(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Perfectly timed to ride the wave of guitar wash currently being propelled by like-minded indie-rock duo Sleigh Bells, the four-piece Baltimore-based band Lower Dens, previews songs off its upcoming, long-awaited second album, Nootropics, at Club Helsinki on Thursday, March 1, 2012, at 8 p.m.
Fronted by female singer-songwriter Jana Hunter, whose vocals typically lie buried underneath a sea of gauzy guitars in the fashion of Television, Cocteau Twins and Yo La Tengo, the quartet, already a favorite of Stereogum, Pitchfork, and NPR, will release Nootropics (pronounced No-eh-tro-pics), on May 1. The band has released a video for album cut “Brains,” directed by Tristan Patterson
Swathed in an undersea murkiness, the group’s previous album, Twin-Hand Movement, explored the more ethereal side of freak folk, and was released on Devendra Banhart’s label. From its opening moments to its last, however, Nootropics is concerned with texture and timbre: the papery thump of brush on snare, soft subsonic thunderclaps, the glorious clamor of a wall of symphonically stacked electric guitars.
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – On Saturday, March 3, 2012, at 8 p.m., Delicate Steve will bring its indie instrumental jams from New Jersey to MASS MoCA’s Club B-10 as part of the Alt Cabaret series. Delicate Steve is the brainchild of guitarist/composer Steve Marion, who writes moody, sometimes humorous pop-rock symphonies in miniature. Delicate Steve’s debut recording Wondervisions, released on David Byrne’s label, Luaka Bop, consists of a dozen concise, psychedelic, instrumental pop gems dynamically shifting gears. NPR says the band makes “inventive music that can seem precise yet enjoyably ramshackle at the same time.”
(GREAT BARRINGTON and WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors will be screened at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington on Thursday, March 1, 2012, at 7 p.m., and at 2 p.m. at The Clark in Williamstown, as part of the London National Theatre Live in HD series. This new production, directed by the Royal Court’s Artistic Director Dominic Cooke, places the action of the play in a contemporary setting and stars popular UK comedian Lenny Henry making his National Theatre debut, playing Antipholus of Syracuse.
After a long career making people laugh, Lenny Henry made his Shakespearean debut in the title role of the Northern Broadside’s production of Othello, which played in London in 2009 and earned him the 2009 Evening Standard Outstanding Newcomer Award.
In Comedy of Errors, two sets of twins separated at birth collide in the same city without meeting for one crazy day, as multiple mistaken identities lead to confusion on a grand scale. And for no one more so than Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant Dromio who, in search of their brothers, arrive in a land entirely foreign to their distant home. A buzzing metropolis, to the outsiders it appears a place of wonderment and terror, where baffling gifts and unexplained hostilities abound.
(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – Cellist Edward Arron and pianist Jeewon Park will perform works by Chopin, Debussy, Mendelssohn, and Amy Beach at The Clark on Sunday, March 4, 2012, at 3 pm. The program features Chopin’s Polonaise Brillante, Debussy’s Sonata for Cello and Piano, Amy Beach’s Dreaming for Cello and Piano, and Mendelssohn’s Sonata in D Major, Opus 58.
Cellist Edward Arron has garnered recognition worldwide for his elegant musicianship, impassioned performances, and creative programming. The 2012-2013 season will mark Arron’s tenth as the artistic director of the Metropolitan Museum Artists in Concert, a chamber music series created in 2003 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the museum’s prestigious Concerts and Lectures series. He is also the artistic director of the Caramoor Virtuosi, the resident chamber ensemble of the Caramoor International Music Festival.
Praised for her “deeply reflective” playing (Indianapolis Star), Korean-born pianist Jeewon Park is rapidly garnering the attention of audiences for her dazzling technique and poetic lyricism. Park has performed at prominent festivals throughout the world and is regularly invited to collaborate with the members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble.
(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – The Berkshire Symphony will perform Out of the Shadows, a program of works by Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms on Friday, March 2 at 8 p.m. in Chapin Hall on the Williams College campus. The evening will feature New York Philharmonic principal bassoonist Judith LeClair in Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto. The concert is free and is open to the public.
The Bassoon Concerto, K. 191 in B-flat major by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is one of the best known works for that instrument. Written by Mozart when he was eighteen, it is still one of the benchmarks by which bassoonists measure themselves. Accompanying the Berkshire Symphony as a soloist is Judith LeClair, principal bassoonist (The Pels Family Chair) in the New York Philharmonic. Joining that orchestra in 1981, at the age of 23, she has since made more than fifty solo appearances with the orchestra.