The Phoenix Network:
 
 
About  |  Advertise
Adult  |  Moonsigns  |  Blogs  |  In Pictures
 

Solid Sound Festival, Aug 13-15, Mass MoCA

Music Seen
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  August 20, 2010

Even if you don't love Wilco (anymore), it's hard to imagine a festival being much more pleasant and casually engaging than their inaugural event in North Adams. Apart from everything I wrote in "From solid to standout", other highlights I caught Friday and Saturday:

• Walking by comedians Eugene Merman (not even performing here) and Kristen Schaal (so cute!) every 45 minutes.

• The Books played in the museum's nearly 1000-capacity Hunter Center, to a packed and rapt crowd. Though Casco Bay Books, circa 2006, ruined the sound collagists for eternity for me by playing them to death, their exacting sonic clarity and bizarre archival/homemade videos make a unique, engaging presentation.

• The "Solid Sound Stompbox Station," an interactive guitar pedal exhibit set up by Wilco's Nels Cline, packed with kids and audio geeks kneeling on pillows and twiddling with knobs in a room at least 100 yards long.

• During Brenda's set, D.J. Moore's feline charisma and ever-moving limbs, Josh Loring's simultaneously esoteric and breezy guitar riffs, Peet Chamberlain's hard-won rock-star stances and particularly his set-closing stint on lead vocals, a piece of borderline-performance art everyone from Maine was gleefully terrified to witness out of state (his lion roars went off without a hitch).

• The Baseball Project — with garage heroes Steve Wynn, Scott McCaughey, and Mike Mills on the front line — having as much fun as you'd expect a band who write about Major League athletes to have.

• The unkempt, captivating, all-female, nearly all a capella trio Mountain Man, from Bennington, Vermont: singing traditionals and songs classically witty enough to sound like traditionals with wide-open mouths and hearts.

• Sitting next to a Mountain Man's mom as they got a standing ovation.

• Mavis Staples literally walked off stage the moment I caught sight of her, but she sure sounded brassy and delightful from a distance.

  Topics: New England Music News , Entertainment, Music, Books,  More more >
| More


ARTICLES BY CHRISTOPHER GRAY
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   GIRLS (AND BOYS) ON FILM  |  July 11, 2014
    The Maine International Film Festival, now in its 17th year in Waterville, remains one of the region’s more ambitious cultural institutions, less bound by a singular ambition than a desire to convey the breadth and depth of cinema’s past and present. (This, and a healthy dose of music and human-interest documentaries.) On that account, MIFF ’14 is an impressive achievement, offering area filmgoers its best program in years. With so much to survey, let’s make haste with the recommendations. (Particularly emphatic suggestions are marked in bold print.)  
  •   AMERICAN VALUES  |  June 11, 2014
    The Immigrant  seamlessly folds elements of New York history and the American promise into a story about the varieties of captivity and loyalty.
  •   CHARACTER IS POLITICAL  |  April 10, 2014
    Kelly Reichardt, one of the most admired and resourceful voices in American independent cinema, appears at the Portland Museum of Art Friday night to participate in a weekend-long retrospective of her three most recent films.
  •   LET'S TALK ABOUT SEX  |  April 09, 2014
    Throughout its two volumes and four hours of explicit sexuality, masochism, philosophical debate, and self-analysis, Nymphomaniac remains the steadfast vision of a director talking to himself, and assuming you’ll be interested enough in him to listen and pay close attention.
  •   ASHES AND DIORAMAS  |  March 28, 2014
    History, rather than ennui, is the incursion that motivates this, his most antic and most somber work.

 See all articles by: CHRISTOPHER GRAY



  |  Sign In  |  Register
 
thePhoenix.com:
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
TODAY'S FEATURED ADVERTISERS
Copyright © 2014 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group