The cultural highlights for our region this weekend include a jazzy sound-installation; an online Beethoven concert; a livestreamed rock variety show featuring a legend of indie-rock; and a new album by an eclectic, witty Poughkeepsie-based band.
MASS MoCA in North Adams continues its Auditory After Hours series giving, visitors a chance to engage with art while listening to a bespoke experience curated by cutting-edge musicians, this Saturday night and next at 7, 7:30, and 8pm, with a sound installation by jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader Jason Moran. Moran’s soundscape is specially designed for and inspired by Sol LeWitt's groundbreaking wall drawings. Moran, who combines post-bop and avant-garde jazz, blues, classical music, stride piano, and hip hop, is no stranger to this sort of multimedia art installation -- his 2006 release, Artist in Residence, included a number of selections from different works commissioned by museums, all of which premiered in 2005: "Milestone" is centered on a visual work by Adrian Piper from the Walker Art Center; "The Shape, the Scent, the Feel of Things" was incorporated into a preexisting installation of that name by artist Joan Jonas; and "RAIN" was inspired by ring shouts from African American slaves. Advance, timed tickets required; go to massmoca.org for more info.
You don’t have to wait until the end of the pandemic – whenever that will be – to get your fix of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Since late last fall, BSO NOW ONLINE presentations feature newly recorded hour-long video performances by the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, and BSO musicians in chamber music, along with behind-the-scenes storytelling with conductors, composers, and musicians, and more. This month, BSO music director Andris Nelsons leads the BSO in three new concert streams with a special focus on Beethoven—in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth. Each BSO NOW video launches at www.bso.org/now on Thursdays, at noon. All BSO NOW online videos are available for viewing for 30 days after each initial release date.
Tommy Stinson & Chip Roberts will grace the stage of Helsinki Hudson on Saturday at 8pm with their intimate music act Cowboys in the Campfire. Hosted by Ryder Cooley and Jon B. Woodin of Dust Bowl Faeries, Stinson, an original member of The Replacements and a former bassist for Guns n Roses, will perform intimate country and blues-based songs on acoustic guitar accompanied by Chip Roberts on lap-steel guitar. The livestream is part of Helsinki Hudson’s Wish You Were Hear series, a monthly live broadcast from the Club Helsinki stage in historic Hudson, New York. Tickets for the show are available on a donation basis to support the musicians. Visit helsinkihudson.com for more details.
Poughkeepsie-based band Life in a Blender recently released a new EP called “Satsuma.” The album raises the stakes of its already highly literate songwriting—basing four of its six songs on works by Kurt Vonnegut, Jonathan Ames, Dean Haspiel, and the like—and its dizzying fusion of Beatle-esque power-pop, new wave riffage, and Zappa/Beefheart-derived musical anarcho-syndicalism. That may sound heavy, but even with lead singer-songwriter Don Rauf's focus on environmental destruction and human mortality, the upstate-by-way-of Brooklyn outfit turns in a psychedelic blast of a listening party, where Exile on Main Street-era Rolling Stones meet the B-52s, and Lou Reed fronts NRBQ. Rauf's usual crew is on hand, including cofounder Dave Moody, to deliver the dazzling arrangements captured impeccably by producer/guitarist Al Houghton at his Dubway Studios. “Satsuma” comes packaged with a limited-edition booklet with custom art and a cocktail recipe for each song fittingly contributed by their "drunkest friends."
Seth Rogovoy is editor of the Rogovoy Report, available at rogovoyreport.com
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