Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cheaps: Thee Vicars, Harmonix & RoboCop

So dope nightlife action in today's Cheap Thrills column in le Herald, where I highlight tonight's Thee Vicars gig in Allston, the PAX East Harmonix band showcase on Saturday and a RoboCop screening Friday & Saturday just before midnight. I'm still bored being home, but things are looking up...

Thee Vicars at O’Brien’s Pub

Tonight at 9, 3 Harvard Ave., Allston; 21-plus, $7
Although in the past decade bands like the Strokes and Hives took the stripped-down rock ’n’ roll formula to sold-out arenas worldwide, every now and again we need a relative unknown to roll into town and blow the roof off a bar. Enter UK psychotic-beat garage rock quartet Thee Vicars, which blasts through tiny O’Brien’s tonight with a jangly throwback sound that’s equal part the Standells and Buzzcocks. Thee Vicars’ wild, adrenaline-fueled performances are nearly riotous, and the mod suits the band often rocks onstage show they clean up well, too. Headlining space-psych rockers Pirate Love from Oslo aim to prove there is more to Norwegian music than black metal and a-ha, and Boston-based garage trio Thick Shakes open things up with fuzz-beat local flavor. Prepare to get raw and lose it in motion.
Info:,, 617-782-6245

Harmonix music showcase

Saturday at 9 p.m., 472 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, Cambridge; 18-plus, $10
If video killed the radio star in the ’80s, and the Internet killed the video star in the ’90s, video games are fast on their way to killing the Internet star in the 21st century. All we’re left with is cool hangs with alt-bros playing “Rock Band” in the living room. It’s not a bad deal. So while the brains at Harmonix have given us hours of shred-time by playing their revolutionary video games, those cats do rock out in real life, too. The PAX East 2010 video game conference is ready to take over Boston like a gang of angry minibosses this weekend, so naturally bands featuring Harmonix employees are primed to rock out nearby. This evening’s bill at the Middle East in Cambridge - a guitar chuck away from the Harmonix base - features the Main Drag, Anarchy Club, the Konks, That Handsome Devil and Death of the Cool. And no, you can’t take their guitars after the show and try to beat their best shreds.
Info:, 617-864-3278

“RoboCop” at the Coolidge Corner Theatre

Friday and Saturday at 11:55 p.m. both nights, 290 Harvard St., Brookline; all ages, $9.75
Ahh, “RoboCop” - part man, part machine, all cop. And he’s also a classic sci-fi character played by Peter Weller in this dystopian 1987 cult classic set in crime-ridden Detroit. Most people know the plot by now: a cop is murdered - a ruthless attack by the dad from “That ’70s Show” - and is pieced back together using steel and other things none of us understood as 7-year-olds at the time. Of course, watching “RoboCop” uphold the law and protect the innocent on the big screen is good as a weekend night activity, but the owners of nearby Regeneration Tattoo in Allston have raised the stakes: the Harvard Avenue ink shop is donating two $180 gift certificates to be raffled off each night. Cool right? Well, there’s a catch - the prizes are only redeemable for a “RoboCop”- or “Terminator”-themed tattoo. Want some awesome people-watching on a Friday or Saturday night? Pay attention to who enters this contest - they’re harder than “RoboCop” himself.
Info:, 617-734-2501

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