mass moca

Solid Sound is without a doubt a very busy time here at MASS MoCA - but the people who work at this contemporary art museum and presenting arts venue aren't ones to rest on their laurels. MASS MoCA hosts concerts, comedy shows, dance - and more - all year long. They present the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival in July and August and the FreshGrass Bluegrass Festival in September.

They present more than their fair share of one-off events, too - as well as providing space for residencies and workshops. Here now to tell us more are Performing Arts Curator, Rachel Chanoff and Performing Arts Director, Sue Killam. 

 Storey Publishing has been helping readers practice creative self-reliance for 30 years. They are a longtime creative tenant on campus at MASS MoCA and will be hosting a variety of other lifestyle workshops, activities and demonstrations throughout the Solid Sound Festival.

Rich Orris

The Solid Sound Festival is curated by the rock band Wilco. So it stands to reason we’d have a member of the band on our show today - and we do! Jeff Tweedy joins us to talk about Solid Sound and other Wilco goings-on.

Then, after a quick break, his son Spencer joins us, too! Spencer is the drummer for The Blisters - the band is playing this Sunday at the festival. They’ve been together for 10 years and put out an album on their website earlier this month. The album is called “Finally, Bored” - but we have a sneaking suspicion that Spencer is anything but. (The kid is busy is what we're saying.)

Karen Pearson/Mass MoCA

    One of the MASS MoCA's current exhibitions is Jason Middlebrook: My Landscape. The pieces contained include new works from Jason’s series of painted hardwood planks begun in 2008 and will debut an awe-inspiring, hanging mobile that functions like a fountain within the gallery.

  This is the third Solid Sound - and our third time broadcasting at MASS MoCA from the festival. (We’ve taken the museum over two other times, but who’s counting? … It’s us. We are counting.)

We’re set up in fine fashion in The Knuckle at MASS MoCA - just outside of the Sol LeWitt galleries and within leaping distance of many of the other attractions and stages on campus. But we won’t leap - we’ll politely walk around - this place is about to be full of enthusiastic music and art fans and we wouldn’t want to leap onto any of them.

Joining us to tell us about some of what goes into making this festival purr are Joe Thompson, Director of MASS MoCA and Alex Crothers, promoter for Higher Ground Music.

Sam Amidon

Jun 19, 2013

      Sam Amidon will perform this Saturday afternoon in Courtyard C at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA as part of the Solid Sound Festival.

Enveloped in traditional music while growing up in Vermont, Sam’s most recent album, Bright Sunny South, is a continuation of his particular method of folk music delivery.

At first listen, his music seems to follow the singer-songwriter model. His background is wrapped in the Appalachian folk-music tradition, and his songs feature expressive vocals and fast, finger-plucked melodies. But a singer-songwriter he is not. Sam Amidon composes new tunes for traditional folk ballads and an array of cover songs that he's attentively made his own.

    Influential Brazilian psychedelic rock band, Os Mutantes will perform at the Solid Sound Festival at MASS MoCA this Sunday and at The Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, NY on Wednesday, June 26.

Os Mutantes was formed in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1966 by two brothers, Arnaldo Baptista and Sérgio Dias Baptista and lead singer Rita Lee. In the 60s and 70s they were a part of the Tropicália movement which encompassed art forms such as theatre, poetry, and music. The movement was characterized by a combination of the popular and the avant-garde, as well as a fusion of traditional Brazilian culture with foreign influences.

The band broke up in 1978 but reunited with a new formation in 2006. Sergio Dias is the lone remaining founding member of Os Mutantes and their latest album is entitled Fool Metal Jack

    MASS MoCA’s Winter/Spring 2013 documentary film series, Compete!, celebrates films about winning, losing, and how you play the game.

This Thursday’s film, The Human Tower, explores the history and culture of one of the world’s most spectacularly unusual team endeavors - the building of multi-story human towers. The filmmakers follow teams from India, Chile, and Spain  - connected by the common themes of passion and teamwork that transcend race, age, and national borders.

  The Human Tower is co-directed by Ram Devineni and Cano Rojas. Rojas will be at MASS MoCA this Thursday for a Q&A following the screening of the film in their Club B-10 at 7:30.

    Futurity is an original indie-rock musical by The Lisps, a Brooklyn-based co-ed of 21st century theater-prone indie rockers. Within a theatrically-staged song cycle, Futurity fuses found text, experimental music, and The Lisps' own brand of quirky pop to tell the story of a Union soldier in the Civil War who is an aspiring inventor.

The Lisps bring Futurity to Club B-10 at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA this coming Saturday, April 27th at 8pm.

    The documentary film, Buzkashi! is a story of three fascinating characters who are at the top of their sport of Buzkashi in Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic nestled in the Pamir mountains. Donning their protective equipment – including tank helmets from previous wars – they steer their horses to join the hundreds of others playing on the plateaus of this mountainous country.

The rivalries, alliances politics and intrigues surrounding the sport put ancient values of honor and integrity head-to-head with ego-driven hunger for power and wealth.

The film is screening at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA tomorrow night at 7:30 as part of their Winter/Spring 2013 documentary film series, Compete!, the series celebrates films about winning, losing, and how you play the game.

Buzkashi! is written and directed by Najeeb Mirza. You may watch the trailer, here.