Rogovoy Report for March 14, 2014

Mar 14, 2014

This weekend brings classical, jazz, honkytonk, Yiddish, noise-rock, and a whole lot more to the greater Berkshire region.

Sonic Youth cofounder Kim Gordon brings her newest musical project, Body/Head -- a Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd-inspired improvisational duo - to the Hunter Center at MASS MoCA in Noth Adams on Saturday, at 8pm. Joining Gordon will be Northampton-based free-noise guitarist Bill Nace. Kim Gordon rose to prominence as co-founder, bassist, and vocalist of the seminal post-punk experimental rock band Sonic Youth. Coming up through the ranks of the New York City underground music scene of the late 1970s and early ’80s, Sonic Youth became one of the world’s most influential bands – the Velvet Underground to a whole new generation of younger groups, including Nirvana –  and Gordon would become the high priestess of 1980s and ’90s alt-rock.

The Berkshire Symphony will perform works by Keith Fitch, Bernard Rands, and Ludwig van Beethoven in Chapin Hall on the Williams College campus in Williamstown tonight at 8 p.m. Keith Fitch’s “In Memory” is a new chamber orchestra work commissioned by the League of Composers Orchestra. The composer Bernard Rands offers his own contribution with the single movement composition, “London Serenade”. And the orchestra will tackle Beethoven’s “Eroica” symphony, which has been called the “first obviously revolutionary music.” The concert is free and open to the public.

Also at Williams, the Jimmy Greene Quartet, led by saxophonist, composer, and educator Jimmy Greene, will perform at Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall on Saturday at 8 p.m. The free concert will feature many of Greene’s own compositions.

Shane Baker, the king of contemporary Yiddish vaudeville, joins forces with stars of contemporary Yiddish theater to present Purim Shmurim, a modern-day megillah, mixing music, magic, and mummery - the tale of Esther told through favorite folk and theater tunes, classic comedy sketches, snippets of historical Purim plays, and a little legerdemain to top it all off – at the Yiddish Book Center on the campus of Hampshire College in Amherst, on Sunday, March 16, at 7pm.

Seth’s Sauerkraut Revue, a mini-festival of regional Americana and honky-tonk performers hosted by “Sauerkraut” Seth Travins, returns to Club Helsinki Hudson on Saturday at 9pm, featuring Miss Tess; Melora Creager (of Rasputina); Pat Linnan (of Nature Films); the Minivans; Robby Lee Coalter; Chris Neumann; and a reunion of Jim Krewson and Jennie Benford (of Jim and Jennie and the Pinetops). The house band for the evening will be Chops and Sauerkraut. For me, it’s worth the price of admission alone to hear and watch Sauerkraut Seth play guitar. The guy is so versatile, and can play in any style of music, turning on a dime. He’s never flashy, but always serves the song, and makes it all look easy. I like to judge instrumentalists this way – by playing the game, if I had a band, who would I want at each position. There’s no doubt in my mind that I’d want Sauerkraut Seth as my lead guitarist. See you there.

I’m Seth Rogovoy, and that’s the Rogovoy Report for this weekend.