Posts Tagged ‘North Adams’

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, 6/27/15 (Day Two)

Monday, July 13th, 2015
Wilco's Glen Kotche

Wilco’s Glen Kotche

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Rudy Lu, Andrzej Pilarczyk, Richard Brody

Somwehere in the middle of their headlining set on Saturday night, Wilco played “Sunken Treasure,” and bandleader Jeff Tweedy sang, “Music is my savior, and I was maimed by rock and roll/I was tamed by rock and roll/I got my name from rock and roll.” And the crowd out in Joe’s Field let out a mighty roar of appreciation.

Yes, Solid Sound was back at MASS MoCA. The fourth incarnation of the Wilco-curated festival – now a biennial affair – took over the sprawling MASS MoCA campus for three days, holding forth at four different performance locations, as well several of the museum’s galleries. And while rock and roll (in its broadest definition) was the focus, Saturday’s 12-hour line-up stretched from the hushed folk of Jessica Pratt (perhaps a bit too intimate for a festival setting) to the hip-hop of Shabazz Palaces, from the electro-funk of Cibo Matto to John Hodgman’s comedy revue.

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

Thursday, July 9th, 2015
Wilco

Wilco

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.

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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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Wilco to Go All-Acoustic for the Friday Night at Solid Sound [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

boswilcoacoustic

By Larry Murray

Fans of Wilco are in for a big surprise when the band strides on stage for the beginning of the Solid Sound Festival at MASS MoCA in North Adams on Friday, June 26.

Those attending this year’s fest will hear something that you can’t hear on any of Wilco’s CDs. For their Friday night performance, the bandmembers plan to unplug their instruments to perform a full set of Wilco tunes acoustically. While not totally unheard of – on their recent tour Wilco performed brief, intimate acoustic sets within the concert’s encores – but this will be the first time the band has unplugged for an extended performance.

“Right now we’re thinking about playing somewhat mirrored sets on Friday and Saturday nights – on Friday, the main set will be stripped down and acoustic, and the encores will be electric,” Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy said. “On Saturday we’ll flip it. Start big and loud and finish acoustically. We’ll see how it goes. It’ll be a bit of an experiment, but the Solid Sound audience is usually game for whatever we throw at them.

“It’s been a great experience for the six of us to perform our songs this way. It’s a bit of a re-discovery of the songs and a way for us to reconnect musically with one another. I found myself really looking forward to this part of the set every night on the most recent tour.”

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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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