Wednesday, August 31, 2011

WED 8/31: Talk, Classical, Rock

I was surprised how many cheap things were going on tonight. I wish I could've narrowed this down more, but I found all of these worthwhile in various ways.


WED 8/31

"Ask What You Can Do: Inspiring Public Service": Panel Discussion
at JFK Jr Forum, Littauer Bldg, 79 JFK St, Cambridge (Harvard Kennedy School)

A conversation with:

- Joseph A. Curtatone (Mayor of Somerville, MA)
- Shaun Donovan (US Secretary, HUD)
- Pam Kingpetcharat (Human Rights First)
- Carie Lemack (Global Services Network)
Moderator: David T. Ellwood

Not much info available, but it does seem that most of the panelists are relatively young for politicians. Keep in mind, this shouldn't be a chance to complain to Mayor Curtatone about something happening on your street.

I have corresponded with people at Harvard Kennedy School in the past, and the public are welcome to sit in on these forums.

WED 8/31

6pm to 7pm
Molly Birnbaum, "Season to Taste: How I Lost My Sense of Smell and Found My Way": Discussion & Signing
at Orientation Room, Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St, Boston (Copley Sq)

I heard Birnbaum on the radio, and her story about losing her sense of taste after a car accident was interesting -- especially because (spoiler!) she was studying to be a chef.

WED 8/31

Boston Landmarks Orchestra w/ Boston Ballet
at Hatch Shell, Storrow Dr, Boston (Charles River Esplanade)

Tchaikovsky, "The Nutcracker, Op. 71"
Tchaikovsky, "Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 (Pathetique)"
Tchaikovsky, "Swan Lake, Op. 20"
Tchaikovsky, "The Sleeping Beauty, Op.66"
I'm not sure if there's been a nicer Wednesday evening in August to sit outside by the Charles. I'm also not sure if the ground is dry after the weekend's rain, so consider bringing a blanket or chair.

The BLO will be joined by some dancers from the Boston Ballet to perform many classic excerpts from Tchaikovsky's ballets. Sugar plum fairies may not be dancing in your head yet, but they will...

WED 8/31

Royal Wedding (11pm), The Invisible Rays (10pm), Eddie Japan (9pm)
at The Midway Cafe, 3496 Washington St, Jamaica Plain
$10 / 21+

This should be a fun time aka "Midway Massacre" as you might get a dog or a burger from the grill...

A couple guys from The Big Disappointments are doing something as Royal Wedding while the other band is taking a break; there's a Scottish dude on bass, and it reminds me of The Fall which is a good thing.

Instrumental rockers The Invisible Rays get spacey 'n proggy, and they add a visual element to their performances that is pretty cool.

My faves are Eddie Japan who capitalize on expressive vocals and horns to add a '60s lounge/soul vibe to their tasty pop goodness.

While I advocate getting out of the house, you could watch the webcast and see what you're missing. (Or would be missing without the webcast...)

WED 8/31

Bo Barringer & Rachel Arnold (10:30pm), Jonny Pape (9:45pm), Phil Wisdom (9pm)
at PA's Lounge, 345 Somerville Ave, Somerville (Union Sq)
$7 / 21+

When Bo Barringer rocks with MEandJoanCollins, it doesn't get better in my opinion. He's doing a new thing as Future Carnivores, and he'll be joined by a cellist tonight. I assume it'll be 3 darn-good, generally acoustic sets.

WED 8/31

Male Bonding, Love Inks, Girlfriends
at Brighton Music Hall, 158 Brighton Ave, Allston
$10 / 18+

As much as I like other gigs tonight, this is the gig that I would go to for 3 reasons. 1) Male Bonding rocks out, and they're visiting from England so you might as well see a cool new punchy band while they're in town who seem to give good show. 2) Love Inks from Austin are simply fantastic. And you will fall in love with singer Sherry LeBlanc’s vocals whatever way you lean. 3) For noisy garage-pop excellence, Girlfriends have found the perfect formula.

There is way too much awesomeness converging (for $10) in one show.

WED 8/31

Rodeo Church, Mornin' Old Sport, Dirty Virgins
at O'Brien's, 3 Harvard St, Allston
$5 / 21+

Down the street from Brighton Music Hall, there's a pretty cool gig. I recommend checking out Rodeo Church's crunchy, synthy, Spoon-y rock. I thought Mornin' Old Sport sounded one way, because I was listening to one portal; so I never picked up how they sound really old-timey based on some videos I've seen recently. (Lesson to bands: Remember to update all your sites or get rid of them.) This is Mornin' Old Sport's last Boston gig before they move away. Dirty Virgins will probably open with loud, messy punk-rock.

WED 8/31

Bodega Girls present "Cool Ranch 'Endless Summah' Party"
at Middlesex Lounge, 315 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE / 21+

Feat: You Can Be A Wesley, DJ Paul Foley

Usually Bodega Girls host and DJ then invite other bands to perform on the last Wednesday of the month. For the end of summah, a bunch of musical friends are joining in for what they're calling "Bodega Sluts". Along with the Bodega's nasty jams, You Can Be A Wesley adds some bright, danceable(?) indie-rock to the night.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

TUES 8/30: Film, Book, Hula, Rock

Yeah, not a bad variety for a Tuesday night...


TUES 8/30

Various Times
Double Feature: "Citizen Kane" & "The Devil and Daniel Webster"
at Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$9.75 / $7.75 student / $6.75 senior

2:15pm, 7pm -- "Citizen Kane"
4:45pm, 9:30pm -- "The Devil and Daniel Webster"
On a beautiful day like this, I don't really recommend spending 4 1/2 hours in a dark theatre. On the other hand, it is "Citizen Kane".

The connection between the two films is iconic film composer Bernard Herrmann who created the score for both.

TUES 8/30

Tom Perrotta, "The Leftovers": Reading
at Porter Square Books, 25 White St, Cambridge (near Star Market)

Tom Perrotta has a new book, and I can say first-hand several have been enjoyable reads. A couple have been adapted into films ("Election", "Little Children"). I'd be willing to take a chance to hear some of his latest novel. (He lives in Belmont, which is kinda cool too.)

There's another local reading at Newtonville Books next Tuesday.

TUES 8/30

8pm to 10pm
Hula Workshop
at Johnny D's, 17 Holland St, Somerville (Davis Sq)

There are regular hula lessons down in Cranston, RI, where you can study with someone who learned in Hawaii and has been sharing her knowledge for a couple decades.

No one has to get up and join in, but you really want to learn a few moves. Don't you? Still it might be amusing to ask up the tunes and culture after a tropical storm has passed through town.

TUES 8/30

Pray For Polanski (12:15am), Klezwoods (11:15pm), Electric Simcha (10:15pm), Cradle To The Grave (9:15pm)
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)

It's a klezmer/rock arty in the middle of the week. Maybe your weekend fizzled out due to anticipated catastrophe. If you weren't seriously affected by Irene, there's no point in sitting home because others are flooded or have no power. Perhaps you should celebrate that you're doing alright.

The night goes from zero to 60 rather quickly with the punchy rock 'n roll of Cradle to the Grave. These guys have al played in other excellent bands to make a new rock attack.

From Philly comes the "old-school Hasidic punk rock" of Electric Simcha, as if the "new-school Hasidic punk rock" was running rampant... It's a strange chanting over Eastern European-influenced rock. The Klezwoods take a more traditional approach with loads of strings and horns, but they throw in a bunch of other bits for a fresh take.

I've been digging Pray for Polanski for a while, and they keep sharpening their twangy indie-rock sound. Until now, I didn't think they're cow-punk rhythms match well with a klezmer beat. If they offer up a performance like this clip from a year ago, you'll be glad for the late fun on a school night.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday in Brief

The power is back on, but I've got a morning appointment.

If you're in Davis Square tonight, you might as well take a short walk to Kickass Cupcakes for a free sampling.

There's free theatre and cheap improv theatre. Talks/presentations in Central Sq and Harvard Sq. Rock on both sides of the river (I'm partial to Elsinore at Middle East).

Sunday, August 28, 2011

SUN 8/28: Sunday Night Off-Topic Video

In case you have power and could use a little laugh after the stress of a hurricane passing by, I submit a peculiar new music video by The City and Horses.

Give it a minute, because the sight of two orange-clad 'dancers' spazzing out over a catchy, sardonic ditty does have to the power to amuse and distract.

It's strange enough to go viral, and you could be one of the first thousand views...

My power is currently off (thanks, mysteriously available wifi), but I think I could have a good amount on the calendar and blog soon if my laptop battery holds out.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sunday Cheap Advice: Stay Inside

There are a couple items on the calendar, but I doubt many places will stay open when the T is closing down all modes of transportation all Sunday long.

Go out and get something to amuse you while you try not to think about Hurricane Irene. (Besides having supplies and a flashlight/candle, thinking about it won't change things.)

Good luck and stay dry!

SAT 8/27: Fest & Music

Maybe you want to have fun before this crazy gal Irene hits town...

In case you're not going to the Caribbean Carnival, these are a couple photos from previous years.


SAT 8/27

1pm to 6pm
Annual Caribbean Carnival Parade & Festival
from Martin Luther King Blvd, Roxbury
to Franklin Park Zoo
, Dorchester

Do you think a hurricane warning is going to stop Caribbean people from having a party?

From what I can tell, the parade route I mapped last year is still pretty close. You can still head to Franklin Park Zoo to see the end and grab some island/Latin food from a variety of vendors.

There is all of Sunday to batten down the hatches. Today can be spent with the thousands at a Trinidad-style carnival like it's been done for almost 40 years.

SAT 8/27 (and SUN 8/28)

Various Times
"Films at the Gate": Outdoor Film Series
at Vacant Lot near Chinatown Gate, about 10 Hudson St, Boston (Chinatown)

This annual event is usually a good chance to hang out and watch some kung fu movies while chowing down on some al-fresco takeout food in Chinatown.

The films are screened with the original Chinese audio (and English subtitles) which is superior than dubbing in most cases.


SAT 8/27

7:40pm -- Demonstration by Bow Sim Mark Tai Chi Arts Association
8pm -- "The Young Master"

SUN 8/28

8pm -- "The Kid" & "A Moment in Time"
As of Saturday morning, the website has no cancellation information, but there is a good chance rain will spoil the party tonight and tomorrow.

One never knows for sure... Except that a hurricane is on track to pass through.

SAT 8/27

The 360's, The Grinds, Radio Control
at Plough & Stars, 912 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$5 / 21+

I think I've started to see a few gigs featuring The 360's. There's not much info about them out there. The Noise had an article that reminds one they were contemporaries of Buffalo Tom, Letters To Cleo, The Dambuilders, et al. Boston Band Crush pointed out that guitarist-singer Audrey Clark and her sister wrote the song "Yard of Blonde Girls" on Jeff Buckley's album "Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk".

Thanks to this other site, I was able to download their first album "Illuminated" (in Windows Media Audio unfortunately). It's perfect timing to get back out playing since their sound could be described as early-shoegaze with a hard edge.

The Grinds include members with other kickass punk bands and turned it into something fresh and hot punchy goodness. Radio Control are a guitar-drum duo that churn out some rocking tunes.

SAT 8/27

Dead Cats Dead Rats, Zip-Tie Handcuffs, HotBlack
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$7 / 21+

There is more awesome punk rock in Allston.

SAT 8/27

Los Sugar Kings
at Johnny D's, 17 Holland St, Somerville (Davis Sq)

I dig the Latin-influenced rock of Los Sugar Kings. Dance the night away before the oncoming natural disaster!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Weekend Calendar

We have to take the hurricane warnings seriously, but some of these events might happen more likely on Saturday...

FRI 8/26: Update

Okay, well. Am still resting with my feet up, and have started sleeping semi-regularly at night so the blogging could be getting more frequent again. This is late, but a little bit better than just the calendar listings.


It looks like the weather is going to be alright tonight, and there are 3 outdoor movie options on my radar. I like Chinatown's "Films at the Gate" (scheduled thru SUN 8/28); tonight's film is described as a comedy featuring kung fu actors from the 70s.

The Hatch Shell summer film series concludes with "Iron Man 2", and "Annie" is playing on the harbor side of the Boston Harbor Hotel.

This was the last "Free Fun Friday" of the summer, and that includes free admission to a performance of "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" at Watertown's Arsenal Center for the Arts for the first 340 people. If you really want to go, tix can be picked up beginning at 4:30pm at the theater on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The comedy is usually cheap ($5) at Great Scott on Friday nights, and tonight's lineup is promising. I didn't see a 2-for-1 coupon in the Phoenix this week, but maybe try the Weekly Dig.

As far as free music, I'd probably go to Sally O'Briens (Union Sq) for rootsy/Americana either early with Jimmy Ryan & Asa Brebner with back-up (6pm) or later with Rocking Horse Rodeo (9:30pm)

There's almost free indie-rock upstairs at Tommy Doyle's (Harvard Sq). The fantastic Naked on Roller Skates go on about 10:15pm, and Ashlands Attic open around 9pm. The cover is $5, but you could start drinking earlier, and they probably will call it even.

Downstairs at the Cantab (Central Sq) it's a birthday bash for Nancy Neon, a champion of the local music scene, with old-school Boston garage/punk from The Classic Ruins, The Port Charles Quintet, and James Straight & The Wide Stance along with bubblegum classics redone by Sticky Business.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday Briefly

Thanks for all of the well wishes. You would think that I would be ale to blog more now that I'm laying in bed with fully functioning hands yet I'm surprised by my overall fatigue.

Personally, I'd think about seeing a kung-fu movie in Chinatown over the next 4 days if weather permits... There's a free rock show at the Middle East (upstairs) tonight if you RSVP (am guessing they're taking more RSVPs than official capacity.

Things are getting better, so more should be coming soon.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Photo for the Heck of it

Hospital Pic
See below for story.

Burnt, but Okay

So I burnt myself last night making pasta.

Didn't think it was so bad, the folks at MGH want me to stay overnight -- without my laptop.

An angel of mercy is letting me use her iPhone to let you know.

Best tuesday bet: orfeo group doing Compleat Works of Shakespeare (abridged) at Christopher Columbus park.

Type to you soon!

MON 8/22: Trivia & Tunes

I will survive, but I'm not in the right frame of mind to write detailed info about cheap fun.

Besides the stuff below, there is a Civil War film at the BPL; and live music at Toad, Zuzu, and Charlies Kitchen is always a decent Monday option.

If you were shut out for the Dropkicks/Bosstones gig at Fenway Park next month, there is a chance to win some tix...


MON 8/22

8pm to 10pm
The Big Quiz Thing
at Club Oberon, 2 Arrow St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)

Unfortunately I won't be leading Cheap Thrills team tonight. I hope others go and have a good time at probably the most entertaining pub-trivia-style game I've experienced.

Based on available info, tonight's game will include segments such as features "A Quick Tour Through TV Game Show History", "Public Zoo", and "Never Break the Musical Chain".

MON 8/22

CUFFS, Fan Modine, Sleepyhead
at Middlesex Lounge, 315 Mass Ave, Cambridge (near Central Sq)

If you liked Pants Yell, you should dig CUFFS that includes 2 guys from that band. There is evn more indie-pop from the other bands as well, which should be a good show.

MON 8/22

Austin Lucas & The Bold Party, Marcellus Hall & the Hostages, Movers & Shakers, Jeff Rowe
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$8 / 18+

Lots of twangy, folky tunes with a punky attitude is going down by locals Movers & Shakers and Jeff Rowe as well as visiting bands especially Austin Lucas & The Bold Party. I suggest giving him a listen.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Zagat's Best Cheap Eats in Boston

I've been reading the Zagat guide's restaurant reviews powered by the people years before Yelp.

It looks like they've calculated the places with the highest ratings in the categories of food, decor, and service that have the lowest average price.

They call it "10 Best Cheap Eats in Boston". I won't spoil the game if you want to figure it out, but I've enjoyed at least something at all of them and really like 6 of them.

If you ask me, #9 on their list is the best cheap eat in Boston.

I've scheduled this late, so you'll have to settle for a slice or calzone at Bova's...

SAT 8/20 - Nighttime Cheapness

It's Saturday night.

If you push yourself, there is a whole day to recover before the week starts...

Want to do something tomorrow? It's on the calendar until I flesh it out.


SAT 8/20

Young Adults, Creepoid, Quilty, Shores, Nothing
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$8 / 21+

For some reason, I thought this was a lovely set of druggy indie bands. You don't need to do drugs to enjoy it, although I do recommend the idea to surrender to the vibe of the music.

For instance, I think most of these tunes would have a complimentary reaction with some marijuana or mushrooms. I really love the sound like Quilty with hip chick singing over a fantastic, bouncy racket.

If I haven't imbibed anything yet, I think I might choose meth or glue for Young Adults. Without knowing their effects firsthand, this is brash, punky noise that's perfect to thrash around and soak up all of the volume.

SAT 8/20

Girls Guns & Glory, The Earley Birds
at Johnny D's, 17 Holland St, Somerville (Davis Sq)

If anyone is guilty of overusing labels, it's me. I will throw 'Americana' and 'alt-country' here and there, and I'll gladly throw them on Girls Guns & Glory from time to time. They happened to win the Rock 'n Roll Rumble a few years ago, so they ain't that country (but they were still a a dark horse).

Maybe there's a little pub-rock in their alt-country, because the songs have a well-crafted, hooky quality that reminds me of Nick Lowe, et al.

The Earley Birds obviously play first and probably got the worm this morning. Or maybe it was the worm at the bottom of the tequila bottle... It's good-time blues, and I don't need to say more.

SAT 8/20

11:15pm to 6am
Annual Boston by Bike at Night
Start at Trinity Church, Copley Sq, Bolyston St, Boston (Back Bay)
FREE (Although you will likely need to fill out & sign a liability waiver before the ride begins)

Johnny of Boston Events Insider called and confirmed this is happening. It's my belief that the real hardcore bicyclists were getting tired of the amateurs that were taking it as a goof based on the media attention.

That's fine. I think if you want to go, you'll be respected -- but you need to hang with the crowd.

...Or you could just lag behind and bike home after a few hours, and let the other guys make fun of you when they finish at dawn.

The ride starts to leave around 11:45pm, but it’s a good idea to get there early. The leaders of the Back Bay Midnight Pedalers are an urban planner and an architect, so they throw in some tasty, little known Boston info every now and then.

The route changes every year, but it’s about 30 miles of riding that could take you through Cambridge, Charlestown, as far down as JP, or even towards Brookline; it usually ends at Christopher Columbus Park in North End.

There are some requirements/recommendations (from a few years ago):

* You should bring a bike with lights, and you should wear something reflective.
* It’s strongly suggested that you bring a spare inner tube for your bike. With that many people out there, someone will probably get a flat.
* Helmets are recommended.
* You may want to bring something for breakfast
Think of it as a fun, zero-emission sightseeing adventure around town with a tremendous sense of accomplishment -- if you finish...

SAT 8/20 - Daytime Cheapness

Seriously, I think you could walk around Boston and have a great friggin' day without spending a dollar.

GreenFest... Ben Kweller at Ben & Jerry's Fair Trade Fest... A boatload of bands in JP... Minor-league baseball at Fenway (although that's a big time investment)... Divers off the top of the ICA...

Some people may even want to relive the '70s, KC & The Sunshine Band is at the Hatch Shell tonight...

No need to see it all. Just know there are options.

If I was hanging around the North Shore this weekend, I might suggest to my cohorts a visit to Salem Willows Park for the Jazz & Soul Festival either Saturday or Sunday.

The merch probably won't be cheap, but there's a Harvard Square honey store that's having a grand opening today with bee/honey presentations all day at the store and down the street at the Inn at Harvard (including a work-in-progress documentary about the National Guard trying to revive Afghanistan's honey production.

If I'd somehow end up in North End for calamari from the skipper at the Fishermen's Feast. Even without the fried squid, you can have a great day.


SAT 8/20

11am to 8pm
Boston GreenFest 2011
at City Hall Plaza, Boston (Govt Center)

It's great that Boston has something like GreenFest to celebrate and encourage sustainability with presentations, exhibits, and entertainment. I'd love to give a hearty recommendation, but I haven't been overwhelmed by what I've seen in previous years.

Y'know... Maybe it's me. Walk through and you might be inspired to be more environmentally conscious or volunteer with an organization.

SAT 8/20

Noon to 7pm
Ben & Jerry’s Fair Trade Music Festival
at Prudential Center Plaza, about 800 Boylston St, Boston (Back Bay)

Music Lineup:

1pm -- Cara Brindisi
1:40pm -- Hazard Adams
2:30pm -- Jackson Wetherbee Band
3:20pm -- Green Line Inbound
4:30pm -- Gentlemen Hall
5:35pm -- Ben Kweller
Yeah, 'free trade' is a serious subject about social justice.

When there's free ice cream samples, it's going to be a good time. AND you can appreciate that workers' plight and see the value of people getting paid fairly for their efforts.

(Really, I wholeheartedly believe in sustainable living and free trade commerce -- but it's a summer Saturday.)

There will be the music and other fun, but one should really visit the free-trade booths between the activities/contests/raffle/frozen treats -- and the good tunes.

There is an official Facebook page, but kudos to the BostonTweet guy for posting the info first.

SAT 8/20

1pm to 7pm
Jamaica Plain Music Festival
at Pinebank Baseball Field, about 200 Perkins St, Jamaica Plain (Jamaica Pond)

Even with 20 bands on 2 stages, it's only scratching JP's surface, but you gotta start somewhere.

Jamaica Plain is a place where things still stay organic and DIY, and this is going to be the real thing. Nothing fancy just good music.

They say it's a festival featuring "all genres, all ethnicities, all persuasions, all ages", so I don't see how you won't like one of your options with 2 stages. (I checked.)

Stage 1
1pm -- Opening Ceremony
1:25pm -- The Model Planes
1:50pm -- Sweatshop
2:20pm -- Brief Awakening
2:50pm -- The Nickel & Dime Band w/ Rick Berlin
3:10pm -- Gordon Gano w/ The Nickel & Dime Band
3:45pm -- The Old Edison
4:15pm -- The Needy Visions
4:50pm -- Tallahassee
5:25pm -- So Sol
6pm -- Erin Harpe & The Delta Swingers
6:25pm -- The Angelic Slugs
6:55pm -- Closing Ceremony
Stage 2
1:05pm -- Shepherdess
1:20pm -- Deta Galloway
1:40pm -- Heather Foxwell & Friends
2:05pm -- The Chris North Dream Quartet
2:35pm -- Lenny Lashley
3:30pm -- James Merenda & Ticklejuice
4pm -- Molly & Tess Pope / Malicious Intent
4:35pm -- Timinandi
5:10pm -- Mr Sister
5:40pm -- Coyote Kolb
Gordon Gano doesn't seem to do the Violent Femmes thing on occasions like this, but it's still pretty cool he's hanging with his JP peeps today.

SAT 8/20

"Futures at Fenway"
at Fenway Park, 4 Yawkey Way, Boston (Kenmore Sq)
$5, $10, more
Game #1 -- Portland Sea Dogs vs. Binghamton Mets
Game #2 -- Pawtucket Red Sox vs. Syracuse Chiefs
Like I mentioned the other day:
For about 5 seasons, Fenway Park has been hosting a minor league doubleheader of Red Sox farm teams.

When you go to their stadium, it's a great experience to find a relaxed experience that's quite a lot of fun. The lines are shorter, and the prices are cheaper.

If you don't feel like going to Portland or Pawtucket (or Lowell), you could see the PawSox and Sea Dogs at Fenway for $5 or $10 -- extra money for beer and peanuts.

They're bringing some 'minor league' entertainment between innings, so expect stuff like t-shirt slingshots, kids racing mascots, frisbee-catching dogs, etc.

And someone on the field might be the Jacoby Ellsbury/Dustin Pedroia/Jon Lester of the future...

So root for the home teams. If they don't win, it's a shame. That's about it, since we're not following the minor-league standings anyway.
It looks like ther are still $5 & $10 tix. Did you ever think you could sit on the Green Monster for $30? You can today. There are box seats for $30 even if you can't ogle Jacoby and company.

I'd suggest doing it online, because I don't know what the situation will be at the Park.

SAT 8/20

3pm to 8pm
Annual Eastie Pride Day
at Piers Park, 95 Marginal St, Boston (Eastie)

3pm -- Opening Ceremonies
3:10pm -- Pat Benti
4pm -- Sabrina Ryan
4:20pm -- Beverly Richards Dance Academy
4:35pm -- Eleanor Rubino Academy of Performing Arts
4:50pm -- Rachel Ferrante’s School of Performing Arts
5:05pm -- All Star Cheeleaders
5:15pm -- Zumix
5:40pm -- The Originals
6:25pm -- Tokyo Joe martial arts demonstration
7pm -- Smokin' Joe & the Henchmen
I have a soft spot for Eastie, and I believe the neighborhood people are going to be cordial to whoever shows up for their annual street fest. There might even be a free sailboat ride in it for ya...

Check out the family fun and entertainment and there are a couple local oldies bands who are playing reunion gigs.

I would probably visit the nearby art shipyard or have dinner somewhere over there.

SAT 8/20

Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2011
at Institute for Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave, Boston (South Boston/Seaport)

This is crazy to me.

I can see throwing tea into the harbor if it belongs to the British -- but 14 world-class divers jumping from the top of the ICA (about 80 feet to the water) is pretty wild.

They are supposed to do 4 dives each, and every one will be better than this guy who jumped off the Atlantic Beer Garden a couple months ago.

They say 3pm, but it probably starts at 4pm

SAT 8/20

Summer Oldies Concert: KC & The Sunshine Band
at Hatch Shell, Storrow Dr, Boston (Charles River Esplanade)

Usually there's a cover/tribute band that opens at these things, so expect KC and whoever is in the Sunshine band to whip out the disco classics around 8pm -- like "I’m Your Boogie Man", "That’s The Way (I Like It)", "Don't Rock the Boat", "Shake Your Booty", etc.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Saturday & Sunday Briefly

There is so much good stuff happening on Saturday, I will have to flesh it out soon.

FRI 8/19: GreenFest, Music, Film

Whoops. If you haven't picked up free ferry tix to the Harbor Islands at this point, you're S.O.L. There is still some "Free Fun" next Friday...

It may not be on the Saturday calendar yet, but people are going to dive off the top of the ICA into Boston Harbor -- and KC & the Sunshine Band are at the Hatch Shell. You decide which one is more unbelievable.


FRI 8/19 (and SAT 8/20)

Various Times
Boston GreenFest 2011
at City Hall Plaza, Boston (Govt Center)

Friday -- Noon to 9:30pm
Saturday -- 11am to 8 pm
It's great that Boston has something like GreenFest to celebrate and encourage sustainability with presentations, exhibits, and entertainment. I'd love to give a hearty recommendation, but I haven't been overwhelmed by what I've seen in previous years.

It's interesting like the cars that travel 111 miles on 1 gallon of gas. One year they had a bunch of killer bands on the stage, but I'm not really excited except for escape artist Alexanderia the Great (5pm) and the eco-friendly fireworks & lasershow (9:30pm).

Go enjoy yourself. Get inspired. I hope you disagree with me.

FRI 8/19

"Stop The Stigma": Tunefoolery Awareness Concert
at The Lily Pad, 1353 Cambridge St, Cambridge (Inman Sq)
$8 / All Ages

Feat: Mali Sastri/Tony Leva/Raky Sastri (of Jaggery), Sarah Rabdau, Molly Zenobia, Lainey SchoolTree, Brian King, Brendan Burns, and Tunefoolery members

Since I wasn't familiar with Tunefoolery before seeing this 'awareness concert', they've already succeeded to a degree.

Besides sharing information about this outfit that provides a platform for people with psychiatric issues to perform music, the tunes will generally be on the dark and dramatic side. It will be interesting to hear if the Tunefoolery performers also have a turbulent tone to their songs.

FRI 8/19

Free Friday Flicks: "Rango"
at Hatch Shell, Storrow Dr, Boston (Charles River Esplanade)

So these 'summertime series' things may be winding down (the last Hatch Shell movie is next week), however we don't need a movie to sit along the Esplanade on a Friday evening.

There happens to be a movie playing tonight. Playing a cartoon chameleon may not be Johnny Depp's finest moment; I like to think Rango sounds a lot like his version of Hunter S. Thompson...

It seems geared for a night with kids of all ages that could include a blanket, picnic, etc.

FRI 8/19

The Figurines, Pomegranates, The Dirtybombs
at Brighton Music Hall, 158 Brighton Ave, Allston
$10 / 18+

After a slight customs delay, The Figurines are currently peddling their Danish indie-pop around the States. It sounds really promising as if they really want to get loud and rock out. Maybe the Figurines will take their catchy tunes up a notch in concert.

Cincinnati's Pomegranates are a rather tasty and tart musical treat that have passed through town a few times, so some of your fellow Bostonians are ahead of the curve. From the parts of The Luxury, Conservative Man, and Televandals comes The Dirtybombs, a giant musical robot with state-of-the-art rock powers that encourages dancing and partying.

FRI 8/19

Mistle Thrush (Midnight), Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling (11pm), Count Zero (10pm), Pray For Polanski (9pm)
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)

My first DNFMOMD was singer-drummer Sophia's birthday show a couple years ago, and I was a fan from the beginning. Without bashing away, it's pretty awesome to hear how complete the songs feel with only bass, drums, and fierce-cool vocals. If you haven't seen their music video take on the "The Prisoner" opening, it's just a click away!

The rest of the lineup is really damn incredible from beginning to end. Get there early, because you don't want to miss Pray for Polanski rip it up. Pace yourself, because you'll want to stay for one of Mistle Thrush's rare reunion gigs.

Go ahead and wish Sophia a happy birthday.

Maybe there will be vegan cupcakes too...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

THUR 8/18: Music, Film, Etc

Shakespeare on the Common may be over, but there is free theatre from the Orfeo Group at the Charlestown Working Theater tonight (and next Thursday).

The Fisherman's Feast opens tonight. It's one of the bigger, if not biggest, North End festa -- more entertainment, more food vendors, more carnival games. (I said more, not better.) The highlight is on Sunday when they send a little girl on a zipline to the stage...

Likewise the Boston GreenFest has a kick-off concert tonight followed by more music as well as booths & exhibits tomorrow and Sunday at City Hall Plaza. There will also be eco-friendly fireworks. (Will they still be awesome? Or will it feel like tofurkey on Thanksgiving?)

Friday & Saturday cheapness on the calendar.

As noted below: If you're thinking about taking a free ferry ride to a Harbor Island tomorrow, you'll need to show up early to collect the first-come, first-serve passes -- no matter what time you want to go.


THUR 8/18

5pm to 7pm
Township, Devil On Horseback
at Jill Rhone-Brown Plaza, about 370 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)

I've seen free concerts in this plaza area (not really a 'park'), but none have come close to matching the full-on rock potential of this gig. And it will probably be a long time before another outdoor gig will blast this intersection again.

Township's Marc Pinansky is playing a solo set at TT's tonight. He will supposedly share a trick to get in for half-price ($4).

THUR 8/18

6pm to 8:30pm
Harborwalk Sounds: Julia Easterlin
at Institute for Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave, Boston (South Boston/Seaport)

Don't be surprised if we don't see many more local gigs from Julia Easterlin. She graduated from Berklee this year, and who knows how long before Julia is Brooklyn-bound or beyond. (Playing Lollapalooza a couple weeks ago might have been more fun than a music theory class.)

It will probably be similar to Kiesza last week who began with solo songs and returned with a band.

Do yourself a favor and check out "The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl" exhibition inside. The summer music series coincides with free Thursday nights!

THUR 8/18

"No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti": Screening
at Harvard Film Archive, 24 Quincy St., Cambridge (Harvard Sq)

I don't know how many people like black & white Taiwanese films (with English subtitles), but there were positive reactions at film festivals across the globe when it came out in 2009.

THUR 8/18

8pm to 10pm
Mount Peru, Welcome Home, Dear Creek, Hurricanes of Love
at Yes.Oui.Si Space, 19 Vancouver St, Boston (between MFA & MassArt)
$5 suggested donation

Every now and then, I'm reminded that this art space also has some cool shows. It's almost like going to a house concert in JP, but you don't have to 'know someone' to enjoy the indie-rock and folkiness. (And you have to go somewhere else to drink/get high all night.)

THUR 8/18

Anonymous (Project Move): Listening Party
at Good Life, 28 Kingston St, Boston (Downtown Crossing)
FREE / 21+

Live performances: Mark Merren, Boycott Blues, Raheem Jamal

Anonymous from Project Move (a group of Boston hip-hop allstars) is releasing a solo debut album, and it's free to hang out and listen to some excellent beats and rhymes.

Other local rappers will perform, and you can stop worrying whether high-quality stuff is being made in our town.

THUR 8/18

Hilken Mancini, Chris Colbourn
at The Haven, 2 Perkins St, Jamaica Plain

I'm not totally sure if Chris Colbourn and Hilken Mancini are going to duet like their album from a few years ago... Or they'll play separate sets... Or Chris will open for full-band tunes from Sheperdess... Or a combination of the above.

Still should be a good time to have a few pints and enjoy good tunes.

THUR 8/18

Sleepy Very Sleepy (11:50pm), Old Abram Brown (10:55pm), Dan Blakeslee (10pm), Marc Pinansky (9:15pm)
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)

Not only will there be an inordinate amount of splendid (mostly acoustic) music from top to bottom, there is a chance to get some free beer and cheap pizza from 7:30pm to 9pm.

I assume the closer to 7:30pm, the better your chance at free beer...

8/20: Cheap Baseball at Fenway

A Thursday post is coming, and there is more Friday & Saturday cheapness on the calendar.

Friday note: If you're thinking about taking a free ferry ride out to a Harbor Island, you'll need to show up early to collect the first-come, first-serve passes -- no matter what time you want to go. (Or you could enjoy other "free Friday fun" like the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield...)

There are a couple music fests on Saturday at the Pru (including Ben Kweller) and near Jamaica Pond (20 bands on 2 stages).

For the pedal-powered bikers, the annual midnight ride is heading out on Saturday.


"Futures at Fenway"
at Fenway Park, 4 Yawkey Way, Boston (Kenmore Sq)
$5, $10, more

Game #1 -- Portland Sea Dogs vs. Binghamton Mets
Game #2 -- Pawtucket Red Sox vs. Syracuse Chiefs

For about 5 seasons, Fenway Park has been hosting a minor league doubleheader of Red Sox farm teams.

When you go to their stadium, it's a great experience to find a relaxed experience that's quite a lot of fun. The lines are shorter, and the prices are cheaper.

If you don't feel like going to Portland or Pawtucket (or Lowell), you could see the PawSox and Sea Dogs at Fenway for $5 or $10 -- extra money for beer and peanuts.

They're bringing some 'minor league' entertainment between innings, so expect stuff like t-shirt slingshots, kids racing mascots, frisbee-catching dogs, etc.

And someone on the field might be the Jacoby Ellsbury/Dustin Pedroia/Jon Lester of the future...

So root for the home teams. If they don't win, it's a shame. That's about it, since we're not following the minor-league standings anyway.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Vote for Boston's Most Valuable Bloggers

I received an email that I had been nominated for CBS Boston's "Most Valuable Blogger Awards" in the dining/entertainment category.

Initially, I wanted to encourage people to vote for me repeatedly, then I saw the other nominees.

I thought, "Oh... Some of those sites are really good... Do I deserve to win?"

In reality you fine people will vote as you like, so it's really out of my hands.

I'm going to add the badge to my side banner as a reminder that I can vote daily through FRI 9/9. (Haven't decided whether to spread the votes around or futily try to tilt things in my direction...)

And thank you to whomever/however I was nominated!

WED 8/17: Art, Film, Stories

There's two performance art events on a hump day? While one seems more "serious" than the other, you could so.

By the way, there's a lot of cheap fun happening tomorrow including something in Lynn...


WED 8/17

6pm to 8pm
Yassy Goldie & Bru Jø, "Close Distance": Performance Art
at Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St, Boston (South End)

The "Close Distance" exhibit (through SUN 8/28) presents pieces in various media by Boston-area Latino artists that includes: Daniela Rivera, Raúl González III w/ La Die, María Guest w/ Rafael Rondeau, Anabel Vázquez Rodríguez, Vela Phelan, Ricardo De Lima, and Dave Ortega.

Yassy Goldie and Bru Jø are contributing performance art to the fiesta. Since the exhibit intends to explore the impact of the artists' "place of origin" with their current situation, these two will "touch on the construction of cultural identity."

I can tell you that they've performed together before, and it looks like fire was involved.

WED 8/17

7pm to 9pm
Logan Faerber: Live Art w/ Bombay Sapphire
at Globe Bar & Cafe, 565 Boylston St, Boston (Back Bay)
FREE / 21+

So Bombay Sapphire is sponsoring art competitions and the like such as this events where Logan Faerber is going to create something while people watch and sample some gin drinks. And it should be something wild and colorful.

It seems like these sort of events require an RSVP, but I didn't see one.

I assume this will be in the upstairs area in the back.

WED 8/17

"Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl"
at Community Boating Boathouse, 21 David Mugar Way, Boston (Esplanade)

Like many movie franchises, the first one is the best. Community Boating invites salty dogs and landlubbers alike to watch our first adventure with Jack Sparrow on outdoor 20' screen. Popcorn is even complimentary.

They say:

Due to licensing restrictions everyone who attends must have a ticket, and tickets are limited.
You can reserve a meal at the Eventbrite page (and bringing your own food is fine).

WED 8/17

StoryLiars: "Rage"
at Milky Way Lounge/Bella Luna, 284 Amory St, Jamaica Plain (The Brewery Complex)

Feat: Ryan Douglas, Tawanda Gona, Dana Jay Bein, Will Noonan, Gary Petersen, Matt D

The idea behind StoryLiars is relatively simple: A group of comedians -- in this setting -- each tell a story based on the evening's theme. All of them are true except for one, and the audience members can win a prize by deducing (or guessing) correctly.

"Rage" should be fun, but most of the true stories have "You're not going to believe this" elements.

Apparently Gary Petersen and Matt D are going to do stand-up instead of telling stories.

Co-hosted by Rob Crean & Walter Cornelius.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

TUES 8/16: Dance & Rock

Yeah, it's slim cheap pickings today...


TUES 8/16

6pm to 8pm
Chu Ling Dance Company
at Christopher Columbus Park, about 120 Atlantic Ave, Boston (Waterfront/North End)

For more than 10 years, the Chu Ling Dance Academy has been teaching Chinese dance (traditional, classical, etc) to children, teens, and adults in the Boston area.

This might be more enjoyable if even sitting in the park on a nice evening could be enjoyable by itself, but it's probably going to happen in a partly cloudy world.

The Waterfront Performing Arts Series continues next Tuesday with the Orfeo Group's version of "Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged)".

TUES 8/16

The Island of Misfit Toys (11:15pm), Rodeo Church (10:25pm), Pajama People (9:35pm), Dirty Virgins (8:45pm)
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)

Some bands from Allston are crossing the river to join Chicago's Island of Misfit Toys. And I have get behind a band that makes reference to an Xmas special from my youth. Like that original gang, it's a big group of characters & instruments (horns, keyboards, banjo, xylophone, etc) that coalesce into a big fun sound.

If I make you a mix CD, there's a good chance that "Miserable" by Rodeo Church will be on it. Add a cool synth figure with crunchy guitars and downbeat lyrics over an up-tempo beat, you've got a winner in my book.

I think Pajama People may perform as a duo. Personally, the percussion adds a dimension to their gentle vignettes. On the other hand, I might feel just a tripped-out with no drums.

Yes, I begin measuring bands by their names and album names. There has to be good music, but you can get me in the right mood with something appealing and/or creative. It's a good start when I see an EP called "Whiskey Dick" by Dirty Virgins. It's a lo-fi mess with attitude, and I hope their gigs are a loud, fast shambles like they promise.

Monday, August 15, 2011

MON 8/15: Film, Talk, Music

Oh, why does it have to be a rainy day and a Monday?


MON 8/15

"Pharaoh's Army": Civil War Film Series
at Rabb Lecture Hall, Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St, Boston (Copley Sq)

It looks like the film had a limited release in '95, and the cast includes Chris Cooper, Patricia Clarkson, and Kris Kristofferson. So it might have been one of those overlooked gems.

MON 8/15

Rock Shop #10: Open Session
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston

If you’re a musician, you may want to show up for a conversation on any topics that are brought up as Rock Shop resumes monthly sessions to share useful information.

Someone from the Future of Music Coalition will be there, and their mission is to figure out how music can make money in the current environment.

MON 8/15

6:30p to 8:30pm
"Best of New Media Film Festival": Screening
at Local Sightings, 441 Washington St #2, Brookline

6:30pm -- Networking
7pm -- Screening Begins

Five short films that range between 4 minutes and 46 minutes will be screened at location I'm not familiar with at all (and maybe a residence?).

They'd probably appreciate an RSVP.

MON 8/15

Amoroso, Hero(n) of Alexandria, Never Give A Goat The High Ground
at Charlie's Kitchen, 10 Eliot St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$5 / 21+

It looks like a night of loud, experimental rock.

MON 8/15

Slowdim, You Won't, Wife
at ZuZu!, 474 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE / 21+

This should be less-loud, indie-rock.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

SUN 8/14: Sunday Night Off-Topic Video

I really want to see whole series that "The Trip" was condensed for American theaters. Still it's pretty friggin' funny like this clip.

SUN 8/14: Fests, Weirdness, Drawing, Shakespeare

It's a rather international day. Japan, China, Dominican Republic, and India...

The North End festas are in swing, so there's a bit more Italian cheer (and food vendors) than usual.


SUN 8/14

10am to 2pm
Japanese Car Day
at Larz Anderson Auto Museum, 15 Newton St, Brookline
$10 / $5 children, seniors, active military

My first thought about Japanese cars are the boring, sensible Honda/Toyota/Subaru kind of cars. Yawn.

I was reminded that there are sporty and vintage models. Who knew those flashy, modified cars with spoilers are called tuner cars? Some of those will likely be there too.

SUN 8/14

10am to 5pm
Annual Chinatown Main Street Festival
near the Chinatown Arch, 70 Beach St, Boston

If you want to get a taste of Chinatown, why not go on one of those weekends when there's more action than usual with music, dance, and martial arts demonstrations.

I figured out what this festival is about: It's supposed to be a harvest festival that occurs in the 8th month of the year... of the Chinese calendar... that is a couple months later than August.

SUN 8/14

Noon to 7pm
Dominican Festival
into Playstead Field, Franklin Park (Seaver St / Blue Hill Ave side)

Yeah, so the Dominican Festival people aren't to hip on updating the website or Facebook page, but they're old school. They'll be there just like the last 30 years. When I went there was some good food and plenty of music.

A parade would normally start from the Hi-Lo Supermarket, and I guess it could still happen.

SUN 8/14

2pm to 10:20pm
"We Are Guest Talk, Free: $10"
at YMCA Theater, 820 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE to $10 (sliding scale)

The "Weirdstock" series continues with another full day of weird, wild. woolly music -- some might even be classified as rock.

After an hour-long set of relative atmospheric experimentalism, the pace gets frantic with 5-minute sets.

As the bands progress, the set times stretch out to about 20 minutes. It's a lot to take in, but it won't be boring. Hopefully you can handle the stimulation.

In fairness to the performers, I'm posting the tentative schedule with links when I could find them. Check out the event page for plenty of samples.

2pm -- Metal and Glass Ensemble
3pm -- Peace, Loving
3:05pm -- Dinners
3:10pm -- Alien Moon Partnership
3:15pm -- Not Art
3:20pm -- Illich
3:25pm -- Guess
3:30pm -- Pom Teddy
3:35pm -- Mellissa Huser
3:40pm -- Baby Names
3:45pm -- Hunnie Bunnies
3:50pm -- The Debate
3:55pm -- Guerilla Toss
4pm -- Supremo Puppet Show
4:10pm -- Flandrew Fleisenberg
4:20pm -- Cotton Candy
4:30pm -- Gay Shapes
4:40pm -- The Needy Visions
4:50pm -- Walter Wright / Jules Vasylenko
5:15pm -- Cave Bears
5:30pm -- Preggy Peggy & the Lazy Babymakers
5:45pm -- Table Radios
6pm -- Son of Salami
6:20pm -- Solace Media Corporation Tourists
6:40pm -- Unicorns in the Snow
7:10pm -- Crank Sturgeon
7:30pm -- Shea & Skot of Maine
7:50pm -- Cloud Becomes Your Hand
8:10pm -- Kurt Weisman
8:35pm -- Nat Baldwin
9pm -- Horaflora
9:30pm -- Nautical Almanac
10pm -- Fat Worm of Error
If you hear something you don't like, wait a few minutes...

SUN 8/14

Dr. Sketchy's Drawing Session / Aliza's Brain Trust Benefit
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston

Host/model: Allix Mortis

Have you ever been to a Dr. Sketchy session? Ever wanted to go? The woman that puts these together along with hundreds of other cool gigs over the years is in the hospital with a serious brain hemorrhage. Sounds like she's improving, but it's going to be hellish for an independent businesswoman during the recovery.

So go and have fun 'n draw (the bar will be open). Or maybe just do a nice thing who contributes to the vibrancy of Boston and donate a few bucks.

No need to be fancy with Dr Sketchy -- a pen and notebook would be as good as anything else.

SUN 8/14

3:30pm to 8pm
India Day 2011
at Hatch Shell, Charles River Esplanade, Storrow Dr, Boston

I enjoyed "Slumdog Millionaire" a couple years ago which reminded me that I hadn't actually been to the India Day celebration.

I went last year for a while, and there was quite a bit of entertaining music and dance.

SUN 8/14

"All's Well That Ends Well"
at Parkman Bandstand, about 165 Tremont St, Boston (Boston Common / Tremont St Side)

This is it, folks. The last performance of free Shakespeare in the Common. Even though this play isn't considered one of the Bard's finest. His classic wit is still in there in this convoluted comedy.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

SAT 8/13: History, Shakespeare, Music

Okay, it's a beautiful Saturday to do nothing. Or something.


SAT 8/13

Various Times
Cambridge Discovery Days
at Various Locations

I misses last week's "Cambridge Discovery Day", but there are still some historical information laid before you on Saturday.

I think these are the more interesting presentations:

10am to 11:30am -- "Exploring East Cambridge"

Learn about the development of the area in the 1800's that was anchored by the building of a bridge (where the Museum of Science is) and relocation of the county courthouse.
Meet at the History Station, corner of Cambridge and Third St.
10:30am to Noon -- "Strolling down Magazine Street"
I've noticed there's a lot of nice architecture, and that was the intention.
Meet in front of First Baptist Church, 5 Magazine St
1pm to 2:30pm -- "Lois Lilley Howe"
She was "America's first female architect".
Meet at Cambridge Historical Society, 159 Brattle St
3pm to 4:15pm -- "The Old Burying Ground: Epitaphs, Elegies & Encomiums"
Become a semi-expert on the cemetery. "No touching or rubbings of stones is permitted in the grounds; photography and drawing are fine! Handouts included."
Meet at gate next to Christ Church, Zero Garden St.
3pm to 5pm -- "Discover East Cambridge through Public Art"
There are stories behind the public art.
Meet at Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, 42 Second St.
3pm to 4:30pm -- "1775: Cambridge as the Seat of Civil War"
We call it the Revolutionary War, but it was Civil War to the tories who lived in Cambridge.
Meet at the Washington Gate of Cambridge Common
5:30pm to 6:30pm -- “His thought sounds no depth: Cambridge's Greatest Literary Battles"
These are the kind of cat fights that are too esoteric for the TMZ/Us Weekly crowd, but I guess there was a lot of aggression in Cambridge between the Revolutionary War and our Civil War.
Meet at Brattle House, 42 Brattle St.
Or take a free tour of Longfellow House or self-guided tour of Mt. Auburn Cemetery. The Cooper-Frost-Austin House is the oldest house in Cambridge, and tours are $5 (or less).

SAT 8/13

"Shakespeare On Love"
at Parkman Bandstand, about 165 Tremont St, Boston (Boston Common / Tremont St Side)

This is the last (public?) performance for the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's apprentice troupe as they present a compilation of Shakespeare sonnets and scenes on the theme of love.

It would be a good show for 1) people that want to prep for watching a complicated love story later in the night or 2) people that don't want to sit through 2 hours and 45 minutes of one story, but feel like an hour dose of classic literature.

SAT 8/13

Fountains of Wayne: Performance & Signing
at Newbury Comics, North Market Bldg, 4 Faneuil Hall Market Pl, Boston (Faneuil Hall)

If you don't have tix for the Friday or Saturday show at Brighton Music Hall, you can hear a few tunes and maybe get a signed copy of the new CD.

Will they play "Stacy's Mom"? Cheap Thrills magic 8-ball says, "Don't count on it." Still it's better than possibly seeing a disappointing show for $20...

SAT 8/13

7:30pm to 11pm
Tango By Moonlight
at Weeks Memorial Footbridge, Memorial Dr & DeWolfe St, Harvard Sq

There are still 2 more sessions in the 15th anniversary after this one, but why wait to impress your loved one by taking them dancing on a bridge over the Charles River?

I've gone a few times with -- and without -- a partner, and I've danced as much as I wanted every time. Every session begins with a brief tango lesson that might not really be enough to help the clueless, but you can fake it until you get that basic step.

Or just do your own dance, because they're not going to kick you out…

SAT 8/13 (and SUN 8/14)

"All's Well That Ends Well"
at Parkman Bandstand, about 165 Tremont St, Boston (Boston Common / Tremont St Side)

Sunday -- 7pm

Hey, it's the last weekend of free Shakespeare in the Common, and it doesn't matter that this play isn't considered one of the Bard's finest. His classic wit is still in there in this convoluted comedy.

It should be a nice weekend to sit in the Common and enjoy some culture for a few hours.

SAT 8/13

For the Sake of the Song: A Tribute to Patty Griffin
at Arts at The Armory Cafe, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville (Spring Hill)

Feat: Kara Kulpa, Jess Baggia, Ariel Rubin

I'm not going to pretend that I love Patty Griffin's music. However she is a songwriter's songwriter who spent a lot of time playing in the fertile Boston folk scene of the '90s.

While not as popular as the people who've covered her songs (Emmylou Harris, Bette Midler, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Linda Ronstadt, Dixie Chicks, Martina McBride, Joan Osborne, Solomon Burke, etc), she is still more famous than these performers.

Still they will lovingly share their favorites and likely give insight about Griffin's influence.

SAT 8/13

Davina Yannetty, Space Balloons, Jamie Scandal, Craig Robertson, Jonny Pape
at Rosebud Bar & Grill (behind Diner), 381 Summer St, Somerville (Davis Sq)
$7 / 21+

Aka "The Uke-Arist II: Another Surprisingly Secular Celebration of the Ukulele"

When the NY Times is writing an article about the ukulele boom, some people may get the idea it's a fad. Maybe there will be more players next year, or maybe less. It has its advantages, and there will always be players such as these fine groups who'll celebrate the "Uke-arist".

With a broad selection of covers and witty originals, Davina Yannetty easily pulls you into her corner. And it's a fun corner.

Just like Space Balloons who may have been created for a crazy little TV show (or maybe they came from another planet). As a side note, one of the Balloons is also part of the ukulele version of Neutral Milk Hotel.

There's humor in Jamie Scandal's songs who reminds me of a female Stephen Merritt/Magnetic Fields in tone and lyrics.

It could be the fedora, but Craig Robertson exudes a classic songwriting cool. And Jonny Pape is more rocker who picked up ukulele, so there's good variety of approaches.

SAT 8/13

Justin Levinson, The Shills, Audrey Ryan
at Lizard Lounge/Cambridge Common, 1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge (between Harvard Sq & Porter Sq)
$10 / 21+

I heard Justin Levinson a few months and was rather impressed by the gentle, slightly twangy singer-songwriter pop with a restless look in his eyes and lovely melodies. There's nothing wrong with The Shills except they don't me, but Audrey Ryan blows my mind with her lyrical and musical twists 'n turns. Get on the the Audrey train sooner than later!