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Oct 182014
 

Arts Fuse critics select the best in music, film, visual arts, theater, author readings, and dance that’s coming up in the next week.

By The Arts Fuse Staff

Film

Boston Area Film Schedules — What is playing today, Where and When

A scene from the film "Omar"

A scene from the film “Omar,” the story of three childhood friends caught up in a war that seemingly has no end.

Omar
October 21
7 p.m.
Arts Emerson, Bright Light Screening Room, 559 Washington Street, Boston, MA

Emerson College and the Palestine Film Festival present a free screening of this film. A review on rogerebert.com makes the movie sound intriguing: “a thriller and a romance with unabashedly melodramatic elements (there’s even a love triangle), all of which are brought into stark relief by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Helped along by an amazing cast of mostly first-time actors, Omar feels very fresh due to its attitude, approach, and the fact that it offers no solutions. It’s the story of three childhood friends caught up in a war that seemingly has no end.”

Boston Asian Film Festival
October 23-26
Various Venues (linked below)

The opening film, Revenge of the Green Dragons, an action-crime drama with Ray Liotta and Justin Chon. Martin Scorsese served as the executive producer. Actress Shuya Chang will make an appearance along with other actors from the film. Newton native Ursula Liang directed the centerpiece film, 9-Man, which is about the gritty streetball game played competitively in the alleys and parking lots of Chinatown. MIT graduate and producer/director/actor Albert Chan presents his short film, Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future, which explores the sacrifices immigrant families make and the bonds that tie together the generations. The closing film is directed by Steven J. Kung; it is entitled A Leading Man and deal with the efforts of a Chinese-American actor, fired from a starring role on a television show, who attempts to salvage his career by way of a romance with a casting director. There are a number of other New England and Boston premiers with guest appearances by directors and artists. Saturday features a Saturday panel on Asian Americans in Media at 2:30 p.m. at Tufts Medical Center, Wolff Auditorium. Full Schedule. Link for Venues

A scene from "Tiger Tail in Blue."

A scene from “Tiger Tail in Blue.”

Tiger Tail in Blue
October 24
Sargent 102, Boston University, Boston, MA

Professor/Critic/Filmmaker Gerald Peary’s free fall Cinematheque series continues with Frank V. Ross. There are few American independent filmmakers as passionate and prolific as Chicago’s Ross. His latest work is about the up-and-down romance and marriage of two people who meet while employed at a restaurant. It accomplishes what others have tried without success: to be as harsh, courageous, and truly intimate about relationships as a film by John Cassavetes. The director will be hand for a post-film discussion.

FilmShift Film Festival
Oct. 25th and 26th
Somerville Theatre in Davis Square, Somerville, MA

The 5th Annual Filmshift Festival and Screenplay contest presents independent films with special attention paid to local films and subject, student films, and films that have a connection to environmental or sustainability issues. Ten percent of its gross ticket sales are donated to Christopher’s Haven, a local charity that finds low-cost or no-cost housing for families staying in Boston for their child’s cancer treatment. The lineup begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday with the romantic Comedy A Big Love Story. Check the website for a full schedule of features and shorts. Some of the offerings include: We Want the Airwaves: The WFNX Story (Sat at 5 p.m.), Boston Comedy Shorts (Sun at noon) and “Boston Local Student Spotlight” films: The Legacy, Maude, Stoop, Pretend, and The Robber. Full Schedule. Brown PaperTickets

– Tim Jackson


Dance

Philobolus -- a scene from "On the Nature of Things," which comes to Boston this week. Photo: Grant Halverson

Philobolus — a scene from “On the Nature of Things,” which comes to Boston this week. Photo: Grant Halverson.

Urbanity Dance, The Sun Queen
Oct 23-26, four performances each evening
280 Shawmut Ave, #1
Boston, MA

In a family-friendly “dance crawl” through six locations in Boston’s South End, Urbanity Dance presents the story of a queen who grows from childhood to womanhood and in the process “finds her own groove.” The audience — limited to 20 people per show — doubles as her royal retinue. Mobility impaired audience members are encouraged to attend the last show of each evening: you may want to call first to confirm accommodations.

Illuminus Festival/Nuit Blanche
Oct 25
540 Harrison Ave
Boston, MA

Illuminus is Boston’s first nuit blanche — a much-anticipated festival of light installation and public multimedia performance to transform Boston’s cityscape. Inspired by similar projects held around the world, this evening includes Zoe Dance in Soaked, an underwater performance streamed live from inside the pool of the Boston Sports Club. Free.

Scatter Together
Oct 24-25
Dance Complex
Cambridge, MA

Curated by choreographer/teacher Daniel McCusker, Dance Complex resident artists and special guests on this showcase, which features dancing throughout the increasingly spiffed-up Dance Complex building includes McCusker, Caitlin Corbett, Wendy Jehlen and Lydia Zimmer and dancers of Prometheus Dance. Benefit ticketing includes optional pre- and post-show receptions.

Pilobolus
Oct 24-26
Presented by Celebrity Series of Boston at the Citi Shubert Theatre
Boston, MA

Named for a fungus and impressing audiences for more than four decades, Pilobolus offers a new shape-shifting program that includes the Boston premieres of On the Nature of Things and [esc], a work created in collaboration with Penn & Teller.

Bolshoi Ballet rehearsing for "The Legend of Love."

Bolshoi Ballet rehearsing for “The Legend of Love.”

Bolshoi Ballet in “Legend of Love” on Film
Oct 26
Various movie theaters in the area, including the Regal Fenway, AMC Loews Boston Common, Showcase Cinemas de Lux Revere and Legacy Place, Dedham

A queen sacrificing her beauty for her dying sister creates the perfect storm of conditions for sibling rivalry in choreographer Yuri Grigorovich’s Middle East fantasia. This broadcast, shown at most theatres in HD, features Svetlana Zakharova, Anna Nikulina, and Denis Rodkin. The online information for these programs has been erratic, so check with your local theatre to confirm.

and further afield…

To Not Forget Crimea
October 24
Preshow panel at Fayerweather Beckham Hall
Performance at Memorial Chapel
Wesleyan University
Middletown, CT

Choreographer Katja Kolcio’s multimedia To Not Forget Crimea: Uncertain Quiet of Indigenous Crimean Tatars with live music by Crimean and Ukranian folk ensembles as well as Wesleyan student dancers and vocalists is presented with a preshow panel of political experts discussing the challenges associated with Russia’s incursion into Ukraine and the Tatar community’s nonviolent quest for indigenous rights.

– Debra Cash


Classical Music

The Queen of the Night makes her appearance in the production of "The Magic Flute."

The Queen of the Night makes her appearance in the Isango Ensemble’s production of “The Magic Flute.”

The Magic Flute
October 21 through 26
Presented by ArtsEmerson at the Cutler Majestic Theatre (219 Tremont Street), Boston, MA

“South Africa’s award-winning Isango Ensemble gloriously bursts on the scene with an acclaimed production of Mozart’s classic opera, completely reimagined, transformed and transported.”

Shaken, Stirred, and Straight Up
Presented by Dinosaur Annex
October 24, 7 p.m.
Davis Square Theater at Saloon, Somerville

Music by Lee Hyla, Jeffrey Roberts, Kevin Patton, Kati Agòcs, and John Mackey make up Dinosaur Annex’s first concert of the season, which, this year, is dedicated to the memories of Hyla and violinist Janet Packer, both of whom passed away this summer far too young.

Festival of Music and Dance
Presented by New England Conservatory
October 24, 8 p.m.
Jordan Hall, Boston

This dance-themed program, given in conjunction with NEC’s eponymous festival, brings music from various settings – opera, ballet, and the concert hall – by Dvorak, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Ravel, and Christopher Rouse. Perhaps most intriguing is Rouse’s The Nevill Feast, written in 2003 for the Boston Pops and receiving a rare outing.

Mozart and Rachmaninoff
Presented by the Boston Philharmonic
October 23 (at 7:30 p.m.), 25 (at 8 p.m.), and 26 (at 3 p.m.)
Sanders Theater, Cambridge (on the 23rd and 26th) and Jordan Hall, Boston (on the 25th)

The BPO opens its season with the Mozart Sinfonia concertante for violin and viola (Miriam Fried and Kim Kashkashian are the soloists), plus the Overture to Cosi fan tutte and Rachmaninoff’s lush Symphony no. 2.

Shall We Dance?
Presented by the New England Philharmonic
October 25, 8 p.m.
Tsai Performance Center, Boston

More dance-themed music comes courtesy of Richard Pittman and the NEP. David Rakowski’s Dance Episodes Symphony no. 5 gets its world premiere and Ravel’s great, cataclysmic La Valse concludes the program. Before that comes some Ligeti, Bernard Hoffer, and Stravinsky’s Capriccio (with Geoffrey Burleson as soloist).

– Jonathan Blumhofer

Harpschordist John Gibbons

Harpsichordist John Gibbons will perform Bach this week.

John Gibbons
October 19, 8 p.m.
New England Conservatory, Jordan Hall, Boston, MA
Free

The ace harpsichordist will perform Book 1 of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier.

Blue Heron
October 20, noon
Metcalf Trustees Ballroom, 1 Silber Way, Boston, MA
Free

The Boston University School of Music presents the acclaimed vocal group, directed by Scott Metcalfe, performing A Mass for St. Augustine of Canterbury.

Tramontana
October 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Gasson Hall, Boston College (140 Commonwealth Ave), Boston, MA

The Boston College Music Department presents Tramontana performing a program entitled “The Good, The Bad, and The Crazy: Madrigals of Gesualdo, Marenzio, and Monteverdi.”

Music for Food
October 23
Hope Central Church, 85 Seaverns Ave., Jamaica Plain, MA
(Suggested Donation $50)

This Music for Food Gala presents the program “Songs With and Without Words.” On the docket: works of Bach, Bolcom, and Mendelssohn. The musicians include Kim Kashkashian, Max Levinson, Lisa Saffer, and Julie Scolnik, as well as the Ariel and Parker Quartets. All proceeds benefit Music for Food’s educational outreach programs.

Schola Cantorum
October 24 at 8 p.m.
First Lutheran Church, 299 Berkeley St., Boston, MA

The group presents “The Flavors of Spain,” a program that includes motets by Guerrero and Lobo as well as Morales’s Missa L’Homme arme and Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Romanceros Gitanos, the latter featuring guest Aaron Larget-Caplan on guitar.

Musica Sacra in action

The group Musica Sacra in action.

Musica Sacra
October 25 at 8 p.m.
First Church, Cambridge, MA

An evening of choral music from the ‘Romantic Era,’ including works by Brahms, Saint-Saëns, Fauré, and Elgar.

Gilda Goldstein
October 26, 8 p.m.
CFA Concert Hall, 855 Commonwealth Ave. Boston, MA

The Boston University School of Music presents the acclaimed pianist performing works of Bach-Susoni, Brahms, Schubert-Liszt, Navok, Poulenc, Mompou, and De Falla.

– Susan Miron


Roots and World Music

Orville Wright Memorial Benefit Concert
Monday, Oct. 20
UMass Boston, Boston, MA

Trinidadian-born musician and educator Orville Wright had both a longtime association with the Berklee College of Music and the world of “pan” percussion. Many of his compositions became staples in the world of steelband. Tonight a variety of local jazz and Caribbean musicians pay tribute to Wright, whose death in 2012 resulted in extensive tributes in the Trinidadian press.

Cocoa Tea, Etana and Louie Culture
Thursday, October 23
Pufferbellies, Hyannis, MA
Sat. October 25
Prince Hall, Dorchester, MA

Sweet-voiced Cocoa Tea has been a mainstay of the reggae charts since the early 80’s. A master of story songs who often records in combination with dancehall stars, he shoos away an underage girl in “Too Young” and warns that a life of crime will result in a stay at “Riker’s Island.” Tourmate Etana is one of the most distinctive voices to emerge out of reggae in the last decade – her hit “I am Not Afraid” has reached anthem status. Backing duties will be handled by the Step by Step Band, which has toured extensively with Cocoa Tea.

Steve Forbert
Friday, October 24
Narrows Center for the Arts, Fall River, MA

One of several talented singer/songwriters whose careers were done no favor by being caught up in the “new Dylan” hype of the 70’s, Forbert has maintained a cult following as a solo coffeehouse troubadour whose music combines his Mississippi drawl with a wry songwriting perspective. Tonight he’ll celebrate the 35th anniversary of Jackrabbit Slim, the album that featured his hit “Romeo’s Tune,” with a rare full-band show featuring NRBQ bassist Joey Spampinato. Spampinato’s wife, Kami Lyle, will be both the keyboardist and the opener.

Sam Amidon
Saturday, October 25
Club Passim, Cambridge, MA

The scion to a family of Vermont folk singers, Amidon sings old-time ballads in an endearingly awkward and highly moving manner. His stage patter is just as off-kilter. He’s the kind of artist who provokes strong reactions. At last month’s FreshGrass Festival, a few audience members bailed after the first song, but those that remained were ecstatic in their response.

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Sugar Ray and the Bluetones
Friday, Oct. 24
Johnny D’s, Somerville, MA

While the New England blues scene may be a shell of its former self, Rhode Island-based harpist and frontman Sugar Ray Norcia won’t go down with the ship. Under his leadership the Bluetones – tasteful guitarist Monster Mike Welch, piano pounder Anthony Geraci and the crack rhythm team of Mudcat Ward and Neil Gouvin – have remained the area’s most consistently excellent blues band. Their latest CD, Living Tear to Tear, is full of the stinging Chicago shuffles that are Norcia’s trademark, but there’s also a soulful stab at Louisiana swamp pop in “My Story” and Ward’s thoughtful tribute to the highs and lows of life on the road, “It’s Never as Bad as It Looks.” The group continues its CD release tour at Scullers on December 4.

Bronco El Gigante de America
Fri. Oct. 24
Wonderland Ballroom, Revere, MA

One of the slickest and most enduring bands on the Norteño circuit, the members of the outfit long known as Grupo Bronco altered their name after a copyright dispute with an ex-manager. The steep ticket price of their Revere show proves that their fans aren’t confused by the change. Purists be warned: any accordion sounds the band uses are likely to be generated by a synthesizer.

Spiritual Wonders Phase 2
Saturday, Oct. 26, at 4 p.m.
Grace Church of All Nations, Dorchester, MA

Boston’s Spiritual Wonders first started down the gospel highway in the mid-50’s, making some classic recordings along the way. Now their sons have taken the baton and will be both paying tribute to the classic group and recording their own live album at this free will offering program.

Tribute to Bishop Lee Mitchell
Sunday, Oct. 26
Russell Auditorium, 70 Talbot Ave., Dorchester

One of the leading deep soul websites calls Lee Mitchell “one of the great unknowns” because of the staggering secular 45s he released in the 60’s and 70’s. But Lee’s roots were in Boston’s gospel scene, and that’s where he returned after his soul career ended. He was a mainstay at the gospel brunch at Boston’s first House of Blues and leads his own congregation at Dorchester’s Salvation Christian Center Church. Mitchell is facing serious health challenges and many of Boston’s gospel greats, including Clarence Thompson and the God Squad, are coming together for an afternoon of food and fellowship.

– Noah Schaffer


Theater

King Lear by William Shakespeare. Directed by Bill Buckhurst
Staged by Shakespeare’s Globe
Presented by Arts/Emerson at the Paramount Theater, Boston, MA, through October 23.

Joseph (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) Marcell stars as Lear in what critics are describing as a streamlined (“an ensemble of eight actor-musicians play multiple characters and instruments”) and determinedly “informal” take on the Bard’s tragedy. Hey, we just had a production of The Tempest that featured card tricks. What’s next? The Bard performed with performers lying in hammocks? Arts Fuse review

A scene from the world premiere production of of "Poe."

A scene from the Berkshire Theatre Festival’s world premiere production of “Poe.”

Poe, written and directed by Eric Hill
Through October 26
Staged by the Berkshire Theatre Festival at the Unicorn Stage, Stockbridge, MA

A world premiere production of a script about the final days of Edgar Allan Poe. David Adkins stars as the doomed writer, who was “found nearly dead outside a 14th Ward polling station in Baltimore on the evening of election day in 1849 … his last wanderings in the city he made famous are the subject of a play that examines the man behind the poems and stories.”

Assassins, Music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Book by John Weidman. Directed by Jim Petosa. Musical direction by Matthew Stern. Choreographed by Judith Chaffee. Staged by New Repertory Theatre at the Charles Mosesian Theater, the Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown, MA, through October 26.

In 2012 at Boston University, New Rep artistic director Jim Petosa directed a fine production of this unusual musical (even for Stephen Sondheim), which focuses on the men and women who, over the past two centuries, have killed or tried to kill America’s Commander-in-Chief. At the time, The Arts Fuse presented a Judicial Review (a round-up of critiques and conversations) on the staging: the judges included Hugo Burnham, drummer and a founding member of England’s post-punk band Gang of Four, and Jeff Melnick, an associate professor of American Studies at UMass Boston, where he specializes in twentieth-century US history. Let’s see what Petosa does with the piece this time around.

Mark Linehan and McCaela Donovan in the New Rep production of "Assassins." Photo:

Mark Linehan and McCaela Donovan in the New Rep production of “Assassins.” Photo: Andrew Brilliant / Brilliant Pictures.

In the Summer House by Jane Bowles
Directed by Caitlin Lowans
Presented by Fort Point Theatre Channel at Atlantic Wharf (290 Congress Street), Boston, MA, through October 26.

Jane Bowles’s play is a fascinating excursion into American modernism, with an accent on the female psyche. The play’s admirers include Tennessee Williams (“a piece of dramatic literature that stands altogether alone, without antecedents and without descendants, unless they spring from the one and only Jane Bowles. It is not only the most original play I have ever read, I think it also is the oddest and funniest and one of the most touching), Truman Capote, John Ashbery (“one of finest modern writers of fiction in any language), and Claire Messud. The script is damned difficult to stage, but it is well worth the effort.

Language of Angels by Naomi Iizuka. Directed by Lizette M. Morris. Staged by the Happy Medium Theatre at The Factory Theatre, Boston, MA, October 23 through November 1.

The Factory Theatre, long the go-to stage for small theater companies, will be no more after this production. Language of Angels “is a haunting tale that begins in a cave on the edge of a rural North Carolina town, where a young girl once went missing. One of nine friends is responsible for her death, yet her ghostly, echoed cries will haunt each of them forever.” Go pay your respects — this is the final curtain for one of the most trustworthy homes for fringe theater productions.

It Felt Empty When the Heart Went at First But it is Alright Now by Lucy Kirkwood. Directed by Maureen Shea. Staged by Theatre on Fire at the Charlestown Working Theatre, Charlestown, MA, through November 2.

Theatre on Fire kicks off its tenth season with the American premiere of a script from East-London born playwright Kirkwood, who has been a writer in residence with Clean Break, a company that for 30 years has been working with imprisoned women and ex-offenders. According to The Guardian, this script takes us inside the mind of a prostitute, “a the young Croatian trapped in an east London room with 22 used condoms (it’s been a quiet day) knows exactly what she’s worth. She was sold for 1,000 euros (the price of two and a half iPhones, she wryly informs us) and is now only one client away from making the £20,000 that she believes will win her freedom from her pimp, Babac.”

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare. Directed by Joey Frangieh.
Staged by the Boston Theater Company at the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts (527 Tremont Street), Boston, MA, through November 2.

One of my great critical cronies, Arthur Friedman, held this elemental belief about theater — “Short is good and long is bad.” He would probably liked this 90-minute version of Shakespeare’s romance from the BTC, which has “the goal of restructuring classic plays for young and modern audiences.” Thus this staging will mix “tablets and Photoshop into Shakespeare’s play about trickery, honor and shame. The production explores the detriments and benefits of technology and its influence on how we communicate.”

Dear Elizabeth by Sarah Ruhl. Directed by A. Nora Long. Staged by the Lyric Stage, 140 Clarendon Street, Copley Square, Boston, MA, through November 9.

“Told through the extensive and imaginative correspondence between two of the 20th century’s most important and celebrated American poets — Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell — Dear Elizabeth is a different kind of love story, of artists and friends.” Ed Hoopman and Laura Latreille star.

Tom Patterson, Lee Sellers, Michael Bakkensen (seated), and Amelia Pedlow in Elizabeth Egloff's provocative medical thriller ETHER DOME directed by Michael Wilson, playing Oct. 17 - Nov. 23, 2014 at the South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Photo: Paul Marotta

Tom Patterson, Lee Sellers, Michael Bakkensen (seated), and Amelia Pedlow in the Huntington Theatre Company production of “Ether Dome.” Photo: Paul Marotta.

Ether Dome by Elizabeth Egloff. Directed by Michael Wilson. Staged by the Huntington Theatre Company (produced in association with Alley Theatre, Hartford Stage, and La Jolla Playhouse) in the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, through November 23.

Director Michael Wilson suggests that this script is anything but a dry historical study about “America’s greatest medical discovery — anesthesia.” For him, the play – set in Boston’s own Massachusetts General Hospital in 1846 – “holds an unflinching mirror up to our ambitious American character and the ways in which class, greed, and prejudice form a twisted path to innovation.”

Bad Jews by Joshua Harmon. Directed by Rebecca Bradshaw. Staged by the SpeakEasy Stage Company at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA, October 24 through November 29.

The New England premiere of a comedy in which Jews behave badly. The plot sounds like a variation on Arthur Miller’s The Price: “two cousins wage war over a coveted family heirloom after the death of their beloved grandfather.”

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Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen. Adapted and directed by Tony Estrella. Staged by the Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre, Pawtucket, Rhode Island, October 23 through November 30.

We had Ibsen lite with the recent production of Arthur Miller’s sledgehammer-the-message-home adaptation of An Enemy of the People at the Barrington Stage. Let’s hope the Feinstein-Gamm production gives us the real complicated thing. From what I have seen, Marianna Bassham has what it takes to play Hedda, a volatile combination of steel, self-destruction, and idealism.

– Bill Marx


Jazz

Jason Yeager Trio
October 24, 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

Calling this a “trio” show is the reverse of a bait-and-switch. As on their very fine new CD, Affirmation (Inner Circle Music), pianist-composer Yeager, bassist Danny Weller, and drummer Matt Rousseau will be joined by Jean Caze on trumpet and flugelhorn, singer Aubrey Johnson, and saxophonist Noah Preminger. Expect that this CD-release show will feature some of the goodies from that disc: John Lennon’s “Julia,” a section from Olivier Messaiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time,” and Yeager’s own lyrical, swinging originals, which can conjure what was best about Bill Evans.

Jason Davis & Earthsound
October 24, 8 p.m.
Third Life Studio, Somerville, MA.

Jason Davis’s fluid bass playing informs many of the area’s Brazilian and pan-Latin jazz outfits. His own Earthsound combines ambient recordings from his work in environmental studies with a broad musical vocabulary. He’s joined by pianist and fellow composer Henrique Eisenmann, flutist Amir Milstein, and drummer Bertram Lehmann.

Joshua Redman will perform in Boston this week.

Saxophonist Joshua Redman will perform in Boston this week.

Joshua Redman Trio
October 24-26 8 p.m. + 10 p.m. [Sunday 7 p.m.]
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.

The forty-five-year-old saxophonist never fails to deliver in live performance, and this three-day, five-show rare club gig with his longtime trio-mates of bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Gregory Hutchinson is especially promising.

Makanda Project with Joe Ford
October 25, 7 p.m.
Dudley Branch Library, Roxbury, MA.

The dynamic saxophonist Joe Ford, best known for his work with McCoy Tyner and Jerry Gonzalez, joins Boston’s Makanda Project in the exploration of the work of the late Makanda Ken McIntyre, who was also a teacher of Ford’s. On hand is the usual strong Makanda crew: saxophonists Kurtis Rivers, Arni Cheatham, Sean Berry, and Charlie Kohlhase, trumpeter Jerry Sabatini, trombonists Ku-umba Frank Lacy and Bill Lowe (the latter also on tuba), singer Diane Richardson, and pianist/arranger John Kordalewski.

Pablo Ablanedo Octet(o)
October 26, 3 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA.
It would be difficult enough to resist the Argentine-born pianist/composer Pablo Ablanedo’s compelling music if his Octet(o) wasn’t so overloaded with talent: flutist Fernando Brandão, trumpeters Phil Grenadier and Jerry Sabatini; saxophonists Daniel Ian Smith, Kelly Roberge, and Rick DiMuzio; guitarist Eric Hofbauer; bassist Fernando Huergo, and drummer Bertram Lehmann.

Wordless! Art Spiegelman + Phillip Johnston
October 26, 3 p.m.
ICA, Boston, MA

Graphic novelist Art Spiegelman (Maus) will offer a multi-media presentation of early “wordless novel” masters like Frans Masereel, Lynd Ward, and Milt Gross as well as his own, new “Shaping Thought.” Musician Johnston, of Microscopic Septet fame, will accompany with period-appropriate original music. Spiegelman, never at a loss for words himself, is calling the evening “hybrid slide talk, standup routine, academic lecture, and full-scale concert by Phillip Johnston.”

Greg Hopkins Big Band
October 26, 7 p.m.-11 p.m.
Beat Hotel, Cambridge, MA

The Beat Hotel’s Sunday big band series continues with the Hopkins crew. Trumpeter Hopkins has long been one of the most esteemed arrangers and composers in town, and here’s a chance to hear him (over the Beat Hotel’s hubbub) in full flower. And there’s no cover.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band & Allen Toussaint
October 26, 8 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center, Boston, MA.

The latest word is that this highly anticipated meet-up between New Orleans musical icon Toussaint and the long-running traditionalist jazz outfit (presented by World Music and CrashArts) is just about sold out. So get on it!

– Jon Garelick


Rock

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The Thurston Moore Band
October 22
The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA

Few occurrences in rock this decade have been sadder than the dissolution of Thurston Moore’s marriage to Kim Gordon and the resulting breakup of the band they co-led, Sonic Youth. While we continue to hope that the split-ups are temporary (not that the marriage-part is really any of our business), we can at least enjoy the newly formed Thurston Moore Band and his solo album The Best Day, set for release the week of his Sinclair show.

Temples
October 24
Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA

Temples’s debut album Sun Structures is a well-crafted blast of ‘60s-psychedelia. But, as I argued in my Arts Fuse review, the record was too steeped in the 1960s, as if the band hasn’t caught on that five decades have passed. Still, the Temples make solid music and are well worth checking out, especially if you’re into all that incense and peppermints stuff.

Hey, Hey We're the Drowners.

Hey, hey, we’re the Drowners.

Drowners
October 29
Great Scott, Boston, MA

Drowners are a New York band fronted by a Welsh singer. They have a bit of a Strokes vibe, which makes sense because the Strokes are a New York band that nobody loves more than the Brits. I saw Drowners open for Arctic Monkeys in September ’13 and wrote “Keep an ear out for them. They’re one song away.” A little over a year later that still seems right — they are on the verge.

Upcoming and On Sale…

Chrissie Hynde (11/1/2014, Orpheum Theatre); Peter Hook & the Light (11/8/2014, Royale); Stevie Wonder (11/11/2014, TD Garden); Bob Dylan (11/14/2014, Orpheum Theatre); Bob Dylan (11/15/2014, Providence Performing Arts Center); Johnny Marr (11/16/2014, Paradise Rock Club); London Grammar (11/17/2014, House of Blues); Randy Newman (11/19/2014, Wilbur Theatre); Film Screening: “Pulp: A Film About Life, Death & Supermarkets” (11/19/2014, Brattle Theatre); Daniel Lanois (11/22/2014, Brighton Music Hall); Greg Trooper (11/23/2014, Atwood’s Tavern); Julian Casablancas + The Voidz (11/26/2014, House of Blues);
Future Islands (1/7/2015, Royale); The Who (5/24/2015, Mohegan Sun Arena); The Who (10/29/2015, TD Garden)

– Adam Ellsworth


Author Events

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Avi Steinberg
The Lost Book of Mormon: A Journey Through the Mythic Lands of Nephi, Zarahemla, and Kansas City, Missouri
October 23 at 7 p.m.
Newtonville Books, Newton Centre MA
Free

Author Avi Steinberg spent a year being a fascinated (though investigative) non-believer, tracking down the history of Mormonism and its founder Joseph Smith. His sleuthing took him all over the world, seeking out sights important to Mormon mythology in Jerusalem, the ruined Mayan cities of South America, and Jackson County MO, which Joseph Smith had declared to be Eden.

Cornel West
Black Prophetic Fire
October 23 at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30)
First Parish Church, Cambridge MA
$5 tickets

The always- engaging scholar and activist comes to the Harvard Book Store in an event co-sponsored by the Hutchins Center for African and African-American studies. His latest book revisits the work of crucial figures in African-American history, such as Frederick Douglas, W.E.B Du Bois, Martin Luther King, and the often-overlooked Ida B. Wells.

“>George Clinton
In conversation with Tim Riley
Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard On You?- A Memoir
October 25 at 2 p.m.
First Parish Church, Cambridge MA
$5 tickets

The music legend comes to Cambridge for a special event where the the legendary singer and bandleader will discuss and sign copies of his memoir, which chronicle his years as the trailblazing, innovative, eclectic, sui generis maestro of a funk whose distinctive imprimatur can be seen everywhere, from doo-wop and R & B to hip-hop.

reads from "Man Alive."

Thomas Page McBee will read from “Man Alive” in Coolidge Corner.

Thomas Page McBee
Man Alive
October 27 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith., Coolidge Corner, MA
Free

McBee comes to Brookline to discuss what it really takes to be a man, recounting the stories of his abusive father, the mugger who nearly killed him but let him go in an odd moment of mercy, and his own transition from female to male.

Eimear McBride
In conversation with Madeline Miller
A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing
October 28 at 7 p.m.
Porter Square Books, Cambridge MA

Eimear McBride wrote her debut novel at the age 27 and spent nearly a decade trying to have it published. Lucky she stuck to it: the result is the appearance of a work of fiction that critics are comparing with the early efforts of James Joyce and Samuel Beckett.

– Matt Hanson

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