The summer solstice is here and with the BBQs, girls in their summer clothes and 90-degree heat (suck it up Boston. I survived five summers in Arizona. This is here is nuttin. It also means that the summer concert season is in full swing and this week we got two for you: REM and the Ting Tings.
No Jive Talkin’: A whacked out trio of musicians looked at the work of the Bee Gees and came to one conclusion: This would make great heavy metal music. The result is a tragedy, or, rather, the result is “Tragedy,” a rock band that has turned to the soft rock and disco hits of the brothers Gibb and transformed them with a heavy dose of heavy metal. Also along for the ride are the Motley Crue tribute band, Primal Scream, and the Journey tribute band, The Great Escape. June 13 at Bill’s Bar in Boston. Tickets: $15. Call 866-468-7619.
Summer is Here: It’s official. Why? Because the Revels say so and their events always kick off the seasons, no matter what Mother Nature says. The three-day Summersday Revels kicks off with the 4th annual Summer Street Solstice Art Celebration. On Saturday and Sunday, you’ll find circus and street performers, a “Sun and Moon Procession,” a family activity tent (does this include forcing families to speak to each other?) and a stage that will showcase traditional music from around the world (Ireland, India, Africa and the Carribean). It’s a celebration of all things that are summer and shouldn’t be missed. June 20-22, Friday 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Saturday and Sunday 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Fort Point Channel along the HarborWalk in Boston. Free. Call 617-954-3787.
It’s Fun to Be Outside: Cultural institutions tend to wind down as summer approaches. The result? We tell you to go to a cemetery instead of a play. Mount Auburn Cemetery now has a new Visitors Center, which will assist patrons with their visit. Stop freaking out. Mount Auburn is an outdoor museum with 175 acres of monuments, statues and artwork on its grounds. The Center will explain the idea behind Mount Auburn and explain how it inspired New York City’s Central Park. Once you get over the fact that you are sight-seeing and educating yourself in a cemetery, you’ll have a grand ol’ time. Visitor’s Center open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through October (provided there isn’t a funeral occurring). Free. Call 617-547-7105.
Theater on the Cape: And you thought you could hide from culture by retreating to the Cape. Resistance is futile. Theater is everywhere. The Cape Playhouse, America’s longest running professional summer theater, celebrates its 82nd Anniversary season with seven productions. “Marc Salem’s Mind Games” (June 23-July 5), “A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine” (July 7-19), “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” (July 21-August 2), “Leader of the Pack” (Aug. 4-16), “Born Yesterday” (Aug. 18-30) and “The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith” (Sept. 1-13). Performances are Monday to Saturday at 8 p.m., with matinees on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Tickets $25-$50. Call 508-385-3911.
Homecoming and World Premiere: Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra closes out its 50th Anniversary Season with a special performance that includes the world premiere of Robert Beaser’s “Evening Prayer.” Beaser is a BYSO alumnus from 1972 and says his new piece has “weight and seriousness of purpose of the experience that shaped me as an aspiring musician some 35 years ago.” Sounds big. Sunday, June 15, 3 p.m. at Sanders Theatre at Harvard University in Cambridge. Tickets: $25-$30. Call 617-496-2222.
Summer Concert: This is something you’ll want to get tickets to immediately. REM is back on the road and they’re bringing Modest Mouse and the National with them. REM is coming off their 14th album, “Accelerate,” and appears to be back to their old, rocking selves. As for Modest Mouse, you know them. But have you heard of the National? Hands down, one of my favorite bands. I’m still listening to “Boxer” and that came out a year ago. Oh and heads up. The Tweeter Center is now the Comcast Center, because it makes more sense for a cable company to bring you music than it does a retail store that sells loudspeakers. Friday, June 13, 6:30 p.m. at the Comcast Center in Mansfield. Tickets: $25-$75. Call 508-339-2333.
Summer (Hipster) Concert: Like music, but hate the crowds? Then you’re in luck, friend. One of the bands to see right now (like this instant) is the Ting Tings. You’ve heard their song “Shut Up and Let Me Go” on Apple’s newest iPod commercials (the multi-color one with the shadow people dancing around). Normally, I wouldn’t suggest a show where you only know one song from the band, but I’ve heard the whole album and I have to say a lot of the songs are moving towards my elite iPod playlist called "New." Thursday, June 19, 9 p.m. at Great Scott in Allston. Tickets: $12. Call 617-566-9014