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Bang on a Can All-Stars perform Music For Airports

That loveable egghead Brian Eno more or less coined the term “ambient music” with his 1978 album Ambient 1: Music For Airports. It wasn’t the first time he’d attempted to deconstruct pop music to (and beyond) its very essence, but it was pioneering in its intended usage: Eno created the four extended compositions to be played at (drum roll, please) airports, to be looped as a sound installation in replacement of their existing soft-rock soundtracks. He succeeded, on two levels: The album is still regarded as a groundbreaking work by experimental-music listeners and composers, and, for a time, was installed at two actual airports (New York’s LaGuardia and the Marine Air Terminal). It wasn’t, however, intended for live performance.

Apparently nobody told the Bang on a Can folks about that last bit. The avant-garde instrumental troupe reconstructed and arranged Eno’s classic for ensemble performance, and released their own version of the LP in 1998. This Saturday, they will perform the album in its entirety for the first time anywhere.

The Bang on a Can All-Stars will do the unthinkable—or at least previously unattempted—at MASS MoCA (1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, Mass.) this Saturday (July 23). Tickets for the 8 PM show are $22, and can be reserved by calling (413) 662-2111.

Tanglewood on Parade

If you’ve been saying to yourself, “Self, I should take the family to enjoy the bucolic glory and majestic music of Tanglewood sometime this summer,” this is the time to stop jabbering—people are looking at you funny—and act. It’s time again, on Tuesday (July 26), for the annual program Tanglewood on Parade. This is when the Tanglewood regime rolls out all of its big guns.

The lineup is strictly A-list, with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops Orchestra and Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra conducted by the likes of James Levine, John Williams, Bruce Hangen, Hans Graf and former fixture Seiji Ozawa. The music to be performed is suitably ebullient, too. The program will include Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, Berlioz’ Roman Carnival Overture, Williams’ Imperial March from Star Wars (dum dum dum, dum-de-dum dum-de-dum) and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. Fireworks will follow the concert.

Tanglewood on Parade will be held in the Koussevitzky Music Shed (Tanglewood, Lenox, Mass.) on Tuesday (July 26) at 8:30 PM. Tickets range from $96 (for the best shed seats) to $20 (for the lawn). The grounds will open at 2 PM, with “entertainment throughout the Tanglewood grounds all afternoon.” For tickets and information, call (413) 637-5165.

BREAK! The Urban Funk Spectacular

This show is, simply put, a highly acclaimed, fast-paced history of hiphop dancing over the last 30 years. Along with a troupe of “incredible” dancers, there will be a DJ (of necessity, one would think) and a posse of live percussionists.

Frankly, we’re willing to buy that this show is, as the advance press insists, “breathtaking.” The reviews posted on the BREAK! The Urban Funk Spectacular Web site are uniformly glowing (not much of a surprise) and from publications all over the world, from Bermuda to Scotland and Maine to Alabama. Here’s a representative quote from the Lowell Sun (of Lowell, Mass.): “Hot street dancing honed to a razor sharp art form!”

BREAK! The Urban Funk Spectacular will be presented at the Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany) tomorrow (Friday, July 22) at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $24, $12 children. For reservations and information, call 473-1845.

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