Friday, March 26, 2010

FRI 3/26: Robots, Film, Art, Acoustic, Rock, Comedy

Ay, carumba! Lots of cheap stuff going on today, and I hardly help telling you about it...

Good news: A lot of Saturday stuff is on the calendar already (along with more Friday items than listed below).


FRI 3/26 (and SAT 3/27)

9am to 5pm
FIRST Robotics Competition
at Agganis Arena, 925 Comm Ave, Boston (BU campus)

Although it would be terrible in real life, renegade robots on the attack is pretty cool notion -- as long as there are a sufficient number of slower people than you...

While not as enthralling as "Terminator" or maybe even a lot of daytime TV, it's cool that a bunch of high school students who've made robots to compete in the game that's been designed for this event. It might be interesting to watch for an hour or so.

If you go on Saturday, you might even see the Blue Man Group... They've shown up last year and the year before.

The 'action' takes place from 9:30am to noon & 1pm to 5pm today, and 9:30am to 12:15pm & 1:30pm to 4:30pm tomorrow.

FRI 3/26 (thru THUR 4/1)

Various Times
12th Annual Boston Underground Film Festival
at Kendall Square Cinema, 1 Kendall Square, Cambridge
$10 per screening

The beauty of BUFF is that you can find exciting, witty, provocative films that don't need big budgets. Most of these movies would be almost impossible to find, if they weren't chosen to be screened here/

The organizers must have been thinking of sex and violence when programming this year's festival. Hey -- they motivate a lot of creativity drive a lot, and this is an *underground* film festival.

Today's schedule:

3:00pm: "Slimed"
5:30pm: Psychedelicinema
5:45pm: "Impolex"
7:30pm: "American Grindhouse"
7:45pm: "It Came From Kuchar"
9:45pm: "Pieces"
10:00pm: J. Cannibal's Tapas of Terror
10:00pm: Kucharfest
11:55pm: "The Life and Death of a Porno Gang" (18+)
11:55pm: Midnight Transgressions
If you want to take a random chance on a selection, there are several shorts programs like Psychedelicinema and J. Cannibal's Tapas of Terror (which was pretty awesome last year).

They pulled out "Pieces" out of the vault; it's an '80s horror film about a psychopath chopping up coeds in Boston.

Iconic underground filmmaking brothers are profiled in "It Came From Kuchar". George Kuchar and the director will be in attendance. (Note: This screening is co-presented by the Boston LGBT Film Festival.) Then there's a Kuchar party ($10 cover) at the nearby Tommy Doyle's with a performance by the amazing Titler (read my interview). [Facebook]

Documentary "American Grindhouse" should be treat for lovers of these cheesy films of yore -- and a good place to delve into these flicks if you enjoyed the Tarantino/Rodriguez flick from a few years ago. (Local film historian Eric Schaefer will lead a post-screening Q&A with the director.)

If you've read "Gravity's Rainbow", the title "Impolex" may look familiar as a compound that's relevant to the main character; and the film is inspired by the book, which makes it unlikely that the plot will make any sense. (Director-screenwriter: Alex Ross Perry in attendance.)

FRI 3/26

7pm to 9:30pm
"Bizarre Animals: An Evening of Contemporary Art Interventions"
at Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St, Cambridge (Harvard campus)

Harvard's Museum of Natural History is already one of those weird places that I encourage people to visit. For a couple hours, about a dozen artists of different media will ensconce themselves for all sorts of extra weirdness -- for less than the usual admission. Of course, you may not get a completely clear view of some exhibits when there are videos projected, experimental music, poets, and performance artists around.

Through thoughtful interventions and captivating experiments, viewers will experience new ways to engage with the museum's spaces, its collections, and its history.

Participating artists include: Lucky Dragons, Noah Feehan/AKA, Greg Gagnon, Liz Glynn, Jesse Aron Green, Lisa Haber-Thomson, Lovers v. Haters, Rebecca Lieberman, Amy Michelle Davis, Hanna Rose Shell, and Catherine Wing.

FRI 3/26

8pm to 10:30pm
Ryan Lee Crosby, Eldridge Rodriguez, Ted Billings
at Arts at The Armory Cafe, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville (Spring Hill)

Here's a lineup that is worth getting on the #88 bus. Guys like Eldridge Rodriguez and Ted Billings are often making noisy indie-pop (The Beatings & Hot Protestants, respectively), so the volume is down while the songs are brought to the forefront.

Ryan Lee Crosby normally deliver his poetic tunes solo, but the last gig I noticed was a turn towards a full-band format. I didn't go, however Crosby and a guitar can be pretty intense.

FRI 3/26

The Diamond Mines, Big East, Man Alive!
at House of Blues Restaurant, 15 Lansdowne St, Boston (Kenmore Sq)
FREE / 21+

Since The Diamond Mines don't have a regular sax player anymore, they bring a leaner and noisier treatment that serves the kickass songs. These guys bust it out with a frenzied, feral flair that gets the blood pumping and they don't need to slam the pedal to the metal. Big East are a bunch of young guys who deliver solid straightforward, bluesy rock. Man Alive seem to be an alt-country duo; the one song sounds good.

Note: The show is in the restaurant to the left of the main club.

FRI 3/26

9:30pm to 11:20pm
Real Housewives of Philadelphia, Toy Boat, Lady's Room
at ImprovBoston, 40 Prospect St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10 / $7 students, seniors

Night #3 of the Women In Comedy Festival features a CTB-priced improv show with a couple local groups of comediennes that may have teamed up for the festival and an ensemble that's really from Philly (not sure if they're really housewives).

FRI 3/26

Iyeoka & The Rock By Funk Tribe
at Alchemist Lounge, 435 S Huntington Ave, Jamaica Plain

Iyeoka and her tribe are bringing their party to start your weekend in a positive direction. They are going to get funky and beautiful for a couple hours, and you know the lyrics from an acclaimed slam poet are exceptional.

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