Thursday, May 21, 2009

THUR 5/21: Doc, Shorts, Lit Battle, Latin Soul-Funk, Americana, Poetry

Jen Kearney
I noticed something about getting stuck. It's almost never someplace comfortable. Whether it's the T, an elevator, or mine shaft -- you simply won't feel cozy and contented.

I started to think I was suffering from claustrophobia while sweating through my shirt on the Red Line this morning, but I was already hot and suffocating before the power went out. It's quite natural to feel crappy when stuck in a tunnel... Yeah, that's it... (Deep breath!)


THUR 5/21

"Ask Not"
at Rabb Lecture Hall, Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St, Boston (Copley Sq)

If you don't catch "Independent Lens" or want to hear/join a discussion on the topic, Hostelling International and Boston Cares regularly host screenings. In my second gay-related item in two days, the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy is examined in light of the country's desperate need to send soldiers around the globe.

(I hope the policy doesn't really include the puerile slogan: "Don't ask, don't tell.")

THUR 5/21

7pm to 9:30pm
"Exposed and Composed": MassArt Senior Thesis Show
at Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St, Brookline

If you graduated from MassArt's Film/Video program, you might get a film at the Coolidge Corner rather quickly in your career. About 24 shorts will be screened with a collective running time of about 2 hours will be split in half by a 10-minute intermission.

My favorite titles: "The Signs In The Snow", "Serena And The Ratts", "300 Answers", "Liz Fang Bites", and "Club Pervert"

THUR 5/21

Literary Death Match
at Paradise Lounge, 969 Comm Ave, Boston (near BU)

The Fox reality program, "When Writers Attack!" has morphed into an underground network of fight clubs for authors of all genres and media.

Two is the key number to remember in this viciously esoteric sport. Two writers battle head-to-head by reading up to 8 (or 2 x 2 x 2) minutes of their most potent material. This happens twice with a second pair, and the winners of the 2 prelims meet in a mysterious final round.

They say a "Yo' Mama" joke smack-down decided the victor in San Fran -- in honor of Mother's Day. Recently in NYC, finalists played a "chopsticks & foam ball" game akin to baseball or cricket.

For the Boston premiere, the contestants will be Steve Almond, Jeannie Greeley, William Giraldi, Jane Roper. The judges will be: Tom Perrotta, Eve Bridburg, Christopher Monks.

Proceeds benefit Opium Magazine. (I think.)

Just kidding about the reality show...

THUR 5/21

Jen Kearney & The Lost Onion, Los Sugar Kings, Adam Payne
at Harpers Ferry, 158 Brighton Ave, Allston
$7 / 18+

There's a pleasant ring to "Jen Kearney & The Lost Onion" and the way to rolls off the tongue. It's not unlike their solid soul/funk with Latin accents. They're releasing a 3rd CD in 4 years, so you can't call them lazy. I've noticed that they've even played a bunch a free gigs at places like Toad. It's a big, full-on party tonight. I haven't paid too much attention to Los Sugar Kings, but I intend to from now on. This multi-Latin band jumps out of the speakers in a way that tells you the live show is hot. (I wanted to write "caliente!" but I controlled myself.) Adam Payne is going to open with a solo set, probably on acoustic guitar. The more I listened, the more I got into his scene -- there's a lot of talent and mojo in this guy.

THUR 5/21

Hoots & Hellmouth, Ben Carroll
at Johnny D's, 17 Holland St, Somerville (Davis Sq)

What can I say? Hoots & Hellmouth sounds really good! These guys might be classified as rootsy rock because of the preponderance of acoustic guitars, but it sounds like good ol' rock to me. It's easy to not even notice the acoustic emphasis when only listening. These Philly guys might even be more "electric" in concert.

Ben Carroll will opening the evening nicely with a soulful singer-songwriter vibe that seems quite skillful. Maybe it has something to do that his parents were in the Starland Vocal Band that sang "Afternoon Delight". Musical trivia: Ben was conceived in the afternoon!

THUR 5/21

Brian S. Ellis, Nicole Terez, Steve Subrizi, New Black Magic Rainbow Quartet
at Plough & Stars, 912 Mass. Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)

Going to the Plough tonight may require a bit more listening than usual since most of the performers will be speaking -- and they don't really want to hear from you.

(It was a different situation at some kind of an Irish celebration night, but I saw a guy get dozens of death stares for ordering a drink at the far end of the bar during a poem.)

Besides a trio of poets/spoken-word artists, Apollo Sunshine's Jesse Gallagher lead the New Black Magic Rainbow Quartet (Keys, Violin, Trumpet, Standup Bass) and will likely keep things feeling jazzy and hep... You might think this is a good time to top yourself off with a black beret, but please don't.

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