By August 6, 2017 Read More →

Unplugged – MIMsy & Whimsy

Unplugged View
By Aaron Rowan

MIMsy and Whimsy
I ran off on an adventure with one of my favorite songwriter friends a few weeks ago, on a weeklong tour through a few states. It was high time to escape from this valley heat for a while.

We went to Phoenix.
Brilliant plan, right? Well, in fact, it was. Because it was during our thankfully brief stay in Phoenix that we got to spend a few hours roaming through one of the most magical places I’ve visited – the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM.) This sprawling space houses thousands upon thousands of rare treasures, with a separate room for each continent. Just about every country that is or once was on the map has its own wall display featuring an array of instruments. Peruvian whistling water vessels; a “walking-stick fiddle” from Germany; a goblet drum from China dating back to around 4000 BC (the oldest piece in the MIM collection); instruments fashioned from garbage and played by Paraguay’s Recycled Orchestra, as seen in the documentary ‘Landfillharmonic’ which screened at our State Theater a few months back; and June Carter’s autoharp were just a few of my favorite pieces. We even got to play around with a theremin – a dream come true for me.

The MIM was founded by Robert J. Ulrich – a name you may be familiar with if you’ve been enjoying the Valley Talent competition over the past several years. (Okay, their Ulrich is not actually the same person as our Ulrich – I checked – but it makes for an uncannily cool segue.) Valley Talent is back at the Gallo Center this month, with two nights highlighting the best in local music, dance and more performance art. Last year one of our Modesto Unplugged team members, Lisette Sims, did us proud when she and her trio Lisette & The Loudmouths took down the Best Band prize. I’ve always felt that the right people won their categories. Unlike that time on ‘America’s Got Talent’ when those performing dogs beat the guy who played the giant Earth Harp. I still haven’t recovered from that heartbreak.

The first round of performances begins at 7 PM on Friday 8/25. Finalists will return 24 hours later to share their talents a second time, followed by prize announcements including a special Audience Favorite award you can vote on. Tickets run between $10 and $30 for each night, available at Enjoy your hot August nights!



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