Friday, December 31, 2010

NYE: Midnight Around the World

An old ball...
If you're still looking for some cheap ideas for tonight, you can look below. I hope to have some stuff for the weekend up soon...

In the meantime, here is a repost of last year's "Global Midnight Party Guide" where you can see where it's midnight in relation to Boston (aka Eastern Standard Time). And, yes, some places have a "half-hour" time zone.

Feel free to toast the world throughout the day and night.

Don't know where these places are...? Don't let that stop you from celebrating!

In case you haven't seen it yet, the T is free after 8pm tonight -- and they're extending services to 2pm...

--------------------------------------------------------------

11am

Hong Kong
Beijing
Manila
Taipei
Noon
Bangkok
Hanoi
Jakarta
1pm
Dhaka
Almaty
1:30pm
Mumbai
New Delhi
Kolkata
2pm
Islamabad
Lahore
Karachi
2:30
Kabul
3pm
Dubai
3:30pm
Tehran
4pm
Moscow
Baghdad
Riyadh
Kuwait City
Nairobi
5pm
Jerusalem
Beirut
Cairo
Johannesburg
Istanbul
Helsinki
Bucharest
Athens
6pm
Barcelona
Paris
Algiers
Amsterdam
Copenhagen
Milan
Berlin
Prague
Warsaw
7pm
Reykjavik
Casablanca
Dublin
London
Lisbon
8pm
Atlantis?
9pm
Rio de Janeiro
Sao Paulo
Buenos Aires
10pm
Santiago
Asuncion
10:30pm
Newfoundland
11pm
Santo Domingo
La Paz
San Juan
Halifax
11:30pm
Caracas

FRI 12/31: NYE Cheapness


Yes, there are places that offer New Year's Eve for $10 or less. Of course, you'll spend more once you get inside wherever you go, but I suggest going to a house party… Or getting soused with a loved/lusted one at home…

There's no cover charge at Kings on NYE. The doors should open around 7pm, and the line could be long. If you want to eat, they have a $45 prix fixe menu.

The Bleacher Bar has a no-cover situation too with complimentary appetizers and midnight toast as well as an acoustic covers duo. I'd guess the line will also be longer as it gets later.

If I were to suggest anything over $10, First Night has a serious amount of good music (and other entertainment) for the $18 button:

Bettye LaVette (9pm), Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents (8pm), Dean & Britta (9pm), Hey Mama (7:30pm), David Wax Museum (9pm), Cass McCombs (10pm, his multimedia show at 8pm), Nina Nastasia (8pm), The Fatal Flaw (10pm), Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys (7:30pm), The Cover-Up’s 'Greatest Hits' (8:45pm)
...And fireworks at 7pm and midnight.

Bring a discreet flask of something to keep you warm (even though it won't be that cold...), and you've got some fun among the ice sculptures...

Note: I really thought this would be a better post, but JetBlue has been a cruel transportation demigod over the last day or so.

Update: The T is free after 8pm tonight -- and they're extending services to 2pm...

--------------------------------------------------------------

FRI 12/31

7pm
Les Sampou, Sarcasmatics, more
at Sally O'Brien's, 335 Somerville Ave, Somerville (Union Sq)
$10 / 21+

I like the soulful Les Sampou and her band, I'm a bit iffy on the jazz-rock of Sarcasmatics.

They say, "Goodies at midnight!"

FRI 12/31

8pm
Boston Dick's New Year's Eve Bash
at Dick's Last Resort, Quincy Marketplace, Boston
FREE before 8pm / $10 after 8pm / 21+

They might be too busy to insult you, although it doesn't take much effort on their part...

There should be complimentary party favors and complimentary champagne toast at midnight.

The Grab Brothers will be playing covers and (maybe?) originals.

Print this to get in without paying the cover charge.

FRI 12/31

9pm
Otis Grove, Po' Boyz
at House of Blues -- Front Room, 15 Lansdowne St, Boston (Kenmore Sq)
FREE / 21+

It's funky/rocky organ music from both bands who might join up for all-band jam from 1pm to 2pm.

FRI 12/31

9pm
"Expanded Spandex NYE Spectacular"
at O'Brien's, 3 Harvard St, Allston
$8 advance / $10 door / 21+

The DJs will play all sorts of stuff like "rock, metal, punk, funk, dance, rap, new wave" as well as live performances.
9:30pm -- Skin Bridge
10:15pm -- Scumfuc Alley Trash (homage to GG Allin)
11pm -- The Nose Jobs
The first two bands include members of Ashers, Crash & Burn, Razors in the Night, The Nose Jobs, The Acrobrats.

For maximum rock 'n roll, they're doing a complimentary 'Gansett toast at midnight.

FRI 12/31

9pm
Love in Stockholm, The Gentleman Outfit
at Precinct, 70 Union Sq, Somerville (Union Sq)
$10 / 21+

If you're in the mood to party to poppy/rocky, horn-filled tunes that might sound familiar although you probably haven't heard them before, this is the place for you.

There should be free appetizers, party favors and champagne toast at midnight.

FRI 12/31

9:30pm
The Big Wipeouts, Go-Go Girls, Killer Surf Videos, The Country Doctors & Wallace, The Last Ones
at Cantab Underground / Club Bohemia, 738 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10 / 21+

There's not much info for some of these bands, but you will hear some surf, Americana, and garage-rock. They have a bar, and they will sell you drinks.

Dude, The Big Wipeouts have a pair of dancers. 'Nuff said.

FRI 12/31

10pm
Christian McNeill, Dennis Brennan, Eric Royer, Chris Anzalone, Steve Cuoco
at Toad, 1912 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Porter Sq)
FREE

I have no doubt this rootsy-rock NYE party will fill up, so it would behoove you to begin partying before 10pm.

FRI 12/31

10:30pm
Andrea Gillis Band
at Plough & Stars, 912 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10-ish

In typical Plough fashion, the cover charge is vague. You should get a free 2-song Andrea Gillis CD with admission, and it will be a night of kick-ass bar-band music.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

THUR 12/30: Film, Music, Variety


Ideally, independent stores that sell cool fashions et cetera would be open for a long, long time.

For what must be a variety of reasons, it wasn't feasible for Horror Business to stay open so they're having a liquidation sale where everything must go.

There's going to be some kind of goodbye party tonight, and Facebook says there is still many punk accoutrements for at least 50% off.

This is what the store looked like when it was full.

(Almost home... Boston, I miss you.)

--------------------------------------------------------------

THUR 12/30

7pm
"The Art and Technique of the American Commercial"

8:30pm
"Award-Winning British Commercials 2010"

at Institute for Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave, Boston (South Boston/Seaport)
$10 / $8 students

Strange as it seems, a museum wants you to pay to watch commercials. Supposedly the American commercials do end up in MoMA’s Film Archives, however I usually prefer the British award-winners.

They're usually funnier and more clever -- and we're less likely to be able to purchase the products.

THUR 12/30

7pm
Melvern Taylor & His Fabulous Meltones
at Toad, 1912 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Porter Sq)
FREE

For a few pre-NYE drinks, hanging out with Melvern Taylor strumming the ukulele & the Meltones backing him with a classic swing. It's a jazzy, twangy stroll through some breezy tunes.

THUR 12/30

8:30pm
"Dry Run to NYE" Party
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10

Feat: Cass McCombs, Aaron Brown, Nina Nastasia, Drew O'Doherty, Nick Flynn, Marc Pinansky, The Painted Lights, Sleepy Very Sleepy, Mike Gill/Circumvision, Sophie Klahr, Banditas

This is mainly a 'dry run' for Cass McCombs and filmmaker Aaron Brown who are presenting "The Pretender" at the Modern Theatre as part of "First Night". Their collaboration is being described as a 'modern day mythological musical'. And singer-songwriter Nina Nastasia will be opening for Dean & Britta next door at the Paramount.

A handful of local top-notch folky and rocky types are joining the fun, and Mike Gill from Circumvision will likely show some of the brilliant music videos they've made.

Author Nick Flynn will read from his latest novel "The Ticking Is The Bomb", and Sophie Klahr will read some of her poetry.

They say the performances start promptly at 8:30pm. I doubt the schedule on TT's calendar is accurate, but I do think they'll generally go on last to first as listed above.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

WED 12/29: Art, Rock, Reggae


Are we getting to that point where one either is going out on NYE or going out before and staying in on the 31st? Yes, I prefer staying in and getting plastered at someone's home; you don't have to worry about amateurs overdoing it around you.

Of course, the next two nights can be warm-ups... That said, I might post some last-minute NYE cheap options.

Do you like Dogfish Head? From 5pm to 7pm, Redbones will have about dozen more DH brews on tap downstairs besides the 60-Minute & 90-Minute IPAs. There should be free appetizers and free Dogfish Head shwag, but I've seen these 'tap takeover' nights get pretty crowded.

--------------------------------------------------------------

WED 12/29

4pm to 9:45pm
Open Wednesday Evening
at Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave, Boston (The Fens)
FREE

As I said last week:

- Wednesday evenings have been free-free-FREE for years, and no strings attached for today and next Wednesday.
- It will continue to be an inexpensive opportunity for the public to visit, but it will be a "voluntary contribution" ($20 suggested).
I'm not complaining, because the museum doesn't have to offer anything special. Between you and me $20 is the regular admission price -- so why not give them $10 (or whatever), get the stink-eye, and enjoy the art next year.

If you want to see the new Art of the Americas wing (or anything else) and can't go tonight, the next open community day is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. There may be fewer people tonight.

WED 12/29

Hello Ninja
(11:30pm), All Ages (10:30pm), Stroamata (9:30pm), Josh Blodgett (8:50pm)
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$8

It seems like TT's started having more shows off the main stage this month. Maybe the weeknight shows look more full on the smaller stage on the other side of the bar?

Either side would be hopping with Hello Ninja serving straight-up, buoyant rock and some SF pop-punk from All Ages. They look like they're into having fun onstage and they name-check the Dropkick Murphys (and North End?) in one of their songs.

Stroamata touches on a bunch of genres and changes things up quite a bit; while everything sounds good, I haven't been won over yet. Josh Blodgett seems to be a friend of All Ages.

WED 12/29

9:30pm
The Giant Kings
at Lizard Lounge/Cambridge Common, 1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge (between Harvard Sq & Porter Sq
$8 / 21+

I said something similar about Session Americana recently, but The Giant Kings are another band of great local players, like super-guitarist Duke Levine, who appear with too many artists to mention.

Suffice to say these guys kick ass as they do a bunch old-school rock, R&B, soul, country, and whatever else they fell like playing.

WED 12/29

9pm
Jah Rich "Reggae Dance Party"
at Milky Way Lounge / Bella Luna, 284 Amory St, Jamaica Plain (The Brewery Complex)
FREE / 21+

Feat: Selector Jah Rich, Progressive Youth Sound, Jah Pilot, D!Arryval

Why wait until 12/31 to dance and party? Jah Rich and Progressive Youth Sound will be playing records that span the classics to the latest sides. Jah Pilot and D!Arryval are set to perform live.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

TUES 12/28: Magic & Comedy


So there wasn't much cheapness to miss last night, since the one thing I listed was cancelled. These two events might happen tonight.

--------------------------------------------------------------

TUES 12/28

8pm
"Mystery Lounge"
at The Comedy Studio/Hong Kong Restaurant, 1236 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$10

Feat: David Garrity, Steve Kradolfer, Joe Howard, more

If you're looking for a little magic in your life, this humorous and casual performance takes place every Tuesday night (and it's been going for more then 10 years).

From the little I know, these guys are seriously good who like having a more casual venue away from their usual professional gigs. They also have a comedian join them each week, so there will be laughs.

I think this coupon will magically reduce the admission by $1.

TUES 12/28

9pm
Monthly Comedy Night
at Enormous Room, 567 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE / 21+

Feat: Sameer Naseem, Laura Crawford, Rob Crean, Guitler Raphael, Nick Palm, Matt Donaher

The comedians who are scheduled to perform tonight don't seem to list it, but Enormous Room has said it's happening. This is the second monthly comedy night, so I doubt it would fall apart so soon...

Monday, December 27, 2010

MON 12/27: Snow Day


Wow, looks like I've missed a big storm. Who knows what's going on tonight or whether anyone wants to go anywhere besides the closest bar...

The Major Stars/Neptune gig at Charlies Kitchen has been canceled.

There was another gig I liked at the Midway Cafe, but it looks like it has disappeared.

--------------------------------------------------------------

MON 12/27

6pm to 8pm
"Boston, The Way It Was": Screening
at Rabb Lecture Hall, Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St, Boston (Copley Sq)
FREE

This was produced for WGBH with a bunch of archival photos and footage from the '30s and '40s, and is being screened as the final segment of the yearlong "Made in Mass" series.

On a regular Monday night, I'd consider going.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

SUN 12/26: Sunday Night Off-Topic Video

Did you not get what you want...?

SUN 12/26: Stories, Cards, Music


Hey, folks. I'm still on West-Coast vacation, this is what happens when I get up late and football starts earlier...

--------------------------------------------------------------

SUN 12/26

7pm
Story Slam: "Holidaze"
at Milky Way Lounge/Bella Luna, 284 Amory St, Jamaica Plain (The Brewery Complex)
$5

6:30pm: Sign-up
7pm: Stories start

Ah, the holidays... Ain't it a fertile season for great stories? You don't have to tell one from this year, but they are looking for a real story, like when your drug-addict cousin wants to crash with you instead of staying with their parents then steal a bunch of your stuff...

Bring your five minute story on the theme and your could be one of ten lucky tellers drawn at random to tell and be judged.
Joining co-hosts Robin Maxfield and HR Britton will be Rabbi Moshe Waldoks from Brookline's Temple Beth Zion. The rabbi knows a few good stories as co-editor of The Big Book of Jewish Humor.

SUN 12/26

8pm
Texas Hold'em Poker Night
at Johnny D's, 17 Holland St, Somerville (Davis Sq)
FREE / 18+

Hey, it's free chance to play some poker. They play every week, and you might win a prize if you do well enough. You'll have to sign up as a member of the Beantown Poker Tour, but that's free too.

You need to register when you get there to play, but it's free.

SUN 12/26

8pm
The Caress Family Christmas Party
at Tommy Doyle's, 96 Winthrop St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
FREE

Feat: Josh/Jordan/Alex Caress, The True New Fire, The Troubadours

A family of singer-songwriter/rocker siblings play a gig with some friends and their various projects while all of them are in town for the holidays.

SUN 12/26

9:30pm
"Twas the Night After Xmas": Part 5
at Middle East - Upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10 / 18+

Feat: Elemental Zazen, Ovr Cast, Kevin Walker, Nasty Nat, Nezze Ne, Jesse Kilroy, Emoh Betta

Hosted by Sly Young

Why not hear some quality hip-hop to start the last week of the year?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

SAT 12/25: More Schmaltzy Xmas



Yeah, it's a bit of a cheat to list the same stuff again, but it's still valid...

The Boston Common Frog Pond ($4 / $8 skate rental) is open from 4pm to 9pm.

I think of this as a 'going to the movies' day in general. "Edward Scissorhands" is playing at the Brattle ($9.75) at 9:30pm -- and it does have a Xmas scene in Southern California. (Wow, it's been 20 years since it was released.)

--------------------------------------------------------------

SAT 12/25 (thru SUN 1/2)

10am to 9pm
The Enchanted Village
at Jordan's Furniture, 100 Stockwell Dr, Avon
FREE

Hours of Operation:

Monday thru Saturday -- 10am to 9pm
Sunday -- 11am to 6pm
Maybe because this chunk of Boston history is part of my childhood memories, but I think the barely-animated displays of winter scenes look really friggin' creepy!

The semi-realistic mannequins that usually have one slowly-moving element reminds me of an old "Twilight Zone" episode. Maybe chug a bottle of cough syrup, have a blueberry muffin, and brave the long lines...

I drove by Jordan's in Avon last weekend, and it was only about a 20-minute drive after we were south of the O'Neill Tunnel.

SAT 12/25 (thru ???)

After Dark
Illuminations: Self Tour
around Somerville (Winter Hill, Union Sq, East Somerville)
$5 to $3 to FREE

The trolley tours occurred last Saturday, however the lights should be on for a couple more days. It wouldn't be too hard to drive around at your own pace and enjoy the glowing gaudiness. Any can walk it, of course, depending on how far or long one wants to go.

Update: Did you get your booklet/map yesterday? You probably have to wait until tomorrow or plan a route with the Google map.

There are a couple ways to go:

The "City of Lights" booklet has profiles of many decorators with street addresses in the back. It's sells for $5 at various Somerville & Cambridge stores. It's nice little book on the Illumination tradition. Ad the proceeds go to the Somerville Arts Council, which does a lot of cool stuff throughout the year.

It's possible/probable that some of those listed in that booklet don't still go full-bore, so you can pick up this year's route map for $3 at Blue Cloud (Ball Sq) and Magpie (Davis Sq). Proceeds also go to the Somerville Arts Council, and they should also have the "City of Lights".

Some people rode their bicycles along the route last week, and they made a Google map. It ain't as pretty, but it gives you an idea where to go...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

FRI 12/24: Schmaltzy Xmas Spectacle


This is a difficult day to find cheap fun (besides hitting a tavern and enjoy some liquid cheer)...

Neither of these items are specific to Friday, but I didn't list anything last year.

--------------------------------------------------------------

FRI 12/24 (thru SUN 1/2)

10am to 9pm
The Enchanted Village
at Jordan's Furniture, 100 Stockwell Dr, Avon
FREE

Hours of Operation:

Monday thru Saturday -- 10am to 9pm
Sunday -- 11am to 6pm
Maybe because this chunk of Boston history is part of my childhood memories, but I think the barely-animated displays of winter scenes look really friggin' creepy!

The semi-realistic mannequins that usually have one slowly-moving element reminds me of an old "Twilight Zone" episode. Maybe chug a bottle of cough syrup, have a blueberry muffin, and brave the long lines...

I drove by Jordan's in Avon last weekend, and it was only about a 20-minute drive after we were south of the O'Neill Tunnel.

FRI 12/24 (thru ???)

After Dark
Illuminations: Self Tour
around Somerville (Winter Hill, Union Sq, East Somerville)
$5 to $3 to FREE

The trolley tours occurred last Saturday, however the lights should be on for a couple more days. It wouldn't be too hard to drive around at your own pace and enjoy the glowing gaudiness. Any can walk it, of course, depending on how far or long one wants to go.

There are a couple ways to go:

The "City of Lights" booklet has profiles of many decorators with street addresses in the back. It's sells for $5 at various Somerville & Cambridge stores. It's nice little book on the Illumination tradition. Ad the proceeds go to the Somerville Arts Council, which does a lot of cool stuff throughout the year.

It's possible/probable that some of those listed in that booklet don't still go full-bore, so you can pick up this year's route map for $3 at Blue Cloud (Ball Sq) and Magpie (Davis Sq). Proceeds also go to the Somerville Arts Council, and they should also have the "City of Lights".

Some people rode their bicycles along the route last week, and they made a Google map. It ain't as pretty, but it gives you an idea where to go...

THUR 12/23: Free Music


Happy Festivus everyone! Gather 'round the Festivus pole for feats of strength and the airing of grievances.

In case you haven't been to Logan recently, they don't serve booze before 8am. :-(

--------------------------------------------------------------

THUR 12/23

7:30pm
Annual Holiday Party
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE


Feat: Three Day Threshold w/ Summer Villains (11:30pm), John Powhida (11:10pm), Dave Aaronoff (10:50pm), Andrea Gillis (10:30pm), Corin Ashley (10:10pm), Eric Salt (9:50pm), Brendan Little (9:30pm), Mikey FrenchFries (9:10pm), Marc Pinansky (8:50pm), Dan Baker (8:30pm), Hilken Mancini (8:10pm), Tom Janovitz (7:50pm), Naked On Rollerskates (7:30pm)

Not only is it Festivus and smack dab in the middle of the pan-holiday season, TT's annual holiday party serves as a birthday party for their wonderful booker, Randi Millman.
http://www.exploitboston.com/15-questions/music-industry/15-questions-with-randi-millman-talent-buyer-at-tt-the-bears/

Everyone is going to do a few songs, and they're all pretty much awesome, so get there early and be prepared to stay 'til the very end. The schedule is probably tentative but close.

THUR 12/23

9pm
Jeremy Lyons w/ Washtub Robbie Phillips
at Sally O'Brien's, 335 Somerville Ave, Somerville (Union Sq)
FREE

Lyons unexpectedly decided to move from New Orleans to Boston after the weather became really aggressive (aka Hurricane Katrina). Seems like the cold doesn't bother him so much, and we're lucky to his bluesy, swampy, slide-guitaring 'n singing.

And nothing says 'holiday spirit' like bluesy NOLA guitar with a primitive one-string bass.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

WED 12/22: Art, Rock, Jazz, Rock


I'm heading out of town tomorrow morning, but I will try to keep things rolling as usual (maybe better).

It's tough around this time of year, but let's not get carried away with all of the seasonal stuff. Let's choose the good stuff, and ignore the rest.

PJ Gray of Galactic Fractures and Soullelujah has put together a soulful Xmas mix that should appeal to almost everyone. You can listen to it (or download it).

--------------------------------------------------------------

WED 12/22

4pm to 9:45pm
Open Wednesday Evening
at Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave, Boston (The Fens)
FREE

They say about 10,000 people showed up for Saturday's free opening of the Art of the Americas wing. If you're not busy running errands, you'll likely find a much smaller crowd today.

Although I've misinterpreted emails before, let me put it this way:

Wednesday evenings have been free-free-FREE for years, and no strings attached for today and next Wednesday.
It will continue to be an inexpensive opportunity for the public to visit, but it will be a "voluntary contribution" ($20 suggested).
I'm not complaining, because the museum doesn't have to offer anything special. Between you and me $20 is the regular admission price -- so why not give them $10 (or whatever), get the stink-eye, and enjoy the art next year.

I have a feeling that this isn't the most popular destination during the holidays, so it could be a good time to sneak in and take a cultural break from mass commercialism.

I might check out the new Art of the Americas wing tonight...

WED 12/22

9:30pm
The Scrooges, Double Nines, Mellow Bravo
at O'Brien's, 3 Harvard St, Allston
$7 / 21+

Last Night of The Scrooges Residency!

Maybe you need to like Iggy Pop and The Stooges to really appreciate The Scrooges, or maybe a bunch of grubby-looking Santas raging through their catalog will turn you into a fan.

What seemed like a lark when it began a few years ago has turned into a loud yuletide tradition that had the Scrooges bouncing around various venues for a couple weeks.

These lushes were probably having a hard time remembering where the gig was, so they've done 4 weeks at O'Brien's. Not only will it rock your ass off -- including the double-barrel openers Double Nines and Mellow Bravo -- you'll know that no one else at your dinner table thinks of Santa in the same way as you.

WED 12/22

10pm
Four Roots
at The Beehive, 541 Tremont St, Boston (South End)
FREE

If you're in the mood for Latin jazz, this could be a good spot. Bandleader/trumpeter Yaure Muniz Rumayor was born in Havana and now studies at Berklee. Pianist Gilson Schachnik and bassist Fernando Huergo teach there, and drummer Pablo Bencid plays with a bunch of groups including local institution Either/Orchestra.

My standard Beehive disclaimer: The drinks are more than I'd like to pay, but there's no cover charge.

WED 12/22

10:30pm
John Powhida & The Doom Band
at Plough & Stars, 912 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE

A good friend of mine doesn't like John Powhida, because they think he has a big ego and won't give the music a chance. That rock-star charisma is part of Powhida's charm in my book, and he's got the pipes to back it up. Solo or with The Rudds, I've always dug his twisted pop/soul/rock blend.

A couple months ago, he played at "Mixtape: 1967" a couple months ago with 'Johnny St. John & the Doom Band'. If I were a betting man, I'd expect to hear some of John's originals and a bunch of gems from the Summer of Love.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

TUES 12/21: Holiday, Roots, Dance


Happy Winter Solstice everybody!

We got some cold confetti yesterday and today. Yes, you can still go out when there is snow on the ground.

There is a bunch of activity along the Greenway between 4pm and 7pm from North End to Chinatown. It's a celebration for new light installations through March of '11. The excellent Kingsley Flood are scheduled to play near South Station at 4:30pm.

--------------------------------------------------------------

TUES 12/21

9pm
"The ButtCracker"
at The Midway Cafe, 3496 Washington St, Jamaica Plain
$7 / 18+

Feat: Rogue Burlesque, The Femme Show, Boston Sass Attack, Bitches of Destiny, The Tranny Roadshow, ImprovBoston, Improv Asylum, TraniWreck

The Nutcracker... The Slutcracker... We should've guessed this was ahead (or behind?). Of course, the trunk is a good place to hide Xmas presents.

Johnny Blazes and Madge of Honor have been presenting a monthly night of experimental cabaret dubbed "Hypothesis". Instead we get a tawdry, sassy holiday show of burlesque, comedy, music, and maybe even puppetry and more.

Everyone can stick around a dance with DJ Golden Touch.

TUES 12/21

9:30pm
Session Americana
at Lizard Lounge/Cambridge Common, 1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge (between Harvard Sq & Porter Sq)
$10

Do you remember that scene in "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" when the Soggy Bottom Boys are recording "Man of Constant Sorrow" around a single microphone?

That's similar to what you can expect from Session Americana. With a couple mic's on a table, as much of the band will squeeze around and rip into song after song like the best jam session in someone's kitchen.

Among all the great rootsy/folky musicians in the area, these guys are among the cream of the crop that have played with too many artists to list.

You can also see them next Tuesday, and the phenomenal Duke Levine will be sitting in.

TUES 12/21

9pm to 1am
Annual Winter Solstice Party
at Enormous Room, 567 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE

Feat: Shitaly, DJs Coralcola, Ectocooler, Damien Paul

I'm not sure if Enormous Room really does have an annual solstice party, but it's never too late to start... Anyway people will dance, so people will probably stand in line outside. I've seen people queuing here in the middle of winter, and it's not that great although the couches are very comfortable. Amid the DJ's, Shitaly will perform a set strangely appealing, avant-party rock; you can hear a song on SoundCloud.

Monday, December 20, 2010

MON 12/20: Holiday & Music


Is everyone getting excited for Festivus?!?

--------------------------------------------------------------

MON 12/20

6pm
Friends' Holiday Celebration
at South Boston Public Library, 646 E Broadway, Boston (Southie)
FREE

People in Southie can find some good, clean holiday cheer with a sing-along (maybe this attorney on piano), a reading of "The Night Before Christmas", and "holiday goodies" brought to you by the Friends of the South Boston Branch Library.

MON 12/20

7pm
Boston Skeptics Holiday Shindig
at Tommy Doyle's (upstairs), 96 Winthrop St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
FREE

Feat: Dan Hart

For those looking for less traditional festivities, you could hang out with the skeptics. They might just smirk and scoff in your face if you said, "Merry Christmas" or other holiday greeting that's not based on hard evidence.

Although people that may not "believe" in any metaphysical aspects of religion still want to party around Winter Solstice time.

Tonight's entertainment includes ex-psychologist singer-songwriter Dan Hart who'll probably do a bunch of original holiday songs that will be neither warm nor fuzzy. A Yankee Swap will follow (Think $10 or under, if you want to participate).

MON 12/20

9:30pm
Tristan Da Cunha, Old Man Lady Luck, Guillermo Sexo, Fat History Month
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$7 /18+

It's going to be a good night to hear some math/psych/noise rock lashing at the audience to absorb like ecstatic devotees ready for the aural whip.

MON 12/20

9:30pm
Gong Show Karaoke
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE / 18+

This is a loose and casual karaoke night, and no one will judge -- except the panel of judges who may gong you in mid-song like the old TV show. Still it's usually a lighthearted criticism, and the rest of the singers will support you.

MC Tommy Somerville is a cool, funny guy (and possibly the loudest person I've ever met). Usually a band serves as the judging panel. I think it'll be The Nose Jobs this week.

Go, have fun, and don't worry about how good you are. I was gonged on my second song, and it wasn't bad at all.

Although listed on the site as 8:30pm, the action really starts around 9:30pm.

MON 12/20

10pm
Ryan Lee Crosby, Mr. Sister
at ZuZu!, 474 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE

There is going to be a whole bunch of quiet yet potent songs from masterfully melancholy singer-songwriter Ryan Lee Crosby and indie-folk group Mr Sister that revolves around the amazing jazzy, horn-like voice of Amelia Emmet. And if you don't like it, you can go to Gong Show Karaoke around the corner.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

SUN 12/19: Sunday Night Off-Topic Video

If this doesn't get you in the Xmas mood, then...

...that's cool.

It's a *NSFW* and occasionally crude Christmas story from Patton Oswalt that makes me laugh and laugh.

Seriously, it's twisted. Enjoy...

SUN 12/19: Caroling, Rocking


Okay, folks. Either sing or be sung to for little to no money...

The Charles Hotel has some free festivities for the opening of their skating rink today, but it looks kinda small (and usually crowded) in my opinion.

--------------------------------------------------------------

SUN 12/19

4pm
Annual Caroling Mob
meet at Forest Hills T, about 3798 Washington St, Jamaica Plain
FREE

A bunch of festive souls walk around JP and sing holiday songs, and all singers of any size, shape, creed, or ability are welcome to join along. (They'll leave about 4:15pm.)

They suggest:

Bring candle lanterns (Lantern Parade lanterns work great), weather-appropriate clothing and gloves, festive hats and scarves, mugs for drinking Wassail, if you want to be green, and your good cheer.
When the time is right (cold and/or hunger), they'll hit a pub.

SUN 12/19

9pm to 11pm
Treat Her Right
at Toad, 1912 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Porter Sq)
FREE

Listen to some bluesy rock from a band that originally tore it up before Mark Sandman spread the Morphine sound around the world. They got back together about a year ago, and they're back at it every now and then with loads of slide guitar and harmonica -- including semi-regular gigs at Toad. Good stuff!

SUN 12/19

10pm
Sea Monsters
at Precinct, 70 Union Sq, Somerville (Union Sq)
$7-ish / 21+

Feat: Will Dailey

I didn't write about this gig very often in the past, because I though these guys would rock every Sunday night ad infinitum. Unfortunately, good things do come to a (hopefully) temporary end.

This gig was the brainchild of Christian McNeill and Jesse Dee who are doing quite well on their individual projects. They've formed a loose rootsy/soulful party with horns various guests and adoring fans for about 3 years, and they're planning on taking a break to record next year.

Tonight's guest is the awesome singer-songwriter Will Dailey, so I may have to go!

Friday, December 17, 2010

SAT 12/18: Skating, Crawling, Swaping, Dancing, Rocking



I hope I'll get a more detailed post up tomorrow morning, but I don't want to kid either you or I...

Brookline Booksmith won't be a bad place to shop from 1pm to 3pm, because Taza Chocolate will be handing out samples and it's friggin' delicious!

There are a lot interesting (a bit fancy) gifts at Grand near Union Square. I think tomorrow's in-store event (2pm to 6pm) might include personal labels on Pretty Things beer, which would be a pretty nice thing to find under the tree...

--------------------------------------------------------------

SAT 12/18

11am to 9pm
Free Skating & Holiday Show
at Kendall Square Community Ice Skating, 300 Athenaeum St, Cambridge
FREE

It may not be quiet this Saturday, but I've walked by this rink in the past and thought it looked less crowded than the Frog Pond.

The skating is free between holiday skating programs )when complimentary refreshments will also be available).

11am to 1:30pm: Free-admission skating
2pm: Holiday show
2:45pm to 5:30pm: Free-admission skating
6pm: "Holiday on Ice"
6:45pm to 9pm: Free-admission skating
Skate rentals are $8 or $5 for the 13 & under crowd -- or bring your own...

SAT 12/18

12:30pm
Boston Santacon 2010at The Asgard, 350 Mass Ave, Cambridge
Whatever you drink/eat

Here is some info, if you have a Santa suit and want to go on a pub crawl.

It is a free country so you and your buddies can ensconce yourself at one these spots to see the bar overrun by drunken Santas. There are so many, they have to split up into various bars at each hub. Or bah-humbuggers now know where avoid excessive cheer and tidings...
12:30pm -- The Asgard
2:30pm -- Central Square: Tavern in the Square, Cantab Lounge, People's Republik, Plough & Stars
4:30pm -- Harvard Square: Grafton St, Hong Kong, Whitney's Cafe
6:30pm -- Dinner: John Harvard's, Grendel's Den
9:30pm -- Davis Square: The Burren, Joshua Tree, Johnny D's
There is a crawl Google map and an one-page info sheet [PDF].

SAT 12/18

1:50pm
"Choose Your Own Holiday" Gift Swapat TBA Location (at midnight on FRI 12/17)
FREE

If you haven't made anything yet, get cracking. I told you about this a couple days ago.

Enjoy some pan-holiday fun and maybe start the new year with a new friend or two...

[Facebook]

SAT 12/18

2pm to 3pm
Triiibe, "InstaDance"
at 808 Gallery, 808 Comm Ave, Boston (BU campus)
FREE / 16+

This "on-the-spot dance choreographed and performed by all of us" will supposedly be based on everyday gestures, so everyone can learn it easily yet still have fun.

It's also a chance to visit Triibe's "In Search of Eden: A Work in Progress" before it closes.

"The only requirement is that you must be human with an open mind and an open heart."

Is that clear?

SAT 12/18

4:30pm to 9:15pm
Annual Illuminations Tour
at Somerville City Hall, 93 Highland Ave, Somerville (Spring Hill)
Tickets: $10 / $5 -- for 12 and under & 60 and over

Bus/trolleys depart at:
4:30pm, 5pm, 5:45pm, 6:15pm, 7pm, 7:30pm, 8:15pm, 8:45pm, 9:15pm

At this point, there may not be anymore tickets, but a call to Blue Cloud Gallery (Ball Sq) could confirm it. There were few tickets left yesterday when I finally posted about it.

You could always show up, have a hot cocoa, and try your luck as a "stand-by" -- which may work best for the early or late tours.

Some crazy people will meet at City Hall around 6:50pm and do the rather hilly route on bicycles (no charge).

Maps ($3) will be available on Saturday night at City Hall or -- starting on MON 12/20 -- at Blue Cloud and Magpie (Davis Sq).

SAT 12/18

7pm
The Vivs: Holiday Benefit & Bash
at The Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St, Arlington
$10 / All Ages

Guests: Bill Goffrier (Big Dipper), Carrie Bradley (The Breeders/Ed's Redeeming Qualities), Scatterfield

I originally saw this without noticing the additional "$5 suggested donation" (proceeds benefit The Children's Room).

Still The Vivs have some great, powerpop-ing songs. They'll be joined by a couple old friends from the Boston music scene who will likely do some tunes on their own and with the band.

I couldn't find a good web location for Scatterfield who probably haven't played together since '06 and who knows before then. They played at the 1990 Rumble and lost to Slaughter Shack, but so did the Gigolo Aunts...

Beer and wine will be available. It should be a good full show.

SAT 12/18

7:30pm
Joe Kowan, John Gerard, Leesa Coyne, Ad Frank
at Arts at The Armory Cafe, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville (Spring Hill)
$7

On Sunday, the off-topic video was J-Krafty's rap ode to appliqu├ęs and bedazzling and the like. J-Krafty happens to be the alter-ego of Joe Kowan, and Leesa Coyne of Naked on Roller Skates was Scissah or Knitta, one of his sidekicks. Everyone is probably keeping things simple and acoustic, but one hopes Joe will do "Krafty" in some form. Then you also get the amazing cool Ad Frank and singer-songwriter John Gerard.

SAT 12/18

9:30pm
Faux Ox, Patrons of Sweet, I Pistol, The Crushing Low
at PA's Lounge, 345 Somerville Ave, Somerville (Union Sq)
$10 / 21+

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your full-on rock option of the night (cheap category). From the shoegazey sounds of the The Crushing Low and the hookalicious crunch of I Pistol through Buffalo's Patrons of Sweet and their big 'n loud indie-rock then finishing up with twisty heaviness of Faux Ox. Good stuff!

FRI 12/17: Sax, Comedy, Rock, Etc


I know the weekend posts should be more detailed than the weekday posts, because that's when we're most likely going out for fun.

It's been backwards for too long, but I think I'm going to do it again this weekend.

More to come...

--------------------------------------------------------------

FRI 12/17

7pm to 9pm
Ken Field's Alto Army
at 808 Gallery, 808 Comm Ave, Boston (BU campus)
FREE

Feat: Jim Hobbs, Dave Sholl, Andy Baer, others

If a whole bunch of alto saxophonists are playing for two hours, this should be something where you can feel fine about walking in at any point of the performance. It's happening in the gallery where Triiibe has been creating a month-long installation called, "In Search of Eden", so you should also be able to walk around and dig the art and tunes simultaneously.

FRI 12/17

7:30pm to 9:30pm
Anderson Comedy: "The Gas"
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$5 / 18+

Feat: Joey O'Neill, Mark "The Shark" Stevens, Alan Park, Jono Zalay, Will Smalley, James Nixon, Andrew Mayer, Dan Burgess, Lillian DeVane

This is a lot of comedy for $5. It's heckuva lot of comedy for $2.50 if you rip out the corner of page 44 in The Phoenix and show them the 2-for-1 ad. If you don't have a friend, grab any stranger walking in!

Basically, you'll have to hear something funny, especially if you start pounding tall boys right away. Even with beer, this is cheaper than going to see "Tron: Legacy" -- and this is supposed to make you laugh...

Hosted by the funny Rob Crean. Could Alan Park actually be a Canadian comedian? (I doubt it.)

FRI 12/17

8:30pm
Tony the Bookie, Travels, Hands & Knees, JD Cooper & Friends
at PA's Lounge, 345 Somerville Ave, Somerville (Union Sq)
$10 / $5 with gift / 21+

Even without knowing what's going on with "JD Cooper & Friends", there is so much excellent twangy, hooky indie-rock to make it worth your while.

Get there early for some food that's included in the cover charge. Get in for $5 if you bring an unwrapped toy (in new condition) that will be given to a needy kid through the Somerville Homeless Coalition.

FRI 12/17

The Raging Teens (Midnight), Frank Morey (11pm), The Egos (10pm), The Throttles (9pm)
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10 / 18+

The annual Raging Teens Holiday Hoedown is always a rockabilly gift for the crowd. These folks kick ass and bring the cheer any time of year. Their guests will bring a bluesy, garagey, surfy yuletide greetings for all.

Rockabilly DJ extraordinaire Easy Ed will spin between sets to keep toes tapping, etc.

FRI 12/17

That Handsome Devil (Midnight), The Force (11pm), Planetoid (10:05pm), Casey Desmond (9:20pm), Frostbite (8:40pm)
at Middle East - Upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
18+ $10

How can you not like The Force's "3rd Annual Christmas Spectacular" when the flyer (above) looks so darn cool?

After a twisted set of holiday songs from Frostbite (who are giving away copies of their CD while supplies last), it's a good mix of pop-rock from Casey Desmond, the alien/stoner rock of Planetoid, The Force's funk-rock, and the funky party-potpourri of That Handsome Devil.

FRI 12/17

9:30pm
Destroy Babylon, DJ Generoso
at House of Blues - Front Room, 15 Lansdowne St, Boston (Kenmore Sq)
FREE / 21+

When "reggae-rockers" is uttered, people in an unknown ratio slowly back away or grab their hacky-sack and are ready to blaze. One doesn't have to fall into one of those categories, but Destroy Babylon is a strong band that has a solid groove and aren't shy about the volume. It's good stuff, and maybe they'll play some Clash if you scream enough.

It's also good to support FREE original live music in the HoB front room. It's one of the few cheap music clubs within Boston city limits.

SAT 12/18: Xmas Lights of Somerville


Hey, it's not too late to make something for Saturday's pan-holiday gift swap...

--------------------------------------------------------------

4:30pm to 9:15pm
Annual Illuminations Tour
at Somerville City Hall, 93 Highland Ave, Somerville (Spring Hill)
Tickets: $10 / $5 -- for 12 and under & 60 and over

Tickets are sold at Blue Cloud Gallery (713 Broadway, Ball Sq).

Bus/trolleys depart at:
4:30pm, 5pm, 5:45pm, 6:15pm, 7pm, 7:30pm, 8:15pm, 8:45pm, 9:15pm

Let speak in praise of the my neighbor's excessive Xmas lights.

Last year, the City of Boston decorated their big tree from Nova Scotia with energy-efficient bulbs. Even the Citgo Sign was switched to LED's. They're both still beautiful sights, but neither is as brilliant as before.

It may be a waste of energy, but I think it's okay to conserve throughout the year to splurge on kitcshy holiday fun.

My 2009 ride was 45 minutes of old-timey holiday fun. Tom Champion regaled us with Somerville history and factoids while Jimmy DelPonte led the group in seasonal tunes like "Rudolph...", "Jingle Bells", etc.

So kudos to the citizens who let their power meters spin like a 45 record.

I asked around, and most of the tours were sold out as of Wednesday with a few more tix available for 9:15pm. If you can't get 'em on Friday, you could always show up and hope for stand-by while you have a hot cocoa.

A few hearty souls will meet at City Hall around 6:50pm and do the rather hilly route on bicycles (no charge).

* * * * *

People who want to go around at their own pace can buy a $3 tour map on Saturday night at City Hall or -- starting on MON 12/20 -- at Blue Cloud and Magpie (Davis Sq).

All the proceeds go to the Somerville Arts Council, which does a lot of cool stuff all year round like ArtBeat and wacky summer activities in Union Square.

It was difficult to get clear photos due to the plastic covering that's protecting you from the wind, but...



Thursday, December 16, 2010

THUR 12/16: A Little Talk. More Rock


So a confluence of crap has delivered today's post later than its usual tardiness -- and in an abridged format.

Note: Friday cheapness is already on the CTB calendar.

--------------------------------------------------------------

THUR 12/16

6:30pm to 7:30pm
Ilan Stavans & Henry Louis Gates Jr, "The Culture Wars and the Canon": Conversation
at Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$5

Ilan Stavans is a Latin-American scholar at Amherst. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is an African-American scholar at Harvard. Tonight they talk about Latino- and African- American relationships in America.

Tickets available through Cambridge Center for Adult Education.

THUR 12/16

9pm
"Mondo Thursdays": Mele Kalikimaka Party
at Plough & Stars, 912 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$5 / 21+

Feat: Tired Old Bones (Midnight), Peter Moore (11:15pm), Jessica Sun Lee (10:30pm), Danielle Lessard (9:45pm)

Thursdays have become "Mondo Thursdays" at the Plough, and they're starting a bit earlier this week for a Polynesian-themed holiday party with an eclectic mix of loud and quiet musical acts.

The food is good, and there will be some island-inspired special dishes tonight.

THUR 12/16

Jason Bennett & The Resistance (Midnight), The Dirty Truckers (11pm), Full Body Anchor (10pm), Brittany Gray (9pm)
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$9

Can you believe "The Noise" magazine has been around for 30 years? Kudos to anyone that does anything for 30 years. (I think I've been doing something like this for about five...)

This anniversary celebration is rocking from beginning to end!

THUR 12/16

9pm
Filligar, The Honors
at Middle East - Downstairs, 480 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10 / All Ages

These are two excellent specimens of poppy indie-rock. I prefer The Honors, so that probably means Filligar will be hugely famous...

A portion of the proceeds of this show will go to Partners in Health.

Doors open at 8pm

THUR 12/16

9:30pm
Viva Viva, Pray For Polanski, Cat Whisker
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$8 / 18+

Sleepover Shows is a site that features their quirky videos of exclusive performances by bands, and they've started to organize shows outside of their living room. Holy cow, this is a strong line-up.

THUR 12/16

9:30pm
Naked On Roller Skates (11pm), Angeline (10pm), Lady Lamb The Beekeeper (9pm)
at Lizard Lounge/Cambridge Common, 1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge (between Harvard Sq & Porter Sq)
$8 / 21+

This is going to be a full house for having three excellent folky/rocky outfits with mucha girl power. And maybe Lady Lamb The Beekeeper has local momentum as a talented singer-songwriter who was a favorite of Billy Ruane before he exited the mortal coil.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Advance Notice 12/18: "Holiday Mash-Up" DIY Gift Swap


1:50pm
"Choose Your Own Holiday" Gift Swap
at TBA Location (at midnight on FRI 12/17)
FREE

All of the details are on their site. This is my quick summary of the details on the Banditos Misteriosos site.

I didn't find their list of 52 national holidays, but there is a rather comprehensive list available.

Rather than stick to the various gift-giving celebrations of December, people are encouraged to make a gift that's related to any holiday (or fictional "day")...

"Make" may be too strong of a word:

- You shouldn't buy it.
- Creating is strongly encouraged.
- An interesting found item would be acceptable.
Also:
* Definitely wrap it -- preferably in old/previously-used paper products.
* These events are fun when people are dressed up, so consider the holiday you're representing.
You can check before you go to sleep on Friday night or wake up Saturday morning to find out where to meet.

The locations of these events -- whether a pillow fight or water battle or silent rave, or scavenger hunt, etc -- are usually somewhere downtown and/or somewhere T-accessible.

The Banditos did a gift-swap about a year ago, so they know how to make it happen.

In case you don't want to think about the other to-do items on your list, you still have a few days to get this gift together!

[Facebook]

WED 12/15: Talk, Party, Stage, Music


Since it's the 15th of the month during Anna's Taqueria 15th anniversary year, they're giving out something free today. (It's a taco...)

The Feast, a newish 'lifestyle' site, asked me and a dozen or so other people about town what they want for Xmas. I wasn't trying to go cheap, but I was surprised that a few chose cheaper items than me...

While the donation is $20, the Chandler Travis Holiday Extravaganza (7:30pm) at Johnny D's. A lot of great acts play to benefit the Somerville Homeless Coalition.

--------------------------------------------------------------

WED 12/15

6pm to 7pm
Boston Society of Architects, "Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful": Discussion
at Rabb Lecture Hall, Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St, Boston (Copley Sq)
FREE

Feat: Nader Tehrani, Jane Weinzapfel, Nick Winton

Tonight's panelists should have a good grasp on the various aspects of beauty in architecture beyond simple aesthetics. Each of them have won the Harleston Parker Medal for designing the most beautiful building in Boston.

Sarah Williams Goldhagen, architecture critic at The New Republic, will moderate.

WED 12/15

7pm to 11pm
"The Winter Escape"
at The Lansdowne Pub, 9 Lansdowne St, Boston (Kenmore Sq)
No cover / 21+

Are interested in having a few drinks near Kenmore Square and/or winning skis/lift passes/Harpoon gear?

This would be the place to be.

WED 12/15

7:30pm
For the Sake of the Song: Bob Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks"
at Arts at The Armory Cafe, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville (Spring Hill)
$10

Feat: Patrick Coman, Patrick Yerby, Brendan Murphy, Matt Borrello, Brendan Hogan, Dressing the Debutantes, Greg Klyma

In this Dylan-lover's humble opinion, "Blood on the Tracks" is definitely one of Bob's top 3 albums -- and may be my personal fave. The emotional quotient is high throughout this post-divorce collection, and the songs are all so damn good. Like a good album, there is musical variety while remaining cohesive.

Many fine folky/rootsy artists will take turns performing it in its entirety, which will be followed by an "open Dylan jam".

Proceeds benefit the New England chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

WED 12/15

8pm
"Bear Patrol": Staged Reading
at Black Box Theatre, Boston Center for Arts, 539 Tremont Street, Boston (South End)
FREE

I suspect this new play may be a palate-cleanser if mass commercialism has been leaving a bad taste in your mouth lately.

It seems to be a post-nuclear apocalyptic take on a "Wizard of Oz" road tale that examines the bonds of family and friendship.

They say:

Cookies and toy masks for all, plus a $4 ticket offer to the full production in March for all attendees of this reading.
Check out some info playwright John J. King's other productions to get a better idea of what one can expect, if you like.

WED 12/15

9:30pm
The Scrooges, Movers & Shakers, Cocked n Loaded
at O'Brien's, 3 Harvard St, Allston
$7 / 21+

Maybe you need to like Iggy Pop and The Stooges to really appreciate The Scrooges, or maybe a bunch of grubby-looking Santas raging through their catalog will turn you into a fan.
.
What seemed like a lark when it began a few years ago has turned into a loud yuletide tradition that had the Scrooges bouncing around various venues for a couple weeks. This time they've anchored weekly gigs at O'Brien's. Personally this third night has my favorite hard-rockin' support, but you can still catch these bad Santas next Wednesday.

WED 12/15

10:30pm
O'Halloran Brothers, Lenny Lashley's Army of One, Cerebral Ballsy, Pinecone Teeth
at Plough & Stars, 912 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE

A more relaxed "Holiday Extravaganza" will be happening at the Plough in what is something like a disjointed, acoustic Darkbuster get-together. Darkbuster's frontman Lenny Lashley is doing his own thing as well as guitarist Amy Griffin peforming as Pinecone Teeth.

I think drummer Dan O'Halloran is playing with a couple of his brothers and other friends as well as in Cerebral Ballsy, an acoustic version of 007 Hundred Club.

Do you think there could be some musical cross-pollination? I do.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

TUES 12/14: Revue, Film, Blues, Jazz


Yeah, these are all on the other side of the River.

Boston Proper, I love you, but you don't always offer a good cheap time.

--------------------------------------------------------------

TUES 12/14

7pm to 10pm
"Skewed & Screwed Revue"
at All Asia Cafe, 334 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$5

Music: Evan Greer, Gene Dante

Burlesque: Fonda Feeling, Amy Macabre, Lady Grinch, Baroness Blitzen Von Schtupp, Lady Naboombu, Serendipity Galore

This is periodic fundraiser for GLBT causes (Transgender Emergency Fund tonight) and also for the organizers' own travails after one partner began their gender transition. Therefore skewed treatment led them into a screwed economic situation.

Of course, everyone is welcome (to attend and perform). There's no exclusivity in enjoying the riot-folk of Evan Greer and a solo set from glammy rocker Gene Dante. There seems to be a burlesque-heavy line-up, and I assume Scratch (MC of the Boston Babydolls) may keep the good times rolling.

TUES 12/14

7:30pm
"The Tempest": Free Screening
at Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
FREE w/ Pass [PDF]

There's a lot of talent involved, although I haven't heard a lot of good buzz. There is no doubt that director Julie Taymor ("Frida", "Across The Universe"; theater-version of "Lion King", "Spiderman") has a strong, imaginative vision.

The cast in this Shakespeare play getting its latest adaption includes Helen Mirren, David Strathairn, Alan Cumming, Chris Cooper, Djimon Hounsou, Alfred Molina, Russell Brand, and others. Maybe Russell Brand doesn't suggest high art, but there are fools in many tales by the Bard.

It could be crap, or it could become one of your favorite movies. You may appreciate it for the lush visuals and the new twist on the story. Why not see it for free on the big screen.

Of course, this is one of those deals where you have to print out the pass (admits two) and get there early enough to be admitted on a first-come, first-serve basis. (If last weekend's limited release box-office is an indicator, there won't be a long line.)

TUES 12/14

7:30pm
Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers Memphis Fundraiser
at Johnny D's, 17 Holland St, Somerville (Davis Sq)
$10 / 21+

Feat: Roomful of Blues, Danny Klein's Full House, James Montgomery, Dennis Brennan, Tim Gearan, 11th Hour Band, Alizon Lissance, Geoff Bartley, Satch Romano, Cindy Daley, more

Wow, there have been a few Erin Harpe fundraising shows lately, but the last Delta Swingers gig of the year is bursting at its bluesy seams.

With so many quality blues bands, this doesn't even seem like a benefit show at $10. It's a friggin' bargain! On top of local talent that I notice playing around on a regular basis, the big-time Rhode Island blues-machine Roomful of Blues are performing. And J. Geils Band bassist Danny Klein is bringing his current band that plays the old stuff. Stick around, and you're definitely going to hear a monster jam at the end of the night.

I may be a homer, but I think the judges at the Boston Blues Challenge gave us a strong chance of winning the next year's international competition in Memphis. Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers might sneak up on all the other bands by not having a wanky electric guitarist and smack everyone with a modern vitality and genuine, rockin' Delta sound that they may not expect from New England.

The band is collecting money for travel expenses so they can bring back the blues title. If you don't go tonight and buy a bunch of 50/50 raffle tickets, then maybe you'd be willing to help them raise $1,500 on Kickstarter.

TUES 12/14

8pm
The Annie Darcy Band
at Club Oberon, 2 Arrow St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$10

There is probably no statistics for the number of fictional bands that moved out of their original context to remain musically viable. (Spinal Tap comes to mind, but that movie was a documentary of their career...)

The Annie Darcy Band began playing jazzy standards in the bar of an experimental production of "Macbeth", and now they regularly perform at Club Oberon. The piano trio fronted by dual vocalists is performing a holiday-theme show, and it'll likely have more theatricality than the average music gig.

ShareThis2