5 things to do this weekend, including a concert from the David Wax Museum and Massachusetts Poetry Fest
May the fourth be with you, Boston. Yup, it’s the official unofficial Star Wars Day. And this weekend will be filled with Cinco de Mayo celebrations and the Kentucky Derby. But aside from partying and Star Wars memes, Boston is brimming with arts, live music and poetry. Don’t miss out on these.
Arts at the Armory Spotlight Series: David Wax Museum
Thursday, May 4
I’m a long-time fan of David Wax Museum — it’s not every band that plays an ass’s jaw (true fact, it’s called a Quijada.) Since breaking out at Newport Folk in 2010, this husband-and-wife duo has rocked CBS Mornings, NPR’s Tiny Desk and, they tell me, Pete Buttigieg’s wedding. Their new album, “You Must Change Your Life,” launches May 5, and they will play at Somerville’s Armory on May 4.
David Wax, a Harvard alum, met Sue Slezak, a Wellesley alum in Cambridge, in 2007.
“I was gigging with old-time and bluegrass bands in Boston. He just got back from Mexico and was asking around for musicians to play with him,” Slezak told me last year. “A mutual friend introduced us. David hosted his own house party in Cambridge because he couldn’t get a gig anywhere else, and I showed up at his living room to hear his show. We met in the doorway.” Their music is as danceable as it gets. Wear your comfiest shoes.
The Folk Collective presents Cliff Notez
Thursday, May 4
Passim is launching The Folk Collective, “a group of artists, musicians and cultural thought leaders from the greater Boston area dedicated to exchanging ideas and developing projects to expand and diversify.”.
The artist-led initiative will explore folk music, its roots and how it has evolved. The Folk Collective will curate, produce and present creative ideas on the Passim stage. This cohort includes Alastair Moock, Anju, Cliff Notez, Gabriella Simpkins, Kim Moberg, Naomi Westwater, Peter Mulvey and more. It kicks off with a discussion titled “Genre Bending And The Power Of Collaboration” with Cliff Notez, a multi-digital media artist, musician and filmmaker in conversation with local singer-songwriter Will Dailey.
SoWa First Friday
Friday, May 5
It’s the first Friday of the month, which means it’s time for a SoWA party. The free, family-friendly event offers open galleries and showrooms in the SoWa Art + Design District. With over 80 artists opening their doors to the public, this is a unique opportunity to experience art in a new, personal way. Meet artists and stroll shops and showrooms on Harrison Ave.
Massachusetts Poetry Festival
Friday, May 5-Sunday, May 7
Who says poetry can only be celebrated during April for Poetry Month? Not Salem. It’s time for a trip to Witch City for the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, featuring more than 75 events and some 150 poets for the first in-person festival since 2018.
Hosted by Mass Poetry, this year’s Festival will feature poets Cameron Awkward-Rich, Andrea Cohen, Mahogany L. Browne, Franny Choi, Katie Farris, Kimiko Hahn, Ilya Kaminsky, and more. Take in poetry readings, workshops, panels, multi-genre performances and a special performance by the Boston Typewriter Orchestra. (I’m intrigued.) Schedule highlights include “New England Poetry Club: An Introduction,” “Drinking It All In: The Get-Lit Poetry Tavern,” a poetry slam in partnership with the Boston Poetry Slam, “Poetry & Yoga” and “Witches All the Way Down.”
Boston Theater Marathon
Sunday, May 7
You cheered for the Boston Marathon — now get ready for the Boston Theater Marathon. The Boston Theater Marathon XXV features 50 (that’s right 50) plays. Each 10-minute play is written by New England playwrights and presented by New England theater companies. Proceeds go to the Theatre Community Benevolent Fund, which helps local theaters and artists in crisis. The marathon is divided into five blocks, each featuring 10 plays and running approximately 100 minutes. You can also buy live stream tickets to enjoy from home.