Wednesday, March 24, 2010

WED 3/24: Art, Film, Rock, Comedy

Super 400
There's quite a few interesting shows tonight. I was surprised to see several out-of-town acts on more than one bill. Some good choices that offer different sounds.

It looks like the free event "A Tribute to the Theater of Howard Zinn" (6pm) is full, but there may be some tickets released at the door at the Walsh Theater if you want to see various performers read from his three plays.

I listed a couple New England Real Ale events earlier in the week, and the 4-day event in Davis Square starts tonight. You will get in if you don't mind waiting (all advance tickets have been sold). I think they were letting walk-ins on the hour or half-hour. The cover drops to $10 on Saturday, and you can get a good buzz with no more than spending $20 (including the occasional contribution to tip jars).


WED 3/24

"The Church of What's Happening Now: New Art, New Artists with Andrea Fraser": Conversation
at Thompson Room, Barker Center, 12 Quincy St, Cambridge (Harvard campus)

Andrea Fraser, "Boxed Set": Reception
at Carpenter Center, 12 Quincy St, Cambridge (Harvard campus)

Hopefully this is a clear way to list these related events. One doesn't have to go to the lecture to go to the reception, but you might want to discreetly slip into the reception otherwise.

Performance artist Andrea Fraser has some provocative pieces that are often criticisms of the systems of the art world like galleries and museums -- like hijacking a group at a museum and giving them a fake tour, mocking art jargon, or stripping during a lecture. Videos of 5 performance pieces are on display at the Carpenter Center through SUN 4/4.

She will talk to Marjorie Garber (Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts) and Helen Molesworth (Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston). Who knows if it'll just be a conversation...

WED 3/24

7pm, 9:30pm
48 Hour Film Project: "Best of All Time"
at Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St, Brookline

The premise is simple: You get 48 hours to write, film, and edit a complete film (4 to 7 minutes in length). 48HFP's have been taking place in various cities since 2001, and it keeps on growing to more than 80 cities.

After the upcoming Boston 48 Hour Film Project (end of April), they usually present a "best-of-weekend" program, so these selections are like the "best-of best-of".

Don't get too hung up on the "best of all time" tag. It's doubtful that the true all-time collection doesn't include anything older than five years. What you'll see is a handful of Boston standouts as well as others from Providence, LA, DC, London, Israel, and more -- about 14 shorts in total.

WED 3/24

Super 400 (11pm), Fred Shafer (10pm), Topheavy (9pm)
at Church, 69 Kilmarnock St, Boston (Fenway)
$5 / 21+

One night at the Abbey Lounge, Super 400 took me by surprise so I always like to spread the word. For a somewhat jammy power-trio from upstate NY, these folks rock it out -- especially the funk-solid rhythm section.

Although the recordings sound over-produced, Fred Shafer's live clips indicate a road horse with ballsy soul-rock punch. Local pop-rockers Topheavy add good, snappy songs that hearken back to bands like Goo Goo Dolls, etc.

WED 3/24

Golden Spurs, Spirit Kid, Some Say Fire, The Novel Ideas
at Middle East - Upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$9 / 18+

This is kind of a mixed bag, but I wanted to say something positive about each band. I especially like Spirit Kid, which I initially knew as the Emeen Z Band and didn't realize they had changed their name. I really like their nod to classic powerpop while going their own way with a tasty formula of crunch and jangle. (I'm often thrown by a swarthy-looking dude singing in a high, sweet voice.)

The Golden Spurs classic-leaning rock alternate between bluesy jams, straightahead numbers in a Kings of Leon vein. I'm guessing Some Say Fire will be very pleasant surprise as they increase the intensity while decreasing the volume. In the video I watched, they take an old work-song, and transform it into a jazzy groove a la Antony & The Johnsons.

The Novel Ideas cook up an understated rock that could easily get under your skin and become one of your favorites. Give them a listen even if you don't go.

WED 3/24

Cheap Girls, The Riot Before, The Cold Beat, Lovers Muggers and Thieves
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$8 / 18+

How can Team Cheap Thrills not love Cheap Girls? Cheapness aside this Michigan band kick some lo-fi, noisy ass! They're touring with earnest punks from Virginia, The Riot Before, who also have a load of awesome tuneage too. Lovers Muggers & Thieves and The Cold Beat add are there let everyone know that Boston makes some killer punky rock that rips it up. Good stuff top to bottom!

WED 3/24 (to SUN 3/28)

Various Times
2nd Annual Women In Comedy Festival
at ImprovBoston, 40 Prospect St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
Many $10 or less

I know what you're thinking -- how did they find enough funny women to fill a 5-day comedy festival? (Kidding!) The performers aim to bury that kind of opinion. See the site for a full schedule. Most of the cheaper shows are in one of the two rooms at ImprovBoston:

7pm to 8:30pm

Sketch Comedy w/ Girls Gone Mild, Naughty Nanas, and I'm the Rhoda
$7 / $5 students, seniors
8pm to 9pm
Improv & Sketch Comedy w/ The Dowry and Ay Diego
$10 / $7 students, seniors
9pm to 10:30pm
Stand Up Comedy hosted by Liz Fang/Jenny Z
$10 / $7 students, seniors
9pm to 10:30pm

Stories hosted by Jessica Sutich
$7 / $5 students, seniors

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