Horns invade the streets of Somerville and Cambridge this Columbus Day weekend as the free annual Honk! Festival unleashes two dozen activist street bands, in Davis Square on Saturday and then a Sunday march to Harvard Square. The lineup ranges from locals the Dirty Water Brass Band and Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band to the Detroit Party Marching Band, New Orleans’ Original Pinettes Brass Band and even a pair of entries from France. And they’ll be joined on Sunday at Harvard Square Oktoberfest by rock and roots bands that include blues-soul singer Jesse Dee. Here’s the schedule for Honk! as well as Oktoberfest.
But there’s plenty of other indoor options this weekend beyond a Honk! warmup at the Once Ballroom on Friday night. The New England Conservatory-bred Lake Street Dive completes its amazing journey from the Lizard Lounge to Friday’s headlining date at the lavish, downtown City Wang Theatre. And the Violent Femmes continue their resurgence at the Orpheum Theatre the same night before 75-year-old Joan Baez takes over the Citi Wang Theatre on Saturday.
Sunday proves the busiest day of the long weekend though. Acclaimed country maverick Sturgill Simpson expands his palette with horns at the Orpheum, Toronto electro-punk outfit Crystal Castles (with singer Edith Frances joining founder Ethan Kath) storms the Sinclair, and Chicago’s eclectic, melancholy pop group Whitney unveils its charms at Great Scott on Sunday. And if you want to extend the holiday weekend into Monday night, consider a Sinclair show by the suave and lively R&B rocker Nick Waterhouse.