Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cheaps: Romps, lamb and scorpion bowls

There was a heavy edit going down in this week's Cheap Thrills column in le Herald, which is why it reads kinda choppy. But it still has the goods -- Armory's Rock N Romp for the kiddies, Lamb Takedown for the carnivores and an excuse to get drunk on scorpion bowls. Word.

Rock N Romp at the Center for the Arts at the Armory, with One Happy Island, the Shills and DJ Michael Savant

Sunday, 1 p.m.; 191 Highland Ave., Somerville; all-ages, $14 (for both parent and children)
Back before Facebook and Twitter came along and made everything public, parents who couldn’t get to rock shows and parties could just pretend they never happened. But between online concert invites and morning-after photo galleries, moms and dads anchored to the house by children feel left out. The Rock N Romp series creates a family-friendly concert atmosphere that mirrors the late-night rock show vibe in the clubs just at a lower volume. And the kids can run amok. The series gets re-launched this weekend, with the indie pop of One Happy Island (kids love ukuleles!), the rock smile of the Shills and DJ Michael Savant. Children get in for free, and attendees must have one to enter. No, your cat doesn’t count.
Info:, 617.718.2191

Lamb Takedown at the Middle East

Sunday, 4 p.m.; 472 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge; all-ages, $15
OK, $15 isn’t cheap. But the other word in this column’s moniker is thrill, and relatively speaking, being able to eat all the lamb one can stomach is not only thrilling, but certainly worth the price of admission. So roll in like a lion to the Lamb Takedown on Sunday, the latest chapter in the Takedown series that has included chili and macaroni-and-cheese cook-offs. Sponsored by the American Lamb Board, each chef enlisted will be given 15 pounds of lamb to cook any way he or she chooses, and the champion - according to the attendees’ vote - will be crowned the winner of this culinary showdown. There is no limit to how much lamb a person can wolf down, and promoters promise tons of free lamb swag for all. We have no idea what that means, but it’s cool anyway.

Chinese New Year celebration in Harvard Square
Sunday, 1 p.m.; around Harvard Square and at the Hong Kong Restaurant, 1238 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge; all-ages, FREE
Some may have missed the memo, but Feb. 14 marked Chinese New Year. And 2010 is the Year of the Tiger, which bodes well for everyone not named Elin Nordegren. Luckily for us, you don’t have to be a disgraced pro golfer to celebrate the occasion with a dozen or two scorpion bowls at the Hong Kong Restaurant, which is serving as home base for Sunday’s New Year festivities in Harvard Square. The Lion Dance Parade assembles in Winthrop Park around 1 p.m. and makes its way to the Hong Kong, where family-fun crafts, calligraphy, rice dough sculpting and lantern making are in order. There’s also puppet shows and Chinese dances.
Info:, 617-491-3434;, 617-864-5311

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