Monday, August 29, 2011

Port cruise is a stone cold groove

Damned hippies, right? Always gotta do things their way, do their own thing in their own time.  And this thyme they've naturally decided to do things a little differently — they being the Joan-and-Ra-era Fowle’s and the Canta Libre and Cluster School crowds — at least when it comes to this whole "Wasted Youth Cruise" business. It's a a three-hour cruise (all together now, a three-hour cruise) on the mighty Merrimack, from Plum Island Point to the Chain Bridge and back, that started out as an old-school reunion party, one with a distinctly counter-cultural vibe to it — and, at the same time, incorporating the spirit, if not the tedium, of Yankee Homecoming with the shut-up-and-dance fun of the Bluescruise, another Port summer tradition, focusing on survivors of Canta Libre, a short-lived, way-left-of-center alternative school back in the '70s; students at the Cluster School in Cambridge, another attempt at alt-education, and folks who remember the old food co-op at the YMCA. Well, they're doing it again this month. It won't be the Young Moderns this time, but Four Barrel Billy, Mark Hoag's Connecticut-based '60s rock and surf trio. That's them in the picture. Want a taste, see what you're getting yourself into? Here's some grainy video of them playing "A Taste of Honey" at  Uncle Eddie's, the Salisbury Beach club where folks went after last year's cruise. But this year, organizers want it to be even more inclusive, opening up the reunion to like-minded people — and everybody who likes to dance and get a little crazy, in a responsible way. The theme will be a '60s revival dance party, a concept that resonates even with folks who weren't around during those crazy times. The event will be held on the Captain’s Lady III, a large party boat departing Plum Island Point at 7 p.m. Sept. 17. If you really really really want to go, you should grab your tickets soon. It sold out last year. Rather quickly, actually. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at Dyno Records, 1 Middle St., Newburyport, and Captain’s Fishing Parties, Plum Island Point. You can get them online here, but there's a $4.50 fee tacked on. Bring a little green along with you. It's a cash bar. Sorry. For more information, call 978.462.3141. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Affirmative: The answer is yes, yes, yes

It's the last word of James Joyce's "Ulysses." It's the word John Lennon saw when he looked through the telescope at Yoko''s exhibit. And it's Brendon Pelsue and Natasha Haverty's answer to the musical question posed by Frankie Valli all those years ago: Will I see you in September? And, yup, like we said, the answer is yes. If not in Newburyport, where the two actors have been staging "The Dangling Conversation," an ongoing improvisational series, then in Cambridge. The duo begins a Monday-evening residency at the Lily Pad for performances with themes having to do with changing times and changing seasons. The show is about a complicated relationship between two people with history, lots of it, that is created in the present, in real time. It’s something of a high wire act, of course, meaning the performance could be magical or, just as easily, could crash and burn, which is kind of exciting in itself — and about as close to bloodsport as theater gets to bloodsport. And on Sept. 27, they’ll use the Lily Pad as the launch Pad for a listening party for ‘The Yankee City Series.’ Yes, “The Kindness of Strangers” and “Parents Night,” the first two episodes of the performers’ long-anticipated radio show are ready to hit the airwaves. And, shhhhh, friends and supporters will be heading to the People’s Republic for a taste of the audio. The show is a unique combination of improvisation and scripted audio drama about life in a contemporary America,exploring small-scale mania and beauty behind everyday relationships with performances that are loopy, complex, strangely true to life, and yet hopefully different from what you've seen before. All the events take place at The Lily Pad, 1353 Cambridge St., Cambridge. Tickets are $7. For more information, check out the venue or the performers' blog.