Jamaica UnPlain: Midway Café reveals lineup for two-week ‘Dirty’ 30th anniversary celebration



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From rock clubs to music awards, there are a lot of anniversaries going on around town in 2017. Jamaica Plain’s Midway Café is getting into the anniversary action as well, hosting a fortnight of “Dirty 30” parties this summer that traces the independent venue’s weird history and off-the-path bookings back to 1987.


Among the highlights of the July 17 to July 30 celebration are Township, The Dents, and Love Love on opening night; John Powhida International Airport on July 19; Richie Parsons on July 20; Thrust Club on July 26; Bryan McPherson, Lenny Lashley, and Matt Charette on July 28; and The Real Kids, Watts, Muck & The Mires, Gene Dante & The Future Starlets on July 29.

“The Midway’s reputation as a thoroughly eclectic neighborhood joint,” writes booking agent Nick Blakey, “has been cemented by the fact that where else could you see burlesque on a Monday, earth-shattering noise on a Tuesday, free jazz on a Wednesday, folkies and then a Queer DJ dance party on a Thursday, jam bands and then meat and potatoes rock and roll on a Friday, hardcore punk and then cabaret on a Saturday, and Berklee fusion and open mic comedy on a Sunday? Also, regular Midway events such as Queeraoke (and before that Dyke Night), Hippie Hour, Monthly Fem Night, Thomas Lawlor’s Sunday Blues Jam, and the Midway or The Highway Open Mic became and in some cases continue to be staples and crucial community gathering places.”

Blakey adds: “However, the Midway Café’s bread and butter has been the thousands of local metro Boston and New England bands along with a host of neighborhood flash-in-the-pans that have graced its stage and continue to do so to this day.”


Check out the venue’s full anniversary celebration lineup below (subject to change); featured photo by Ken Scobie, check out his full gallery of archival Midway photos.

The Midway Cafe’s Dirty 30th Anniversary Celebration Spectacular

Click here for updated lineups and ticket info

Monday, July 17: Township, The Dents, Love Love, Weather Weapon

Tuesday, July 18: The Return of Storytime At The Ape’s Nest!


Wednesday, July 19: Chandler Travis Philharmonic, John Powhida International Airport

Thursday, July 20: Richie Parsons, Doug Linse followed by Queeraoke!

Friday, July 21 (6 p.m.): Mystical Misfits

Friday, July 21 (8:30 p.m.): Stray Bullets, Hobo Chili, Warning Shots, Stop Calling Me Frank


Saturday, July 22 (4 p.m.): Yankee Cockfight and more!

Saturday, July 22 (9 p.m.): The Cranktones, The Barley Hoppers, The Fearless Leaders, and Easy Ed’s Record Hop

Sunday, July 23 (4 p.m.): Alli Thresher presents The Revenge of WTFQueerlesque

Sunday, July 23 (9 p.m.): Thomas Lawlor’s All Star Blues Jam


Monday, July 24: Lovewhip, The Modern Voice, The Slum Raisins

Tuesday, July 25: The JP Music Festival presents TBA!

Wednesday, July 26 (Early Show): Midway or The Highway presents Comedy At The Midway Café!

Wednesday, July 26 (Late Show): Thrust Club, sister, Death Cloud, and more!


Thursday, July 27: Schumanator aka Alex Schuman followed by Queeraoke!

Friday, July 28 (6 p.m.): Uncle Johnny’s Band

Friday, July 28 (8:30 p.m.): Bryan McPherson, Lenny Lashley, Live Nude Girls, Matt Charette

Saturday, July 29 (4 p.m.): The Scandals and more!

Saturday, July 29 (9 p.m.): The Real Kids, Watts, Muck & The Mires, Gene Dante & The Future Starlets

Sunday, July 30 (4 p.m.): TBA


Sunday, July 30 (9 p.m.): A very special all-star Midway or The Highway Comedy Night