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Leap of Faith

Saturday night I went into Cambridge to TT the Bear's Place to see Faith and the Muse, an absolutely awesome show! It was a place I'd never been before and a group I'd never heard before, so I was a little unsure of myself.

TT the Bear's Place

Parking is easy if you go to the parking garage at the corner of Franklin & Green Street (entrance is on Green) and it was $6 to park from just after 8 pm to just after 1 am. The club is one long and dingy block away. There are what seems like a hundred places to eat nearby, and I stopped at Rangzen, the Tibetan restaurant at the opposite corner from the parking garage, for some very good butter tea and beef with bean threads.

TT the Bear's is small (capacity is something like 275) but it's split into four public rooms so there's room to breathe (luckily for me, I generally don't do well with incense and the dancers at one point came out with two pots of it). You enter to the room with the main bar. To the right is the performance room, and beyond that is another smaller bar room, a nice option but fairly airless, and the green room for the performers. To the left and back is a room with two pool tables. There's two or three small tables with chairs in each non-performance rooms but only the ones by the pool tables are likely to be free, and you can't see the stage from any of them. The main bar has about four stools where you might catch a glimpse of the stage, but don't expect to grab those either. Between the main bar room and the performance room are two doorways and between those is a countertop pass-through space that people can use from either side. I ended up leaning on that from the bar side, and yet with the size of the place, I was still only about 15 feet from the stage. The stage is tiny (as Richards said of dancers: "they're dancing on a postage stamp here"), the room is small, it's like they're performing in your living room. Drinks are cheap for Boston: I had dark rum with tonic and lime for $7. There's a stack of cups and a pitcher of water kept on the bar that I suspect might be for performers and crew, but no one stopped me from using it to refill my cup. I've heard there's only one stall in the women's restroom, but I didn't go in so I can't confirm it. I can confirm that you can hear the music from The Middle East club through the floor, but only when nothing else is playing in TT's.

Faith and the Muse

William Faith and Monica Richards and great musicians backing them up. For this tour, there's also the Serpentine dance duo from Portland. The music is intense, darkly poetic and strong-voiced. Most of the vocals are Richards, some by Faith. Many of the songs, including the opening chant and first two, were from the new album ":ankoku butoh:". There were 13 songs and three instrumental pieces in the set, and then 2 songs in the encore, for about 1-1/2 hours of high level music. Songs I think I can name (I'm not enough of a trufan to identify all, sorry!): "The Woman of Snow", "Blessed", "Battle Hymn", "Cantus", "Nine Dragons", "Bushido", "Scars Flown Proud", "The Burning Season", "In Dreams of Mine", "Patience Worth", "Cernunnos", "Sovereign". The performance was visually beautiful, too, with the aid of the costumed dancers, even if cramped by the stage. Before and between the live performances, DJ Scary Lady Sarah spun music, and the opening act was Spindle Shanks, whose female singer had a nice gothic touch, not overdone. The fans for the night... right. Lots of black, in hair dye and tattoos as well as in clothing. Some touches of red and purple, some stretch lace and velvet. A barely-legal-looking kid with a black leather jacket bearing a row of safety pins... surely that's kind of retro by now? But nothing you'd be surprised at seeing on the streets of Cambridge. :-)


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 26th, 2010 03:09 pm (UTC)
They used to have the most amazing Jukeox in there. Very rare stuff on it.
Apr. 26th, 2010 05:30 pm (UTC)
I didn't notice a jukebox. :-(

But... good gods. I tried a Google search to see if anyone else talks about the jukebox and came up with THIS. Google News can let you browse a 1978 Real Paper?! O_o
Apr. 26th, 2010 09:16 pm (UTC)

well it was 1987....
Apr. 27th, 2010 02:15 am (UTC)
In 1987, we'd moved to Malden and a house and thought we were grown-ups and didn't go to clubs. :-)

In 1978, I'd have gone if anyone I knew had suggested going, but I didn't have any friends who did, and wouldn't have gone by myself.

In 2010, I still don't have any friends who go to clubs, but I'm willing to go on my own. Because now I really am a grown-up, and we can do what we like. :-)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )