Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday to Wednesday Calendar

It's mainly a variety of talks, films and music in the upcoming days. I hope to elaborate tonight/tomorrow morning...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

SUN 11/25: Sunday Night Off-Topic Video

If you haven't heard, Canada is done with pennies. Maybe the US can look into it after the 'fiscal cliff' is avoided.

SUN 11/25: JFK, Skating, Music

Okay, getting back into the swing of things. Monday and Tuesday cheapness on the calendar.


SUN 11/25

9:30am to 4pm
49th Anniversary of 1963 National Day of Mourning
at JFK National Historic Site, 83 Beals St, Brookline (near Coolidge Corner)

Every year around Thanksgiving, we remember that President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963.

Even though the Kennedys didn't live their anymore, many Brookline residents gathered at JFK's home at his birth after his death.

Since the house is a national historic site, it is open to the public most of the time. It's free today, and there will be a 'brief memorial ceremony' outside at 2:30pm.

SUN 11/25

1pm to 3pm
Winter Kick-Off Celebration
at Frog Pond, Boston Common, Boston
$5 (+ $9 skate rental) / FREE under 14 (+ $5 skate rental)

The kick-off celebration today does not include a professional skating demonstration (like on 11/29). The rink isn't exactly free, but they will be offering free 15-minute lessons (limited space) for those who are rusty. You might win a raffle prize like season passes.

SUN 11/25

Roy Sludge
at Radio, 379 Somerville Ave, Somerville (Union Sq)

On most Sunday afternoons, Roy Sludge and his buddies dish out foot-stomping country music with loads of wit (their CD's title track is "Too Drunk To Truck").

Now there's open mic comedy from 7:30pm to 9:30pm downstairs.

SUN 11/25

8pm to 11pm
Kevin So, Rebecca Correia, Eric Schwartz, Tom Bianchi
at The Burren, 247 Elm St, Somerville (Davis Sq)
Donations appreciated

Former Boston singer-songwriter Kevin So has moved to Nashville, so it's been described as a homecoming show. Along with a general air of bonhomie, there will be a figurative barrel full of good tunes as well.

This is basically the scene in the Burren's back room every Sunday.

SUN 11/25

at Toad, 1912 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Porter Sq)

Lowman stands front and center with his big stand-up bass and whips out some clever, low-key indie pop. He might be playing a standard bass guitar tonight, because who wants haul an instrument that is wider than the tiny trail between the bar and tables.

SUN 11/25

"The Bubbler" Viewing Party w/ Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling
at Radio, 379 Somerville Ave, Somerville (Union Sq)

Did you see the premiere of "The Bubbler" last week? It's pretty damn good! It's hard to believe there is a totally pro TV show (on TV38) about the Boston music scene.

Host Ryan Spaulding of Ryan's Smashing Life has a great voice for the narrations and a natural interviewing style. It's a great reason to change the channel after football and before sleepytime.

Or you can hang out with other music-lovers and musicians at Radio while waiting for the program. Since they're one of tonight's featured artists, Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling is going to play a few acoustic songs.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

SAT 11/24: Holidays, Rally, Tubas, Rock, Opera

Okay, so we may be off and running again...


SAT 11/24

Noon to 7pm
City of Lights Parade & Holiday Celebration
around Downtown Lowell (PDF map)
Mostly Free/Cheap

It's not quite the winter wonderland of Lowell's Winterfest, and it's not quite a beautiful winter's day to stroll around the historic downtown district shopping and watching street performances and sampling hot chocolate at various shops (25 cents a pop).

It's still happening, so you can still go. There's a parade from 4:30pm to 6:30pm.

SAT 11/24

End The Fed/End the Wars Rally
meet at Parkman Bandstand, about 165 Tremont St, Boston (Boston Common / Tremont St Side)

Wow! A whole rally could be devoted to ending the war in Afghanistan or ending the Federal Reserve, but it's double-shot of activism where people will hear speakers and music in the Common then march to the Federal Reserve building near South Station.

Remember, you don't have to already agree with whatever is being said. Won't it be interesting to hear about the alternatives to the current financial system?

SAT 11/24

Annual Tuba Christmas Concert
between Faneuil Hall & Quincy Market, 1 Faneuil Hall Market Pl, Boston

My assumption that a hundred tubas/euphoniums/sousaphones playing holiday music would be amusing and absurd. It's actually just as musical and pleasing as any holiday concert.

There is still a holly-jolly vibe, but the lower timbre rounded the edges on some of the songs.

It's not as silly as I had hoped, but that is a lot of tubas in one place.

This might actually be a reason to purposefully walk through Faneuil Hall. On your way back from wherever you're going, you can see the trees light up at night.

SAT 11/24

8pm to Midnight
Cask Mouse, Coyote Kolb, Tallahassee
at New Alliance Audio/EMF Building, 110 Brookline St, Cambridge (near Central Sq)

It looks like anyone can go tonight. It's a pretty cool scene in the EMF building where you find the New Alliance recording studio and a bunch of band rehearsal spaces (that probably won't be open).

With three really good Americana/jam-blues/folk-rock bands, it's should be a good time. And it's "sponsored by Drambuie and Narragansett"...

SAT 11/24

8pm to 10pm
Opera on Tap: "Opera's Most Dysfunctional Relationships"
at Jacob Wirth, 37 Stuart St, Boston (Theater District)

Some may prefer the Friday Night Sing-alongs where everyone can sing in drunken harmony. I'd rather hear people who sing well, and one rarely gets a live opera soundtrack while hanging at a bar. Every now and then, Opera on Tap visits Jacob Wirth.

Who knows what the program could be when it seems like most operatic stories include dysfunctional relationships. Expect anything -- that sounds like the women should be wearing Viking helmets.

SAT 11/24

Midriff Records Residency Night X: Home for Little Wanders Benefit
at Radio, 379 Somerville Ave, Somerville (Union Sq)

Feat: Soccer Mom, Eldridge Rodriguez, Ex-Planets, Relations

This is the sound of fuzzy, garagey indie-rockers doing a good deed for orphans. Or you can just go and hear a bunch of good tunes.

SAT 11/24

Dead Cats Dead Rats, In the Meantime, The Down and Outs, Transit Gloria
at Middle East - Upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$8 / 18+

It's not a Saturday night in Boston without a good punk rock show, right? Well, at least it's true tonight.

SAT 11/24

The Birds of Play, Josh Lederman
at Sally O'Brien's, 335 Somerville Ave, Somerville (Union Sq)

There is good, free singer-songwriter folk-rock in Union Square.

SAT 11/24

Glenn Yoder & the Western States
at Toad, 1912 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Porter Sq)

There is good, free singer-songwriter folk-rock in Porter Square.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday & Saturday Calendar

So let's see if this could be a new beginning. I'm going to update the calendar a bit more and hopefully get the weekend fun up before tomorrow.

Although it's Buy Nothing Day, I doubt that includes laughing/rocking/having a couple beers...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

SUN 11/18: Sunday Night Off-Topic Video

I saw this one a while back, but it seems appropriate after the election...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

SAT 11/17: Day Cheapness

Okay, there is cheapness for Saturday and Sunday on the calendar. Stay tuned for further updates...


SAT 11/17 (and SUN 11/18)

9am to 5pm
TEDxBeaconStreet 2012
at Lincoln School, 19 Kennard Rd, Brookline (near Brookline Hills/Reservoir)
FREE w/ Registration

An offshoot of TED's sharing of knowledge and ideas from various speakers is the TEDx program where communities are encouraged to hold their own sessions. Thank goodness that the Net has more than porn and lolzcats!

There are sessions from a variety of speakers with an emphasis on youthful contributors as you might expect from a school location. If you see an appealing set of speakers, it looks like registration is still open.

SAT 11/17

10am to 4pm
Lynn Open Studios
at/around Lynn Museum & Historical Society, 590 Washington St, Lynn

My theory is that great art can be found where the rent is cheap. Let's not paint Lynn with the broad brush, but few really WANT to live in Lynn -- but perhaps many people do. This is a great chance to discover the unseen coolness of Lynn (instead of just racing there for another drink before last call).

One could put their faith in LynnHappens and start at the Lynn Museum, and most of the other locations are nearby. I'd walk through the Pinkham Building studios for a bit before checking out some of the group-exhibition spaces.

SAT 11/17 (and SUN 11/18)

Noon to 6pm
Annual Open Studios
at Brickbottom Studios, 1 Fitchburg St, Somerville (near Twin City Plaza)
at Joy Street Studios, 86 Joy St, Somerville (near Union Sq)

About 50 to 60 artists in each of the studios will open their doors to show you their stuff. Expect to see a wide variety of styles and media. My theory is that the art is more creative when the studio location is grimy and unpleasant.

The 2 buildings are only a couple blocks away. It might be easier to approach from Union Square, but there are (easy-to-miss) stairs if you take the train to Lechmere and walk over the bridge.

SAT 11/17

5:30pm to 10pm
"Blink!" Launch
at Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market, 1 Faneuil Hall Market Pl, Boston

Rarely do I encourage people to specifically see something happening at Faneuil Hall. This is not one of of those rare occasions.

While I can understand making holiday plans in advance, it's too early to begin the conspicuous consumerism in my book. Some of you may be ready to see the Xmas tree lighting, and I'm pretty sure I've seen the surrounding trees do a little light show in previous years.

(Hey, now it's energy-efficient LED lights! Celebrating the season has never been so impactful since the druids and wiccans, et cetera danced around the living trees.)

There is entertainment all day long such as live classical and pop music. Jerod Mayo is going to show up at some point -- probably at the 5:30pm official kickoff program.

SAT 11/17

7pm, 9pm
"Pretty Sweet": Screenings
at Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, 85 W Newton St, Boston (South End)

Put your baseball hat on backwards, pull your shorts halfway down, and RSVP to see the Boston premiere of some gnarly skateboarding videos.

Actually "Pretty Sweet" has taken 3 years to compile, so it better be really good. A photography exhibit from the making of it will be on display.

The cool part is that skate pro Kenny Anderson and Girl/Chocolate photographer Ben Colen will be on hand for the fun.

If you send an RSVP email, tell them which screening you'd like to attend.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Calendar

I'd like to briefly explain the lackluster delivery at CTB lately. I recently started a new job that has been stimulating and challenging.

It's great except that I'm thinking and typing and analyzing and learning at an intensity that sometimes leaves me a little less energized to research and listen and think and type when I get home (or in some day breaks).

I do love sharing fun ideas, and I believe I can get back to a good pace here. (Some folks have even offered to collaborate, and I'll get back to you soon).

Who knows... I might have a kick-ass night of CTB writing ahead of me... There's some good stuff this weekend that I already should've told you about.

Until then TGIF!


I think anyone who has seen "Sherman's March" will be interested in anything documentarian Ross McElwee does. He'll introduce his 2011 film at the Harvard Film Archive ($9)...

BU Stage Troupe's "Mr. Marmalade" sounds like a children's story that has gone terribly wrong and not even suitable for children. That's why I'm intrigued ($6)...

Of course, there's a lot of great rock around town. The number one choice for The Sheila Divine fans would be the Dear Leader show ($10) at TT's... Velah/The Field Effect/The Rationales/Freddy Hall ($8) at Radio should be a sweet show... And the annual International Pop Overthrow ($10 at Precinct) always has a soft spot in my heart...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

SUN 11/11: Sunday Night Off-Topic Video

Watch Louis CK as Lincoln and wonder if Daniel Day Lewis was the right choice for Spieberg's movie...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Weekend Calendar

Argh, I didn't post anything before heading out on my own fun. Enjoy something!

Friday, November 09, 2012

11/9: Top 5 for Friday

There is cheapness on the calendar for Friday and Saturday.

Below are my Top 5 Friday picks (in chronological order).

PS: If you're going to the Ski & Snowboard Expo this weekend, don't pay full full price. I've seen $2 discount codes that might work: GLOBE or TP.


FRI 11/9

5pm to 8pm
Second Fridays
at MIT Museum, 265 Mass Ave, Cambridge (near Central Sq)

The main reason I recommend the MIT Museum is the Arthur Ganson exhibit, and the genius himself will be there tonight.

FRI 11/9

The Gas: Beantown & Brown
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$10 / 18+

The Gas is more than usual tonight, but it'll still feel like a bargain if you drink enough PBR... A bunch of ethnically Indian/South-Asian comedians will make you laugh, and at least some won't rely on 'stereotype' material.

FRI 11/9

Mount Peru, Arc & Stones
at Johnny D’s, 17 Holland St, Somerville (Davis Sq)
$10 / 21+

I've got a soft spot for loosey-goosey indie-pop of Mount Peru, and Brooklyn's Arc & Stones sound good too.

FRI 11/9

Audrey Ryan, Cuddle Magic, The Daredevil Christopher Wright, Railbird
at Radio, 379 Somerville Ave, Somerville (Union Sq)

Audrey Ryan is my favorite one-person looping band on this side of Mississippi. There's a lot cool and quirky music going on all night.

FRI 11/9

Naked on Roller Skates (Midnight), Muy Cansado (11pm), Sarah Rabdau & the Self-Employed Assassins (10pm), Old Jack (9pm)
at Middle East - Upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10 / 18+

As far as awesome rock goes, there are 4 excellent flavors of the local scene on the same bill. Muy Cansado and Naked on Roller Skates both have new music to share, so get ready to leave the club with a CD (maybe a download code)...

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

11/6: Election Night in Brief

I hope everyone who can vote does so. (And I hope they vote the same way I do.) You can find your polling place, in case it has moved or you've forgotten.

For those who like contests of the non-Presidential variety, there's the weekly game night at Good Life...

The program at the Brattle tonight consists of 4 short films about the female body that might educate conservative men who think they understand women...

There are free drinks to be had tonight: vodka at Cafeteria (Back Bay) and Fernet-Branca at Royale. Since the RSVP's were still open when I last checked, I assume it's better to arrive early to get in...

For those who just want to hear some tunes, I've listed punk or funk or rootsy rock...

Sunday, November 04, 2012

SUN 11/4: Sunday Night Off-Topic Video

I would normally find something political for the pre-election Sunday, but I saw a heartbreaking video of filmmakers spending their $500 pay for a Hurricane Sandy video to buy clothes for Sandy victims.

You don't need me to tell you that a $10 donation can be made by texting 'Red Cross' to 90999 -- or there's the Red Cross website.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Friday & Saturday Calendar

Cross your fingers for more detail tonight, but if I were to have a Friday 'cheap thrill' these are my highlights:

An arty-dance thing at the BCA’s Mills Gallery...

Some classical music from Berklee's Symphony Orchestra...

Since I rarely post anything in Waltham, I saw there's rockabilly at the Mad Raven...

Cool person Meghan Chiampa is celebrating her birthday with cool bands at Sally O'Brien's...

I love legendary guitarist JJ Rassler, and I love Toad – and they’re together again tonight.