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Stamping Contraption Brings Attention to Cause
By Tammy Daniels On: 06:43PM / Saturday June 22, 2013
The Stamp Machine at Mass MoCA; left, stamps you can mark your own bills with.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Finding a cause at Solid Sound Festival isn't hard.

Scattered amongst the music are biodegradable cardboard water boxes, booths to remind you to register to vote and write your congressman, containers for recylcing and table urging the return of passenger rail to New York.

The most unusual — dare we say magical — is the Rube Goldberg-like money stamping machine in the courtyard at Mass MoCA, accessible to anyone.

The brainchild of Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry fame, the machine stamps a message on any bill you put in it: "Stamp money out of politics" or "The system isn't broken it's fixed."

The target of the Stamp Mobile is the 2010 Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court that opened the floodgates to corporate and other election donations.

"The whole point is getting the message out," said Aaron Rubin of New York, who has been driving the contraption around since heading north from Miami in February. "You stamp the bill but you have to spend it."

One bill will circulate through 850 hands in about 2 1/2 years, said Rubin. "If people stamped 100 bills, that's 850,000 people."

The Stamp Machine takes the bill on a ride through hoops and loops — setting off a presumed politician to spew money from his mouth — before it finally arrives at the actual stamp. If you don't want to wait that long, you can buy your own stamp to take home at what Rubin says is cost, $10. More than 7,500 have been sold.

Rubin said the tide is turning. More than a dozen states have taken a stand against Citizens United and he's sure that New Hampshire will be next. In the meantime, he's off to Union Station in New York for a press rollout, then western Michigan, back to Vermont and then off to the West Coast.

MSNBC was scheduled to do an interview with Cohen (who's enjoying Solid Sound this weekend) on Sunday morning at MoCA for the "The Ed Show."

"We're going to keep doing it until works ... and it will work," Rubin said.

Wilco Offering 1,000 Tickets to Mass MoCA Benefit
Staff Reports On: 09:23AM / Tuesday April 10, 2012
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Those having a Wilco withdrawal because of the absence of Solid Sound Festival this year have a chance to catch them in a benefit performance on Tuesday, July 31.

The band returns to the Hunter Center at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the nonprofit museum. Tickets will be sold by a "name your price" auction and a lottery.

Capacity is capped at 1,000, with general admission and a standing-room only configuration. The benefit is courtesy of Wilco, with additional support from Higher Ground Presents.

"On a different and more intimate scale than Wilco's other New England appearances, this will be a rare opportunity to feel Wilco's 'whole love' up close," said Mass MoCA Director Joseph Thompson. "The museum galleries will be open until 30 minutes before the performance that evening for those who want to take in some art as part of their visit."

The first 500 tickets will be sold to bidders who make the highest offers at over a 2 1/2 day period that begins at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 13, and runs through 10 a.m. on Monday, April 16.

To maximize the chance of getting tickets — and also support Mass MoCA — bidders are being encourged to make the highest offer they can. Those whose bids are not among the top 500 will still have a chance to score tickets to this performance when their bid is placed into a random lottery. Bidders drawn from a hat will be offered the opportunity to purchase a pair of tickets at the price named on their bid form.

"It's an experiment, which we hope proves to be more civilized, more fair, and more fun than the standard mode of ticket sales," said Thompson, "And we hope it brings Mass MoCA the strong charitable support which is at the heart of this special evening."

Wilco has been curating the popular Solid Sound Festival at the museum, which includes music, comedy, art and culture. The two festivals so far have drawn upwards of 5,000 to the three-day events but the planned annual event was put off until next year because of scheduling.

The main draw has been Wilco, which has performanced at least twice at each festival and whose members have participated in workshops and demonstrations throughout the festival weekends. The festival returns to Mass MoCA on June 21, 2013.

Wilco's latest album, the Grammy-nominated "The Whole Love" is out now on the band's own dBpm Records.

Solid Sound Discount for 01247
By: Staff Reports On: 10:58AM / Friday June 03, 2011

If you live in North Adams and love music, you're in luck! 

The Solid Sound Festival is offering a one-day ticket special of $30 for Sunday, June 26, just for city residents. That's a 55 percent discount over the regular $65 one-day admission.

"In addition to loving the music, many of last year's festivalgoers commented on the town, how helpful and gracious the businesses, officials, and residents were. We are grateful to the city for being so welcoming to the band and visitors and wanted to extend this special offer as a way of saying thanks," said Tony Margherita, Wilco's manager.

Headlining Sunday's show will be Levon Helm and his Rambling Band playing in Joe's Field on the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art campus at 4:30 p.m. Other performances on Sunday include Darin Gray, Glenn Kotche solo set, JC Brooks and The Uptown Sound, Pronto, the Autumn Defense and Pillow Wand (Nels Cline/Thurston Moore duo). For kids, The Story Pirates will perform from noon to one, there will be a live falconry demonstration with Chris Davis of New England Falconry throughout the day, and a community yoga class offered under the upside-down trees (or inside in case of rain) from 10 to 11 a.m.

The discounted tickets must be purchased in advance in person at the Mass MoCA box office from 11 to 5. Residents must present proof of residency with a valid driver's license or utility bill with the 01247 ZIP code (hmm, does that mean Clarksburg and Florida residents get in, too?). Discount resident tickets will only be available until Thursday, June 23, at 5 p.m. They will NOT be available at the door.

Solid Sound takes place June 24 to June 26 at Mass MoCA and features two headlining concerts by Wilco, plus 18 bands including Helm, Moore, Syl Johnston, Dave Douglas, Neil Finn, Liam Finn, Jamie Lidell, Wilco side projects, special pop-up performances and more. Full three-day festival passes are still available for $124.50. Complete daily schedules and additional information are available through

Tags: tickets      
Like Wilco's Album & Get Solid Sound Discount
By: Staff Reports On: 05:17PM / Wednesday May 11, 2011

We caught this on the Mass MoCA Facebook page on Wedneday, May 11.

The early "worm" (not bird!) tickets were sold out weeks ago at $99.50 a pop.

A pretty good price considering the tickets give admission to all three days of the festival and the biggest contemporary art museum in the United States.

(You should see the stuff they have in there.)

Regular tickets are listed at $124.50 on the Mass MoCA website but if you follow the (way too many) links through to purchase the tickets, they're at $116. Not sure what that's all about.

Anyway, if you haven't got your tickets yet you can save a few more bucks if you get your friends and their friends, etc., to LIKE like crazy on the Wilco Spring 2011 Tour Photos. You've got until 5 p.m. on May 12 at 5 p.m. We were LIKE No. 349.

Tags: tickets      
Wilco To Debut New Single At MoCA
By: Staff Reports On: 07:56PM / Friday April 22, 2011

Solid Sound and Wilco return to Mass MoCA on the weekend of June 24. According to the festival's website, all the early bird and return tickets have been sold out. All that's remaining is the $124.50 three-day pass.

The event is expected to bring upwards of 5,000 concertgoers to the city and surrounding area. We'll try to update with tidbits and whatnot that we come across as the date approaches.

That includes news that Wilco will release a single — on vinyl — at the festival.

Jambands reports the self-released 7-inch will have the new "I Might" on the A side and a cover of Nick Lowe's "I Love My Label" on the B side. The record premieres at Mass MoCA before it's released to the world.

Along with the musicians and comedians will be a micropower radio station, WTNG.  A post on Radio Survivor describes the station as "a laptop and microphone driving a mixer, PA and small transmitter." The microstation was part of a pop-up record store in Chicago's Wicker Park. The man who set up the station, Michael, told Radio Survivor he was planning to join the festival in June. 

Tags: premiere, radio      
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Solid Sound Festival curated by Wilco at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art runs Friday through Sunday, June 26-28.

We're keeping this blog to let you know who's here, where to go, what's happening, the best places to eat and other things of interest to both residents and concertgoers.

Important Links:

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June 2015 (4)
Money Politics Premiere Downtown Wilco Benefit Causes Cultural Economy Noel Field Music Festival Events Radio Solid Sound Festival Solid Ground Tickets Album
Popular Entries:
Wilco Offering 1,000 Tickets to Mass MoCA Benefit
Solid Sound Solid Success
Wilco Finds Berkshires Home Away From Home
Solid Sound Festival Takes Year Off
Solid Ground Filling Up
Solid Sound Discount for 01247
Wilco To Debut New Single At MoCA
Solid Sound Success Leaves Impression
'Solid Ground' Gets Greenlight
Like Wilco's Album & Get Solid Sound Discount
Recent Entries:
Solid Sound Welcomes Newcomers & Festival Veterans
Solid Sound Brings Heavy Traffic To The City
Solid Sound Filling Up 'Pop-Up' Campgrounds
Solid Sound Opens Friday at Mass MoCA
Solid Sound Festival Skipping 2014, Will Return in 2015
Solid Sound Success Leaves Impression
Stamping Contraption Brings Attention to Cause
Thousands Flock to North Adams for Solid Sound
Wilco Arrives at Mass MoCA
Area Residents Encouraged Downtown for Solid Sound Weekend

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