Forecast: January 2010


CONTROVERSY
1/23 WILL STEVEN TYLER COME OUT OF HIDING?

Are they done or aren’t they? The question that’s haunted Aerosmith fans for months might come into focus today, as frontman Steven Tyler plays a fundraising gig in Concord, New Hampshire.

If Tyler is plotting a solo career, as he’s hinted, this show could provide a glimpse of what that might look like. At the very least, it’ll provide a glimpse of Tyler, who’s been all but MIA since an impromptu stage dive in August cut short Aerosmith’s world tour. Tyler busted his shoulder in the tumble, and reportedly has broken off contact with his bandmates in the months since. When he told a reporter he was planning to take some time to concentrate on "Brand Tyler," it touched off a wave of chatter that the band was through.

n November, a Tyler appearance meant to dispel breakup rumors only added to the mystery. During a solo show by guitarist Joe Perry, Tyler came onstage to perform "Walk This Way"—and promptly vanished afterward. Perry told Rolling Stone he hasn’t heard from Tyler since. Meanwhile, the band has admitted it’s searching for a new lead singer, even as it’s due to celebrate its 40th anniversary later this year.

1/27  It’s the 10th anniversary of Bill Belichick’s debut. He started his first press conference with a joke. And hasn’t smiled since.

COMEBACK
1/28 LEVINE TAKES BACK THE BATON

Famed BSO conductor James Levine returns to lead the orchestra, which he first conducted in 1972 at age 28. Out since September while recovering from back surgery, the 66-year-old maestro has suffered a tough stretch of physical setbacks over the past few years—including rotator cuff and kidney surgeries—leaving some fretful symphony-goers to suggest a successor be prepped in case Levine needs another extended break before his contract expires in 2012. bso.org.

ORNITHOLOGY
1/30 IT’S ALL UP IN THE AIR

Forget Florida and southern California—when it comes to the event known as the Super Bowl of Birding, the ideal venue is coastal Massachusetts. This annual contest, put on by Mass Audubon, will feature teams competing to spy scores of birds. It’s also a great day for first-timers to get help spotting eagles, owls, and vacationing Arctic-based birds. massaudubon.org.

1/31  Waiting lists for Boston public schools expire today. Hey, your kid didn’t want that goofy Boston Latin jacket anyway.

Beantown Bacchanalia
Dissecting our uneasy relationship with the Greeks

Thanks to a Greek-life resurgence at Northeastern, newcomer Kappa Kappa Gamma—the school’s second sorority debut in three years—begins a search for 94 sisters this month. But a note of caution, ladies: Bay Staters have furrowed their brow at your kind for years. 
January 1963: Williams College decides to do away with its 129-year-old fraternity program, announcing that it’s fed up with "humiliations of the caste system."

November 1985: The state legislature criminalizes fraternity and sorority hazing following the alcohol-related death of a student at Springfield’s American International College (he had been made to split nine gallons of wine with five other fraternity pledges).

July 1987: UMass-Lowell revokes Greek charters after a pledge overheats and goes into a coma as a result of being confined to a sleeping bag next to a number of space heaters.

October 2005: A Northeastern fraternity is suspended after cops bust up an epic 24-keg party at a Brookline frat house.

Illustration by Betsy Halsey