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Ode to Thao, and T.T.'s

Posted by Katie Johnston Chase  August 13, 2008 11:15 AM

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T.T. the Bear's, this Stephen Colbert-style tip of the hat/wag of the finger is for you.

OK, mostly it's a tip of the hat. As most people probably know, this Cambridge club is the place to see up-and-coming music acts. It's intimate enough to let you get close to the stage, and big enough to let you feel like you're part of an in-the-know crowd. You can walk in, pay $10, and hear rock bands from around the country -- and there's a bar on each side of the performance area for easy access to middle-of-the-set refreshments.


I was reminded of the club's attributes last night when I was there to see Thao and the Get Down Stay Down -- fronted by the natural-born rock star Thao Nguyen. Nguyen has a confident, passionate stage presence, and the music that flows from her forcefully strummed guitars is a mesmerizing alt-country fusion of rock, pop, and funk overlaid with swirling, Asian-influenced chords. Backed by a very Nordic-looking drummer and bushy-bearded bass player (add about 6 inches of beard to the guy on the far right), Nguyen lit the room on fire with her raw, melodic wails and bouncy, minor-key hoedowns.


Now for the wag of the finger: A women's restroom with one stall? Really? Come on, T.T.'s, can't you least point us to another option? I suppose it's in keeping with the hole-in-the-wall ethos of the place, but when a girl's got to go, she's got to go. It won't keep me from frequenting the club, but it might keep me from visiting the bartender. And that would be a real shame for both of us.


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Stephanie Callahan is a native Bostonian who loves cooking, traveling, spa treatments, and being on the ocean.

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