mass moca

Rana Santacruz
Erin Patrice O'Brien


  Rana Santacruz, a Mexican musician and bandleader who lives in Brooklyn -- his music is a kind of Mexican bluegrass, Irish mariachi, folk alternativo mash-up.

Rana Santacruz and his band will play the FreshGrass Festival at MASS MoCA this Saturday.

Lau At FreshGrass

Sep 15, 2016

  Lau is a British folk band from both Scotland and England, formed in 2005. They are playing at The FreshGrass Festival at MASS MoCA on Saturday.

The trio is Kris Drever, Martin Green, and Aidan O'Rourke. Lau are fearless innovators a lauded band that never stands still. They are creating some of the best music being made anywhere in any genre. Vocalist and guitar player Kris Drever joins us.

FreshGrass At MASS MoCA

Sep 15, 2016

  FreshGrass is MASS MoCA’s three-day festival of bluegrass and roots music. This year’s festival is this weekend - September 16-18 in North Adams, Massachusetts.

FreshGrass is a family-friendly festival, brimming with bright talent on four stages, and also in MASS MoCA’s galleries, brick-lined courtyards, and grassy field. It is produced in partnership by MASS MoCA, the FreshGrass Foundation, and No Depression.

This year’s line-up of world-class talent includes Glen Hansard, Rosanne Cash, Old Crow Medicine Show, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Aoife O’Donovan, and many more.

Here with a preview and to point out other highlights we welcome Chris Wadsworth, FreshGrass Founder and Producer and Publisher of No Depression and Jodi Joseph, MASS MoCA’s Director of Communications. 

Jennifer Trainer Thompson was announced as the next CEO of Hancock Shaker Village Wednesday.
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The new leader of Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield is someone who has been involved in the region’s cultural realm for quite some time.

  With eleven No. 1 country singles since 1981, Rosanne Cash is a veritable country music icon. She comes to FreshGrass at MASS MoCA this weekend – on Sunday afternoon - joined by her husband John Leventhal, with whom she co-wrote her GRAMMY award-winning album The River & The Thread.

The record is a self-described “mini-travelogue of the South, and of the soul,” based on a series of road trips the two took together. It travels through centuries of American history and weaves together tidbits of family lore into an “exquisitely profound” whole.

Nick Cave's "Until" is set to open October 15 at MASS MoCA.
Facebook: Nike Cave - Visual Artist

The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art announced Wednesday what pieces of art will fill its galleries and who will take over its stages this fall.

Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood
Sarah LaDuke

  We begin our broadcast from Tanglewood with a check-in on Berkshire headlines with our man from the Berkshire Eagle, Kevin Moran. Kevin is the regional Vice President of News for New England Newspapers.

  Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

This is a picture of a guitar
Flickr

Dolly Parton, one of country music’s all-time superstars, is performing in Berkshire County today — kicking off the Tanglewood summer season. The area is known for its rural landscape and feel, typically a hotbed for country music. But, the region’s country scene is a mixed bag.

  There's a new beer in town! 

Bright Ideas Brewing is a new craft-brewery on the grounds of MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA and they are holding a grand opening celebration on June 19th from 2 to 7pm. It will feature an afternoon of live music featuring L.A. Americana Soul from Freddy & Francine and bluegrass from Burlington's Old Sky

We took a road-tript to Bright Ideas and spoke with Director of MASS MoCA, Joe Thompson; co-founders of Bright Ideas, Orion Howard and Eric Kerns; and brewer, Chris Post. 


  On June 11th, acclaimed and well-loved alt-rock band, The National, are playing a concert in Joe’s Field at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA that will benefit the museum and the Hawthorne Valley Association in New York’s Hudson River Valley. This concert is the band’s only date in the northeast this year.

 

The Ohio-raised, Brooklyn-based band, which consists of vocalist Matt Berninger, plus two pairs of brothers: Aaron Dessner (guitar, bass, piano) and Bryce Dessner (guitar), and Scott Devendorf (bass, guitar) and Bryan Devendorf (drums), have landed on every “best of” list in print.

The Dessners recently created, curated and produced Day of the Dead -- a compilation  featuring 59 Grateful Dead covers performed by a slew of incredible musicians including - but not limited to - Flaming Lips, Bruce Hornsby, Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo, Jenny Lewis, Perfume Genius, Vijay Iyer, Lucius, and Bela Fleck. Bob Weir even appears on the album performing both with Wilco and with The National.

Aaron Dessner joins us to talk about the concert and the new compilation.

Formed in the early 90s, alternative rock band Luna will be playing tonight at Mass MOCA in North Adams. The band, led by guitarist and singer Dean Wareham, is touring again after breaking up in 2005.

This is flyer for MASS MoCA's Summer 2016 season
Jim Levulis / WAMC

A number of Northern Berkshire cultural organizations are previewing their upcoming summer seasons in North Adams Wednesday.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

With its large gallery spaces, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams has made a name for itself with enormous art displays since its 1999 founding. But it has increasingly been focused on the performing arts of late.

  Taylor Mac is a playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, performance artist, director and producer who is currently creating a 24-hour durational concert called, “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music.”

6 hours of the project, representing the six decades between 1836 and 1896, will be performed at MASS MoCA in North Adams Massachusetts this Saturday, April 9th from 4 to 10pm. Audience members are encouraged to come and going during the performance.

Taylor Mac was recently name-checked in a New York Magazine article about why New York Theater is thriving and The New York Times said “Fabulousness can come in many forms, and Taylor Mac seems intent on assuming each and every one of them.”

Comedian Dave Hill
Mindy Tucker

  This Friday and Saturday the inaugural High Mud Comedy Festival comes to MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA and will feature acclaimed national comedians and local stand-up heroes.

Tig Notaro headlines the festival which will also feature Ophira Eisenberg, Sean Patton, and the MASS MoCA return of our guest, comedian, writer, musician, actor, radio host, and man-about-town -- Dave Hill.

Dave Hill fast facts: he hosts The Goddamn Dave Hill Show on WFMU and contributes to This American Life. His band, Valley Lodge, tours globally and performs the theme song for HBO’s Last Week Tonight. He often competes - if that’s the word for it - on @midnight on Comedy Central. His first book is entitled Tasteful Nudes (St. Martin's Griffin) and his upcoming book is Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (Blue Rider Press). His first comedy album came out last June on aspecialthing records and is called Let Me Turn You On.

Early 2016 At MASS MoCA

Jan 13, 2016

  We feel very lucky to have MASS MoCA in our region and to have such a good relationship with the incredible visual and live arts presentation venue. 

MASS MoCA's Managing Director of Performing Arts,  Sue Killam, and Director of Communications, Jodi Joseph join us with a preview of upcoming exhibitions, concerts, residencies, and more.

This is a picture of a BMW parked outside MASS MoCA
Jim Levulis / WAMC

MASS MoCA in North Adams is taking part in a unique global art initiative driven by a controversial Chinese artist. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Jim Levulis pieces it together.

  Songwriter Stephin Merritt has been called “the Cole Porter of his generation” by TimeOut New York. His work includes the Magnetic Fields masterpiece 69 Love Songs and two dozen albums under four different band names besides.

He’s the author of the book 101 Two-Letter Words – which was illustrated by New Yorker cartoonist, Roz Chast.

He will be at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA this Saturday, November 21st at 8pm, playing 26 songs pulled from Merritt's repertoire, played in alphabetical order with Magnetic Fields bandmate and cellist Sam Davol.

  The Sundance Institute Theatre Lab will present an evening of work-in-progress musical theater in MASS MoCA’s Club B10 tomorrow, November 14, at 8pm.

The Sundance Institute’s renowned Theatre Program has produced and molded many future Broadway and Off-Broadway hits through their incubation process. This is the 5th year they’ve partnered with MASS MoCA.

This year they will present 3 in-progress musicals including a new work from Adam Guetel and Craig Lucas.

The Tony Award-winning composer-lyricist and Obie Award-winning playwright creators of Light in the Piazza re-team to reimagine a story that tells of a love affair between two average Americans, torpedoed by alcoholism.

Adam Guetel joins us now along with Philip Himberg is the producing artistic director of Sundance Institute Theatre Program.

  The Williamstown Film Festival is now in its 17th year, but this year’s festival will reflect some major changes. The festival is complete with new faces, a new name, and new programming focus.

The festival runs from October 15-18. Now called: WFF presents: Wind-Up Fest. It is a nonfiction festival with documentary film as its core. Other forms of nonfiction will be in conversation with documentaries, including long-form journalism, radio podcasts, photography, and social practice art.

The festival’s new artistic director Paul Sturtz, new managing director Sandra Thomas (the former executive director of Images Cinema) and board Member Joe Finnegan join us.

wikipedia.org

MASS MoCA and the city of North Adams are expecting what could be a record crowd for the annual Fresh Grass Festival this weekend.

  Alison Brown has achieved success in many areas: a Harvard graduate, record label co-founder and owner, mother, and, the role that most people know her in: banjo virtuoso.

She’ll be at The FreshGrass Bluegrass Festival at MASS MoCA this weekend - involved in workshops, contests, concerts, FreshScores, and The Man in Grass: a bluegrass tribute to Johnny Cash.

  The FreshGrass Bluegrass Festival at MASS MoCA takes place this Friday through Sunday – September 18th-20th.

FreshGrass is rich in both traditional and cutting-edge bluegrass, presented in a wide array of venues. An opportunity for enthusiasts to both appreciate and participate, FreshGrass is a family-friendly festival, brimming with bright talent on four stages, and also in MASS MoCA’s galleries, brick-lined courtyards, and grassy field.

Ted Leo At MASS MoCA

Aug 21, 2015

  From his early adventures in the hardcore scene of 1980s NYC, to his beloved band Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, to his recent duo project with Aimee Mann called The Both, Ted Leo has distinguished himself as a unique presence in the indie music world: a cerebral punk with an ear for power pop, equally at home ripping into a crunchy-guitared anthemic call to arms, or belting out a sweet melody.

Ted Leo will play a solo show at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA tonight at 8 o'clock.

Katherine Myers

  The Bang on a Can Summer Festival culminates with "Bang on a Can Plays Art," – the second week of a jam-packed music extravaganza featuring 13 concerts in 8 days, from July 25 - Aug 1.

Bang on a Can Plays Art draws inspiration from the visual art on display in the galleries at MASS MoCA. Each concert showcases music that interacts with the art on various levels – stylistically, thematically, and whimsically – performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Festival Artists and Fellows, and special guest Alvin Lucier.

Bang on a Can co-founder and composer Michael Gordon joins us this morning to tell us more. This Saturday the Bang on a Can All Stars play Gordon’s oratorio, Van Gogh.

Facebook: MASS MoCA

Over the weekend, the population of North Adams swelled by more than 7,000 as people packed hotels and pitched tents, in town for return of the Solid Sound Festival.

  Established in 2010, the Solid Sound Festival kicks off at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA tomorrow evening. The art and music festival is curated by Chicago-based rock band, Wilco, and even now they are in the area rehearsing while countless excellent people put the finishing touches on what is sure to be an amazing weekend of eclectic music, eye-popping art, world-class comedy, food, friends, and fun.

Wilco will play a special acoustic set on Friday night, a plugged-in set on Saturday night, and then Jeff Tweedy’s still-pretty-new band, Tweedy, will play a concert with friends to wrap up the festival on Sunday.

Jeff and his son - and skilled drummer - Spencer formed Tweedy last year and released an album, Sukierae, in September. Spencer has also played drums on albums produced by Jeff over the last few years including Mavis Staples’ One True Vine.

I sat down with them in North Adams yesterday to talk with Jeff and Spencer and was struck by their congenial and respectful their relationship is -- and thrilled to also note good-natured ribbing. To borrow a Wilco title - they have The Whole Love - it’s contagious and it’s cool. Just like Solid Sound.

parquetcourts.wordpress.com

  The next in our series of Solid Sound Festival interviews features Parquet Courts. The indie rock, post-punk band based in Brooklyn, New York formed in late 2010. The band’s members are A. Savage, Austin Brown, Sean Yeaton, and Max Savage.

They’ll perform on Saturday at Solid Sound.

  The Solid Sound Festival returns to MASS MoCA this weekend. The Richard Thompson Trio will play in Joe’s Field on Saturday.

Named by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the Top 20 Guitarists of All Time, Richard Thompson is also one of the world’s most critically acclaimed and prolific songwriters. He has received Lifetime Achievement Awards for Songwriting on both sides of the Atlantic. In 2011, Thompson was the recipient of the Order of the British Empire - personally bestowed upon him by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. Most recently, the Americana Music Honors & Awards nominated him for “Artist of the Year”.

Yesterday his new album, Still, was released yesterday on Fantasy Records. The album was recorded in The Wilco Loft in Chicago and is produced by Wilco front-man Jeff Tweedy.

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