Friday, August 12, 2011

FRI 8/12: "Free Fun", Art, Slam, Shakespeare, Rock, Dance

It's not just because I have a soft spot for this corner of Somerville, but Union Square is a happening little neighborhood. I'm not the only one who has noticed the bars, restaurants, and general fun to be had. Besides the rawkin' gig at PA's (below), there's a good Songwriter Night at Precinct too.

If you happen to be walking in Boston Common around 6pm, keep an eye towards the sky because there maybe be some lanterns flying around. They look cool, but am I the only one who wonders where these things land?

Saturday and Sunday cheapness are on the calendar, and I think I could have it fleshed out later if I don't go to PA's Lounge or Shakespeare or an art reception...


FRI 8/12

Various Times
"Free Fun Fridays"
at Various Locations

This week:

JFK Library & Museum (Columbia Point)
Arnold Arboretum (Jamaica Plain)
Tanglewood (Lenox)
Stone Zoo (Stoneham)

You don't have to be a tourist or student to enjoy a trip to the JFK Library.

The Arboretum is free everyday, but there are some activities for amusement beyond the usual flora and vistas.

If you happen to be in the Berkshires tonight, there are 14,000 free lawn tickets for the prelude concert (6pm) and the Boston Symphony Orchestra (8:30pm).

FYI: The Free Friday Fun is wrapping up in 2 weeks.

PS for next week's free ferry ride to Georges Island and/or Spectacle Island:

Tickets will be distributed first come, first served at Long Wharf-North in downtown Boston (near the Aquarium T station), with lines forming at 6:30 am. ...Last year, all tickets were distributed by 10:30 am.
FRI 8/12

7pm to 9pm
"Human Powered Works": Opening Reception
at Fourth Wall Project, 132 Brookline Ave, Boston (Fenway)
FREE / 21+

About 25 artists including street & graphic artists from Boston/NYC/Philly/etc as well as photographers will have pieces (am guessing some 3D stuff) on the theme of "the human engine" as in self-powered transit whether it be the content or medium.

There will be beer, wine and DJ. Yes, you are hipper solely by thinking about going.

Actually, I think it's going to a cool show (on display through SUN 8/28).

FRI 8/12

8pm, 10:30pm
National Poetry Slam 2011
at Various Locations

WTF, Boston? You're hosting the National Poetry Slam, so you do the polite thing and let other teams advance to the semi-finals?!

If you can get past the knowledge that we won't be adding more slam poetry championships to Titletown this year, these are apparently the best artist-performers of the year.

These are 'all ages' except for the Middle East which is 18+, and all start at 8pm except for the Group Piece Finals:

at Middle East - Downstairs, 480 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
Soapboxing (St.Paul), Beltway (Washington, DC), louderARTS (NYC), WU Slam (St. Louis), Writing Wrongs (Columbus)
at Middle East - Upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
Slam Nuba (Denver), Urbana (NYC), Fort Worth (TX), Busboys & Poets (Washington, DC), Mercury Cafe (Denver)
at Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
SlamMN! (Minneapolis), Da Poetry Lounge (Hollywood), Nuyorican (NYC), SlamCharlotte (NC), Second Tuesday Slam (Portland, ME)
at Cambridge YMCA Theater, 820 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
Legendary Santa Cruz (CA), Oakland (CA), Providence Poetry Slam (RI), Berkeley Poetry Slam (CA), Salt City Slam (Utah)
Group Piece Finals at Middle East - Downstairs
Austin Poetry Slam (TX), Intangibles (NYC), ABQ Slams (NM), Dallas Poetry Slam (TX), Elevated! (San Diego), Houston Poetry Slam (TX), Knoxville Poetry Slam (TN), Austin Poetry Slam (TX), Houston VIP (TX), Eclectic Truth (Baton Rouge, LA)
The NPS folks suggest arrive "at least 30 minutes before showtime" if you really want to get in.

FRI 8/12 (thru SUN 8/14)

Various Times
"All's Well That Ends Well"
at Parkman Bandstand, about 165 Tremont St, Boston (Boston Common / Tremont St Side)
Friday & Saturdays -- 8pm
Sundays -- 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.

Except for Sunday(?), it should be a nice weekend to sit in the Common and enjoy some culture for a few hours.

FRI 8/12

Dead Cats Dead Rats (Midnight), Endation (11pm), I Pistol (10pm), Axemunkee (9pm)
at PA's Lounge, 345 Somerville Ave, Somerville (Union Sq)
$10 / 21+

Well, this is a rather kick-ass night of rock.

Have I mentioned that Dead Cats Dead Rats was recently chosen as the best punk band in Boston? Yeah, they're good in reality too!

I've seen the drummer of Endation play with Sarah Rabdau, and he has a great style that fits a duo situation without overplaying. Instead of a keyboard, Endation matches him with louder, spacey guitarisms.

It's been way too long since I've had a fresh blast of I Pistol. These guys are experts at making it loud and crunchy while getting the ample hooks in all the right places. Personally I think that wild, tattooed, barefooted bassist is a really cool guy too.

Everything gets started with some of the most interesting instrumental rock that actually rocks with getting doesn't veer into stoney jams or venturing too far into cape-wearing, progressive territory.

Good stuff!

FRI 8/12

Coyote Kolb
at Toad, 1912 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Porter Sq)

At Coyote Kolb's last gig before hitting the recording studio, I'm guessing you might hear some new tunes. I hope it'll be a won't be too different than the fuzzed-out, bluesy, deep-country sound that I enjoy from the band.

FRI 8/12

Black Light Party
at Bill's Bar, 5.5 Lansdowne St, Boston (Kenmore Sq)
$5 / 21+

"Future Games"
at Club Oberon, 2 Arrow St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$10 / 18+

While The Pill is always a good rockish Friday dance night, I was intrigued by 2 themed dance parties on the same night.

In one corner, you can dance under black light while DJ Master Millions spins. People are encouraged to wear white t-shirts and bring highlighters to decorate them.

In the other corner, Videodrome Discotheque and Heart & Dagger Productions will offer a dance-tastic glimpse into the future. I assume the soundtrack will consist of songs that have already been recorded. Wearing your version a "futuristic outfit" is strongly encouraged.

Both say they run from 10pm to 2am. I also noticed the 18+ gig has a higher cover.

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