Ya know how I said that 123 Party was looking for new dancers with fresh moves? Well, the guys held auditions at Embassy nightclub on Lansdowne Street, and I was there, with camcorder in hand. The competition was fierce. I shot this video so you could witness it for yourselves...take a look:
Who will become the next member of Boston’s #1 renegade dance troupe? Stay tuned to find out....
-- Emily Sweeney
Sip on a classic cocktail, the Brandy Alexander, at Fleming's.
Check out Barcode in Sidekick.
Our sources at Mix 98.5 tell us that the Scissor Sisters plan to attend tonight’s official after-party at District . These same sources tell us OK Go hasn't committed to the shindig, but we bet the band will follow the Sisters' lead and show up. The two bands should finish their co-headlining show at Avalon at about 10. Ticketholders get into a special VIP room at the District party. Folks without tickets are welcome at the club -- and there's no cover.
I took my 9-year-old friend Devein (pronounced "divine," and she is) to see the Rockettes at the Wang, I mean, um, the Citi Performing Arts Center, last night. Devein has taken tap and hip-hop classes, so I thought she'd dig the dancing. She did (although she got sick of the signature kick line), but her favorite part was the "surprise" appearance at the beginning of the night by Governor-elect Deval Patrick, who read "The Night Before Christmas" onstage surrounded by children from the audience.
The sight of him made both of us a little giddy. Even though he didn't show any leg, he was truly the star of the show.
Folks at the Prudential Center food court tell us that they'll be making the world's biggest salad today and that you can have a sample.
In reality, that's only half true. Because of health codes that prohibit people from eating from one giant salad bowl, the food court will actually be showing off a gigantic bowl filled with carefully packaged, individual-size portions of Olivia's Organics salad.
To be clear, no records will be broken. It's just many little salads in one big bowl.
Yes, it's a gimmick to get you to the food court. But for every $1 salad you buy, $2 goes to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The salad will be on display until 5.
--By Meredith Goldstein
OUCH!...fellow Rat fans, you'll get a kick out of this. Check out what Mike Barnicle had to say about Kenmore Square, back in 1979:
"...Down in Kenmore Square, the punk rockers made their way down the steps of the Rathskeller where a band, The A's, was about to play.
The crowd, in their leather jackets, looked like they had been outfitted at the Boston Navy Yard around l949 and all of it, the discos, the kids at The Rat who think affection means whipping each other with chains, the 13-year-olds sniffing amyl nitrate for a cheap high, the 20-year-olds with enough pills in them to pass a pharmacist's exam, the paper debris in the gutters and the human debris passed out on the benches by the Kenmore MBTA station, jarred the mind and pushed your thoughts across the years to an earlier, easier time; an age when Kenmore Square was a small showcase of architecture and elegance.
The hotels - The Kenmore, The Braemoor, the Myles Standish - were full up. Zallen's was selling cream cheese and bagels and Channel 7 was next to Howard Johnson's and the whole place had a bit of life to it.
Now it is a pit of pills and drunk kids who become part of the night; a strip of clubs and fast-food joints where everything collides at two in the morning and makes the square resemble an open sewer where the worst that could ever happen to us walks by in one, long parade.
Stand there long enough, look long enough and one thought races across the brain: This country truly is in trouble."
-- published in The Boston Globe
Sept. 17, 1979
My favorite Irishman-about-town Mick Murray was snapping photos when the Bon Savants held their CD release party at The Pill last Friday:
...this Friday (Dec. 8th) Pill-goers will be treated to a performance by The Glass Set, and DJ Ken will spin the best from his Britpop and mod indie bag o’tricks.
The Pill is 21+...$5 before 11pm...and be sure to look sharp.
-- Emily Sweeney
The Rat (circa 1996)
E-mail has been pouring in about my post about The Rat. I'm glad to see everyone misses the place as much as I do. Here are a few notes I received from readers, sharing their memories of our dearly departed dive bah:
Paul F.Cole writes:
"I loved the Rat… There was no place like it in Boston...I saw the Jim Carroll band there one night. He spit on my buddy! That was a mistake. My buddy did not like that and picked Jim Carroll up and face planted him in to the stage! What a night that was. We barely got of there alive...Another buddy of mine was at the Police Show....He said there could not have been more than 8-10 people in the house that night. Can you imagine? I remember when Kenmore square was the place to go to see live shows. You had the Rat of course, but there was Lucifer's, which is where I saw The Tramps and Tavares in the same night. All the polyester you would ever want..."
Colin used to perform with Diecast, a metal/hardcore band that was the opening act for Slayer’s 2002 tour. He writes:
"We had our first show at the Rat and I used to hang out there all the time. I used to book occasional shows there as well....Saw your piece on the Rat on boston.com, I actually played the second to last show ever put on there and have one of the old paper mache rats from the walls of the club in my room to this day. Boston is definitely not the same without it. I used to go to a lot of ska shows back in '97 as well and miss it a lot. Just thought I'd comment and let you know it's nice that some people remember that piece of Boston's musical history."
And Paul Van Dorpe writes:
"You really can bring a tear to a grown man's eye...1980 (or ’81) The Dead Boys @ the Rat w/ The Proleteriat opening. My first big time punk rock show. Nice article and way to keep the ska/rocksteady thing in the minds of the kids!"
In just a few short hours I'm heading out to Love Night at Common Ground in Allston. I must say, I walk past the place every day, but not once have I been moved to go inside. A friend swears Love Night -- the bar's '80s-themed night -- is worth braving the cold. We'll see about that.
Given Common Ground's location on Harvard Avenue and tonight's new-wave feel, it should at least be a great place to play hipster bingo.
....help save Boston's only roller rink!
Watch this guy groovin' at Chez Vous:
-- Emily Sweeney
Five things ... I have noticed about holiday yard decorations:
1 -- The house that had a giant inflatable snowman in the yard last year and nothing this year makes me think something bad happened: a divorce? a layoff? an unfortunate incident with the cat?
2 -- The one decorated house on an otherwise dark block -- blazing lights, Santa on the roof, moving reindeer, tinkling Christmas songs -- must really annoy the neighbors.
3 -- Lit-up plastic sheep look surprisingly menacing.
4 -- Same goes for automated snowmen whose heads roll from side to side.
5 -- And those metallic presents that open and close on their own? Downright creepy.
As I've said before, I can't always rely on my friends for the best way to get to know the city's nightlife. Instead, I am hoping to embark on a Beantown Safari to get better acquainted with what's out there.
Here's where you come in.
I'm all about giving the power to the people, so e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions. I'm up for every dive bar, chic lounge, and dank pub this city has to offer. Also, feel free to suggest any particular food and drink I should try while I'm there. I want the good, bad, and ugly, so go ahead and send your best and worst picks.
If Martii Garcia (above) looks familiar, it’s because she was almost a member of Danity Kane, the girl group spawned by P. Diddy’s “Making the Band.” Nowadays, the Saugus-bred Garcia is busy making her own girl group, a Pussycat Dolls-style burlesque act that will be a fixture at the Big Easy in the Alley, soon to reopen as Mansion.
On Sunday afternoon, Martii let me watch her audition dancers for the new go-go group. There were about 15 hopefuls, young women who currently perform at clubs like Felt and the Roxy. They bounced and shook for Martii while wearing jewel-studded bras and fishnet body stockings. They sang a capella. They performed choreographed steps in pairs to P. Diddy. They filled out this questionnaire, which includes some pretty amazing questions.
No word on which girls were chosen.
Based on my observations, 22-year-old Leslie Santiago was a frontrunner.
Based on my observations, this project will involve body glitter.
Based on my observations, these women are going to be very popular.
Here's more on Martii.
I miss The Rat.
For newcomers who don't know anything about the old Kenmore Square, let me explain: The Rathskeller (a.k.a. The Rat) was a legendary dive bar that hosted some of the best bands in their early years. We're talking The Police, The Cars, Talking Heads, Black Flag, Metallica, Joan Jett, R.E.M, Mighty Mighty Bosstones....and the list goes on.
The Rat has been gone for almost 10 years now. But its memory lives on in cyberspace...
Check out this gem I found on YouTube. It’s an old episode of a TV-38 show from the 1980s. The host Dana Hersey invades the Rat and then waltzes over to the old Pizza Pad. It’s priceless:
I was lucky enough to attend a few all-ages shows at the Rat before it closed in ’97. I went to mostly ska shows. You could usually find me wearing a black-n'-white checkered skirt with a matching headband and a navy blue jacket with patches sewn on it (and I still wear that jacket once in a while.) Here’s a flyer from one of the shows:
....and speaking of ska....
If you’re into ska and rocksteady and punk music, you should check out this show tonight:
- Emily Sweeney
"No one’s harda than a New England gangsta..."
- Prep Unit
Das right! But instead of sippin' Smirnoff tea like these guys, I suggest keepin' it real by going back to the old skool....I mean really old skool.
On Sunday, Dec. 10th, there’s gonna be a real Tea Par-tay in downtown Boston, colonial-style.
At 5:30 p.m. the Old South Meeting House is hosting what they call a "spirited re-enactment of the Boston Tea Party." The public is invited to participate as protesters rally against the tea tax, just like they did (in that same spot) back in December 1773.
Bust out your best breeches, dust off your tri-cornered hat and get ready to throw down on Sunday...(just leave the muskets and bayonets at home)
Admission is $5... but if you're rockin' the colonial attire, you'll get in free.
- Emily Sweeney
Being new to the nightlife scene, I often find myself depending on friends' suggestions for a night out. Unfortunately, sometimes their taste is ... questionable. So, as I continue to be dragged from one dive to another, I'm getting a little tired of the same old haunts. As we made our way to the Purple Shamrock in Faneuil Hall Friday, I was already prepared for disappointment.
The crowd was a mix of young and old (sometimes in unexpected ways). We snagged a table and grooved to R. Kelly's "Ignition (Remix)" as more patrons began to pile in. The people-watching was pretty stellar, but still, I began to wish I was home watching Animal Planet with a glass of wine instead. The night seemed to pick up -- as I yawned into my gin and tonic -- when a band began setting up. My equally unimpressed compadre mused, "I really hope this is some sort of sweet cover band."
Boy, were we in luck.
The banner hanging behind the drumkit read "Spike the Punch!" and when they broke into Filter's "Take A Picture" we could hardly contain ourselves. I frantically tore through my wallet for receipts on which I could scribble down some notes. By the light of my cell phone I tracked their set-list, which took listeners on a journey through the 90s and into the 80s. They tackled the Goo Goo Dolls, Bon Jovi, and Cheap Trick; but once they reached Toto's "Africa" the excitement moved my previously unaffected cohort to scream "Oh my God, it's Toto!" like it was Beatlemania.
What began as funny in that sort of ironic way, soon had us singing along. As they began Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" we shouted, "It's as if they're in our heads!"
We weren't the only ones digging the tunes. A surprisingly large group of folks decked out in flannel danced awkwardly in front of the band. Had we actually traveled back in time? What exactly were in these drinks?
When the band packed up, so did we -- and we returned to 2006, whether we liked it or not.
Hear some of this madness for yourself courtesy the lead singer's website. It's a pretty "rad" medley of tunes.
Stephanie Callahan is a native Bostonian who loves cooking, traveling, spa treatments, and being on the ocean.
Meghan Colloton is a Bostonian who loves traveling, channeling her inner Julia Child, and trying weird things -- from food to bungee jumping.
Milva DiDomizio is a New England native who's fond of cooking, singing, and Boston's arts and culture scene.
Rachel Raczka is a Bostonian who enjoys buttercream frosting, gin cocktails, and conquering cobblestone streets in high heels.
Emily Sweeney is a Boston native who goes out all over, from Irish pubs in Southie to the roller rink in Dorchester.
Emily Wright is a native Cape Codder who enjoys exercising, baking, and the occasional guilty pleasure action movie.