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MoCA Director: No Reason Not to Bring Wilco Back
By: Staff Reports On: 02:50AM / Monday August 16, 2010

iBerkshires caught up with Mass MoCA Executive Director Joseph Thompson on Sunday afternoon while he was watching Jeff Tweedy's solo performance at Joe's Field:

What were the final attendance totals?

We were just north of 5,000 for the peak [on Saturday], and there's about 3,500 here today [Sunday]. We had some strong crowds.

Did the festival meet your expectations?

It was a beautiful event, and it flowed. The music was lovely, and people moved with great ease through the museum, the galleries, the various outdoor venues. My sense overwhelmingly was that people had a great time. At least I did.

Were you at all surprised by the ages of audience members?

It's a great audience. This is a 30s to 50s crowd, and there were a lots of kids here. There were more strollers in the galleries this weekend than we've had in a long, long time.

Did you find time to enjoy the festival yourself?

I had a great time. I heard most of the music. Much of it was new to me, and I loved it. There were beautiful melodies, close harmonies, walls of sound. ...Great, great dynamic and range, which is what's at the very heart of Wilco.

Anything stand out as your favorite act(s) of the weekend?

I had never heard Mountain Man, and I thought they were lovely. The Books continue to just get more and more precise and beautiful. I had this great moment going from The Autumn Defense, which is kind of alt-country, roots type of music -- out to the Nels Cline Singers, who had these amazing, warped waves and waves of intensity, and just the way it sounded washing over those brick walls. To realize that those guys can somehow play in the same band is just startling and beautiful.

Although diverse in sound, what did the musical acts have in common?

You look for artists who share your mission, your dreams and fears.

Will Wilco and the Solid Sound Festival return next year?

Jeff [Tweedy] and I talked this morning, and we had a hard time coming up with any reasons not to do it.

What would you change or add, if anything, to next year's event?

The beauty of this is Mass MoCA is a great platform, and having a very strong point of view -- in this case, Wilco's point of view -- it's a hard formula to beat. It will be really fun to put together a program and what can go in the galleries.

You know, it's a valuable, expandable idea which is what I think is quite beautiful about it. I love its focus. I'm not a festival-goer because they sometimes they feel to me like a lot of work, just a barrage. They're kind of like variety shows, and I've never been one for variety shows. What I like about this one is that concordant hum that somehow flows through it. That comes from having very smart people and a passionate audience, and Wilco having their hand on the throttle. I'd be loath to mess around with that.

What did the festival bring to North Adams outside the confines of Mass MoCA?

I heard the stories that people were hanging out [Saturday] night. I heard that there was a full spectrum of activity, from The Mohawk to the Holiday Inn Bar, to the bands on the street at 1:30 in the morning. It was kind of a hum [throughout the city], and these things build over time.

Write a comment - 7 Comments       Tags: Joseph Thompson, Solid Sound Festival, Wilco      
Solid Sound Festival Comes to an End
By: Staff Reports On: 06:51PM / Sunday August 15, 2010

Exceptional live music was around every corner Sunday on the third and final day of the Solid Sound Festival at Mass MoCA. The Nels Kline Singers wowed fans with a thrashing set; Avi Buffalo left one satisfied concert-goer exiting the Hunter Center saying, "That's the best guitar playing I've seen this weekend."; and, of course, Jeff Tweedy and Wilco dropped the curtain.

Tweedy played a solo acoustic set at Joe's Field, then invited guest performers to join the stage, including Sir Richard Bishop, The Books' Nick Zammuto, Avi Buffalo, The Baseball Project's Scott McCaughey. The last few tunes were played by all of the members of Wilco, minus drummer Glenn Kotche.

Rain started falling during the last hour of Tweedy's performance, but that didn't keep fans from dancing and clapping along.

MoCA Executive Director Joe Thompson was in attendance during Tweedy's "Plus One" set, so check back later tonight for a full transcript of's interview with Thompson. He said that more than 5,000 fans attended Saturday's festivities, while more than 3,000 came back Sunday.









Write a comment - 1 Comments       Tags: Wilco, Solid Sound Festival, Avi Buffalo      
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Voting Registration Deadlines

:: Preliminary Election: Deadline to register is Wednesday, Sept. 7. (Office open from 8 to 8.)
:: General Election: Deadline to register is Tuesday, Oct. 18

Registration can be completed at the city clerk's office at City Hall.

Absentee ballots are now available at the city clerk's office for the Sept. 27 preliminary city election. Voters may come in between the hours of 8 and 4:30 weekdays. Written reguests for mailed ballots can be sent to City Clerk's Office, 10 Main St., North Adams, MA 01247. Deadline for absentee ballots is Monday, Sept. 26, at noon.

The preliminary election will be held Tuesday, Sept. 27, to narrow the field of three mayoral candidates to two. The general election to select nine city councilors and a mayor will be held Tuesday, Nov. 8.


City Council

Returned Papers
As of 8/9 at 5 p.m.
 Lisa M. Blackmer* Yes
 Michael Bloom Yes
 Keith Bona* Yes
 David Bond* Yes
 Marie Harpin* Yes
 Alan Marden* Yes
 John Barrett Yes
 Eric R. Buddington Yes
 Nancy P. Bullett Yes
 Robert Cardimino Yes
 Catherine Chaput Yes
 Roland G. Gardner  
 Diane M. Gallese-Parsons  Yes
Shane Gaudreau  
 James B. Gyurasz  Yes
 Michael Hernandez  Yes
 Jennifer Breen Kirsch  Yes
Brian L. Flagg  
 Kellie A. Morrison  Yes
 Greg Roach  Yes
 Gail Kolis Sellers  Yes
18 candidates returned papers
 Richard J. Alcombright*  Yes
 Ronald A. Boucher  Yes
 Robert Martelle  Yes
 Preliminary election will eliminate one
 School Committee  
 Mary Lou Accetta* Yes
 Lawrence K. Taft* Yes
 Leonard Giroux Jr.  Yes
 Tara J. Jacobs  Yes
 David Lamarre Yes
McCann School Committee  
 George M. Canales Yes

Polling stations

St. Elizabeth's Parish Center

Ward 1
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Greylock Elementary School

Ward 4

Draft Budget FY2012

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North Adams Audit 2010

North Adams Single Audit 2010

North Adams Management Letters 2010

North Adams School Building Options

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