Author Archive: Aaron Rowan

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Szyndler’s List

Szyndler’s List

UnpluggedView: Szyndler’s Listby Aaron Rowan A few summers ago, I came up with one of the coolest ideas I’ve had as a music curator. Quite the experiment, really: a run of four monthly World Music Jams, held at the Barkin’ Dog Grill where I hosted my very first evening of music downtown over a decade […]

By February 2, 2024 Read More →
A Study In Starlets

A Study In Starlets

Unplugged View: A Study In StarletsBy Aaron Rowan “My life is spent in one long effort to escape from the commonplaces of existence. These little problems help me to do so.” – Sherlock Holmes. I share this sentiment with my favorite literary character, although the only crimes I’m trying to help solve are the shortage […]

By January 2, 2024 Read More →
Who’s Got Modesto’s G.O.A.T.?

Who’s Got Modesto’s G.O.A.T.?

Unplugged View: Who’s Got Modesto’s G.O.A.T.?by Aaron Rowan The 23rd Modesto Area Music Awards were recently held. It’s always nice to see some artists from my own series go home with prizes. But something is missing from MAMA – has been for a while now – and we need to talk about it. The awards […]

By November 1, 2023 Read More →
All About That Bass, ‘Bout That Bass

All About That Bass, ‘Bout That Bass

All About That Bass, ‘Bout That Bassby Aaron Rowan My friend Chris, a.k.a., Prairie Flower, is the proud owner of the most beautiful instrument I’ve ever laid eyes on. It’s an upright bass painted with a desert evening scene, complete with a cactus and a longhorn skull. Prairie Flower is one-third of a Modesto area […]

By September 3, 2023 Read More →
Arias

Arias

Unplugged View: Ariasby Aaron Rowan A rare extra layer of icing on the cake of Modesto Unplugged programming happens when a featured musician shares a name with an instrument or musical term. There was Viola: violinist & vocalist with the traditional Italian folk group PizziCali, one of the zestiest headliners I’ve hosted. There was Banjo […]

By August 2, 2023 Read More →
The Patzer’s Playlist

The Patzer’s Playlist

The Patzer’s Playlist by Aaron Rowan     Six months ago I began to get heavily into the cosmic game of chess. It is said that there are more possible permutations on the 64 squares than there are atoms in the known universe. The strategy and geometry involved here are endlessly fascinating. I’m no Magnus, but […]

By July 11, 2023 Read More →
Dance Me To The End Of Spring

Dance Me To The End Of Spring

Unplugged View: Dance Me To The End Of Springby Aaron Rowan     Among my assorted side duties as a music curator is the occasional stage-managing shift. One evening, while working in the Bay Area behind the scenes for a friend’s cello-driven band, joined by a full orchestra for this particular concert, I was introduced […]

By June 2, 2023 Read More →
Hey Combo, Combo Italiano

Hey Combo, Combo Italiano

Unplugged View: Hey Combo, Combo Italianoby Aaron Rowan A point of pride with Modesto Unplugged is our penchant for showcasing exotic and obscure instruments, some of which I reasonably suspect have never before been heard in a concert setting in our city, nor would be were it not for our programming. There was the classically […]

By May 3, 2023 Read More →
Somebody Feed Philomena

Somebody Feed Philomena

Unplugged View: Somebody Feed Philomenaby Aaron Rowan The ongoing Songlines series I’m hosting is like the global tasting menu featured on ‘Somebody Feed Phil,’ a food documentary show my sister introduced me to. Thus far, we’ve showcased music from Turkey and Canada, and this month we move on to the majestic country of Scotland, which […]

By March 3, 2023 Read More →
How The Grinch Stole Culture

How The Grinch Stole Culture

Unplugged View  How The Grinch Stole Culture by Aaron Rowan     So there I was, ready to write a paragraph about my music-presenter colleague John Griswold and his Red Tie Arts winter concerts, one of the freshest and most engaging concert series in Modesto. Grandmaster Griswold co-hosted with me one of the finest nights of live […]

By February 9, 2023 Read More →
Bird Fever

Bird Fever

Unplugged View: Bird Feverby Aaron Rowan Reports are in of a new bug circulating around Modesto as the new year begins: CORVID-23, more commonly known as “bird fever.” Not to be confused with the dreaded bird flu…..or that other thing…..CORVID-23 is a social contagion characterized by an irresistible craving for fresh and unique live music […]

By January 2, 2023 Read More →
The Fandom Of The Opera

The Fandom Of The Opera

Unplugged View: The Fandom Of The Operaby Aaron Rowan Winter is my favorite season, and world music features some of my favorite sounds: the twang of Chinese string instruments; the haunting harmonies of Eastern European vocal music; the zesty high spirits of a traditional Italian folk song. On the first Sunday of this month, there’ll […]

By December 2, 2022 Read More →
Turkey Talk

Turkey Talk

Unplugged View Turkey Talkby Aaron Rowan As the holidays approach, and I appreciate the autumn colors, I’m reminded of a mildly amusing thing that happened on a brisk November afternoon five years ago. We were setting up for a concert at my former listening-room space, Moon & Sixpence when a wild turkey appeared out of […]

By November 2, 2022 Read More →
It’s Raining Gems, Hallelujah!

It’s Raining Gems, Hallelujah!

Unplugged View:  It’s Raining Gems, Hallelujah!by Aaron Rowan      Original songwriting…..the first love of Modesto Unplugged. We’re one of the few presenters in the area who value and emphasize original music, and our ‘Friday Night Folk Flight’ program is strong this month, welcoming artful and accomplished songwriters from Connecticut, California and Colorado. We begin […]

By September 30, 2022 Read More →
Unplugged View: The Jewel Of The Isle

Unplugged View: The Jewel Of The Isle

Unplugged View: The Jewel Of The Isleby Aaron Rowan The listening room is the most satisfying sort of venue where I’ve presented music over this past decade. Modesto offers few such spaces, but this month I’m trying out a new one, which looks like it could be quite the experiment. Modesto Unplugged has partnered up […]

By September 3, 2022 Read More →