MASS MoCA & Its Love For Contradictions

Yes. Here at MASS MoCA we are literally built on contradictions. I mean…Come on people, we are a contemporary art museum that used to be an old factory!

…And we have quite possibly the ONLY exhibition in the world that combines elements of North Adams, MA with Jamaica.

On Saturday, April 23, MASS MoCA will be housing yet another contradiction!

Ladies and gents, we are here to introduce to you: THE SHANGHAI RESTORATION PROJECT!

TSRP mixes traditional Chinese instruments with hip-hop and electronic music for an exhilarating juxtaposition. TSRP blends musical elements from the East and West.

Supplying its audiences with danceable, evocative, traditional, and innovative compilations TSRP’s music will accompany a virtual tour of the Shanghai created by some of the best existing filmmakers.

The Shanghai Restoration Project combines a number of different sounds such as classical piano and Chinese instruments, echoes of children playing, the noises of building houses, and impressive synth-work while exploring mixed-media using song and film. Join us in Club-B10 to discover new music and hear something DIFFERENT!

Click here to listen to a song by TSRP!

The Shanghai Restoration Project will perform on April 23 at 8pm. Tickets for the performance are $12 in advance and $16 day of show. Student tickets are $10. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office from 11 A.M. to 5 P.M.

Posted April 21, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under Alternative Cabaret, BLOG, The Shanghai Restoration Project
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MASS MoCA would like to thank…

It was a pretty exciting weekend here at MASS MoCA. As most of you know, Iron & Wine rocked down the house in a SOLD OUT performance in the Hunter Center.

If you missed The Low Anthem’s SOLD OUT performance in March, hopefully you were able to see them open the show. (The Low Anthem is currently on tour with Iron & Wine.)

MASS MoCA would like to take this oppurnity to send another “Thank You” to our amazing volunteers. On Saturday, we held a ceremony with flowers, cookies, and lemonade to express our gratitude to our hard-working volunteers.

Our volunteers assist with every live event at MASS MoCA, help with giant mailing shipments, and always offer a friendly smile.

Don’t these cookies make you want to be a volunteer??

Let’s review.

Thank you to:

  • Iron & Wine
  • The Low Anthem
  • MASS MoCA volunteers
  • and Miss Danelle Cheney for the photos!

And don’t forget to visit our galleries to see Sub Mirage Lignum and Memery!

Posted April 19, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Iron & Wine, Music, Nari Ward: Sub Mirage Lignum, The Low Anthem
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Whether brother or mother…

Combining two music genres often happens naturally. For example:  Genres such as country and folk or pop and hip hop are practically in the same family.

What are two types of music that are not generally laced together? Reggae and polka? Techno and bluegrass? How about disco and metal?? \m/

This Saturday (March 26th) Tragedy: The All Metal Tribute to the Bee Gees will bring the house down at MASS MoCA!

Tragedy was formed by four brothers in 2007. Since then they have been delivering quality Bee Gees metalization services! Tragedy embraces farcical elements from disco and metal, but there are additional parallels with the two genres.

Metal Music

-Began emerging in the 1960’s

-Critically detested

-Roots in psychedelic rock

-Male musicians had luscious locks!

-The innovative sounds still influence music to this day.


-Began emerging in the 1960’s

-Critically detested

-Roots in psychedelic rock

-Male musicians had luscious locks!

-The innovative sounds still influence music to this day.

Don’t miss the opportunity to witness these guys pull off this bizarre musical mishmash. Put on your polyester pants, grab your black eyeliner, and get ready for some SERIOUS entertainment!

Click here for more info and tickets.

While you’re at it: Check out these videos from Tragedy, Beatallica, and Mini Kiss.

Posted March 21, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under Alternative Cabaret, BLOG, Music, Tragedy: The All Metal Tribute to the Bee Gees
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Highs and Lows at MASS MoCA

MASS MoCA had a fantastic weekend with the High School Art Show and a SOLD OUT performance of the Low Anthem with Daniel Lefkowitz!

The High School Art Show included photos, ceramics, drawings, paintings, and sculptures by talented high school artists from Buxton School, Drury High, Pine Cobble School, Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School, and Mount Greylock Regional School District. The young artists’ works were displayed in MASS MoCA’s galleries for one night. The event was attended by over 150 people.

Buxton School student, Zhong Wei’s series of photographs was the cause of much attention at the exhibit. The layering of pieces of paper to create one large image was an “accident” said Zhong. He said he intended to continue the exploration of this technique and incorporate it into his style. “This is good for a first one,” said Zhong. It was inspiring to talk to Zhong, he was happy with his work, but was determined to improve his technique; a sign of a very promising artist.

Baxter Koziol entered his painting, Pingmeidgey, into the exhibition. He called himself an “impulsive painter” and when asked if he paints often he responded, “Yeah. Every day for about five hours.”…Woah! Then we asked him which artists inspire him, Koziol responded, “My good friend, Papsouleye Fall, he’s right over there,” and pointed to a fellow classmate who was walking around the exhibition with headphones in his ears.

Fall and Koziol find encouragement from each other by discussing art and sometimes collaborating (both students are from Buxton School). Fall, another gifted artist included his painting The Boxer which showed obvious inspiration from Van Gogh. Fall said his paintings were usually violent and were used as outlet for aggression, instead of scrapping (he said he’s never been in a fight!)

Sarah “Two” Kelly from Mount Greylock entered a printmaking piece titled, Nietzche. She used newspaper, magazine clippings, and soft-cut linoleum to create her print. Two describes herself as “crafty” and says she’s always been “artsy”.

The ceremony was followed with delicious snacks from Lickety Split! Mmmmmm. Lickety Split provided us with pizza bites, cheese quesadillas and guacamole, pasta, brownies, coffee, lemonade, cider, and many more treats!

And just when you thought the night was over- Rebel Alliance- a local high school band – erupted with truly impressive tunes. The band had an indie, reggae, rock, soul vibe that was FAR beyond their years. Students, parents, (and myself) couldn’t help but dance to the perfect nightcap.

Cortney Tunis, MASS MoCA Educational Coordinator, was “thrilled” with the result of the show and said some of the pieces will be featured at the Eclipse Mill! Congratulations to EVERY student who participated and thanks for everyone’s support! You really exceeded all of our expectations at MASS MoCA!

Speaking of expectations being exceeded…How about the Low Anthem?!? As soon as we saw band member, Jocie Adams, walk on stage with a clarinet, we knew we were in for a great show. The four band members immediately gathered around a microphone with an acoustic guitar and bleed out a beautiful harmony. A completely sold out house watched and listened intently, not missing a beat.

The band opened with radiating slow tunes and eventually worked up to a surprisingly intense, almost “head-banging” sound which left the audience ROARING and HOLLERING! Basically, the Low Anthem sounds like music that blasts from your great-uncles pick-up truck that makes you think, “I wish they still made music like that.”

The best aspect of the Low Anthem is the honest quality of their performance. They are TRUE musicians. Every band member played at least four instruments throughout the course of the performance (which included obscure instruments such as musical saws, pump organs, and hammered dulcimers) and emitting complex harmonies that cannot be fabricated.

The band graced the audience with an encore after the audience exploded with a standing ovation. The Low Anthem closed with their popular song “Charlie Darwin”. After the show, audiences rushed to the Low Anthem’s merchandise to get items screen-printed right in MASS MoCA’s lobby!

The Low Anthem brought warmth and serenity to the cold evening.  Cracking jokes with the audience, inviting old friend/former band member/opener Daniel Lefkowitz to jam with them, and exchanging smiles with each other led to a truly intimate performance that will be difficult to forget.

This blog is longer than usual, but that is because we were so impressed and elated with the talent that passed through MASS MoCA last weekend. Thank you to everyone who made it possible (including Miss Danelle Cheney for the photos!)

Posted March 8, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under Alternative Cabaret, BLOG, High School Art Show, The Low Anthem
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How to: Curate a Rory Scovel Comedy Show!

Step 1: Get a job

Thanks to the Tin Man Fund, Charles Jabour, a graduate from Eastern Michigan University, was hired for a year long internship in the performing arts administration and programming department at MASS MoCA.

(Picture by: girlingreendress)

Step 2: Get a job that lets you curate an event

As a part of the internship – Charlie began working with Rachel Chanoff, performing arts curator at MASS MoCA. In the course of this partnership he would eventually organize his own event at MASS MoCA. The event was set to take place on February 5. Now the question is…Out of all the types of performances-which one would you like to curate?

Step 3: Pick which type of performance you would like to curate

Charlie originally wanted to stick to his roots and curate a theater event.

(Eastern Michigan University production of Treasure Island…[you can spot Charlie in the blond wig on the left! hehe])

Charlie has written, directed, organized, and performed in numerous theatrical productions throughout his life but he felt the Alt-Cabaret series and the Club B-10 space was an ideal setting for a stand up comedian. NOW the question is…Out of all the comedians-which one do you choose?

Step 4: Choose a comedian

Some of you may be aware, but originally Kumail Nanjiani was the comedian Charlie chose for the Alt-Cabaret series. He was recommended to MASS MoCA by comedian Eugene Mirman. Charlie began researching Kumail and booked him because he was so funny…SO funny in fact: that he got an offer to be on Comedy Central and had to cancel his MASS MoCA gig (we totally understand, Kumail!). So NOW the question is…What OTHER comedian do you choose?

Step 5: Choose another comedian

Luckily, Kumail’s people recommended another hilarious comedian to Charlie.

Ladies and Gentlemen….RORY SCOVEL!

(That’s Rory)

“It’s amazing we have comedians who are so cool with giving each other work,” said Charlie. He feels Rory is great fit for the MASS MoCA and the Alt-Cabaret series.

Rory has a clever sense of humor, “It’s like talking to your really funny friend at the bar,” Charlie said.

Charlie also traveled to Albany and booked the Albany-based comic, Matt Kelly, to open the show along with the Williams College Improv Troupe, Combo Za!

And finally… You have to ask yourself: How do you get people to come to the event you curated?

Step 6: Promote your event!

A good idea is to ask your friend to write a witty blog about your event (hence the witty blog).

(That’s Charlie and Me at the Bhangra Funk Dance Party!)

We’ve also hung about 100 posters, put fliers in pizza boxes, posted videos on facebook, etc. And so we ask you…What are you doing this Saturday at 8pm? Coming to see the stand-up comedian, Rory Scovel, at MASS MoCA?…That’s what we thought!


Check out the Rory Scovel facebook event for more information on the comedians that will be performing at MASS MoCA!

In the meantime…click here to watch this great clip with RORY!

Posted February 4, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Interns, Rory Scovel, Staff
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We’ll drink to that!


To enhance your summer Alt Cab experience — indoors or out — we’ve concocted a menu of specialty cocktails in conjunction with the shows this summer. You can get a drink (and dinner and snacks from Lickety Split) before and during all Alt Cabs and the galleries are open until 7:30.

Saturday, June 26, at 8PM its Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey paired with Razz A Ma Jazz (raspberry vodka and Sprite) to accompany the quartet’s “intensely improvisatory [sound], which embraces Beatles covers, free jazz and just about everything in between.” — Village Voice.

On Saturday, July 10, comedian Dave Hill offers an evening of comedy, storytelling, and louche mischief while the MASS MoCA bar pours Read the rest of this entry »

Posted June 21, 2010 by MASS MoCA
Filed under Alternative Cabaret, BLOG
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