Boston music news: September 14, 2007

Notes on two new rock clubs in the Fenway area
By JIM SULLIVAN  |  September 12, 2007

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Rock clubs in the Fenway come and go. Jumpin’ Jack Flash has long been history, the Linwood Grill more recently so. But the Linwood space on Kilmarnock Street is now set to reopen sometime late this month as CHURCH. Like the Linwood, it will be both a restaurant and a club. And the Fenway has also become home to another somewhat improbable rock club: the BASEBALL TAVERN, which, along with being what its name suggests, now has a thriving downstairs rock club, aptly called the BASEMENT. Scene veterans book both clubs: MARTIN DOYLE at the Basement and NICK BLAKEY (of the In-Out) at Church.

Church co-owner CHRIS TOCCHIO says, “We’ve done quite a bit of renovation, completely upgraded the sound system, and rebuilt the stage.” The menu at the restaurant will be upscale bistro. Co-owner KRISTIAN DEYESSO had the 250-capacity rock room done over in deep purple and dark reds, with wrought-iron torch lights and a silver-topped bar. Oh, and the graffiti in the bathrooms? Done by a pro. Deyesso says the idea behind the venue’s name is that he always saw the Linwood as his “church,” where he and friends would gather. “We’d like to bring that back and develop our own congregation.”

The 175-capacity Basement is the fifth room Doyle has booked in town. He says that the GM, ADAM HAWK, and the owner, JIMMY ROONEY, “let me build the club for six months, and it’s about to turn the corner. The first thing I told them was, ‘I want a state-of-the-art sound system.’ ” They put in a $20,000 rig. As to the format, Doyle says, “I just want to keep a good local-and-underground-touring-act club. I like to mix things up with all styles of music — reggae, punk, straight rock, prog-noise rock.”

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