P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2000
May 5, 2000
Patti Smith to Open MASS MoCA Summer Season Legendary Poet Rocker to Perform Outdoors in Courtyard D
(May 5, 2000--North Adams, MA) Hot on the release of her most important album in the past 20 years, Gung Ho, Patti Smith will bring her show which the Denver Post called "a testament to her unswerving belief in the fundamental passion and raw power of rock" to MASS MoCA's dramatic Concert Courtyard D on Sunday, June 4th, at 6:00 pm.
"Last year we started off our season with Los Lobos and after that sell-out success, we can't wait for Patti Smith's gutsy, articulate show," commented Joseph Thompson, Director of MASS MoCA.
"We don't perform at people," Smith says of her concerts, "we create the night with people." Smith is famous for such hits as Looking for You (I Was), Gloria, and her 1978 collaboration with Bruce Springsteen Because the Night. Her eighth and most recent album, the widely praised Gung Ho, is dedicated to her father and named for the Chinese symbol for working together. The new album features her 17-year-old son, Jackson, playing what Vanity Fair calls an "extraordinary guitar" and includes several collaborations with Lenny Kaye, one of the original Patti Smith Group members. The new album includes tracks about Ho Chi Minh, Custer's wife, slavery, and a tribute to Jerry Garcia. Entertainment Weekly calls Glitter in Their Eyes, the first single from the Gung Ho album "her spunkiest rocker in years·." Billboard says she "pours her soul and guts into every syllable she utters."
A pioneer of punk rock, Patti Smith began her professional career in 1971 reciting poetry at Greenwich Village's St. Mark's Church while Lenny Kaye accompanied the lyrics with guitar chords that sounded like a car crash. The multi-faceted artist co-wrote the play Cowboy Mouth with Sam Shepard which premiered off-Broadway in 1971, with Smith and Shepard playing the leading roles. Her most recent book, Picturing Robert, is a memoir of her late friend, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.
After writing, painting is Smith's second love. Four of her artworks were acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in 1996.
Smith has recently launched a new website. Fans who visit www.gungho2000.com will be able to read Gung Ho lyrics, as well as Smith's poetry and statements on subjects that include a tribute to the longest serving female political prisoner in Tibet and Smith's poetic, provocative thoughts on the U.S. flag, patriotism, and nationalism.
"Patti Smith is the perfect opener for what promises to be a spectacular summer of events," says Jonathan Secor, Director of Performing Arts at MASS MoCA. She was the godmother of the punk rock movement of the '70s, and she continues to break new ground in the musical arena of today."
Tickets for Patti Smith's June 4 concert are $19 in advance and $24 the day of the concert. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office at 87 Marshall St. in North Adams from 10 am until 4 pm, Tuesday through Sunday. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during box office hours or purchased on line at www.massmoca.org. Doors open at 5:00 for a barbecue.
The band gloria deluxe will open the show. Gloria deluxe is a rising New York City-based band that has become known in the year since its inception for its uniquely theatrical concerts. Led by writer/performer Cynthia Hopkins, the band have played at the Flea Theater, BAMcaf at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, CB's 313 Gallery, The Knitting Factory, Joe's Pub at the Public Theater, and other venues. Gloria deluxe resists easy categorization. The group transforms itself effortlessly from a torchy house band in a Berlin lounge to the last act in a Nashville bar and back again. The songs gloria deluxe performs are all original and stylistically unbounded, ranging from Tom Waits cabaret to Laurie Anderson storytelling to Hank Williams country, and derive their impact from the characters, both fictional and real, who have inspired their inception. Ms. Hopkins and gloria deluxe follow in the tradition of performance that blurs the boundaries between theater and music, to create a uniquely personal style of storytelling. The band released its self-produced, eponymous debut album in September 1999.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located at 87 Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings. MASS MoCA focuses on the work of visual and performing artists charting new territory; works that dim the distinctions between disciplines; and works that have seldom, or never, been exhibited because of physical demands such as scale, materials, and fabrication methods.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Katherine Myers
(413) 664-4481 x8113
MASS MoCA 87 Marshall Street North Adams, Mass. 01247 413.MOCA.111