Monday, February 18, 2008

2/16 Direct Control, Social Circkle, Wasted Time - Ratscellar, Boston MA

Photo borrowed from Al Quint

This past Saturday we drove up to Boston MA to the Ratscellar, one of the newer show spots in Boston. DIY/basement venues in Boston have always had an unfortunately short shelf-life. Constantly changing rental leases, police presence, and other factors often force the greater Boston DIY community to be ever-vigilant and ever-developing, always seeking out a new safe haven. That all being said, the Ratscellar is a very interesting spot. Nestled in Boston's murky depths, saying anything more specific would not help the venue keep its location secret, the Ratscellar appears to have one advantage unlike most of its other previous counterparts: neighbors. There are few, if any, houses within a reasonable distance from the space itself, which greatly limits the amount of noise complaints that this space can gather over the weeks/months.

The space itself has been rennovated by those who live there, and they've really done a great job. The entry way appears to have been lofted, allowing for all furniture to be out of the way. The basement, which is absolutely huge, has been cleared away of all random junk. The first room at the bottom of the stairs is quite vast allowing for ample space for distros, merch/zine tables. The second room contains the stage/PA and has a rather elegant lighting system for a the type of space that it is. Most basement showspaces would be content with simply a lamp on floor. It is obvious that those who live there have put a great deal of thought into making a space a long-lasting one.

While all the bands were great (Wasted Time and Social Circkle were my favorites of the evening), I found that the show was less about specific sets and more about my personal stance on shows in general. My apathy toward driving 2 hours to a show in a room full of (mostly) strangers can be understood by some, but ultimately this was a mindset that I do not particularly care to have. More importantly, it is/was a not a mindset that is usually characteristic of me, which was all the more frustrating. That all being said, this show was a glorious opportunity to debunk any developing misconceptions I might have had about my own personal stance on attending shows such as these (and without meticulous advanced planning, no less!). There's nothing quite like sipping on some Private Stock in a room full of sweaty, screaming punks to help set things straight. The Ratscellar quickly became another personal reason why Boston has and always will feel like home.