Another thought about cheap fun: There are cool conventions where sitting in the lobby would be fun people-watching. For example, the Boston Tattoo Convention is at the Boston Sheraton (Back Bay) this weekend.
SAT 9/1 (and SUN 9/2)
Annual Gloucester Schooner Festival
around Gloucester Harbor
Saturday -- 10am to 10pmThe Schooner Festival has made the list in the past, so why not list it again.
Sunday -- 10am to 5pm
Monday -- "Rain Day"
Watching the boats racing from the Eastern Point with some family is a wonderful memory I hope to keep for a long time.
Yes, some boats are racing out there, but mainly a bunch of beautiful ships out there. And lots of festival-type stuff on land like free admission to the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center.
There's a fireworks display over the harbor on Saturday around 9:15pm after the "Boat Parade of Lights" beginning at 7:30pm.
Various maritime fun occurs around the harbor including tours of the HMS Bounty ($10 / $5 children).
SAT 9/1 (to MON 9/3)
at Club Passim, 47 Palmer St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$10 per day
Saturday -- Noon to MidnightSaturday schedule:
Sunday -- 2pm to Midnight
Monday -- Noon to 10pm
1:30pm -- Sierra West, Mariana Bell, Jim Trick, M.R. PoulopoulosIt's Labor Day weekend, and you haven't gone camping all summer. (I'm not that sad about it either.)
3pm -- Noam Weinstein
3:45pm -- Grain Thief
4:30pm -- Katie McNally
5:15pm -- The Howling Kettles
6pm -- Susan Cattaneo
6:45pm -- Ryan Taylor Band
7:30pm -- Darol Anger & Emy Phelps
8:15pm -- Olivia Wants Mango, Chris O'Brien, Ed Romanoff, Rose Polenzani
9:45pm -- Judas & Mary
10:30pm -- Dietrich Strause
11:15pm -- Brothers McCann
No need to bring marshmallows or graham crackers, it's a campfire minus the fire yet exceptionally more acoustic instruments than usual. The folky/bluesy goodness goes all day long, and I assume you can return if you feel like it.
(If I had to pick one day, I'd probably go on Monday night. But it's all good.)
2pm to 6pm
Hyde Park Jazz Fest
at Martini Shell, 1015 Truman Parkway, Hyde Park (Readville)
Feat: Phil Sargent Quartet, Ron Reid & the Rhythm Earth Ensemble, Daniel Ian Smith (tribute to Billy Strayhorn)
For my friends in the Hyde Park/Roslindale area where I rarely list anything happening in this neighborhood. It's almost as easy to get on the commuter rail as any other MBTA option, but it doesn't seem worth the $6 one-way trip.
Local, bikers, and car people can enjoy some quality jazz.
The World is Square, Br1ght Pr1mate, Sam Mulligan
at Middle East - Upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$7 / All Ages
Original music built on old-school video-game components is amusing for a little while, but I might want to punch a Mario Brother if I heard 3 set back-to-back. On the other hand, I've played video games for hours.
In truth, it doesn't really sound like video-game music -- except The World is Square actually plays game soundtrack music on guitars and non-electronic instruments.
Adam Tendler, "John Cage: Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano"
at Seully Hall, 4th Fl, Boston Conservatory, 8 The Fenway, Boston (The Fens)
There was a PBS show many moons ago that featured John Cage as he placed screws and bolts and other items on the strings inside of a piano, and the subsequent sound was so unexpected. If one is going to hear avant-garde music, John Cage is my main guy.
Over an hour of strange piano music isn't everyone's cup of tea, but isn't it great that we can hear it (for free!) in out town? Tendler previously visited all 50 states to give free lecture/recitals, and now he's on the road to celebrate Cage's 100th birthday.
Abbie Barrett & The Last Date (7:30pm), Stephie Coplan & The Pedestrians (10pm)
at Toad, 1912 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Porter Sq)
I'd love hanging out at Toad if they didn't have free music every night. (Although it might be a 50-50 split between Newtowne Grill and their pizza-pitcher special.)
Whether you go for the early show or the late show, there's going to be lots of excellent folk/pop. Most of the time these days, there's a cover charge at a Stephie Coplan is in town -- so bonus for the people that get in for the cute girl taking up the Ben Folds mantle.
SAT 9/1 (and SUN 9/2)
"Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead"
at Zack Box Theatre, Downstairs, 8 The Fenway, Boston (Boston Conservatory)
FREE w/ RSVP
Sunday -- 2pmI'm not sure why this particular play has been presented twice in Boston this year, but I enjoyed the movie quite a bit.
The titular characters were two minor players in Shakespeare's "Hamlet" who do play an important part in serving the overall plot despite their short appearances. The premise of this play is "What were Rosencrantz and Guildenstern doing?"
Maybe there are tickets still available if you call 617-912-9142.
Alvarius B, Omnivore, Preggy Peggy
at Tavern at the End of the World, 108 Cambridge St, Charlestown (near Sullivan Sq)
From what I've read, most of the advance tickets are already sold. In case there are some Sun City Girls fans that haven't heard about this gig, you might still have a chance to experience Al's new thing in a small pub with good beer and food. More weird music precedes the main event.
(I don't mean to be a jerk, but you'd probably hear everything fine in the front room of the pub.)
Birds & Batteries, Eksi Ekso, DJ Leah V
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$10 / 21+
I'm willing to admit that I missed something when I first listened to Eksi Ekso and thought they sounded like modern progressive-rock. While they're still not something I'd listen to on repeat, a bunch of blogs that I respect made me give them a second listen.
If DJ Leah V wasn't on the bill, I may not have even really thought about how Eksi Ekso and the synth-heavy pop of SF's Birds & Batteries could be dance-worthy. There may be a slow sway, but don't listen to me because I'm not sure how people dance to dubstep.