Daily Archives: May 28, 2010

Friday Night Music Byte

The Rat, Kenmore Square, Boston, MA

Tonight’s post will not feature a band, but rather a venue. The Rathskeller (known as The Rat for short) was a Kenmore Square live music venue in Boston, Massachusetts that was open from 1974 to 1997 (The Rathskeller was operating during the 1960’s as The Remains were the original house band). As implied by its name “Rathskeller” (German: “council cellar”), the Rathskeller was a dimly-lit establishment with a bar and restaurant on the street level and a rock club in the basement. In many ways it was Boston’s Cavern Club.

The Rathskeller is notable for being one of Greater Boston’s premier music venues for three decades and the starting point for the WBCN Rock & Roll Rumble.

One Boston-area magazine describes:

There was also a new Ground Zero for live performance in Boston at that time. Deep below freaky-funky Kenmore Square, the Rathskellar (or, as everyone called it, “The Rat”) was a dingy subterranean dive bar that would appeal to the ever-burgeoning punk movement, and that hosted shows by everyone from Talking Heads and Tom Petty to Thin Lizzy and The Ramones. Everybody played there—and would continue to do so until the club finally closed its doors in 1997 amid a movement toward gentrification.

The Rat was ultimately razed in October 2000 to make way for the Hotel Commonwealth, a 148-room luxury hotel of which Boston University is a limited partner.

In recognition of their place in Boston’s punk rock history, Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks,  currently located at 528 Commonwealth Avenue (the former site of The Rat), offers a cocktail known as “The Rat” which consists of Fernet Branca and Coca-Cola.

The Rat is referenced in both Guitar Hero II and Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s, where one of the venues is called “The Rat Cellar” and it is located in Boston.

Some of the more notable bands to have performed at The Rat are as follows:

The Cars, The Dead Kennedys, Dropkick Murphys, Gang Green, The Clash, Joan Jett, Lou Miami and the Kozmetix, Mazzy Star, Metallica, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Mission of Burma, The Pixies, The Police, The Ramones, The Replacements, The Remains, R.E.M., Rick James, The Smithereens, Sonic Youth, Talking Heads, Thin Lizzy, Tom Petty and The Wrecking Crew.

Bottom line? The Rat was a hell hole that smelled like piss, puke and stale beer, but it knocked out some of the greatest punk rock I’ve ever heard. R.I.P. Rat, we hardly knew ye!!!

Please enjoy a few video clips of bands playing in the punk era at The Rat. Pay close attention to the audience also as they were right on top of the bands.

The Neighborhoods, May 8, 1979

Unnatural Axe

The Voodoo Dolls 1990

Straw Dogs 1988

Sarah Palin And The Paperback Writer

"Say it ain't so, Joe."

We just cannot let this Sarah Palin/Joe McGinniss feud fade away without another post on the subject. In fact, this potential Hatfield/McCoy standoff is likely to provide enough juicy material for many more posts (not to mention a Saturday Night Live skit or two). What could be better than an investigative journalist actually living right next door to the subject of his next book?

By the way, what’s up with Sarah Palin’s sick obsession with the sexual violation of her daughters? First we learned on the campaign trail that unwed teen daughter Bristol was pregnant despite all that “abstinence only” training she received from her formerly unwed pregnant mother. Next, Palin accused David Letterman of soliciting the statutory rape of daughter, Willow. Then we learned from reading her ghostwritten memoir, that both daughters Willow and Bristol were threatened with gang rape from schoolmates,

In that first year, I was alerted to threats against Willow by students at her Juneau school, one particularly disturbing. Someone posted a note on an Internet site threatening to gang-rape her at school. I never felt safe for her after that. Later, the same thing happened to Bristol.

Of course “Mama Bear” never reported the alleged threats to school officials or law enforcement at the time. Now we have Palin alleging that writer Joe McGinniss is some sort of perverted peeping tom. In a recent Facebook entry, Palin wrote,

Wonder what kind of material he’ll gather while overlooking Piper’s bedroom…

It is clear that Sarah Palin has some weird sexual hangups involving minors.

Greater Wasilla (Alaska) better get ready for a long hot summer with plenty of fireworks on display in and around the Palin/McGinniss compound. We can imagine screaming tantrums from Palin, mocking waves from McGinniss and the Wasilla police setting up a temporary station on their street. Will the Palins’ spite fence grow taller and taller? The new neighbors’ backyards will be filled with cold stares, hot glares and sneak peeks. All in all though, what did Palin expect? She cozied up to Joe Sixpack and Joe The Plumber, so how could Joe The Writer be expected to know that he would be unwelcome in Palinland?

Palin's spite fence.

Let’s all hope for a summer full of comedic altercations. In the meantime please enjoy this re-working of a previous re-working of the Beatles’ song “Paperback Writer”.

In honor of the troops, please click on the song link below to familiarize yourselves with the tune and to have more fun singing along with the song parody.

Paperback Writer song link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pwap79uy1G8


(sung to the Beatles song “Paperback Writer”)

Paperback writer (paperback writer)

Dear Todd and Sarah, will you read my book?
It took me months to write while I had a look
All of those things that I could see and hear
I put them in my book and I’m gonna be a paperback writer
Paperback writer

Its a dirty story of a dirty clan
Led by Sarah Palin and her “First Dude” man
I learned so much by reading through their mail
They’re a seedy mob but its fun to be a paperback writer
Paperback writer

Paperback writer (paperback writer)

It’s a thousand pages give or take a few,
It has some photos I took from my scenic view.
I must admit the Palins never do smile
They just sulked around in plain site of this paperback writer,
Paperback writer

I loved all the fighting I could hear at night
It wafted through the fence despite its massive height.
You’ll learn all about them so please have no fear,
They will quiver and quake but I’m gonna be a paperback writer.
Paperback writer

Paperback writer (paperback writer)

Paperback writer – paperback writer
Paperback writer – paperback writer