Thursday, July 30, 2009

THUR 7/30: Shakespeare, Latin, Booze, Roots, Rock

Grinding Tapes Showcase, at Club Passim
Asheville, NC is well-represented tonight. Elijah Wyman is at Club Passim, and Mad Tea Party is up Mass Ave at Lizrd Lounge. Funny, huh? No...? Okay, maybe funny wasn't the right word. Each band is playing showcases hosted by independent music labels too...

I'll list the outdoor evening events, since the rain should pass today.


THUR 7/30 (thru THUR 8/6)

"The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (abridged)"
at Christian Herter Park, 1175A Soldiers Field Road, Brighton (near Charles River, across from WBZ)

The Orfeo Group presents three guys doing a wacky mashup of all 37 Shakespeare plays in slightly more than 90 minutes. This is a good warm-up to Shakespeare on the Common that starts tomorrow.

It's happening where the Publick Theatre has performed Shakespeare on a yearly basis, but they're "on hiatus." Besides the Bard being twisted for free, there are grills at the park for anyone to use before the show.

You can pay $15 or go for free on Thursdays. If you have valid student ID, you can get in for free on Fridays too.

THUR 7/30

Victor Mendoza
at O'Day Park, 85 W Newton St, Boston (South End)

Maybe it'll be a good night to hang out and listen to Latin jazz led by vibraphonist (and Berklee faculty) Victor Mendoza.

This is the last concert in the Tito Puente Latin Music Series.

THUR 7/30

"Cachaca Tasting & Education"
at Grand, 374 Somerville Ave, Somerville (Union Sq)

When I last checked, it seemed there was space in this cachaca session. Besides learning more than you'll ever this Brazilian, sugarcane spirit, you taste a few different versions (like Leblon's) and hopefully learn how to make an expert caipirinha.

THUR 7/30

Elijah Wyman, Mr. Sister, The Points North
at Club Passim, 47 Palmer St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)

Someone wrote me once and complained that I didn't cover events at Club Passim. Well, that's because they rarely have shows for $10 or under -- and their "open mic" night just isn't as earth-shattering when I'm pretty sure Tracy Chapman isn't going to show up.

In association with Grinding Tapes, three talented acts are performing at the historic folk club where every great folk musician of the last 50 years has appeared from Bob Dylan and Joan Baez through the present.

If every element of Mr. Sister were a solar system, the instruments and songs would be planets revolving around the burning, radiant voice of Amelia Emmet. When she starts singing with that old-timey bend like a jazz trumpet, you can't help but pay attention which is rewarded by the potent satellites of songs and music.

There's timeless quality to the delicate instrumentation and male-female vocal of The Points North. It'll be disappointing if Elijah Wyman doesn't play his autoharp; it's so rare to see a singer-songwriter get their big, wide on...

THUR 7/30

Mad Tea Party, Arty Hill, Preacher Jack
at Lizard Lounge/Cambridge Common, 1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge (between Harvard Sq & Porter Sq)
$10 / 21+

My favorite little basement club is getting honky-tonky tonight. Nine Mile Records (with Cow Island Music) have put together another night of their "Twisted Roots" series, and it's going to be hopping.

It's a charming sight to see the Mad Tea Party churn out their quirky, good-timey, rock 'n rolly duo banging away on guitar and ukulele that's imbued with a fun, clever Southern slant. Arty Hill hails back to clean, crisp country-western sound; ol' Hank Williams is probably rabble-rousing in the ether and listening approvingly to Arty and company.

We're lucky to have Preacher Jack still testifying the old-school, gospel-fueled rockabilly/boogie-woogie like he's been doing since the 50's. He's definitely a special guy with his long hair and white beard, and I think he's fascinating to listen to.

THUR 7/30

Clues, Arletta, Mikey French Fries
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$10 / 18+

I don't know why this gig didn't jump out at me, but this is definitely the hip music choice of the night. Clues is part of Montreal's indie scene with one guy from Unicorns and one of the early members of Arcade Fire. Sounds pretty darn good from the little I've heard.

There's musical goodness all the way through thanks to Arletta and Mikey French Fries.

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