Out: Christening and listening at Radio in Somerville

A new club choice
By BARRY THOMPSON  |  October 17, 2011

LAUNCHED! At the Radio opening, John Powhida International Airport were part of a Boston rock all-star blowout that would delight nearly everyone’s ass in any room.

For all the "good, but needs work" murmurs hanging in the transparent smog of humidity that engulfed Radio on Friday night, the christening party for the new venue paralleled that early-freshman-year campus cafeteria meal, when parents enjoyed a magnificent buffet lunch before kissing little Billy or Suzy adieu.

>> PHOTOSJohn Powhida International Airport + Sidewalk Driver + more at Radio <<

Radio, the embryonic house o' rock at the former Club Choices space at 379 Somerville Ave, has cricks in need of massaging. But I'm confident those will be attended to — Radio probably won't be a sweat lodge at its 200-person capacity most of the time.

Optimism mandates hope that Radio frequently fills up. Nobody who counts would ever root against a live music venue that — in addition to offering a $5 cover charge more often than not and $3 PBR 16 oz.-ers — doesn't suck. However, they've got to do something about the ventilation so the joint can get packed without getting muggy.

Beyond the balmy atmosphere, the stage's placement directly beside the front door made slipping outside to smoke a bit awkward. But that could be a temporary thing, according to booker Ashley Willard. And that's all I've got to bitch about.

Hooky indie-rock courtesy of the Rationales and the Organ Beats traded off with glammed-out party rock from Sidewalk Driver and John Powhida International Airport. A Boston rock all-star blowout such as this would delight nearly everyone's ass in any room. More pertinently: with a tastefully non-Warholian Rocky Balboa painting hanging behind the cash-only bar, brick walls, and leather (pleather?) upholstered furniture combining to create the vibe of a place that formerly housed crappy art shows, plus a bit of a "best kept secret" quality (read: "hard to get to from Allston"), Radio could make a cozy-yet-totally-rad place to see unknowns and up-and-comers play for 10 people. And that's a smart-money reason to bet on Radio sticking around.

Related: Photos: John Powhida International Airport + Sidewalk Driver + The Organ Beats + The Rationales at Radio, Class of 2012: Boston's 12 best new bands, Photos: Radio's One-Year Anniversary with The Field Effect, Parlour Bells, Oldjack, Mellow Bravo, and Cancer Killing Gemini, More more >
  Topics: Live Reviews , Radio, Radio, sidewalk driver,  More more >
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