are back. That’s good news in these dark days. But more
crucially, Devo came back the right way. Sure, they pulled
the radioactive yellow Are We Not Men-era costumes
out of storage (though not the natty Chinese-American Friendship
Suits of the Shout era), but they also looked forward.
They were interactive. They listened to the people. What
did they do? They held a series of focus groups. These focus
groups helped select the tracks for the new Devo album;
they picked the album’s title, Something for Everybody;
and they determined that those classic energy domes needed
a makeover—the domes are now bright blue!
There is plenty of evidence out there for de-evolution—see
“baggers, tea”—but no evidence more convincing than the
extensive use of focus groups by the media-arts industrial
complex. Come to Clifton Park this weekend to experience
the essence of de-evolution: “Whip It,” “Satisfaction,”
and snappy new tunes like “Fresh.”
Devo will make you shake your ass and help you accept the
continuing decline of human civilization on Saturday (July
31) at 8 PM at Northern Lights (1208 Route 146, Clifton
Park). Tickets are $45. For more info, call the club at
really needs to be said about Yo Yo Ma? The virtuoso cellist
is internationally renowned for his evocative music and
his eclectic repertoire. He’s won 16, seriously 16, Grammy
Awards. His resume reads like a roll call of the world’s
greatest concert halls and collaborators—not to mention
gigs at Obama’s inauguration and Sesame Street.
And the Philadelphia Orchestra? Over their 110-year history,
they have established themselves as one of the “Big Five”
American orchestras, breaking ground in music, diplomacy
and technology. They were the first symphony orchestra to
tour both the People’s Republic of China and Vietnam, the
first to make electrical recordings, the first to appear
on a national television broadcast, the first to give a
live cybercast and, most recently, the first to offer music
downloads without a distributor.
This week, Yo Yo Ma joins the Philadelphia Orchestra to
open their annual residency at SPAC with a three-piece program
featuring Strauss’ Don Juan, Elgar’s Cello Concerto
and Stravinksy’s The Rite of Spring. Chief conductor
Charles Dutoit will guide the whole shebang.
The Philidelphia Orchestra will perform at the Saratoga
Performing Arts Center (Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga
Springs) on Wednesday (Aug. 4) at 8 PM. Tickets range from
$23 for the lawn to $77.50 inside. For more info, call 587-3330.
wheels of performance innovation are churning again over
at the Berkshire Fringe Festival. Bazaar Productions has
hosted more than 200 emerging theater, dance, music and
performance artists at its annual Fringe Festival over the
past five years, and the sixth season expands the excitement
to a second venue.
This year’s lineup features eight core works by theater
and dance artists drawn from coast to coast, from quirky
clowning and a one-woman Cubano comedy to Monster,
Rebecca Pappas’ narrated dance performance exploring the
line between victim and victimizer, which the Los Angeles
Times declared “compelling” and “mesmerizing.”
As always, the schedule will be rounded out by free programs
including Early Stages staged readings of new works, the
30 Live! music series and an array of community workshops
with festival artists.
The Berkshire Fringe Festival presents its offerings tonight
(Thursday, July 29) through Aug. 16 at the Daniel Arts Center
(Bard College at Simon’s Rock, 84 Alford Road, Great Barrington,
Mass.) and Mixed Company (37 Rossetter St., Great Barrington,
Mass.). Tickets to individual events are $14, with pick-your-price
specials opening night. A full-festival pass is available
for $95, a select three-show pass is $39; all workshops,
30 Live! Music performances and readings are free. For more
info, call (413) 320-4175 or visit berkshirefringe.org.