Not sure about you, but the brutal summer of 2010—with double dips, sucky Sox and extreme humidity sprinkle-canes—couldn’t be over fast enough. But why give you just another preview of the season yet to come? Here are the top 50 events of the next 10 weeks, ranked in order of how much fun they will be.


The Lord of Darkness, the American Bad Ass, the Deadman: All names by which The Undertaker has been known by in his two decades with the WWE. After tonight, will the newest addition to that list of aliases be … defeated? Barely recovered from the vegetative state he was left in after a brutal sneak-attack by his treacherous half-brother, Kane, the weakened heavyweight champion must defend his title against this backstabbing prodigy, in a match that will pit Brother of Destruction against Brother of Destruction. Prepare … to not believe what you are seeing. [Sun 10.31.10. TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston. 617.624.1000. 1pm/$22.50-$77.50.]

2. HONK! Fest

For the last five years, fall for the stoic denizens of Davis Square has meant quietly preparing for the roving bands of brass marauders that descend en masse when the leaves begin to change. Like Mad Max by way of Burning Man, the buskers, the balladeers and the absolutely batshit crazy from all over the country appear in this little collegiate nook as if summoned by some spectral ringmaster. In their wake, they leave surprise, delight, impromptu chorus lines, a wealth of honorary memberships and several hoarse throats. [Fri 10.8.10-Sat 10.9.10. HONK! In the Neighborhoods, various locations in Greater Boston. Fri 1pm-5pm. HONK! on Davis Square, Seven Hills Park, Davis Sq., Somerville. Sat noon-9pm.]

3. SlowFest

Save the date! The second annual celebration of slow beer and slow food returns, and only days before we all go begging for candy. What is slow beer? It’s beer (otherwise known as “session beer”) that you can drink a few of without punching the lights out of your neighbor. What is slow food? Preferably local food that is neither processed nor pasteurized nor preserved. In other words, a future world that is likely one we all should get used to living in. Or die trying not to. [Fri 10.29.10-Sat 10.30.10. Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St., Boston. 617.542.6710. Fri 6pm-10pm; Sat 1pm-5pm, 6-10pm/21+/$TBA.]

4. Oktoberfest

Harvard Square transforms into Bavaria yet again for the 31st Annual Oktoberfest. Because your judgment may be slightly altered, we’ll tell you: The streets will be filled with booths containing the best that Cambridge has to offer, including jewelry, clothing, art and other unique items from local shops. Over 30 restaurant vendors will offer a more varied selection of local cuisine than the typical bratwurst. To complete the experience, HONK! bands will perform and other live entertainment can be found at any one of the six stages set up around the square. But the best part is that you’ll be able to understand what everyone is saying. [Sun 10.10.10. Harvard Sq., Cambridge. noon-6pm/free.]

5. The Walkmen w/ AA Bondy and Blood Feathers

College radio demigods and weathered sound lovers The Walkmen will swing by Boston to play seasoned favorites and tracks off super-recent release Lisbon. Joining them are AA Bondy, the latest folk dreamboat to get festival goers and the blogosphere a-buzzin’, and Blood Feathers, the earnest rock & roll outfit out of Philadelphia. The bill is stacked, the beaten-into-your-brain melodies speak for themselves and indie fans will come out of the woodwork for one of Boston’s biggest shows this fall. [Thu 10.7.10. Royale, 279 Tremont St., Boston. 617.338.7699. 7pm/18+/$23 adv, $25 dos.]

6. MIT List Fall Series

MIT’s Visual Arts Center kicks off fall with a trio of new exhibitions featuring artists from the far-off lands of Holland, England and Los Angeles. Each show is their respective artists’ first on stateside soil—easy icebreakers for your next cocktail party! [Fri 10.22.10-Sun 1.2.11. MIT List Visual Arts Center, 20 Ames St., Cambridge. 617.253.4680.]

7. Harvest Fest 2010

In 2009, over 1,000 people participated in Harvest Fest. This year, they expanded the Somerville festival to two sessions to incorporate even more. With two headlining artists, beer from New England craft breweries, local restaurant vendors, Aircraft Aerial Arts (!) and a fashion show, being bigger and better than last year shouldn’t be a problem. [Sat 10.9.10. Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville. 617.718.2191. 1pm-5pm & 6pm-10pm/18+/$20 for one session, $35 for both sessions.]

8. Boston Book Festival

After the success of the first Boston Book Festival last year, the second annual free fest for avid readers and writers will include readings and appearances from the likes of poets (Elizabeth Alexander), Pulitzer winners (E. O. Wilson), Nobel Prize recipients (Joseph Stiglitz) and about a billion others. [Sat 10.16.10. Copley Square, Boston. 617.252.3240. 10am-10pm/all ages/free.]

9. Kenny Dope

Of all the phone calls we made to get the scoop on what’s coming through this fall, this one gave us the biggest DJ boner. In the new landscape of housey-pop club rhythms, Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez is still fresh, dropping Latinized beats, old-school funk yelps and twerking tunes throughout his lengthy DJ sets. [Thu 11.4.10. Good Life, 28 Kingston St., Boston. 617.451.2622. 21+/$10.]

10. Boston Vegetarian Food Festival

The 15th annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival welcomes everyone from hardcore rabbit-foodites to aspiring leafy-green enthusiasts. It offers all-natural groceries, plus chefs and speakers, but with the promise of free admission, free samples and free parking, we were kind of already sold. [Sat 10.30.10-Sun 10.31.10. Reggie Lewis Athletic Center, 1350 Tremont St., Boston. 617.424.8846. Sat 10am-6pm/Sun 10am-4pm/free.]

11. Fort Point Open Studios

For two days, the Fort Point art community lets you peek into their creative processes. The public wanders freely in and out of more than 150 studios, meeting the artists themselves and surveying their work while they’re in the room (OK, that part’s a little awkward). Most of the art is available to purchase … just be careful with those cups of wine. [Fri 10.15.10-Sun 10.17.10. Fort Point Artists Community, 300 Summer St., Boston. 617.423.4299. Fri 4pm-7pm/Sat-Sun 11am-6pm.]

12. Boston Symphony Orchestra Opens

James Levine couldn’t have picked a more dramatic program for the BSO’s 2010 premiere. Included amongst the selections of mf’ing Richard Wagner: the Overture of The Flying Dutchman and the prelude to prelude Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. But pay whatever it takes to hear “Ride of the Valkyries” in our famous symphony hall. “Ride of the Valkyries, folks.” [Sat 10.2.10. Symphony Hall, 301 Mass. Ave., Boston. 888.266.1200. 6pm/all ages/$75-$2,500.]

13. LCD Soundsystem

It’s pretty obvious now that the “final tour” of these NYC ’00s pioneers might not ever end. Their fall stop in Boston includes opening act Sleigh Bells, which means this show will sell out. Time to get those tickets, so you too can sing: “I was there / At the Orpheum Theatre in 2010 … ” [Tue 9.28.10. Orpheum Theatre, One Hamilton Pl., Boston. 617.679.0810. 7:30pm/all ages/$33.50.]

14. Gary Numan

As electronic music diversifies, Gary Numan gets more important. From his genesis with punk/new wavers Tubeway Arm through the famous “Cars” and the continuing devotion of Nine Inch Nails, Armand Van Helden, Basement Jaxx and others, he’s like an Elvis of modern music … who didn’t die when he was pooping. [Fri 10.22.10. Paradise, 967 Comm. Ave., Boston. 617.562.8800. 8pm/18+/$25.]

15. Bike Film Festival

Boston-based two-wheeled types, behold! For the fifth year, the Brattle hosts the greatest in bike-themed cinema, featuring the city’s best bike shorts of both spandex and celluloid varieties, with the finest in velocipede video ever to grace a Super 8. Expect laughter, tears and plenty of grease. [Fri 10.22.10-Sat 10.23.10. Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St., Harvard Sq., Cambridge. 617.876.6837. 7pm-11pm/$15 one night, $25 two nights (online only), $18 door.]

16. Klute

In the electronic music genre of drum & bass, there are a few titans, and Klute is one of them. He comes from the land of techno, so his style of the syncopated sound is deep, progressive and, at times, quite dark. Just how we like it. [Thu 9.30.10. Phoenix Landing, 512 Mass. Ave., Central Sq., Cambridge. 617.576.6260. 10pm-2am/19+/$7.]

17. Museum of Fine Arts’ New Building Opens

The grandma’am of all Boston art institutes unveils its super-snazzy new wing to the public. With 53 new galleries and over 5,000 works of art, don’t expect the grand ol’ dame to embrace a too modern slant. Included in the new exhibits is a massive salute to … precisely detailed ship models. [Sat 11.20.10. 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 617.267.9300. 10am-9:45pm/free.]

18. Boston College vs. Notre Dame

They call it “The Holy War” because both of these schools are steeped in the Jesuit and Roman Catholic traditions, respectively, but if you’ve ever seen the tailgate party, you might think the BC crowd is about to start a crusade to South Bend. [Sat 10.2.10. Alumni Stadium, 2599 Beacon St., Chestnut Hill, Newton. 617.552.4622.]

19. The Sword

There are only a few select metal groups that are carrying the torch of old-school fun, and The Sword is one of them. Hot on the heels of Warp Riders, their newest skree, they’re ready to rock the block from Australia to Japan and back. [Sun 10.17.10. Royale, 279 Tremont St., Boston. 617.338.7699. 6:30pm/18+/$15.]

20. Jim Gaffigan

King Baby brings to the Wang a variety of opinions on a wide array of subjects, including, but not limited to: bowling, house-guests, soft voices, Dunkin’ Donuts, camping, Waffle House, the spelling of the word “bologna” and bacon. Especially bacon. Dude fucking loves bacon, man. [Sat 11.13.10. Wang Theatre, 270 Tremont St., Boston. 617.482.9393. 7pm/$39.75-$49.75.]

21. The Weepies

The Weepies were conceived at local haunt Club Passim, and they’ll be returning to their former stomping ground (well, sort of, other side of the river) at a much bigger venue to play tracks off Billboard-ranking Be My Thrill. [Sun 11.7.10. Royale, 279 Tremont St., Boston. 617.338.7699. 7pm/18+/$23.]

22. Great Glass Pumpkin Patch

For 10 years and counting, MIT has enjoyed a rich tradition of making a mockery of God’s will, crafting over a 1,000 handblown glass pumpkins that stand in defiance of all natural things. All proceeds from pumpkin sales go toward the MIT Glass Lab … and Satan. [Fri 9.24.10-Sat 9.25.10. Kresge Oval, MIT, Cambridge. Fri 5pm-8pm/Sat 10am-3pm.]

23. Belgian Beer Festival

There are generally two kinds of beer fest attendees—the ones who pound the 2-ounce samples like it’s SoCo Sunday in Fanueil Hall, and those who savor the craftsmanship of the over 125 breweries eager to welcome you to the Belgian beer community. Guess which ones get seconds. [Sat 11.6.10. Cyclorama at Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St., Boston. Session One, 1pm-4:30pm/Session Two, 6pm-9:30 pm/21+/$45.]

24. Nor’Easter Festival

From the “Great Ideas the Dig Never Had the Manpower to Carry Out” file comes this three-day festival on a mountain. Eastern Mountain Sports is bringing not only !!!, Gaslight Anthem, Eli “Paperboy” Reed and a whole bunch of others, but also UBC Pro Climbing Championship, on-site camping and a Cyclocross race. Wow. [Fri 9.24.10-Sun 9.26.10. Loon Mountain, 60 Loon Mountain Rd., Peterborough, N.H. 603.745.8111. all ages/$40-$250.]

25. The Morning Benders

Adorable, feet-shufflin’, Berkeley-bred crooners The Morning Benders will headline to support of Big Echo, the follow-up to their rambunctious 2008 debut. We’ll be in the front row … drooling. [Tue 11.9.10. Paradise, 967 Comm. Ave., Boston. 617.562.8800. 7pm/18+/$15.]

26. Fall Flamenco Festival

Few things are sexier than people who know how to dance, especially when they’re stomping, twirling, clapping and getting all intense with the facial expressions the way the talent on display at the Fall Flamenco Festival does. [Fri 11.19.10. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Mass. Ave., Boston. 617.266.7455. 8pm/all ages/$30-$50.]

27. Wiz Khalifa

Don’t let the name “Waken Baken Tour” fool you; this show has nothing to do with smoking weed (which, by the time of this show, might be totally legal to do in California). At this year’s Boston Urban Music Festival down at City Hall, when Khalifa took the stage, the crowd bum-rushed it. [Sun 11.21.10. Paradise, 967 Comm. Ave., Boston. 617.562.8800. 9:30pm/18+/$17.50.]

28. Massachusetts Independent Comic Expo (MICE)

The biggest names in small-press gather together for the Hub’s first exposition of independent writers and illustrators, featuring the Bay State’s healthy contribution toward the world of indie comicdom. There’ll be workshops, panels, original art and a whole lot of nice, attractive dorks. [9.25.10. The Art Institute of Boston, 700 Beacon St., Boston. 617.585.6600. 10am-6pm.]

29. Rhythm Muse

With a new wing coming in 2011, the Gardner After Hours events are moving out of the museum for a time. Rhythm Muse is one of our last chances to party inside. This version features Brazilian music, the Mark Whitfield Jr. Quartet and of course, cocktails in the cloisters. [Thu 10.21.10. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 280 The Fenway, Boston. 617.566.1401. 7pm/all ages/$5-$23, free for members.]

30. Enron

Greek tragedy meets real-life tragedy in this take on the “financial vaudeville” of the ’90s. Thrill to the Caligulan opulence of that bygone era, wherein gin-soaked men in suits could hold a friggin’ state hostage just for grins. [Fri 9.24.10-Sat 10.16.10. BCA Plaza Black Box Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St., Boston. 617.426.5000.]

31. Les Nubians CD Release

Francophiles unite and get groovin’ to the sounds of Les Nubians, Parisian sister act and international R&B smash, at their CD release soirée. If you don’t know who they are, ask your cool, rich, single uncle. [Thu 10.14.10. Middle East Downstairs, 480 Mass. Ave., Central Sq., Cambridge. 617.864.3278. 8pm/18+/$25.]

32. Mark Bradford

The makeup of American urban identity is tricky to define, but Mark Bradford makes a point (and career) of it through his creations and installations. [Fri 11.19.10. 100 Northern Ave., Seaport, Boston. 617.478.3100. all ages/$15 general, $13 students, free for members.]

33. Brew at the Zoo

Beer. At. The. Zoo. This discussion is over. It’s not like details will help. [Sat 10.2.10. Franklin Park Zoo, One Franklin Park Rd., Boston. 617.989.2015. 5pm-9pm/21+/$50.]

34. Mos Def and Talib Kweli

In 1998, these two MCs combined to make a triumph of a hip-hop LP known as Black Star. To those who haven’t heard it, seek it out now and memorize that shit. [Sun 10.3.10. House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston. 888.693.2583. 7pm/all ages/$32.50-$49.50.]

35. Deerhoof

Unpredictable and unclassifiable, Deerhoof will break in the new stage at the Paramount, which was recently renovated and acquired by Emerson, with collab buddies Xiu Xiu and rock-and-chant fiends Father Murphy. [Sun 10.10.10. Paramount Theatre, 560 Washington St., Boston. 617.824.8000. 7:30pm/all ages/$18.]

36. Margaret Cho

That multi-talented Korean-American comedian you vaguely remember from the ’90s taps into those talents that are actually funny, with attitude. [Thu 10.28.10. Wilbur Theatre, 246 Tremont St., Boston. 617.248.9700. 7:30pm/$55.]

37. Local Natives and the Ruby Suns

Local Natives played to a sold-out Great Scott in May and the Middle East in August. They’ll return to Boston to a venue twice the size of aforementioned spots and, chances are, they’ll sell out the damned room then, too. [Sat 10.23.10. Paradise, 967 Comm. Ave., Boston. 617.562.8800. 8pm/18+/$16.]

38. Topsfield Fair

Antique farm tractor pulling, wood-curling, a cock crowing competition … sounds like a burlesque show; is actually the coolest two-week-long fair ever. [Fri 10.1.10-Mon 10.11.10. 207 Boston St., Topsfield. $10 weekday/$12 weekend.]

39. International Antiquarian Book Fair

Ancient books, maps, autographs and atlases will be on display from at least 120 rare book dealers from all over the world. That old book smell has never been stronger. [Fri 11.12.10-Sun 11.14.10. Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St., Boston. 617.954.2000.]

40. Dave Stein

Phantasmagorical images of the grotesque that draw upon medieval religious iconography? Yeah, date night! [Sat 10.23.10-Sat 11.20.10. Proof Gallery at The Distillery, 518 E. 2nd St., South Boston. 508.963.9102.]

41. The Room: “Welcome Back, Students”

Get reacquainted with the wonderful world of ironic enjoyment with a special screening of Tommy Wiseau’s schlock opus. [Sat 10.16.10. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 617.734.2501. noon/$9.75.]

42. La Bayadère

Act III of this classic ballet features “The Kingdom of the Shades,” a hypnotizing presentation of 32 ballerinas onstage. [Thu 11.4.10-Sun 11.14.10. Boston Opera House, 539 Washington St., Boston. 617.695.6955. $25-$132.]

43. Armenian Film Festival of Boston

Co-presented by the Armenian Dramatic Arts Alliance, the third Armenian Film Festival of Boston will show everything from musicals to documentaries, and it all opens with Barking Island. [Fri 10.29.10-Sun 10.31.10. 100 Northern Ave., Seaport, Boston. 617.478.3100. 7pm/all ages/$15-$25.]

44. Salem’s Haunted Happenings

Catch some spooky shit over at Boston’s favorite mass-murdering suburb, with plenty of witch-kitsch-themed Halloween happenings, including, shockingly, a haunted house! [Thu 10.7.10-Mon 11.1.10. Salem. 978.744.3663.]

45. Daedelus

People who give a shit about new music lost a friend when BBC DJ Mary Anne Hobbs signed off last week. Lucky for us, she’s playing this show. [Wed 11.3.10. Harpers Ferry, 158 Brighton Ave., Allston. 617.254.9743. 8pm/18+/$15.]

46. Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat

It’s old versus new as our geezer ballers battle the sprightly youths of South Beach in the C’s season opener. [Tue 10.26.10. TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston. 866.423.5849. 7:30pm.]

47. Out of the Box Photography Portfolio

Make the trek out to Lincoln to catch the reopening of one of the largest photography collections in New England. [Sun 10.24.10-Thu 10.28.10. DeCordova Museum, 51 Sandy Pond Rd., Lincoln. $12. 781.259.8355.]

48. What’s Your Major?

As the unofficial “Welcome Back” concert for the college kids, What’s Your Major? features Shoney Lamar and the Equal Rights, Gene Dante and the Future Starlets, Kingsley Flood, the debut of Low Static Romance and more. Sure to be a schooling in Local Indie Love 101. [Fri 9.24.10. Church, 69 Kilmarnock St., Boston. 617.236.7600. 8pm/21+/$10.]

49. Jackass 3-D

What’s better than seeing Knoxville and the gang lock some poor bastard in a port-o-potty and launch him into the sky? Watching it in three dimensions. [Fri 10.15.10. Wide release.]

50. Voting!

Once a year, we crowd into closets and secretly decide which narcissistic butthole is going to pretend to tell us what to do. That’s in November, baby! [Tue 11.2.10. 800.462.8683. 18+/free.]