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Hey folks, welcome back to another edition of the Worldender — err, Weekender. Yikes, sorry about that. It’s been . . . a week.
And while it’s been a week dominated by things that can’t end soon enough (please don’t get me started), summer is just warming up (please let’s get that started). That counts as good news, right? Also good news: The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services is taking donations toward providing proper legal representation to children separated from their families at the border.
So that’s one thing you can do this weekend. Here are a bunch of others:
LOVE, A HIGHER LAW: Speaking of things you might like to see end, U2 returns to TD Garden this Friday. The tight-panted erstwhile provocateurs have struggled to — how shall I put this? — remotely matter in recent years, a predicament unaided by the band’s drab recent diptych, “Songs of Innocence”/“Songs of Experience.” But while the medium of U2’s message has typically taken the form of overblown stage shows, the band’s current tour pares things down to a back-to-basics four-piece format with few techno-bells or whistles. And if this really is the U2 we know and still (kind of) love, the current political climate could make this rock down memory lane feel more like a march into whatever is coming next. Grab tickets here.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: “Bullies are not born, they are pressed into a form,” sings Neko Case on “My Uncle’s Navy,” one of a handful of sharp but shiny little truths studding her latest (and seventh) solo album, “Hell-On,” which finds her jumping back into the cyclone of the human heart with collaborators including Beth Ditto, k.d. lang, AC Newman, and Laura Veirs. On Saturday and Sunday night at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion she joins Ray LaMontagne, who is taking a quick trip away from Ashfield to tour the heavy-yet-featherlight tracks off his newest LP, “Part of the Light.” You can (and should) find tickets here.
THE REAL MCKAY: Nellie McKay is a sui generis genius in the jazz world, able to swirl together cutting comedy and caustic commentary with a voice charming enough to make bitter pills go down like sweet nothings, from “The Gentleman Is a Dope” to “Feminists Don’t Have a Sense of Humor.” Last time she was in town, she brought her one-woman “tour de force,” “A Girl Named Bill: The Life and Times of Billy Tipton,” but on Friday night at Regattabar, she’ll be singing songs from her newest album, “Sister Orchid,” and, with any luck, including her mesmerizing take on “The Nearness of You.” Get your tickets here.
MAGMA OPUS: If you think the “Jurassic” franchise of action films is fine but for a conspicuous lack of volcano input (or, I guess it’s technically output), you are in luck, because “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” takes everything you love about “Jurassic” movies (like Chris Pratt, Jeff Goldblum, and people getting eaten), and even more of the stuff you just kind of put up with (the movie) and sets it all in front of an erupting hell-chasm. High on CGI thrills and low on lesbian subplots, it’s not unlike “chugging a six-pack of Red Bull and running through the dinosaur exhibits at the Harvard Museum of Natural History until you can’t breathe,” says Globe film critic Ty Burr, who gives it 2½ stars: “As experiences go, they’re equally adrenalizing and equally forgettable.” Opens Thursday.
RED SCARE: Elsewhere in temporarily-dormant but once-again erupting flames, Kathy Griffin is back! For a while it looked like that controversial photo shoot featuring Griffin hoisting a ketchup-covered Trump-head was going to sink her career, but seeing as how we now have baby concentration camps and dictator homies, it probably wasn’t the worst thing that ever happened, after all. In any case, and as the name of her “Laugh Your Head Off” tour suggests, she’s not sorry and she can’t wait to tell you all about it. Catch her at the Boch Center Shubert Theatre on Friday night. Get tickets here.
VINYL WARNING: On Saturday night, if you care to revisit a less soul-draining mode of disaffection, trudge back to the very tail end of the go-go ’90s with John Cusack, who will appear at the Boch Center Wang Theater for a screening of the 2000 cult classic adaptation of Nick Hornby’s “High Fidelity,” followed by a conversation with Burr. Find tickets here, and please, leave your boomboxes at home. That’s not even the right movie.
TRAGIC BULLET: “To die, to sleep, see? And to sleep and maybe have a sweet little dream — there’s the rub, toots. For in this sleep of death, whichever way you go, fate sticks out a foot to trip you.” OK, I had to try it in order to say this for sure, but combining “Hamlet” and film noir is not easy and I would not recommend trying. Especially since Framingham playwright John Minigan has already gone and done it. It’s called “Noir Hamlet,” it’s set in 1949 Los Angeles, and if you think you’ve got hard times, this sob story will make ’em feel like putty. Centastage presents the show at the Plaza Black Box Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts, through June 30. Tickets here. Now scram before I change my mind.
MASS MOVEMENT: It doesn’t get much more inclusive than the Dance Complex’s 2018 Festival of Us, You, We & Them (in fact, I’m pretty sure that Him, Her, and What’s-His-Butt are the only ones not invited to this plethora of performances, classes, and presentations celebrating all forms of dance, so let’s try to keep this under our hats. Daytime events are free, and each day of the weekend-long festival is capped by ticketed performances. Get moving to the Dance Complex in Central Square, and find a full schedule here.
OR STAY IN! There’s a new Nine Inch Nails album, “Bad Witch,” that maybe (just maybe) fits your mood going into the weekend. Trent and Co. won’t be in Boston until October, but you can start gnashing your teeth now to instant classics like “[Expletive] Mirror.”
And if you haven’t already devoted a lunch break to it, Jay-Z and Beyoncé dropped a surprise album as The Carters earlier this week called “Everything Is Love.” Sheesh, get a room you two.
And finally, the health and life-sciences site STAT, launched by Boston Globe Media Partners, has just released “Runnin’,” a new documentary available through Vimeo that tells the story of a circle of friends in Somerville who each become addicted to OxyContin. It’s a tough and necessary watch, and one quarter of the proceeds go to the Alex Foster Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity that supports people struggling with addiction and their loved ones.
And that, my little June bugs, is all I’ve got in the picnic basket for this first official weekend of summer.
Should you decide just to withdraw from everything and everyone armed only with a copy of Us Weekly and some sauvignon blanc, it’s fine, you’re fine, it’s not the end of the world. Or at least, I’m 75 percent sure it’s not. (Can I have some of that wine?)
Just promise me that however you decide to spend your weekend, you’ll make it one you miss come Monday. See you next week!Michael Andor Brodeur can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MBrodeur.