Pickle parties, burlesque boys, and more weekend events

By: - Friday, May 30, 2014 - 11:40am

Dill pickles - Filled jars(Photo credit: Rebecca Siegel/Creative Commons)

If you didn’t make it to Boston Calling last weekend, you probably got pretty sick of reading and hearing about it all week. Well now’s your chance to go do something pretty fun, and then totally exaggerate how fun it was to make your friends jealous. A few of your options: Seeing classic movies back in theaters, drinking at the zoo, and crushing a couple kegs of pickles. (more…)

Boston Calling Spring ’14 Festival Recap

By: - Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 1:15am

Bastille(Bastille singer Dan Smith had Sunday’s crowd in the palm of his hand)

I’m not a huge fan of standing. It’s better than walking or running, I guess, but not as good as sitting or lying down. So when I say Boston Calling made spending the better part of three days on my feet enjoyable — amazing, even — just know where I’m coming from.

An estimated 22,000 people per day filled the concrete desert of City Hall Plaza for the biannual music festival’s third installment, and we braved the crowds to bring you the bests and worsts from the three days. Mostly bests, though, because no one likes a Negative Nancy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA (Before and after: City Hall Plaza at 5:30 p.m. Friday, then a few hours later during Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros)

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Nirvana tees and ’90s jeans: The fashions of Boston Calling Spring 2014

By: - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - 1:52am

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Music and fashion trends work in cycles: Guitars are cool, then lame, then cool again. Jeans go from high-waisted to low-rise and back. Just when you finally perfect that Don Draper side-part, everyone’s rocking long, unwashed locks. It probably has something to do with the Oedipal progression of idolizing our parents, then rebelling against everything they stand for, then growing to love and embrace them.

There’s nowhere better to observe these cycles at work than music festivals, bringing out swaths of young people eager to look super trendy by wearing stuff that was cool 20 years ago, and 20 years before that. The best example? The band T-shirt that dominated this past weekend’s Boston Calling Spring 2014 edition wasn’t Jack Johnson, Death Cab, or Modest Mouse. It was Nirvana.

Just as fun? The people who couldn’t care less about trends and just wear whatever they want. This past weekend myself, Jim Martinho, Katie Pelkey, and @OnlyInBOS took to the concrete jungle of City Hall Plaza to document (via Instagram, obvi) the best and worst of Boston Calling fashion.

FLORAL SWAGGER FOR DAYS

SO YOU JUST ASK YOUR BARBER FOR “THE MACKLEMORE” OR WHAT?

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Free! Boston Jewish Film Festival Showing of… OBVIOUS CHILD 5/29 @ 7pm

By: - Monday, May 26, 2014 - 12:35pm

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Photo credit: obviouschildmovie.tumblr.com

Obvious Child is not your usual fall-in-love-after-the-mess type of story. Yes, it’s a Romantic Comedy, but no, it’s not like the hundred others that are produced a year. It’s funny, and romantic, but nothing is sugar-coated or simplified. Jenny Slate, local-made comedian, actress, writer, and producer leads this comedy through serious situations, bringing a humorous relief to the heavy. Her and co-star Jake Lacy’s character, fumble through becoming more than acquaintances, after a one night stand and their realities; Slate’s character finds herself pregnant in her twenties, financially unstable, and not ready for a spawn. It’s an honest and realistic film that will make you laugh so hard, a few farts will slip out.

Jenny Slate Creator of Marcel the Shell with Shoes on, has starred in numerous works, including Bob’s Burger, Parks and Recreation, House of Lies, Kroll Show, Hello ladies, Girls, and The Lorax. Slate will be showing Obvious Child at the Boston Jewish Film Festival on Thursday, May 29th at 7pm (doors close at 6:40), with a following Q&A session. The screening and Q&A with Jenny Slate are free but tickets are required. Reserve your ticket here.

Article by: Brandi Spering and Mike Spering

Boston Calling Spring 2014 Preview

By: - Friday, May 23, 2014 - 11:11am

8842150136_87e4c85362_b(Ponchos: Always in style at rainy festivals. Photo credit: Dave Levy/Creative Commons)

Happy Boston Calling day! The biannual — that’s twice a year, every two years would be biennial, see you learned something today —  festival returns to City Hall Plaza with three days of music, food and beer. Festival passes are sold out, but you can still purchase one-day tickets for tonight or VIP tickets for Saturday or Sunday. Or, you know, StubHub or Craigslist. Or just deal with your FOMO and get tickets for the September edition featuring Lorde and The Replacements.

Whether you’re heading to City Hall or just want to sound hip and “in the know” with your friends this weekend, here’s what to expect from this year’s festival:

So who’s playing? 

So many people. It would almost be easier to list who’s NOT playing. Actually it would be easiest to just post a picture of the flyer with all the bands and set times, so let’s go with that:

10152500_522698924519754_9107971614044016950_n(Photo credit: Boston Calling/Facebook)

See, a little something for everyone. There are two stages to minimize set-up time, and set times don’t overlap so it’s possible to see every minute of every song for the entire festival, providing that you have a really, really large bladder.

The first thing you need to know about Friday’s lineup is that Cass McCombs is a dude so calibrate your expectations accordingly. He’ll be followed by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, also a dude but his most famous song, “Home” is sung by a lady. Jack Johnson would rather be surfing and bro-chilling on the beach but he’s a super chill guy so he agreed to come headline.

Not to play favorites but Saturday’s show looks like the best of the bunch, with co-headliners Death Cab for Cutie and the Decemberists. I can’t believe it’s really been ten years since Seth Cohen introduced Death Cab to the world, and the Decemberists boast their own TV cred as one of very few non-period bands to grace the “Mad Men” soundtrack. The Head and the Heart’s “Rivers and Roads” is my pick for song that makes college kids cry because they’re leaving their friends: “A year from now, we’ll all be gone / All our friends will move away…”

Modest Mouse headlines Sunday’s show, and bad news if the only song of their you know is “Float On”: I hear they’re not crazy about playing it live. But that’s OK! Because they have other good songs like “Dashboard” and “Ocean Breathes Salty” that maybe you didn’t know were Modest Mouse but now that you’ve listened it’s so obvious. You might be really, really tired of hearing “Pompeii” and the idea of seeing Bastille live makes you wonder “How am I gonna be an optimist about this? How am I gonna be an optimist ABOUT this?” But I saw them on SNL and they actually put on a good show. And make sure to show up early for local Tigerman WOAH! even if the misspelling in their name kind of bothers you. I bet your grandpa didn’t like that the Beatles spelled their name wrong, either.

What else is there to do besides watch the bands and kind of sway back and forth in lieu of dancing? 

You can drink! Drink until you lose all inhibitions and dance like no one is watching even if everyone is watching and taking pictures and Vines and IG vids and pretty soon you’re showing up on the first page of Google Image results for “drunk bad dancing music festival.”

Or maybe just have one or two? Festival sponsors Samuel Adams Beer and Wicked Wines will be on hand with, why yes, beer and wine, and unlike past festivals you don’t have to hang out in a designated beer garden — after a change in the festival’s liquor license, you can bring your drinks over to the stages. Try not to spill your drink during the inevitable Jack Johnson mosh pit! Just kidding, his fans are super chill.

There’s also food, because a man cannot survive on booze and jams alone. This year’s vendors include Tasty Burger, Chipotle, and… TGI Fridays? Yup, TGI Fridays is in the middle of a brand makeover to capture the social media crowd, and two food trucks will hand out free samples.

I’m one of those annoying people who wears a massive backpack everywhere, even on the T when it’s crowded. Can I bring it? 

Dude, no. Backpacks and bags larger than 12″ by 12″ are prohibited. Where are you supposed to put your stuff, now that your jeans are too tight to make the pockets functional and apparently the “fashionistas” have deemed cargo shorts uncool? You can bring a small, clear plastic bag to carry stuff like sunscreen, keys, ID to buy alcohol, etc. You can also bring in food and one factory-sealed bottle of water.

I have some other questions that haven’t been answered here, but have probably been asked by other people. Frequently asked, even. 

You are going to love this: Boston Calling has a Frequently Asked Questions page right on their Internet site!

All set? Great! Have fun out there, people. Follow The Boston Calendar on Twitter and Instagram for live updates and photos.

Air guitars, real guitars, and more events this weekend

By: - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 11:08am

7234442526_bc8e26bb12_b(Photo credit: Timothy Krause/Creative Commons)

Can’t make it to Boston Calling this weekend? Don’t just sit around getting angrier and angrier whenever your friends Instagram pics of their hippie-chic outfits (just kidding, we’re not Coachella so that’s not really a thing, at least I hope it isn’t). Check out a couple smaller music fests — one so awesome it put awesome in its own name — plus an after party featuring one of Boston Calling’s rising local acts. (more…)

This weekend in Boston: PorchFest, polka and puppy parties

By: - Thursday, May 15, 2014 - 11:49am

3692938632_a371e7a19a_o(Photo credit: Marvin Kuo/Creative Commons)

There are some sweet outdoor events coming up this weekend, but it looks like the weather won’t cooperate. When I was a kid, on rainy days when we really wanted the sun to come out (so we could play sports games or burn stuff with a magnifying glass) we would look to the skies and sing “You Are My Sunshine.” Sometimes it worked but mostly my mom just really hates that song now. Anyways, it’s worth a shot. (more…)

Punk rockers, VJ throwdowns, and more events this week

By: - Monday, May 12, 2014 - 4:10pm

6927975760_ff8596de4a_b (Photo credit: TogetherBoston/Creative Commons)

The Together festival kicked off last night, so we could have easily filled up this week’s event picks with performances, screenings, panels and parties. But the festival isn’t the only way to get some art and music in your life this week: Check out some improv comedy, live jazz, or just punk rockers wearing pasties. Sure, that counts as art. (more…)

Marathons and magic in the theater, and the rest of this weekend’s events

By: - Friday, May 9, 2014 - 1:53pm

TSC_Tempest_25(Photo courtesy American Repertory Theater)

This weekend’s a good time to see some art, music or theater, live and in-person, even if it means giving up on whatever critically acclaimed TV series you’re trying to catch up on. Unless that series is “Orphan Black” in which case just remember to change position on the couch once in a while so you don’t get bed sores. (more…)

MTBA bus driver 1660 is allegedly skipping commuter on purpose

By: - Monday, May 5, 2014 - 2:09pm

Reddit user “vinsneezelreported to r/Boston earlier today that a specific bus driver of the 59 route is driving past him on purpose. On Friday, May 2nd he caught the driver blowing by him on video:

The video is shoddy, and unfortunately, shot vertically, so the evidence should be taken at face value. It is unclear if the commuter is waiting in the proper spot and how full the bus is. If, however, the MBTA bus driver is indeed driving by the said commuter on purpose for no legitimate reason, then that is really screwed up. The 59 bus comes only once every 45 minutes; Vinsneezel shared this statement about the situation with the reddit communty:

In January this year, MTBA Driver 1660 thought it would be cute to stop half a block beyond the stop. I chased the bus and got on, and he told me “Sorry buddy. There were some girls up the street so I stopped near them. If I got to choose between you and girls, I’m choosing the girls.” I told him I didn’t really appreciate it, but I kept my cool, sat down and started talking to another passenger about mobile devices (the kid was asking about my iPad). 1660 must have thought I was cursing him out, because he started shouting at me that if I didn’t behave, he’d call the police.

On subsequent trips, Operator 1660 started making me chase the bus repeatedly. Stopping and starting so I’d start towards him, then moving again. I started videoing the bus as it approached.

In March I had my camera out as Operator 1660 bypassed me. Unfortunately the video didn’t come out very good. The MBTA Phone operators sympathized with me, but didn’t have any solution other than “Wait for the next bus”. It was freezing that night and I waited outdoors for an additional 40 minutes until another driver came. I got a limp apology email from the T.

Then on Friday May 2, 2014, Operator 1660 bypassed me again. I got it on video, this time much more clearly, and that is the link I’m posting now. The 59 route in Needham isn’t serviced by any other buses, comes once every 45 minutes (less often on the weekends) and stops running early.

I’m on the phone now with the MBTA trying to find out more information. I will update as I can. They are looking into what came the last time this was investigated.