P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2006
June 1, 2006
Mission of Burma to Play MASS MoCA July 1
(North Adams, Mass.) Known for their gripping song-writing and ferocious intensity in performing, Mission of Burma galvanized Boston's alternative rock scene in the early '80s with their bracing mix of punk, pop, art rock, and avant-garde experimentation. "Academy Fight Song" and the band's calling card, "That's When I Reach for My Revolver", are still major punk-rock anthems, as is their seminal album, Vs. They'll perform on the museum's outdoor Concert Courtyard C stage on Saturday, July 1, at 8 P.M. "Aural surprises lurk in the chordal folds," said The New York Times. "Martial chants erupt suddenly into harmonies ... a raw-power dissertation."
The first of MASS MoCA's outdoor summer concerts, Mission of Burma will perform under the stars in the Concert Courtyard C, weather permitting. The event moves indoors to the Hunter Center in case of rain. Doors open at 7 PM for dinner and snacks from Lickety Split and full bar.
Releasing just a few records on the hip indie label Ace of Hearts, guitarist Roger Miller, bassist Cling Conley, and drummer Peter Prescott, along with tapehead Martin Swope, quickly developed a reputation for music that was arty without being pretentious. Their debut single "Academy Fight Song" promptly sold out of its 7,500-copy pressing, unprecedented for an independent single at that time. Extreme volume, riff-heavy punch, and declarative vocals were both the band's trademark and their demise. Having developed tinnitus, Miller played the final tour wearing a protective shooting range headset. The bittersweet final tour was released as a live LP, The Horrible Truth About Burma. Miller went on to found non-touring band Birdsongs of the Mesazoic. Prescott formed Volcano Suns and then Kustomized. Conley produced Yo La Tengo's first album and then left the music business.
In 2001, when Prescott's latest group opened for reunited art-punks, Wire, Miller and Conley joined him for an encore marking the first time they had performed together since 1983. The response was so overwhelming they decided to do just two shows, with Bob Weston of Shellac creating live sound and tape loops (Martin Swope had opted out). One show in New York City became two sold-out nights. The other single night gig in Boston became four shows. They went on to a festival in England and short tours of the West Coast and Midwest. That led to Onoffon, released by Matador Records in 2004. Their latest effort, Obliterati was released on May 23.
Tickets to Mission of Burma in concert are $22 in advance or $26 day of show. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office at 87 Marshall St. in North Adams from 11 am until 5 pm every day but Tuesdays. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours. Dinner from Lickety Split will be available before and during the show.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off 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.
For Immediate Release