No one could have imagined on that stormy final day of Solid Sound Festival in 2019 that it would be three years until the next one. But here we are,
This past weekend alt.country-experimental-folk-rock, ugh fine…just Wilco, returned to MASS MoCA in the former industrial town of North Adams, MA to host their second annual Solid Sound Festival. The 140-year-old-plus site, which was formerly the home to a textile plant and an electronics factory, offered fans a chance to not only see a variety of bands, which included healthy doses of Wilco side projects, and a full slate of comedy curated by John Hodgman, but also some truly fantastic thought provoking art.
The weather seemed to be a dominant story throughout the weekend, as some torrential rain storms blew through the area on both Friday and Saturday. The large puddles strewn throughout the museum’s campus and a muddy main field, didn’t prevent Wilco from throwing down two lengthy headlining sets that marked their only U.S. shows of the summer. The group treated fans to nearly 50 different songs, spanning their entire catalog – a feat that perhaps only a jamband is capable of doing.
READ ON for more on Wilco’s sets…
For the first time in our history, the Hidden Track staff has put together a list of ten items for the rabid music lover in your life. These are all items with the HT stamp of approval and if we don’t own ’em, we wish we did. So let’s get down to business, ’cause frankly – if you haven’t started shopping yet you’re going to need all the help you can get…
HT Suggests: Logitech Squeezebox Radio
Why You’d Want It: This all-in-one music player allows you to listen to SiriusXM, Pandora, Rhapsody, a whole host of other services, thousands of internet radio stations and any music files you throw at it in any room of your house – no computer required. All you need is a wi-fi connection and you’re golden.
The Squeezebox is the same size as a clock radio and is about as easy to use as it gets once you get past the annoying initial installation. We had a chance to play around with a unit and we loved being able to switch from hearing about the hot stove on sports radio station WFAN to listening to Howard Stern interview Billy Joel on Sirius to streaming Miles Davis’ All Blues over Pandora in just a few short clicks of the click wheel. There’s a handy program guide that makes finding new stations a snap and the color display tells you everything you need to know about what you’re listening to including all the track information from Sirius/XM.
Terrestrial radio might be dying, but the Squeezebox shows that internet and satellite radio are where it’s at for a ridiculously wide variety of listening options.
Grab It At: Amazon.com for $149.99
READ ON for more of HT’s First Annual Holiday Gift Guide…
Wow, I can’t believe we’ve made almost three-quarters of the way through the year and we’ve haven’t had the time to get the HT Crew together for a solid hang to talk music, while chowing down on a tasty spread of burgers, dogs, kebabs and whatnot. With summer officially coming to an end yesterday, we thought we’d invite the gang over to HT Headquarters to enjoy the quickly disappearing last warm days of the year, throw some large hunks of meat on the grill and crack open a few Long Trail Harvest Ales for another rousing edition of At The Barbecue.
This time around we’re having everyone share with the class what they did on their summer vacation by discussing their favorite show of the summer – which we’ve roughly defined as anything seen between Labor Day and Memorial Day weekends. So with that in mind let’s get to it…
Scott Bernstein – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers / MMJ – August 24 – Izod Center – East Rutherford, NJ
Picking my favorite concert of the summer wasn’t easy as there were about five concerts that all could’ve easily been my choice. While Phish’s second Camden show was fairly epic, God Street Wine’s reunion shows were a blast and catching Squeeze in the middle of Bryant Park was sublime, I’ve decided that the My Morning Jacket/Tom Petty show I saw at the Izod Center on August 24th was my favorite concert of the season. MMJ tore through all of their classics and didn’t hold anything back in tackling their best material, while Petty did a great job of presenting a mini-set of songs from his latest album smack dab in the middle of a flawless greatest hits set.
Not only was the music great but I was very surprised by the enthusiasm displayed by the concertgoers in my section. I expected a crowd of folks who were content to sit all night and instead most stood and danced with joy and excitement. I took great pleasure in watching MMJ win over Petty fans and I do believe The Heartbreakers are extremely underrated as musicians, especially keyboardist Benmont Tench. I tend to focus on the details and watching Tench come up with innovative fills on a variety of vintage keyboards was a revelation. I would’ve never guessed going into the show that MMJ/Petty would be my favorite gig of the summer, but perhaps the lack of expectations and a full, rocking arena led this night to a special place in my heart. Plus, I’m just a sucker for arena rock.
READ ON for more of the HT Staff’s favorite shows of the summer…