The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include a musical time machine, a couple of classic rockers, chamber music, plus a whole lot more.
Did you ever wonder what Radiohead’s song “Creep” would sound like as a jazzy torch song? Or what David Bowie’s song “Life on Mars?” would have sounded like if it were sung by Ella Fitzgerald? Or how about what Abba’s “Dancing Queen” would have sounded like if it were played by a Dixieland jazz band? Did you ever wonder? No? Neither have I. But Scott Bradlee apparently did, which is why he formed his musical collective, Postmodern Jukebox, to explore exactly this sort of thing – what music from the rock era would sound like if it were actually music from the swing era instead. Bradlee brings his “pop music in a time machine” to the stage of the Mahaiwe Theatre in Great Barrington, Mass., tonight at 8pm.
Chris Barron is best known as frontman of the Spin Doctors, the New York City-based band that in the 1990s took a classic rock, song-based approach to the top of the charts and to jam-band stages, while other groups were exploring grungy guitar textures and extended psychedelic jams. Barron released a solo album last year called “Angels and One Armed Jugglers” that picks up where Spin Doctors left off, still boasting some of that band’s peppy, club-based pop-rock approach, but also introducing a more mature and rootsy sound that recalls Woodstock’s all-time great roots-rock group, The Band. Barron himself says his new album is “about the cocktail party at the apocalypse, the decline of the American empire and just a bunch of lemmings in neck-ties going over the edge.” Barron will perform a solo acoustic show at The Barn at Egremont Village Inn on Saturday at 8pm.
Grammy Award-winning folk-rock singer-songwriter Marc Cohn, best known for the hit song, “Walking in Memphis,” one of the great classics of the rock era, will perform an intimate gig at Club Helsinki Hudson tonight at 9pm. Cohn’s distinctive, soulful vocals and his gift for melody have made him one of his generation’s most acclaimed singer-songwriters.
Fans of chamber music are well-served this weekend. The Berkshire Chamber Players will perform works by Haydn, Hindemith, Puccini, Ravel, and Bartok at the Stockbridge Library tonight at 6pm.
The Chamber Orchestra of Williams performs Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden,” as reworked by Gustav Mahler for string orchestra, in Chapin Hall at Williams College in a free concert on Saturday at 8pm. The program also includes Chamber Symphony op. 110a by Dmitri Shostakovich.
And the West Stockbridge Chamber Players, featuring members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, play their annual harvest concert at the Old Town Hall in West Stockbridge, Mass., on Sunday at 4pm. On the menu for the concert are works by Dvorak, Strauss, and Bruch.