Saturday and Sunday cheapness is on the calendar, so stay tuned...
The Fisherman's Feast is probably the largest North End feast every year. If you don't feel like seeing them dangle a little girl on a wire (Sunday), there is plenty of Italian-style diversion in the street.
"Free Fun Fridays"
at Institute of Contemporary Art (Seaport)
at Garden in the Woods, Framingham
at Concord Museum, Concord
at New Bedford Whaling Museum
at Edward Gorey House, Yarmouth Port
There are 3 "Free Fun Fridays" left this year, and it's not a bad way to spend some of your time wherever you might be in the Commonwealth.
The destinations may be geared towards providing easy access to semi-educational fun for kids on vacation, however free is free. Carpe diem -- if you don't have plans during the diem.
For instance, the ICA has a cool exhibit with glass and mirrors as well as work from Brazilian street-art brothers who freaked people out in Dewey Square.
Other free culture can be found near Route 128 and beyond. I recommend visiting the New Bedford Whaling Museum at least once.
As for next week, look at the bottom of the page to increase your chances at a free Boston Harbor Islands ferry ride.
FRI 8/17 (to SUN 8/19)
Jean Renoir’s "Grand Illusion": 75th Anniversary Restoration
at Harvard Film Archive, 24 Quincy St, Cambridge (Harvard campus)
$9 / $7 Non-Harvard students, senior citizens
One usually falters when trying to convince someone about the greatness of a movie, but this is one of the masterpieces. Besides being the foundation of every prisoner-of-war movie of the last 75 years, there's a story that examines class issues and nationalism. It wouldn't happen in modern war, but analogies still apply today in other ways.
As I read about movie projectionists in the Phoenix recently, the HFA is one of the best rooms in ton to see a pristine, restored version.
(Yes, it's a French black & white film with subtitles.)
FRI 8/17 (to SUN 8/19)
Annual Dog Day Poetry Marathon
at Outpost 186, 186 1/2 Hampshire St, Cambridge (Inman Sq)
Friday -- 7pm to 10pmThe verse will be flowing more rapidly than expected. It may not be swift enough for some even though it's less then 10 minutes per poet.
Saturday -- 1pm to 5pm & 7pm to 10pm
Sunday -- 1pm to 4pm
Whether you can listen for hours or just hang in there for a couple poets as you head to another Inman Square destination, poetry fully blooms when it's spoken and others ears receive it.
FRI 8/17 (to SUN 8/19)
at City Hall Plaza, Boston (Govt Center)
Friday -- Noon-10 pmWhile it's great to celebrate and encourage sustainability with presentations, exhibits, and live entertainment, I haven't been overwhelmed by the overall experience from what I've seen in previous years. (I recall seeing a Porsche that had been converted to get ridiculously good gas mileage.)
Saturday --11 am-10 pm
Sunday -- 10 am - 5 pm
Take a look at the schedule or swing through (earlier the better) and tell me what I'm missing. Anything to encourage responsible living is a good idea.
7pm to 11pm
"Around The Way: The Beautiful Struggle": Rapper/Musician/Hip-Hop Showcase
at Lincoln Arts Project, 289 Moody St, Waltham
So I missed the first reception last week, but it looks like an interesting exhibit -- the gallery space looks much cooler than you'd expect for Waltham. There should be more than rapper Key Fiya performing (I didn't find their names), but his strong material bodes well.
You may also have a free beer or two in your future.
Movies by Moonlight: "Planes, Trains & Automobiles"
outside Boston Harbor Hotel, 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston (Waterfront)
When you have a choice between "Puss In Boots" at the Hatch Shell a classic comedy featuring Steve Martin, John Candy, and a bunch of hilarious lines; it's easy to decide where I'd probably park myself for a free movie.
There is space to sit and see the screen along the BHH's waterfront even if you're not dining/drinking.
8pm to Midnight
Swing Dance & Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest
at Boston Swing Central, The Crosby Whistle Stop, 24 Roland St, Charlestown (near Sulliban Sq)
$10 / $8 students & seniors with valid ID
8pm to 9pm -- Lesson (included with admission)Believe it or not, there's a dance club hidden behind nondescript buildings in the nether region between Charlestown and Somerville. (Otherwise known as a block away from Sullivan Square near Tavern at the End of the World.)
9pm -- Dancing
It's like a room-sized time machine to the '40s that takes a weekly journey where you can bop along with your honey or find partners there. I think they're serious about having fun with the watermelon seed spitting contest.
Paul Collins Beat, Muck & the Mires, Electric Mess, Fat Creeps
at Precinct, 70 Union Sq, Somerville (Union Sq)
For lovers of power-pop, garage-rock and the area between the two; it doesn't get much better than this gig.
There's the Paul Collins Beat who were part of the LA scene in '70s/'80s. (If that means anything to you, Paul Collins was originally in The Nerves with Peter Case.)
It's not much of an exaggeration to say Muck & The Mires are the best garage-rock band in the country. Little Steven had a national competition a few years back, and they won. They truly kick ass in what sounds like a Merseybeat band that love The Ramones.
The Electric Mess and Fat Creeps make it a night of wall-to-wall garage-rock goodness.
Tallahassee (Midnight), The Last Good Tooth (11pm), The Nickel & Dime Band (10pm), Tom Thumb (9pm)
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$12 / 18+
I'm going to list this show, because the advance tickets were $10 -- and didn't you want to see Bart Simpson kissing Garfield?
If you even remotely like rootsy rock, do yourself a favor and listen to Tallahassee's album "Jealous Hands"; it's the kind of recording that soothes your soul from beginning to end. The frontman did play professional football for a while, but it's much better for his health to write and sing as well as he does.
While The Last Good Tooth and Tom Thumb also lean towards the folky/acoustic, The Nickel & Dime Band brings a set of funky rock to the party.
Whatever funds they make tonight and at tomorrow's Talla-Galla Carnival in JP ($15) will go towards their expenses for a new recording. It's a chance to hear beautiful music with the promise of more to come.
FRI 8/17 (and SAT 8/18)
at The Beehive, 541 Tremont St, Boston (South End)
Although I sometimes whinge about the Beehive's slightly expensive drinks, it is A) in the South End and B) they give Bostonians a chance to hear Fredericks Brown for free.
One day you might have to pay bucks to see them at a large theater and will kick yourself for not grooving to their funky-soulful goodness all these times. It's not just about the vocals of Deva Mahal who happens to be the daughter of great bluesman Taj Mahal, but I'd listen to her sing anything.
FRI 8/17 (and SAT 8/18)
at ImprovBoston, 40 Prospect St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
One Friday or Saturday night in Central Square, you may impress those in your company by suggesting the free half-hour comedy show. It could be stand-ups or improv or a combination of the two.
Get a change of atmosphere where they also serve beer and wine. There is plenty of time to go somewhere else before last call...