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Tammy Pescatelli -- a former "Last Comic Standing" finalist


Now this sounds like a blast -- literally. For the second Boom Over the Bay celebration on July 4, you can enjoy live music by the Firecracker Jazz Band at Liberty Park.

The hip, zany sextet formed in 2003 and includes members from Squirrel Nut Zippers, Asylum Street Spankers, and Mad Tea Party, as well as the Tommy Dorsey Band. They play popular and obscure Tin Pan Alley songs from the early 20th-century jazz masters, utilizing stride piano, tuba, banjo, trombone, trumpet, cornet, guitar, drums, and banjo.

Oh, yes: They also sometimes play civil-defense air raid sirens.

Firecracker Jazz Band played at Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee last month, and has also appeared at the Sacramento Jazz Festival and New York City's Highline Ballroom. For the Erie show, they'll play a lively mix of songs synchronized to the fireworks.

Boom Over the Bay will open with the Greater Erie Youth Symphony Orchestra Jazz Ensemble playing at 6 p.m. The inaugural class of the Erie Hall of Fame will be presented at 7:15 p.m. Then the Firecracker Jazz Band starts poppin' at 8:30 p.m. The fireworks should begin around 9:45 p.m.

``Jr.'s Last Laugh welcomes a couple high-profile special events in July. Tammy Pescatelli -- a former "Last Comic Standing" finalist -- will return from July 10-12. She's appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," as well as A&E's "Evening at the Improv." Plus, she's Italian and grew up near Cleveland with a house full of brothers -- all fodder for her comedy.

Then, from July 24-26, Alonzo Bodden visits Jr.'s. He took second place in "Last Comic Standing's" season No. 2, then won it the next year. He followed that up by being a judge on the show. He's also appeared all over TV, including Leno and "Late Night with Conan O'Brien."

Call 461-0911 for reservations or, if you have reservations, don't call at all. No one's making you.

``Erie film director Len Kabasinki sends word that his "Fist of the Vampire" will arrive in stores worldwide on DVD on July 8. To celebrate, he's planning a DVD release party on July 12 at Theatre 145, located at 145 W. 11th St. The $5 admission will include a showing of the film and an after-party with hard rock-metal band the Darkling from Buffalo.

"Fist of the Vampire" was a featured film at the Maxim Media International booth at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

``8 Great Tuesdays has booked Boris Garcia to open for Commander Cody on Aug. 26. Boris isn't the bastard child of Jerry Garcia and a Russian war bride but the made-up name for a fast-rising Americana band from Philadelphia.

"Drawing from such Americana styles as folk, country-rock, and bluegrass, Boris Garcia stumbled upon a sound not unlike 'American Beauty'-era Grateful Dead," wrote Mike Greenhaus in Relix magazine last year. They've shared the stage with Hot Tuna, Railroad Earth, Blues Traveler,

``Congrats to Erie's Misery Bay, which won the Mixed Martial Arts Music Meltdown Event on June 21 at the Hard Rock Cafe in Toronto. That makes them the official Band of Freedom Fight 2008. They'll provide the introduction soundtrack for all Freedom Fight events, starting July 26 in Quebec City.

``"Journey into Amazing Caves" will debut Tuesday on the Tom Ridge Environmental Center's Big Green Screen. The story follows Nancy Aulenbach and Dr. Hazel Barton who will share the thrill of exploring caves. You'll follow them into ice caves in Greenland and underwater caves in Mexico among other extreme environments.

"Caves" will replace "The Human Body."

``Adventurous North Carolina trio Freak Tent will play with Otis tonight at Sherlock's. They recently played Skatopia, going on after Green Jello. Skate phenom Ryan Dunn was there to watch. They also recently played Zonefest, and will be at Denver's Mile High Festival in July. They meld funk, punk, and spastic rock in trippy, exciting ways.

Otis also plans on videotaping its show for a possible future release.


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