Tag Archives: Glenn Kotche

Glenn Kotche revisited: Spectaculs in concert with So Percussion

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Glenn Kotche

I have to confess that Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche‘s forays into New Music were beginning to rub me the wrong way.

Maybe it was the Delta faucet commercial that set me on edge. I can’t say for sure.

But it had begun to feel to me that he was trying far too hard to prove that he’s not just the drummer in one of the world’s best rock bands. He seemed to be crying out to be taken seriously as a percussionist with depth and breadth as well as great rock chops.

His most recent serious album, “Adventureland” (Cantaloupe Music, 2014), is well done and pleasant, but for some reason it never really grabbed me. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind to appreciate it.

When I got the opportunity to attend a concert on Saturday in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall the featured some of his work,  I decided to open my ears again.

I’m glad I did. Kotche’s work was a big part of what made the evening a spectacular musical event.

The evening opened with some older work — four selections from his 2011 Drumkit Quartets — performed by So Percussion (Eric Cha-Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski, and Jason Treuting) alone.

So  Percussion clearly had an enormous amount of fun with the compositions. All of them featured a wide array of drums and myriad other percussion. The first, “Drumkit Quartet #50 (Leffinge, Chicago), kicked off with each member of the ensemble playing a hand-cranked siren, while the third, “Drumkit Quartet #51 (Tokyo, Brisbane, Berlin),” featured Japanese rock band Cibo Matto‘s Yuka Honda (who is married to Wilco guitarist Nels Cline) reciting haiku.

It’s no surprise that So  Percussion knew the pieces well, as the ensemble has recorded a “Drumkit Quartets” album due out Feb. 26 on Cantaloupe.

Kotche joined the ensemble for the world premiere of “Migrations,” a Carnegie Hall commission, that testified dramatically to Kotche’s admiration for minimalist composer Steve Reich with rhythms playfully produced on marimbas struck with fingertips and combs.

A hard-driving “Drumkit Quartet #1,” featuring a strobe-like animated film by Patrick Burns, closed the Kotche section of the show in memorable fashion.

The evening also featured a short piece by composer Steven Mackey, “Before It Is Time,” sung by Shara Worden, a performer and composer who works in rock and New Music like Kotche. (She performs in the rock world as My Brightest Diamond), in its New York premiere.

A 45-minute Worden song cycle, “Timeline” — commissioned jointly by Carnegie Hall and the University of Texas at Austin — closed out the evening. Worden sang and, at times played the guitar, a distracting move that took the focus off of the rhythms and interesting tonal qualities of the percussion, which included a mean steel drum number played by Quillen.

 

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Wilco brings ‘Star Wars’ to Port Chester’s Capitol Theatre

 

The Capitol Theatre marquee (© 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

The Capitol Theatre marquee (© 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

I’ve seen Wilco more than just about any other band. I’m not sure why, it just happened. It seems I can’t get enough of them. Thankfully, every tour seems fresh, because this band is tighter and more spectacular every time it blasts out of the gate.

The "Star Wars" cat — or, rather, a reasonable facsimile — awaits the band's arrival onstage Tuesday night at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. (© 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

The “Star Wars” cat — or, rather, a reasonable facsimile — awaits the band’s arrival onstage Tuesday night at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. (© 2016, Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

This tour — which returns to the Capitol Theatre for another sold out show Wednesday, before hitting the far less intimate Kings Theatre in Brooklyn for two more sold-out gigs on Friday and Saturday — rolls out the new “Star Wars” material, like “More,” “Taste the Ceiling,””Random Name Generator,” and the heartbreaking “Where Do I Begin.”

Even so, Wilco’s never a play-the-album band, so there were plenty of favorites from the back catalogue in the show, too.

Photos and setlist on the jump.

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Scenes from Solid Sound: Wilco and friends

Wilco (Nels Cline, Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt and Pat Sansone, from left) on the first night of Solid Sound 2011. (Photos © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? got off to a late start for the 2011 Solid Sound festival in North Adams, Mass. So we missed Purling Hiss, the first band of the weekend, on Friday afternoon, June 24.

Sharon and Neil Finn's Pajama Club.

But we made it to MASS MoCA in the Berkshires in plenty of time to catch the two big shows of the day, Neil and Sharon Finn‘s Pajama Club and the headlining set by Wilco, the band that made the festival happen.

The Pajama Club plays fun, no-worries pop. We didn’t know much about the band before arriving in North Adams, but discovered to our joy that the New Zealand band’s drummer is Alana Skyring, who until the beginning of this year was a member of one of our fave bands The Grates from Australia.

Click through to the jump for more photos and words about Night 1 of Solid Sound. And check back soon for photo and words about the rest of the music festival.

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Solid Sound Festival: Wilco takes over MASS MoCA

Wilco has already begun taking over the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. The three-day Solid Sound Festival, curated by Wilco, starts Friday.

A weekend of music and art, side by side in the Berkshires

If you haven’t made your weekend plans yet, you really should think about heading to the Berkshires for the Solid Sound Festival in North Adams, Mass.

Solid Sound is the band Wilco‘s takeover of the entire complex occupied by the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), a fantastic 19th Century factory complex with an ever-changing lineup of modern art.

Wilco

While the museum is no stranger to hosting music events and other performing arts, the Solid Sound Festival is likely the first event that turns over the entire place — in fact, a good chunk of downtown North Adams, to a single event. As the museum website notes:

Just want to visit the galleries? We recommend you come a different weekend.

We anticipate that more than 5000 people will attend the Wilco Solid Sound Festival August 14 + 15. While the galleries will be open to non-festival goers that weekend, visitors who are looking for a contemplative time in the galleries and easy parking should visit us on a different weekend or arrive as early in the day as possible.

Starting at 8 on Friday night, the complex will be filled with thousands of Wilco fans intent on seeing their favorite band’s only East Coast show of the summer. But this event is special, because Wilco has managed to line up a place where all its side projects and friends’ bands can play too.

If you can’t make it to the festival, or even if you’re there, be sure to check back for updates on Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? and our Twitter feed.

(Festival details and links after the jump.) Continue reading

Tickets for new Wilco indie music and art fest on sale tomorrow

Wilco

Adventurous Chicago-based band Wilco has announced it will curate and headline the new Solid Sound Festival, an independently promoted and ticketed festival of music, art and comedy for three days this summer — Aug. 13-15 — at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in North Adams, Mass. Early-bird tickets ($86.50 including fees and parking) will be available starting at 10 am ET tomorrow on the band’s web site.

Jeff Tweedy, center, and Wilco.

Wilco headlines the weekend, giving its only East Coast performance of the summer. Wilco side projects, including Glenn Kotche‘s On Fillmore, The Nels Cline Singers, The Autumn Defense featuring John Stirratt and Pat Sansone and Mikael Jorgensen‘s Pronto.

The Solid Sound Festival at MASS MoCA also will feature additional musical performances, a comedy stage, interactive installations and exhibits (including the Solid Sound Stompbox Station, an interactive guitar pedal exhibit created and demonstrated by Wilco guitarist Nels Cline, a concert-poster screening demonstration, planned workshops by luthiers and more), plus film, video installations and DJs.

The area is beautiful, with plenty of outdoor activities nearby as well as cultural attractions in Williamstown to the west.

Ticketholders will have full access to the spectacular MASS MoCA campus, which offers 150,000 square feet of galleries. MASS MoCA, a renovated 19th century textile mill, is the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the U.S. Art on display in the galleries during the festival includes the Sol LeWitt Retrospective, Inigo Manglano Ovalleʼs Gravity is a Force to be Reckoned with, Petah Coyneʼs Material World: Sculpture to Environment, Leonard Nimoyʼs Secret Selves and a new installation by Michael Oatman.

Stay tuned to Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? for more details as they become available.

Buy your tickets now, because the price will rise to $99.50 after June 1.