P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2002
October 9, 2002
Suzanne Vega Plays MASS MoCA on Nov 9
(North Adams, Mass.) Best known for "Luka", "Tom's Diner" and "Marlene On The Wall", Suzanne Vega will play a concert at MASS MoCA on Saturday, November 9, at 8:00 PM. Her emotionally charged lyrics are tempered by her cool disassociated delivery, often speaking in icy Laurie Anderson-esque rap. The New York Times described one of her albums as a "striking collection of painful, precise, introspective songs." The Independent (UK) described her songwriting as "something of a tightrope walk - a potentially disastrous venture pulled off only by her unerring sense of balance." The concert is co-presented by Iron Horse Entertainment Group.
Songs on her first two albums, Suzanne Vega and her multi-platinum Solitude Standing, were about other people having psychotic breakdowns in the park, eavesdropping on subway conversations, peering across alleys into windows, or arguing with a faithless lover while the lover's lover waits in the hall. "I write songs about romance and mental health," according to Vega. Although she's been classified as folk, she often uses rhythms not usually associated with folk, like bossa nova. Vega both worked with and married adventurous producer Mitchell Froom who produced her 99.9F and Nine Objects of Desire albums which included elements of electronica. She's contributed the song "Left of Center" to the platinum Pretty In Pink soundtrack and lyrics to two of Philip Glass' Songs from Liquid Days. She's found time to publish a book of poetry and compile a collection of recordings regarding September 11. In her latest album, Songs in Red and Grey, Vega returns to her folk roots. Several of the tracks are intimate and candid confessions about her divorce from Froom, but the album as a whole, according to Vega, is about "the passion of the heart vs. the intellect, and maturity vs. youthfulness."
Raised in New York's Spanish Harlem by a musician mother and novelist stepfather, Vega began writing poetry at a very young age, playing guitar at 11, writing songs at 14 and performing in public at 16. She attended the New York High School for the Performing Arts before it reached prominence through the film and television show Fame and studied literature at Barnard College in New York. Her regular performances at Folk City, the club that launched Bob Dylan, eventually led to her record contract. Her self-titled debut album was a huge hit with college radio, and that unexpected success is often credited with opening the door for artists like Tracy Chapman, KD Lang, Natalie Merchant, and Sinead O'Connor. Vega's second album went multi-platinum and garnered three Grammy nominations. Her a cappella performance of "Tom's Diner" was given a hip-hop backing by British rockers DNA without her permission. Vega heard it, loved it, and arranged for legitimate release. It quickly became a dance hit record. "If I thought it was bad," she told the press, "I would have sued them."
The Suzanne Vega concert is sponsored by Berkshire Gas.
Tickets to Suzanne Vega in concert are $30 for orchestra seats and $26 for mezzanine. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams from 10 A.M. until 6 P.M. daily or over the phone by calling 413.662.2111 or online at www.massmoca.org.
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.
For Immediate Release