MASS MoCA Announces Summer 2012 Season of Performances

April 17th, 2012, 10:00 am by Greg

MASS MoCA – the fabulous, sprawling campus of cutting-edge art galleries in North Adams – exhibits plenty of uber-contemporary visual art, but it’s also a staging ground for always adventurous, often exuberant performances as well.

The museum has already announced several of its stellar events for the upcoming summer season – including the benefit concert by Wilco, the FreshGrass Bluegrass Festival and the workshop performance of David Byrne’s theatrical event “Here Lies Love.”

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But now they’ve announced the rest of their summer season schedule of concerts, comedy, films, dance, children’s shows, theater and rave-up dance parties.

Here’s how the rest of summer 2012 is shaping up at MASS MoCA:

Dance Party with Brendan Canning of Broken Social Scene
Saturday, May 26, 8pm
Courtyard C or Hunter Center
$15; $20 with gallery admission; $10 students; FREE kids under 12
Brendan Canning, co-founder of the Toronto-based indie rock group Broken Social Scene, serves up an all-vinyl dance party late into the night. With short sets from two bands featuring artists who have works on display in the current “Oh Canada” exhibit. Pastoralia from Nova Scotia features artist Mitch Wiebe on vocals, while artist Rita McKeough makes up half of the duo Sleepy Panther from Calgary.

The Jimmies
Saturday, June 16, 11:30am
Club B-10
Get your spunky, funky, pop-rock-loving inner eight-year-old ready for this kindie (translation: kid indie) band that has been heard all over the country, from Lollapalooza to “Austin City Limits.”

Patrick Watson
Saturday, June 30, 8pm
Club B-10
$12 in advance; $15 at the door
This Montreal-based singer-songwriter-pianist’s mix of cabaret pop and indie rock has drawn comparisons to the likes of Rufus Wainwright, Andrew Bird and Jeff Buckley. He brings his band’s lushly surreal acoustic soundscapes south for a special show before going home to headline the Montreal Jazz Festival.

Movie at the Airport: “Red Tails”
Tuesday, July 3, 8pm
Offsite at the North Adams Harriman-West Airport
$7; $3 kids under 12; $14 per car
We’re excited to continue the tradition we started last summer by presenting an outdoor screening on what becomes — for one night only — the largest movie screen in the state: the door of a hangar at North Adams’ Harriman-West airport.

Sweet Honey In The Rock
Saturday, July 7, 8pm
Courtyard C or Hunter Center
$29 in advance; $34 at the door; $39 priority seating; $15 kids under 16
Rooted in a deeply held commitment to create music out of the rich textures of African-American legacy and traditions, Sweet Honey In The Rock possesses a stunning a cappella vocal prowess that captures the complex sounds of blues, spirituals, traditional gospel hymns, rap, reggae, African chants, hip-hop, ancient lullabies and jazz improvisation.

Bang on a Can: 2012 Summer Music Festival
Thursday, July 12-Tues July 31
various locations throughout MASS MoCA
Daily 4:30pm recitals; free with gallery admission
For over 10 years, the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA has presented thousands of hours of music and hosted hundreds of talented musicians. It’s a smorgasbord – three weeks of contemporary, live music every day: daily gallery recitals, free community performances, kids events, two major concerts and more…

Julia Easterlin
Saturday, July 14, 8pm
Club B-10
$15; $10 for students
A versatile singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose looping machine makes her a virtual one-woman band, Easterlin layers her own vocals into rich harmonies and adds in percussion, building songs live onstage track-by-track.

Bang on a Can All-Stars: Field Recordings
Saturday, July 21, 8pm
Hunter Center
$24; $35 day pass with gallery admission; $15 students
The Bang on a Can All-Stars return with a new multimedia project featuring hot-off-the-presses commissioned works by Tyondai Braxton, Mira Calix, Florent Ghys, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Christian Marclay, Todd Reynolds (performing live), Julia Wolfe, Nick Zammuto (also performing live) and Evan Ziporyn. These composers went into the field of sound itself to find something old or record something new, and responded to what they found with their music, in a dialogue.

Bang on a Can Marathon with Steve Reich
Saturday, July 28, 4pm
Hunter Center
$24; $35 day pass with gallery admission; $15 students
Legendary composer Steve Reich returns for a 6-hour boundary-busting, ear-pleasing, innovative concert featuring more than 50 musicians and composers from around the world.

“Girl Walk / / All Day”
Saturday, August 4, 9pm
Courtyard C or Hunter Center
$15 in advance; $19 at the door
The film “Girl Walk / / All Day” is a long-form dance music video set to Girl Talk’s album “All Day,” in which three dancers move across New York City, turning its sidewalks, parks and architecture into an evolving urban stage. This event features a full screening of the film, in addition to other music videos and short films, dancers from the film presenting new work and DJs spinning late into the night.

Real Estate
Thursday, August 9, 8pm
Courtyard C or Hunter Center
$14 in advance; $19 at the door
The up-and-coming New Jersey indie-rock buzz-band Real Estate rolls into MASS MoCA in support of their sophomore album “Days,” featuring lo-fi, graceful, summery pop songs.

500 Clown’s “Trapped”
Saturday, August 11, 2 & 7pm
Hunter Center
$12; $8 kids under 12
The remarkably clever ensemble 500 Clown ricochets between planned elements and improvisation, with breath-taking speed and to powerful effect. “Trapped” features the troupe’s signature mix of high physicality, raw emotion and powerful storytelling that all ages can appreciate. Using an innovative set piece, three clown-musicians are unexpectedly ensnared. Their response spirals out of control and into slapstick mishaps and vaudevillian turns, as they try to escape the trap they’ve made for themselves.

Ophira Eisenberg
Saturday, August 18, 8pm
Club B-10
$15; $10 for students
A veteran of The Moth and a mainstay on the NYC stand-up and storytelling circuit, the Calgary-bred Ophira Eisenberg is one of Canada’s finest comedy exports since the word “mounty.” She was named one of New York Magazine’s “Top 100 Comics” and is the host of NPR’s new trivia and puzzle show, “Ask Me Another.”

Nora Chipaumire’s “Miriam”
Saturday, August 25, 8pm
Club B-10
$15; $10 for students
An evening-length work written and choreographed by New York-based Zimbabwean dance theatre artist Nora Chipaumire, “Miriam” is inspired by Chipaumire’s own history as well as the icons of legendary South African artist Miriam Makeba and the Virgin Mary. Miriam explores the tensions women face between public expectations and private desires, selflessness and ambition, and the perfection and sacrifice of the feminine ideal.

Roomful of Teeth featuring Missy Mazzoli
Friday, August 31, 8pm
Club B-10
$15; $10 for students
This extraordinary vocal ensemble led by Williams College’s Brad Wells continues its tradition of bringing singing styles from around the world to North Adams. This concert highlights the group’s collaboration with Missy Mazzoli, one of the most sought after young composers in the country.

Brazilian Big Beat Dance Party with Nation Beat
Saturday, September 1, 8pm
Courtyard C or Hunter Center
$15; $10 for students
Nation Beat’s totally original 21st-century fusion of thunderous Brazilian maracatu drumming and New Orleans rhythms brings a wild energy to the stage, and inevitably to the dance floor, too.