(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – Vocalist and looping artist Julia Easterlin comes to MASS MoCA on July 14, 2012, at 8 pm, merging composition, production, and performance in one fell swoop. One part siren and one part technology enthusiast, she uses a looping machine to build a live chorus on stage. For her concert at MASS MoCA, Easterlin will perform with her new band, enhancing her already-rich sounds with two drummers and a bassist. Her unique sound has gained her performances at Lollapalooza, SXSW, MIDEM, CMJ, and the TEDxWomen Conference.
Combining electronic and acoustic textures with the musical roots of her classical and jazz training, Easterlin composes and performs with the assistance of a loop machine, recording and maintaining up to 20 different loops over the course of one song. Easterlin thinks of her music as a work of visual art: “I visualize a song as a series of colors and shapes. Each sound I make has a corresponding shape, and the song form is represented by a pattern of all the shapes moving together. What I see in my head over the course of a song looks like a scrolling quilt or a painting that moves.”
(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – Berkshire Museum will present an innovative exhibition, Rethink! American Indian Art, featuring both striking contemporary art and important historic art objects, on view from July 7, 2012, to January 6, 2013. An opening reception will be held Thursday, July 12, 2012, from 5 to 7 p.m. and a Family Day of programs and activities will take place on Saturday, July 14.
The exhibition will feature contemporary works of art in a range of media and techniques, from video installations, contemporary basketry, and beadwork to ceramics, sculpture, and glass, by accomplished artists Marcus Amerman, Jeremy Frey, Teri Greeves, Diego Romero, Preston Singletary, and Bently Spang.
The exhibition also will include historic Native American art objects from Berkshire Museum’s permanent collections. Rethink! is co-curated by art historian Margaret Archuleta and Berkshire Museum’s director of interpretation Maria Mingalone and collections manager/registrar Leanne Hayden.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Fronting his small rock combo, the Mission Express, rock singer-songwriter Chuck Prophet – America’s answer to Ray Davies – returns to Club Helsinki Hudson this Friday, July 13, 2012, at 9 p.m. One of rock ‘n’ roll’s best-kept secrets, Prophet has become a favorite of Helsinki audiences who have been enjoying his distinctive blend that connects the dots between Johnny Cash rockabilly, 1960s garage-rock, Bob Dylan and The Band, Southern rock and Southern gothic pop, ‘70s soul and Blaxploitation funk, and a host of other influences, for years of shows dating back to the club’s early days in Great Barrington, Mass.
Nobody harnesses the distinctive sound of a Fender Telecaster quite like Chuck Prophet, and, as the opening chords of ‘Play That Song Again’ ring out with an undeniable twang, Prophet starts his new album, Temple Beautiful. His most focused and concise work in years; Prophet’s twelfth studio album is ultimately an open love letter to San Francisco.
(AMHERST, Mass.) – The Grammy Award-winning Klezmatics and Yiddish/hip-hop superstar Socalled headline YIDSTOCK: The Festival of New Yiddish Music, at the Yiddish Book Center the weekend of July 14-15, 2012. The five-day event, which begins on July 11 and also features performances by Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Allstars with vocalist Eleanor Reissa, the Michael Winograd Trio, a klezmer brunch with the Brian Bender Duo, a film festival, a klezmer workshop, and a multimedia presentation by music critic and Yidstock curator Seth Rogovoy, also features the world premiere of the new ensemble, Hankus Netsky & Hebrew National Salvage, led by the founder and director of the Klezmer Conservatory Band and featuring longtime KCB clarinetist Ilene Stahl.
(LENOX, Mass.) – In a star-studded event featuring some of Tanglewood’s most distinguished and longtime guests, the BSO, Boston Pops, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, and Tanglewood Festival Chorus join forces with conductors John Williams, Keith Lockhart, and Andris Nelsons, guest artists including Anne-Sophie Mutter, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianists Emanuel Ax and Peter Serkin, James Taylor, and vocal soloists on Saturday, July 14, 2012, for Tanglewood’s 75th Anniversary Celebration. The festive program will include Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, music from Leonard Bernstein’s On the Town, Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, Ravel’s La valse, and more.
Eminent violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, who opened the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 2011–12 season in the dual role of soloist and conductor in the five Mozart violin concertos, rejoins the orchestra on Friday, July 13, 2012, at Tanglewood for the composer’s Second, Third, and Fifth concertos.
(NEW LEBANON, N.Y.) – Violinist Paul Huang, the first recipient of the Tannery Pond Concerts Performance Award, an honor bestowed upon select winners of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions by Tannery Pond’s artistic director Christian Steiner, will perform a recital of works by Beethoven, Saint-Saens, Ysaÿe, Messiaen, Ravel, Debussy and Waxman with pianist Jessica Osborne on July 14, 2012, at 8pm, at The Tannery at Darrow School.
(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – Susie Essman of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm stars as Elaine Navazio in Neil Simon’s Last of the Red Hot Lovers at Williamstown Theatre Festival, running on the Nikos Stage from July 11 through July 22, 2012. Also in the production, directed by Jessica Stone (WTF’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), are Brooks Ashmanskas as Barney Cashman, Leslie Bibb (Iron Man) in the role of Bobbi Michele, and Obie Award winner Heidi Schreck (How the World Began, Circle Mirror Transformation) as Jeanette Fisher.
Barney Cashman is a middle-aged restaurant manager who has a very nice married existence. But he’s tired of existing; he wants to live — before it’s too late. Maybe one afternoon of passion could be so exhilarating, so vivid, that the memory alone would sate his desire for more. Three women, three afternoons, three shots at living in Technicolor, in this 1969 comedy, the original cast of which included James Coco (later replaced by Dom DeLuise) and Linda Lavin.
(LENOX, Mass.) – An artist’s reception will be held on Wednesday, July 11, 2012, from 11am to 5 p.m., for “Nature’s Silent Events,” featuring paintings by Kathryn Winstanley of Lenox and Kristin Emerson of Concord, Mass., at the Welles Gallery at the Lenox Library. The free exhibition, featuring watercolors, photography, and oil paintings, will be on display to the public Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., through July 28.
Winstanley explains that “Nature’s Silent Events” captures the moments that escape our notice in the bustle of everyday life. Both artists hail from Concord, Mass., and often reunite in Berkshire County with a shared appreciation for nature’s quiet power.
“I see beauty in the fact that only I bear witness to these moments, and may then go paint them,” says Winstanley, who often visits the banks of the Housatonic River in Lenox to draw inspiration. “For me, they are both solitary and magnificent.”
(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – The Friars Club Comedy Festival at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Sunday, July 15, 2012, at 7pm, will pay tribute to scheduled host Freddie Roman, who had to withdraw from the performance due to illness. The show will go on in Roman’s honor, with his long-time friend, Stewie Stone, the ‘Prior of the Friars,’ hosting a slate of on-the-rise stand-up comics who are carrying on the Catskills comedy tradition. In addition to Stone, the evening will feature comics Michele Balan, Tom Cotter, Cory Kahaney, and Dave Konig.
(BECKET, Mass.) – Erin McKeown, Mike and Ruthy, the Sweetback Sisters and Railbird headline Nouveau Revue 3, the third annual weekend festival of new, emerging and established music from the Berkshire region and beyond, at Dream Away Lodge from Thursday, July 12, 2012, through Sunday, July 15, 2012. Also featured at this year’s outdoor festival with limited camping by advance reservation are Joe Fletcher, Richard Buckner, Namoli Brennet, and Heather Maloney. There is no admission fee for the festival; attendees are expected, however, to pay what they can to support the musicians.