There's more to do than see fireworks or the Pops rehearsal.
Some boat-ride discounts are also posted below.
5pm to 9pm
Erin Morgenstern, "The Night Circus": Paperback Release Party
at Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard St, Brookline (Coolidge Corner)
Feat: Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys
Whatever they did for the initial release, tonight's party looks to be quite the shindig. For this tale of Victorian-era magic and romance, the entertainment includes illusions and games and music and a Night Circus costume contest. There may even be "Night Circus" baked treats as well.
The order of events are a little hazy, but I can't imagine that the discussion with Huffington Post Books Editor Andrew Losowsky will begin exactly at 5pm. A reading and signing will follow, then things will probably get a little weirder with a performance by Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys who have some Victorian and mysterious influences.
Those who know what the book is about dress up and win prizes.
E.J. Dionne Jr, "Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent": Discussion
at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
It may not be as titillating as a literary steampunk/magic party, but it is the eve of the country's 236th birthday. Journalist E.J. Dionne examines the screwed-up political discourse and how its been affected by the entire history of the USA.
Will it be a 'fair and balanced' conversation? Not in the same way the TV news network defines it.
Bluegrass Pickin' Party
at Cantab Lounge - Downstairs, 738 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$7 suggested donation
Feat: Nu-Blu (10pm), Jubilee Mule (8pm)
This weekly pickin' party has been going on for more than a decade, so this is the place on any Tuesday that you feel like listening to live bluegrass. Maybe the patriotic celebrations can begin with the sounds of Appalachia from North Carolina's Nu-Blu and the New England-filtered version of Jubilee Mule.
They say the donation is voluntary; still it would be good karma to drop something in the hat when it comes around.
8:30pm to 10pm
Boston Pops Preview Concert
at Hatch Shell, Charles River Esplanade, Storrow Dr, Boston
Hey, this is one of two chances to see the Dropkick Murphys and Jennifer Hudson playing with the Pops...
Banditas, The Vignettes, White Pages, The Roaches
at O'Brien's, 3 Harvard St, Allston
$7 / 21+
Even without the the the two punk-rock gals from Memphis who are known to play blindfolded known as The Vignettes, there are 3 kickass Boston bands to be heard. White Pages and The Roaches will bring it loud and fast, and the most recent stuff from Banditas is more rough and reverby than their earlier indie-twang.
Mellow Bravo (11:30pm), Dirty Truckers (10:45pm), Cropduster (10pm), Murcielago (9pm)
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$8 / 18+
It's good, ol'-fashioned, beer-swilling American rock before tomorrow's cookout. There's the revivalist hard-rock glory of Mellow Bravo and Stonesy swagger of Rumble finalists Dirty Truckers that both standouts in my opinion. Cropduster brings a dash of proggy space-rock, and Portland's Murcielago drops the heavy riffage.