Music Box

A famous, tiny venue where you can take the stage

LoriMcKennaatPassim

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lub Passim gave music big shots like Joan Baez, Tom Rush, and Suzanne Vega their starts and now welcomes performers like Lori McKenna (above), Mary Fahl, and Jake Armerding. But for all its fame, it has a secret: Passim may present only the hippest, most talented artists, but the rest of us can also take to the petite stage and make fools of ourselves. The tiny basement club—its capacity is just 125—hosts an occasional open-mic night and lets local artists perform two songs apiece. If you want to play it safe and be a spectator, the cover charge is only a few bucks and you’re bound to see some talent (with a few terrible Beatles covers thrown in). Keep in mind that Passim is vegetarian, so if you have a craving for a burger, stop somewhere on the way. But don’t be late. The few seats fill up fast. Penzias

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When Club 47 opened, in 1958, it was shut down for violating an archaic Cambridge law banning more than three string instruments in a venue serving drinks. It reopened as a private club to get around the rule.

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