Saturday, May 23, 2009

SAT 5/23: Tech Party, Polka Party, Rock & Folk Parties

Yep, I didn't drink tequila or box of wine last night. I hope you're having more fun than me...


SAT 5/23

8pm to Midnight
Information Superhighway Six: "The Tim And Diana Show Edition"
at Berkman Squared, 50 Church St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)

Harvard's Berkman Center hosts a monthly party just to prove local techies can hang our IRL and have a good time. OMG. Anyone can go, but they suggest it might be for "hackers, activists, artists, designers, nonprofits, startups, academics and general geekery."

As they say:

*No agenda, no "networking," no presentations. Just beverages, food, ideas and cool people.
Some people might run into: Joshua Gay (CK-12), Susan MacPhee (Design 4 Drupal Camp Boston), David Nunez & Emily Daniels (Dorkbot Boston), Sam Houston (GamerDNA), Alexa Scordato (Growing Up Digital)

Video bloggers Tim and Diana will also be there, and they'll have some free DVD's of all their shows. I tried to watch a couple 'episodes', but I couldn't get more than 2 minutes into any of them. It might be interesting to talk to them just to ask what the deal is with the vlog. (Are they trying to prove that the web is like public-access cable?)

Did I mention free drinks?

SAT 5/23

8pm to Midnight
Saint Stanislaus Polka Party
Feat: Al Janik's Plastyczny Ser Orkestra
at the Polish American Club, 747 Cambridge Street, Cambridge (East Cambridge)

You're not missing something. There is no secret code. Roll out at the friggin' barrel -- Al Janik and the Plastic Cheese Band really plays polka with a love for polka and with a sense of humor (you'll hear some crazy, funny songs). It's likely to recognize the band from many other bands. The polish food is free (umm -- besides the cover charge), and the beers have to be cheap.

This salute to Poland's patron saint (and beer and kielbasa) used to be an annual tradition at the Abbey Lounge. Honestly, I've been afraid to go into the Polish American Club; it looks foreboding -- and I didn't want to find out that I was not allowed in there... I know I can't be the only one! Go in for the polka party, stay for inhospitable drunks!

SAT 5/23

The Rex Complex, The Wheels, Railbird
at Lizard Lounge/Cambridge Common, 1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge (between Harvard Sq & Porter Sq)
$10 / 21+

The Rex Complex seemed to start out as an Irish/folk band, and now it still has some rootsy element. The roots have also spread around the world get skewed with with shards of Tom Waits and Beck. See a little taste below from YouTube.

Jabe Beyer of The wheels is making the most of his trip back to Boston from Nashville doing all sorts of gigs and he already had a little country in his folk before left town. You'll also hear a bit of bluesy folk-rock from Upstate NY's Railbird. I read a review that sounds like they give an intriguing performance with the instrument changes.

SAT 5/23

Lake Champagne, The Diamond Mines, The IOA, Lindsey Starr & The Chemical Smiles
at O'Brien's, 3 Harvard St, Allston
$8 / 21+

This should be a fun show. Lake Champagne is having an EP release. The Diamond Mines recently released a 5-song CD. Bands are putting out their music in short bursts -- hey, who really listens to 12 songs a row anymore? Give me the good stuff!

The Diamond Mines don't really have anything but the good stuff. They're a must-hear for anyone with a pulse, some brain cells, and one functional ear. Lake Champagne seem to have a whole songbook of smart, poppy, piano-centric rock. The IOA don't do much for me, but there's something likable in shambles. The acoustic set by Lindsey Starr and (one of) The Chemical Smiles is promising based on the one song available.

SAT 5/23

The Doug MacDonald Band
at Tavern at the End of the World, 108 Cambridge St, Charlestown (near Sullivan Sq)

He's been the leader of surfy-punks Tidal Wave. When I met him, he was blowing people away with only his acoustic guitar. I like Doug MacDonald and his music, and he has a passion that's clear to everyone in the audience. The current band is a folk/rock direction that'll be good drinking music.

I also like Tavern at the End of the World. It's feels like it's close to nothing, but it's a short walk from Sullivan Sq. The food is good, and they have a good beer selection. When I was there on a recent Saturday night the music seemed to start around 10pm, and no one was collecting a cover charge.

SAT 5/23 to MON 5/25

11am to 10pm
Street Performer Festival
at Faneuil Hall, 1 Faneuil Hall Market Pl, Boston

Walk through Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market, if you have visitors in town. I enjoyed stopping for a few minutes when I used to walk around at lunch. That's all I can say.

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