Food is a major part of any successful weekend long festival. Solid Sound will have amazing food (and drink) all weekend long. We’re going to learn now about a couple of individual super-special curated culinary events - the proceeds from which will benefit the education programs here at MASS MoCA.
We are joined by Jodi Joseph, MASS MoCA’s Director of Communications; Nancy Thomas, Owner of Mezze Inc. restaurant group and co-producer of MASS MoCA Culinary Events; and Chris Weld, owner of Berkshire Mountain Distillers.
Greg Saulmon is an online editor at The Republican and MASS Live and is a respected local naturalist and photographer. He has lived and worked in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts for more than 30 years.
He is running several Urban Birding walks during the Solid Sound Festival with information on how to see and identify birds in cities. Urban Birding guided walks will depart from Courtyard A at MASS MoCA on Saturday and Sunday and Sunday at 10 am.
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.
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.)
This summer’s events, which are free and open to the public, will include gallery openings, a dance party on Main Street, a wandering light show, a community reading of Frederick Douglas’s famous Fourth of July address, new murals in the downtown, and musical performances.
We are joined by Leslie Ferrin, Director Ferrin Contemporary and on the DownStreet Art Curatorial Committee; Melanie Mowinski, Artist, Founder Press Gallery, Art Professor MCLA; and Jonathan Secor, Director MCLA Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, which runs DownStreet Art.
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.
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.