PLUS: Music from Winterpills, The Sun Parade, and Wishbone Zoe; the BCRC names Jennifer Crowell new director
This episode contains a double dose of interviews featuring a leader of an arts/culture organization with an ability to see the big picture of the future of the arts in northern Berkshire County. Both women, Jessica Sweeney of the Common Folk Artists Collective, and Jennifer Crowell, of the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, can put their fingers on how the arts will fuel various types of regional growth for years to come. We are treated to top-shelf tunes this week, thanks to Winterpills, The Sun Parade, and Wishbone Zoë.
(@3:26) Everyone Should Have Access to Art.
And then maybe grab a burger and a pint
Speaking with Common Folk Artists Collective founder Jessica Sweeney at the Parlor Café filled me with a potent optimism about the growing, productive momentum in North Adams. Listen to the interview to find out why. I really wanted to have some pics here of the artspace upstairs at the Freightyard Pub, 3 Furnace Street, North Adams, but will have to update the post later. I can’t really think of a better way to bring art to the people than to install it in a pub. The Common Folk Artists Collective has turned the upstairs space into its gallery through May, so you have plenty of time to get over there to see Jessica’s and her comrades in arts’ vision come to life in a fitting environment. And if the weather ever warms up, mebbe have that pint out on the patio afterwards.
(@19:30) Winterpills — “Echolalia”
Although we featured a Winterpills’ song from their 2012 release, “All My Lovely Goners,” on the “Top Left Corner,” we are elated to give you a chance to listen to this contemplative and swelling rendering of The Beatles, “Cry Baby, Cry,” from the groups latest effort, “Echolalia.”
Northampton veterans of the indie scene, Winterpills defies easy categorization. The best musical ingredients from the 60s right up through to yesterday make their way into the secret sauce, and yet all these tropes merely provide a backdrop to the groups very individual sound.
Tuck into this re-imagining of a “White Album” classic (headphones are recommended), and then slide yourself on over to their website to pick up a CD or an actual vinyl record; or to Bandcamp where you can pick up a digital download.
Then be sure to take a look at their upcoming shows:
APR 30 THU
Winterpills (duo) open for Great Lake Swimmers
(@26:40) New BCRC Director Envisions Integration with North Adams’ Evolution
It had been only a year since Jennifer Crowell left her position as program coordinator at the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC), but when she saw that MCLA was looking for a new BCRC director, she couldn’t resist the pull to return.
At the time, Crowell was Williamstown Theatre Festival’s marketing and development associate, a position she loved. However, “I could not pass up the opportunity to work with the students at MCLA once again. Every time I saw a student that I had worked with, or a MCLA faculty or staff member, I realized how much I missed the community there, and the community of North Adams.”
(@47:05) The Sun Parade — “Heart’s Out”
“The Sun Parade, works in the great American rock tradition, smuggling rogue love and existential urgency into the room on get-happy grooves. Their new EP Heart’s Out delivers on the promise of earlier songwriting with a catalog of love collisions; casual sandwich obsession; and Northern, psychedelic, basement guitar licks. Influences of Afro-pop, Elliott Smith, bluegrass brother harmonies, and four gents from Liverpool.
“Based in Northampton MA since 2011, The Sun Parade has been steadily creating a buzz in New England and a grassroots following of fans across the country. In 2012 The Sun Parade released a full length LP “Yossis” and the single “Need You By My Side”, a regional hit voted the #1 song by WRSI 93.9 The River. In 2014, they released the joyful pop EP “Heart’s Out” and toured the road, including a host of shows with their pals Lake Street Dive.” Click the album art purchase “Heart’s Out” from The Sun Parades Bandcamp page or buy through the Greylock Glass’s affiliate link with Amazon.com.
(@55:10) Wishbone Zoë — “Fossil’s Dream”
NOTE: Some profanity (a few instances of the “F-word”) occur in the song, “Gumbo Jumbo.” The song kicks ass, so we’re playing it anyway.
If you feel that maybe you could use a little help interpreting this dream, don’t worry. You’re probably not alone. But you don’t need to plumb the depths of Saera Kochanski’s subconscious to be fully engrossed in the imagery her songs create in this brandy-new album. “Fossil’s Dream” pushes the boundaries out a bit and offers a hint of what she might be seeking in her evolving exploration of sound.
Beyond her brilliance of the lyrics, the voice of Saera Kochanski will impress you with its seemingly bottom stores of power pushed through a small, precision-machined port. Kochanski does not care if her singing about, thus drawing uncomfortable attention to, the “not-so-okay in the world” makes us squirm. Enjoy the brittle feeling your brain gets after immersing yourself in “Fossil’s Dream.” Then slide yourself on over to Bandcamp where you can pick up a copy of her CD or digital download. And WHILE you’re listening to the album, be sure to spend some time taking in Kochanski’s visual art at her other web site, Sunbeams & Turpentine. No reason your eyes should get away clean.
A Special Note of Thanks…
Thanks so much to FreeSFX for the use of the stock audio of an orchestra tuning up. Check out their offerings at http://www.freesfx.co.uk
Thanks also to Karen Savage, who donated her time and voice to LibriVox, the Free Audiobook collection. The sampled public domain audio is from Beatrice’s monologue in Much Ado About Nothing, Act 4, Scene 1.