Friday, October 14, 2011

Top 12 Cheap Weekend Options

3rd Annual Boston Book Festival, Saturday in Copley Square
Of course, there is more to do and see for under $10. I also think you'd be quite entertained if you spent a few extra dollars to see "The Wrathskellar".

These are my highlights for Saturday and Sunday.


SAT 10/15

10am to 7:30pm
3rd Annual Boston Book Festival
at Various Locations, around Copley Sq, Boston

Most of the time, I suggest just walking around these sort of things. This is the kind of the event where you need to figure out what you want to see ahead of time.

Whether it's the panel topics or the authors, look at the schedule, make a list and get there at least 15 minutes early, which means you can't necessarily bop from one talk to another. I strolled around the first time and missed every talk because it was full or had already started.

Some that I find interesting include people like Jennifer Egan ("Fiction: Time Is..."), Chuck Klosterman ("Far Out Fiction"), Siddhartha Mukherjee & Christopher Lydon ("Frontiers of Science"), Richard Russo, Andre Dubus III ("What’s Up With Men?"), Daniel Clowes ("Graphic Novels: Drawing the Story"), or Richard Russo.

You can even listen to Michael Ondaatje or Deval Patrick.

Other fun sessions are "Don't Know Much About Boston History Quiz" or "Flash Fiction Open Mic" or "Writer Idol", where publishing/book people read and critique anonymous excerpts of manuscripts.

In Copley Square, many of the books will be for sale. You might even get it signed. Of course, there will be live music from Berklee-related bands from 11am to 5pm.

Ever the non-conformist, Henry Rollins is reading at Brookline Booksmith at 7pm.

SAT 10/15

Members of Morphine (5:30pm), Super Ska (9pm)
at Sally O'Brien's, 335 Somerville Ave, Somerville (Union Sq)

For many Wednesday nights, you could go to Atwoods Tavern and hear Dana Colley and Jerome Deupree play a bunch of Morphine songs with ex-pat New Orleans blues-guitarist Jeremy Lyons.

Every now and then, they do an early show at Sally's. It's a mix of the classics along with some new ones. Often times it sounds really damn close to the old days, but I'd like think that Sandman would make it sound more dangerous.

The Tarbox Ramblers at Johnny D's ($10) might be a rarer sight these days, but I love Morphine.

SAT 10/15

7pm to 10pm
Cookie Clash 2011
at Comicazi, 407 Highland Ave, Somerville (Davis Sq)

I don't know how many people have baked dozens of cookies, but there should be quite an array. The categories are: "classic chocolate chip", "bar", and "wild card"; and you will help decide the the champs.

Will you eat $6 of cookies? Yeah, probably. It should help you think that the proceeds will benefit Boston Partners in Education, an organization that helps struggling students.

Yes, you get milk or coffee to wash it all down.

SAT 10/15

8pm to 10pm
For the Sake of the Song: A Tribute to Bob Dylan
at Arts at The Armory Cafe, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville (Spring Hill)

Feat: James Houlahan, Ryan Fitzsimmons, John Colvert

Ah, His Bobness! He has been alternately changing people's lives then doing something to disappoint them. Dylan does what he wants to do.

He's a good subject for the 2nd anniversary of "For the Sake of the Song". Various local performers play some favorite Dylan songs as well as their Dylan-influenced ditties. There will be raffles too.

SAT 10/15

8pm to Midnight
"Elements Of Oddity": Art Exhibition
at Hourglass Tattoo Studio, 1680A Mass Ave, Cambridge (between Harvard Sq & Porter Sq)

They claim that some sideshow performer/freak types will be in attendance to match the art. I think there's a good chance at having a free PBR or two as well. You might even get a photo with another colorful partygoer or win a prize...

SAT 10/15

"The Crazies": Screening
at Bright Screening Room, Paramount Theatre, 559 Washington St, Boston (Downtown Crossing)
$10 / $7.50 seniors / $5 students & children

at Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St, Brookline

George Romero has made so many classic horror films. It's kinda cool to showcase his work around Halloween time. And it's kinda cool -- or a bummer -- that you have two choices on the same night.

SAT 10/15

The Men, The New Alibis, The Acro-brats
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$10 / 21+

All three are kick-ass punky bands, and I love the idea of having one less band than usual.

Sometimes three is enough, especially when The Men and the The New Alibis are not currently active but are doing reunion gigs on the same bill.

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SUN 10/16

"A Bell Raising Celebration"
at Old South Meeting House, 310 Washington St, Boston (Downtown Crossing)

They've acquired a Paul Revere bell from 1801, and it's going in the steeple today at 2pm.

From 11am to 12:30pm, you can get a free close-up look before the festivities begin at 1pm with performances by the Old South Church Choir, Boston Landmarks Orchestra Brass Ensemble, Back Bay Bell Ringers, and Boston Children's Chorus.

SUN 10/16

1pm to 5pm
Harvard Lampoon & Boston Bruins: "Best Sports Team Ever" Parade & Fest
from the Lampoon Castle to Brattle Street, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)

Feat: OldJack (1pm), Susan Cattaneo (2pm), Self Proclaimed Rockstars (3pm)

Why not proclaim the B's as the Best Sports Team Ever? Of course, the Lampoon is known for pranks; but I have a feeling this is really happening -- even if it's just Andrew Ference and a locker room assistant...

The plan is for music and miscellaneous fun at parade destination, and the Bruins should arrive on Super Duck Tour vehicles around 4:15pm. If you want to see the rolling celebration, I'm guessing they'll leave the Castle around 4pm and go something like this.

One thing I can confidently say: It won't be as crowded as the Boston championship parade...

SUN 10/16

"A Visit with E.E. Cummings": Walking Tour
at Forest Hills Cemetery, 95 Forest Hills Ave, Jamaica Plain

Maybe I'm strange, but walking around Forest Hills without a guide is a lovely experience. If you really want to see where Cummings is buried, a guide is helpful. (It took two visits for me to find e.e.'s grave.)

With the guide, you'll also hear some poems and stories.

The cemetery is an easy walk from the Orange Line T, Forest Hills stop via the Tower Street shortcut.

SUN 10/16

7pm to 9pm
Massmouth Story Slam: "Supernatural"
at Doyle's Cafe, 3484 Washington St, Jamaica Plain
$8 advance / $10 door

If you want to spend the day in JP, go from the cemetery to Doyle's and listen to 10 randomly(?) chosen tales that have a paranormal aspect. The winner will qualify for the next round that culminates in a final story competition in April 2012.

Massmouth has invited a "seer-visionary-healer and medium-intuitive" to be their guest -- maybe he'll get a message from the beyond...

Why pay for stories? I assume the money goes to paying for the grand prize which will probably be a weeklong vacation in Tuscany.

SUN 10/16

Nina Violet, Willy Mason, Tallahassee
at Radio/Club Choices, 379 Somerville Ave, Somerville (Union Sq)
$5 / 21+

Yeah, I'm listing another show at Radio. There are other music options on the calendar, this would be my choice. I still have not seen Willy Mason perform. His songs are so evocative especially delivered by that piercingly matter-of-fact baritone.

Fellow Martha's Vineyard native Nina Violet is rather impressive as well. She used to play in Willy's band, so they'll likely collaborate on a few tunes. I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't really noticed Boston-based band Tallahassee. I saw that the indie-folk band played at the Jamaica Plain Music Festival a couple months ago, but I just read this week that the singer was briefly an offensive lineman with the Pats. Pretty wild...

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