First there was Chowder Quake Productions, now there’s CQ Presents. But there was an awful lot of great music in between — and plenty more to come — as CQ marked its official takeover at T.T. the Bear’s last night with a free show featuring local art-pop band Autochrome.
OK, so back to the beginning. In 2004, when Carl Lavin took over Great Scott’s music booking, transforming the sports bar into a nationally recognized indie rock venue, he called his new venture Chowder Quake Productions.
“I got it from an Onion piece where this lady was going on about how amazing her soups are. She said, ‘This soup’s like a g—damn chowder quake.’ I stuck with it,” he laughs.
Last winter, however, when Lavin united with former Mass Concerts talent buyer Josh Smith, the name underwent some modification.
“When I went with Josh I told him we’ll have to call it Chowder Quake Presents and he said, ‘OK, let’s compromise,’” Lavin laughs.
So CQ Presents was born, and apart from booking Great Scott’s and sister venue O’Brien’s, CQ coordinates shows at the Middle East and Royale. When T.T.’s longtime booker Randi Millman retired this fall, CQ was asked to come on board.
“We said yes. It was a no-brainer,” says Lavin. As he sees it, any conflict of interest is negated by T.T.’s bigger size.
“Someone was going to do it and they would have been competing with Great Scott, so we may as well bring it into the family. What’s good for TT’s will be good for Great Scott.”