Talent Show

Where to catch good local bands before they get famous

talentshowPhoto: Susan Ogan

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ust about any band with a few songs and a decent Facebook page can book a gig at All Asia, a dive that feels more like Seattle than Shanghai. But this is more than a high school talent show. Good bands have to start somewhere and All Asia is one of the few places left that will book them. Serious bands treat an All Asia gig as a resumé-builder—a chance to graduate up the block to the Middle East or TT the Bear’s, venues that are like golden tickets for local musicians trying to make it big. Of course, there’s always the chance that a session here will sound like a bad audition for American Idol, but if that’s the case you can grab a cheap beer and wait it out at the foosball table or come back in an hour and try your luck with the next band. There’s nothing like a little alt country to wash down a lethal dosage of death metal. Wallace

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Fifty years before American Idol, Boston’s WBZ-TV broadcast a show called Community Auditions, which showcased local talent in front of a low-tech backdrop at the station’s studios in Allston from 1950 until 1987. The show has made a little-noticed comeback.

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