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UN THING

As I tweeted last week to the amusement of readers and friends, some family members had a recent intervention of sorts with me regarding my outlook on life and the failing state of humankind in general. While I try my best to not bring all my toxic thoughts and pessimism home with me, there is a television in that home after all, and sometimes individuals like Donald Trump and the miserable fluffers who flank him say things that are downright abhorrent on said TV, and so I can’t restrain myself. I’m sure you can relate. So while I hoped to write about something I genuinely like this week, I sadly have to put that plan on hold. Because the behavior of not only our idiot POTUS, but also of the press in tow with him in Singapore for the purportedly historic summit with Trump’s North Korean cousin, has spurred me to do something I typically try to avoid, and use my valuable column space—more or less the only outlet I have left these days to let my gripes hang out, as I am basically a middle-aged editorial desk jockey—to riff on national affairs. At the very least, I figure that a couple hundred years from now, when a descendant of the dozen or so babies from the midwest who survive the looming nuclear holocaust makes it to Boston, maybe this will be the last remaining paper remnant that could explain how this all sprung from some dumb scrum with Un in Pyongyang. Have you seen news reports about the meeting? And the side attraction of Trump’s rift with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau? It’s like watching rap beef clips on the shamelessly incendiary gossip swamp WorldStarHipHop, only this is popping off on the actual world stage. And what kind of headlines do we get? If you’re following allegedly respectable commercial outlets, then you’ve probably seen teasers such as “History beckons for Trump and Kim” (CNN); “US to offer unprecedented security deal” (Guardian); “Trump, Pompeo positive ahead of North Korean summit; officials meet to close differences” (Reuters); and “North Korea talks moving ‘more quickly than expected,’” (AP). Plus this panderiffic doozy from the New York Times, licking Donald’s duck on page one: When President Trump declared that he did not really need to prepare for his legacy-defining meeting with North Korea’s leader, he drew sighs or snickers from veterans of past negotiations. But he had a point: In his own unorthodox way, Mr. Trump has been preparing for this encounter his entire adult life. Seriously. That sentence appeared in a newspaper. Only to be outdone by the reporting about Kim Jong Un taking a walking tour ahead of his meeting with Trump. Murderous tyrants, they’re just like us! CHRIS FARAONE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Need more Dig? Sign up for the Daily Dig @ tiny.cc/DailyDig

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NEWS+OPINION 500 DAYS IN HELL NEWS TO US

Reminding you of some of the absurdities of our world that you may have mercifully forgotten BY BAYNARD WOODS

Waiting for the “Blue Wave” The dumbass Democrats “avoided disaster” on the big primary day—especially in California—last week, as news organizations all over reported. But wait, it’s a primary, right? How does a party face disaster in a primary? By electing candidates “they” think can’t win. The Democrats haven’t learned shit. Here’s how NPR laughably cast it: “Tuesday night’s results by no means mean taking back the House is assured for Democrats. In fact, indicators have moved the other direction over the past several months. But Tuesday night could have made things far worse—and they didn’t, which means Democrats have to be breathing a sigh of relief.” Democrats are back in the position of declaring dubious victory for preserving their weak status quo. People can’t predict the future, but the Democrats will not take back either the House or the Senate. Even under Trump. That’s how bad they suck.

Hashtagging the Resistance

We are 500 days into the Trump administration. A year and a half ago, it was hard to conceive of the possibility that we could last 500 days with this maniac in office. “I have a much greater sense that it is hard for a president to directly fuck up/fuck with the mechanics and contours of my life,” Mary Finn, who helped create this column, wrote in a recent text. “But it is very easy for the president to destroy the lives of people without as much power and money as I have.” So the people who are not being deported, detained, or separated from their children by ICE can get weary and stop paying attention. The people who aren’t still being prosecuted for protesting the inauguration can afford to feel indifferent again. And those who are not attacked, doxxed, or otherwise harmed by the racists and white supremacists emboldened by the president can afford a certain distance, while enjoying the frisson of seeing the next horrible tweet by Trump dissected on MSNBC. Still, I recently listened to the Slate podcast Slow Burn, which tries to rediscover what it felt like to live through Watergate, when you didn’t exactly know yet what would be important or canonized by Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. And things have been moving so fucking fast for the last 500 days that you can feel the historical memory slipping away all the time. And maybe we need to prevent that. “That’s a terrible idea for a column,” my wife told me. “No one wants to remember.” But I couldn’t help it. I wanted to try to remember some of the moments that seemed significant and then disappeared in the onslaught of events.

The Reign of Sean Spicer’s Spin Machine Spicey started out wild and crazy, scolding the press for accurately portraying the size of Trump’s slightly small inaugural crowd. That same press, which was lionized because of this, failed to mention the large number of people—more than 200—being charged for a few broken windows. But America was obsessed with Spicer’s press conferences. They blew away all other daytime ratings and regularly broke records as the Spice Boy toyed with the truth. When I was growing up, they imploded a building

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downtown, and watching it on television was thrilling. It just collapsed. It was like that. The dirty secret was that he wasn’t creating some new level of obfuscation and disinformation—but that he was doing what local flacks do everywhere and openly lying to the press. After he got fired, he was feted by Hollywood and Harvard alike. Fuck them and fuck him.

Descending the Rabbit Holes of Meta Twitter Threads I work at a place where there are people who are obsessed with debunking the myth of collusion in a horribly annoying way. It’s essentially media criticism masked as white-collar reporting. But it is an honest reaction to the feverish punditry that sees Putin’s face in every piece of toast and spins out grand narratives explaining everything with maps and airline flight paths and sealed indictments and game theory. After a few dozen linked tweets, you either felt like we were certainly doomed or that we were on the verge—at this very moment!—of defeating the vile conspiracy, whether it be Putin or the deep state. It isn’t like these threads have gone away by any means; it’s just that they’ve lost all their meaning.

Caring About Trump’s Taxes Remember when Rachel Maddow had a whole special reporting on a single page of Trump’s tax returns? It felt for a moment like a big national event—and it was nothing. And he still has not released his taxes, and no one has leaked them, and most people have stopped demanding them. No president will probably ever have to release taxes again—most want to hide how rich they are. Trump probably wants to hide bad loans and the fact that he isn’t as rich as people think. “Why don’t news reporters call him an alleged billionaire?” my cousin and political advisor, Michael Woods of Knoxville, Tennessee, asked me recently.

In our new new Trumplandia, the only thing more invisible than the Blue Wave is the #Resistance. Sure, the hashtag is still far too common on dumb Twitter threads but any sense of actual resistance by anyone in power—and even people not in power in any organized way—is out. Where are the pussy hats and the marches and the glitter dance parties in front of McConnell’s house? Many of the people who get fucked by Trump’s policies are too poor or harried or hounded to go to DC to protest. But every week, both in the district and in more than 30 cities and towns around the country, people are protesting and getting arrested as part of the Poor People’s Campaign. The heroic national news ignores it for another tweet.

Liberals Seek Salvation from Never Trumpers The #Resistance is just an excuse to move away from #BlackLivesMatter and a way to feel like a hero for just not being as bad as Trump, while the Never Trump movement is a collection of people who value an orderly conservatism that disguises its fascistic tendencies. For a while, the people like David Frum and Tom Nichols became brief heroes of this Twitter resistance. They’ve done nothing but tweet and talk. Not a one has stopped someone from being illegally arrested or deported. Paul Ryan is seen as a dissident for suggesting that Trump should probably not pardon himself.

So Much More Remember when Sam Nunberg went crazy on TV? That was wild. There’s also missing/fake Melania. There’s movievillain advisor Sebastian Gorka and fast-talking fucker Scaramucci. There’s Sheriff David Clark and Louise Mensch. A lot of these people will be forgotten. Some will come back. Others, like Mike Flynn and Paul Manafort, will forever haunt us. The one thing we’ve learned over the last couple years—things can always get worse. I’m out of words and there are so many more things.


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‘WALK THE TALK’ APPARENT HORIZON

Mayor Walsh needs to act faster to mitigate regional global warming threats BY JASON PRAMAS @JASONPRAMAS Environmental groups protested Mayor Marty Walsh last week during the International Mayors Climate Summit and subsequent US Conference of Mayors meeting— demanding fast action to make Boston carbon neutral (achieving net zero CO2 emissions) and better prepare the city for the many threats to the region from the already-visible effects of global warming. Like the two “once in a generation” storms this winter that both quickly flooded our waterfront. According to WGBH’s Greater Boston, “The good news, for advocates who think the city is falling short, is that Walsh says he welcomes public pressure in this area— and that big changes to the way the city operates are coming. Soon.” The bad news, of course, is that pols can say anything they want. But are unlikely to act until their feet have been held to the fire. So, kudos to area climate activists for continuing to do that. Interestingly, the summit was scaled down from a huge confab that would’ve hosted thousands of public leaders from the US and China in 2017 to a smaller 2018 conference that featured “20 US mayors and four officials from cities in other countries, including China,” according to the Boston Globe. Walsh is doubtless happy to blame the election of the Trump administration for the lack of State Department support for the conference leading to a year’s delay and the lower turnout. Democrats like himself and former Secretary of State John Kerry—who originally announced Boston summit plans in Beijing in 2016—are getting a lot of political mileage out of poking holes in Trump’s slavish support of the oil, coal, and natural gas industries that are directly responsible for global warming. While pointing to his pulling the US out of the Paris climate accord by 2020 as tantamount to ecocide. Unfortunately, the Democrats have been no less slavish in their support of the oil, coal, and natural gas industries at every level of government. And the Paris agreement is perhaps the best example of that slavishness. Because the Paris climate accord is voluntary. So, even in countries that ratify it, the treaty can’t force the fossil fuel industries and the governments they often effectively control to do anything. No surprise there, since the process that launched it—the annual Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change—allows fossil fuel corporations to participate in everything from funding its meeting sites to directly influencing its negotiations and implementation rules, according to 2015 and 2017 reports by Corporate Accountability International (CAI, formerly INFACT). An advocacy group that previously helped organize the Network of Accountability of Tobacco Transnationals—a coalition of mostly third world NGOs that helped exclude nicotine purveyors from the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, a World Health Organization treaty process. CAI and its allies have repeatedly called for the fossil fuel industries to be similarly banned from participation in the negotiation of climate change treaties. To no avail, thus far.

The bad news, of course, is that pols can say anything they want.

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For example, Boston (and the Commonwealth) One can certainly argue, and many do, that having can enact regulations that would force developers even a voluntary treaty on global warming is better of the millions of square feet of new building than not having one at all. But if multinational energy projects sprouting up around the city to prepare for corporations like ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron, Peabody, flooding from global warming-induced sea level rise. and BHP Billiton were willing to voluntarily phase their Especially new construction in the city’s now massively fossil fuel lines out of existence, I would think that they overdeveloped waterfront. Hub solons can also pass would be well on the way to carbon neutral status by regulations that would compel those same developers to now. After all, most of them knew about the dangers of power new buildings with genuinely renewable energy global warming decades back. According to a timeline (i.e., not natural gas or nuclear). And regulations that by Climate Liability News, Exxon knew in 1977, Shell in would also make such buildings as energy efficient as 1988, and those companies and many others formed the possible. Global Climate Coalition specifically to cast doubt on Beyond that, the city should get going on actually climate science in 1989. building flood defenses, neighborhood cooling centers, Almost 30 years later, it seems foolish to bet on and pressing ahead with operationalizing other big companies that make obscene profits by selling fossil ideas currently under discussion in various city planning fuels to suddenly have a change of heart and agree to processes. Or outside of them in my case—as with my stop making those superprofits. support for moving key city infrastructure to higher Circling back to Boston, Mayor Walsh drew fire from ground at speed, and eventually moving the seat of groups like 350Mass and Mass Sierra Club last week Massachusetts state government to Worcester. on largely the same grounds. The city is not doing Ultimately, properly preparing the city to deal with much more than drafting plans to implement mainly the negative effects of global warming is everyone’s voluntary measures to mitigate the effects of global job. Because politicians can’t do it all themselves. Nor warming in the coming years. should they. So, readers should contact the mayor’s It’s also working on those plans—formally and office regularly to demand faster action on the issues informally—with major corporations that play a variety mentioned above, participate in relevant public hearings of roles in worsening global warming. From investing and meetings to make your voices heard, and get active in fossil fuel industries to developing environmentally with any of the environmental organizations large unfriendly buildings. And it’s potentially or small that look to be fighting hardest in the public underestimating the threat from global warming by interest. choosing to ignore more dire climate models in its Just remember, Bostonians failing to be vigilant can planning that are still well within the mainstream result in city government dropping the ball on even of climate science. City government is also not fairly straightforward climate-related promises. Like addressing all the major systemic “tipping points” under former Mayor Thomas Menino’s plan to plant 100,000 investigation by climate scientists that could conceivably new trees by 2020. As of this month, there’s been a net affect the Boston area and their interrelation to each gain of 4,000 trees since the initiative was announced a other. Focusing instead on three imminent threats: sea decade ago. level rise, air temperature rise, and more intense storms. In the same period, New York City promised to plant Major planning processes on minimizing the risks 1,000,000 new trees by 2017. And reached that goal two presented to us by global warming are absolutely years early. They’re also well ahead of Boston with global necessary and a difficult undertaking at the best of warming preparations. times. Yet there’s little sense that Boston’s developing Worth considering why that might be. Before the climate plans are going to result in the policy pedal next mayoral election. being pushed to metal anytime soon. Hence, last week’s protestors’ event hashtag: #WalktheTalkonClimate. The environmental groups made clear that we need Mayor Apparent Horizon is syndicated by the Boston Institute Walsh and the rest of city government to take swift for Nonprofit Journalism. Jason Pramas is BINJ’s action to reduce the many threats from runaway global network director, and executive editor and associate warming as much as any one city or region can… and do publisher of DigBoston. Copyright 2018 Jason Pramas. less talking about the need to take swift action. Licensed for use by the Boston Institute for Nonprofit That means divesting the city of all financial holdings Journalism and media outlets in its network. in fossil fuel corporations. And moving on the Boston City Council’s resolution of last fall unanimously supporting “Community Choice Energy”—a plan that would allow Boston to join with other municipalities in buying energy in bulk on behalf of residents and small businesses. Enabling the city to mandate a higher percentage of renewable energy in such purchases. Then creating regulations with real teeth aimed at mitigating the many likely harms to our city from CLIMATE PROTEST OUTSIDE JUNE 8 US CONFERENCE OF MAYORS MEETING IN BOSTON. climate change. PHOTO COURTESY MASS SIERRA CLUB


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H2 NO GUEST OPINION

Boston must reject an Amazon HQ for the sake of small businesses BY BENYAMIN B. LICHTENSTEIN

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Mayor Marty Walsh and Boston lawmakers have been among the most vocal cheerleaders for Amazon to bring its second headquarters, better known as HQ2, to our city. But a look away from Beacon Hill and toward businesses on Main Street will show that rather than rolling out the red carpet, many small business owners think this move goes against our local community by offering unprecedented tax breaks to Amazon. Their concerns are worth airing in light of a possible HQ2 deal. Overall, rather than creating countless exemptions worth billions in corporate welfare to the third richest company in the world, lawmakers should focus on supporting the growth of local small businesses, which pay their fair share in taxes without asking for special treatment. Moreover, forced to compete with Amazon on an uneven playing field, small businesses would find it nearly impossible to retain talent if HQ2 comes here. Amazon would be able to leverage its advantage to offer cushy arrangements for executive-level and high-skilled positions at HQ2—all while failing to pay its warehouse workers a living wage. Worse, Amazon would likely poach the best and brightest from local companies to join its ranks, a practice it has done across the country. That would leave small businesses across a range of industries gutted. The ripple effects would be significant, considering roughly 44 percent of all company employment in Boston happens in small businesses. They generate about $15 billion in annual revenue and employ 170,000 workers—they are the heartbeat of our local economy. Instead of cozying up to Amazon, we should be working on ways to help small businesses capitalize on the vast opportunities created by the digital transformation. In addition, the unintended consequences of HQ2 would be substantive. Locating the large-scale building in Boston would cause the price of rent to go through the roof. Boston already has little room for commercial expansion and growth. As the fourth most densely populated city, and with our land supply locked in, adding thousands of tech elites from Amazon would result in rent prices that few hardworking Bostonians could afford. Small businesses and mom and pop shops could be forced to give up their offices and retail spaces. By supporting this single corporate behemoth, we diminish the capacity of our vast small-business community. For these reasons and others, it’s imperative that we rethink our interest in HQ2 and refocus on the 80 percent of all companies that are small businesses. The local and communal benefits of these family firms will have far more positive longlasting effects for the region and all the employees within it.

The ripple effects would be significant, considering roughly 44 percent of all company employment in Boston happens in small businesses.

Benyamin B. Lichtenstein is a professor of management at UMass Boston.


COLORADO CAKE WALK GUEST OPINION

Masterpiece ruling doesn’t crumple opponents BY REV. IRENE MONROE

A pall hung over me last week. As Pride celebrations were getting underway across the country, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of Jack Phillips, the baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple—Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig—on the grounds of religious freedom, in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. In a 7-2 decision, the justices argued that the commission in their home state had exhibited hostility toward religion in its treatment of the case. While the justices did not blatantly grant a license to discriminate against LGBTQ Americans, I, like so many in our community, was hoping the case would render once and for all a cease-and-desist order, thus resolving the God-versus-gay rights dispute for those who want to codify discrimination against us under the guise of religious freedom. Furthermore, as the justices left it open whether the decision will influence the business interactions of other opponents of same-sex marriages in the wedding industry—say, photographers, florists, wedding planners, venues, honeymoon resorts, to name a few—Justice Kennedy’s ruling will no doubt keep this debate going. “It is very unfortunate that this ruling reinforces the ‘God vs. gay’ narrative that has pervaded our discourse and policy-making,” Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA, said in a statement. “Many LGBTQI people and others who are working towards full equality in our country are people of deep faith and know that our identities are sacred gifts.” The Phillips win, in my opinion, is a colossal blow to civil rights gains and state nondiscrimination laws, and leaves room for the denial of services to LGBTQ Americans based on a business owner’s religious beliefs. For example, in December 2017, President Trump’s solicitor general, Noel Francisco, suggested that these businesses hang anti-LGBTQ placards saying things like, “No Gays Allowed,” warning us to stay away. When White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to clarify the President’s position on the matter, she responded that the president “certainly supports religious liberty … I believe that would include that.” As a black lesbian living in the US during this Trump administration, I now feel like I am unquestionably moving into a new Jim Crow era reestablishing discriminatory laws targeting LGBTQ Americans. I grew up knowing about racist placards that read things like, “Colored Water Fountain,” “Waiting Room for Colored Only,” and “We Serve Whites Only,” to name a few. In Jim Crow, America’s restrooms were a hot-button issue, as they are today, and a battleground for equal treatment. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination based on national origin, race, hue, gender, and religion. The law mandated desegregation of all public accommodations, including bathrooms. The Obama administration expanded the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect LGBTQ Americans, but Trump’s administration revoked federal guidelines permitting transgender students from using “gender-appropriate facilities,” which aligned with their gender identity. Face it, folks, since Trump has taken office there has been an erosion of LGBTQ rights under the guise of religious liberty. Transgender Americans being denied access to public lavatories is eerily reminiscent of the country’s era of denying African-Americans access to lunch counters, water fountains, libraries, gas stations, theaters, and restrooms, to name a few. Last June, Trump paid tribute to the 49 LGBTQ victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre but failed to issue a proclamation for Pride Month. This year, the Trump administration repeated the insult. What’s worse, in a Trumped-up Supreme Court, there is talk among Christian evangelicals of walking back Obergefell v. Hodges, the historic SCOTUS ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states. Many conservatives argue this is not a repudiation on same-sex marriage, but rather a principled stance to fight for free expression unfettered by the tyranny of political correctness. “We at Cato have long supported both religious liberty and gay rights, insofar as the agenda of each is consistent with the liberty of unlimited constitutional government,” said Roger Pilon, founding director of the Cato Center for Constitutional Studies. “But we draw the line when same-sex couples turn around and use government to force venues against their religious beliefs to participate in same-sex ceremonies, as happens too often today.” Meanwhile, Pilon states there’s no room to ensure that LGBTQs will not be discriminated against because of who we are and who we love. Democracy can only begin when those at the margin can experience what others take for granted. On that front, I’m not confident that this administration has our backs.

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DIRTY OLD BOSTON THROWBACK

How Hub media covered Korea 100 years ago BY PETER ROBERGE

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With media attention focused almost solely on the turbulent affairs and this week’s summit between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un of North Korea, we’ve heard a lot about topics like nuclear diplomacy of late. But even before North Korea was ruled by some certifiable madman or another, back when the North and South were united, the intrigue coming from the West— including here in Boston—was of a similar fashion, underlined by apprehension over perceived threats, however valid. Looking back to the early 20th century, the Russo-Japanese War broke out in 1904 over, among other things, influence in what was at the time a singular Korea. Shortly after that conflict began, international negotiations impacting that part of the world commenced in Washington, DC. The Boston Sunday Globe sent a reporter down to interview Japanese diplomat Takahira KogorŌ, with one topic of discussion being “Yellow Peril,” or what would nowadays be seen as purely xenophobic nightmares that Americans have about an East viewed as an aspiring imperial force. Addressing such concerns, as well as the possibility of a combined military force between China and Japan, the ambassador said that any such worries were founded in “gross ignorance or malicious desire to harm Japan in the eyes of the world.” It doesn’t seem the Boston media paid much attention to remarks made by Takahira. Racist headlines about “Yellow Peril” persisted; in a 1917 Globe dispatch, writer Arthur Brooks Baker described his encounter with a “yellow heathen,” depicting his speech with a bigoted accent, even mentioning the prospect of indenturing the person into slavery. The idea of “Yellow Peril” was additionally used in a more general sense, often applied to people from all Asian nations, reducing them to one threatening entity. Such efforts were co-branded with patriotism, not unlike contemporary rhetoric from anti-immigration voices. Only in the 1920s, it seems, did journalists begin to differentiate between people from different countries and regions; even then, however, the sentiments were derogatory. In the early 1920s, as America was rife with anti-Asian sentiment in part due to the threat of Japanese expansion, the Boston Post sent a reporter to Seoul for a “Trip to the Orient,” where he hailed Korean society for improvements that came under Japanese rule. Thirty years later, the Korean War broke out between the North Koreans, backed by China and the Soviet Union, and South Koreans, backed by the US and others. In the decade that followed, the threat of atomic warfare loomed large. Reports about such situations may have changed in tone and their degree of prejudice in the time since—as have some of the allegiances, with US President Trump coddling the Russians and the North Koreans—but in many ways, in the context of past coverage, it seems America is stuck at a similarly sketchy crossroads, and is, at least to some degree, still grappling with media-assisted threats of nuclear annihilation. This throwback is a collaboration between Dirty Old Boston, the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism, and DigBoston. For more throwbacks visit facebook. com/dirtyoldboston and to help us keep on digging please contribute at givetobinj.org.


WHEN BLOCKCHAIN AND CRYPTO MEET CANNABIS TALKING JOINTS MEMO

A primer on investments backed by Dennis Rodman’s fly diplomacy skills BY DIG STAFF @DIGBOSTON

You were probably as dumbfounded and hilarity struck as we were at the sight of Dennis Rodman on the tube in Singapore this week. Shilling for his personal interests among world leaders who were also pushing for their own selfish gains, the former Detroit Pistons hotheadturned-joker ambassador sparked an unexpected conversation—especially considering that he was speaking from a part of the world where smoking pot can get you executed— about… cannabis and cryptocurrency?! Simply by rocking a T-shirt on TV propping the peerto-peer payment PotCoin. Meanwhile, our email boxes at the Dig are inundated with news and releases about these new currencies and services. It’s a green rush and a gold rush at the same time, and while we’re obviously skeptical of anything that sounds as monumentally enticing as that righteous combination, we will still be covering the trend. We’ll have some interviews with CEOs and players in this realm in the coming weeks, but for now we’ve scanned the marketplace of several dozen canna-coins and selected a couple for reasons ranging from their recent popularity to name appeal, to see what kind of competition Rodman’s team is facing.

• The app-based GreenMed (GRMD, Market Cap: $422,498) markets itself as “the world’s first ERC-20 Ethereum token backed application enabling customers to purchase Legal Marijuana using their Debit or Credit Cards.” Judging by their recent social media activity, this currency is actually backed, at least in part, by some of the sweetest indica-dominant Girl Scout Cookies imaginable. • Paragon (PRG, Market Cap: $6,357,976), a majorly hyped operation of late, “seeks to pull the cannabis community from marginalized to mainstream by building blockchain into every step of the cannabis industry and by working toward full legalization.” Not unlike a lot of others, but what’s refreshingly unique here is that there’s an actual community—not to mention a brick-and-mortar space in LA, with others on the way—as well as real growers, weed, etc. behind their digital tokens. As opposed to those just claiming they’re a movement or a lifestyle brand. • Definitely check out düber (DBR), a token that “incentivize[s] and improve[s] information exchange in the cannabis community [between] consumers, retailers, labs, processors and growers.” They’re essentially rebate people, but in a seriously cool way, as users can earn tokens by writing reviews and by simply being return customers. It’s a cannabis incentive program that we hope to see in Mass ASAP. • There are also bigger, more obscure risks, from the smaller Smoke (SMOKE, Market Cap: $52,526), “an incentivized, distributed social media application for the cannabis community, that rewards users in cryptocurrency for reviewing strains, interacting, creating content and engaging others,” to KushCoin (KUSH, Market Cap: $260,130), which bills itself as “a multinational project seeking to implement blockchain innovation in the nascent and highly inefficient market of vertically integrated medical marijuana supply chains.” Or you can wait until next month and there will probably be even more. Lastly (for now at least) is the Rodman-affiliated PotCoin, founded in Canada in 2014, which Fortune magazine described as aiming “to give cannabis dispensaries and farmers access to banking services.” According to its own materials, “PotCoins are digital coins you can send via the internet, which allow cannabis enthusiasts to interact, transact, communicate and grow together.” The company has also sponsored Rodman in the past to visit North Korea, and while that marketing effort didn’t result in the extended boost in trading value that executives had likely hoped for, this most recent dispatch of the power forward spurred a noted spike in the wake of the so-called Singapore peace summit. Interesting stuff, sure, but despite the recognition from Team MAGA, it’s probably the wrong pick for conservative investors.

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‘OH COME ON’ FEATURE

David Cross has changed a lot since he came of comedic age in Boston. For starters, he’s famous now. BY CHRIS FARAONE @FARA1

I’m one of those annoying, stubborn pricks who is incapable of liking somebody or something that is hugely popular. David Cross is one of few exceptions, along with Wu-Tang Clan, pizza, and little else. His original run of the HBO sketch gem Mr. Show with Bob [Odenkirk] and David taught me to embrace and seek out unconventional humor, and it has been exciting watching him rise from his start as just another gifted writer and comedian, to getting regularly recognized by average normies who can’t name or place him, to in the past few years becoming something larger than the former category but still not so famous that he can’t throw on a hat and blend into a crowd. Though I admire Cross’s work in almost everything he’s done beyond that Alvin and the Chipmunks movie, I didn’t nerd out too hard or dwell on such obviously major turns like his role as Tobias Fünke in the iconic twisted tube smash Arrested Development. I managed to pitch one question about Hits, the underrated yet outstanding 2014 film he both wrote and directed, but otherwise I mostly used our limited allotted time to rap about his latest stand-up outing and to play the pandering pathetic fanboy that I am. I have interviewed Cross several times before, and he never gets less awkward in the company of compliments. Thinking back on our most recent chat ahead of this week’s Wilbur show, I think the true humility beneath his hipster dick facade and Hollywood credentials may be part of what compels so many of his longtime diehards to stick with him through such significant stardom.

You may not know the stand-up, but it’s cool and it’s coming to your town and they don’t get a whole lot of people coming through there. Let’s make it a date night.

This tour looks pretty brutal. Not exactly a short jaunt between acting gigs. What kind of preparation goes into this? And how much is the show the same from night to night and city to city? This is the quickest I have turned around and done another tour. I didn’t have a ton of material, so what I did differently is booked a shit-ton of shows starting at the end of January to get ready and work on material. As opposed to every other time [when] I’ve had five years between tours and I would over those five years accrue all of this various material I could pull from … this time I had to actually go and write it. In the beginning it was all over the place, but it really started to shape up about a month ago. To answer the second part, it will definitely vary from night to night, just because of my approach to standup, it’s very loose. I know what I’m doing, but I have a tendency to riff and go down these kind of little paths that I wasn’t planning on. Which is why I have a setlist on stage with me. … I assume that as you have gained fans as an actor, your comedy fanbase has grown, you’ve done larger venues, etc. Do you basically have one fanbase at this point? Or are your Mr. Show and stand-up followers still a different breed at this point? It’s a mix of people, but I certainly have my hardcore stand-up fans who come to multiple shows. Just as I was doing all these shows in New York, I noticed people coming to five different shows. There will always be a mix, and it was certainly evidenced by the last tour I did, where there were people who aren’t all that familiar with my stand-up stuff. Half of the cities are smaller towns. Boston’s going to have a more kind of sophisticated fanbase, and for some other places it’s an opportunity to go see a stand-up you’re familiar with and you liked their stuff in the movies. You may not know the stand-up, but it’s cool and it’s coming to your town and they don’t get a whole lot of people coming through there. Let’s make it a date night. Am I right to assume that when you made Hits, you were hardly able to imagine how much more social media could drive us insane? Would you have made any part of that film differently knowing what you know today? I just wouldn’t even … it would be a different movie. It’s amazing how much things are completely different. The turn in Hits at the end, when Dave is revealed to be this Alex Jones-loving guy, that was before the Bundy ranch thing happened. I think it might have been within two weeks of our premiering at Sundance that Sean Hannity was interviewing [gadfly rancher Cliven Bundy] and he was like, [“The negro … are they better off as slaves,

>> OH COME ON. SUN 6.17. WILBUR THEATRE, 246 TREMONT ST., BOSTON. THEWILBUR.COM 12

06.14.18 - 06.21.18 |

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picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy?”] And it was like, Whoa, back it up. And this guy who was their hero that they were all behind turned out to be this racist guy. That was a little vindicating but yeah, it’s almost cute now. It’s this antiquated thing that shows you how much innocence we’ve lost in just a number of years.

What are you reading these days? What’s your diet? I’ll tell you what’s on my little [browser] here. … You’ve got Daily Kos, the Guardian, New York Times, Splinter, Raw Story, Talking Points Memo. Those are more of the news ones, then I got a bunch of sports shit. Are you mostly in New York these days? Yeah. I try not to be anywhere else. Work takes me to a lot of places, but I’m in New York if I can be. How much does New York these days look like the New York that you spoke so much about in your comedy immediately after 9/11? I’m much, much, much different than I was when I first moved to New York. I have a different life. I was really not in a good way, kind of excessively partying and doing all that kind of stuff. I was having fun, but it wasn’t good or healthy, physically or mentally. I have a wife and a kid now and am living in Brooklyn. As for that New York—of course a lot of it has been displaced—there are fond memories, but I’m not part of that scene anymore. I love Brooklyn, I truly love where I live, and I’m thrilled that I can bring up a human being in Brooklyn. She won’t have to have my childhood. I have managed to get some good Boston stories out of you in past interviews. Anything else you have to share? Boston was hugely important in my development— as important as any other aspect of it. I was there for a long time. I grew up in Atlanta, but I became an adult in Boston. I have very fond memories. It was a very creative time. We didn’t have any money—we didn’t know where our next meal was coming from. Where were you living? Everywhere, everywhere. Cambridge, Somerville, Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Allston. You’re going to be here two weeks before cannabis dispensaries open. How much do you consume these days? Any general thoughts on commercial marijuana? Are you excited? Just that it’s about time. It’s way overdue. I don’t really smoke a lot anymore. I don’t handle it as well and I have way more responsibilities than I used to plus things that I want to get done in my life. I will say that on my last tour, going through somewhere in Colorado, and I was so excited for legalized weed. We went to one of these dispensaries, and you have to go through this security thing, then down an elevator. … It’s the future, but as imagined in the 1980s. It’s all white and there are all these security guards, and they’re in these vaguely Logan’s Runish outfits. I bought some stuff and was so excited by the idea that it didn’t occur to me for about 30 minutes that I just paid taxes on weed that was more expensive than in New York, where I just call a guy and he brings it to me. What am I so fucking thrilled about? That thrill quickly went away, but it’s about time that people don’t have their lives ruined for smoking weed.


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PRECINCT 10, WEYMOUTH EATS

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Not all shopping center restaurants are created equal BY MARC HURWITZ @HIDDENBOSTON

While the suburban dining scene in the Greater Boston area has improved greatly over the past decade or so, let’s be honest here—you generally won’t find the same restaurant-rich vibe that you get in such places as the South End, Allston, or Cambridge’s Inman Square in the suburbs. And when it comes to suburban shopping centers, it’s almost expected that you’ll be faced with national chains, pizzerias, sub shops, Chinese-American eateries, and other spots that may be more about the quantity and the price rather than the quality. This has changed to an extent with the building of such new mixed-use developments as MarketStreet Lynnfield and Dedham’s Legacy Place, but when it comes to old shopping centers such as the RK Center Plaza in Weymouth, there’s little hope of finding good eats. Or is there? This generic retail space just off Route 3 is actually home to a sleek new(ish) restaurant called Precinct 10 that wouldn’t be all that out of place in downtown Boston and is run by a group that also operates a few highly rated dining and drinking spots south of the city. Precinct 10 is one of those places that is very easy to miss, because (as stated earlier) it’s in a dusty and rather plain-looking shopping center that has power lines cutting through it and two busy roads (Route 18 and 53) meeting up just north of its sprawling parking lot. The restaurant resides at the far left edge of the retail strip and doesn’t look like much from the outside— though to be fair, even the Gardner Museum wouldn’t look like much from the outside of a shopping center—and some may actually feel a sense of deja vu with its space, as it used to be home to the wonderful old Hilltop Butcher Shop. And while shopping center storefronts tend to be difficult to “beautify,” the people behind Precinct 10 have done quite a job with what they had to work with, as the interior is sleek and full of atmosphere. It looks just a bit like a dining and drinking club from long ago, which is what they seemed to be aiming for, calling it “an upbeat and modern take on an early 1900s Prohibition-era speakeasy.” Precinct 10’s space is quite large, with a lounge area to the right just as you walk in, a roomy bar in the middle, and lots of tables, booths, and bench seating to the left, right, and behind the bar. By the way, a fake oak tree is set up near the bar in a nod to a family member of the owners back in the Prohibition era who apparently hid some liquor in a cellar under an oak tree. The Hynes Restaurant Group, which is behind Precinct 10, runs some pretty nice spots on the South Shore, including Bay Pointe Waterfront Restaurant in Quincy, Stockholders Steakhouse in Weymouth, and 42 Degrees North in Plymouth. Much like those places, this restaurant is upscale without being overly stuffy or formal, and the staff here reflects this, being among the most professional you’ll find in the Boston suburbs while also being friendly and engaging. The menu at Precinct 10 is similarly unpretentious, featuring modern takes on comfort food items while keeping things relatively simple for the most part. A few items of note here include a not-too-thick and not-too-thin clam chowder with plenty of chopped clams and potatoes; a tater tot poutine that really isn’t a true poutine, but it has tater tots, cheese sauce, and pulled pork, so what’s not to like; house-made meatballs made with beef, pork, and Italian sausage and served with plenty of red sauce and parmesan cheese; a stuffed-to-thegills meat and cheese board with a variety of cured meats and aged cheeses along with artichoke hearts, peppers, and more— though be forewarned that they add a healthy balsamic drizzle (more like a balsamic pour) to the board, so if you’d rather not have this, definitely ask them to leave it off; a marvelous smokehouse platter that includes all kinds of smoked meats (and yes, they do have a smoker here) such as brisket, baby back ribs, pulled pork, and house-made sausage; baked macaroni and cheese with penne and 10 different cheeses and made even better with the addition of fried chicken; a huge chunk of grilled Atlantic swordfish with jumbo shrimp, asparagus, and a delicious mashed potato cake; a classic prime rib that can be ordered as a queen or king cut and has a roasted garlic-rosemary au jus; and a sublime Cajun spice-rubbed bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin with a bourbon maple glaze. The beer and wine list is pretty standard at Precinct 10, but this really seems more like a place to get a cocktail, and the offerings include a mix of modern and retro drinks including naked cosmos, sangria, sidecars, and “large format” drinks that are for three or more people (one option is the Pineapple Queen, which is made with Absolut Elyx vodka, passionfruit, spiced agave, and lime, and is served in a large copper pineapple). Prices are fairly reasonable overall at Precinct 10, with mains being mostly in $15 to $30 range, while individual cocktails tend to be between $10 and $13. Let’s face it—most people don’t exactly get stoked when their friends or family members say, “Are you ready to head over to the suburban shopping center for dinner?” But that may change a bit as places such as Precinct 10 start to move into these aging retail centers, especially since their huge parking areas make it a lot less of a hassle for people with cars to go to them than, say, a dining spot on Boylston Street in the Back Bay. Dining in the suburbs can be a downer at times, but this South Shore restaurant and bar proves that it doesn’t have to always be that way. >> PRECINCT 10. 110 MAIN ST., WEYMOUTH.


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EDGE PETAL BURN MUSIC

How to survive past trauma and prevent future wrongs BY NINA CORCORAN @NINA_CORCORAN

PHOTO BY OMARI SPEARS

You can’t erase every trace of a scar, but you can reclaim it as it fades. The pattern becomes a familiar shadow, a blotch-like line from a damaging event that softens over time, a battle wound to remind you that you survived. The scar is semi-permanent, emphasis on the semi. And sometimes, if you have the energy, that scar can be the motivation you needed to prevent other scars from forming in the future. That’s a process that’s becoming increasingly familiar for Olivia West, the vocalist and primary songwriter of local act Edge Petal Bloom. On the band’s long-awaited debut LP, Glass Cannon, she confronts multiple traumatic events from her past with unflinching confidence, the type of delivery that uses stoic lyrics to straighten her posture. Along with guitarists Lea Jaffe and Huxley Rittman, bassist Nicholas Owen, and drummer Jeff Crenshaw, she’s able to use Edge Petal Bloom as a powerful outlet to overcome personal and communal struggles. If her name sounds familiar, there’s a good chance it’s because you listened to Ricecrackers, a now-defunct outlet in which a handful of the band’s members created a similar style of music through a more lighthearted delivery. “I’m glad we’re Edge Petal Burn now because it feels like a reincarnation of Ricecrackers, a band I loved and wanted to be in, but while feeling new,” says Crenshaw. “I was stoked to be asked to join back then and am even more stoked with this new version as Edge Petal Burn.” A change in name traditionally comes from a

newfound desire to reshape an artist’s image. The backstory behind Edge Petal Burn’s moniker follows suit in that way, but it also reaches far deeper than a string of cool-sounding words. While in high school, West studied botany at a local community college in Seattle. When she learned that hydrangeas see their petals burn off when they’re overwatered or left in the cold for too long, she found herself fixated on what the image suggested. “I thought it was a very interesting correlation between trauma and humans, and trauma and plants,” says West. “I really liked how strong the symbolism was, because I think it represents the importance of tending to things so you don’t lose them.” Much of Edge Petal Burn’s strength comes from how masterfully it pulls off a heavy, yet fluctuating, sound. The band hurls itself into heavy, almost doom metallike tones and then employs gothic folk flairs, like the meeting point of Marissa Nadler and Chelsea Wolfe. Strings appear with grace to bring a warmth to the material. Guitars cross over one another without stealing the spotlight, save for the hurling guitar solo on “Water.” Above it all is West, singing with the bravado of artists like Zola Jesus and PJ Harvey. There’s clearly a classically trained singing style engrained in West’s vocal delivery, but she hits so many different types of singing techniques that, on first listen, it’s difficult to pinpoint where her influences pull from. She attributes that to a variety of lessons she’s taken over the years. At age 8, she learned how to sing from an opera singer who played violin in the Seattle

Symphony. Later, she learned traditional folk music with a different teacher, usually for an hour a week. During her final years in high school, West, who is part Korean, studied traditional Korean folk music—a style often sung in the fields or at gatherings—three times a week. By the time she entered Berklee College of Music, West was introduced to Kate Bush by a college professor and quickly became obsessed with her iconic and idiosyncratic style of singing. “[Korean folk music] was the hardest to learn,” says West. “You have to sing in a powerful, strong, mixed voice, which I really had to learn how to do because I traditionally sing with a soprano voice, not the lower register needed for that. I had to really pump that out because you don’t use microphones. There’s a type of singing where you go between notes powerfully, almost like a trill, which I had to learn how to do. When I got here to Boston, I applied what I knew how to do with my diaphragm and combined it with what I saw at punk shows.” The uniquely formidable way in which West sings makes her lyrics extremely potent. Though, to be fair, her lyrics are striking on their own. Glass Cannon is the lyrical outlet in which she could address what it’s like living with traumatic brain injury, which she got from softballrelated damage to her head and various incidents later over the years. But what resonates more deeply upon listening to the album are the instances where West addresses the physical and emotional abuse she experienced from a recent relationship. Through therapy and journaling, she learned that one of the only ways she could voice the struggles she was going through was through music. “Unpopular Opinion” wastes no time getting to the heart of things. On it, she directly calls out the ex-partner, a painter, by declaring that you can’t use your own abuse to justify any predatory actions you take. A line like, “Paint your worthless heart out” shakes with the healing power of catharsis, and the way West belts it feels like a small slice of justice is served. Elsewhere, on a song like “Ziggy,” she can ruminate on the more daily elements of her life. Acquaintances passed off her relationship trauma as the result of a chip on her shoulder. These days, she’s proud to fling that invisible chip back at them: “I’ve got a chip on my shoulder, that’s right.” As cleansing as it is to get these experiences off of her chest now, it took a while to get to this point. It wasn’t until West actually revisited her notebooks that she realized both the emotions described and the gravity of the scenarios annotated had gone over her head at the time. “When I reread them, it hit me: This is what’s wrong, this is why I’m upset all of the time, this is why I can’t function, these things aren’t normal,” says West. “Writing these songs was a way to reclaim my bodily autonomy and reaffirm that I’m a person, I matter, and you can’t do this to me.”

>> HIT BARGAIN, EDGE PETAL BURN, LEOPARD PRINT TASER, SISTER. TUE 6.19. O’BRIEN’S PUB, 3 HARVARD AVE., ALLSTON. 8PM/18+/$10. OBRIENSPUBBOSTON.COM

MUSIC EVENTS FRI 06.15

I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM, WE’RE WATCHING SCREAMO PIANOS BECOME THE TEETH + MORE

[The Sinclair, 52 Church St., Cambridge. 8pm/all ages/$20. sinclaircambridge.com]

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FRI 06.15

THE TREE OF FORGIVENESS TOUR JOHN PRINE

[Wang Theatre, 270 Tremont St., Boston. 8pm/ all ages/$63.75. bochcenter. org]

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SAT 06.16

SAT 06.16

MON 06.18

TUE 06.19

[O’Brien’s Pub, 3 Harvard Ave., Allston. 7pm/21+/$10. obrienspubboston.com]

[Brighton Music Hall, 158 Brighton Ave., Allston. 8pm/18+/$26. crossroadspresents.com]

[Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, 290 Northern Ave., Boston. 7pm/18+/$30. bostonpavilion.net]

[Great Scott, 1222 Comm. Ave., Allston. 8:30pm/18+/$10. greatscottboston.com]

A DASH OF EMO BRACKISH + AWAKEBUTSTILLINBED + CHOKE UP + SAVE ENDS + ME IN CAPRIS

SONGS FROM 20 YEARS OF TL/RX TED LEO AND THE PHARMACISTS + LEMURIA + DJ CARBO

INDIE ROCK AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE SPOON + GRIZZLY BEAR + KAITLYN AURELIA SMITH

POP PUNK PARTY MACSEAL + RETIREMENT PARTY + CHEEM + OLDSOUL


HALEY HEYNDERICKX WHEEL OF TUNES

Praying mantises, herbal remedies, and Ludacris BY NINA CORCORAN @NINA_CORCORAN

PHOTO BY ALESSANDRA LEIMER Like most bashful women, there’s something endearing to everything Haley Heynderickx does and downplays immediately after. The Portland-based singer-songwriter twirls her way through beautiful folk numbers in her spare time while working as a teacher in an after-school music program. Both jobs position her as being selfless, caring, and curious—traits that shine through as being facts when we talk on the phone. Though she only has one album out, her understated debut I Need to Start a Garden, Heynderickx has caught the eyes and ears of several critical outlets ranging from NPR to Pitchfork. The record sees her pen odes to the refuge of plants, the nurturing possibilities of strangers, and the unconventionality of spirituality. While she’s still shocked her album allowed her to stick a landing in the ears of Americans beyond of her backyard, Heynderickx’s hard work shouldn’t be viewed as a happenstance. I Need to Start a Garden took plenty of effort and patience. For one, she went through three different producers in a search to find the best sound for the record, including a stint where she recorded in a barn with horses and then scrapped the sessions because one of the horses passed away, a death she couldn’t help but believe was a bad omen. Arguably what got her through the recording process was a stream of older women who offered and taught emotional support through words and actions. “Louis Mendoza in Y La Bamba was one of the first women who told me to dig my claws into the ground, to be grounded in pursuing what I love to do,” says Heynderickx. “She also taught me to put up a stop sign when negative thoughts come flooding in, to physically tell them to stop. That allows more room to let love in. My mom is a great figure of a strong, confident woman who goes about her day. I wish I could describe what I know is already a part of me now because of her. And there’s strangers, too: people in grocery stores, people at concerts, people at work.” To get to know Haley Heynderickx a bit better, we interviewed her for a round of Wheel of Tunes, a series where we ask musicians questions inspired by their song titles. With I Need to Start a Garden as the prompt, her answers show how gentle yet strong Heynderickx’s words are—an on-record sound you can hear off-record at the Sinclair this Monday.

1. “No Face” If you could permanently remove one of your facial expressions, which would you pick? Wow, that’s a good question. Because I don’t know what kind of facial expressions I make, I’m not sure which to pick. My loved ones know what I look like when I’m lying or nervous. I don’t know what I would get rid of, but I do know that I can look silly. I’m really not that funny in my daily life. I get out the funny version of me onstage.

2. “The Bug Collector” Can you name three of your favorite bugs? I would say the praying mantis, a ladybug, and a potato bug. I called them rolypolies as a kid, the little armadillo ones that turn into a cute marble when you pick them up with your hands. The praying mantis is one that is still translated as a weird spiritual bug in different languages. In German it’s called gottesanbeterin. It’s someone who prays to God. I don’t study bugs, but I just like them. So yeah, I like the inherent symbolism of the praying mantis, ladybugs just cheer me up when I find them on the street, and roly-polies just remind me of being a kid.

3. “Jo” How do you like your coffee? I like them in small doses when I’m stressed or need to stay awake. I would say with a friend, though, as that’s the best way to have your coffee.

BLOCK PARTY WITH FRENCH FOOD, DRINKS & DANCING IN THE STREET

FRIDAY, JULY 13th 6 - 11PM ON MARLBOROUGH STREET (BETWEEN BERKELEY & CLARENDON) LIVE MUSIC BY

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$33 IN ADVANCE | $40 AT THE DOOR | CHILDREN UNDER 10 FREE EVENT SELLS OUT - BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW - RAIN OR SHINE

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The Posies “30th Anniversary Tour”, Scarlet Sails Power pop 6/16

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Dumptruck, David Mirabella, Natalie Flanagan Alt rock pioneers 6/16

Will Dailey, The Bones of J.R. Jones

Rock singer-songwriter 6/18

The Monolithic, The Lights Out, The Womps Folk blues rock 6/19

Jessie Dayton, Dan Blakeslee Americana 6/20

Jimmy Vivino and the East Coast Blue Soul Rockers Blues rock

156 Highland Ave • Somerville, MA 617-285-0167 oncesomerville.com a @oncesomerville b/ONCEsomerville

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MORE FUN, LESS STRESS ARTS

The annual repainting of Mark Alston-Follansbee’s art car BY GREG COOK @AESTHETICRESEAR

On a cool, overcast Memorial Day Monday, I join Mark Alston-Follansbee as he’s repainting the exterior of his Toyota Camry in the driveway of his Waltham home. Over the years, his cars have been painted with suns and eyeballs, flames and waves, flowers and peace signs, hot-air balloons, a winking sun, a giant orange octopus. His art car has become a landmark around Somerville— where he’s executive director of the Somerville Homeless Coalition. As we paint, Alston-Follansbee tells me he got drafted into the military after he was kicked out of college around 1966. He was told he’d end up in the infantry for two years, but if he enlisted for a third year he could get a better posting. He enlisted to be a military journalist. “Six months later I was there [in the Vietnam war]. I would jump out of helicopters and write stories. It was all bullshit for the Army,” Alston-Follansbee says. “I’d write

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a story in an hour and then [go] to the beach and get stoned. It was really schizophrenic.” “I got back from Vietnam in 1968, and my grandmother died and I got a little money, and I bought a Volkswagen bus. It had a sunburst painted on the front and pot plants all around the sides,” Alston-Follansbee says. That was his first art car. “We drove that car from New York to San Francisco and sold it for four oneway plane tickets to Maui” and some additional, um, considerations. “I hid in the woods for six years in Maui. I was pretty fucked up. Couldn’t relate to people. Couldn’t trust anybody. Slowly, slowly, slowly started integrating back into society. I ended up here for all the wrong reasons. I started talking to people on the street and learned a lot of them were veterans. I got pissed off. So I started volunteering with the homeless. The first place that asked

me to come in was the city of Cambridge. I volunteered for nine months, then I went to work for them. I’ve been doing that ever since.” “I didn’t have a car for years,” Alston-Follansbee goes on. “About 10 years ago, I stopped drinking and drugging, so I thought I could have some further expression with my car because I didn’t have to worry about being pulled over now. The funny thing is people say, ‘Do you get pulled over because you have this weird-looking car?’ But I’ve never gotten pulled over.” That first car was also a Camry. “It was a 1993, I think. I loved that car. It got to be 276,000 miles and the air conditioning went out, and when I took it to my guy who’d kept it running for years he said all the hoses had disintegrated because of old age.” So Alston-Follansbee passed that car on to a friend and about four years ago got a 2002 Camry with 176,000 miles on it. “I’ve always loved street art, and I always thought cars were stupid and people had too much identity with their cars,” Alston-Follansbee says. “So I’m sort of like fuck you, let’s have some fun instead of being serious.” He usually has friends help him repaint the car once a year. When I arrive, the Camry is surrounded by a plastic drop cloth, brushes, and cans of Rust-Oleum paint in shades of red, black, blue, white, and yellow. “I have some colors I want, but no real theme,” he explains. He repaints the face on the red hood. I paint a bee and flowers over last year’s shooting stars and an eyeball on the driver’s side. He says, “I like eyeballs. See the world.” Alston-Follansbee says, “I’m retiring June 30. I’ve been working with homeless people for 30 years. I’m 71. I need less stress in my life. More fun, less stress.” The Tibetan letter A was painted repeatedly on the passenger side in last year’s rendition. “It’s the first letter in the Tibetan alphabet and it’s sort of the primordial sound. I usually have something from the Buddha on the back.” Currently the rear bumper reads: “Life is a big dream.” The quotes from the Buddha serve as “a little inspiration. And a lot of times some people don’t like it or they don’t get it. The one before this was ‘Nothing is real,’” Alston-Follansbee says. “This one is going to be, I don’t remember the exact words, ‘Peace comes from within.’ It’s my attempt to find peace and harmony in myself. Still struggling to find it. And wishing it in our world. Because God knows there’s not enough of it.”


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LEAN CUT FILM

No move wasted in Unsane BY JAKE MULLIGAN @_JAKEMULLIGAN

IMAGE FROM UNSANE, COURTESY BLEECKER STREET MEDIA Unsane [2018] begins with a view of dark woods tinted blue, very deliberately the look of “day for night.” And upon seeing it used in this movie (especially the second time I watched it), I found myself thinking of very specific associations (despite the fact that you can find examples of day for night in movies from every decade since the advent of the form). I thought specifically about its use in B-grade American genre pictures of past eras, like its use in midcentury westerns that barely reached feature length, or its use in ’70s exploitation pictures made outside the studio production system, where so many lead characters sat out on cliffs and car hoods looking out at skies rendered in that very particular shade. To be clear, in Unsane—which was written by Jonathan Bernstein and James Greer, and directed by Steven Soderbergh—that color also carries a specific thematic resonance: A man severely delivers voiceover during that first shot, speaking with a tamped-down menace toward the subject of his affection, “I love it when you wear blue.” He is a criminal, a stalker, who has followed the woman he’s continually assaulted from Boston to somewhere in Pennsylvania, where she now lives, and where he stakes out her job, her social life, and her every action, always pushing her into corners until the film eventually climaxes in a claustrophobic box-shaped room with four padded walls all colored, you guessed it, a dark shade of blue. But anyway, when it comes to the few scenes in those woods, I couldn’t see the color beyond the tint itself. It seemed to serve as a statement of principles, a lineage forged by Unsane itself, connecting it to a very certain tradition of B-movies—those movies that got made to serve a market-specific purpose but often pushed far beyond those very boundaries nonetheless. Like so many of those films, Unsane was made on a shockingly brief production schedule (10 days), was filmed at relatively low costs (it was shot with an iPhone 7 Plus), and is

willing to push the boundaries of both form and content in ways that studio movies would rarely dare (it shoutsout Samuel Fuller and Shock Corridor [1963], and it earns the right to gesture toward that hallowed ground). In an interview with the South China Morning Post, Soderbergh even presented the film’s conception as one that aligned with assembly line genre-movie production houses: “If you write me a low-budget horror movie,” he told Greer, “I’ll shoot it this summer.” Unsane is only the latest in an ongoing run of genre pictures for Soderbergh (other recent works include heist film Logan Lucky [2017] and the murder-mystery miniseries Mosaic [2018]), although really he’s been applying his signature tints to genre frameworks on and off since The Underneath [1995]. But in this particular case, there’s no one subgenre being reimagined, but a whole group of them instead. Sawyer Valentini (Claire Foy) is the young woman who has relocated to Pennsylvania in hopes that it’ll cut her off from her stalker, David Strine (Joshua Leonard). Yet Valentini continues to see him regularly in the corner of her vision and finds herself terrified by it, even as she recognizes that they’re likely images manifesting from the recesses of her unconscious mind (current genre: a paranoid thriller, a la Repulsion [1965] or Let’s Scare Jessica to Death [1971]). She goes to see a therapist at a nearby “behavioral center” but is basically tricked into signing a voluntary 24-hour commitment form, at which point she’s immediately strip-searched and forcibly placed into the center’s general population of patients (prison movie). By the end of day one, Strine is showing up in her vision once more, raising the obvious question of whether or not Valentini has lost her grip on reality and giving the facility’s doctor reason to extend her stay (paranoid thriller again, with hints of a medically specific social-issue drama), but then we ascertain that Strine is very much real and very much present at this location,

>>UNSANE IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE ON VIDEO-ON-DEMAND PLATFORMS. BLU-RAY AND DVD RELEASE 6.19. RATED R. 20

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as he begins to harm and kill anyone who might be able to help Valentini escape this otherwiseunrelated captivity (slasher movie). The iPhone-lensed photography has a textural crudity to it, and that only further emphasizes the sort of rough edges that make Unsane feel akin to the tradition of poverty row genre movies. Soderbergh’s cinema is not marked so much by large intricate constructions, anyway, but rather by his ability to imagine entire scenes in just a few pared-down shots. In a sense, crudity befits him. He writes terse sentences, not ornate run-ons. And with the inherently fresh look provided by his use of the iPhone for relatively unprecedented purposes, he pushes ostensibly rudimentary techniques until they’ve been made uniquely expressive. Unsane deploys a number of the oldest compositional archetypes one can ascribe to horror cinema—long tracking shots leading through darkening hallways, fades and double exposures to indicate loopy minds, shots lensed from behind trees and bushes to suggest an unseen follower—and it inscribes each with an unnervingly digital weirdness. There’s something of Jacques Tourneur here, something of films like The Leopard Man [1943] (as in those films, what’s expressed here is done so with blatantly minimal budgetary means), but this is hardly tribute, nor imitation. Unsane is not a mixtape piece, not an inorganic mashup. Unsane is most generally a “horror movie,” and it becomes a truly nauseating one, in no small part because one quickly realizes that it’s not adhering to any of the “rules” or cliches we’ve become so familiar with (and indeed, the gap between one’s presumed nature and their actual self is a conflict built into the narrative, even becoming a matter of vital importance in the final sequences). I mentioned that I’ve seen the movie twice now. The first time I watched it, I was rather displeased with the way that one character is written out of the film. When they’re killed, it occurs within a quickly cut montage, in a manner that emphasizes the murder itself more than the person being murdered. I liked the character, and I liked the performance, and damn, you know, I just didn’t want to see them go out like that. But the second time I watched the film, I felt like I understood why it happened that way: There’s another moment of extreme violence at the film’s end, which lands with a thematic heaviness that contemporary American horror movies rarely achieve. And I’m honestly not sure that it would land with quite the same weight if it had been preceded by yet another elaborate drawn-out act of violence no more than 20 minutes prior. Which is to say that Unsane is characterized by an economical approach in nearly every conceivable way—in its making, in its shaping, and even in its deployment of specific images and techniques. It’s cut to the bone, and with a great efficiency.


GALLERY REVIEWS VISUAL ART

The Shaman Show and Contemplating Figures BY FRANKLIN EINSPRUCH AND JOELLE JAMESON

ANDREW STEVOVICH, JESSIE’S DINER, 2017, OIL ON LINEN, COURTESY OF ADELSON GALLERIES BOSTON

The Shaman Show—iartcolony It is rare for a group exhibition as hip as The Shaman Show to feel so warm. Maybe it’s because iartcolony is the curators’ home—a building, they will tell you, with a surprising link to Shamanism. But it’s probably because their careful commissioning of new works has a specific goal: “to cure the village of jealousy and envy.” Riffs on older forms, from spirit houses to necklaces, live peacefully alongside paintings and drawings without feeling “crafty.” Tatia Cynae’s polyhedrons enchantingly marry old and new, featuring alphabetically themed illustrations of ancient symbols and modern typography etched onto clear acrylic plates. I worried that the theme would breed exoticism, but the artists’ expressions are thoughtful and exploratory, exquisite flotsam from a common river. Even viewers who roll their eyes at the notion of spiritual healing will find pieces to appreciate in this artist-as-Shaman approach, such is the care taken. Show runs until 7.9. iartcolony, 42 Broadway, Rockport. iartcolony.com

—Joelle Jameson

Andrew Stevovich: Contemplating Figures—Adelson Galleries Boston Andrew Stevovich makes paintings according to a worked-out method, to put it gently. That noted, they have their charm. His main influences are Piero and Seurat. I also detect input from Hashiguchi Goyo or someone similar, particularly in the blurred hairline on the woman in Loretta Feeding a Monkey (2017). Numerous small paintings, six to 10 inches high, feature stridently geometric portraits. Their heads are practically eggs with coiffed hair and disengaged expressions on them, such as the smoker in Nadine with a Cigarette (2018). The point of the reductiveness becomes apparent in the larger, multifigure compositions such as Jessie’s Diner (2017), in which the people and interior architecture fit together like good cabinetry. Jessie, presumably, appears three times in a simultaneous narrative. It is orderly yet anxious in the manner of George Tooker, with some gravitas traded for humor. The stylization needs a bit of generosity from the viewer. Witty notes lurk throughout. Show runs until 6.24. Adelson Galleries Boston, 520 Harrison Avenue, Boston. adelsongalleriesboston.com —Franklin Einspruch These shorts are being simultaneously published at Delicious Line, deliciousline.org. Franklin Einspruch is the editor-in-chief of Delicious Line. Joelle Jameson is a Boston-based writer dedicated to advancing education and the arts, especially theater and poetry, joellejameson.com.

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COMEDY EVENTS

LAST CALL

SAVAGE LOVE

BY DAN SAVAGE @FAKEDANSAVAGE | MAIL@SAVAGELOVE.NET I have an unusual situation. I met a girl I am crazy about. She didn’t really have any interest in me except for the occasional drink; she just wanted to be friends. A few months later, I saw her at a bar. We drank a bit more than we could handle and slept together, and I thought we would start dating. A few weeks went by, and she always had an excuse as to why we couldn’t hang out. Then one night, she texted to say she wanted to see me, but I could tell she was tipsy. We went out for a few more drinks and then slept together again. A week later, the same thing happened. When I contact her during the day, she never seems interested. But I run over like a starved dog when she calls at night. (Sadly, due to stress and overwork, I usually can’t get hard when I go over. That’s become a big issue.) She’s very attractive, and I’m surprised she has any interest in me at all, but it’s only when she’s drunk. Besides her looks, I’m attracted by her personality and intelligence. I don’t know what attracts her to me except maybe I’m her booty call, but recently I have been terrible at it. The last time we hooked up, she told me she’s quitting drinking. Maybe she won’t contact me anymore. My question: Is it worth pursuing this if I get my ED situation fixed? Or should I just move on and if she does contact me one night, I just say, “Sorry, not interested”? It’s obvious she’s using me. But we actually have good conversations despite us both being drunk and it kinda seems like a date of some sort. What do you think? Summoned With A Text She’s interested in you for only one thing (sex) and at only one time (when she’s drunk, horny, and out of other options)… and she can summon you with a single drunken late-night text. It’s actually not an unusual situation, SWAT—millions of people have received similar summonses. So long as the summoned person doesn’t want anything more than sex from the person issuing the summons, Yahtzee: Everybody gets laid, nobody gets hurt. But if the person being summoned wants more—if the summonee has unrequited feelings for the summoner—the summoned person is going to get hurt. Because what the summoner is essentially saying is this: “I want sex; I don’t want you.” Even if the sex is good, the rejection that comes bundled in that summons stings and the hurt grows over time. So, yeah, stop answering that drunk girl’s summonses. Let her know you want more than sex, and if she’s not interested in something more, you’re not interested in her. As for those erectile issues, SWAT, try having sex sober, earlier in the evening, and with someone who doesn’t regard your dick as a consolation prize. I bet they clear right up. I am a transgender man, and my girlfriend is a transgender woman, and we have hit a plateau. Intimate time is rare, communication is minimal, and although I care for her deeply, I do not like her as a person and no longer want to get married. I have considered asking if we could open up the relationship, but I doubt that is the solution. How does one end a long-term relationship? Help Relationship Transition Whatever you do, HRT, please—please—don’t ask to open up your relationship when what you really want is out. A lot of people who want out do this, and it’s why so many people believe all requests to open a relationship are a sign the relationship is doomed. People who want out but ask for open inevitably get out in the end. People who want open and ask for open and get it tend to stay. But since most couples in open relationships aren’t public about it (most are more comfortable being perceived as monogamous), people hear about the insincere requests that preceded a breakup and conclude all requests are insincere. Anyway, HRT, how does one end a long-term relationship? One uses one’s words. If “I love you” are the three magic words, then “I’m leaving you” are the three tragic words. Seeing as intimacy is rare and communication is minimal, it shouldn’t come as a shock to your soon-to-be-ex fiancée.

On the Lovecast, come hang out with the lesbians of the Lez Hang Out podcast: savagelovecast.com.

savagelovecast.com

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THU 06.14 - SAT 06.16

ALONZO BODDEN @ LAUGH BOSTON

Known for his social & political commentary, Alonzo is a regular panel member on NPR’s “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me.” In 2016, he starred in his second Showtime comedy special titled “Historically Incorrect.” Taped at The Vic Theatre in Chicago, Bodden touched upon a variety of subjects, including former President Obama & gun owners, being gluten free, the NFL’s troubles, Millennials, & the Los Angeles Clippers.

425 SUMMER ST., BOSTON | 8PM & 10PM | $25-$29 THU 06.14

STAND UP @ THE GREEN ROOM

Featuring: Dan Boulger, Katie McCarthy, Jonathan Tillson, Jack Burke, Srilatha Rajamani, Awet Teame, & Eric Taylor

62 BOW ST., SOMERVILLE | 8PM | $5 FRI 06.15 - SAT 06.16

MIKE BAIN @ NICK’S COMEDY STOP

A Boston native, Mike Bain’s conversational & cynical style has made him a popular act all across New England & beyond. Drawing on his own life experiences Mike uses his own stories & unique perspectives to joke about family, dating, friends, & just trying to make it through life.

100 WARRENTON ST., BOSTON | 8PM | $20 FRI 06.15

COMEDY NIGHT @ PAVEMENT COFFEEHOUSE

Featuring: Dana Jay Bein, Joshua Do, Dylan Krasinski, Peter Martin, Jeff Medoff, Katie Qué, Ellen Sugarman, & Rasheed Townes. Hosted by Brett Johnson & Will Martin

736 COMM AVE., | 7PM | $5 SAT 06.16

OFF-MIC @ GALLERY 263

Featuring: Wes Hazard, Stine An, Shawn Carter, Will Noonan, Zach Fisher, & Jeff Smith. Hosted by Chris Post & Ryan Chani

263 PEARL ST., CAMBRIDGE | 8PM | $10 SUN 06.17

DAVID CROSS: OH COME ON @ THE WILBUR

On the big screen, Cross wrote & directed the independent film, Hits, which premiered at Sundance & is streaming on Netflix, & he has appeared in the independent features, Kill Your Darlings alongside Daniel Radcliffe & Michael C. Hall, & the dramedy It’s a Disaster, opposite Julia Stiles & America Ferrera. Other film credits include Abel, Year One, Christopher Guest’s Waiting for Guffman, Men in Black & Men in Black II, Ghost World, Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Pitch Perfect 2, I’m Not There, & provided his vocal talents for several animated films, including “Megamind,” the Kung Fu Panda franchise & Curious George.

246 TREMONT ST., BOSTON | 8PM | $31 - $41 WED 06.20

STARSTRUCK @ THE ROCKWELL

Featuring: Steve Halligan, James Huessy, Katie Qué, & Phoebe Angle. The Redo Crew: Shaun Connolly, Katie McCarthy, Nick Ortolani, Tooky Kavanagh, Mark Gallagher, & Ethan Marsh. Hosted by Nick Chambers & Bethany Van Delft

255 ELM ST, SOMERVILLE | 8PM | $10

Lineup & shows to change without notice. For more info on everything Boston Comedy visit BostonComedyShows.com Bios & writeups pulled from various sources, including from the clubs & comics…


WHAT'S FOR BREAKFAST BY PATT KELLEY PATTKELLEY.COM

HEADLINING THIS WEEK!

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Alonzo Bodden

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COMING SOON Joel Kim Booster

Conan, Comedy Central June 21-23 DIG5 code valid on ALL SHOWS.

Mick Foley: Twenty Years of Hell Tour

THE WAY WE WEREN’T BY PAT FALCO ILLFALCO.COM

Special Engagement: Sun, Jun 24

Jeff Dye

The Tonight Show, Girl Code, NBC Jun 28-30 DIG5 code valid on all shows – except June 23, 8 pm.

Frank Santorelli w/ Orlando Baxter + Peter Martin Jul 5 + 6 DIG5 code valid on ALL SHOWS.

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Brooks Wheelan

Saturday Night Live, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour Jul 7 + 8 DIG5 code valid on ALL SHOWS.

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Feature: DAVID CROSS. We're Boston's only weekly alternative newspaper. #news #nightlife #music #art #film #food #comics digboston.com

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Feature: DAVID CROSS. We're Boston's only weekly alternative newspaper. #news #nightlife #music #art #film #food #comics digboston.com

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