Friday, September 30, 2011

9/30 to 10/2: Weekend Preview


I was going to post this last night and make a fuller Friday review, so I might as well start with this one. Wish me luck...

If you haven't heard, there is plenty of protest going on this afternoon and this weekend. It doesn't cost money to join in and support the cause...

FYI: A couple Saturday items require advance tickets to be $10.

For art film geeks, the Brattle is showing the complete "Cremaster" Cycle over the next 5 days.

Thursday was National Coffee Day, and Saturday is International Sake Day although no local place is giving free samples as far as I know. I saw that Bauer Wines & Spirits (Back Bay) has some rioja tasting (6pm to 8pm), and you might get some Spanish bites as well...

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FRI 9/30

5pm to 8pm
Great Glass Pumpkin Patch: Preview Opening
at Kresge Oval, 48 Mass Ave, Cambridge (MIT campus)
FREE

The glass pumpkins will be on sale on Saturday for more than $10. They have more than 1,000 handblown gourds made by students to look at. That's amusing to me.

This may be your chance to tell a MIT undergrad that they suck at something.

FRI 9/30

7pm
John Lithgow, Drama, "An Actor's Education": Reading
at First Parish Church, 3 Church St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$5

Lithgow is a great actor (and a peculiar fellow).

Tix available at Harvard Book Store or 617-661-1515.

FRI 9/30

7pm to 8:30pm
Trevor Paglen, "The Other Night Sky: Destiny, Warfare, and Ruins among the Stars": Artist Talk
at Bartos Theater, Wiesner Bldg, 20 Ames St, Cambridge (MIT campus)
FREE

His art involves spy satellites and paranoia, so that's good enough to list 2 MIT events on one night.

FRI 9/30

9pm
Damn the Man, Save the Empire: "Empire Records" Party
at Milky Way Lounge / Bella Luna, 284 Amory St, Jamaica Plain (The Brewery Complex)
$8 / 21+

Feat: The Lights Out, DJ's David Day & Hilary Hughes

This wasn't a great movie, but "Empire Records" is fondly appreciated. And it gives an excuse to those who love it -- and those who want to -- to drop inhibitions and have a dance party. The Lights Out will appropriately rock out, and I suspect they'll play a couple tunes from the soundtrack. Weekly Dig people will DJ.

FRI 9/30

The Appreciation Post (Midnight), The Fatal Flaw (11pm), American Water (10pm), The Susan Constant (9pm)
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10

There's nothing wrong with the first two band, I could take or leave them. On the other hand, The Fatal Flaw are friggin' incredible. And The Appreciation Post are criminally under-appreciated (who have loads of free downloads on their site).

Just for kicks, the Pray for Polanski dude is behind the side-bar.

FRI 9/30

9pm
Twang Em High, The Darlings, The Satanic Lounge Syndicate
at Rosebud Bar & Grill (behind Diner), 381 Summer St, Somerville (Davis Sq)
$10-ish

While Tony Savarino of the Satanic Lounge Syndicate can play just about any style, I suspect there's going to be a lot of country/rock licks based on the other bands on the bill.

FRI 9/30

9:30pm
"UNregular Radio's Fall Down"
at McGann's Pub, 197 Portland St, Boston (near North Station)
$5 advance / $10 door / 21+

Feat: The Battleships Cometh, Zip-Tie Handcuffs, Dead Cats Dead Rats, Sweet Irony

I haven't seen punk bands at McGann's before, but these F-Nice/UNregular Radio folks do it regularly, and it's a good line-up.

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SAT 10/1

11am to 5pm
2nd Boston Local Food Festival
outside Boston Children's Museum, about 308 Congress St, Boston (Seaport/Fort Point)
FREE

There will be demonstrations on how to eat/cook locally including how to butcher a whole pig. Not exactly a home operation, but interesting to watch. Food samples will be available $5 or less. Hear some music, and walk around the booths.

SAT 10/1 (and SUN 10/2)

11am to 5pm
Lowell Open Studios

11am to 6pm
Roxbury Open Studios

11am to 5pm
Watertown Open Studios

So we're in the middle of Open Studio season. Again, I like these things to talk to the artists and see their studios. Maybe you can do your holiday shopping early over the next couple months.

Some Roxbury restaurants are offering deals through 10/6.

SAT 10/1 (and SUN 10/2)

Various Times
Honk! Festival & Parade
Around Davis Sq, Somerville & Harvard Sq, Cambridge
FREE

Saturday -- 1pm to 9pm
Sunday -- Noon to 6pm
One of the best times of the year is when 30 street bands get horny in different corners of Davis Square that injects a New Orleans vibe for 9 hours. I hope the weather cooperates.

The bands will parade to Harvard Square Oktoberfest on Sunday for people to march and dance along with the bands or meet them there.

SAT 10/1 (and SUN 10/2)

Noon
Annual CollegeFest
at Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St, Boston (Back Bay)
$10
Saturday --Noon to 7pm
Sunday -- Noon to 6pm
College students: Grab shwag, get on mailing lists, and hear live music. I wouldn't have liked it when I was college-age, but people have told they had a good time.

SAT 10/1

1pm to 5:30pm
Franklin Park Fall Forest Festival
near Valley Gates Parking Lot, Circuit Dr, Boston (between Playstead and Golf Course)
FREE

Recently, someone said to me that the public space we were in was "underutilized". I had to point out that we were utilizing it at the moment.

Franklin Park is there everyday, and they have activities on a regular basis to encourage stuff like walking, biking, foraging, and climbing trees.

SAT 10/1

1pm to 3pm
2011 Ig Nobel Awrards: Informal Lectures
at Room 100, Bldg 26, 60 Vassar St, Cambridge (MIT campus)
FREE

This is a chance to hear science at its most ludicrous when researchers are recognized for strange studies they publish. The most infamous in my mind was the discovery of homosexual necrophiliac ducks, for example.

Seating is limited.

SAT 10/1

2pm
Swaggerin, Growlers, Jeff Rowe, The Pity Whores, The Snipes, The Old Edison
at Middle East - Upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10 advance / $12 day of show / All Ages

It's going to be a folky 'n punky day party to get a head start on your friends who'll be drinking later.

SAT 10/1

9pm
Township, Sidewalk Driver, Andrea Gillis Band, Trabants
at Brighton Music Hall, 158 Brighton Ave, Allston
$10 / 18+

Are you ready to rawk? Township has a new CD, and they're celebrating with an awesome bunch of bands that unofficially kick off Rocktober.

SAT 10/1

11:30pm
J. Cannibal's Feast of Flesh XI
at Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St, Brookline
$10 advance / $12 door

Feat: "Demons", Black Cat Burlesque, Acaro

I've been to the Feast of Flesh in the past, and the crowd really gets into it yet no one gave me a hard time for looking normal. We're there together to watch a horror film, live burlesque & heavy metal, and other stuff like a best-zombie contest.

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SUN 10/2

10am
Bow Tie Bike Ride
meet at Cambridge Common, Cambridge (near Harvard Sq)
FREE
10am: Free safety checks
10:15am: Rider orientation
10:30am: Ride departs
The ride is about 10 1/2 miles around the bow-tie perimeter of Cambridge, and there's no rain date. If it's raining too hard (probably won't), it'll be cancelled.

SUN 10/2

Noon to 6pm
Annual Harvard Square Oktoberfest
at Harvard Sq, Cambridge
FREE

If you don't mind crowds, there 6 stages of live music, 3 beer gardens, hundreds of crafts & food vendors.

If you don't get your fill of Honk! on Saturday, the parade is coming from Davis Square and many of the bands will perform on various stages.

Rain date: SUN 10/9

SUN 10/2

Noon to 6pm
Davis Square Oktoberfest
outside Redbones, 55 Chester St, Somerville (Davis Sq)
FREE Admission

For something on a smaller scale: there's going to be a beer garden and food from nearby restaurants including Redbones. I bet there's going to be some bratwurst and other German-style treats.

I like the idea of stein holding & keg rolling contests along with live music and dancing.

Rain Date: SUN 10/9

Thursday, September 29, 2011

THUR 9/29: Words & Music


Did you get your free coffee this morning? I tried to tell you.

Like last Thursday at The Pour House, there's a good chance to get a free Miller Lite at An Tain from 6pm to 8pm. Just saying...

PS: Most cheapness that's going to make the calendar between now and Sunday is already there. Make your weekend plans -- and think Honk!

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THUR 9/29

6pm
Randall Kennedy, Touré, Henry Louis Gates Jr: Conversation
at Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$5 (tix available at Harvard Book Store or 617-661-1515)

Harvard law professor Randall Kennedy will discuss his new book, "Persistence of the Color Line" that's complemented by Touré's new book of interviews, "Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?" One of the subjects, Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr, will moderate the discussion with his usual aplomb.

THUR 9/29

6:30pm to 8pm
"From the Government and Here to Help": Panel Discussion
at C. Walsh Theater, Suffolk University, 55 Temple St, Boston (Beacon Hill)
FREE

Feat: Dr. Yaron Brook, Dr. David Callahan

Tonight's debate regarding the degree of government power pits the Executive Director of the Ayn Rand Institute against the Co-Founder of an advocacy group that believes the the public sector can be a positive force in overall society.

We can do 'fair & balanced' in Massachusetts! To assist the Randians, a republican strategist will moderate...

THUR 9/29

7pm to 8pm
Tom MacDonald, "The Charlestown Connection": Reading & Signing
at Harvard Coop, Level 3, 1400 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
FREE

Sure, it's a crime/mystery that begins with a murder in a Charlestown parish food pantry that gets much deeper than expected. They say to write what you know, so you can't fault the author who also happens to work at parish food pantry in Char... I'll let you guess.

THUR 9/29

8pm
Marching Band Mayhem: A Benefit for the 2011 HONK! Festival
at Club Oberon, 2 Arrow St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$10 standing room / $15 table seats

Feat: Emperor Norton's Stationary Marching Band, The Extraordinary Rendition Band, plus 2 other Honk! bands

One of the best free events of the year is HonkFest, when the spirit of social justice and the soul of New Orleans meet in Davis Square for a day of horntastic street bands on Saturday and a parade to Harvard Oktoberfest on Sunday.

Many bands come from around the country, and there are various expenses. If you can't wait until the weekend and you want to help out with a few bucks, it's going to be a good time. (Who wants to sit anyway?)

THUR 9/29

Old Abram Brown (11:45pm), Friendly People (10:50pm), Boy Without God (9:55pm), You Won't (9pm)
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$8

An abundance of tuneful and/or folkish indie-rock overflows with this lineup. Listen to each group, and you'll likely feel enriched.

THUR 9/29

Reverse (11pm), Axemunkee (10pm), Cropduster (9pm)
at Church, 69 Kilmarnock St, Boston (Fenway)
$8 / 18+

If you're looking to rock out tonight, you should scoot down to the Fens. On and off, the Reverse guys have been laying down ridiculously clever, hard, heavy rock for years. It's good to see them "on" at the moment. Axemunkee is helmed by Cathy Capozzi who plays like a guitar hero without going over the top -- think Beck or Satriani without the urge to show off. They've got a new CD, and it sounds like a mix of originals and twisted covers. ("Love Story"?!) Cropduster opens with a modern-vintage of trippy rock.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

9/29: Free Cup of Coffee at 7-Eleven

Yep, Free Cup of Coffee at 7-Eleven7am to 11am
CofFREE Day
at participating 7-Eleven locations
FREE coffee/cappuccino/latte

Believe it or not, Thursday is National Coffee Day.

Almost every coffee drinker around here either sides with Dunks or Starbucks.

I occasionally run into a Honey Dew lover or someone who prefers Marylou's. McDonalds sells Newman's coffee, and I enjoy their New England commercials.

Thankfully there are plenty of independent coffee shops around. Keep an eye out -- or look here or here.

The only place I've heard about that's giving away a free cup of dark, magical wake-up juice is 7-Eleven.

As long as they have medium-size cups, you can get a FREE hot coffee or cappuccino or latte.

There are about 200 locations participating in New England. (I assume that's all of them...)

While 7-Eleven probably isn't the first choice for most people, maybe you should take that free cup of joe and close your eyes. Taste it objectively to see if you'd pay for it.

Don't they deserve the chance to win your business?

At least think of it as a nice try...

PS: Thursday & Friday cheapness can be found on the calendar.

WED 9/28: Talk, Trivia, Folk, Rock


Even though Summer is over, Bodega Girls still host a free dance night at Middlesex lounge with a rock bent on the last Wednesday of the month; tonight's episode of "Cool Ranch" includes rowdy surf-rock and a set of punk covers.

Tomorrow is "National Coffee Day", so 7-Eleven is coming through with free medium coffees from 7am to 11am. That's bigger than their free slurpees on July 11 every year!

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WED 9/28

7pm
John Warner w/ Chris Monks, "The Funny Man": Discussion
at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
FREE

Never read McSweeney's Internet Tendency? It's pretty darn funny, and you'll feel smart if you find it funny. Contributor John Warner will read from his novel about a comedian and talks with McSweeney's editor Chris Monks.

WED 9/28

8pm
Trivia Wednesdays
at Bell In Hand Tavern, 45 Union St, Boston (near Faneuil Hall)
FREE w/ RSVP / 21+

Unlike most trivia nights, you have to RSVP (sponsored by Boston Event Guide, I think). Possible advantages: There might be a better chance of winning something... It might not be Stump Trivia... There's a mention of food/drink specials...

This is happening every Wednesday through October.

WED 9/28

8pm
Daphne Willis, Madi Diaz, Keegan Dewitt, Megan McCormick
at Cafe 939, 939 Boylston St, Boston (Back Bay)
$10

One top-notch singer-songwriter after another will get onstage, and the highlight may be Madi Diaz.

WED 9/28

9:30pm
Streight Angular, Dirty Virgins, Pajama People, Sinister Turns
at PA's Lounge, 345 Somerville Ave, Somerville (Union Sq)
$8 / 21+

A serious amount of playful, catchy, punky indie-rock.

WED 9/28

9:30pm
Hallelujah The Hills, earthquake party!, The Fagettes
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$10 / 18+

It's not going out on a limb to say that Hallelujah The Hills is a fantastic band. C'mon -- even if you can think of other clever-noisy-folky rock bands with cello, they are still pretty awesome (and they wrote one of my favorite songs that mentions Massachusetts).

I've been rather fond of earthquake party's rough, lo-fi tunes that make you want to bounce around and sing along. The Fagettes are pretty good as well; I'm surprised no one has used that band name before, so good on them.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

TUES 9/27: Music, Books, Art, Film


Okay, it often happens that I get a little top-heavy on these posts... There are a couple good rock options tonight.

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TUES 9/27 (and TUES 8/4)

6pm
"The Ames Sessions": Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, Supercute!
at Woodward, Ames Hotel, 1 Court St, Boston (Downtown Crossing)
FREE w/ RSVP

Although last week's kick-off was taken inside due to rain, the weather and temperature are cooperating for the patio music series.

It would be typical for a hotel like Woodward to have a middle-of-the-road jazz band playing, but kudos to hosting a Tuesday music series that features cool, independent bands. No one expects to hear free live bands on a Tuesday evening at a hotel bar patio!

I went last week and heard a fantastic solo set by Leo Blais, and Anna Rose especially shined on the sassy, more country numbers from her new album as well as her superb Arcade Fire cover.

If you work downtown, I don't see why you wouldn't try to grab a spot on the patio for a couple Tuesday drinks, and the tunes are getting delightfully more peculiar over the next 2 weeks!

I think there was a year when the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players performed at PA's Lounge on the Conan O'Brien show. Papa, Mama, and daughter Rachel Tractenberg have a slew of off-kilter songs that are based on found slides that they project during their set. Teenage Rachel's own bubblegum group Supercute is opening tonight.

I couldn't see the benefit of RSVP'ing except maybe they'll save you a spot on the patio or maybe it enters you in a giveaway. (I couldn't tell, but things didn't go as planned.)

As I mentioned before: the cocktails are fancy, but they served me $3.50 'Gansett tall boys with no problem. They also have other beers in average price ranges.

If you don't go tonight, check out Kim Boekbinder and Audrey Ryan next week.

TUES 9/27

6pm
Neal Stephenson, "Reamde": Reading
at Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St, Brookline
$5

If you read "Cryptonomicon", you might be interested to see Stephenson read in person.

Get you tickets across the street at Brookline Booksmith.

TUES 9/27

6pm
Central Library
Daniel Yergin, "The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World": Discussion
at Rabb Lecture Hall, Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St, Boston (Copley Sq)
FREE

Daniel Yergin knows a lot about energy and politics, so it would be difficult to leave the hall without more knowledge about the issues.

TUES 9/27

6:30pm to 8:30pm
"Sting! XI: Object Relations"
at The Beehive, 541 Tremont St, Boston (South End)
FREE

Performance by Nat Mugavero SW-Rats Quartet

Feat: Arisa Boit, John Guthrie, Andrew Mowbray, Ross Normandin, Joshi Radin, Isabel Riley, Daniela Rivera, Jim Stroud, Bill Thompson, Doug Weathersby, Brian Zink

For their 11th "Sting" exhibit, the Beehive has invited 11 artists to show a broad array of work that "centers around the principles of abstraction". I think all of them are Boston-based, so it's a good night to ask the artists about their inspirations.

What's labeled as Nat Mugavero SW-Rats Quartet is probably close to Mugavero's Sewer Ratz project where he gets other tremendous players to create the abstract version of jazz.

TUES 9/27

7pm
Susan N. Herman, "Taking Liberties: The War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy": Discussion
at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
FREE

The president of the ACLU questions whether the Patriot Act has done more good than harm in the last 10 years. (Would you like to guess what she thinks?)

TUES 9/27

7:30pm to 9:30pm
Dr. Sketchy Boston: Evening Session
at Club Cafe, 209 Columbus Ave, Boston (South End)
$8 / 18+

Tonight's Models: Polly Surely & Busty Keaton

Have you wanted to go to Dr. Sketchy, but Sunday afternoons at Great Scott just don't work for you?

From first-timers to professionals, all are welcome to have some art fun with no one to tell you what to do. Just bring something to draw on and enjoy a judgement-free session while a couple burlesque gals pose.

Club Cafe is short walk from the Back Bay T station (if you exit to Clarendon St). The art is happening in the back room.

How many life-drawing classes have a cash bar...?

TUES 9/27

8pm
"Short & Sweet III": Animated Films from Germany
at Goethe-Institut Boston, 170 Beacon St, Boston (Back Bay)
FREE

Tonight's 79-minute program is titled "Dreams and Demons", so maybe you can get some scary ideas from German shorts of the last decade. Do I have to remind you about scary Germans (Nosferatu, Heidi Klum, etc)?

In German w/ English subtitles.

TUES 9/27

9pm
Banditas, Lanie Lane
at O'Brien's, 3 Harvard St, Allston
$8 / 18+

Retro styles meet with Australia's Lanie Lane who is a rockabilly gal with a bluesy/jazzy undercurrent and the country-tinged indie-rock of Boston's Banditas.

Lanie Lane has played at Big Day Out and recorded a couple songs with Jack White a couple months ago. While the songs are new, this is the sound of someone looking backwards -- with splendid results. Banditas may remind me of a female-fronted version of early-70's Stones, there's a modern edge which is pretty damn cool.

TUES 9/27

9:30pm
We Are Augustines, Leisure
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$10 / 18+

Out of the ashes of Pela, one finds We Are Augustines. When I saw Pela a few years ago it was one of those "future of rock 'n roll" moments. It definitely wasn't their first time in Boston, because the crowd was going (appropriately) crazy. That early-Springsteen vibe has matured a bit, but there is still something there.

Monday, September 26, 2011

MON 9/26: Beer, Cupcakes, Music, Talk, Improv


I don't feel right about writing a full Monday post after dropping the weekend ball.

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MON 9/26

5pm to 7pm
"Narragansett Neighbor Day"
at Mass Ave Tavern, 94 Mass Ave, Boston (Back Bay)
FREE

A chance to get a free 'Gansett and some protoinal shwag.

MON 9/26

5pm to 7pm
Cupcake Tastings: Cupcake Happy Hour
at Kickass Cupcakes, 378 Highland Ave, Somerville (Davis Sq)
FREE

Yeah, there are free cupcake samples on the last Monday of the month, and they're cocktail-inspired flavors.

Beware of the urge to leave with a bag of goodies.

MON 9/26

"Mahler's Legacy" (5:30pm) & "The First of Mahler" (7:30pm)
at Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough St, Boston (New England Conservatory/Fenway)
FREE

Program (8pm):

Mahler, "Symphony No. 1"
Strauss, "Don Juan"
There is going to be a bunch of Mahler events at NEC this season, and it begins with a hour-long multimedia presentation followed by a version of his first symphony.

MON 9/26

7pm to 9:30pm
Boston Skeptics in the Pub: "Amanda Knief: Travails of a Godless Lobbyist"
at Tommy Doyle's, 96 Winthrop St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
FREE

As their site says:
Amanda will tell us "true tales of working as an atheist on Capitol Hill and with the Obama administration, and also how we need everyone to get involved."
MON 9/26

8pm
The Dangling Conversation: Improv Theatre
at The Lily Pad, 1353 Cambridge St, Cambridge (Inman Sq)
$7

The two-person improv group, The Dangling Conversation, describe themeslves:
Our improv explores the small scale mania and beauty behind everyday relationships. Our performances are loopy, developed, strangely true to life, and yet hopefully different from what you’ve seen before.
Should be interesting as 2 people who are improvising to be funny 100% of the time. This is a video sample.

MON 9/26

9:30pm
Viva Voce, The Parson Red Heads, Let's Whisper
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$10 / 18+

Wow. Some trippy, catchy, folky indie-rock from Alabama, Oregon, and Vermont.

Friday, September 23, 2011

9/24 & 9/25: Weekend Preview

Let's not kid ourselves. With a quartet of rowdy Mainers visiting town tonight, I will not type anything else before the morning.

These are some cheap highlights for the weekend.

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On Saturday:

Smithsonian Magazine's Museum Day lets you choose from a long list of museums in the USA and print a free pass for two...

Or you can visit the studios of artists all over JP on both days...

The South End hosts the Beantown Jazz Festival along the usual stretch of Columbus Ave. P-Funk's Bernie Worrell is playing with two groups...

For a guy who doesn't eat fluff, I often got a kick out of the annual "What the Fluff?" Festival (invented in Somerville!) and its program of music and zany fluff fun...

Of course, I've mentioned "Crash Safely" and "One Night Band #3" as two standout musical offerings (both $10 advance tickets)...

On Sunday:

Harvard Ave will be even livelier than usual courtesy of the Allston Village Street Fair...

Mobius has moved to Cambridge, and they invite folks to draw performance art. (They're even having an 'open house' reception on Saturday night...)

Further up Mass Ave, you'll find a "Hootenanny" nestled in a Harvard Square courtyard...

Even further up Mass Ave in Arlington, the Regent Theatre is having a 95th anniversary concert ($10 advance)...

You probably can still RSVP for a "Boardwalk Empire" party; there might be a free Canadian whiskey drink in it for you...

See below for my full cheap suggestions.



Type to you in the morning...

FRI 9/23: Ideas, Stories, Jokes, Acrobatics, Songs


Wow, I guess the Autumnal Equinox is playng with my mind!

Saturday & Sunday cheapness is on the calendar -- including "One Night Band #3" tomorrow ($10 advance tix).

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FRI 9/23

6pm to 9pm
[LAB] Annual Fall Exhibition
at The Laboratory, Northwest Bldg, 52 Oxford St, Cambridge (Harvard campus)
FREE

Feat: Whiskey Barons / Flavorheard

On display will be 11 student ideas that are aimed at providing various community-based and environmental solutions. It's interesting that several projects relate to water purification, which isn't a bad thing.

The first hour is a cocktail reception followed by panel discussion regarding 'experiential education' with a short film. You may not want to sneak out before the discussion, because there's more 'refreshments and music' afterwards for another hour.

FRI 9/23

7pm
Karl Marlantes, "What It Is Like to Go to War": Reading
at Porter Square Books, 25 White St, Cambridge (near Star Market)
FREE

What can be described as 'decades in the making', Rhodes Scholar and Vietnam vet Karl Marlantes has novelized his war experiences into what many have described as a powerful depiction its horrors.

This could bum you out at the beginning of the weekend or make you grateful that you didn't experience the war.

FRI 9/23

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

Feat: Belinda Borrelli, John Staley, Peter Bowers, Sam Ike, Sanjay Salomon, Maria Ciampa, Tom Dunlap, Tim Vargulish

I stand by my belief that this weekly comedy show is worth the cover whether or not there is a 2-for-1 coupon available. Hang out at any bar on a Friday night for a while, and $5 will mysteriously disappear... You might as well laugh for those dollars.

Maria Ciampa is practically a guarantee you will laugh your ass off. I recall meeting Belinda Borrelli, the Brown professor, and she was quite witty. The evening is hosted by Lillian DeVane. (Yep, I only mentioned the ladies. Sometimes that happens.)

FRI 9/23

9pm
"The Autumnal FREAKquinox"
at Plough & Stars, 912 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10ish / 21+

Yeah, these folks have performed acrobatic feats in that tiny corner of the Plough on previous season changes.

There is usually some music & comedy acts as well. Be prepared for almost anything from people who think trapeze work I this cramped space is a good idea...

FRI 9/23 (and SAT 9/24)

8pm
"Crash Safely": A Benefit For Bike MS
at Church, 69 Kilmarnock St, Boston (Fenway)
$10 advance / $12 day of show / 2-day pass for $18 / 18+

Friday Schedule:

11:30pm -- The Titanics
10:30pm -- John Powhida International Airport
9:45pm -- Pete Hayes' Rock Shop
8:45pm --The Russians
8pm -- The In Out
I hope all of you know that The Figgs are one of the great American rock 'n roll bands, period. What you probably don't know is that drummer Pete Hayes was diagnosed with MS about 3 years ago.

Pete and his team are participating in a fundraising bike ride next weekend. You can simply donate or rock out with minimal awareness of your philanthropy.

Tonight's show includes the excellent John Powhida International Airport and The Russians that leads up to a reunion set from classic Boston band, The Titanics. In the middle, Pete Hayes is going to debut a side project too!

Tomorrow's show is awesome enough to consider the 2-night discounted pass.

Saturday Schedule:
11:30pm -- Easy Action
10:30pm -- Triple Thick
9:45pm -- Gene Dante & The Future Starlets
8:45pm -- Kevin Stevenson
8pm -- Jason Bennett
Of course, there will be raffles, silent auctions, and probably a couple surprise appearances.

FRI 9/23

Emergency Music (Midnight), Soccer Mom (11pm), Autochrome (10pm), Marconi (9pm)
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10

There will be loads of cool sounds, but you really are waiting for Emergency Music to knock you out at the end something like Mike Tyson's old Nintendo game... I was digging their power-poppy goodness a few years ago, and they're back with new material.

FRI 9/23

9:15pm
Joan Jett Birthday Tribute Show
at Rosebud Bar & Grill (behind Diner), 381 Summer St, Somerville (Davis Sq)
$10-ish / 21+

Feat: "Fit To Be Tied" (11:20pm), "Leather Snatch" (10:40pm), "Jett Streamer & The Neon Angels" (9:40pm), The Other Girls (9:15pm)

Movies are wonderful. After "Kick Ass", I had to drop "Bad Reputation" on my ipod. I watched "The Runaways" film this year, and it again reminded me that Joan Jett is a damn good rocker.

I doubt she spent her birthday in Somerville last night. It's still a good idea to throw her a party tonight with cake and party favors.

For the record, "Fit To Be Tied" includes members of The Dirty Truckers, Tijuana Sweetheart, Full Body Anchor, etc. "Leather Snatch" is basically The Acrobrats, and "Jett Streamer & The Neon Angels" contains the same number of syllables as Gene Dants & the Future Starlets. The Other Girls are an all-star team of women (Andrea Gillis and members of Muck & the Mires, The Marvels, Coffin Lids, etc) who do a bunch of rock/punk covers every now and then.

FRI 9/23 (and SAT 9/24)

10pm
Deva Mahal/Fredricks Brown
at The Beehive, 541 Tremont St, Boston (South End)
FREE

There a few weekends throughout the year that Fredricks Brown comes to town for a couple shows, so I'll repeat what I recently wrote:

I like Fredricks Brown and Deva Mahal enough to suggest you go to The Beehive and drink slightly overpriced drinks. (There's no cover charge, so it evens out.)

This is the kind of soulful, funky music that could have wide appeal yet there's enough substance that you stand up proud to love it. And Deva Mahal possesses one of my favorite voices ever. It may be a good night get your groove on.

FRI 9/23: (Maybe) A Free Grilled Cheese

11:30am
100 Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
at Roxy's Grilled Cheese, about 600 Boylston St, Boston (Copley Sq)
FREE

You may or may not know that Roxy's Grilled Cheese finished in third place on "The Great Food Truck Race".

Either way, most of you love melted cheese between two slices of bread. The reason why you probably won't be one of the 100 people who will get a free lunch is that Roxy's is more than the average grilled cheese.

These are fancy sandwiches, and they might already have a line at the 'secret location'.

The clues have been that it's 'near one of Boston's National Historic Landmarks' and 'somewhere along the Boston Marathon route' -- they already visit Copley Square on Fridays.

Still, you might get free food if you're nearby tomorrow. Check Twitter to be sure.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

THUR 9/22: Music, Art, Vonnegut


Psst. There are some insanely good music options this weekend. Some require advance action to keep 'em $10 or under:

There are 2 excellent nights of rock 'n roll at Church that is raising money for a MS charity ($10 advance / $12 day of show / both nights for $18).

Saturday is also the 3rd iteration of "One Night Band" the Middle East - Downstairs ($10 advance / $12 day of show) where 40 musicians get split up into 8 bands in the morning and perform that night.
Both places offer online and offline purchases.

Psst, psst, there is also a free Miller Lite waiting for you at the Pour House around 6pm; look for the "Thirsty Thursday" promotion/commotion.

Yes, other Friday & Saturday cheapness is on the calendar.

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THUR 9/22

5pm to 10pm
"The Boston Song" Music Festival
at 2nd Floor, Quincy Market, Boston (Faneuil Hall)
FREE

Feat: Sweet Tooth & The Sugarbabies, Doug Trasher, Shea Rose, Alicia Lemke, Me vs. Gravity, Lisa Bello

It won't have the legs of "Dirty Water", but "So Good (The Boston Song)" doesn't embarrass the town and will probably be in a Boston tourism commercial of some kind. Heck -- the music video is a advert for the Hub!

So the Berklee kids who wrote it for as a class assignment are taking it another step with a 'music fest' that was supposed to be outside but has been moved inside Quincy Market. A variety of their musical friends join in.

There are differing schedules between the music and venue sites, so show at any point and you have a chance of hearing a live version of "The Boston Song" eventually. Sweet Tooth & The Sugarbabies are going to play song in each of their sets. (I originally read the info as saying every band was going to play it -- a good idea for next time, guys.)

THUR 9/22

6pm to 7pm
Artist Talk: Jeff Sheng
at Room B-04, Carpenter Center, 24 Quincy St, Cambridge (Harvard campus)
FREE

Photographer Jeff Sheng will discuss his work that includes a series of gay military personnel. In the 'Good Timing' department, he can speak about the end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and celebrate the way art interacts with life.

THUR 9/22

7pm to 11pm
College Night
at Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston (The Fens)
FREE with college ID

Feat: Liz Longley, Keith Fullerton Whitman

If I've said it once, I've probably said a few more times: Don't throw ever throw away your college ID! You can keep getting discounts and going to events like this.

Thousands of students show up every year for free art and music and eats. (Thanks, Chipotle and Pinkberry!)

Something else? For some reason, there will be hula-hooping... And it's yet another chance to see the new Contemporary Art wing.

THUR 9/22

7:30pm
"Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt": Kurt Vonnegut Jr Tribute
at Precinct, 70 Union Sq, Somerville (Union Sq)
$8 / 21+

Poetry, Etc:
8:15pm to 9pm -- James Caroline, Charles Coe, Jade Sylvan, The Duende Project, Simone Beaubien, Daphne Gottlieb
9:25pm -- Meghan Chiampa & Jade Sylvan speak about Vonnegut
9:30pm -- Shadow-puppet theater by Woellert & Clark
9:45pm -- Cabaret by Scarlett Strawberry
Music:
10pm -- Connor Wood
10:15pm -- Jade Sylvan
10:30pm -- Space Balloons
10:50pm -- Army of Mars
11:05pm -- Somerville Symphony Orkestar
If one has read "Slaughter-House Five" or "Breakfast of Champions", Kurt Vonnegut has blown that mind multiple times -- or it was a singular that lasted through the whole reading.

In an article co-organizer Meghan Chiampa (of Desert Race Boston)says she wrote her thesis on "B of C". It's neither the anniversary of Kurt's birth or death, but no reason is needed to celebrate the author with poetry, music, shadow puppets, and more.

Hey, don't the Tralfamadorians tell us that all time exists at the same time? They would enjoy this fast-paced program occurring on a night that just another night on the time dimension.

THUR 9/22

8pm
Mrs Danvers, Echorev, Megan Lui Band
at Cafe 939, 939 Boylston St, Boston (Back Bay)
$8 / All Ages

I might recommend a gig just because I dig Mrs Danvers for keeping a foot in the powerpop yard while also keeping it funky and dancey next door. There are a couple more interesting bands such as Echorev (with one of the Mrs Danvers ladies); discerning ears will flip out for how they nail a chill vibe that is ridiculously deep on musical ideas. Megan Lui Band who comes across as solid songwriter when solo and should kick it up a notch with her band.

THUR 9/22

9:30pm
Brown Bird, Coyote Kolb, Mr. Sister
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$8 / 18+

There is going to be some folky, rootsy music in 3 different shades of awesome. Brown Bird kicked ass at the Newport Folk Festival, so you have to give a tip of the hat and a listen to the Providence duo. If you're a long-haired, hippy, twangy, bluesy music lover and don't love Coyote Kolb; then something may be wrong with you. That could be enough, but Mr Sister might cause a neck injury, if you're not paying attention to Amelia Emmet's transcendently creaky voice from the moment she bgins.

THUR 9/22

9:30pm
Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers, Adela & Jude
at Milky Way Lounge / Bella Luna, 284 Amory St, Jamaica Plain (The Brewery Complex)
$5 / 21+

This is going to be an "old time dance revival" where delta-blues guitar mistress Erin Harpe will open with a solo set to hear her fantastic rendition of the early 1900's acoustic-fingerstyle blues. Adela & Jude play the kind of early country that makes you worry about your eternal soul. Thankfully, Erin & the Delta Swingers will get you back into a dance party spirit.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WED 9/21: Peace, Talk, Dance, Humor


A few things:

* 1 *
So I had to check out "The Ames Sessions" last night after writing about it, and I had a good time. They decided to move it inside, which was fine. I did notice their patio space looked like a comfy spot. To all my cheap friends, I can happily report that 'Gansett tall boys are $3.50.

Leo Blais delivered a fine solo set that was a big hit with the dancing toddler (and me). Anna Rose was even better in person especially on her new material, and Boston was treated to the first live performance of her Arcade Fire cover. I chatted with her briefly afterwards, and kudos to anyone who makes a Son House reference! (I even met a couple music bloggers and a couple Weekly Dig dudes.)

People who want to grab a drink after work and hear some cool music on a Tuesday should head over in the next 2 weeks. Both nights should be interesting.

* 2 *
If you wanted to try the Boston Film Festival tonight, I think there's a 50-50 shot to enjoy "Fort McCoy" (9pm) based on a real Nazi POW camp in Wisconsin starring Eric Stoltz.

* 3 *
Have you listened to The Bynars? They rip it up with crunchy guitars, and they pump up the vintage-style keyboards for a kickass good time -- for the most part.

They sent me an email that they're offering another track from their album for free. It's a bit of a 'downbeat song', but there are 2 more free tracks. Download, enjoy, then consider buying...

Btw: Cheapness through Saturday is on the calendar.

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WED 9/21

6pm
Peace Corps: Information Meeting
at O'Neill Federal Bldg Auditorium, First Floor, 10 Causeway St, Boston (North Station)
FREE w/ RSVP

Does your job suck? Maybe you don't have one at the moment? Want to break up with your S.O. and don't know quite how to do it?

Try leaving the country for a couple years with Peace Corps...

There's an info session at the government building next to the Garden from 6pm to 7pm. You have to RSVP by email -- or call 617-565-5555 -- to get in.

WED 9/21

6:30pm to 8pm
"A Constant Round of Entertainments: The Life of the William Brattle House": Lecture
at Old South Meeting House, 310 Washington St, Boston (Downtown Crossing)
FREE

Some people love hearing about colonial architecture and history... Tonight and next week's lectures focus on a couple Cambridge buildings.

Part of "Hidden Gems: Historic Georgian Houses in the Boston Area" series.

WED 9/21

7pm
Science in the News: "Mind-Machine Interface: Computers and the Wired Brain"
at Armenise Ampitheatre, 200 Longwood Ave, Boston (Harvard Medical School / Longwood)
FREE

For the next 9 weeks, people who know about biology, astronomy, and other topics will simply tell you about the latest developments -- hence the "Science in the News" moniker.

For instance, 3 neuroscience grad students will discuss how machinery is being created to interact with people via the brain.

Registration is recommended.

WED 9/21

8:30pm
"Hot Snow"
at Enormous Room, 567 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$5 advance / $8 door / $10 VIP seating

From the video of a Club Oberon performance, there wasn't much interaction in this "dance-theater, club-art piece". With the size of this room, I don't know how many could dance along. Sit back on a soft couch and enjoy the kinetic, audio/video performance that is happening every 2nd & 3rd Wednesday throught the end of the year.

(There is supposedly a Bacardi special called "Hot Snow Tea" for $3 from 7:30pm to 8:30pm.)

WED 9/21

9pm
Storyliars: "The Mating Game"
at Milky Way Lounge/Bella Luna, 284 Amory St, Jamaica Plain (The Brewery Complex)
FREE

Feat: Brian Longwell, Ken Reid, Tim Vargulish, Matt Kona, Will Smalley, David Drake, Will Noonan, others

Hosted by Walter vs. Himself and Rob Crean

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.

With a topic like relationships, I could believe any crazy story -- so good luck!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

TUES 9/20: Words & Music


A couple college lectures... A couple free music gigs... A little wine 'n literary chat, and a some Boss tunes...

Not a bad Tuesday.

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TUES 9/20

5pm
Thomas Whalen, "A Man of His Times: Bill Russell and the 1960s": Lecture
at African American Studies Program, 138 Mountfort St, Brookline (near BU)
FREE

Even non-basketball fans might know Bill Russell's impact on the basketball court. It could be interesting to get some perspective about the champion hoopster off the court.

TUES 9/20

6pm to 7:15pm
Cathy Davidson, "Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn": Lecture
at Austin Hall East, about 1511 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Harvard Law School)
FREE w/ RSVP

If there's space to be in the room, there's bound to be stimulating thoughts about using technology to transform the classroom and the workplace besides simply hacking away in old paradigms on new tools.

TUES 9/20 (thru TUES 8/4)

6pm
"The Ames Sessions": Anna Rose, Leo Blais
at Woodward, Ames Hotel, 1 Court St, Boston (Downtown Crossing)
FREE w/ RSVP

I mentioned this yesterday, and maybe you can still RSVP. As I said earlier:

It's going to take a while for people to stop mentioning that Anna Rose's dad is an Oscar-winning composer whose work includes "Little Shop of Horrors" and "The Little Mermaid". She is off to a good start with an appealing folk/pop sound that includes a rather nice Arcade Fire cover.

Leo Blais is our most tuneful local representative on the patio. This is the kind of bittersweet, melodic powerpop that I can listen to for hours. Although I didn't take the time to find them, I'll never forget seeing pictures of Leo's apartment that was decorated by his handmade album artwork of his lyrics, etc. (You get the idea on his site.)
The good thing about the RSVP page lets you respond for any and all of the 3 scheduled Tuesdays of music on the Woodward patio.

TUES 9/20

6pm
Will Dailey: Performance & Signing
at Newbury Comics, North Market Bldg, 4 Faneuil Hall Market Pl, Boston (Faneuil Hall)
FREE

If you don't feel like RSVP'ing for anything, Will Dailey is going to play a mini-set that might include a bunch of songs from his new album. If it's anything close to his previous work, there will be an awesome little gig for 30 minutes (or however long it lasts).

TUES 9/20

7pm
DeWitt Henry, "Ploughshares Turns 40!"
at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
FREE

A literary journal, "Ploughshares", is created while some people are drinking at the Plough & Stars, and it's still going after 40 years. Co-founder DeWitt Henry has written a memoir, "Sweet Dreams: A Family History", and he'll likely read a passage. Poet Gail Mazur will also recite at least one piece. Expect "wine and light refreshments".

TUES 9/20

8:40pm
"Happy Birthday Boss, Goodbye Big Man": Springsteen Tribute
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$7 / 18+

Feat: Corin Ashley & Dave Aaronoff, Paper Snakes, Eric Salt, Uke Springsteen, Brendan Little, Emily Pilowa, Matt York, others

It's almost Bruce's birthday and Clarence Clemons shuffled off about 3 months ago. Let's hope someone invited a sax player... Of course, the ukulele tribute group is on board, and I like how Paper Snakes is rooted in The Boss (if you believe their Facebook wall).

There is a schedule on the TT's calendar, but I don't think it matters much. If you dig Bruce Springsteen and love the local music scene, it'll be a double-fantastic tonight.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tuesday Music: "The Ames Sessions" thru 8/4

6pm
"The Ames Sessions"
at Woodward, Ames Hotel, 1 Court St, Boston (Downtown Crossing)
FREE w/ RSVP

This building around the corner from City Hall could be a case study in preventing homeless veterans from loitering -- install a luxury hotel with a fancy bar on the ground floor.

My tone doesn't mean that hotels are bad and intimidating vagrants are good -- I just find it interesting. When the scaffolding came down, the result was rather subtle since they maintained most of the historic exterior.

For the next 3 Tuesdays, a different pair of artists are scheduled to situate on the patio for a couple sets of tunes that should be perfect accompaniment to relaxing with a tasty drink.

The folks at MuseBox havve done a good job to match musicians together:

9/20: Anna Rose, Leo Blais
It's going to take a while for people to stop mentioning that Anna Rose's dad is an Oscar-winning composer whose work includes "Little Shop of Horrors" and "The Little Mermaid". She is off to a good start with an appealing folk/pop sound that includes a rather nice Arcade Fire cover.

Leo Blais is our most tuneful local representative on the patio. This is the kind of bittersweet, melodic powerpop that I can listen to for hours. Although I didn't take the time to find them, I'll never forget seeing pictures of Leo's apartment that was decorated by his handmade album artwork of his lyrics, etc. (You get the idea on his site.)

The next two weeks are going to be worth your while as well.
9/27: Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, Supercute

8/4: Kim Boekbinder, Audrey Ryan
As far as tomorrow's gig, it's still possible to RSVP as of this posting. If it's raining, I'd lie to think they'd move it inside. Hey, Courtney Love played somewhere inside the Ames.

Even if it rains, I saw the mention of "specials and prizes" during the Ames Sessions.

Yes, most of the cocktails are over $10 (and awesome, btw). Have a beer or splurge... You might still feel ahead of the game with a free tunes...

MON 9/19: Film, Talk, Trivia, Rock


Ahoy! It be Talk Like A Pirate Day, bucko. Alas, I noticed no local festivity to make your Roger jolly. It shouldn't stop you from sprinkling conversations with piratey vocab.

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MON 9/19 (thru THUR 9/22)

6:30pm
Boston Film Festival:
"Give Me a Shot of Anything: House Calls to the Homeless" w/ "The Hub"
at Stuart Street Playhouse, 200 Stuart Street, Boston (Theatre District)
Most $9

As usual, the lineup is a mix of films that might hit the independent theaters in the next year and films that have Boston ties.

You might recognize some of the faces in "Give Me a Shot of Anything..." that presents the efforts of Dr. Jim O'Connell and his associates who provide medical assistance to the homeless of Boston. (Dr. O'Connell will be present for a Q&A.)

You may even recognize some faces in the preceding short film since it was also filmed around the "Hub".

You could watch "Cold Mountain" at the BPL, but wouldn't you like to take a chance?

MON 9/19

7pm to 9pm
Ramon Morato, "The Many Faces of Chocolate": Lecture
at Science Center, Hall C, 1 Oxford St, Cambridge (Harvard campus)
FREE

Cutting-edge culinary is exploding in Spain. Ferran Adria has brought chemistry to haute cuisine as well as other Spanish chefs, and I see a lot of big-time chefs getting inspiration from the Iberian peninsula.

Ramon Morató runs a chocolate school and has published a 600-page book on the dark, sweet ingredient.

MON 9/19

7pm
Tom Perrotta, "The Leftovers": Reading
at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
FREE

When you live in Belmont, it must be easy to hit almost every bookstore in the area. I keep listing Tom Perrotta's because, I've enjoyed a couple of his books, and a couple have been adapted into films ("Election", "Little Children").

Remember the warnings of the Rapture that didn't happen a couple months ago? The novel takes place in a world where something like that occurred.

MON 9/19

8pm
"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia": Pub Trivia
at City Side, 1960 Beacon St, Brighton (Cleveland Circle)
$5 per player

You may think you know this show inside and out, but you're not alone. Perhaps the most ridiculous comedy on TV will be the subject of every pub trivia question.

Every player chips in $5 (maximum 6 per team), and the winners get the cash. There is usually prizes for second and third places.

MON 9/19

9pm
Vivian Girls, Widowspeak, Girlfriends
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$10 / 18+

It's easy to hit music sites, and find many raves for Vivian Girls -- like I rave about Girlfriends. I'm not alone in adoring their nearly-perfect fuzzy garage-pop out in the blogosphere. Both are cool bands that know how to keep it loose yet catchy. It sounds like Widowspeak keeps it laid-back without putting you to sleep.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

SUN 9/18: Sunday Night Off-Topic Video

I went to the a concert at Fenway Park a couple weeks ago, and I enjoyed The Mighty Mighty Bosstones more than the Dropkick Murphys.

Sunday Briefly

It's an arty Sunday: Open Studios in South End and the MFA is free from 7am to 7pm for the opening of their new wing.

There is outdoor music on both sides of the Charles. The Urban Ag Fair is not so special, but it's not bad to walk around.

Or you can rock out at Great Scott.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

SAT 9/17: Night Cheapness


Alright. I don't know if I can keep typing when it's such a nice day...

Sunday cheapness is on the calendar.

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SAT 9/17

7pm
The New England Pop Music Festival
at Rosebud Bar & Grill (behind Diner), 381 Summer St, Somerville (Davis Sq)
$10 / 21+

Schedule:

Midnight -- Shepherdess
11pm -- Scarce
10pm -- The One Smith
9pm -- The Pomps
8pm -- Popfilter
7pm -- Miskatonic
The final night is going out with a powerpop bang -- as it should. It's not too late to hear 6 excellent bands in about 6 hours. Even if you soak in half of the bands, it's worth the price of admission.

Note: All the proceeds from the festival benefit Doctors Without Borders, Animal Rescue League of Boston, and Community Music Center of Boston.

SAT 9/17

8pm
"For the Sake of the Song": A Tribute to Steve Earle
at Arts at The Armory Cafe, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville (Spring Hill)
$8

Feat: Sam Otis Hill, Thea Hopkins, Patrick Coman, Mark Stepakoff

If a guy can be continuously praised and still be called 'under-rated', it would be Steve Earle.

Besides wasting prime years of his career on drugs, Earle takes an uncompromising path on his musical vision.

He's a little bit country, and a little bit rock 'n roll. He goes in whatever direction he feels and has written quite a few great songs along the way.

SAT 9/17

9pm
The Vivs, Count Zero, Bill Goffrier & others from Big Dipper
at Lizard Lounge/Cambridge Common, 1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge (between Harvard Sq & Porter Sq)
$10

Let's say this: I anticipate there will be quite a bit of demand for the few tickets available when the 'doors' open at 8:30pm.

SAT 9/17

The Macrotones (11:30pm), Otis Grove (10:15pm), Sixth Degree (9pm)
at Church, 69 Kilmarnock St, Boston (Fenway)
$10 / 18+

Can't wait for tomorrow's "Rumble On The River"? The kick-off party is going down in the Fens with 3 more funky, jazzy, groovy bands that won't be playing by the Charles.

SAT 9/17

9:30pm
Age Rings, Full Body Anchor, Cooling Towers, Moons
at O'Brien's, 3 Harvard St, Allston
$7 / 21+

The cool thing about these bands as a group is that they all get heavy yet they're not bloated or dopey or proggy. Some kickass rock with some sweet musicality.

SAT 9/17: Daytime Cheapness


Yes, I believe nighttime and Sunday posts are coming.

If you're in the Faneuil Hall area and you see people dressed as if they're about to run with bulls, they definitely are drinking and they might run with a bull of some sort...

Hey, Mims, I hope you're having a good weekend.

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SAT 9/17 (and SUN 9/18)

11am to 6pm
South End Open Studios
at Various Locations, many around 450 Harrison Ave, Boston (South End)
FREE

More than 250 artists are displaying their work, and ain't it a great weekend to walk around this neighborhood? The Fall weather is making an early visit, and the buildings are pretty cool.

There are different open studio events in the South End during the year, but one of this weekend's selling points is that every major studio building is open this weekend.

Although I didn't realize there were artist studios above the Mills Gallery, I like the idea of walking around the BCA's Artist Studios Building and collecting stamps to enter raffles.

I like checking stuff out and having a conversation with the creator. If there's wine and cheese, even better. Of course, feel free to buy something -- as a gift or for yourself. Some artists are giving demonstrations too.

SAT 9/17

11am to 5pm
South Boston Street Festival
at East Broadway, between I and L Streets
FREE

Feat: Ayla Brown, Gentlemen Hall, Greg Luttrell, Thomas Park, Peggy Woods School of Irish Step Dance

Unless you want to see Ayla Brown or Gentlemen Hall -- or love Irish step dancing -- I probably wouldn't go out of my way for the street festival. It's not a bad stop if you're nearby or you want to do something else in Southie like walk around Castle Island and the beach.

It's also a chance to get some South Boston flavor that's not as beer-soaked as St. Paddy's day.

SAT 9/17

Noon to 6PM
Annual Boston Freedom Rally
at Boston Common, Boston
FREE

What used to be known as HempFest is now the Boston Freedom Rally. I'm not sure if the actual festival has been instrumental in relaxing marijuana-related laws in MA, but the speakers have probably had a hand in the baby steps towards decriminalization.

There are 2 stages on opposite sides of the Common. If I was you, I might do something like this:

Parade Ground Stage

12:05pm -- Brunt of It
12:35pm -- Casey Desmond
1:05pm -- The Force
1:40pm -- Mighty Mystic
2:20pm -- Farren Butcher Inc
2:55pm -- The 360's w/ David Peel
Parkman Bandstand
3:55pm -- Rob Potylo & the Lonely Planets
4:25pm -- That Handsome Devil
Either Stage
5:15pm -- TREE or Planetoid
I went a couple years ago, and it's a really chill crowd as expected. Good vibes and times, and a fine opportunity to get a jokey marijuana t-shirt (and a contact high).

SAT 9/17

2pm
Augustana, Brett Dennen, Kingsley Flood
at Stoneham Town Common, 35 Central St, Stoneham
FREE

There is so much free daytime music today that 3 really good bands playing as part of Stoneham Town Day.

While a bit out of my normal range, I was already going to suggest it for Brett Dennen and Augustana (that "move to Boston" song). Then I saw that my buddies Kingsley Flood are opening.

Could be worth a little trip to Stoneham, and I never thought I'd say that.

SAT 9/17

3pm to 6pm
SqueezeBox Slam
at Union Sq Plaza, Somerville (nexus of Somerville Ave, Washington St, Bow St)
FREE

Feat: Michael McLaughlin, Joao Cerilo, Plamen Karadonev, Mariachi Estampa de America, Cirkestra, Roberto Cassan

Roll out the barrel for an afternoon of accordion music. Yeah… that seems like a lot, but think about how much guitar music you listen to in a day. It's a bit of a world tour from Europe to Mexico to Cape Verde back to America for a variety of styles.

Watch out for accordion flash mobs around town from noon to 3pm.

SAT 9/17

3:40pm
MixFest 2011
at Hatch Shell, Storrow Dr, Boston (Charles River Esplanade)
FREE

Tentative schedule:
3:40pm -- Javier Colon
4pm -- Michelle Branch
4:40pm -- Sara Bareilles
5:45pm -- Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
6:50pm -- Lifehouse
Usually, this is a concert at a paying venue. For a free show, it's a pretty good lineup -- at least between Michelle Branch and Grace Potter.

They recommend leaving bags and crap at home.

SAT 9/17

4pm to 8pm
Somerville Riverfest
at Assembly Square, about 180 Foley St, Somerville
FREE

If you're in Somerville around 7:50pm, look towards Assembly Square for the fireworks. There's other stuff going on, if you're in the mood for family fun where a large commercial/residential development.

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