Monroe music – Monroe Swifts http://monroeswifts.org/ Thu, 30 Jun 2022 13:07:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://monroeswifts.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/profile.png Monroe music – Monroe Swifts http://monroeswifts.org/ 32 32 Bluegrass legend Roland White always puts the music first | Books https://monroeswifts.org/bluegrass-legend-roland-white-always-puts-the-music-first-books/ Thu, 30 Jun 2022 10:00:00 +0000 https://monroeswifts.org/bluegrass-legend-roland-white-always-puts-the-music-first-books/ With Mandolin Man: The Bluegrass Life of Roland Whiteauthor and banjo player Bob Black gives us a book about a musician in which the music resonates – and is never drowned out. That’s because White seems to have been one of those rare legends who always put music first, who treated fellow musicians (including young […]]]>






With Mandolin Man: The Bluegrass Life of Roland Whiteauthor and banjo player Bob Black gives us a book about a musician in which the music resonates – and is never drowned out.

That’s because White seems to have been one of those rare legends who always put music first, who treated fellow musicians (including young people in need of a mentor) with respect, and who never are never much concerned with fame or fortune.

“He lived to play music,” Black writes. “It was his passion. Recognition didn’t matter; his ego could handle that.

But make no mistake, White was a legend – a player of uncommon ability and feel who embraced traditional bluegrass, with Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys and Lester Flatt’s Nashville Grass, and also took the music to new and adventurous places with The Kentucky Colonels, Country Gazette, The Nashville Bluegrass Band and his own band. He was loved, especially by those he had befriended early in their careers, such as Marty Stuart and Jim Lauderdale. He was deeply influential, even if the average music fan didn’t know his name.

Consider: when White died on April 1 at the age of 83, The New York TimesA 1,100-word obituary hailed him as “a mandolin player and vocalist who helped shape major developments in bluegrass and country-rock over a seven-decade career.” Credit Black, a former member of the Monroe Blue Grass Boys who also played with Ricky Skaggs and Ralph Stanley, for acknowledging White as worthy of a full biography. He has done painstaking work to capture this song-filled life.

If you’re tired of musical biographies where the art gets lost amidst egos, feuds, drugs, and other trappings of fame, this one’s for you. Roland White is your man.

At age 6, he was trying to play chords on the family guitar, accompanying his violinist father, Eric. The young Roland also tried the violin – it “squeaked and creaked”, Black tells us, but his father encouraged him to keep trying. Then, one day, his father arrived with a new instrument:

Roland asked his father, “How did you learn to play it so quickly?”

“Well, it’s tuned like my violin,” his father replied. “It has frets and you play it with a pick.” He played another piece, then said, “Here, it’s your turn,” handing the mandolin to Roland before walking away.

At age 8, White was helping his mother, Mildred, in the kitchen, listening to country music on the radio and telling her that’s what he wanted to do one day – sing on the radio. Just as his father encouraged him through those youthful squeals and cries, so did his mother. Train hard, she told her son, and you’ll get there.

Those early scenes — portraits of the picker as a young tyke — show how determined White was already to achieve his dream. A family band formed, playing for free at Grange Hall functions and other gatherings. “Shortly”, writes Black, “Roland began to insist on having band rehearsals every day.”

A child’s dreams can be as fleeting as they are frivolous. But not White’s. By age 16, the family having moved from Maine to California, he was playing in a band called Three Little Country Boys with his brothers Clarence and Eric Jr. He had also joined the Musicians Union and opened a savings account at the Bank of America. . There were group outfits to buy and travel expenses, after all.

It wasn’t long before Roland and his brothers met Bill Monroe, who was touring the West Coast, and invited him to dinner at his house. Further visits followed; Monroe particularly liked the banana bread for dessert, we’re told. And after dinner came the real main course – they played music.

Black recounts it all with care and detail, as the kid with the dream – and the drive to make it happen – developed the chops to join his heroes in the professional ranks. What a career White had – from playing in The Kentucky Colonels with his brother Clarence (a guitar icon and future member of The Byrds who would die at 29, struck by a drunken conductor), to first serving as a sideman for Monroe (on guitar) and then Flatt, to make his own music with solo albums like the highly acclaimed I was not born for rock ‘n roll.

It’s a shame White didn’t live long enough to see the publication of this beautiful biography. But that wasn’t the cheer he was looking for. It’s always been about music, from that day in the kitchen with his mum, listening to the radio and daring to dream, to performing on stages around the world.

You may not know the name. But as a musician, a mentor to others, and a role model for anyone who dreams of playing professionally, Roland White hasn’t played second violin — or mandolin, so to speak — to anyone.

To read an expanded version of this review – and more detailed local book coverage – please visit Chapter16.organ online publication of Humanities Tennessee.


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Interview with Animal Collective’s Deakin: New music, touring and the lingering effects of COVID https://monroeswifts.org/interview-with-animal-collectives-deakin-new-music-touring-and-the-lingering-effects-of-covid/ Mon, 27 Jun 2022 15:38:52 +0000 https://monroeswifts.org/interview-with-animal-collectives-deakin-new-music-touring-and-the-lingering-effects-of-covid/ If the only Animal Collective track you know is the band’s 2009 experimental pop hit “My Girls,” it’s time to do yourself a favor and dig deeper into the quartet’s impressive 22-year body of work. After reuniting in Baltimore, Josh Dibb (Deakin), Noah Lennox (Panda Bear), Brian Weitz (geologist) and Dave Portner (Avey Tare) have […]]]>

If the only Animal Collective track you know is the band’s 2009 experimental pop hit “My Girls,” it’s time to do yourself a favor and dig deeper into the quartet’s impressive 22-year body of work.

After reuniting in Baltimore, Josh Dibb (Deakin), Noah Lennox (Panda Bear), Brian Weitz (geologist) and Dave Portner (Avey Tare) have been consistently churning out music over the past two decades with no signs of slowing down. . While some members have been on various projects and tours, all four have signed up for this latest iteration.

The best part of being an Animal Collective fan is being drawn to the group’s experimental and genre-spanning discography. Each project jumps from the previous one while never sounding the same, making it impossible to choose a favorite.

“I think when you read about us in many newspapers and such, there is one story, and I understand what the story is. It makes sense to me to know what the ark is and what people see as peaks and valleys,” says Dibb. , possibly alluding to publications such as Pitchfork which often date the band’s heyday to its Merriweather Post Pavilion Where Feels period.

“When I actually interact with younger fans and talk to them, I feel like there’s a lot more of this feeling than there’s this vast ocean of material that I feel like that people could swim in and out,” adds Dibb.

There are many ways to dive into AnCo’s music. It might be easier to start with the better-known albums, like 2009’s dreamy and psych-pop Merriweather Post Pavilionchaotic indie piece from 2007 Strawberry jamand the high energy electronic samples and sounds of the 2012s Centipede Hz.

For those wishing to explore Animal Collective’s weirder catalog further, 2004 Sung pliers is a trademark of freak-folk, and the beginnings of the group, the 2000s Spirit they’re gone, spirit they’re gone (originally released as a Panda Bear and Avey Tare project), is a lo-fi experimental acoustic noise album compiled with Panda’s crazy percussion, Avey’s vocals and piano, and high-frequency sounds.

The band’s 11 studio albums are studded with notable EPs such as those from 2005 Prospect Hummer— a collaboration with British folk singer Vashti Bunyan—and 2006’s Fall be nice, which includes the first ever licensed Grateful Dead single in the track “What Would I Want? Sky”.

Exploring other mediums, Animal Collective releases its first audiovisual album, ODDSAC, in 2010, with psychedelic visuals by Danny Perez. The film was screened for the first time in Miami’s closed room, Grand Central.
The band’s second audio-visual album was a collaboration with the duo Colin Foord and Jared “JD” McKay of Coral Morphologic. The two teams (minus Panda Bear) were brought together in 2018 by Borscht Corporation to create “Coral Orgy”, an ambient performance that combines the band’s music with visuals by Coral Morphologic at the New World Center in Miami Beach. The songs from the concert were reworked in the studio and combined with high quality clips of bioluminescent coral filmed by Coral Morphologic to form the album Mandarin Reef.

For further listening, all members of Animal Collective have been working on their own solo projects, such as Dibb’s album sleep cycle, who launched his solo career in 2016. Dibb hopes to have time to finally work on his next project this fall or winter.

“I’ve been writing new songs on and off for three or four years,” he says. “I’m just a slowpoke and haven’t had time to record it.”

Avey Tare, known for his singing style that ranges from soft whispers to guttural screams, tends to slow him down in his solo endeavors, resulting in a darker, stripped-down version of Animal Collective, often themed around landscapes. animals and nature.

Panda Bear is perhaps the band’s best-known solo artist, thanks to the critically acclaimed sample-based album Person location. His last album, The panda bear meets the grim reaperwas co-produced by Pete Kember, aka Sonic Boom of 80s English space-rock band Spacemen 3. The duo plan to collaborate again on Panda Bear’s upcoming album, Reset.

On tour, Geologist often opens for Avey Tare or Panda Bear with an ambient synth set. In 2018 he released an Asheville Masonic Temple live performance titled Living in the Land of Heaven on tape.

Ultimately, there’s no wrong way to start exploring Animal Collective – but be prepared for a strange and long journey.

For fans who have already dug deep into the band’s albums and EPs, Animal Collective is keeping listeners on their toes by playing fresh, never-before-seen material at shows, mixed in with a few of their hits.

“We think about trying to give people things that they’ll be passionate about, but we push people,” says Dibb. “Obviously there’s a version of Animal Collective that would take the stage, and every night they’d be playing ‘Fireworks’, ‘My Girls’ and ‘Brother Sport’. I know we could be that band, and we chose not to be.”

Recalling a 2016 show at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Baltimore (namesake of the band’s illustrious album) to see The Cure and wanting to hear popular tunes like “Pictures of You” and “Boy’s Don’t Cry,” Dibb says, ” I can relate to a fan who’s just like, ‘I wanna hear the song; this is the song i want to hear. But I also feel like for most of my life as a music fan, the musical moments that have moved me the most have been times when I’ve been in a room hearing something that I I’ve never heard before that I don’t understand, and it changes how my ears work.”
Released last February, the band’s latest album, Skiffs of time, was a shift to a new laid-back jam band direction in which Panda Bear, with his usual vocals and harmonies, returns to the drums with a more even beat compared to a wild, erratic style found on earlier records.

The geologist also added the psychedelic stringed instrument known as the hurdy-gurdy, which he can be seen throwing in the video for ‘Prester John’ and during live shows. Dibb, who participates on guitar or synth, also engages more heavily on vocals in boats of time jumping into harmonies with Avey and Panda and leading the track “Royal and Desire”.

“Most of the music was written in 2019, before the pandemic. We wrote about 18 songs, and in January 2020 we were planning to go into the studio and record everything, and when the pandemic happened, we so we had to put everything on hold,” says Dibb. “So boats of time ended up being just a batch of those songs that we felt like we could record remotely because we couldn’t see each other. »

Dibb says the songs that didn’t go into Skiffs of time, plus some more recent additions, will find their way onto a new album or EP next year – this time recorded in the studio.

“We’re kind of audiophile weirdos, so we wanted to record all of this straight to tape, in a very analog way,” he adds. The band worked with Grammy-winning music engineer Russell Elevado, known for his dedication to analog and his work with R&B artist D’Angelo.

“At this point, our focus is on continuing to play these songs, loving them and waiting for this new record to come out,” Dibb said. “I know everyone has given a little bit of thought to solo music as well.”

Dibb also admits to having ongoing health issues after he and Portner caught COVID last month, which led to the cancellation of Animal Collective tour dates in May and June.

“It was the worst case scenario, but I’m really glad we were able to reschedule the dates,” Dibb said.

Along with the rescheduled dates, Animal Collective was also able to add shows in New Orleans and three shows in Florida, including a July 8 stop at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale.

The last time the band performed in South Florida was in 2016 at the Fillmore Miami Beach in support of their tenth studio album, Paint with — a project that Dibb skipped.

Animal collective. 7 p.m. Friday, July 8, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-449-1025; jointherevolution.net. Tickets are $28.50 through ticketmaster.com.



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2nd Annual Pickwick Street Fair will feature live music, local art and food https://monroeswifts.org/2nd-annual-pickwick-street-fair-will-feature-live-music-local-art-and-food/ Fri, 24 Jun 2022 11:01:06 +0000 https://monroeswifts.org/2nd-annual-pickwick-street-fair-will-feature-live-music-local-art-and-food/ Pickwick Place will be full of live music, local artisans and tasty food this weekend for the second annual Pickwick Street Fair. The street fair takes place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Pickwick Avenue between Cherry and Monroe streets, which will be closed to vehicular traffic. Admission to the street fair is […]]]>

Pickwick Place will be full of live music, local artisans and tasty food this weekend for the second annual Pickwick Street Fair.

The street fair takes place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Pickwick Avenue between Cherry and Monroe streets, which will be closed to vehicular traffic. Admission to the street fair is free.

In addition to the businesses and restaurants of Pickwick Place, 50 vendors will line Pickwick Avenue, including clothing designers, painters, photographers, an apothecary and more. Additionally, the Rountree Elementary School People-Teacher Association will host several fundraisers with food and student art.

From 10:30 a.m., people can listen to live music on a band stage on the east side of Pickwick, facing the brick and mortar stores. Throughout the day, four local artists will perform: Steve Ames, Mark Barger, Dallas Jones and The Henderson Kids.



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it’s officially summer at Apex Brewery https://monroeswifts.org/its-officially-summer-at-apex-brewery/ Thu, 23 Jun 2022 19:14:40 +0000 https://monroeswifts.org/its-officially-summer-at-apex-brewery/ Locals flock to Apex Brewery in Monroe, NY for its wide beer selection and welcoming atmosphere – led by owner David Holm’s belief that beer is for everyone. “Someone approached me in the brewery and said ‘It’s really nice to come here because you’ve built this sense of community in your tap room… It’s almost […]]]>

Locals flock to Apex Brewery in Monroe, NY for its wide beer selection and welcoming atmosphere – led by owner David Holm’s belief that beer is for everyone.

“Someone approached me in the brewery and said ‘It’s really nice to come here because you’ve built this sense of community in your tap room… It’s almost like we were invited into your living room to hang out at a house party,” Holm said.

Holm opened Apex in October 2019, but his journey as a beer brewer began at home over 15 years ago.

“I actually built my own three-vessel home brew house, basically a ten-gallon batch size,” Holm said. “I built my own gear…and got a much more accurate setup instead of throwing it in the cooler and hoping for the best.”

Today, Holm has greatly expanded the ten-gallon batches he made at home. Apex – described as “halfway a microbrew from a nanobrew” – prides itself on its variety, from “Quadrobeania”, a Belgian quadruple brewed with coffee, to “Star Pass Pale Ale”, which includes Monroe hops and notes of raspberry, orange, pineapple and passion fruit.

Holm’s favorite draft is “Brewstachestrong,” a citrus IPA created in collaboration with Stache Strong, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds and awareness for brain cancer research.

Live the summer

This summer, the brewery is hosting cornhole tournaments every two weeks, live music on Saturdays, and trivia nights on Sundays. In time, Holm also hopes to organize various charity events.

Here are some of the upcoming brewery events in July:

● Saturday July 2, 6-9 p.m.: Live music by Nina and the Blender Brothers

● Sunday, July 3, from 3 to 5 p.m.: Quiz night hosted by Half Pint, including four rounds with individual prizes for each. The winning team receives a round of beer. Plus, the Cousins ​​Maine Lobster food truck will be on hand.

● Friday July 8, 7-9 p.m.: Live music by Nerd on Guitar

● Saturday July 9, 2-6 p.m.: Cornhole Tournament

● Sunday, July 10, 11am-12pm: Yoga and Brews – a yoga class for all abilities, followed by a round of beer.

Endless variety, endless samples

Apex is one of many local breweries that will be offering unlimited beer samples at the Black Dirt Beer Bash on Saturday, September 10 at the Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center. Discounted early bird tickets are available through July 4 at blackdirtbeer.eventbrite.com.


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it’s officially summer at Apex Brewery https://monroeswifts.org/its-officially-summer-at-apex-brewery-2/ Thu, 23 Jun 2022 19:12:37 +0000 https://monroeswifts.org/its-officially-summer-at-apex-brewery-2/ Locals flock to Apex Brewery in Monroe, NY for its wide beer selection and welcoming atmosphere – led by owner David Holm’s belief that beer is for everyone. “Someone approached me in the brewery and said ‘It’s really nice to come here because you’ve built this sense of community in your tap room… It’s almost […]]]>

Locals flock to Apex Brewery in Monroe, NY for its wide beer selection and welcoming atmosphere – led by owner David Holm’s belief that beer is for everyone.

“Someone approached me in the brewery and said ‘It’s really nice to come here because you’ve built this sense of community in your tap room… It’s almost like we were invited into your living room to hang out at a house party,” Holm said.

Holm opened Apex in October 2019, but his journey as a beer brewer began at home over 15 years ago.

“I actually built my own three-vessel home brew house, basically a ten-gallon batch size,” Holm said. “I built my own gear…and got a much more accurate setup instead of throwing it in the cooler and hoping for the best.”

Today, Holm has greatly expanded the ten-gallon batches he made at home. Apex – described as “halfway a microbrew from a nanobrew” – prides itself on its variety, from “Quadrobeania”, a Belgian quadruple brewed with coffee, to “Star Pass Pale Ale”, which includes Monroe hops and notes of raspberry, orange, pineapple and passion fruit.

Holm’s favorite draft is “Brewstachestrong,” a citrus IPA created in collaboration with Stache Strong, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds and awareness for brain cancer research.

Live the summer

This summer, the brewery is hosting cornhole tournaments every two weeks, live music on Saturdays, and trivia nights on Sundays. In time, Holm also hopes to organize various charity events.

Here are some of the upcoming brewery events in July:

● Saturday July 2, 6-9 p.m.: Live music by Nina and the Blender Brothers

● Sunday, July 3, from 3 to 5 p.m.: Quiz night hosted by Half Pint, including four rounds with individual prizes for each. The winning team receives a round of beer. Plus, the Cousins ​​Maine Lobster food truck will be on hand.

● Friday July 8, 7-9 p.m.: Live music by Nerd on Guitar

● Saturday July 9, 2-6 p.m.: Cornhole Tournament

● Sunday, July 10, 11am-12pm: Yoga and Brews – a yoga class for all abilities, followed by a round of beer.

Endless variety, endless samples

Apex is one of many local breweries that will be offering unlimited beer samples at the Black Dirt Beer Bash on Saturday, September 10 at the Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center. Discounted early bird tickets are available through July 4 at blackdirtbeer.eventbrite.com.


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8 music videos referencing historical events https://monroeswifts.org/8-music-videos-referencing-historical-events/ Thu, 23 Jun 2022 14:30:00 +0000 https://monroeswifts.org/8-music-videos-referencing-historical-events/ From pivotal events like World War II to the rise of groundbreaking celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, history plays a big role in art. The art of music videos can often uplift and entertain fans, but certain bands often hold space to shed light on bigger issues. Whether it’s more of a fun look back at […]]]>

From pivotal events like World War II to the rise of groundbreaking celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, history plays a big role in art. The art of music videos can often uplift and entertain fans, but certain bands often hold space to shed light on bigger issues.

Whether it’s more of a fun look back at history with “We Didn’t Start The Fire” or a warning about rising violence and continuing racism with “This Is America,” songs are a great way to connect deeply with fans and inspire them to take a look back at history to see how far they’ve come or how far they need to go.

VIDEO OF THE DAY

“We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel

Possibly the most reference-packed song ever, it would be nearly impossible to explain all of the cultural scenarios Billy Joel touches on in “We Didn’t Start The Fire.” From celebrities to world wars and even cultural movements, Joel details everything in this historical review of decades past.

Related: 10 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Made Cameos In Music Videos

The clip itself is filled with vintage aesthetics, kids playing pretend with historical figurines, and other diverse cultural references. The world today is about as eclectic as this video shows, making it a very accurate interpretation even today.


“National Anthem” – Lana Del Rey

Knowing Lana Del Rey’s artistry and interest in all things vintage, it’s no wonder she opted for the classic ’60s aesthetic for this music video. From references to Marilyn Monroe‘s classic “Happy Birthday” performance to John F. Kennedy to Lana herself playing beloved first lady Jackie Kennedy, the “National Anthem” video is filled with plenty of historical references.

Rapper A$AP Rocky also made an appearance as the modern-day version of John F. Kennedy, bringing the perfect blend of classic homage and custom twists. The singer also inserted a monologue at the end of the video, written from Jackie’s perspective shortly after John’s tragic death, which the video also re-enacted in a more censored way.


“This is America” ​​by Childish Gambino

Viewers would naturally have to watch the “This Is America” ​​clip multiple times in order to catch all of the hidden messages, but there are a few re-enactments that stand out among the rest. All in all, the fact that the distraction of entertainment eclipses gun violence works as a pretty significant symbol for modern society.

Fans noticed even smaller historically accurate details that could have been part of the bigger picture, from Gambino’s Confederate-style pants to exaggerated dance moves and expressions that could have paid homage to the Jim Crow cartoon. The video strikes the perfect balance between humor and devastation, which fans say perfectly encapsulates the American experience.


“Buffalo Soldier” by Bob Marley

Many fans know Bob Marley as a peaceful, laid-back reggae singer, so there’s no doubt that he enjoyed using his platform to address important issues. As a whole, the song deals with the true history of the Buffalo Soldiers of the 1800s.

Related: 10 Music Videos Banned From MTV

Marley details how the soldiers were an extension of the U.S. military brought in to help “control” Native Americans on American soil. With lyrics like “Taken from Africa, Brought to America, Fighting on Arrival, Fighting for Survival”, it’s clear Marley insisted on telling the authentic story of the soldiers’ purpose while evoking racism. and ongoing oppression.


“Centuries” door Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy’s video for “Centuries” recreates the story of ancient Rome and contains many biblical references. From the symbolism of the crucifixion to the re-enactment of the battle of David and Goliath, the band showcases several artistic visuals for fans to enjoy.

In the video, each member of the group takes turns trying Goliath before deciding to essentially work smarter not harder, inevitably defeating him with only a slingshot. With lyrics like “we’ll go down in history, remember me for ages”, this specific story was very applicable, because it doesn’t matter what people may miss, but how you can outsmart and prevail.

“Ghost Of You” by My Chemical Romance

Set during World War II, My Chemical Romance’s “Ghost of You” video is inspired by the historic wartime event, with some scenes even paying homage to the popular film. Saving Private Ryan. While MCR wrote this song out of the general fear of losing loved ones, the choice to include World War II details fit well with the song’s original message.

Related: 10 Realistic War TV Shows To Watch If You Love Saving Private Ryan

While it’s obviously pretty taxing on families to have a loved one go to war, the video really details the sacrifices soldiers make for freedom and those they love. Although it’s a dangerous feat, it takes a special person to muster the courage to fight for their family and friends.

“Glory” by Common and John Legend

“Glory” was originally written for the Selma movie, because it encapsulates the civil rights movement as a whole. Even the mix of R&B-style vocals, as well as Common’s hip-hop flair, is significant, as both musical genres were created and dominated by the black community.

From protests to evangelism to leaders like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., the video reveals important moments from the film, with Common even detailing specific events and why they’re important to spotlight today. Many wonder why it is important to dwell on the painful past that is history, but to move forward it is important to recognize the world’s past and actively grow from it.

“Don’t Drink the Water” by Dave Matthews Band

Although Dave Matthews Band is known for its more earthy and peaceful musical vibe, the frontman came up with the idea for “Don’t Drink The Water” while admiring the beauty of Lake Superior. According to a 1998 interview with all stars music, the singer admired the beautiful landscape, thinking how peaceful it must have been before outsiders came to steal the land and leave the place and its natives in ruins.

The purpose of the song is to highlight the atrocity that is the slaughter of indigenous peoples. Despite the song’s darker motif, the song features Alanis Morissette singing backup vocals and provides fans with an ironically beautiful sound.

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Woman of the “Renaissance”: Bluegrass artist Valerie Smith goes her own way | Music https://monroeswifts.org/woman-of-the-renaissance-bluegrass-artist-valerie-smith-goes-her-own-way-music/ Thu, 23 Jun 2022 00:00:00 +0000 https://monroeswifts.org/woman-of-the-renaissance-bluegrass-artist-valerie-smith-goes-her-own-way-music/ BY STEPHEN HU FOR THE FREE LANCE–STAR A revolutionary female artist in bluegrass music recently moved to Somerset in Orange County. When Valerie Smith began her career 25 years ago, bluegrass was a very narrow genre based on a tradition started by Bill Monroe in the 1940s. Many fans did not appreciate musicians who tried […]]]>

BY STEPHEN HU FOR THE FREE LANCE–STAR

A revolutionary female artist in bluegrass music recently moved to Somerset in Orange County. When Valerie Smith began her career 25 years ago, bluegrass was a very narrow genre based on a tradition started by Bill Monroe in the 1940s. Many fans did not appreciate musicians who tried to bring music into new directions, including female band leaders (as all first-generation artists were male).

“When I got into bluegrass back then, it made people really angry because they didn’t think I sounded bluegrass,” Smith said. “The purists were very unhappy with me at the first IBMA [International Bluegrass Music Association]. It was when they were in Owensboro, Kentucky, so that was quite a while ago. I was doing a few shows and people were getting really mad at me and slamming their chairs in front of me and walking away. I will never forget those really difficult years of rejection and anger from bluegrass audiences. I wasn’t trying to piss them off, I was just doing what I do.

Overcoming obstacles was nothing new for Smith. Growing up in a small town in Missouri, she struggled to do well in school as someone with dyslexia. Music provided an escape from this frustration.

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“I never said that I decided to pursue music, music chose me. … It was difficult for me to understand the world around me upside down. Music was a language with which I was able to understand and communicate and that was something I was good at. When you were dyslexic when I was born there wasn’t much help. They just didn’t get it at all.

With hard work and persistence, Smith managed to score high enough on her SAT to get into the University of Missouri–Kansas City, where she majored in music. She returned to her hometown and began a career as a music teacher. She also married, which resulted in a chance move to Nashville when her then-husband got a job there as an engineer. This reignited Smith’s desire to become a songwriter and performer.

“I was overwhelmed with the whole Nashville scene,” Smith said. “I always wanted to be an interpreter, but I didn’t know how to do it. It’s a whole social system in Nashville. Everyone knows everyone. I just started hopping on writers’ nights at these different bars, signing myself up on a sheet, getting up and pitching my music. That’s how I met people in Nashville. They started calling me to do writer shows. They started calling me to do writing collaborations. I did demo work for people. It was all so much fun. I’ve met a lot of great Opry legends in town. I met Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Tom T. Hall and Garth Brooks. I started being able to work in some of their writing publishing houses.

Although Nashville is primarily known for country music, Smith was drawn to more acoustic sounds, which suited her straight emotional songs. This was before Americana was a genre, so the closest form that matched its style was bluegrass. Smith formed his own band – Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike and recorded his debut album, which was produced by Alan O’Bryant of the Nashville Bluegrass Band. O’Bryant had a lot of bluegrass experience and gave Smith great advice on going his own way.

“I appreciate Alan O’Bryant for sticking to his ideas and saying, ‘That’s a good sound; it’s your sound. We shouldn’t change who we are just because others think we should. There’s a difference between learning and getting better at your craft, and changing your craft to fit another person’s narrative of who they think you should be,” Smith said. “He said nothing great was ever created that way.”

Smith continued to perform and release music in his own style and grow his following. In 2000, she signed a deal with Rebel Records, which helped increase her distribution and expand her customer base. His band went through many personnel changes over the years with some notable alumni who later became well known in bluegrass circles.

“I’ve had some great people – Chad Graves, Matt Leadbetter, Becky Buller and many more,” Smith said. “A lot of them last about five years. But my current band lasted nine years – Tom Gray, Lisa Kay Howard Hughes, Wally Hughes, Joe Zauner and myself. They are very nice people, very professional, talented and fun.

Smith now runs his own label, Bell Buckle Records, which releases music by Smith and other artists. She was nominated for a Grammy for her duet with Ralph Stanley in 2001 on his album “Clinch Mountain Sweethearts”. The music industry has caught up with his style and his latest album “Renaissance” reached the top 50 of the folk, bluegrass, roots and American country charts.

Her recent move to Somerset was prompted by a desire to live in a beautiful rural area and reconnect with people outside of Nashville.

“I needed peace and quiet,” Smith said. “I needed to get away from the business rhythm. I wanted to come to a place of peace where I could write, have friends, continue to work on my music and release albums. Technology has allowed me to go anywhere I wanted to go while having a business. So I still have Bell Buckle Records. I have more than 13 artists on my list. They’re all fine. I still have my career. I’m still recording, but I can slow down a bit and smell the roses and play for fun.


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Science and music collide in “Black Hole Symphony” at the Science Museum https://monroeswifts.org/science-and-music-collide-in-black-hole-symphony-at-the-science-museum/ Tue, 21 Jun 2022 16:57:00 +0000 https://monroeswifts.org/science-and-music-collide-in-black-hole-symphony-at-the-science-museum/ Black holes are the most massive gravitational engines in the universe, but what most of us probably know about them could fit in a thimble. A new collaboration of music, art and science through the Multiverse Concert Series offers the opportunity to learn much more about these mysteries of the cosmos. As part of the […]]]>

Black holes are the most massive gravitational engines in the universe, but what most of us probably know about them could fit in a thimble. A new collaboration of music, art and science through the Multiverse Concert Series offers the opportunity to learn much more about these mysteries of the cosmos. As part of the Museum of Science’s Summer Thursdays series, “Black Hole Symphony” will premiere to a sold-out crowd June 23 (additional performances July 28 and August 25) at the Charles Hayden Planetarium. Featuring original live music composed by Multiverse concert series founder David Ibbett, the new show features research conducted by scientists from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and experts from the Black Hole Initiative at the University of Harvard, with visuals designed by the MOS planetarium team.

“It’s a beautiful and wonderful immersive experience that really takes everyone on a journey and allows people to get closer to a black hole than they ever imagined,” says James Monroe, Producer of Adult Programs. and theater experiences from the museum. “Even though there is a lot of mystery surrounding black holes, we know a lot about them, and I’m thrilled that the public will come and discover these objects that have fascinated the world so much.”

Three years in the making, the multimedia project was conceived by Ibbett after a conversation with Harvard astrophysicist Anna Barnacka. “We started talking about black holes, and there’s so much more out there beyond this void that we think about,” Ibbett says. “They radiate incredible energy and are at the center of every galaxy.” He calls them “gravity in its most extreme and wacky form”.

Black holes seemed like an ideal subject for his Multiverse Concert Series, a nonprofit collaboration of musicians, artists, and scientists launched in 2017 to create immersive multimedia experiences that spark wonder and curiosity about science. . As a composer and visiting professor at Berklee College of Music and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Ibbett has found in the universal language of music a particularly effective way to share the wealth of scientific discoveries. “Music has this special way of engaging the whole person — the mind, the ears, the emotions,” he says. “I believe the sonic and emotional power of music can help tell us about the world we live in, in a language that can reach large groups of people.”

Originally from Coventry, England, and the son of a research chemist, Ibbett was not scientifically trained, but childhood visits to his father’s laboratory sparked a curiosity for scientific research. After earning a doctorate in composition with a major in electronic music, Ibbett moved to Boston eight years ago and started the nonprofit Multiverse to combine his love of music and science in the performing Arts. So far he and the organization’s projects have focused on fluid dynamics, coral bleaching and subatomic neutrinos – Ibbett was the first guest composer at the Fermilab Accelerator and Particle Physics Laboratory.

To create music for the 42-minute “Black Hole Symphony,” Ibbett transformed frequencies of light into sound waves based on the electromagnetic spectrum of an active galaxy containing a supermassive black hole. “Inside, you can separate the frequencies to see the ‘color’ of each component, from the torus of dust and broad-lined clouds to the relativistic jets of plasma and the blazing accretion disk,” explains he. “Although these frequencies are too widespread to visualize, we can listen to them by mapping the light frequencies onto sound waves, which become the musical notes of a ‘black hole chord’.” Orchestrating his symphony for chamber orchestra and electronics, he composed a work fusing classical and electronic styles, with special themes for different characteristics of the black hole.

Ibbett’s goal is to deliver a science experiment “in the moment, using as much data as possible to be accurate and using music and visualization to be immersive, touching the ear and the mind.” You will feel some of the frequencies going through the ground. I hope it will be an emotionally powerful and intellectually rewarding experience.

The project marks the first large-scale collaboration that Monroe’s adult programming production team has created with outside partners. “What I love about the Multiverse Concert Series is that they merge art, science, and technology in unique ways to provide entry points to these complex STEM topics,” Monroe says, “ so everyone can engage in those conversations and learn.”

The show was created for touring — with live music or a pre-packaged version using recorded sound — and Monroe says other museums and planetariums across the country have expressed interest in engagements after this world premiere. summer. “I’m confident it will have a life outside of Boston and return commitments here as well,” he says. “David’s work as a composer is incredibly beautiful, and it’s such a unique fusion where every element is rooted in scientific research, which is unique in this field. It’s changing the landscape of science communication, and it’s exciting to be a part of it.

Black Hole Symphony, June 23 (sold out), reruns July 28 and August 25, 7.30 p.m., Science Museum, 1 Science Park. $20, mos.org.


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My Painted Lyre: Seeing Music in Chicago’s Greek Quarter Along Halsted Street https://monroeswifts.org/my-painted-lyre-seeing-music-in-chicagos-greek-quarter-along-halsted-street/ Sat, 18 Jun 2022 10:22:25 +0000 https://monroeswifts.org/my-painted-lyre-seeing-music-in-chicagos-greek-quarter-along-halsted-street/ CHICAGO – Greektown Chicago has opened its new outdoor art exhibit My Painted Lyre: Seeing Music in Chicago’s Greektown, featuring 26 vibrant three-dimensional works of art lining Halsted Street, from Monroe to Van Buren Streets, through spring 2023 A map showing the locations of artworks in Greektown is available here: https://adobe.ly/3OlQtjj. More information is available […]]]>

CHICAGO – Greektown Chicago has opened its new outdoor art exhibit My Painted Lyre: Seeing Music in Chicago’s Greektown, featuring 26 vibrant three-dimensional works of art lining Halsted Street, from Monroe to Van Buren Streets, through spring 2023 A map showing the locations of artworks in Greektown is available here: https://adobe.ly/3OlQtjj.

More information is available online: www.greektownchicago.org.

A diverse group of Chicago artists celebrate music with personal interpretations of the lyre, an ancient Greek instrument reimagined in a modern-style sculpture. The lyre speaks of music, song, poetry and dance. It is also reminiscent of the heavens where the constellation Lyra appears in the northern sky. Inspirations for the 26 beautiful works of art come from multiple sources, including Greek mythology, history, science, and memories of special places. My Painted Lyre is sponsored by Greektown SSA #16, the neighborhood business improvement district, in partnership with the Chicago Greektown Educational Foundation.

The opening of the exhibition takes place on Friday, June 30, at 4 p.m., at the National Hellenic Museum, 333 S. Halsted Street. Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr., participating artists and Greektown Chicago spokespersons are expected.

Among the works on display is Lyrical Spirit by Arturo Barrera. According to Barrera’s artist statement, “Inspired by Albin Polasek’s Spirit of Music in Grant Park, Lyrical Spirit is a celebration of Greek music and history. Spirit of Music depicts a large bronze muse holding a lyre. Lyrical Spirit is an abstract approach with simplified geometric figures, depicting two different people holding a lyre. The colors used are the traditional Greek colors. Many people associate Greek culture only with blue and white because of the flag of their country. countries, and Greek statues have a lack of color. However, many ancient Greek sculptures were originally painted in a colorful manner. After years of harsh weather and other effects on Greek sculptures, the polychrome finishes s fade significantly, if not completely, giving them a white or bland appearance. Lyrical Spirit connects the history of the gr palette ecque at a celebration of Greek culture in Chicago.

Detailed views of works by Rebecca Zaragoza, Diane Thodos, James McNeill Mesplé and Elena Diadenko for the Greektown Lyre public art exhibit. Photo: Chicago’s Greek Quarter

Chicago’s Lyre by Juan A. Cano was inspired by “love for our city and the diversity of music”.

Malika Jackson’s Symbolic Goddess Gestures honor many of the Greek Goddesses with their symbols: Aphrodite, Hera, Artemis.

Also on view is Mark Nelson’s Daughter of Athena Κόρη της Αθηνάς, who said in his artist statement, “Angela Paterakis trained many student artists at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Many of its students become integrated teachers and instructional leaders in Chicago public schools, colleges, and beyond. Angela’s students greatly appreciated her wisdom, compassion and commitment which often continued into their professional lives long after graduation. Her impact on the world of arts education grew exponentially as she watched her network of leaders energize the arts in early education and expand equitable opportunities for children in downtown Chicago and beyond. .

Lyrical by Diane Thodos “is inspired by the many lyrical and moving images of lyre players in classical pottery of ancient Greece. The emotion and movement of the musicians show an immediacy created centuries ago that is just as lyrical and expressive in our time.

Along with an exciting group of professional and emerging Chicago artists, the following ten Chicagoland Greek Schools are participating in the Lyre Exhibit: Guardian Angel Orthodox Day School, Holy Apostles Greek School, Holy Cross Sophocles Greek School, Koraes Elementary School, Plato Academy, St Demetrios Pythagoras Children’s Academy, St. Demetrios SOLON Greek School, St. George Greek School, St. John the Baptist Pythagoras Greek School and St. Spyridon Plutarchos Academy.

About Greektown Chicago

Greektown is a food, nightlife and cultural district located on the Near West Side of Chicago. A popular destination for tourists and Chicagoans alike, Greektown offers the best sample of Greek heritage outside of Athens, from authentic restaurants, cafes and shops to the National Hellenic Museum and the annual Taste of Greektown festival. Greektown Special Service Area #16 is the neighborhood’s business improvement district, administered by the sole service provider, the West Central Association, and guided by a volunteer commission of local business owners, landlords and of residents. For more information, visit www.greektownchicago.org.


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Sunflower Music Festival 2022 starts Friday https://monroeswifts.org/sunflower-music-festival-2022-starts-friday/ Sat, 18 Jun 2022 01:48:00 +0000 https://monroeswifts.org/sunflower-music-festival-2022-starts-friday/ TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Sunflower Music Festival has become a tradition for Topeka and the surrounding area. For 10 days, the world’s greatest musicians will gather in Topeka for a completely free and easy-to-attend festival featuring orchestras, chamber ensembles and jazz music at Washburn University. The music festival starts on Friday June 17 and continues […]]]>

TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Sunflower Music Festival has become a tradition for Topeka and the surrounding area. For 10 days, the world’s greatest musicians will gather in Topeka for a completely free and easy-to-attend festival featuring orchestras, chamber ensembles and jazz music at Washburn University.

The music festival starts on Friday June 17 and continues every evening until Saturday June 25.

Friday’s concert was held at the White Concert Hall on the Washburn University campus and is Chamber Orchestra music with an open celebration of Mozart, featuring guest conductor Andre’ Raphel.

New this year, the Sunflower Music Festival will honor past and contemporary African-American composers, performers and soloists, and a collaboration with Brown v. Board of Education. The concert on Wednesday, June 22 will take place at the Brown v. Board, 1515 se Monroe St. at 3:00 p.m. with music by black composers, Samuel Coleridg-Taylor, William Grant Still, Jessie Montgomery, Joseph Bologna.

This year, the Sunflower Music Festival was dedicated to Washburn University President Dr. Jerry Farley and Susan Farley for their continued support of the festival.

Click here for the concert schedule.


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