Thursday, April 22, 2010

THUR 4/22: Earth Day, Film, Talk, Jazz, Folk, Rock

Happy Earth Day, folks!

After last night's opening screening, the Independent Film Festival of Boston will present features, documentaries, and shorts programs at various theaters in the area through WED 4/28. It's at the Somerville Theatre tonight ($9 per). There are a couple that look good to me: "Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam" (7:30pm), and the comedy "Cyrus" (9:30pm).

The Harvard Playwrights' Festival also begins tonight (thru SUN 4/25), and it's free to see new plays.

Maybe you can still RSVP for some free gin cocktails at Grand Canal tonight or go to the April/Thursday thingie at Splash Lounge.


THUR 4/22

Noon to 3pm
Earthday 2010 Concert
Feat: They Might Be Giants (1:30pm), Citizen Cope (Noon)
at Kennnedy Greenway Park, near High St / Broad St, Boston (Waterfront/Financial District)

The River has scaled back their concert this year, but it's two good acts if you can go.

THUR 4/22

6pm to 8pm
"New American Soldier": Screening & Discussion
at Tsai Auditorium, CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge St, Cambridge (Harvard campus)

In a 24-minute documentary, filmmakers Emma Cott and Anna Belle Peevey introduce us to three US soldiers who were born in other countries. One of them came into the country "outside of legal channels." According to the material I read, about half of the 70,000 immigrants serving in the military are not citizens yet.

Even if the discussion lasts until 8pm, I doubt everything will be said about immigration and military service.

Edward Schumacher-Matos will moderate the discussion with Cott and Peevey.

THUR 4/22

6:30pm to 8pm
"Modern Islam: Engaging Questions of Faith, Fanatics, Democracy and Reform": Discussion
at Main Function Room, Suffolk University, 120 Tremont St, Boston

Moderator James Carroll, who has written about issues of faith, will try to delve into the questions regarding the state of Islam beyond the superficial attention it normally receives in the public realm. The panel includes journalist Mona Eltahawy, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser (American Islamic Forum for Democracy), and Bilal Kaleem (Muslim American Society of Boston).

I have a feeling they won't agree on every topic...

THUR 4/22

Claudia Acuna
at Cafe 939, 939 Boylston St, Boston (Back Bay)

The main recommendation goes to the beautiful voice of Claudia Acuna which sounds like magical cloud that might be able to carry you to a Shangri-La somewhere in the mountains of her Chilean homeland.

The musical accompaniment on the recordings is a bit too smooth for me, but you might like it. Tonight's show is presented by the Marsalis Berklee Jams program. In the past, the artist will perform something close to their typical gig, then Berklee students sit in during the second set. That might be a good guess of what to expect.

THUR 4/22

8pm to 10:30pm
Forest Fires, Will Dailey, Oranjuly
at Arts at The Armory Cafe, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville (Spring Hill)

I screwed up for not giving a heads-up about the Forest Fires' April residency. Although I'm more of a fan of the early, poppier stuff from his band The Everyday Visuals, Christopher Pappas creates something more mysterious and challenging with this solo project. It's still very compelling, and this guy could make anything sound incredible.

I did catch my mistake in time for tonight's show with Will Dailey who is kind-of-a-big deal and probably more so. Besides his amazing voice that rings like a soulful bell, he writes the kind of songs where you're singing along before the end of your first listen.

Oranjuly are supposedly doing a "stripped-down version" of their piano-driven powerpop.

THUR 4/22

Jenny Dee & The Deelinquents, Barrence Whitfield & The Monkeyhips, Muck & The Mires, La La Brooks
at Precinct, 70 Union Sq, Somerville (Union Sq)

Fans of soul music shouldn't wait until Friday to start the weekend. There are quite a few soul-revivalist groups around the country, and few have more joyous charm than Jenny Dee & The Deelinquents. The Downbeat 5 singer is no longer dipping her toe in the girl-group sound and has jumped into to the deep end with a killer band and back-up singers.

The raucous R&B of Barrence Whitfield & The Monkeyhips and premium garage- rock of Muck & The Mires would be enough to make this a special show, but La La Brooks of The Crystals is on the bill. You might remember some of their Phil Spector-produced '60s hits where she sang the lead: "Da Do Ron Ron" and "Then He Kissed Me". I'm guessing she might do some of the others like "He's A Rebel" and "He Hit Me (and It Felt Like A Kiss)".

If you can't make it tonight, Jenny Dee & The Deelinquents are playing next Thursday too.

THUR 4/22

RIBS, Kid Chocolate
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$10 / 18+

I was attracted to this gig by a chance to see The Mary Onettes, but the Icelandic ash cloud forced them to cancel their US tour. The two local bands seem to be soldiering on, so feel free to support the hard-synth of RIBS and the indie-pop of RISD students Kid Chocolate.

THUR 4/22 (and FRI 4/23)

Sodafrog w/ Rick Berlin (4/22) & The Rationales (4/23)
at Plough & Stars, 912 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE-ish / maybe $5 / 21+

After laboring three years on this full-length, Tom Janovitz of Sodafrog is celebrating over two nights where a band will back him along with different openers on each night. When playing solo, there's a lot of emotion that's drawn out of the well-crafted songs; it will be cool to hear fuller arrangements closer to the recording.

Rick Berlin (who'll take his songs to edge, as usual, tonight) said of Sodafrog:

Tom has the lucky gift of a great voice + the imagination to take roots/folk/americana to a place the genre has never been before.
The Rationales are going to do something acoustic tomorrow.

Go early and make sure that potential $5 goes towards an extra beer...

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