Bikes, breakfast, benefits and more things to do this week

By: - Monday, Jun 9, 2014 - 1:26pm

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Happy Monday! I hope you spent the weekend in the sun drinking delicious beers mixed with lemonade and working on a sweet farmer’s tan. If you watched the Tonys last night and want to break out the black tie, you might as well do it for a good cause (and hang out with Big Papi) at Sunday’s David Ortiz Children’s Fund Gala to benefit MassGeneral Hospital for Children and the World Pediatric Project.


This weekend in Boston: Flowers, photos, festivals and more

By: - Friday, Jun 6, 2014 - 10:44am

2709256370_a180d396de_b(Photo credit: Andreanna Moya/Creative Commons)

This weekend Boston offers up some solid date ideas, plus a class on getting better at dating so you can take advantage of them. Although it’s totally OK to go to any of these events alone. You have a phone, right? You’re never alone when you have a phone, that’s what I always say. (more…)

Boston’s Run to Remember

By: - Monday, Jun 2, 2014 - 11:56am

image (1) - Edited(Photo credit: Georgia Paraskevopoulou)

The Boston Police Department and Boston Police Runner’s Club in cooperation with Boston Athletic Association, organized Boston’s Run To Remember on May 25, 2014 to honor Massachusetts Law Enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty by celebrating their lives and giving back to the community. (more…)

This week’s Boston events: Archery, astronauts, and ice cream

By: - Monday, Jun 2, 2014 - 10:48am

7865159650_0deba2db0d_b(Photo credit: comedy_nose/Creative Commons)

It’s June and you’ve officially turned off your brain for the summer (a little less “Mad Men,” a lot more “Bar Rescue”) so this week’s slate of events tends to emphasize food and ice cream and beer instead of, I don’t know, arts and learning. But you can at least drink that beer with some NASA scientists, and food is kind of like art because “you eat with your eyes,” right? Sure, why not. (more…)

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)


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

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


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.




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

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

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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:

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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…)