Posts Tagged ‘MASS Moca’

Progressive Love on the Dance Floor: JD Samson @ MASS MoCA [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015
Singer and producer JD Samson is at Mass MoCA on September 5, 2015.

Singer and producer JD Samson is at MASS MoCA on Saturday (September 5).

A member of the legendary electro-feminist-punk project Le Tigre, the singer and producer JD Samson is an articulate champion of social causes and a party waiting to erupt. She’s here with a live band set and a DJ set for a summer-ending night of progressive love on the dance floor. Samson takes the stage at MASS MoCA’s Courtyard C on Saturday (September 5) at 8pm.

An eloquent activist, feminist, writer and performer, Samson was raised in a Cleveland suburb by two artists. Coming out at the age of 15, Samson overcame hardships to become a strong activist for feminist and LGBT rights. She pursued her passion in film by attending Sarah Lawrence College, where she landed a job managing projections for the electronic, feminist group Le Tigre – an all-female band with roots in dance, punk and pop music. Shortly thereafter, in 2000, Samson became a contributing member of the band. As a part of Le Tigre, Samson channeled her personal life to produce electrifying, upbeat music with strong sociopolitical and LGBT ties. When the band took a break in 2006, Samson formed a new project, MEN, with Le Tigre’s Johanna Fateman.

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Roomful of Teeth Return to MASS MoCA on Friday [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, August 27th, 2015
Roomful of Teeth (photo: Nicholas Whitman)

Roomful of Teeth (photo: Nicholas Whitman)

Exploring new vocal territory and sharing music from their new 2015 album Render, the Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth comes home to MASS MoCA in North Adams to celebrate the work of composer-in-residence Ted Hearne, harnessing all sorts of colors, gestures and timbres as the group explores all possibilities of the human voice. Roomful of Teeth’s annual two-week residency culminates in a concert at 8pm on Friday (August 28).

Both as an expansion and a tribute to the group’s self-titled predecessor (called “sensually stunning” by The New York Times), Render is the next leg of Roomful of Teeth’s journey to mine the expressive possibilities of the magnificent vocal palette offered by each of the ensemble’s eight powerful singers. Group alto and Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw relates the title of the album to the “idea of seeing…distinct particles slowly come together [to] create an image” (NPR). The recording emerges as one likeness, but remains unforgettably composed by distinct and enormously talented contributors, including founder and artistic director Brad Wells, as well as William Brittelle, Wally Gunn, Missy Mazzoli, Caleb Burhans and ensemble tenor Eric Dudley.

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MUSIC: PigPen Theatre Co. Arrives @ MASS MoCA on Saturday [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Part innovative theatre company and part indie-folk band, PigPen Theatre Co. creates albums that turn into musicals performed as fully staged productions or straight-forward concerts. The band will be at MASS MoCA in North Adams for the latter, playing material from their new album, Whole Sun, which was released last month. Currently on a national tour, PigPen arrives on the MASS MoCA campus at 8pm on Saturday (August 15) for a sprawling, rollicking live show, outdoors on the Dré Pavilion.

PigPen Theatre Co.’s pursuits are anything but strictly theatrical, and the group has attracted a huge following on the merit of their music alone. PigPen’s debut album, Bremen, was named the #10 album of the year by The Huffington Post. The members of PigPen aren’t lying when they say they couldn’t have done it without their fans: the band’s freshly released sophomore LP, Whole Sun, successfully raised more than $50,000 via Kickstarter, exceeding its original goal in less than 48 hours.

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LIVE: Solid Sound @ MASS MoCA, 6/26/15 (Day One)

Thursday, July 9th, 2015


Review and photographs by Kirsten Ferguson

“I think this is about as perfect as it gets. This night and you guys,” said frontman Jeff Tweedy during Wilco’s headlining set on the opening night of Solid Sound, the three-day festival that he and his band curate every other summer at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in North Adams.

It was a perfect night. The Berkshire Mountains surrounding Joe’s Field, where the headlining acts played, looked lush and green. The reflective water tower on the field’s northern edge – now a familiar landmark for repeat Solid Sound attendees – shone like a beacon. And young kids were everywhere – making it seem like a place where the future of rock and roll could possibly be bright as well.

There was also a historical significance to the night. Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court issued their long-awaited ruling on marriage equality, making same-sex marriage legal across all 50 states.

“I was thinking, it’s so much nicer singing this song now that everyone can get married,” Tweedy said to great cheers midway through “Hesitating Beauty,” an old-fashioned ode to love and marriage from Wilco’s “Mermaid Avenue” collaboration with Billy Bragg set to words by Woody Guthrie.


MASS MoCA’s Chalet Beer Garden Offers Music, Art & Intelligent Conversation [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, July 9th, 2015
Mass MoCA’s beer garden is a festive way to spend a summer’s eve.

MASS MoCA’s beer garden is a festive way to spend a summer’s eve.

It happens every Thursday and Friday at 5:30pm (and onward into the night). The Chalet, the summer beer garden at MASS MoCA in North Adams, is now open for business, and it’s a great place to spend a summer evening.

This year, they’ve added an all-star squad of appearances and performances: First is the critically acclaimed Soundsuit artist Nick Cave, followed by Sayler/Morris, the artist duo behind Eclipse (now on view). Clifford Ross stops by to talk about Harmonium Mountain, his phantasmagorical video-and-audio installation mounted on 12 massive outdoor screens in Courtyard D. Lastly, Dean Baldwin himself, sculptor, installation artist and the creator of The Chalet, makes an appearance to discuss his practice.

Today (Thursday, July 9) at 7pm, join in a conversation with Chicago-based artist Nick Cave. Part sculptor, part filmmaker, part dancer and part installation-sound-and-performance artist, Nick Cave is most notable for his Soundsuits, full-body outfits combining sculpture and costume crafted from objects found in antique shops and flea markets. Get an insider’s sneak preview at the Chalet about his upcoming MASS MoCA show, opening in 2016.

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Natalia Zukerman Heads to MASS MoCA for Evening of Folk, Jazz, Blues [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, June 5th, 2015

Natalia Zukerman

By Larry Murray

The slide, lap steel and dobro wizard Natalia Zukerman shapes folk, jazz, and blues sounds into songs of intense beauty. Her “voice could send an orchid into bloom while her guitar playing can open a beer bottle with its teeth,” declared The New Yorker. Natalia Zukerman performs outdoors under MASS MoCA’s Dré Wapenaar Pavilion in North Adams at 8pm on Saturday (June 6).

Since her 2001 debut, the singer/multi-instrumentalist’s expertise on myriad instruments, lyrical storytelling and seductive vocals have set her apart from the crowd as a folk songstress to watch. Armed with an authentic homespun sensibility and backed by major vocal and instrumental chops (most notably her notoriously stellar slide guitar playing), Zukerman is undeniably virtuosic, an engaging and compelling performer. On stage, her gentle demeanor gives way to a passionate stage presence that captivates audiences from opening note to final encore.

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Photography at MASS MoCA as Sculpture and Architecture [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Liz Deschenes:Gallery 7, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 2014 (Installation view) Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York. (photo: Gene Pittman)

Liz Deschenes: Gallery 7, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 2014 (Installation view) Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York (photo: Gene Pittman)

MASS MoCA’s Year of Photography Opens Saturday (May 23)

Opening receptions for three new exhibitions

North Adams, MA — On Saturday (May 23), MASS MoCA opens three exhibitions that destroy all our preconceptions about photography: “Clifford Ross: Landscape Seen & Imagined,” “Liz Deschenes: Gallery 4.1.1″ and “Artists’ Choice: An Expanded Field of Photography.” The eight artists take an exceptionally acrobatic approach to the medium, from Ross’ Harmoniums and large-scale high-resolution images to Deschenes’ panoptic photograms, to photographs that encroach on sculpture and architecture. An opening reception is held on Saturday from 5-6:30pm, in the galleries.

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For Cameron Esposito, the “L-Word” is “Laugh” – at MASS MoCA on Saturday [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, May 4th, 2015
Comic Cameron Esposito will surprise you in more ways than one

Comic Cameron Esposito will surprise you in more ways than one.

In the world of great comics there is hardly a funnier or more riveting performer out there, and so Cameron Esposito is our top pick of the month.

On-the-rise LA-based comic, Esposito – who haunts late-night TV, hosts two hilarious podcasts, and authors a column for The Onion’s AV Club – has “a stylish presence” and “a gift for plugging punchlines into personal stories” (New York Times). Come to MASS MoCA in North Adams at 8pm on Saturday (May 9) and find out why Jay Leno called her “the future of comedy.”

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