Five Reasons to Leave the House This Weekend

See the Old 97's in concert, laugh to the tunes of piano-playing comedian Owen Benjamin, or check out a ballet from the Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre.

The Old 97's.

The Old 97’s. Photo by Eric Ryan Anderson.

Old 97’s and Heartless Bastards

Old 97’s, the four-man band that has been cranking out alternative country anthems for over 20 years, visits the Royale. The New Yorker called their most recent album Most Messed Up, “Blistered, blasted, and brilliant.” The band is touring with Heartless Bastards, who straddle country, rock, and blues in their laid-back tone and sunny twang.

$30-$32, Friday, May 13, 6 p.m., Royale Boston, 279 Tremont St., Boston,

A DJ selects a record to play.

Breakbeat Lou as part of Soulelujah in the 2015 Together Boston Festival. Photo by Nick Minieri.

Together Boston

Sunday is the opening night of the week-long Together Boston festival—a music celebration with elements of technology and art woven in. Hit the opening party at the Sinclair and hear electronic musician Floating Points’ slow, electro-tunes pumping with electronic base, piano, and, of course, synthesizers. Music blog Pitchfork awarded Floating Points’ latest album, Elaenia, a high 8.4/10. Throughout the week, there are concerts all across the city, including shows from DJ Ben UFO and electro-producer Giraffage, and events like panels, art installations, and film screenings.

Prices, time, and location vary. Sunday, May 15 – Sunday May 22,

Jose Mateo Ballet

Photo by Michael Basu

Light to Dark 

See Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre’s last show of the season, Light to Dark. The show is set to the music of British composer Anna Clyne, and takes inspiration from a series of paintings. The company is known both for the quality of its shows (they’re a former Best of Boston winner), and also its social mission, Dance For World Community project—an initiative to use dance in community building and social change.

$42, Thursday, May 12, 8 p.m., 400 Harvard St., Cambridge,


Pam Wechsler

Dubbed a “May Must-Read,” Pam Wechsler’s new work, Mission Hill, follows a woman’s work at the Boston District Attorney’s homicide unit tracking down criminals.  Wechsler draws inspiration from her own life: She was a state and federal prosecutor in Suffolk for years before working as a legal consultant and writer for Law & Order. While talking to Boston earlier this year, she revealed, “What I really tried to capture was the emotional impact of what goes on behind the scenes. The turmoil, the self-doubt. Except for detectives, as a prosecutor, you really see things and experience things that nobody else does.”

Free, Thursday, May 12, Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge,

Owen Benjamin holds a piano in his headshot.

Photo by Walter Smith

Owen Benjamin

See Owen Benjamin’s unique mixture of stand-up comedy and music in his performance at Laugh Boston. He’s done stand-up on quite a few late night shows over the years, including Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Chelesea Lately, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and his podcast, Why Didn’t They Laugh, has made the iTunes top 100 chart. Benjamin is also an actor, and most recently appeared in star Colin Jost’s Staten Summer Island.

$29 – $39, Friday, May 13, 7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 13, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., Laugh Boston, 425 Summer Street, Boston,