Saturday, July 31, 2010

SAT 7/31: Weirdness, Latin, Art, Rock


I didn't find out what the cover is, but there are some seriously awesome, old-school Boston punk (Unnatural Axe, The Dogmatics, The FU’s) is going on at The Beachcomber (Quincy) tonight around 10pm.

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SAT 7/31

7pm
"Weird Exorcism: In The Temple of Love the Demons Dance"
at The Temple (above City Feed), 670 Centre St, Jamaica Plain
$10

Something strange is going to happen here tonight. Maybe not as strange as the promo video, but who knows... It's described as:

A night of all-out sound. Loud. Dirty. Video. Art. Dancing. Libations. Seance.
I've seen listings for a few shows in this space that is a combination of recording studio, art gallery, and performance venue. It looks like all sorts of creativity will be on display.

MC: Heywood Wakefield

Music: Rick Berlin, The Dead Marxist Trio, David Dancer, Tree Frog Avengers, Procedure Club, Kid Romance

Art: Nathaniel Dean Mondragon

Videos will be projected and Johnny Blazes will perform as well.

Some places say "$8 with flyer"? Is this it? I don't know.

SAT 7/31

7pm to 9pm
Caliente! Latin Festival
at City Hall Plaza, Boston (Govt Center)
FREE

Feat: Jerry Rivera, Eguie Castrillo y su Orquesta

The Tito Puente Latin Music Series usually does concerts in parks has thrown it's sombrero in with the city's annual Caliente festival. The advantage of City Hall Plaza is the (sorta) flat, (hopefully) solid dance area.

Of what I've heard Eugie Castrillo comes closest to the classic Latin timbale-madness of Tito Puente. The headliner will be salsa star Jerry Rivera who has the looks (and talent) to explain whatever popularity he has in the Latin pop world.

SAT 7/31

8pm
"Strange World": Art Show
at Hourglass Tattoo Studio, 1680A Mass Ave, Cambridge (between Harvard Sq & Porter Sq)
FREE / 21+

If you didn't see earlier, I'm not sure if you can still RSVP for the "PBR reception" from 8pm to 9pm, but you could still go for the art, which should make you think, "Hmm, it is a strange world."

Maybe go across the street for music afterwards?

SAT 7/31

The Longwalls (Midnight), The Grownup Noise (11pm), Bridges and Powerlines (10pm), The Queen Killing Kings (9pm)
at Lizard Lounge/Cambridge Common, 1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge (between Harvard Sq & Porter Sq)
$10 / 21+

There's a lot of big indie-pop in a small room. The Grownup Noise is heading out on tour for most of August, and it might be nice to leave on a great hometown show.

SAT 7/31

9:30pm
The Big Disappointments, Sister Spaceman, Ill Ease
at PA's Lounge, 345 Somerville Ave, Somerville (Union Sq)
$8 / 21+

Things get a little edgy in a good way with the post-punk riffage and dollops of reverb by The Big Disappointments and bluesy garage-rock by Sister Spaceman. I couldn't tell how much I'd like to hear a whole set of noisy rock loops from Ill Ease, but there's something there.

SAT 7/31

10pm
The Rudds, Super 400
at Johnny D's, 17 Holland St, Somerville (Davis Sq)
$10 / 21+

I was a Rudds fanatic when they were gigging regularly a couple years ago, so I can't be objective. I dig their power-pop-meets-R&B sound, their musicality, their sense of humor, and the charisma & vocal agility of singer John Powhida.

One night at the Abbey Lounge, Super 400 took me by surprise so I always like to spread the word. For a somewhat jammy power-trio from upstate NY, these folks rock it out -- especially the funk-solid rhythm section.

Friday, July 30, 2010

SAT 7/31: RSVP for Art & Beer


There's Saturday stuff on the calendar. Here's some info until the Saturday post for those who might be curious to see art with a drink...

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8pm
"Strange World": Art Show
at Hourglass Tattoo Studio, 1680A Mass Ave, Cambridge (between Harvard Sq & Porter Sq)
FREE / 21+

Feat: Shayna Shenanigans, Luke O’Sullivan, Inas Al-Soqi, Carly LaChant, Fionn McCabe

Remember how the end credits song in "Donnie Darko" was "Mad World" by Tears for Fears? That's the inspiration for the show theme. I think they're projecting the film during the show.

In case you want to see “a showcase of dark, lovely and intriguing works from six emerging and established low-brow and non-traditional artists” and drink a couple of beers...

There's a "PBR reception" from 8pm to 9pm, if you RSVP, and your name (and guest) should be enough.

FRI 7/30: Art, Poetry, Theatre, Music, Comedy


Darnit.

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FRI 7/30

10am to 9:45pm
Community Day
at Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave, Boston (Fenway)
FREE

If you have the afternoon off and have nothing to do, why not go to the MFA for free?

A visiting Van Gogh painting is leaving in a couple weeks, the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit is closing in a week, and this is the last weekend for an exhibit on Shinto shrine art. Even walking through the galleries of the permanent collection is a highly cultured way to beat the heat...

The museum is open until 9:30 on summer Fridays to accommodate some mixing and drinking (cash bar) in the courtyard from 5:30pm to 9:30pm. There's music as well like tonight's Little Bang Quintet who will probably lay down some funky, jazzy, India-flavored jam-rock since it's related to this band.

Thanks, Highland Street Foundation!

FRI 7/30 to SUN 8/1

7pm to 10pm
Boston Poet Tea Party
at Pierre Menard Gallery, 10 Arrow St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
FREE

88 local and visiting poets each get 8 minutes to do their thing over a mind-blowing 23 hours of poetry over three days. I did the math, and it seems like they've allotted plenty of buffer time for transitions, introductions, and the possibility of someone going over the time limit.

According to the organizer, he's planning to be there for the whole thing keep the poets in line.

The Poet Tea Party changes location on Saturday & Sunday to Outpost 186 (Inman Sq) where it runs from noon to 10pm on both days.

FRI 7/30 (and SAT 7/31)

7:30pm
"Cyrano de Bergerac"
at Mary O'Malley Park, Commandant’s Way, Chelsea Waterfront
FREE

Tonight, the classic love story is performed "en Espanol" and English tomorrow.

Think of this as a chance to visit a place you usually just drive through without thinking much about it. Take the #111 bus for an adventure in free theatre -- and who knows what else -- on the other side of the Tobin.

FRI 7/30 (to SUN 8/15)

8pm
"Othello"
at Parkman Bandstand, about 165 Tremont St, Boston (Boston Common)
FREE

Tuesdays to Saturdays -- 8pm
Sundays -- 7pm (2pm matinee on 8/8)

If my count is correct, "Shakespeare on the Common" is returning for its 15th season. Even if one doesn't make a donation, we shouldn't take for granted what is one of the highlights of free/cheap Boston culture. Take the time to go in the next three weeks.

The productions are always well done, and "Othello" is especially one of the Bard's best. As usual, the design has been moved to a different time period. The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company seems to favor the early 20th-century; the set and costumes have a '40s influence.

As I mentioned the other day, Seth Gilliam plays the title character. You'll probably recognize him as Sgt. Ellis Carver on "The Wire" or Clayton Hughes on "Oz" among many film & TV appearances.

FRI 7/30

8pm
Monsters Of The Midway: Benefit for Joe Coughlin
at The Midway Cafe, 3496 Washington St, Jamaica Plain
$10 minimum donation

Feat: John Powhida, Chandler Travis, Lenny Lashley, Rick Berlin, Classic Ruins, Johnny & the Jumper Cables, Roy Sludge, Richie Parsons, Philly Roy All-Stars, more (?)

I don't know Joe Coughlin personally, but he's been supporting and writing about the local music scene for a long time. I read that he was quite ill on a discussion board. A bunch of awesome musicians are getting together to help out with whatever expenses Joe needs to take care of.

Probably a bunch of solo sets, but some of these folks don't gig a lot. It should be a special night of rock and more.

FRI 7/30

9:30pm
Union Square Round Table: "The Birth of the Cool"
at PA's Lounge, 345 Somerville Ave, Somerville (Union Sq)
$8 / 21+

Will the U.S.R.T. be too cool to tell jokes and be funny in other assorted ways? Or will they take the theme "The Birth of the Cool" and find some humorous observations about being cool? Maybe a bit of both and/or somewhere in between

Featuring the funny Sarah Heggan and musical guest Baby Driver

Some of the possible performers: Chris Braiotta, TD Sidell, Ben Dryer, Keira Horowitz, Nick Branigan, Steven Derocher, Marian Didio, Caitlin Roy

FRI 7/30

10pm
Air Traffic Controller w/ String Quartet
at Tommy Doyle's, 96 Winthrop St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
FREE

I wish I could tell you more about this gig, but most of my info is from the flyer. It's free, and a string quartet is joining former naval-air-traffic-controller-turned-folky-pop-phenom.

Whenever I'm listening to WERS and they play "The One", I want to turn it up really loud and sing along with all the windows rolled down. It's too bad that I don't have a car and am usually listening to radio at the office.

String quartets seem like a trend may be forming among singer-songwriters. John Shade has been doing it around town, and I recall seeing others. Maybe string quartets are easier to work with than your average rock band -- even if you probably have to write charts for the classically trained players.

Or maybe it's a band called "String Quartet"...?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

THUR 7/29: Food, Music, Talk, Drama


I didn't bring an umbrella today, so I've checked the forecast. The rain should pass before any of the outdoor cheapness begins.

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THUR 7/29

Various Times
Ensenda-style Fish Taco
at Dorado Tacos & Cemitas, 401 Harvard Street, Brookline (near Coolidge Corner)
FREE

I was suggesting this earlier:

How happy will you be when you're enjoying a free fish taco?

Available at:

12:30pm to 1:30pm
-or-
4:30pm to 5:30pm
-or-
6:30pm to 7:30pm
Eat it and go (no purchase necessary). Or think of it as a $2.49 discount on your meal.

THUR 7/29

6pm to 8:30pm
Nini+Ben
at Institute for Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave, Boston (South Boston/Seaport)
FREE

I'm not sure I believe that Nini and Ben wrote a song together when they were 16 then they fell in love. It doesn't really matter, because the music is so damn good that any of their tall tales could be a magical retelling of a truth.

The music has such spot-on, lush rootsy-rock, and Nini's vocals have soulful subtlety that requires attention to fully appreciate. This is the kind of beautiful and assured music I expected when I heard about Berklee when I was in high school.

Guess what? There are more outdoor Thursday concerts, which happens to be the night when you can visit the museum for free. And I'm looking forward to seeing the new Charles LeDray retrospective.

THUR 7/29

7pm
July Winedown: "Fall Books Preview"
at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
FREE

The folks at the book store don't just look at a catalogue to see what's coming, they go to book expos. They'll pique your interest about new books, and help you impress your literate friends. Add a glass (or two) of wine, and it's a good book night.

THUR 7/29

7pm
"Navigating the Social Scene": Panel Discussion / Q&A
at Blacksmith House, 56 Brattle St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$5

I missed most of the series of inexpensive sessions at CCAE, yet this one sounds interesting.

In a time when communicating feels more diffuse and complex than ever, maybe it's not sucha bad idea to hear a few ideas about conversation and relationship skills. Maybe you'll want to practice with that cutie across the room...

The moderator of panel discussion is from a website about this topic, and the others are people who think a lot about communication, relationships, and networking.

Probably best (if not required) to register ahead of time.

THUR 7/29

7pm to 9pm
William Cepeda
at O'Day Park, 85 W. Newton St, Boston (South End)
FREE

Most groups in the Tito Puente Latin Music Series have a really strong Latin influence in their music, if not being a flat-out salsa band or the like. Trombonist William Cepeda has been blending Puerto Rican music into jazz for more than 15 years, and the result is strongly jazzy in character while injecting the "Afro-rican" sounds and rhythms.

THUR 7/29 (to SAT 7/31)

7:30pm
"Cyrano de Bergerac"
at Mary O'Malley Park, Commandant’s Way, Chelsea Waterfront
FREE

There are only 3 more performances of Cyrano in alternating languages. Tonight, the classic love story is performed in English three times, and en Espanol on Friday.

Think of this as a chance to visit a place you usually just drive through without thinking much about it. Take the #111 bus for an adventure in free theatre -- and who knows what else -- on the other side of the Tobin.

THUR 7/29

7:30pm
Chris O'Brien, Autumn Hollow Band, Jeff Byrd & Dirty Finch, Brendan Hogan, Comanchero, Jenee Halstead, The Bees Knees, Dave Sammarco Band
at Hard Rock Cafe, 22 Clinton St, Boston (near Faneuil Hall)
$10 / 21+

Dang, there's a lot of bands on this bill. As an outgrowth of the annual New England Americana Festival, this is the second of 3 summer gigs at the Hard Rock. Think of it as a folky/twangy/rockin' sampler of performers that fall into this rather wide category.

Unfortunately the timing of the gig is a little confusing. The flyer says 8pm. The Hard Rock's website says 6:30pm, but that's probably when the doors of the room open (and is usually an hour before the music starts. I'm guessing the bands will begin about 7:30/8pm.

If you've ever walked around Faneuil Hall, you've probably seen host Eric Royer and his one-man-band apparatus. Maybe he'll whip out the 'guitar machine' tonight.

THUR 7/29 (to SUN 8/15)

Various Times
"Othello"
at Parkman Bandstand, about 165 Tremont St, Boston (Boston Common)
FREE

Tuesdays to Saturdays -- 8pm
Sundays -- 7pm (2pm matinee on 8/8)

If my count is correct, "Shakespeare on the Common" is returning for its 15th season. Even if one doesn't make a donation, we shouldn't take for granted what is one of the highlights of free/cheap Boston culture. Take the time to go in the next three weeks.

The productions are always well done, and "Othello" is especially one of the Bard's best. As usual, the design has been moved to a different time period. The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company seems to favor the early 20th-century; the set and costumes have a '40s influence.

As I mentioned the other day, Seth Gilliam plays the title character. You'll probably recognize him as Sgt. Ellis Carver on "The Wire" or Clayton Hughes on "Oz" among many film & TV appearances.

THUR 7/29: Free Fish Taco

Dorado Tacos & Cemitas, Ensenada fish taco

12:30pm to 1:30pm
-or-
4:30pm to 5:30pm
-or-
6:30pm to 7:30pm

Ensenda-style Fish Taco
at Dorado Tacos & Cemitas, 401 Harvard Street, Brookline (near Coolidge Corner)
FREE

As someone who used to live in Southern California, a good fish taco can be a mini-fiesta in your mouth. You don't even need a free one to turn a frown upside-down.

To celebrate their anniversary, Dorado Tacos & Cemitas are offering three different chances to get one on the house. Normally $2.49, maybe you can order another taco or a side for what's basically a two-for-one meal. Or simply enjoy the snack -- no purchase necessary.

If you haven't been here yet, you should go when you're hungry for good Mexican-style tacos and sandwiches.

You have until 12:30pm today to win a coupon for 2 taco plates each visit until 8/31/11. Like them on Facebook, follow on Twitter, then send a tweet about the free tacos... Like this...

(Thanks, Lauren!)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

WED 7/28: Food, Classical, Baseball, Theatre al Fresco, Rock


If I wrote about events of all prices, I'd tell everyone to get to the Drug Rug/Tuneyards at the MFA tonight.

If you're in the Seaport area tonight, be sure to look at the ICA. It's the last of three nights where poetry is being projected on the exterior.

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WED 7/28

6pm to 8pm
Guacaholics Anonymous
at Fenway Cantina, 1260 Boylston St, Boston (The Fens)
$10

I can't imagine someone who paid wouldn't show up to enjoy a cornucopia of guacamole (guacacornucopia?) and a complimentary Patron Citronge Margarita.

There are few catastrophes that would prevent me from going to this sold-out event to taste multiple guac's with a margarita in my hand.

If you want to try, a "waiting list" option is available.

WED 7/28

7pm
Boston Landmarks Orchestra, "Tosca and the Fifth"
at Hatch Shell, Storrow Dr, Boston (Charles River Esplanade)
FREE

Members of the Boston Lyric Opera joins the Boston Landmarks Orchestra for a night of opera and symphony. On deck is one of Beethoven's big ones -- the disco song that goes "Bom-bom-bom BOMMM" -- and excerpts from a really lovely Puccini opera.

Program:

Beethoven, "Symphony No. 5"
Puccini, Excerpts from "Tosca"
Cathy Fuller from All Classical 99.5 will host, so I guess it's special.

If it rains (it won't), the concert will take place at New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall.

WED 7/28

7pm
Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star Game
at Fenway Park, 4 Yawkey Way, Boston
$10

One day, I will experience a real Cape Cod League game in Bourne or Falmouth or Chatham. I hear it's a real slice of friggin' Americana, and many MLB players spent time on the Cape before hitting the big leagues.

If you don't want fight the weekend traffic, the league's all-star game is at Fenway, and all tickets seem to be $10. I have a feeling you won't be sitting John Henry's box, but tickets still looked available last night.

Schedule:
4:30pm -- Gates Open to public
4:45pm -- West position players autograph session
5:15pm -- East Infield/Outfield
5:15pm -- East & West Pitchers autograph session
5:30pm -- West Infield/Outfield
5:45pm -- East position players autograph session

6pm -- HR Hitting Contest
6:40pm -- Pre-game ceremonies
7:07pm -- All Star Game
You might see the next Jason Varitek or Jacoby Ellsbury, which would be nice since we haven't seen the current ones recently...

SAT 7/17 (to SAT 7/31)

7:30pm
"Cyrano de Bergerac"
at Mary O'Malley Park, Commandant’s Way, Chelsea Waterfront
FREE

There are only 4 more performances of Cyrano in alternating languages. Tonight, the classic love story is performed in English three times, and en Espanol on Friday.

Think of this as a chance to visit a place you usually just drive through without thinking much about it. Take the #111 bus for an adventure in free theatre -- and who knows what else -- on the other side of the Tobin.

WED 7/28 (to SUN 8/15)

Various Times
"Othello"
at Parkman Bandstand, about 165 Tremont St, Boston (Boston Common)
FREE

Tuesdays to Saturdays -- 8pm
Sundays -- 7pm (2pm matinee on 8/8)

If my count is correct, "Shakespeare on the Common" is returning for its 15th season. Even if one doesn't make a donation, we shouldn't take for granted what is one of the highlights of free/cheap Boston culture. Take the time to go in the next three weeks.

The productions are always well done, and "Othello" is especially one of the Bard's best. As usual, the design has been moved to a different time period. The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company seems to favor the early 20th-century; the set and costumes have a '40s influence.

As I mentioned the other day, Seth Gilliam plays the title character. You'll probably recognize him as Sgt. Ellis Carver on "The Wire" or Clayton Hughes on "Oz" among many film & TV appearances.

WED 7/28

9:30pm
Pretty & Nice, Child Bite, Big Bear, Battle House
at Middle East - Upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10 / 18+

I've been head over heels for the punky/powerpoppish clang 'n clatter since the first time I heard them. I probably could listen to "Tora Tora Tora" dozen times in a row. (I'm pretty sure I constantly listened to the "Get Young" album for about 5 or 6 hours on one occasion.)

In last week's Weekly Dig they were talking about wanting to add new material, so who knows what you're going to get. The lineup is full of wild, noisy, angular rock, which bodes for a loud and heavy good time.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

TUES 7/27: Music & Film


I try not to list things that I haven't sampled, haven't heard good things about, or just get a gut feeling that it might be interesting.

I can't get too excited about this, but some might want to know that the weekly dance party Throwed! at the Middle East (downstairs) is also going to be a casting call for "Is She Really Going Out with Him?", which must be a dating show...

"Shakespeare in the Common" starts tomorrow. This year's production is "Othello", and the lead will be played by Seth Gilliam who would be recognizable to fans of "The Wire" and "Oz".

I should have posted about it earlier, but you may want to try the "waiting list" option for Wednesday's Guacaholics Anonymous ($10) at the Fenway Cantina.

I also wanted to give you a heads-up that Dorado Tacos & Cemitas has a taco giveaway planned for Thursday [Facebook].

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TUES 7/27

6pm
Boston Soul Revue
at Elma Lewis Playhouse, near Pierpont Rd, Dorchester (Franklin Park)
FREE

Every year, Franklin Park hosts a series of free concerts. While hearing soul and dance classics from the '60s and '70s isn't groundbreaking, it should be a pleasant, entertaining background for sitting outside. Maybe have a picnic... Maybe some mid-week dancing...

If you follow the signs and the crowd, you shouldn't have much trouble finding the music.

TUES 7/27

Glenn Yoder & His Merry Band, Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion! (8pm), Chuck E. Costa (10pm)
at Toad, 1912 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Porter Sq)
FREE

Singer-songmeister Glenn Yoder of alt-country rockers Cassavettes did a solo album a couple years ago, because he had too many darn songs that were quite right for the band. I don't notice a lot of solo gigs, but I guess it might be time to let the songs out. Also playing after Yoder & Merry Band is the Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion!, a horror-surf instrumental band that BBC says includes members of Cassavettes.

The late show is singer-songwriter Chuck E. Costa from Connecticut who has made waves at folk festivals across the country and was featured on a Starbucks sampler a couple years ago where the NY Times had some goods words to say.

TUES 7/27

8:30pm
Rock Shop/Film Shop: "The Shield Around the K - The Story of K Records": Screening
at Middle East - Upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE / All Ages

This documentary about DIY record label, K Records, includes interviews with the founders (who worked with some of the coolest bands of the '80s and '90's) as well as many artists and contemporaries from their first two decades. And they've continued to champion punk and rock over the last 10 years.

Besides appearances by Ian MacKaye, Dean Wareham and others, there are clips of Fugazi, Beat Happening, Mecca Normal, etc.

Monday, July 26, 2010

MON 7/26: Film, Skeptics, Nerds, Acoustics


Yeah, tonight's list is mainly quiet stuff in Cambridge. As I told a 4-year-old who was giving a the "why, why, why" treatment, that's just the way it is.

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MON 7/26

6pm
"The Perfect Storm"
at Rabb Lecture Hall, Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St, Boston (Copley Sq)
FREE

Based on Sebastian Junger's book, the first part is Hollywood version of fishermen's life in Gloucester before getting pummeled by the convergence of 3 storms. I remember liking it and thinking most of the cast didn't sound embarrassing.I wonder if effects from 2000 will seem quaint by today's standard.

MON 7/26

7pm to 10pm
Boston Skeptics in the Pub: "Skeptical Activism" w/ Travis Roy
at Tommy Doyle's (upstairs), 96 Winthrop St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
FREE

Every month, people get together for some drinks and skeptical conversation that usually includes a presentation from a guest speaker hosted by Liz Gaston. You may be skeptical, but the food isn't bad here.

Travis Roy from Granite State Skeptics will talk about "what you can do every day to promote critical thinking." (I think he's also a motivational speaker.)

(FYI: If you start reading and see "TAM" or "TAM8", it's this confab.)

MON 7/26

8pm
NerdNite: "Illusions and Video Games"
at Middlesex Lounge, 315 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$5 / 21+

There's no need to stop thinking while drinking because it's summertime. Both topics won't tax the noodle too much while you're destroying brain cells.

Hearing about videogames and optical illusions could already be bar topics in your repertoire, so here's a chance to listen to a couple people who know what they're talking about.

Talk 1:

"Joystick Soldiers: Fifty Years of Videogames and War"
By Nina Huntemann
Talk 2:
"Crazy Vision: The Science Behind Popular Optical Illusions"
By Brandon Moore
Get your "nerd on" with tunes courtesy of DJ Claude Money.

MON 7/26

10pm
Ponies in the Surf, Milo Jones
at ZuZu!, 474 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE

Take a listen to some acoustic music that land on opposite sides of the brightness scale.

Ponies in the Surf are a brother-sister team that seem to specialize in gentle, dreamy confections. They made the top 5 on PopMatters' list of "Best Indie Pop of 2008", so that's kinda cool.

I like Milo Jones' deep, rough voice as he usually spins dark tales that offer plenty to listen to -- good pessimism in the background for a drinking session.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

SUN 7/25: Sunday Night Off-Topic Video

I was going to post a very NSFW animation of Mel Gibson calling the Old Spice Guy, but it's "Mad Men" season premiere night...



SUN 7/25: Music & Fests



My brain and body did not return from vacation in a timely manner...

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SUN 7/25

Noon to 6pm
Annual Lowell Folk Festival
at Various Spots in Downtown Lowell
FREE

Hear the sounds and taste the flavors from folks around the country and the world.

SUN 7/25

Noon to 4pm
Foss Fest 2010
at Saxton Foss Park, about 240 Broadway, Somerville (East Somerville)
FREE

Feat: Angeline, The Kieran Ridge Band, Christopher Christian, Raiz Sertaneja, Open Air Circus

A big stretch of Broadway is going to be closed for a street festival with music, dance, food, etc. For the second year in a row, there is a rock/folk/etc concert. Good times!

SUN 7/25

1pm to 7pm
Benefit for Girls Rock Camp Boston
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10 / All Ages

Feat: Lady Lamb the Beekeeper (6:15pm), Aerochix (5:35pm), Robin Lane (5pm), Mary Lou Lord (4:25pm), Laurie Geltman (3:20pm), Hilken Mancini & Thalia Zedek (2:45pm), Amy Griffin (2:10pm), The Nowherenauts (1:35pm), The Bungles (1pm)

Girls rock! And there is a fundraiser to keep it affordable for young women to get pointers. Seasoned rockers are joined by a couple new, young bands.

Expect raffles, giveaways, finger tattoo booth, art auctions, and GRCB Merch for sale. Raffle winners are supposed to be announced at the middle and end.

SUN 7/25

2pm to 7pm
RIBS, The Dirty Dishes, Bloody Knives
at Wadzilla Mansion, 12 Wadsworth St, Allston
$5 / 18+

How the heck could "RIBS" host a barbecue with two bands called "Dirty Dishes" and "Bloody Knives"? Good work!

On a street down by the train yard, people are invited to hear some amazing hard-synth, shoeqazey, electro-punk sounds after the free barbecue from 2pm to 4pm. (It's a BYOB party.)

SUN 7/25

6pm
Boston Landmarks Orchestra, "Let's Dance at Jamaica Pond"
at Pinebank Promontory, Jamaica Pond, Jamaica Plain
FREE

Free Classical by the Pond!

Program:

Beethoven, "Symphony No. 8"
Tchaikovsky, "Danse des Cygnes" from Swan Lake Suite
Brahms, "Hungarian Dance No. 5"

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sneak Peek 7/24: RSVP for Free Beer 'n Music


There's also games and music in the afternoon at City Hall Plaza [Facebook], a pancake film festival in Cambridge, and other good stuff too.

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8pm to Midnight
Toyota Antics Party
at Artists for Humanity, 100 W. 2nd Street, Boston (Southie)
FREE w/ RSVP

Feat: Passion Pit (DJ Set), Bad Rabbits, Hot Pink Delorean, DJ Redd Foxx

This sounds like a good time! Seems like AFH hosts various car-related parties, so there must be something to it...

I wonder if all of Passion Pit will be there or the DJ guys. Bad Rabbits would make it a party by themselves. Add free beer and food, and why wouldn't you go?

FRI 7/23: Film, Play, Rock, Hip-Hop


All of me is vacationing in Maine, and I didn't prep the CTB. My apologies, but these are some pretty good cheap ideas for tonight...

You barely need to leave (or enter) the Green Street T Station to see an exhibit of video and animation at the Axiom Gallery called "REFRESH". The opening reception is tonight.

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FRI 7/23

Sunset
"Where the Wild Things Are"
at Hatch Shell, Storrow Dr, Boston (Charles River Esplanade)
FREE

A summer outdoor movie could be nice.

FRI 7/23 (to SUN 7/25)

8pm to 10pm
"Comin' Home To Indiana: The Music of the ishmaeLites"
at The Democracy Center, 45 Mount Auburn St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$10

A musical play about 19th-century American wanderers in the Midwest.

FRI 7/23

8pm
The Pre-Nups
at Lizard Lounge/Cambridge Common, 1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge (between Harvard Sq & Porter Sq)
$10 / 21+

Wow! I almost want to get married, so this band could play the reception. It's very close to The Gravel Pit with Mike Viola! I think it's really a showcase for prospective clients at the beginning followed by a real show later.

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FRI 7/23

9:30pm
Elemental Zazen, Judge D, Fameless Fam, GNotes, Session 1, more
at The Western Front, 343 Western Ave, Cambridge (Cambridgeport)
$10 / 21+

A damn good hip-hop show.

FRI 7/23

Lovewhip (Midnight), Apple Betty (11pm), Nazzcar Rain Delay (10pm)
at The Midway Cafe, 3496 Washington St, Jamaica Plain
$8 / 21+

Feat: Miss Madison West

A damn good funky/punky party with burlesque in between bands.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

THUR 7/22: Blues-Art, Jazz, Party, Rock


Yes, the Downeaster has free wi-fi! Although it's been a bit bumpy...

As usual, not all the calendar items made the list, like free "Cyrano de Bergerac" in Chelsea tonight "en Espanol"...

For a few bucks more (specifically five more) than our CTB limit, Jim's Big Ego and friends present a night of music and metaphysical advice as "The Ego & The Oracle" at The Burren (7:30pm). I've seen it several times and loved it. (Also performed next month on 8/26.)

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THUR 7/22

6pm to 8:30pm
Pinchback Blues
at Institute for Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave, Boston (South Boston/Seaport)
FREE

The core of Pinchback Blues is piano and guitar playing the more sophisticated blues originating from the '20s and '30s that back the sultry vocals of Minden Jones who nails the classic tone without falling into an impersonation.

On Thursdays in summer, music on the waterfront is free. Admission to the museum is free on any Thursday evening.

THUR 7/22

7pm
Bitches Brew Band
at Oak Square Common, about 370 Faneuil St, Brighton (Oak Sq)
FREE

For those who love when Miles Davis electrified jazz in the late-60s/early-70's, Bitches Brew recreates the tunes the reinvented the genre. It won't sound the same as the record, because it's jazz, man...

THUR 7/22

9:15pm
Supertonic: "Boston Does It Best"
at Enormous Room, 567 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE w/ RSVP / $5

Tea Party Boston is one of the websites out there fighting the good fight by spotlighting what's going on musically around town. They're in the midst of inexplicably changing their name to Supertonic, but I assume the content will still be good. They're throwing a party tonight with some free Heineken if you get there early enough, and there's nothing wrong with that...

Members from Bodega Girls, The Wandas, Gentlemen Hall, Leisure are going to take turns as the DJ's while The Dirty Dishes will play a live set of shoegazey rock goodness. They've got some really nice stuff going on!

You will want to get there early (before 9:15pm), because the party hosts, DJ's, and band will practically fill the place -- and free beer doesn't last long. And RSVP doesn't guarantee entry, but you don't have to pay.

THUR 7/22

9pm
I Pistol, The Timberfakes, Red Summer Sun, Jamie Kent & the Options
at Middle East - Upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10 / 18+

Bad news: I've received word that I Pistol refuses to share the stage with a Timberlake tribute band.

This show is a bit of a mixed bag, but I prefer the party can of assorted nuts if it's the same price as a jar of peanuts. My favorite nut in this can is I Pistol who churn out the hooky rock like crunchy, powerpopping cashews. Red Summer Sun is on a similar yet slicker pop path, and they bugged me especially when they were called Quarterlifecrisis -- so they're like those bigger nuts that seem to have a similar flesh as the cashew but doesn't taste as good.

Who put honey-roasted peanuts in the bowl? They don't need the sweet coating, but I'll eat them anyway. Yeah, I didn't ask for a Justin Timberlake tribute band, but I'm amused by the idea. I have to assume Jamie Kent & the Options are opening, because they do the kind of acoustic-based pop that one might hear from laid-back guys on the radio. I think that little round one is a hazelnut, and it doesn't taste bad at all -- except there are other kinds of nuts you would've preferred.

THUR 7/22: Wi-Fi on the Train?


Does the Downeaster have wifi? It looks like it.

Am heading to Maine in a few minutes. There is Thursday cheapness on the calendar, and hopefully a full post in a little bit...

A few outdoor concerts...

A reading...

Some indoor rock and more...

A party at the Enormous Room, so get there early or wait in line...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

WED 7/21: Talk, Jazz, Michael Jackson, Avant

Annie Darcy Band, tonight at Club Oberon
As I mentioned over the weekend, there's a free outdoor production of "Cyrano de Bergerac" in a Chelsea harborside park from Wednesday to Sunday through SAT 7/31. They alternate performances in English and Spanish, and tonight is in English.

Someone sent me a link to a Daily Beast article that lists Boston in the top 5 of gayest cities in the US. I was surprised to see that Portland has a higher gay index! I only know a few people in Portland, but I didn't really get that vibe (except for the high ratio of nice restaurants in Old Port). As the UCLA demographer who compiled the list says, "Gay people live everywhere."

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WED 7/21

7pm to 9pm
Rock Shop #5: "CMJ Marathon Info Session"
at Middle East - Downstairs, 480 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE

Thinking about going to CMJ Marathon? Bands still have a week to apply, and attendees will have to pay more after 7/28. Not exactly cheap at $425 ($245 student) -- or maybe it is?

Steve Theo from Pirate Promotions is moderating tonight's session to answer questions that are mainly geared towards the aspiring musician, but anyone can go.

WED 7/21

8pm
The Annie Darcy Band
at Club Oberon, 2 Arrow St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$10

Did you go to A.R.T.'s production of "Sleep No More"? It was an experimental version of "Macbeth" where you walked around an old school building in Brookline and saw the performance in a non-linear sequence.

The jazz-age vibe included a functional bar with a jazz band playing standards under assumed names (6 nights a week for 5 months). Annie Darcy is a character's name who is still living on as a band who has played at Oberon at least once before. It should be a cool environment to hear a piano trio fronted by two vocalists.

Doors open at 7:30pm.

WED 7/21

9pm
2nd Annual Michael Jackson Tribute
at Milky Way Lounge/Bella Luna, 284 Amory St, Jamaica Plain (The Brewery Complex)
$5 / 21+

It's understandable to have mixed feelings about many aspects of Michael Jackson's life and death. I find it indisputable that he was a consummate entertainer with a catalog that's full of awesome pop songs. He didn't do it by himself, but Jackson was the name above the various skin tones and nose shapes.

It's not his birthday or the anniversary of his death. The folks at Soulkore just like to organize a night celebrate the music of MJ and his whole family. (I assume they won't play many Latoya jams...) Dig out the sequined glove and zippered jacket.

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WED 7/21

9:30pm
Concord Ballet Orchestra Players, Lenkadu
at House of Blues - Front Room, 15 Lansdowne St, Boston (Kenmore Sq)
FREE

There's a soccer friendly match at Fenway tonight, and I'm guessing that fans of the Scottish and Portuguese teams may not be looking for experimental rock afterwards. The funny thing is that both performers have an international flair in their sounds.

I'm not sure if there are German musical themes inherent in krautrock or if bands like Faust and Can just successfully imparted Teutonic expressions in their recordings. The largish Somerville band Concord Ballet Orchestra Players has some of that influence in their improvised, instrumental music. While the format might be a turn-off for some, I was digging the "heads" on the tunes I listened to. Some groups might fall into boring wankery, and my gut says that's not the case with CBOP.

Lenka Chludova aka Lenkadu emigrated from the Czech Republic and seems to be an artist who works in sound and video. Who knows how much visual presentation will be part of the performance. I'm guessing fans of Bjork might be interested in checking her out.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

TUES 7/20: Frisbee, Blues, Comedy, Rock


Is it bad that I'm already yearning for the weekend?

Hey, if you didn't go to the Sand Sculpting Festival at Revere Beach over the weekend, the sculptures may last for another week or so.

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TUES 7/20

5:30 pm
"Frisbee for Justice"
at Boston Common, Corner of Charles St. & Beacon St, Boston
$2

People mixing social justice issues with casual frisbee fun. I guess this is how activists decompress? They say, "Newcomers always welcomed," so you know where some folks are hang out in the Common.

Maybe a game of ultimate will eventually break out as long as everyone keeps it friendly. Or maybe it'll be a spontaneous letter-writing campaign for political prisoners...

TUES 7/20

7pm to 9pm
Bob Log III, Molly Gene One Whoahman Band
at Middle East - Upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10 / 18+

If you don't like electric, slide-guitar Delta-blues (e.g. R.L. Burnside and most of the guys on Fat Possum Records), you may want to pass on this show. You may not be able to handle 2 hours of bluesy one-man band grooves.

The attraction is Bob Log III's strange live spectacle where the energy level would often hit a tachometer's red zone. Dressed a bit like a daredevil/stuntman with a full helmet that has a telephone receiver attached as a microphone. That would be weird enough, but there's more like the song "Boob Scotch" which is often accompanied by someone -- female or male -- in the crowd buying him a shot then dipping their nipple in it. (This ain't a genteel concert experience.)

People will sit on his knees while he's working the percussion with his feet. Who knows what other antics may occur. I have a feeling that they won't get him to stop by 9pm.

Tom Waits said, "It's just the loudest strangest stuff you’ve ever heard. You don’t understand one word he’s saying. I like people who glue macaroni on to a piece of cardboard and paint it gold."

Opening is Molly Gene One Whoaman Band, a woman (or whoaman) who's obviously been influenced by Bob; and she adds a harmonica to her one-man-band approach.

TUES 7/20

8pm
"The Other Network"
at Oberon, 2 Arrow St, Cambridge
$10 standing room

I've seen clips from these un-aired TV pilots, and they're really hilarious. Some of the funniest names in show business wrote, directed, and/or starred in these shows that were usually too bizarre to ever find a network to take a risk. Of course, they're better than most of the shows that get the green light -- at least in small doses.

I don't know how the experience is enhanced by comedian Beth Lapides, who is very funny, and perhaps others introducing the longer videos than (legally) seen online as well as giving the back stories.

However you may really want to get as much of the secret works of Judd Apatow, Ben Stiller, Conan O'Brien, Robert Smigel, Bob Odenkirk, Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Amy Poehler, etc.

TUES 7/20

9:30pm
Filligar, The Van Burens, Darlingside, Mother Brother
at Harpers Ferry, 158 Brighton Ave, Allston
$7 / 18+

Overall, this is a bit more mainstream than other gigs, but this is a decent cheap music option. I think the young, Chicago-based brothers of Filligar attend Dartmouth, so they must be on the summer break tour in support of their 5th CD in 6 years. Imagine if teen-idols could rock out and it wouldn't annoy you (or maybe it does, give 'em a listen). The other bands are generally straightforward pop/rock with some funkiness here and some folkiness there.

Monday, July 19, 2010

MON 7/19: Various Bites, Blues, Karaoke


Thought of the Day:

Have the people who scoffed at Climate Change in the winter changed their minds after weeks of sweltering heat?

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MON 7/19

6pm
"Jaws"
at Rabb Lecture Hall, Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St, Boston (Copley Sq)
FREE

The basement of the BPL is a tranquil, cool on any hot day in Copley Square. I'm strangely fond of the funny library basement smell, but it doesn't take long to get accustomed.

We'rein the nautical phase of their "Made in Mass" film series, and it had to include one of Steven Spielberg's best films. Don't tell me you don't love Robert Shaw as the salty dog, Quint!

"We're gonna need a bigger boat..."

MON 7/19

7pm
Amy McCoy, "Poor Girl Gourmet: Eat in Style on a Bare Bones Budget": Discussion
at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Avenue
FREE

Kudos to Amy McCoy for writing about eating well without spending a lot of money. Her blog -- and now her cookbook -- is filled with recipes (for 4) that are both tasty and thrifty.

(Perhaps if you blog long enough with a good angle, someone may want to publish a book. Hmm...)

MON 7/19

The White Owls (8pm), Jen Kearney & The Lost Onion (10pm)
at Toad, 1912 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Porter Sq)
FREE

The White Owls are killer blues squad that has Dennis Brennan ripping through classic tunes with yet another set of top-notch players. It's one of the benefits of living in the area: the amazing Brennan often plays with various outfits usually for free or a small cover. Those who go will hear the blues played head and shoulders above other bar bands.

Jen Kearney & The Lost Onion keep the place jumping for the rest of the night with some solid soul/funk with Latin accents.

MON 7/19

9pm
Gong Show Karaoke
at TT the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline St, Cambridge (Central Sq)
FREE

I still haven't seen this yet with my own eyes and ears, but I suspect it's more fun than the usual karaoke night.

I think most competitions of this kind don't usually have a panel of critical judges with access to a gong a la the old TV show. Like the Indy 500, we're all hoping for someone to crash and burn...

If you have the guts, you could win one of the prizes.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

SUN 7/18: Sunday Night Off-Topic Video

I saw this when Dex Romweber was in town not too long ago. If you didn't catch them, don't blame me.



(Am I the only one who got a bit of Johnny Cash vibe from this video?)

SUN 7/18: Sand, Bikes, Fiesta, Gospel, Rock


Yeah, it's a bummer that it's Sunday again. Still plenty of time to have fun...

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SUN 7/18

8am to Whenever you go...
Annual New England Sand Sculpting Festival
at Revere Beach, Revere (closer to the Revere Beach T)
FREE

Tons and tons of sand are brought in for about 10 master sand-sculptors to work their magic (and are competing) with the theme of "Grimms Fairy Tales". If you're going to the beach, you might as well check out their efforts.

I went a few years ago, and it's a bit south of Kelly's (which is often the reason I go to Revere Beach), but not so far that I wouldn't walk up for fried clams and leave from Wonderland.

SUN 7/18

Noon to 3pm
Bike Wash
at Sennott Park, about 300 Broadway, Cambridge (near Central Sq)
FREE

This is just a happy, friendly time. People want to wash your bike for free out of the goodness of their hearts. Thanks to Liz W and her friends for contributing positive energy to the world.

If you want to join the washers, you can do that too… "Bring your bike, bring a sponge, or bring both."

Why not not have some wet summer fun?

SUN 7/18

1:30pm to 7pm
Annual Betances Festival
at Villa Victoria:
Plaza Betances, 100 W. Dedham St, Boston (South End)
O'Day Park, 85 W. Newton St, Boston (South End)
FREE

Get a taste of Puerto Rican and Latino culture at the oldest & biggest Latin American festival in New England (named after the 19th-century Puerto Rican humanitarian, Dr. Ramon Betances). There will be 'mucho' pan-Latin American entertainment: music, dancing, arts, crafts, food, and a grease pole contest!

The schedule doesn't have the time, but the greased pole contest probably starts around 2pm at O'Day Park. You wouldn't think that a bunch of guys clamoring over a big greasy pole in the South End could be eventful, but it is exciting to watch... You'll cheer, you'll groan, and you'll be amazed people will get that dirty. The food and music are close by.

SUN 7/18

4pm to 8pm
Gospel Fest
at City Hall Plaza, Boston (Govt Center)
FREE

Y'know... It's hard to find out more info about the Gospel Fest besides the controversial headliner Donnie McClurkin.

In anticipation of potential protests, this year's concert has gotten less promotion than usual. If you like gospel music, there will be some…

Gospel fans and LGBT advocates unite!

SUN 7/18

Mrs. Danvers (11pm), Kid Savant (10pm), Sherman Burns (9pm), Vulture (8pm)
at Church, 69 Kilmarnock St, Boston (Fenway)
$7 / 21+

This gig appears to be similar to tomorrow night's show at Charlie's Kitchen with the exception of Mrs. Danvers, which is really the most appealing of the bands playing tonight. There's different flavors that grab you. Some may say dance-rock, but I'm hearing those beautiful, catchy tunes with loads of powerpop goodness in the mix. Yes, ladies are singing lyrics about ladies...

The synthy indie-rock of Chicago's Kid Savant has got more of a dance thing going on. The two early bands are progressive hard-rock/metal bands to make things confusing.

SUN 7/18

9:30pm
Suckers, Sean Bones, You Can Be A Wesley
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$8 / 18+

I'm glad I'm not completely swayed by positive press blurbs. Suckers has collected accolades from Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, "All Songs Considered", Interview Magazine, Time Out NY, and more -- yet they sound like some strange pop to me. You might like them.

I like the spunky indie-pop of You Can Be A Wesley. Sean Bones does his punker-turned-reggae, which ain't bad at all.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

SAT 7/17: Nighttime Cheapness

Kingsley Flood, at Lizard Lounge tonight

Want to do something cheap tonight?

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SAT 7/17

7pm
Eddie Money, John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band
at Hatch Shell, about 10 Storrow Dr, Boston (Charles River Esplanade)
FREE

I can't really endorse this show other than to make you aware of it. Both have a few songs you probably like. I'm not sure if that can fill up two sets... Hey, it's a free oldies concert...

SAT 7/17 (thru SAT 7/31)

7:30pm
"Cyrano de Bergerac"
at Mary O'Malley Park, Commandant’s Way, Chelsea Waterfront
FREE

Think of this as a chance to visit a place you usually just drive through without thinking much about it.

Tonight, the classic love story is performed in English, and tomorrow in Espanol. There more chances through SAT 7/31 to enjoy it in either language.

English: Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday
Spanish: Viernes, Domingo

Take the #111 bus for an adventure in free theatre -- and who knows what else -- on the other side of the Tobin.

SAT 7/17

9:30pm
Science, That Old Feelin', Kingsley Flood, Balthrop Alabama
at Lizard Lounge/Cambridge Common, 1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge (between Harvard Sq & Porter Sq)
$8 / 21+

I don't care if Kingsley Flood doesn't like the "alt-country" tag, they do rock out in a rootsy vein that's pretty darn comfortable in the "Americana" neighborhood. I wrote a CD review for Bostonist, and I like their stuff; it's full rock through a more acoustic filter.

Once I got past the fake Alabama town shtick from this Brooklyn band (okay, some of the group is from Mobile), I heard some amazing folky rock and great songwriting. I don't see them playing Boston often, so this is a rare local chance to hear their stuff in person. Science and That Old Feelin' have different takes on the rootsy/bluesy approach, and both sound pretty good to me.

SAT 7/17

10pm
Fresh Produce 4th Anniversary w/ Prince Paul
at Good Life, 28 Kingston St, Boston (Downtown Crossing)
FREE

On one of the few nights I went to a dance club, it was downstairs at Good Life. The regular DJ's Tommee and Knife will be there. The legendary hip-hop producer and performer Prince Paul is going to do a DJ set. It'll probably be a late set, but I personally would feel a bit cooler being in the same room as the man.

SAT 7/17: Daytime Cheapness


Without further delay, here are some thoughts about the early stuff that's happening. Nighttime (and Sunday) cheapness are on the calendar.

For a couple dollars over CTB limit of $10, The Heartless Bastards are playing downstairs at the Middle East. If you don't like them, contact me for a $2 refund.

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SAT 7/17 (and SUN 7/18)

8am to Whenever you go...
Annual New England Sand Sculpting Festival
at Revere Beach, Revere (closer to the Revere Beach T)
FREE

Tons and tons of sand are brought in for about 10 master sand-sculptors to work their magic (and are competing) with the theme of "Grimms Fairy Tales". Under less than ideal conditions this week, they've been making progress. And the results are usually amazing.

Yeah, it's going to be crowded at all beaches this weekend, even at the ones where you're not supposed to swim. If you don't to go today or tomorrow, people have said they last for a couple weeks. For the undaunted, there's a fireworks display around 9pm on Saturday.

I went a few years ago, and it's a bit south of Kelly's (which is often the reason I go to Revere Beach), but not so far that I wouldn't walk up for fried clams and leave from Wonderland.

SAT 7/17

9am to 9pm
The First African Festival of Boston
at City Hall Plaza, Boston (Govt Center)
FREE

I doubt every country and ethnic group from the continent will be represented at what may become an annual event, however this is likely to be the largest gathering of Africa's cultural diversity in New England. The music originates from all over, and I hope a wide array of food and crafts will be present.

I was looking at the schedule [PDF], and it looks like most of the speakers are done by 2:30pm. I don't see Teeyah, one of the headliners from Cote d’Ivoire, listed. Excellent Congolese artist Bouro Mpela should go on around 6:45pm, and a bunch of good acts precede him and his group.

SAT 7/17

Noon to 6pm
ArtBeat Festival 2010: W A T E R
all around Davis Square, Somerville
$3 donation suggested

Art and music stops the traffic in Somerville today!

It's an "arts festival", yet the art is always fun and whimsical so it doesn't feel like "Art" is trying to educate you. Perhaps it refers to the arts/crafts people that usually line Elm St in one direction and Holland St in the other.

There will be loads of cool stuff to see like an interactive aqua-musical installation called "Hydro-Jamm", an exhibit that uses old water bottles and such to make "Totem Pole Island", and lots of pirate fun.

If you dress up like a pirate, you won't feel out of place. At Elm St. Plaza, there's a production for kids (Noon) and costume-making session (11:30am to 2pm) before the Pirate Parade.

As for music and dance, it's pretty solid so here's the full schedule:

Seven Hills Park (behind Somerville Theatre)

Noon -- Tony the Bookie Orchestra
1pm -- Grupo Norteño San Miguel
2pm -- Nina Violet
3pm -- Obbini Tumbao
4pm -- The Macrotones
5pm -- Hands and Knees
Elm Street Stage (Elm St & Chester St)
12:30pm -- Save Our Somerville/Teen Empowerment
1:30pm -- Electric Mummy
2:30pm -- Sister Spaceman
3:30pm -- The Needy Visions
4:30pm -- Jatir & Raizes do Ritmo
Dance Showcase, inside Somerville Theater
1pm -- Hui Lehua
2pm -- EgoArt
3pm -- MonkeyHouse
4pm -- Anikai Dance
If you were going to put a gun to my head, I'd probably go for Tony the Bookie Orchestra, Hands and Knees, Sister Spaceman, Nina Violet, The Macrotones, The Needy Visions, and Electric Mummy to see people dressed like mummies on a sweltering day. The international sounds and dance are worthwhile too.

Seriously: Would it kill you to support the festival and other similar Somerville events by giving $3 for an ArtBeat dog-tag?

SAT 7/17

1pm to 4pm
Sailing Open House
at Boston Sailing Center, Lewis Wharf, Boston (North End)
FREE

A short sail in Boston Harbor may be the method to cool off with the most splendid view. It's a free ride, so who knows how many other people have the same idea. (It is a "first-come, first-serve" situation.)

The idea is to inspire you to take sailing lessons (discounts available today), but there's no obligations to sign up after your visit. Boston Sailing Center has been doing this for years, and they know I list it here.

As they say, "No sailing experience necessary. All ages welcome. Sailors of all abilities are welcome."

Note: This on Lewis Wharf by the Marriott on the Waterfront.

SAT 7/17

1pm to 2pm
Choose Your Own Adventure 2010
at Christopher Columbus Park, Boston (North End/Waterfront)
FREE

When there's a pillow fight, revolutionary-era water battle, or silent dance experiment around Boston, there's a good chance that Banditos Misteriosos had a hand in organizing it.

The Banditos did a scavenger hunt last year, and they're giving it a little twist. Like the books when you were a kid, you'll have options as you stop in designated locations around town.

It may be a little late to register, but I'm guessing they'd still let you participate if you showed up. Teams of 8 to 10 people are going to be made on the spot as people get there between 1pm and 2pm. Get your clues and have a good time! Everyone is a winner.

SAT 7/17 (and SUN 7/18)

Various Times
Annual Betances Festival
at Villa Victoria:
Plaza Betances, 100 W. Dedham St, Boston (South End)
O'Day Park, 85 W. Newton St, Boston (South End)
FREE

Saturday: 2:30pm to 8pm
Sunday: 1:30pm to 7pm

Get a taste of Puerto Rican and Latino culture at the oldest & biggest Latin American festival in New England (named after the 19th-century Puerto Rican humanitarian, Dr. Ramon Betances). There will be 'mucho' pan-Latin American entertainment: music, dancing, arts, crafts, food, and a grease pole contest!

The schedule doesn't have the time, but the greased pole contest usually starts around 1pm at O'Day Park. You wouldn't think that a bunch of guys clamoring over a big greasy pole in the South End could be eventful, but it is exciting to watch... You'll cheer, you'll groan, and you'll be amazed people will get that dirty. The food and music are close by.

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