Tag Archives: Solid Sound Festival

Americanarama Festival of Music: Bob Dylan, Wilco and My Morning Jacket in Bridgeport, Conn.

Bob Dylan at the Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport, Conn., on July 19, 2013.(Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

Bob Dylan gets sassy on the harmonica. (Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

Nothing compares to your first time

When Bob Dylan hit the stage of the Webster Bank Arena on Friday night, July 19, I reached a major milestone.

It was my first time seeing the legend perform live.

Yes, you might think that given the underlying theme of this blog, I would have seen him before — probably many times.

Bob Dylan at the Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport, Conn., on July 19, 2013.(Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

Bob Dylan spent plenty of time playing the grand piano. (Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

Sure, I treasure his music. I have many of his albums. A friend and neighbor of mine managed him once, way back before Albert Grossman hooked up with him.

But Dylan was playing arenas by the time I learned to care about him. And I just don’t like arena shows, the distance, the impersonality, the commercialism.

But when I saw the lineup for this summer’s touring Americanarama Festival of Music, I decided it was time to make an exception so that I could finally see Dylan. I figured that even if Bob was awful, I’d be able to cross him off my bucket list and still get plenty of value out of Wilco and My Morning Jacket. Continue reading

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Jay Farrar still can’t say Jeff Tweedy’s name

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The cover of Jay Farrar’s memoir, Falling Cars and Junkyard Dogs

 

Uncle Tupelo co-founder Jay Farrar‘s easy-reading memoir, Falling Cars and Junkyard Dogs, came out in March, but it landed rather quietly — at least in my world.

It was only a few days ago that I really became aware of the collection of vignettes by the ultra-serious Farrar. Some of the reviews have been unkind, but that didn’t stop me from buying it and devouring it in a matter of a few hours.

Farrar made great music in Uncle Tupelo, and has continued on a reverential path since the band’s acrimonious 1994 breakup. But that’s not the subject of this collection of short passages from just about every part of his life but the Uncle Tupelo part.

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Os Mutantes played a Maxwell’s farewell show five days after appearing at Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival

The inimitable Sérgio Dias is the founding member who has kept Os Mutantes alive all these years. (Photos © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

The inimitable Sérgio Dias is the founding member who has kept Os Mutantes alive all these years. (Photos © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

We’re definitely old enough to have experienced Brazilian rock band Os Mutantes in its first incarnation in the mid-Sixties.

But timing isn’t really everything.

We grew up in a household where listening to rock ‘n roll (aka The Devil’s Music) was, shall we say, not encouraged. And we lived in a community outside of Philadelphia where conformity ruled. And being 11, or so when Os Mutantes started making music, we were at a tender age where that type of pressure was pretty effective in keeping us in line.

Sérgio Dias plays sitar at Maxwell's, Hoboken, N.J., on June 28, 2013.

Sérgio Dias shows off his sitar skills.

On top of everything else, Brazil might as well have been the other side of the moon.

So, all in all, it’s no surprise that we didn’t know anything at all about Os Mutantes — founded by brothers Arnaldo Baptista on bass, keyboards and vocals and Sérgio Dias Baptista on guitar and vocals — until the psychedelic band started its Second Act when it reunited in 2006.

We’re sorry we missed the band’s First Act, but we were hardly alone among American music fans. And we’re thrilled we didn’t miss the Second Act.

Singer Esmeria Bulgari with Sérgio Dias of Os Mutantes at Maxwell's. (Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

Singer Esmeria Bulgari with Sérgio Dias of Os Mutantes at Maxwell’s.

Continue reading

Tickets for Wilco’s Solid Sound music and arts festival on sale now

A view of the Solid Sound Festival at MASS MoCA.

A view of the Solid Sound Festival at MASS MoCA.

First-rate festival returns after a one-year absence

We felt a void this year. After staging the Solid Sound Festival for two years in a row on the campus of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, Mass., Wilco decided to skip 2012.

It was disappointing. But that makes today’s news all the more delicious.

I suppose it’s no surprise. The fantastic three-day event requires an enormous amount of planning and commitment from every member of the band and it support staff. And while I’m sure the band didn’t lose money on the festival, it’s unlikely that it was a huge moneymaker, either.

Wilco perfoms on the main stage in Joe's Field at MASS MoCA.

Wilco perfoms on the main stage in Joe’s Field at MASS MoCA.

Wilco promised to return to the beautiful Berkshires in 2013, and the band is keeping that promise. “Early Worm” tickets for next year’s festival — running from June 21-23 — are available right now.

Those tickets are just $99, and well worth it. Click here to get tickets now.

Once they’re sold out, a limited number of “Early Bird” tickets will be available for $124 — still a relative bargain.

If you wait too long, you’ll have to settle for the $149 regular three-day passes.

Solid Sound is a family friendly event, with three-day passes for children ages 7-10 priced at a mere $50, while kids 6 and under are free.

If you can’t go all three days, or think you won’t want to (bad idea, in our opinion), there will be a limited number of one-day passes.

The festival promises two headlining Wilco sets on a fabulous field next to the factory complex that houses MASS MoCA. Wilco side projects and bands and comedians curated by Wilco members also will perform. You can also count on art installations, probably some films, and definitely a lot of great food and drink. Plus, in the past there have been pop-up stores, a coffee shop imported from Chicago, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy in a charity dunk tank and falconry demonstration.

Oh, and we shouldn’t forget about access to the amazing exhibitions in the museum itself. The people who run the museum are fully invested in this festival — they’re not just renting the space out to the band.

The first two editions featured acts such as Mavis Staples, Levon Helm (RIP), Mountain Man, Thurston Moore, The Books, Syl Johnson, The Handsome Family, The Baseball Project, Here We Go Magic, Autumn Defense and many more.

While the 2013 lineup won’t be finalized for quite awhile, we guarantee this will be a great festival for anybody who likes Wilco.

You don’t need to be a super-fan to enjoy this festival. Jeff Tweedy and the other members of Wilco have diverse tastes in music and art, and all of those tastes have been on display in previous editions of the festival.

Camping and transportation from New York City and Boston is also available.

A hint about Wilco and the future of the Solid Sound Festival

As Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? told you on Friday, Wilco‘s Solid Sound Festival v.3 won’t happen until next year. But in announcing the one-year hiatus, the band also announced that it’ll be performing a benefit concert at the festival venue, MASS MoCA this summer.

While no date for the concert has been announced, you can get first dibs on information and tickets if you’re willing to front some cash to become a MASS MoCA member. (Or you can just keep your eyes on Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone?)

Up to you. But click here for MASS MoCA membership information.

No Solid Sound Festival for 2012 — Wilco skips a year

Wilco's first takeover at MASS MoCa. (© 2010 Steven P. Marsh)

Band plans benefit concert for MASS MoCA instead

Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? is never happy to be the bearer of bad news. But you need to know that Wilco announced today that the band is taking a year off from presenting the Solid Sound Festival at MASS MoCA, the awesome art musuem in North Adams, Mass.

Jeff Tweedy and his Wilco bandmates have with great success presented the three-day Solid Sound Festival for the past two years, bringing music, art and friends together on the low-key industrial campus in Western Massachusetts.

We’ve been watching since before Christmas for an announcment of the dates of the next three-day music fest. Finally, around 1 p.m. today, came a tweet from @WilcooftheDay listing the long-awaited info:

#SolidSound Update: The next Solid Sound Festival will be held June 21-23, 2013 at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Ma.

2013? Huh? What happened to 2012? Before we could ask the question, almost as if somebody could read our minds, came this tweet:

The 3 day event will take a 1 year hiatus, but Wilco will perform at the North Adams museum this summer in a benefit concert for MASS MoCA.

And when will that concert happen? Came the reply to our unasked question:

not announced yet

Sigh.

Stay tuned for details on why Wilco’s taking a year off and details about the benefit concert at soon as they become available.

Great news: As predicted, Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival returns to MASS MoCA in 2011

When Wilco arrived at MASS MoCA last summer, the band even took over the museum's sign. (Photos copyright 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

Fantastic festival can only get better

We don’t like to brag (well, okay, sometimes we do), but Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? predicted that Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival would become an annual event — even before this year’s inaugural gathering wrapped up.

Wilco HQ announced the news with an email this morning:

Greetings and Happy Holidays. We’ve got a last bit of news before heading home for the break. The big story here is that Solid Sound 2011 is officially ON and happening the weekend of June 24-26, once again at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. if you were there last year, we know you’ll be back. If not, well, this year you should know better. Ticket information and more will be announced on January 18. So keep an eye and ear out.

Safe travels and sweet holidays to you all. Thanks again for another great year in Wilcoworld. We’ll see you in 2011 with what will undoubtedly be a whole bunch of news regarding Wilco tours, records, the festival and so on. Cheers.

the HQ Staff

This years three-day event was held  in mid-August. It gave thousands of fans of all ages the run of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in the Berkshires town of North Adams, Mass. Participants got to hear lots of music from Wilco, the side projects of band members like Jeff Tweedy, Nels Cline, Pat Sansone, their friends, and got to sample comedians and films along with the spectacular art on the gritty former factory campus. It was well run, well curated and surprisingly chill.

The music was great, the scheduling tight without being overwhelming, the facilities were superb and the food and drink never seemed to run out. Everything worked together to make it one of the best and most memorable festivals around.

Wilco perfoms on the main stage in Joe's Field at MASS MoCA.

Museum management was thrilled to have as many as 5,000 well-behaved patrons on site at once, and obviously saw the festival as something worth bringing back. Museum Director Joe Thompson was singing the praises of the event all weekend, and made no secret of the fact that he supported the idea of doing it again in 2011.

And Cline brimmed with excitement about the festival when we spoke with him at Joe’s Pub in New York City, where he and fiancee Yuka Honda were checking out Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl‘s new project, The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger.

Next year’s festival is earlier in the summer — June instead of August. So save the date and stay tuned for an update in a month.

Artist as audience: Pat Sansone checks out the boss’ day job

Pat Sansone of Wilco couldn’t stay away from Joe’s Field at MASS Moca on Sunday afternoon during boss Jeff Tweedy‘s solo set, the closing show of the fantastic Solid Sound Festival.

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Artist as audience: Yuka Honda

After wrapping up a guest stint with The Nels Cline Singers at the Solid Sound Festival on Sunday afternoon, electronica/keyboard whiz Yuka Honda headed to Joe’s Field at MASS Moca to check her smartphone and then listen to Jeff Tweedy‘s wonderfully mellow solo set.

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Artist as audience: Scott McCaughey

Scott McCaughey of The Baseball Project and innumerable other bands (Young Fresh Fellows, etc.) stops to chat with fans before the Jeff Tweedy solo set that closes out the Solid Sound Festival on Sunday at MASS MoCA.