Tuesday, May 04, 2010

TUES 5/4: Talk, Film, Music, Plays

Marine Week Boston
For some reason most of Tuesday's cheap music options are singer-songwriter, folky stuff. The loudest cheapness is going on at the House of Blues restaurant. Take a look their May flyer of free music in the front room.

The Marines arrived yesterday for a week of community interaction -- and not just making out with Bostonians in bars. Through Sunday 5/9, they're volunteering (e.g. painting a mural seen above) as well as showing off military equipment, displaying an art exhibit, etc.


TUES 5/4

"Nuclear Tipping Point: Did Obama's Summit Change the Balance?": Screening & Discussion
at JFK Forum, Belfer Center, 79 JFK St, Cambridge (Kennedy School of Govt)

Even the trailer of "Nuclear Tipping Point" is very depressing when you have former cabinet members like Kissinger, George Shultz, and Sen. Sam Nunn (GA, 1972-1999) discussing the threat of independent baddies getting control of nuclear material.

After watching the 30-minute film, former Senator Nunn and David Sanger (NY Times) discuss the film and how it pertains to the recent Nuclear Security Summit.

Moderated by Graham Allison (Director, Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs)

TUES 5/4 (thru THUR 5/6, TUES 5/11)

7pm, 9:30pm
48 Hour Film Project: Premiere Screenings
at Kendall Square Cinema, One Kendall Square, Cambridge

About 100 filmmaking teams created shorts from start to finish over this past weekend. On Friday they were each given a genre, a character, a prop and a line of dialogue. After writing, acting, and editing in 48 hours, they turned in the final product on Sunday night.

All of them are shown over 4 nights with about a dozen shown at each session (2 per night). At the very least, someone has made a movie which will be on a big screen at least once. (The best-of is scheduled for 6/15.)

I've watched a few of these instant films in the past, and they are usually pretty good. If you want to bring people who might be sensitive to edgy material, Wednesday's early program includes filmmakers that intended to make nothing stronger than "PG-13".

TUES 5/4

Sonya Kitchell, Todd Thibaud
at Cafe 939, 939 Boylston St, Boston (Back Bay)
$10 / $8 students

Sometimes it pisses me off when a 21-year old is so talented, but you have to sit and appreciate the effort put into their craft for many years especially when someone has the natural resources of an amazing voice that goes from breathy to full force like Sonya Kitchell.

Herbie Hancock was already playing major gigs at the same age, so it didn't matter when he chose her to join his band as vocalist for a tour supporting his Joni Mitchell tribute album. Pretty heavy! Maybe she'll sing a Joni song or two; she'll definitely play new songs off of her new CD.

Todd Thibaud opens with his wide-ranging singer-songwriter thing.

TUES 5/4 (and WED 5/5)

8pm to 10pm
"Playwrights in Performance"
at Rehearsal Room A, Kresge Auditorium, 48 Mass Ave, Cambridge (MIT campus)

I checked, and MIT students can major or minor in theatre arts. These playwrights might be majoring in other fields (mathematics, physics, and engineering); yet I often notice that they usually don't half-ass anything they do.

These four one-act plays might be quite interesting -- and perhaps in a cool, dry room...

TUES 5/4

John Shade & The Neave Quartet, Nina Violet
at Lizard Lounge/Cambridge Common, 1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge (between Harvard Sq & Porter Sq)
$6 advance / $7 door / 21+

John Shade is starting a new residency tonight for May at the Lizard Lounge. You really should stop in one of these Tuesdays to hear the fine songwriting backed by a string quartet. (There's an audio sample from his recent Armory Cafe residency.)

Tonight's guest is Nina Violet. (I'm guessing both artists use false names.) The songs are real, and the singing is evocative where she makes her voice jump, crawl, and wiggle for the right mood. Garth Hudson from The Band played accordion on her CD, so that's pretty cool.

TUES 5/4

Larcenist, Jeff Rowe
at House of Blues Restaurant, 15 Lansdowne St, Boston (Kenmore Sq)
FREE / 21+

There's another good reason to be near Fenway Park. For the foreseeable near future (June, at least), the House of Blues restaurant room will have good local bands playing almost every night with no cover charge. (Maybe Facebook may be a good spot to see who's playing.)

There's a bunch of kickass songs when you have a band like Larcenist where there are 4 songwriters. Obviously, a lot of influences will be on the table, but the core has a heavy, rockin' Americana vibe.

Jeff Rowe joined a band, and they changed their name to Larcenist. He'll open with a set of his own rockish folk.

TUES 5/4

The One Smith (acoustic), Angeline
at Plough & Stars, 912 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)

From the ashes of the powerpopish Mollycoddle comes the folkier and rootsier The One Smith. It's still really good, but you can decide if it's better. I may be going out on a limb, but Angeline has the most gorgeous harmonies of any folk-rock band with a vibraphonist.

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