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The Boston Phoenix
February 1999

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Turnabout

Herturn closes, and Turn magazine folds

by R.J. Grubb

GRRRL TALK
Chalk up January as another month in which a club went kaput. The latest victim of our shaky club scene was the Saturday-night promotion Herturn, located at the Brass Bull (199 State Street, Boston). According to Sam Jacobs, who owns the Bull, the decision to cancel Herturn was just business as usual. "It's all about money, and I had to make a choice," he says. And it shouldn't surprise anyone to learn that a promotion geared toward a straight clientele will make more money than one geared toward lesbians. "Everyone I met, either employee or patron at Herturn, was great," he adds, "and I wish we could keep it going, but business is business. It just didn't work out." Meanwhile, you can find Herturn's manager, Debi Saltzberg, who quit the Bull, bartending at the Lava Bar. As for her future plans, it looks like she's content to be working at this latest Kenmore Square Sunday-night hot spot.

And why not? The Lava Bar took off last month during the long holiday weekend. Keeping up to par with most openings, this HoJo's spot was crowded its very first night. It wasn't as jammed the following week, but there were still plenty of people in attendance. In fact, after 9:30 p.m., when the music switches gears from soft to dance, it sparked a lot of grinding and all-around PDA on the dance floor. Let's just say there was a lot of lust in the air. No wonder Melinda Ancillo, who's promoting the night, deems it "a success."

Look for a "White Party T-Dance," which includes using the now-hidden and closed-off pool room (as in swimming pool) at the end of March or the beginning of April. Quite a sweet feature. Of course, that's an advantage of housing your bar in a hotel. Also, Lava is currently recruiting players for a softball team and is gearing up for Pride '99, where they hope to host a float. Ancillo is also dreaming up a contest to produce the Lava Bar's "queen." If you want to get involved in either of these two projects, stop by the club and let them know.

[Vanoverbeek & Pomerantz] On the other side of the bridge, SomePlace Else enjoyed its best night ever during January's holiday weekend. Apparently, Lava Bar's opening didn't siphon off as many patrons as initially thought. And the club did it without its signature live acts; DJ Claire carried the entire evening. Actually, if last month shows us anything, it's that there are enough of us to go around. Maybe the two Sunday spots can each succeed without one aping the other? Only time will tell, of course.

February marks the beginning of a new policy at SomePlace. Everyone who comes to the club is now given a SomePlace Else "frequent clubber card." Modeled after frequent-buyer cards given out at coffee shops and bookstores, the card will give you free entry into the club on your sixth visit. Manager Candis Gillette explains, "I wanted a way to reward people for consistently supporting the club." Also, with a little help from some computer-savvy friends, SomePlace recently went online with a new Web site at http://members.aol.com/splaceelse. Now you can keep up to date on all the SomePlace offerings whenever you'd like. But just to fill you in on some upcoming gigs, there's still time to catch Faith Soloway and Sonia Tetlow on February 21, at 7 p.m. with a $7 cover. Also, in celebration of OutWrite '99, the nation's only queer writers' conference, SomePlace will host an "UnSlam" on February 28, the last day of the conference. The "UnSlam" lets folks come on-stage to spew whatever's on their mind for an open-mic night of poetry. Though there's no judging or scoring, Ren Jender remains your host. That happens at 7 p.m. Cover $5.

Lastly, Turn, the Boston dyke 'zine co-published by Karin Pomerantz and Michelle Vanoverbeek, has called it quits. The last issue will be published in March, and then Pomerantz and Vanoverbeek will take a break from the monthly scramble for funds. The final issue should be out in time for OutWrite, however, so look for it at the Park Plaza conference. It'll cost you a dollar, but you'll be buying a collector's item. Don't miss Gendertalk at 8:30 p.m. on WMBR February 24, when Pomerantz and Vanoverbeek will discuss some of the challenges they faced during their foray into the publishing world and the reasons why they decided to stop the presses. Considering the breadth and depth in which Turn covered dyke news and issues, the 'zine's absence will mark a real loss.

R.J. Grubb is a writer living in Somerville. Got news? Let her know about it at rjgrubb@earthlink.net.


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