by Neil W. McCabe
Blow-out farewell show to showcase club's favorite bands
At the stroke of midnight, when July 15 become July 16, Skybar, Somerville's premiere underground music venue, will be closing its doors as a rock club.
"The closure is due to the lack of funds to install a $40,000 "Rhode Island-style" sprinkler system, which is crippling many small nightclubs throughout the Northeast in the wake of the Great White/Station Night Club tragedy," said Anderson "Othniel" Mar, Skybar's entertainment manager/promoter.
The promoter, often labeled as New England's "Queen of Shock", will be hosting an all-day sendoff featuring various local unsigned eclectic indie, metal, punk, women-in-rock, and "darker alternative" bands who have graced the venue's stage over the past few years, she said.
Since taking over full-time as Skybar's booking agent Oct. 1 attendance at the venue increased more than 72%, she said.
With no advertising or equipment maintenance budget allotted to her, Mar paid for many upgrades out of her own pocket, and utilized a grass-roots approach to marketing, she said.
Anderson Mar plans to keep true to her vision of promoting unique bands with great talent in the Boston area, providing a haven for niche-genre performers, she said.
Mar and partner Matthew Marchesi, whose company Spaz-Tik Ltd, has been providing live audio recording and video production services for Skybar performers as well as designing and developing all-day, all-ages festivals throughout the Northeast) are currently in negotiations with several Boston-area venues to offer their multiple combined talents as an entertainment management team, she said.
"I am inexorably grateful for the support of the local scene," she said.
"My goal is to make the average citizen more passionate about live local music and get them going out to shows," she said.
"Technology and the internet, while a viable promotional tool, has created an isolationist society of people no longer wanting to leave the comfort of their homes to enjoy the live performance experience," she said.
"This needs to change," she said. "Priorities need to get back to what they were in the 80s and 90s, and I hope to be the catalyst for that change. I am just one person, but I believe if we all work together in community, we can rebuild a struggling music scene, grow respect for local musicians, and stop the current rash of venue closures."
Skybar's all-day sendoff will begin at 12 noon July 15, and run until a little past midnight, she said.
$10 admission grants patrons a roster of 15 or more bands to experience, of all different genres, she said.
Refreshments will be served, and festivities shall ensue.
The Skybar, 518 Somerville Ave., Somerville