By August 29, 2020 Read More →

UnpluggedView: Welcome to the Machine

UnpluggedView: Welcome to the Machine
By Aaron Rowan
    I’ve featured a number of virtuosos over the past eight years. Now we’re living through a era dominated by virtualosos. Don’t expect any online showcases from Modesto Unplugged, though. That would go against everything I stand for as a curator of music. Like an oso of a different variety, I continue to hibernate until our local listening venues become filled with beautiful sounds once more. But some of my musical friends and colleagues have nifty projects in the cyber-realm, so here are a few recommendations to help you discover new music and other artistic content.
    Grace Carrillo, a composer & music educator down in Turlock, runs The Arts Machine, where you’ll find interviews with local bands, discussions of music and film (including a segment where she and I chat about the Modesto Unplugged mission), and some of Grace’s original compositions. EXPLORE:
    Loose Filter is a podcast series founded 15 years ago. Stuart & Lisette Sims – also music educators based in Turlock – cover an array of topics relating to music history, theory, structure, etc.; and also how we interact with music. ‘How Technology Shapes Musical Thought’ and ‘Organized Chaos: the art & craft of metalcore” are just two of the tantalizing titles. DIGEST:
    My dear friend Sharon Martinson is a banjo badass with a PhD in entomology. She creates gorgeous songs of her own, and often spends the winter months cataloging the songs of katydids in Central America. I once got to spend some time with her there and lend a hand in her research. When at home in Wyoming, Sharon can sometimes be found sitting in as a DJ with Wyoming Sounds, where her specialty is sharing American folk music. I love tuning in and expanding my own Infinite Playlist. STREAM:
    Whitherward (Ashley Norton & Edward Williams) are among the finest musical duos I’ve featured. This year they launched ‘Crimes Against Folk,’ a storyteller and song podcast with tales from their years of touring, plus guest appearances from luminaries in various industries. The podcast also offers tips and tricks to provide creators with valuable information to further their careers. ABSORB:
    Finally, the Yosemite Songwriting Retreat returns October 9-11 in an online format. Some of California’s best folk artists including Joe Craven and Rita Hosking will serve as mentors. My friend Gail Dreifus is a cofounder of this weekend experience, as well as one of the instructors. A $99 registration special is good through September 1, or $125 thereafter. GROW:
    Intimate performances. Infinite playlist. MODESTO UNPLUGGED.
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