Category Archives: Humor

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.

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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.

Will you be in North Adams for Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival?

Last year's Solid Sound Festival kicked off with beautiful skies. (© 2010 Steven P. Marsh)

Are you joining Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? in North Adams, Mass., today for the beginning of the second annual edition of Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival?

If you haven’t decided yet, it’s NOT TOO LATE. So all of you last-minute types should definitely keep reading.

Wilco at the 2010 Solid Sound Festival.

As it did last year, it’s taking over the campus of MASS MoCA, the fantastic contemporary art museum that has made this struggling former factory town a destination for lovers of art and music.

And the best thing for you last-minute types is that passes are still available for $124.50. Unlike last year, single-day tickets are also available at $65 for today or Sunday and $78 for Saturday.

Click through to the jump for more photos from last year’s festival and more info about this weekend’s activities.

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Help novelist Charles Bock and his family

Tickets for this star-studded benefit to assist acclaimed New York novelist are on sale. Buy yours now by clicking here

Charles Bock (Photo by Diana Colbert)

I met novelist Charles Bock when he was in the final stages of writing his first novel, “Beautiful Children.” We met while Charles was toiling anonymously as a day-rate writer. A 2008 New York Times Magazine cover story described it as  “a very unhappy stint as a rewrite man at a supermarket tabloid.”

However unhappy that time may have been — and there’s not doubt of that — there were some good moments too.

Many of us were rooting for Charles to succeed, to finish the novel and break out of tabloid hell. We were proud to see him get a book deal, and even more proud to read the extraordinary result of his 11 years of labor.

We came to realize that despite projecting a tattooed, tough-guy image, Charles is a warm, loving man with a great rock-and-roll spirit.

In on Dec. 11, December, 2008, less than a year after the novel was published, Charles and wife Diana Colbert had a lovely daughter, Lily.

In July 2009, Diana was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia. By November 2009, she had a bone-marrow transplant. Diana was hopeful and positive in posts on her Facebook page. But a few months ago, the disease returned. Continue reading

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.

Nellie McKay vs. Christmas trees

A trippy light show for a trippy artist: Nellie McKay and her quintet at New York's Highline Ballroom. (Photos copyright 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

Nellie McKay never disappoints. She did a spirited show at the Highline Ballroom on Saturday night, Dec. 11 with a full band that was as sharp, charming  and entertaining as any Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? has seen.

Quirkiness is big part of Nellie’s shtick, but sometimes it hinders enjoyment of her amazing ability to interpret timeless pop songs and make important points with her own tunes. But at times, especially in her solo shows, Nellie’s seemingly absent-mindedness can overwhelm the show a bit.

Nellie McKay and her band.

At the Highline she was organized, focused and well-rehearsed. While there were a couple of false starts, there were no long, awkward pauses while she tried to remember the next song, or find a battered cheat sheet in her homemade fakebook. It was clearly a benefit of working with a band. With bass, guitar, drums, trumpet and trombone all depending on her for cues, there was less room for stumbling.

Nellie McKay duets with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Nellie never pulls punches when addressing things that are important to her: the environment, animal rights, the horrors of fur. But even when she goes a bit too far, she never loses her charm. She performed an anti-Christmas Tree song, with lines like “please don’t chop another Christmas Tree” and “please don’t ax another evergreen.”  Okay, I can see the moral problems with Christmas Tree production and reasons not to support that system, but she lost me with the line “please don’t kill another living thing.” I don’t want to get political about it, but something has to die for every meal — even a vegetarian or vegan repast.

Click through to the jump for more photos and details.

Vince Giordano joins Nellie McKay.

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New Music Bake Sale: Music, Conversation, Beer and, yes, actual baked goods!

Arturo en el Barco's Bake Sale table featured cupcakes and particularly tasty flan de queso. (Photos copyright 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

The 2nd Annual New Music Bake Sale took over the decrepitly beautiful Irondale Center’s space in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, on Saturday, Sept. 25 for more than six hours.

The concept was pretty simple: Bring together a bunch of people who make new music — performers, producers, record companies and the like — in a place where they can make music, talk about music, drink beer and sell sweet and savory baked goods to raise money for their efforts.

Kathleen Supové at her Bake Sale table.

We don’t know how successful the financial part of the evening was, but the place was constantly full of people and activity throughout the event. We sampled the food, beer and music and found it excellent — especially the Sixpoint Sweet Action!

Many of our favorite New Music folks were there throughout the evening, including, but hardly limited to, Todd Reynolds, Matt Marks, Mellissa Hughes, Courtney Orlando, Ken Thomson, Jessica Schmitz, Ted Hearne, David T. Little, Steven Swartz, Glenn Cornett, Franz Nicolay, Caleb Burhans, Kathleen Supové and Oscar Bettison.

Todd Reynolds and Ken Thomson perform Ken's "Storm Drain."

We can hardly wait for next year’s event.

But enough words. Let’s get to the images. Click through to the jump for more photos. Continue reading