Snakes and pilgrims

From venom to the Otherside Café
By JIM SULLIVAN  |  October 8, 2007
insideBaby_Bomber
BABY BOMBER: Artwork by Dave Tree.

There’s something classic about a pretty blonde girl in a bikini with a boa constrictor wrapped around her neck. Jen Carter was that girl and Rosey was the snake on October 3 at the VIP opening for Venom, a new room over the Ratttlesnake Bar & Grill on Boylston Street. Rattlesnake owners Gordon Wilcox and Jay Gardner have turned their 100-capacity upstairs space into an upscale lounge, all silver, black, and marble with a touch of neon. “People want to be entertained and be more social,” said Jack Riley, owner of the Seven’s Ale House, and a mentor to the Rattlesnake guys. “They’re going for an over-30 crowd.”

Indeed they are. General manager Craig Lovewell is hoping to bring back old-school cocktails like the Manhattan and the sidecar, and he says they’ll be holding a contest to create a special new Venom elixir.

Meanwhile, on upper Newbury Street, local artist/musician Dave Tree (formerly of the band Tree, now fronting SuperPower) was on hand for the opening of his 24-piece art show, “Other-Wise,” at the Otherside Café. Tree is a visual artist who uses paint and prints on wood panels and usually keeps politics in the forefront. In one nostalgic work, the image of the late Mr. Butch looms over Boston; another, more characteristic Tree image shows a banner over a scene where the Pilgrims are exiting the Mayflower that reads, “The Original Alien Invasion.”

“It’s like looking at life outside the box,” said Tree of his art, “just like great punk rock by the Sex Pistols and Dead Kennedys. There’s another way of looking at life.”

Tree adds, “There’s a little shock value that creeps up on you, but I’ve tried to hone it down.” Still, frustration with the direction the world is heading is a theme. Up through October 31, the show deals with George Bush, the Iraq war, consumerism, product placement, and what Tree calls “empty crap. What I’m trying to say is: ‘Enough is enough.’ ”

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