I have focused more of late on folk music and New York City. I met with a lack of well researched Web information, which served as a frustration. As it turns out my resource needs were recently answered. The Museum of the City of New York has curated an exceptional show, Folk City: New York and the Folk Music Revival.
In the 1950s and 1960s, folk music blossomed in New York City, especially in Greenwich Village, where clubs and coffee houses showcased singers like Pete Seeger and Odetta and nurtured a generation of newcomers, including Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Dave Van Ronk, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, and Peter, Paul and Mary. The multi-media exhibition Folk City: New York and the Folk Music Revival, features original instruments, handwritten lyrics, and video film footage. The event traces the roots of the revival, its growth in New York City, the major players, and folk’s impact on American political and social culture during the tumultuous 1960s.
There is also a companion book, Folk City written by authors Stephen Petrus (curator of the Folk City: New York and the Folk Music Revival exhibit) and Ron Cohen. Their collaboration captures the exuberance of the times by introducing readers to a bevy of characters who brought a new style to one of the biggest audiences in the history of popular music. Among the savvy New York entrepreneurs committed to promoting folk music were Izzy Young of the Folklore Center, Mike Porco of Gerde’s Folk City, and John Hammond of Columbia Records. The authors portray Greenwich Village coffee houses not simply as lively venues but as incubators of a burgeoning counterculture, where artists from diverse backgrounds honed their performance techniques and challenged social conventions. Accessible and engaging, fresh and provocative, rich in anecdotes and primary sources, Folk City is lavishly illustrated with images collected for the accompanying major exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York in 2015.
I was driving home from work this afternoon, stopped in the third lane on I-95 due to traffic problems. I happened to look across the jersey barrier to the northbound side and glimpse this 53′ tractor trailer truck with a way cool multi-color design stating that it was Les Paul‘s 100 Birthday.
When I got home I looked it up on the Internet. I discovered that Les Paul’s Big Sound Tour was bound for the Hard Rock Cafe Foxwoods in Ledyard Connecticut. It will be on exhibit there June 17th and 18th.
Les Paul the father of modern music and the solid body electric guitar would have been 100 years old June 9, 2015. A special 100th Anniversary Celebration was held on June 9th at the Times Square Hard Rock Cafe in New York City. Rolling Stone Magazine covered this historic event.
The Les Paul Foundation is sharing his creativity, innovative spirit and love of sound in an intriguing mobile exhibit.
• Step into 1,000 square feet of entertaining and inspiring interactive experiences.
• Explore sound, music and technology innovations.
• Mix and share music.
• Discover Les Paul’s personal story.
• Experience Les Paul’s never-ending search for a unique musical sound.
• Learn from generations of musicians who call Les Paul their mentor.
• Witness how Les pushed the limits of audio technology.
• Marvel at the performing techniques that made Les Paul a legendary pop music icon.
• Enjoy live musical performances by local artists.
Take a look at the Les Paul Tour Calendar to see if this mobile tour is coming to a city near you this summer.
The Blues Foundation has announced the 2015 selection of three living performers to be inducted into its Blues Hall of Fame: Eric Clapton, Tommy Brown and Little Richard. Eric Clapton is the first British musician to be inducted. The foundation said he was tapped for “for his many musical achievements as well as for his role as a popularizer of the entire genre. He brought the blues to audiences in his native Britain and throughout the world, illuminating the work of the original blues artists who inspired him.”
Additional information about the 2015 inductees is available here.
Read more about the Blues Hall of Fame which opens this year in Memphis, Tennessee.
Björk’s MoMA Exhibition
Björk’s exhibition at MoMA in New York City opens to the public this weekend on Sunday March 8th. My interest in music technology is peaking about how this exhibit has been curated and constructed. I will be writing a separate blog post about Björk’s projects from a technology design perspective later today.
Suffice it to say we are eager to attend this multimedia retrospective in the near future. My understanding is that only 100 people can attend at a scheduled interval. Which I am fine with as I dislike crowded MoMA Exhibitions.
I have included the teaser video of “Black Lake” from Vulnicura for your viewing and listening benefit.
Björk’s Black Lake Trailer – MoMAvideos
“Black Lake” is a new sound and video installation commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art on the occasion of the exhibition Björk (March 8–June 7, 2015; Member Previews, March 4–7). The song “Black Lake” appears on Björk’s new album “Vulnicura” (2015).
“Black Lake” is described by Rolling Stone as an “immersive 10-minute music and film experience” It is a collaboration between director Thomas Huang, who worked with the artist on her video for Mutual Core and 3D design company Autodesk.
I place a significance on the live concert experience. I thank Bill Graham for formulating live music as an art form. Many music promoters follow in his footsteps with the venues they manage, the fans they cater to and the artists they present to use live in person. But none will ever equal his achievements to the art of presenting live music and supporting humanitarian causes on a macro scale.
Through rock memorabilia, photographs, ephemera, and psychedelic art in the form of the iconic Fillmore concert posters,Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution explores the momentous cultural transformations of the 1960s–1980s through the lens of rock & roll. The year 2015 marks the thirtieth anniversary of Live Aid and the fiftieth anniversary of Graham’s first-ever concert, as well as the Grateful Dead’s live début. Commemorate these events by celebrating a true pioneer who helped revolutionize rock into the global industry it is today.
The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year.
The AACM is preparing for a worldwide celebration of musical presentations, installations, exhibitions and more as the organization reaches a half century in 2015. This year-long celebration will honor, show and advance the organization’s contributions to the world’s musical landscape.
The first initiative in AACM’s 50th Anniversary takes place Monday January 19th marking the official opening of the AACM exhibit at DuSable Museum of African American History! In time for Martin Luther King Jr. Day
The phrase “Free At First” is meant to reflect the very birth of this organization was inclusive of the members of AACM, who were unfettered by convention and tradition and adopted a “free” style that recognized no boundaries and defied categorization. The AACM had the audacity to compose, perform, publish, own, and institutionalize their own music and to prepare future exponents of their genre-bending, experimental form. Further, their collective, rather than confining the individual, actually made room for individual freedom of expression.
“Free At First” is also a reference to the sense of freedom the founders and early members approached musical compositions, organizational concepts and institution building – especially with the AACM School of Music. The scope of the exhibition is intended to provide the social framework, political climate, cultural milieu and the philosophical underpinnings within which this musician’s collective has thrived and survived – the only musicians’ collective still standing!