Johnny’s List of Quirky Boston Events: 04/18/07


A lot is happening!

Let’s start with tonigh’s weirdness. Tonight, Wed Apr 18, it’s the Guitar Hero Challenge @ Common Ground Bar. This happens every Wednesday apparently. It’s like karaoke except you play Guitar Hero, the videogame. There’s also an air guitar movie out this week, Air Guitar Nation, Apr 20-26, Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St. Cambridge. Later in the year I’ll be alerting you to an air guitar competition.

Speaking of regular events, I’ve also just learned that Sundays are Frank Sinatra Sundays at Lucky’s Lounge. It’s a weekly tribute to Frank Sinatra with a live band playing and singing. The next one is Apr 21. 355 Congress Street, Boston. Every Sunday, 8:30pm-12:30am. 617.357.LUCK.

This weekend is Earth Day, and a number of events are taking place. See Minor events all over. See the web. Earth Week Beach Sweep, and New England Conservatory Philharmonia TONIGHT Wed Apr 18. Also a very touching event from the “Umass Dartmouth reading and wrighting center”. Sigh. Go little “wrighters”, go!

Boston’s is the largest celebration of Earth Day in USA. Featured is the “Annual Greatest Party on Earth”. Apr 21, 8pm-1am. 700 attend, with cocktails, breakdancing and Samba performances, and an art exhibition. I can’t tell if it’s going to be fun or just weird.

While many are hugging trees, the rest of us are bioengineering mutants in our basements. Check out the Cambridge Science Festival, Apr 21-29. I’ve been surprised by the wide variety of events and the quality of the marketing. This looks like a great one. Apr 21-29, Cambridge. For example, there is a Science Trivia Contest, Apr 25, see

Somewhat weird, check out the Baishaki Mela – Indian New Year Festival. It’s the only South Asian Indian event I’m aware of, and I’m sure it’ll be good. Apr 21. Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA. 617-786-7720. More than 10,000 revelers are expected. Vendors, Miss India New England pageant, and a team dance competition at John Hancock Hall, 180 Berkeley St, and a dance party.

Also a regular event, the Watson Adventures Scavenger Hunt is happening again, this time it’s the “Secrets of Salem”, Apr 21, 5-7:30pm. Instead of roaming around stealing road signs, this scavenger hunt challenges you to find out the secrets of this haunted old-timey village. They do these regularly in Salem and at the MFA and elsewhere, and it seems like fun but I haven’t tried it yet.

A friend of a friend is organizing a club night at Axis on Friday, Apr 20. They say “no dress code, the crazier, the better”. 13 Lansdowne St, Boston. 21+.

This weekend is the New England Folk Festival. If you like folk music, come for the dance and music performances, but more importantly come so that you can join in. They have participatory folk dancing, mainly European, and plenty of participatory singing as well. I’ve been several times and it’s a great one, if a small one. Apr 20-22, Note this year they are in a new location, at Mansfield High School in Mansfield, MA.

In the “not checking each other’s calendars” category, it’s the RI Folk Festival this weekend, Apr 21-22. This one I haven’t been to, but it takes place in a coffeehouse so it sounds a lot smaller. Peeptoad Coffeehouse, 81 East Killingly Road, Foster, RI. Atwater-Donnelly is a favorite group of mine and will perform. And there is an “Bluegrass and Old-Timey Open Jam” on Sunday at 1pm.

I have urged you before to go to the ICA, the Institute for Contemporary Arts, which is Boston’s new museum. I’m doing it again. “Ten’s the Limit”, Apr 20-21, is a showcase of choreographed dance with a limit of 10 minutes. Go see it and do the museum while you’re there; it’s awesome.

This week also the Boston Cyberarts Festival opens. To me, a festival is a single place, single time event where you can mingle with others. So the Boston Cyberarts Festival is really a bunch of loosely connected museum exhibitions that involve technology in some way. But still cool and worth seeing. Apr 20 – May 6, One example, Ideas in Motion: The Body’s Limit, which is some amazing performance dance, at the Green Street Studios, 185 Green Street, Apr 21-22,

Speaking of science, after my reading their Web site daily for ages, Wellesley College’s Whitin Observatory is finally having a public night. So you can go stargazing. Apr 22. Wellesley, MA. 7-9pm. Talk on Cassini mission to Saturn. No RSVP needed; just show up.

Loreena McKennitt plays at Citi Performing Arts Center’s Wang Theatre,, Apr 21. Bob Saget, the comedian, performs Apr 21 at the Orpheum Theatre, 1 School St, Boston. 617-931-2000.

I don’t normally list sports, but I can’t resist martial arts movies, or live events. Check out the Annual Harvard Intercollegiate Kendo Tournament, Apr 21-22, Lavietes Pavilion, Harvard University, Soldiers Field Rd, Allston, MA. It’s like sabre fighting but with kendo sticks, looks pretty cool. Best thing you can get outside of Star Wars.

Also there’s the annual Champions on Ice performance, a benefit, which means it’ll be expensive. TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, MA. Some of the most famous skaters, including Michelle Kwan, Irina Slutskaya, Sasha Cohen, Tanith Belbin, Ben Agosto, etc. I’m sure it’s good but I’m tired of winter sports and weather. It’s spring!

Much more in the Spring concept, I’m quite excited to see Art in Bloom at the MFA. It’s an exhibition of floral arrangements and artwork. Apr 21-24, MFA in Boston. There is a Monday Night Open House, with free admission from 5 to 9:45 pm. Or take a class on floral arrangement.

Advancing into a summer concept, every year the Boston Sailing Center has a Free Rides Day. I have no idea if it’s insanely popular and if there will be long lines. Check it out and tell me, my little guinea pigs. I heard that the wait to ride the mechanical bull at “The Liquor Store” is only 15 minutes, so I guess anything is possible. Sailing Apr 21-22, Lewis Wharf, Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA. 617-227-4198. 1-6pm. Dress warm because it’s not really summer yet! No experience necessary.

Finally, a winter concept, for those of you who prefer to stay indoors, not talking to those around you… the Independent Film Festival. The closest thing we have to Cannes. Apr 25-30. Various theatres in the metro area.

Recurring events, the Big Apple Circus continues through April 26. I saw it, worth seeing but don’t hurt yourself getting there quickly. It comes annually. The Museum of Science is still showing Animations and Darwin. Miss Witherspoon closes Apr 21, Titus Andronicus closes Apr 22, And the Boston Turkish Film “Festival” continues to May 11.

Enjoy and see you next week.