Seven things that are happening this week.
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What's Happening This Week

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Monday - 7:00PM

Don't Think I've Forgotten
Cable Car Cinema, 204 South Main Street

Rhode Island has one of the largest Cambodian populations in the country, so I'm pretty excited that the Cable Car is screening a documentary about that country's midcentury dip into western pop culture. Cambodia was granted its independence from France in 1953, just a few years before Elvis came along, and for the following two decades artists like Sinn Sisamouth and Ros Sereysothea produced music that blended Khmer stylings with elements of pop and, later, garage rock. Director John Pirozzi previously made a documentary about contemporary Cambodian-American band Dengue Fever, but he had to dig far deeper to find footage of this fascinating, largely lost era.

Tuesday - 6:00PM

RISD Graduate Thesis Exhibition
RI Convention Center, 1 Sabin Street

This is what will happen at the opening of the RISD MFA show: you will see a handful of great things and a bunch of pretty good ones and an equal amount of middling, lame, and/or really terrible things. Artists who work in some genres, like photography and glass, will see their work well represented, unlike the poor students of industrial design and interior architecture, whose projects really aren't meant for this sort of display. Some of the 178 participating students will awkwardly stand next to their work all night, making it harder for you to say how you really feel. And you will see people you haven't seen since last August.

Wednesday - 9:00PM

Ignatz / Daniel Bachman
Psychic Readings, 95 Empire Street

The name Ignatz reminds me of this Canadian children's show called Under the Umbrella Tree, which featured an iguana named Ignatz who lived in a house with a gopher and a blue jay and a lady named Holly who sang a lot of really simple songs. The Ignatz performing at Psychic Readings tonight hails from Belgium — the Flemish government is supporting his tour — and he makes quietly bluesy songs that sound like they were recorded in a very far away place. He's joined by meandering instrumental guitarist Daniel Bachman and local transplant Micah Blue Smaldone.

Thursday - 7:00PM

String Theory
George Houston Bass Performing Arts Space
Churchill House, 155 Angell Street

As a rule, I would never tell anyone to visit College Hill on the weekend of Brown's commencement (especially since that's also Brown's reunion weekend, just to make everything extra clusterfucky.) But I am intrigued by String Theory, a new performance about the slave ship Amistad. The epistolary drama (there are two calligraphers involved with the production) features the award-winning Marian Anderson String Quartet, artists in residence at Brown's Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice. A lot of folks don't arrive on campus until Friday, so if you go tonight you're less likely to get trampled by wayward packs of alumni.

Friday - 8:00PM

Beta Motel
Providence Public Library
150 Empire Street

Beta Motel make synthy dance-rock reminiscent of Gary Numan and Devo, so the auditorium at Providence Public Library doesn't seem like the most obvious choice of venues. That said, things have been pretty lively at PPL lately, with a whole season of free programming dedicated to Rhode Island's musical history. The programs coincide with an exhibit highlighting local musical ephemera from the 20th century. (They've even installed record player listening stations, so it's worth stopping by during regular library hours.)


A Curious Tide
Cade Tompkins Projects, 198 Hope Street

I know I just strongly advised you to avoid College Hill at all costs this weekend, and honestly my best advice for you is to stay home and stream the always amazing Eurovision Song Contest from the comfort of your home.* But maybe you like crowded sidewalks? In any case, it's worth a walk over to Allison Bianco's fantastic new show at Cade Tompkins; it's a seasonably appropriate collection of vibrant shipwrecks and coastal scenes. A few L-shaped screenprints hang from two walls and somehow avoid seeming cheesy, a feat in itself.

(*I'm rooting for Belgium and Slovenia, incidentally.)


Mad Max: Fury Road
Check Showtimes

Memorial Day is traditionally one of the biggest movie weekends of the year, but Warner Brothers hopped out of the gate a little early with the fourth film in the long dormant Mad Max franchise. It was co-written and directed by Australian septuagenarian George Miller, who also directed the first three films, which means this isn't just another case of Hollywood ruining everything you liked thirty years ago. (Miller's IMDB credit list is fascinating, by the way. He also directed both Happy Feet movies, The Witches Of Eastwick, and the genuinely great Babe: Pig In The City.) With the periodically hunky Tom Hardy filling Mel Gibson's shoes, this movie's gotten overwhelmingly positive reviews. (It currently has a 98% approval rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.)
Copyright © 2015 matthew lawrence, All rights reserved.

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