Image by Ian Adam Bull
There are countless awesome moments that come to mind when thinking about Quiet Desperation, the web-based reality sitcom orchestrated by Boston comic and musician Rob Potylo. My favorite, though—and I’m pretty sure that I have noted this before—features a female comedian playing one of my contemporaries in the realm of local arts criticism. Taking herself super seriously, the Boston music critic says it’s unbelievable how artists, upon leaving Boston for a bigger pasture like New York or Los Angeles, suddenly become talented.
It’s hogwash, of course, as Massachusetts breeds innumerable stars with endless chops. But while the city’s subterranean cachet fits with the image that a lot of indie rock and hip-hop acts are cultivating, Hyde Park r&b singer Louie Bello has steered clear of Boston’s underground trappings, and carved a unique space for soulful pop music. Louie is a family friend of mine, close like a brother, and as such, I have abstained from having newspapers I work for gush over his music. At the same time, it would be absurd to ignore the following that he built up over the past year-and-a-half in particular.
In a city that arguably has a segregated nightlife scene—a topic which we have addressed in DigBoston, and will continue to address in upcoming issues—the Louie Bello Concert Series at Abby Lane packed the most diverse crowd that I have seen on a consistent basis. On any given Wednesday, for 75 consecutive weeks, the club filled with musicians, businesspeople, municipal employees, and music fans of all races and ages, 21 and up of course. The impact earned Louie a 2015 Boston Music Award, while City Councilor Tito Jackson, who made regular appearances at Abby Lane along with other elected officials, even named a day for the band at City Hall.
Image by 13 Photography
By their final show at Abby Lane, it had gotten to the point where people couldn’t get inside the door. So instead of making fans line up around the block, Louie and his team decided to move their residency next door, to the much bigger Venu. I can’t stress how important it is to support this institution, or how much fun it is to watch Louie perform. If you’ve been looking for a party that attracts all of the best elements of Boston, or if you grew up in the ’90s and know all the words to “Real Love,” then I hope to see you there.
A Queens, NY native who came to New England in 2004 to earn his MA in journalism at Boston University, Chris Faraone is the editor and co-publisher of DigBoston and a co-founder of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. He has published several books including 99 Nights with the 99 Percent, and has written liner notes for hip-hop gods including Cypress Hill, Pete Rock, Nas, and various members of the Wu-Tang Clan.