind-Body Problems: A Conversation About Science, Fiction and God": Conversation
at Thompson Room, Barker Center, 12 Quincy St, Cambridge (Harvard campus)
When you have a discussion between one of the leading psychologists in the world and a MacArthur Fellow philosopher, there is going to be some cerebral concepts bandied about. I wonder if this will be similar to this husband-and-wife's dinner conversation.
A sample might be found on the Amazon page for Goldstein's latest novel, "36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction," which has been received quite a few glowing reviews.
at Harvard Film Archive, Carpenter Center, 24 Quincy St, Cambridge (Harvard campus)
Yes, it's a Russian silent film made over 80 years ago. It's also happens to be Sergei Eisenstein's masterpiece and still one of the most influential films of all time for its groundbreaking editing techniques.
The story (a Soviet propaganda film to demonstrate how oppressive the Czars were) may not be the most compelling part of the viewing experience. On the bright side, the only subtitle reading is during the title cards when even Russians are reading.
7pm to Midnight
Hearts for Haiti Benefit / Soulkore Old School Party
at Milky Way Lounge / Bella Luna, 284 Amory St, Jamaica Plain (The Brewery Complex)
$5 and up -- Suggested Donation
Feat: DJ Nomadik, DJ Rugged One, Lady Enchantress, Pelaiah Auset, Kiki Breevlife, more
DJ Nomadik knows how to throw a dance party and knows old school hip-hop. Many Soulkore nights feature a variety of DJ's and live performers. Tonight's show should also include some Haitian music and maybe a dance performance or two.
It's not a time to nitpick, but this is the second local benefit that's been titled "Hearts for Haiti" and both say the proceeds are going to Partners in Health -- a worthy organization. I wonder what the deal is when a Google search finds all sorts of separate groups called "Hearts for Haiti".
Charlie Kohlhase's Explorers Club
at Johnny D's, 17 Holland St, Somerville (Davis Sq)
Longtime Boston jazz saxophonist Charlie Kohlhase has played in a variety of groups over the years. These days he mainly gigs with his Explorers Club that includes another sax, trombone, guitar and two-drummer rhythm section. If that wasn't enough, a percussionist is joining the group tonight along with a trumpeter for a thicker, deeper weave of modern jazz where you'll still hear the influence of the past.
8pm to 9:30pm
Death Vessel, Lady Lamb The Beekeeper, Mary Lou Lord
at Arts at The Armory Cafe, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville (Spring Hill)
As is becoming quite common, the cafe has another impressive set of established and buzzing artists. I read that Mary Lou Lord is going to book Wednesday night shows at the Armory, and it lloks like she's performing tonight. After starting out busking in the T and finding wide attention in the 90's (and hanging out with folks like Elliott Smith & Kurt Cobain), I'm guessing that performing is more about the joy of music than keeping her MySpace page up to date.
Both Death Vessel and Lady Lamb The Beekeeper will probably be playing solo (and I think both are from Maine). Joel Thibodeau of Death Vessel (who happens to be signer with former grunge-meisters Sub Pop) has a clear, high voice that could be mistaken for a female singer -- amazing stuff all around. It seems like Aly Spaltro of Lady Lamb The Beekeeper is a tiny young woman with a big voice and loads of passionate songs.
Humanwine (11:15pm), Walter Sickert & the Army of Toys (10:15pm), Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling (9:35pm), Sarah Rabdau (9pm)
at Church, 69 Kilmarnock St, Boston (Fenway)
$8 / 21+
This show, presented by Launch Over, is billed as "Best of 2009", and it is a top-notch line-up including four of the highlights of last year's music scene.
Humanwine released a new CD that expanded on their multi-culture, time-spanning, politically-aware rock while continuing to increase their ambitions. Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys' theatrical, gothy rock-art is always a sight to see and hear. Personally, I discovered last year that Walter Sickert's stage name was also the name of a man suspected to be Jack the Ripper. (I think it's a stage name...)
Bass-drums duo Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling played their first full live set last year -- and they were far and away the best project of '09 that was inspired by the '60s spy serial "The Prisoner". I was there at that show, and they rock out with an arty, punky minimalism that doesn't require anything extra. Sarah Rabdau will play without her Self-Employed Assassin drummer for an unadulterated dose of her songs by beautiful voice and keyboards.
(My apologies to HUMANWINE and Sarah RabDAU for using the letter case I prefer.)