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What to do this weekend

Posted by Courtney Hollands  August 12, 2010 10:10 AM

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Making plans? Short on ideas? No worries. See June Wulff and Courtney Hollands' picks for the top things to do around the Hub this weekend. Take a peek, then get out!

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FRIDAY

Willie Nelson & Family:
This group's touring line up usually includes Nelson's sister, Bobbie Nelson, plus longstanding almost "family" members Paul English on drums, Mickey Raphael on harmonica, plus Bee Spears, Billy English (Paul's younger sib), and Jody Payne. The gang goes from gig to gig on Nelson's "Bio-Willie" bio-diesel bus called "Honeysuckle Rose" (it's version III or IV — these road trips are tough on vehicles). Willie Hugh Nelson also brings six decades of music mastery with him on the road, and will hopefully include tunes from his recent release, "Country Music." 8 p.m. $70-$85. House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston. 800-745-3000. livenation.com

Howl at the Moon Opening: When Jake Ivory's closed a few years back, it left a gaping, piano-shaped hole in the hearts of sing-along fans across the city. Now, there's a new dueling piano bar on the block: Howl at the Moon (the chain's other locations include Hollywood, Houston, and Baltimore). Print out a flier for free admission to Friday night's party and buffet (7-9 p.m.) at facebook.com/howlboston. 7-9 p.m. invite-only party; 9 p.m. open to the public. $8. Howl at the Moon, 184 High St., Boston. 617-292-4695, howlatthemoon.com

SATURDAY

Zac Brown Band: The Grammy-winning namesake of this group could rest on his music laurels, but instead he's launching a line of steak rubs and barbecue sauces, a cookbook, and developing a charitable foundation which will run a children's camp. The Comcast Center will be jumpin' with country fans, but the band attracts its share of bluegrass, reggae, and other music lovers. Tonight's concert is supported by the Wood Brothers and Casey Driessen. 7 p.m. $20.50, $34.50. Comcast Center, 885 S. Main St., Mansfield. 800-745-3000. livenation.com

Dorchester Dottie: Did you know that Boston Duck Tour's amphibious vehicles are garaged in Dorchester? The newest member, bright pink Dorchester Dottie, will be in front of Ashmont Grill where you can climb aboard with your BBQ lunch (including duck kebabs). A percentage of the proceeds will go to Boston Duck Tours’ Quack Quack Give Back programs. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. $5. Ashmont Grill, 555 Talbot Ave., Dorchester. 617-825-4300. ashmontgrill.com

Weeds or Wildflowers?
We have a thriving weed collection and could use some help from Jo Ann Whitehead. The Boston Natural Areas Network garden educator will lead you on a scavenger hunt where you'll learn the difference between weeds and flowers, discuss their value, and learn how to manage those weeds. 10-11:30 a.m. Free. Registration is required. City Natives, 30 Edgewater Dr., Mattapan. 617-542-7696. bostonnatural.org

An Evening With Tony Bennett: The tables will be turned tonight in Cohasset when the audience does a little singing at this show. The iconic crooner turned 84 on Aug. 3, and after the concert he will be presented with a strawberry peach torte created by Konditor Meister in Braintree. The audience will sing to Mr.B, but we don't know if there's enough cake to go around (if there is, please save us a piece). 7 p.m. $68.75, $85.75. South Shore Music Circus, 130 Sohier St., Cohasset. 800-745-3000. themusiccircus.org

'Shakespeare on Love': In 45 minutes you'll learn more about love than from an entire season of that insipid bachelorette show. Famous scenes of amour from "Romeo and Juliet," "The Taming of the Shrew," "As You LIke It," and other Shakespeare gems will be presented by Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's Tour of the Parks. 2 p.m., weather permitting. Free. Parkman Bandstand, Boston Common (Aug. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Jeep Jones Playground, Roxbury; Aug. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at Christopher Columbus Park, Atlantic Avenue and Cross Street, Boston). 617-426-0863. commshakes.org

SUNDAY

Restaurant Week Boston: It's time to throw caution to the wind, fork into mouth, and the diet out the window. Restaurant Week starts today, offering lunch and dinner for a metaphorical song. Some of the eateries will serve lunch and dinner, others just dinner. Are you up for the tough choices on the three-course dinner menu at Flemings Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar? There are three appetizers, five entrees (petite filet mignon is one), and two desserts (217 Stuart St., Boston). Good luck. Check the website for participating restaurants. Aug. 15-20, Aug. 22-27. $15.10 (two-course lunch), $20.10 (three-course lunch), $33.10 (three-course dinner). Reservations are recommended. restaurantweekboston.com

Electronica4Life, Boston: You can listen to great music and help with the cleaning and recovery of wildlife along the Gulf Coast at this event. Twelve hours of new wave, industrial, post punk, and more will be performed by bands, DJs, and VJ Adam (we learned that a VJ is a video DJ who provides short clips and/or images to compliment the music being performed). Concerts in Seattle, Los Angeles, Baltimore, and other cities will also raise money for the Audubon Society during the month of August. 2 p.m.-2 a.m. $10. Bill's Bar, 5 1/2 Lansdowne St., Boston. 617-421-9678. jmphoenixmedia.com/electronica4life/details.html

Dar Williams with Ibis Chamber Music Society: The songstress performs outside the music box of her folk/pop genre at this show. Arrangements of the singer/songwriter's compositions that will be accompanied by harp, bass, and string quartet include "Buzzer," and "When I Was a Boy." The program also features vocal music by Benjamin Britten and Leonard Bernstein, and instrumental chamber music by Gershwin and others. 2 p.m. $25, $35. National Heritage Museum, 33 Marrett Road, Lexington. 781-861-6559. brownpapertickets.com

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Contributors

Stephanie Callahan is a native Bostonian who loves cooking, traveling, spa treatments, and being on the ocean.

Meghan Colloton is a Bostonian who loves traveling, channeling her inner Julia Child, and trying weird things -- from food to bungee jumping.

Milva DiDomizio is a New England native who's fond of cooking, singing, and Boston's arts and culture scene.

Rachel Raczka is a Bostonian who enjoys buttercream frosting, gin cocktails, and conquering cobblestone streets in high heels.

Emily Sweeney is a Boston native who goes out all over, from Irish pubs in Southie to the roller rink in Dorchester.

Emily Wright is a native Cape Codder who enjoys exercising, baking, and the occasional guilty pleasure action movie.

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