Note to organizers of Allston house shows: Police are watching your online posts

The Daily Free Press reports the Boston Police licensing division has its eye on a long-running underground venue on Armington Street in Allston. This past Thursday, a detective from the licensing division contacted an organizer of the Butcher Shoppe at 24 Armington to let him know if he went through with plans for a basement concert the next night, he'd face a possible raid and fines for running an unlicensed concert in a space not meeting city code.

The detective found out about the concert by following online posts about the Butcher Shoppe, the Daily Free Press reports.

The the Butcher Shoppe had been hosting concerts since at least 2009.

From a 2011 show:

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      Comments

      Priorities

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      Really? Aren't there a few unsolved murders out there? One or two? Maybe even right in Allston?

      Public safety

      By on

      Yes, police should be trying to solve murders. That's why they have a homicide division.

      So why a licensing division? For one thing, the city also has responsibility to try to keep residents and visitors safe. I'm no fire expert, but based on the videos I posted/saw, that venue doesn't look like the kind of place you'd want to be in if a fire broke out. So setting aside the bureaucracy issue (licensing concerts like that?), you could argue that in a city that still remembers Cocoanut Grove, you're going to want a licensing division (which consists of exactly three detectives) looking out for things like that.

      For a second there, Adam....

      By on

      I thought there was going to be a Biggie reference in there - you know, something about note for the plaintiff and a brooklyn (or Allston) basement...I know. My 90s are showing.

      Back in reality...a bunch of kids packed in a basement in Allston with electrical circuits that are almost certainly being overloaded...what could possibly go wrong? I must say that I particularly liked the electrical wires haphazardly draped over and around the gas line. It's difficult to see how this might be dangerous perched directly above a mosh pit.

      As for Coconut Grove, well, dontcha know that's history, bro/man?

      The don't-the-cops-have-better-things-to-do poster might have had a point if this was an "unauthorized supper club", but this is far, far more dangerous and is precisely what the licensing division should be focused on (perhaps more than making sure food is being served in places with licenses for it).

      It sounds like the cops took a good approach - prevention before something bad happened - but frankly, I'd like to know if the police are taking any further action. There must be some kind of recourse against the landlord, who could then move against the tenants, etc.

      What about house parties?

      By on

      What about house parties? Should every frat get a license for their overcrowded basement Saturday night bashes?

      What if I want to have a graduation party at my house? I've got a big family, we'll be grilling some stuff, there might be people in the basement. That sounds dangerous, do I need a license for that?

      It is not yours or anyone

      By on

      It is not yours or anyone else's responsibility or right as a human to keep me from willingly putting myself in a "dangerous" place. Stay the fuck out of my house.

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      Yeah!!!!

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      I wear my hair in a 3 foot mohawk because all of my friends do! I wear a vintage Sex Pistols shirt that my parents would shit if they know I'd taken it out of a box in the attic marked "Dad's stuff" because my friends think it's cool.

      I just spent all of the money I made at work last month on cool ink because all of my friends have cool ink. And I only listen to bands I hear on WZBC because that's the only station my friends listen to.

      But whatever you do, don't tell me how to live my fucking life, because I live by my own rules, man!

      I'm guessing you won't see

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      I'm guessing you won't see this since it's so old. But your comment is so funny because of how wrong it is. In fact, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess you exclusively listen to classic rock. I hate everything you mentioned and if you actually think that's what people who go to house shows are into... ha hahah ha

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      Despite all the bostonian

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      Despite all the bostonian yuppies posting under this comment, I have to argree with you 100%

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      Argree? Two words

      By on

      Half agreeing/half arguing? I think you're agreeing with the first poster saying the police have better things to do. Adam mentions Cocoanut Grove - and some would argue ancient history/doesn't happen anymore.

      Two words:

      Station Nightclub

      Five words: Stay out of my

      By on

      Five words:
      Stay out of my house.
      Yeah, bad things happen. They will continue to happen. Forever. That gives NOBODY the right as a human to decide that I am incapable of deciding whether a house is too dangerous for me to stand inside of.

      Five Points

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      1. It's not your house - People who are holding these basement venues are renters. Not to mention the second you turn your house into an illegal club it's not a house anymore, it's an illegal club. It's not even your city. Most of you will move out of Allston by the time you're 25 and while you're here you treat the neighborhood like crap.

      2. You have neighbors. They don't want to listen to your music or your drunk friends, nor deal with the mess. Nor risk their house turning into a conflagration next to yours. What you do affects other people.

      Basically if you live in the city it's your responsibility to be as quiet and unobtrusive as possible so as not to annoy the other people living in close proximity to you.

      3. Bad things don't have to happen. If you have the state mandated fire suppression systems and multiple, well lit exits in your basement it might be safe. Instead you have a dark cave, exposed wires and pipes, and one unmarked exit. That's fine if you're down there doing your laundry by yourself. That's not fine when there are 50 people down there with you.

      4. You can't be trusted to take care of yourself so someone else is going to have to. When people act responsibly they get left alone. When people act irresponsibly they become wards of the state. If you want to be left alone you need to act responsibly. If you want to be treated like an adult then act like one.

      5. There are so many great, legitimate places to play in Allston, and the Boston area as a whole,there is really no need for basement venues. With the large amount of dedicated, cheap practice spaces in Allston there is not even a reason to practice in your basement.

      If you want to be a successful band you need to play the game.
      Befriend your local booking agents.
      Befriend the bar owners and staff.
      Befriend more successful bands who will ask you to open for them.
      If none of that is working there are a number of [now well known] Boston musicians who got their start playing in the subway stations [with a legitimate license to do so].

      And let's face it, if you're not good enough to get a slot at a place like O'Brien's you're probably not good enough to listen to.

      THERE YOU GO WITH THE

      By on

      THERE YOU GO WITH THE ASSUMPTIONS AGAIN

      1) Most of us are over 25.
      2) Neighbors should come and talk to us if they have a problem. I've never met one organizer who wouldn't respect the neighbors. The problem is that current law suggests neighbors to call the cops instead, so they can use taxpayers' money to be babysitters and alienate neighbors. That is, to say, there's a noise complaint in the first place.
      3) Fires? From what?
      4) I can be trusted to take care of myself...I work a salary job and have two kids....who the fuck are you to say I can't take care of myself?
      5) There are no great venues in the City of Boston. There are no "cheap" practice spaces in Boston. You must have money, but consider yourself low-middle class. Well. You aint.

      EDUCATE YOURSELVES BEFORE YOU ASSUME!!!

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      being parent doesn’t equal intelligence

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      I'll forgo running through the myriad of all to obvious examples of bad parenting and rest comfortably in the knowledge that just because you are a parent doesn’t mean you are intelligent. If you were an intelligent parent you might not be so likely to ask, "um, where does a fire start in the basement?" Oh I don’t know, somewhere between the electrical circuits, things usually stored in the basement and the gas main for the house. Sounds like fire 101, for you anon "fire for dummies". DUH!!! P.S. Please leave Brighton, Allston, West Rox and the entirety of Boston for that matter if you are this dumb.

      the rent in boston is absurd.

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      the rent in boston is absurd. that goes for both apartments and practice spaces. its not easily affordable as you said. especially when there are limitations to how many bands can practice in one space (studio 52). and also because of the rent in boston, every venue (excluding obriens) costs a lot of money to book. and because boston has so many regulations on drinking, bars/venues have it pretty shitty. instead of taking away more shit, the city should probably offer some better alternatives or figure out a way for venues to make more money aside from targeting house shows (cheaper rent=lower room cost=more people attending =buying more drinks + happy hour would be nice).
      if i wanted to help out a band on tour and get them some money, the first place i would go to is obriens. but often times things dont work out that easily. there are shows every night at obriens, and most are booked pretty far in advanced (at'a'boy ryan) . beyond that, house shows are all unknown touring bands have in allston. again, these are shows that could really only draw about 40-60 people (if even). this would be considered a bad night at the great scott. and im not sure if you, BlackKat, play music or anything, but often times artists dont always write music that appeal to the majority. sometimes bands play music that is meant for an extremely small demographic of people. yes you can get those same 4 bands that all sound like real estate to play the great scott and hope to cover the room cost ...but why is that the only option we have?

      its typically at least 10 dollars to attend a show at the great scott. 2 (cheap) beers later and you've already spent about 20 bucks (assuming you tip your bartender). with 20 bucks, you could instead buy a 6 pack at blanchards (pay with cash) and buy a record at the show. thats saving you money on beer and giving money directly to the touring band. people are less likely to spend money on merch if they already payed $10 to get in, not to mention most of that $10 is going to the venue and will only make it to the bands if the door covers the room cost.
      i think your understanding of music is very close minded. music and business are not mutually exclusive. people should be able to make money from playing their music but im confused as to how venues should have any claim to that.

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      I've been to multiple house

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      I've been to multiple house shows with successful bands. Most take place in buildings that don't bother neighbors (art studio/workshops)

      What if a band can't afford a venue, most small bands get bullied by bigger venues. That doesn't mean the band is bad but DIY bands have alot more trouble getting a foot caught in the door

      All the people at these shows were kind enough to know not to ruin anything while in the space, the renters themselves made sure there was no drinking/drugs/real ruckus

      Ah yes, the band can't get a slot at a pub, must suck

      If it's just a party

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      i.e. - there's no charge for ANYTHING - t-shirts, CD's, beer/liquor (especially beer liquor) and it's truly "just a party" that somebody is footing the bill for - you're right. Once somebody starts charging admission or selling anything - the state has full right to regulate you.

      The one exception might be that if you are creating an unsafe situation (like overcrowding w/out exits) - the FD/PD can probably shut you down. Don't like it - move to some place where that's the law. The law here says you can't do that.

      If you think underground

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      If you think underground shows are running pyrotechnics in basements then you're a fucking moron. No one can afford that shit in a basement show; there's obviously no space; and as stupid as you think these people are, they're not that stupid. Fires don't just happen because you put some people in a basement and have a band play. Waving your hands around in the air and shouting "WHAT ABOUT A FIRE?!" doesn't end the argument, it's not a valid point.

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      Aaaaactually…I distinctly

      Aaaaactually…I distinctly remember seeing Milemarker at a basement show in 2000/2001, and Roby Newton did her usual trick of lighting arm pads on fire. That was pretty much the end of basement shows for me. Not to mention the fact that I have - on more than one occasion - watched as an overloaded electrical circuit spontaneously caught fire. It happens more often than people realize.

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      seriously? i've been to

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      seriously? i've been to hundreds of basement shows for something like the past 14 years, and i've never seen a circuit catch fire. you're talking about some tiny fraction of 1% of the time here.

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      Agree

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      Been to a bunch and have never even heard of a circuit catching fire @ one, that would be very rare you should go with people smoking and proper disposal of cigs instead, I personally have never seen a fire from that either but it's much more likely

      Priorities

      Let me guess, if there's a fire, you'll be the first one to post "Where was the licensing division?? Why do the police allow these illegal clubs to continue??"

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      The next time somebody drowns

      By on

      The next time somebody drowns in a lake will you be the first person to ask "Why wasn't this lake more regulated? Why don't we have somebody telling us where we're not allowed to go swimming?"
      I hope not, the more of this kind of person I come into contact with in the world, the less will I have to leave my home every day.

      makes sense

      By on

      Sorry "Anon" but being born and raised there the thing I hate most is dealing with stuff like this every school year. Best part is the summer when colleges are out and students go home. Side note, any thought put into those unsolved murders you mentioned possibly stemming from underground mosh pits and other underground events? Pro prevention from people killing themselves in a sealed basement, but more worried about the landlords property being burnt to the ground. Go BPD, kick down those doors! Is this what we have to show for our states "prestigious" colleges and "centers of advanced learning"?

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      House concerts

      People hold concerts in their houses (or sometimes their yards) all the time, and not just in Allston. I've never heard of any of them requiring licenses or inspections. They are a good way for a band and an audience to find each other. Leave them alone, BPD.

      Are you aware that concert

      By on

      Are you aware that concert venues need to abide by fire codes and liquor controls? There's a good reason for licensing. Look at the video. The basement of some firetrap in Allston is not an ideal place to pack people into to listen to some shitty garage band.

      There used to be plenty of places

      By on

      Two major things happened: real estate costs went up and the drinking age went up.

      What we need are more small but safe all-ages venues, but it is difficult to make the economics work without the exceptionally expensive liquor licenses. Also, Boston has such a ridiculous number of licenses (licenses to play music? license to dance???)and no coordination between agencies that it is hard to get an all-age performance space that is otherwise perfectly appropriate and safer than a basement.

      This ends up driving these activities underground, in a literal sense here, and that ultimately reduces the safety for many. If Boston worked to streamline the inspections, clarify the regulations, and set up an environment conducive to opening safe, booze-free spaces things might be a lot safer ... because this sort of activity is not going to go away.

      Really Ron?

      By on

      This isn't the case of someone having a band at a party or cookout. This appears to be a regular gig in a crowded basement in a wood framed house in a residential neighborhood, being run as a club. There are zoning and fire safety laws for a reason. Heavens forbid there be a fire or a need to evacuate the place quickly. I highly doubt there's much more than a bulkhead to the outside and basement stairway to the rest of the building for egress.

      Based on the feedback I'm

      By on

      Based on the feedback I'm seeing, clearly no one here has actually ATTENDED an event here, or any other such DIY events.

      The parties involved don't give a s**t about the safety of these events. If you honestly believe that the BPD and associated parties are getting involved as protectors, then you're the ones being naive.

      I SAW firsthand exactly how the police approached this...that is to say I saw there the day before the event when the police came, threatened the tenants, flexed their stupid muscles, and staked out the house for the next 24 hours. They didn't say "this event has not received the proper licensing and therefore cannot happen" or "these are the laws this event would violate." They said "don't f**k with us, we're in charge."

      So please...let's dismount from the high horse when you know nothing of the issue.

      Fire - still deadly

      How the police approached the problem doesn't mitigate the safety concerns. If there was a fire, the place would burn whether the police rode up in squad cars or on pink ponies. If you want to hold an event, it up to you to make sure you do it legally and safely or the police are going to come and shut it down. That's their job. Does the attitude of the police make the place any more or less legal or safe? Nope. If Guy Smiley had come out to community police the shit out of the place, it still would have been shut down.

      I agree there is a need for more event space (particularly under-21 event space) in Boston. But packing people into a basement isn't a good solution. A few weeks ago, the police appropriately shut down that stupid opening party for Restoration Hardware because they *didn't follow the safety regulations* just like this place *didn't follow the safety regulations.* What makes you think the unlicensed place should get a pass?

      I'm not suggesting that the

      By on

      I'm not suggesting that the place was operating safely, or that it should receive a pass from safety regulations. I think it's obvious that it's quite the opposite.

      What I'm saying is that the police aren't concerned about that, and frankly, I don't think the regulatory agencies are either. I've already gotten a few unofficial confirmations that local club/venue owners have invested in the new police chief's agenda to deal with "problem properties."

      So don't misunderstand me...I'm not whining that the police are being unfair...the basement shows are illegal. But it disturbs me to see people lauding the police when 1) they clearly don't care about the regulations they're enforcing and 2) their salaries are coming in part from club owners who envy the size of crowds going to basement shows instead of their $10/door $5/beer events.

      Of course licensed venues

      By on

      Of course licensed venues have an interest in shutting down unlicensed properties. The rules are the rules, and anyone not playing by the rules is taking money out of the pockets of the people that are playing by the rules.

      Haha, yeah paying the police

      By on

      Haha, yeah paying the police to shut down your competitors...its just capitalism, am i right?

      This is where we agree to disagree.

      Show me actual evidence that

      By on

      Show me actual evidence that the police are getting paid by other licensed venue owners to shut down these venues and I'll believe it. Note that "my friend said his neighbor said his cousin's girlfriend said" doesn't count. At the end of the day, these places are breaking the law. If they want to move to an area that's zoned for it and obtain a license and fire permits and all that, they're more than welcome to do so.

      Take the red pill man! Also,

      By on

      Take the red pill man! Also, I forgot it was that simple to just open a legitimate venue. I'll pass on the message.

      Take the red pill man! Also,

      By on

      Take the red pill man! Also, I forgot it was that simple to just open a legitimate venue. I'll pass on the message.

      It seems we have a deep deep

      By on

      It seems we have a deep deep difference in the understanding of the mission of the law. I in NO way believe the law exists to protect me FROM MYSELF. I would say it's hard to believe that someone who is clearly as educated as you are would make an appeal like yours, but then I suppose there are plenty of well-spoken yuppie assholes who believe in the righteous power of meaningless bureaucracy. This is the same thinking that bans dancing or singing without a license. Basically, it is the thinking of a person who can absolutely not tolerate any iota of chaos in the world. One dude drowns in a lake somewhere, "oh I guess we should ban swimming in lakes without designated swimming zones and designated swimming hours."
      Get the fuck out of my backyard, stay the fuck out of my house, don't tell me what to put in my blender, don't tell me ANYTHING is too dangerous for me to decide whether I'm going to do it or not.
      Of course one has to be realistic about the presence of the law, the presence of yuppie assholes, the presence of a omnipresent sanitizing authority structure, the presence of bureaucracy. I'm not going to stop swimming in lakes. All that my kind of people are learning is that we can't include people like you in our world.

      That's all really cute, and

      That's all really cute, and I'm sure you're very earnest about the whole thing, but the simple fact of the matter is that in this city, in this state, the government does have the right to tell you what you can do in your own home, and they have the right to decide that something is too dangerous for you.

      And guess what? Most people, especially those who live in cities in close quarters, have no problem at all with "the man" telling their neighbors that they can't have unlicensed nightclubs in their basements.

      So if you don't like it, move. Preferably to some libertarian paradise like Somalia, Afghanistan or New Hampshire.

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      No they don't...

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      Scratchie said:
      "the simple fact of the matter is that in this city, in this state, the government does have the right to tell you what you can do in your own home, and they have the right to decide that something is too dangerous for you."

      No, they do not. The supreme law of the land, aka. the U.S. Consitition not only doesn't grant any such power, it actually forbids the government from becoming such an overlord in the first place, not that it has actually stopped them from going in that direction.

      The government has ZERO right to enter our private lives without real probably cause (and a warrant.) The problem is they keep finding ways to go around and justify it with complete nonsense.

      What people like are missing is no human truly has any real inherit right to control another human. Police and other agents only have power because people have been trained over a long time now to believe that just because someone wears a certain ensemble of clothing or carriers a particular arrangement of various minerals in their pocket or on their clothing, etc, that they are something other than a human being.

      I'll even go as far as saying that law is NOT about preventing harm as it was originally intended to be by the founding fathers, but used as a means to control and exploit and abuse people to no end. not all laws are "bad", but very few are created purely out of a genuine desire for harm prevention.

      Likewise, anyone who thinks law enforcements goal is to keep people safe is just as naive. Despite their constitutional mandate as public servants (yes servants, not overlords, not supreme rulers), they often are actually serving the interests of those on high.

      But by all means feel free to keep pretending that government only wants the best for you. After all, everyone has the right to be stupid.

      I was there when the police

      By on

      I was there when the police came too. They said NOTHING about how not having the show was for anyone's safety or well being, they basically showed up and had a "ha-ha! we caught you!" moment, gleefully told us to move all future shows to "legal" venues and left. Great that the police are wasting their resources on harmless music shows that don't even serve alcohol instead of spending time solving and preventing all the rapes, robberies and murders happening in the park behind the house and the surrounding area. Way to go, BPD.

      Yeah! They came in with, like......guns and shit!

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      We were all ,like, just having a good time rocking out to some heavy shit sucking down some coffee and smoking some Djarum Blacks when, like, all these cops showed up with some bullshit about fire safety and codes and some shit like that.

      Oh, but like, a few blocks away fucking AEROSMITH can close down Comm Ave so they can play their tired old shit, right?

      Fucking cops.

      If the cops didn't spend a

      If the cops didn't spend a lot of time apologizing, rubbing your feet and sucking your dick before they broke up your unlicensed nightclub, maybe it was because they were upset that they had to spend their time shutting down the illegal firetrap instead of "solving and preventing all the rapes, robberies and murders happening in the park behind the house and the surrounding area."

      So, Ron....,

      By on

      When will we start seeing listings for bands playing in your basement?

      Russians try to do it legally, but get opposition anyway

      By on

      These types of parties, although usually with DJs instead of bands are very common in Mattapan. I attended a Haitian party like this and I am glad the city kept out. Lot of ethnic groups and independent bands simply cannot afford expensive and convoluted licensing laws and often get denied anyway (see the recent attempt by the Russians to legally expand their venue in Allston). So the way to go for these groups, is underground. Literally.

      nah that kid hasn't lived

      By on

      nah that kid hasn't lived there since that incident, nice try arrogant guy!

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      The city severely limits the

      By on

      The city severely limits the number of legal venues and makes operating them extremely expensive to operate, and then acts surprised when illegal venues open. This is part of the "Innovation" plan, right?

      Doesn't seem like they're

      By on

      Doesn't seem like they're surprised at all. Just doing their job in shutting them down.

      we've known for a while about

      By on

      we've known for a while about their online spying, so there will definitely be some kind of reform as to how shows are put on. for those who say it's a hazard -- tell that the the countless bands/artists/professionals who have attended the hundreds of basement shows each year since the mid 1960s. This is killing Boston's culture. I think the plan might really be to make sure that Boston's music scene stops at Aerosmith....

      Cooperative artist space?

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      It might be in your best interests to get together and set up a licensed, no frills venue. Or, at least try to do so and then work the media to highlight attempts to stonewall your efforts.

      Find an industrial space - like a garage or otherwise vacant area - and see what you have to do to secure a lease and bring it up to code.

      With the very young crowd - like high school age - this is being done through schools using school spaces and open mic or coffee house events. The UU church in Cambridge has also been known to host events. May not be what you want, but the option may be there for what you do.

      One of the goals of getting an artist space in a couple of communities that my friends have been active in has been to have rehearsal and performance space for local bands. Perhaps there is an artist group willing to work with you.

      There is a performance space in Cambridge that hosts events, too - Lilypad (?). I've been to several events there. While it probably is not your scene, you might check out what it would take to set up something like it in a storefront.

      I agree that the scene sucks now that most of the younger population of the area is excluded from shows and small spaces are disappearing ... but there are answers other than taking over a basement.

      Actually no there aren't

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      Actually no there aren't answers other than basements. People in this city have tried to do that time and time again and the city makes it functionally impossible due to astronomical costs and impossibly labyrinth licensing procedures.

      Work the press

      Would the Weekly Dig be interested in following a group trying to create a venue?

      Also, why is Boston the only option?

      Sounds like you have heard of people trying, but haven't tried yourself. Either that, or, you have a misplaced sense of "unlicensed" increasing the cool factor.

      As much as I don't care for

      As much as I don't care for (and no longer attend) unlicensed basement shows, it really is incredibly difficult to find a space to hold a performance. I have a lot of friends who organize and promote events, and legitimate venues are expensive as hell and book up quickly. And in the nearly two decades I've been in this city, I've watched group after group try to coordinate with Boston, Cambridge, or Somerville to set up safe venues, only to fail time and again. And these are often smart, business minded people who just want a regular place to hold small events. I'm not sure why we have so much trouble in this city, as opposed to a place like New York where these kinds of venues seem to pop up and thrive (at least for a few years). I suppose it's because the draw for these types of shows is lower than in a larger city; when your events are only going to appeal to under 100 people (and often under 50) at a time, it's hard to turn enough profit to cover the cost of renting a space for a night, let alone maintaining a permanent space or actually, I don't know, paying the bands who travel to play.

      Now that I'm an old lady, I've realized I have to do my part by donating to organizations like Non-Event who bring experimental music to the city, regardless of profit on their end. If I want to keep Boston culturally interesting, I have to do more than pay $5 at the door. Glad to be in a position to do so, but I sure do wish it was easier for younger folks to coordinate and attend shows. I was lucky that when I was a teenager almost all the shows I wanted to see were all ages, even though they were at clubs. I would be heartbroken to be a teenager now (and probably would do anything I could to get my hands on a fake ID).

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      Oh, I hear you

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      In many cities, all you have to do is rent a vacant warehouse and bring your own gear. Boston isn't one of those cities, and I'm not sure why - other than the Anti Fun Brigades and high real estate prices. If I won the lottery, this would be a high priority.

      When I was my son's age, I could just go to the Rat. Now that I'm an old lady, with old lady and old man friends who all have teens, the problem is very apparent. Sure, my old man/lady friends all have these cheezy videos of that time their fledgling bands played the Rat or the Channel or similar less well established venue, but what of our kids? Open mic nights at the High School or Lilypad ... but that isn't the same scene as diving into a mosh pit and coming back out upside down and drenched in sweat! :-)

      That's why I think this needs some media attention. It isn't enough to chase out basement parties around the city if the goal is safety. The baby boom held their shows in clubs because there were so damn many of them. The scene shrank quickly in the late 80s on and was never matched. That's happening all over the country. Of course, some people won't let go of the basement parties because they feel they are effin the cops and sticking it to the man and all that ... but it is only a matter of time until something really bad happens and part of that WILL be the fault of those who have been blocking attempts at organizing legit, safe venues.

      "Media attention" seems like a pipe dream

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      The Globe doesn't care unless it also helps them identify this week's best burger in Boston or where the best artisinal cheese can be found on the Vineyard.

      The Herald will take the side of the crack-downers.

      The Phoenix....whoops

      Any of the other weeklies are too small-fry or too niche-y to get the attention of anyone who can do anything.

      UH, you're our only hope!

      I find it blackly humorous

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      I find it blackly humorous that you use the word "stonewall" in reference to presumed police and government interference with social spaces for marginalized groups (youth, punks, whoever). Try putting that word into google and seeing what falls out.

      Unlike, apparently, everyone else in Boston, I don't need police protection from a fire in a place like this. I can use my eyes and brain, assess if an area that I'm entering is a ridiculous firetrap, and react accordingly. So could anyone going to one of these basement shows. If you have a problem, and you call the cops, now you have a problem, and cops.

      When people say "Coconut Grove" or "Station", they are referring to the name of a legitimate venue. Odd how the "Joe's basement fire of '92" doesn't stick out in anyone's mind. Oh, wait, that's because it didn't happen.

      González returned to the

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      González returned to the establishment with a plastic container of gasoline which he found on the ground and had filled at a gas station. He spread the fuel on the only staircase into the club. Two matches were then used to ignite the gasoline.

      So attendees at basement shows are all arsonists, huh? You're right, better have them only go do that at licensed venues.

      I can't remember the last time I've been to a basement that didn't have at least two points of entry.

      the first line in you're wiki

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      the first line in you're wiki link for Happy land fire says ARSON. The place was unsafe enough already with one entrance/exit but I can burn down joes basement as easily as the key club. What about http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Station_nightclub... A pro band and a licensed club 100 or so people dead cause the pro soundproofing caught fire after pro set up pyrotechnics. there is always risk but lets just regulate everything until all we can do is stand around in circles 6 feet away from each other on a tatami mat with pads and helmets.

      Just because there have been

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      Just because there have been hundreds of shows without incident doesn't mean that it's not a hazard.

      No, it means that the hazard

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      No, it means that the hazard is statistically insignificant. People overestimate hazards, in large part due to cognitive biases inherent in human thinking, combined with sensationalistic media coverage.

      So let me get this straight..

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      next time I'm in someone's basement watching a kick ass band and a fire breaks out, I should call a statistician?

      Just wondering...

      Sure. Unless you're already

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      Sure. Unless you're already on hold with a different statistician, reporting the meteor, sinkhole, and plague of locusts that destroyed the place a few minutes earlier.

      The Cocoanut Grove was open

      The Cocoanut Grove was open for fifteen years before their fire. How statistically insignificant was that? What was the average rate of mortality for CG attendees 1927-1942?

      "online posts"

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      "The detective found out about the concert by following online posts about the Butcher Shoppe, the Daily Free Press reports."

      The detective actually posed as an enthusiastic show-goer, emailing the touring artist for the address:

      https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/581527...

      In the end, Boston needs city-sanctioned all-ages spaces. Shutting down Butcher Shoppe just starts another basement venue.

      Basement shows are cool....

      But if you are going to advertise, then expect it to be too big and dangerous without proper sprinklers and fire exits and capacity limits. You never know how many people will show up then, and it simply gets too dangerous.

      ASK A PUNK

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      ASK A PUNK, THEY ARE COMING FOR YOU

      Just to add a different

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      Just to add a different perspective to the conversation, I spent a lot of time in allston and at the butcher shop in high school... a very formative experience. I had a great time a felt like i was part of a DIY scene that was both supportive of who i was and was also fun.
      Let me just say I felt "safer" and more comfortable at these events than I have ever felt around a cop or at my own high school.

      just to clarify

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      the shows i was booking at the bshop were nothing like the video posted in this article. its frustrating to see so many people making assumptions. i book shows as an alternative to venues in the allston area. i support the venues in allston a great deal, probably more than the majority of people living in this area. the shows i booked at the butchershop typically consisted of about 20-40 people attending each show. i never promoted these shows publicly. most of the time i would just tell people about it in person, or send out a few texts. and sometimes i would make a private/invite only event the day before a show on facebook. people came out to see new music, not to just get drunk and wild in a shitty allston house. i never gave out the address publicly. never responded to anonymous emails about shows. i wasnt trying to pack a basement full of wasted kids. we never charged at the door or sold alcohol. these shows really weren't much different from a small party of friends.

      just to make this clear, the talk about entertainment and liquor licenses is total bullshit. we weren't taking money at the door and we weren't selling alcohol. i've also never received a noise complaint for any of the shows i've booked in my time there. the only thing potentially illegal was the number of people and exits in our house. though its important to note that our basement has 5 exits in total. 2 lead directly outside. 2 others lead to the first floors on boths sides of the house, each with front and back exits. and the last exit leads to the second floor where there are stairs leading to the front porch as well as fire escapes out the back windows. 20-40 people in a basement with 5 exits seems to me to be more reasonable than most venues in boston, which typically have 2-3 exits.
      but dont get me wrong, i'm not trying to argue the butchershoppe as a 'legitimate' venue. my main concern is with how disheartening it is to walk down pratt street on a saturday night and see people drinking in the streets and starting fights. houses overflowing with hundreds of people, all of whom were charged 5 dollars to drink from the keg. why is it that i was evicted from my old house because it was a basement venue? did anyone get stabbed to death at one of our house shows? why arent cops showing up to harass these people the day before a party (which are often more made more public on facebook than some basement shows)? why are they attempting to bring an end to something that, in my opinion, contributes much more to this town than the 50 people drunk people in northface jackets calling eachother faggots?
      again, the law is the law. i cant run an illegitimate venue out of my basement. i get it. i just dont understand why im the one the being harassed at my front door.

      Let me ask you this then, Don Law Jr.

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      Got a good lawyer on retainer? I ask because if you are advertising yourself as the "promoter" of these illegal "club" gigs, are you prepared to suffer the consequences of an overdose or a fight going real bad resulting in serious injury or even a death of one of your concert goers?

      Maybe it's me, maybe I'm a little fucked up, but I'd worry more about that than why the cops don't harass the jock party.

      an overdose or a fight going

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      an overdose or a fight going real bad? you need a reality check...and you need to stop assuming that everyone takes drugs and fights at these small gatherings....your reply tags you as someone who has little education on the matter, just the image in your head. read a book?

      Well, gee...

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      you mean that there's never any drugs or fights at any place music is taking place?

      Does this mean I shouldn't do E or bring my brass knuckles next time I go to the Pops?

      you're an idiot

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      these were shows consisting of mostly friends whom i consider to be very rational people. so no, im not so concerned about those things at all. i'm tired of people making assumptions. most of you talking seem to have never been to these shows (certainly not since i started booking shows). as a side note, i also realized there arent any exposed electrical wires hanging from the ceiling. unlike most landlords in allston, ours actually does his job and communicates with us. just trying to point out that you guys seriously dont know what youre talking about when it comes to the house i live in. what bugs me most is how blown out of proportion all this bullshit is. the police seriously think they took down another crazy house venue in allston. but really...im positive another house will pop up. and the cops will have to spend another 4 months finding that location. these shows dont attract attention because they arent unruly. the cops spend so much time finding these places...but it really doesnt seem worth it to me. we're a small community of people attending and putting on free shows. i dont understand why music always has to cost money. why is our music a business for other people? it seriously freaks me out that i cant play music for my friends in my own home anymore, especially because i know my neighbors have never complained about noise since i've been there.

      Well said man. It's very sad

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      Well said man. It's very sad to see those we employ with our taxes shutting down welcoming and creative places instead of doing something to actually help or protect anybody.

      Yeah, dude

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      and if there was like a cool fire that just happened, those assholes we pay our taxes to to like,put out fires would definitely come along and ruin the buzz...

      If you have 5 exits.....

      You could probably just hire a fire detail and be ok. You might have to find a way to scrounge up some funds under the table somehow (avoiding any "entertainment" license BS), but people have weddings, parties and functions at their homes all the time and hire one firefighter to standby. Especially if no one has ever complained about the noise.

      (Also in response to "Uhhhh" above, go to Brighton Court any Monday and see all the arrignments and hearing processess agasint students, landlords, and other drunks who cause the havoc you describe on these nights)

      perhaps something like that

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      perhaps something like that could work. its worth looking into

      and yes, i assume that some bp actually do their jobs and take care of unruly people causing problems. good for them for them. though, on the night that kid was stabbed to death, i had walked by that house about 3 hours before the stabbing. there was a considerable amount of people outside as well as inside the house. the people outside were drinking and didnt seem worried at all about the police. not sure how this party wasn't shut down hours before anything actually fucked up happened (maybe they were too busy evicting me and my roommates from gaygardens) . but like i side before, you can drive around allston every weekend and actually whitness these huge parties. its not hard to find. yet, the police are tracking peoples facebooks and pretending to be 'show goers' on the internet in order to find these house shows. they researched my name and address and sent THREE cops to my door looking for me. did they anticipate a resistance from me? how is that necessary? i honestly do feel like this is totally misplaced effort. it just seems crazy to me that the city is focusing so hard on shutting down house venues. i realize that at one point there were big house shows happening most nights and it was certainly no better than the parties i was describing earlier. but at this point, they've seriously scared us all into hiding. with the past shows i've had, i've asked everyone to stay inside. and because there were never that many people, no one seemed to feel the need to be outside. the noise was so minimal that my friends would walk by and assume the show hadn't started. just confused as to why this is such a huge priority fo the police. again, it just seems like misplaced effort.

      i think the biggest issue is that everyone has a totally warped perception of what goes on at these shows. seems like the name 'the butcher shoppe' is the

      problem

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      problem

      uhhhh, you sound like a good dude.

      And I've been to Poision Idea basement shows that would make your "parties" look like a pre-school Dora the Explorer sing-a-long. (And I say that with all due respect, these basement band shows in Boston now rarely have drug/alcohol/fight issues)

      But once you start to

      advertise

      for these shows, people start to notice. And facebook groups would be considered an "advertisement" for these purposes. I know its a great medium to get this type of info out, but it draws attention the wrong way as well.

      The police work on the CYA system (Cover Your Ass). If someone did get hurt and the police/captian/city counselor/resident who tipped off the city counselor, etc knew about it, then lawsuits start to hit hard.

      Record collectors are pretentious assholes?

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      As in THAT Poison Idea?

      Wow. One of the last things I did before I left home was attend a PI record release party (18+ but try anyway!). I never saw them off the West Coast, though.

      Oh, and 99% of the problems at these shows seemed to go away when the straight edge crowd hit the scene - no alcohol = a lot fewer assholes.

      Oh yea Swirrly, right up your alley....

      I met and befriended Pig Champion (RIP) back in Euguene Oregon in the early 1990s, as a friend of mine was related to another band member (who's name I can't even remember).

      These guys played a few shows one spring in the area, and a few underground gigs as well. No facebook or Craigslist to advertise, just the old school Euguene rumor mill that seemed to do just fine on its own. Eugene did have a lot more rural locations to hold these events though.

      Somewhere in the attic ...

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      I have a handbill from one of their PDX shows with a perv "flashing" a little girl on it.

      I had friends that went to U of O who went to some of those "barn" shows in the mid-80s. Lovely days before meth took over, but PCP in stuff was an everpresent risk.

      advertise?

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      yah its weird though because i didnt 'advertise' my shows. i think there may have been a few with private/invite only facebook events. but id make those a day or two before the show. i really dont think anyone can say these shows were well advertised really at all.

      the cops told me they saw a 'secret allston show' listed on song kick (which i had never heard of). one of the bands decided to post the 'secret show' someone for everyone to see. the cops found it and proceeded to email all the bands through facebook and email as fake show goers. the cops told me this themselves i guess some of them respended to the fake emails...and then all of this happened. this was the only show with any public promotion and it wasnt on facebook.

      so yes, i agree with you. just as long as you know i didnt advertise anything and certainly not publicly.

      also...i think all house shows were a lot crazier at one point. i have shows at other houses ive lived, and the majority of them were much different from the shows i'd been hosting at the bshop. and i dont think the straight edge kids were the ones who calmed it down. atleast in my experience...id say it was the cops, again. but maybe you guys are talking about something that happened more than 6 years ago.

      I am a former resident of

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      I am a former resident of Boston, and I am seriously appalled by the recent actions of the BPD. In my 20+ years of attending house shows I never once saw a fire break out. Yes there have been a few fights, yes people will be people, but we were always respectful of our fellow tenants and always coordinated with locals to make sure our shows weren't past a certain hour to avoid disturbances.
      The American music scene became as incredible as it is now only through basement shows and unlicensed venues. For you government dick sucking yuppie numbskulls, fact is that most kids in indie bands simply cannot afford the cost of booking a legitimate venue, and on top of that they want NOTHING to do with the vampiric corporate music industry, which has a penchant for turning anything legitimately cool into whitewashed sterile garbage. On top of that there are almost no good music venues left in the city, even the Middle East has become a idiot pop haven; but of course you fucks who probably think Bon Jovi is the best thing to happen to rock wouldn't know that. Nor do you care, you just enjoy harassing anything that gives the slightest hint of real rebellion.
      These "lowlifes" "punks" and as you see them are in many ways the creative lifeblood of the city. I know many of these these kids. Contrary to your incredibly judgmental assumptions most of them hold legitimate jobs and work tirelessly to afford rent in a city that once loved creativity but now wants to purge itself of the "undesirables" that made it such an interesting place to live. All I can say is thank God i'm in a city where the police pay attention to what actually matters. Here, they realize that to drive out the youth means facing serious economic consequences. Good luck Boston, I hope you people are happy with a homogenous city of peacoat wearing upper middle class cunts who complain about the greens in their organic salad being wilted. Fuck you, long live Boston punk!

      The Long Time Residents

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      Let's take a step back...why would the Boston Police Licensing Division be interested in these parties in the first place? I'll tell you...because they've been nothing but trouble for long-time residents.

      I know the house and it was nearly condemned because it was so badly destroyed inside. There have been massive brawls in the past between 24 Armington and other student-residents on the street. Those particular residents are gone, but long-time residents remember and are unwilling to tolerate it.

      The parties usually spill out in the streets where fights break out and residents are left with property damage to cars.

      Its probably not a big deal if you're under 25, own a beater car, don't have kids and don't have to work on the morning.

      If you don't know how to party responsibly, don't party.