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All we want for Christmas
Will Boston finally get a date with the Pixies? Plus Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson in the minor leagues, and more.

Take me out

Last summer, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band made the rounds of major-league ballparks, including Fenway; this year, another dream team — Hall-of-Famer Willie Nelson and his old knuckleball-couplet-muttering pal Bob Dylan — are making a tour of minor-league ballparks that’ll culminate in a date in the Iowa town of Dyersville, where Field of Dreams was shot. Before they get there, though, Bob and Willie — combined age: 134 — are playing Massachusetts’s own Campanelli Stadium, a relatively new park at 1 Lexington Avenue in Brockton that hosted the B-52’s last summer and is the home of the Brockton Rox, the Northeast League franchise in which Bill Murray recently bought a stake. It’s an old-fashioned general-admission gig, bleachers or turf, first come first served. Bob and Willie show up August 8 at 6:30 p.m., and tickets are $45; call (508) 559-7070.

Pixies for Christmas?

We’ve been waiting, and waiting, and . . . waiting some more, but at long last — drum roll, please — there’s a Pixies date in Massachusetts. It’s not until winter, and it’s out in the middle of the state. But with Lollapalooza aborted, and amid rumors that the Cure’s festival-sized Curiosa tour may be headed for similar financial trouble, the Pixies have emerged as more than just wish-fulfillment for college-radio geeks everywhere: they’re a bona fide commercial success story during one of the bleakest summer-concert seasons in recent memory. Still, it’s been damn near torture for their home-town fans, who’ve been reduced to long-distance spectators (snapping up the band’s on-line instant-live CDs, downloading their new iTunes-only single "Bam Thwok") while Black Francis and crew have been blowing minds everywhere in North America but here. Word is that there will be a Boston date at some point, but as the tour creeps ever closer, it appears that the show may not take place until 2005. Which is why we know some of you will be snapping up tickets to the Pixies’ gig December 1 at the Mullins Center at UMass-Amherst. At press time, the Mullins was seething because the band’s publicist announced the gig before it had been confirmed — which means there isn’t an on-sale date to tell you about. You can check www.ticketmaster.com or www.mullinscenter.com for updates; we’ll have the on-sale date in Hot Tix, on the Arts cover, when it materializes.

Speech: free. Declaration sold separately.

Original copies of the first printing of the Declaration of Independence are rarer than original copies of the first Shaggs album — of the 200 printed on July 4, 1776, only 25 are known to survive. A few years ago, Sotheby’s auctioned one off on-line for more than $8 million, the most ever paid for any American document. The buyer? Would you believe All in the Family creator Norman Lear? After he’d ponied up that kinda scratch, there was only one thing to do: send the bitch on tour. Lear and his business partner have done just that, displaying the document all over the country as part of a massive, two-year effort dubbed "Declare Yourself" that’s aiming to get out the youth vote. (For the Lear-produced concert-film reading of the Declaration featuring Morgan Freeman, Mel Gibson, Whoopi Goldberg, and Winona Ryder, see www.declareyourself.com). The Declaration will be putting in an appearance July 30 through August 1 at the John F. Kennedy Library at Columbia Point in Boston (admission is $10, $8 for students and seniors), and Lear will show up on July 30 at 10 a.m. to talk with Barney Frank about how such Lear productions as All in the Family, Sanford and Son, and Maude have brought "issues of free speech, civil rights, and civic involvement into American homes over the past three decades." The talk is free; call (617) 514-1643.

‘Games for the Gods’

In August, the Greeks get the Games for the first time in more than a century; later this month, the Museum of Fine Arts warms up with a refresher course in the ancient roots of modern sport with "Games for the Gods: The Greek Athlete and the Olympic Spirit," which draws on the MFA’s own extensive classical collection as well as a few choice loans. Greek vases and bronzes depicting the old Games will be set alongside their modern-day analogues, along with the requisite "nude young victors holding and wearing wreaths and ribbons." It’s on view July 21 through November 28 in the MFA’s Torf Gallery, 465 Huntington Avenue in Boston. Call (617) 267-9300.

Issue Date: July 2 - 8, 2004
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