Tree + McNally


Boston punk rock and visual art icon Dave Tree is one seriously local motherfucker. Just ask anybody who has ever crossed his path creatively, or even simply known him as a friend beyond artistic spaces. From his passion for cannabis and justice, to throwing music and studio shows in places like Allston that are otherwise quickly ceding subterranean credentials, Tree religiously keeps things authentic. With that passion manifesting in a special event at New Alliance East in Somerville that will feature works by musician-artists including Asa Brebner and Chuck McNally, we conducted one of our regular check-ins about everything under the Tree.


Tell us a little bit more about this relatively new space that you’re working out of.

New Alliance is reborn, again, for the third time. First in the Fenway, but the Red Sox won the World Series so the neighborhood got too expensive and stupid for art and rock and roll. Then In Central Square at the EMF building in Cambridge, but once again we got pushed out by greed and stupidity. Now we’re in Union Square; I helped rebuild a new recording studio and art gallery, in the basement of a building built in the 1800s that has a colonial war graveyard in the front. It wasn’t easy, but opened to the public in May for Somerville Open Studios. The Horror of Now is our second show in the gallery and the recording studios have been busy making bands sound awesome.



What’s happening for music, and how important is it to have music and visual art this close together? 

There will be music by Trailer Swift and Luxury Deathtrap, playing live in the studio, and it will all be recorded before the people. The greatest part of having an art gallery and a recording studio in the same space working together is that it brings people together. Art and music complement each other in a very special way that is unique to each person; at the same time, it’s incredibly important to the human spirit. We need it.


What is particularly critical about this show? Tell us about what’s going on with Chuck McNally and why this show is such a big deal.

The most critical part of this show and every show is that we are all living with a time limit on life. It’s a shame that artists have to die to get the respect and value for their work. Too many don’t get the recognition they deserve until they are gone. Case in point is my great friend and fellow artist and musician Chuck McNally, who has been fighting terminal cancer for the past six years. I have been showing his work and co-curating amazing shows with him, and it has been an incredible and humbling experience. I am afraid this may be his last show. I see his spirit glow as his health fails, but it fills my heart with joy to hang his work for you to see before he is gone. Love you Chuck.


‘MRI’ by Chuck McNally


How did it come to be so that works by Asa Brebner are being shown? 

We will also be showing some of the late Great Asa Brebner’s guitar artwork. Asa was and always will be a great artist, musician, and friend who has recently passed from this world. I had the honor to show work with him and show his work. When the Jam Spot rehearsal space closed down in Somerville to make way for luxury condos, the art that Asa had given them need a safe haven, so we were happy to provide. With the blessings of his loving family we have hung his work as part of this show so people can witness his genius.


What else can people expect? Anything out of the ordinary even for Dave Tree?

People should expect the best. That is what we strive for. Amazing art, great music, and wonderful people. The bands play live recorded with you there to help cheer along. The artists will be there to represent their work and engage with you. We are sponsored by local brewers Small Change and Wandering Soul, so help yourself to our refreshments. Come and see what we have done to an empty basement and help us make our community rich in culture.







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