Best of the Weekend – May 15-17, 2015

Try craft beers at HarpoonFest, catch almost 200 local bands at PorchFest, and revel in experimental lit with Mark Z. Danielewski.

Welcome to Best of the Day, our recommendations for what to check out around town this weekend. If you’re wondering what to do in Boston this weekend, consider these events.

Friday, May 15

Harpoon Fest / Photo courtesy Harpoon Brewery

HarpoonFest / Photo courtesy of Harpoon Brewery


What better way to ring in the start of outdoor-drinking weather than with a waterfront beer festival? This weekend, the Seaport’s Harpoon Brewery is hosting two days of sudsy celebration. $20 gets you admission, a souvenir pint cup, and a drink ticket (with additional drinks available for purchase). In addition to the classic Harpoon IPA and UFO White, beers on tap include Harpoon Take 5 Session IPA, Boston Irish Stout, Harpoon Craft Cider, and two seasonal brews. Gird thy stomach with a choice selection of vittles: In addition to the brewery’s famed pretzels, this year, fest attendees have their pick of three food trucks—the Bacon Truck, the Dining Car, and Captain Marden’s Cod Squad—and the stick-to-your-ribs offerings from Lucky’s Lounge and the Sausage Guy. As for the soundtrack, they’ll have got two stages with bands on hand throughout the weekend. Acts of note include blue-eyed-soul songstress Jenny Dee & The Deelinquents, throwback hard rock from Township, and Bearstronaut’s dance-party-ready synthpop.

$20, May 15, 5:30-11 p.m. (door close at 9:30 p.m.), May 16, 1-7 p.m. (doors close at 5:30 p.m.), Harpoon Brewery, 306 Northern Ave., Boston,

Saturday, May 16

PorchFest 2015

Leave it to the Somerville Arts Council—the same minds behind “What the Fluff?” and Artbeat—to come up with an ingenious use for one of our urban landscape’s most untapped resources: porches. Once a relatively cloistered commodity (especially for those of us with extremely nonchalant landlords and visibly swaying, creaky porches with strict max occupancy limits), local porches—and local musical talent—can now be shared with the world, thanks to PorchFest. For this year’s Somerville incarnation of the annual outdoor music extravaganza, nearly 200 local bands will be assembling on local porches to serenade strollers-by. Amid the fray, you’ll find such formidable talents as Audrey Ryan, Will Dailey, Tigerman WOAH, the Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library, Mount Peru, Dirty Water Brass Band, and Alchemilla. To help you better sample this sonic buffet, there are three time slots, apportioned to different sectors of the city; check out the PorchFest map for more details.

May 16, 12-6 p.m.,

Sunday, May 17

Mark Z. Danielewski

In 2000, Mark Z. Danielewski’s format-busting House of Leaves proved once and for all that, yes, you can write a 700-page, footnoted metatext with color-coded fonts that’s also a gripping horror story (not to mention a memorably creepy album by Poe, his sister and artistic collaborator). Naturally, Danielewski blew a lot of impressionable young minds with that one—so many, that some might argue that House of Leaves should be classified as the literary equivalent of a controlled substance, right up there with Fight Club and Infinite Jest, considering the torrents of fanboy wankery that have been spawned in its wake. Whatever your stance, Danielewski strives to deliver a singularly unique experience with each of his works. With its ouroboros of stream-of-consciousness narrative, 2006’s Only Revolutions kept up the reader-flummoxing House of Leaves lineage. The Fifty Year Sword was initially available either in the form of a handful of excruciatingly rare (and expensive) limited-edition prints or a live shadow play. Now Danielewski’s back with The Familiar, Volume 1: One Rainy Day In May, the first installment of a 27-part tale about a little girl who finds a kitten. And alternate destinies. If you’re scratching your head over that one, feel free to ask MZD about it in person at the Booksmith this week.

May 17, 6 p.m., Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard St., Brookline, 617-566-6660,