Currently, Stremmel Auctions is hosting an online auction of notable Grateful Dead memorabilia, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Owsley Stanley Foundation. The Owsley Stanley Foundation, named after the Grateful Dead benefactor, is a non-profit dedicated to preserving Owsley “Bear” Stanley’s “Sonic Journals,” which contain over 1,300 concert recordings of the Grateful Dead, Miles Davis, Jefferson Airplane, Johnny Cash, Fleetwood Mac, and many other prominent artists of the time. The auction will run until March 24th at 10 a.m. (PST) and contains relics from the Grateful Dead’s past, such as posters, a lot of almost one thousand backstage passes, sales awards for Terrapin Station and Built To Last, a Jerry Garcia-signed Old & In The Way album cover, and original Rick Griffin and Richard Biffle art, among many other items.Perhaps most notably, as reported by JamBase, the auction also includes a 1983 FXST Softail Harley Davidson motorcycle previous owned by Jerry Garcia—the motorcycle was originally given to Jerry by a fan but made its way into the hands of Brent Mydland—and five pieces of jewelry made by Owsley “Bear” Stanley. The jewelry being auctioned off includes 22K gold “Sun” and “Moon” pendants and sterling silver and 24K gold “Steal Your Face” pendants. In addition, other unique items outside more standard Grateful Dead memorabilia includes a special Grateful Dead-themed golf bag; a number of beers, wines, and champagnes; eleven eyeglasses by Lawrence Eyewear/Mystique Art inspired by Jerry Garcia; and black motorcycle jacket signed by Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Ozzy Osborne, Billy Idol, Joan Jett, Slash, and many more rock icons.You can view the auction items in person in Reno, Nevada, at Stremmel‘s gallery from March 21st to 23rd (or by appointment). You can also check out the items up for grabs in the auction on Stremmel’s website.[H/T JamBase]
Warren Haynes, a rock guitar legend in his own right, has carved out a niche as a teacher of sorts, educating the masses about their musical heritage with star-studded tributes to iconic artists like Jerry Garcia and The Band. When he’s not leading diverse and talented groups of musicians in special performances or, of course, fronting Gov’t Mule, Warren is frequently known to drop by and lend his searing southern rock sound to artists across the musical spectrum. In honor of his 58th birthday today, we’re taking a look back at a few of our favorite Warren sit-ins.“Forgot About Dre” – The Revivalists ft. Warren Haynes – Brooklyn Bowl – 11/16/12On November 16, 2012, in the “pre-David Shaw afro” days, The Revivalists welcomed Warren Haynes to the stage of NYC’s Brooklyn Bowl. However, instead of playing a southern blues-rock tune like one might expect, they asked the jam-band legend if he would join in for a rendition of Dr. Dre‘s 2001 hit single featuring Eminem, “Forgot About Dre.” The result was truly outstanding and is the perfect example of the unique live music collaborations that we live to see. According to those involved, the Haynes sit-in was so unexpectedly last minute that the song was pitched a mere five minutes before he walked onto the stage for the encore performance. Watch Rob Ingraham rap, Warren slay, and Dave crowd-dive into a sea of screaming people.[Video: The Revivalists]“The Thrill Is Gone” – Soulive ft. Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks – Brooklyn Bowl – 3/8/13It used to be that every March, the Allman Brothers Band would play a string of shows throughout the month at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. This was the same month during which Brooklyn Bowl would host Soulive for their annual “Bowlive” concert series, which always promised an array of special guests that would play deep hours into the night over two weekends. If you were lucky, you got to attend both. One of our favorite moments from when those run collided is when both Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks strolled into the Brooklyn Bowl after their Beacon gig with the Allmans at half past midnight to play a classic B.B. King tune with fellow jammers Eric Krasno, Neal Evans, and Alan Evans. Thankfully, we have a video of the performance, so we can relive the magic whenever we want.[Video: Barry2theB]“Misty Mountain Hop” (Led Zeppelin) – Phish ft. Warren Haynes – Shoreline Amphitheatre – 9/16/99As Phish steamrolled through a powerful fall tour in 1999, the band stopped at the famed Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA for an unforgettable performance. The show was highlighted by a number of exciting moments, including a bust out of Allen Toussaint’s “On Your Way Down” for the first recorded time in over one thousand shows! However, the most exciting liner note from this Shoreline throwdown was the encore, as Phish played the Led Zeppelin classic “Misty Mountain Hop” for only the second time ever with help from, you guessed it, Mr. Warren Haynes. The sit-in marked Haynes’ second appearance with Phish and his first since December of 1995. The exchange between Anastasio and Haynes is some true rock energy, as they shred the Led Zeppelin IV track with panache. Fortunately, we can listen to the whole show streaming below (encore starts at 03:01:00).[Audio: fromtheaquarium]“Scarlet Begonias” > “Fire On The Mountain” (Grateful Dead) – Daze Between Band ft. Warren Haynes – One Eyed Jacks – 5/3/17In 2017, the Daze Between Band—led by Eric Krasno (Soulive/Lettuce) and featuring Oteil Burbridge (Dead & Company), Duane Trucks (Widespread Panic), Danny Louis (Gov’t Mule), Scott Metzger (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead), Ike Stubblefield, Lyle Divinsky (The Motet), Nate Werth (Snarky Puppy), Rashawn Ross (Dave Matthews Band), and Deshaun D’Vibes Alexander (Eric Krasno Band, Marcus King Band)—formed for a higher purpose than simply helping give music fans something to do in the lull the two weekends of the massive annual New Orleans Jazz And Heritage Festival. Originally, Krasno had planned for the musical direction to honor the memory of the late Butch Trucks, who died early in the year.However, with the passing of the legendary Col. Bruce Hampton just days prior, the show found its emotional impetus significantly magnified. This brought surprise guests Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers Band) and Jeff Sipe (Aquarium Rescue Unit) to the show with heavy hearts, but ready for some serious spiritual musical healing. After rumors circulating for much of the night, Haynes surprised the audience, first leading the all-star crew through a monumental 30-minute “Scarlett Begonias” that flowed beautifully into its natural partner in crime, “Fire On The Mountain.” Check it out below.[Video: Live For Live Music]Honorable Mention: “Soulshine” – Hanson ft. Warren HaynesWhen we posted a joke article about Warren Haynes leading a tribute to boy band Hanson for April Fool’s Day in 2017, we had no idea that he had actually played with the Hanson brothers before—ridiculous, we know. But still worth a watch just for kicks. Check out Hanson playing “Soulshine” with Warren Haynes in Jamaica in January of 2013.[Video: steff56822] Happy Birthday, Warren! We can’t wait to see who you hop in with next!If you’ll be in New Orleans For Jazz Fest, don’t miss The Daze Between Band this year featuring Eric Krasno (Soulive/Lettuce), Dave Schools (Widespread Panic), and Duane Trucks (Widespread Panic), with special guests John Medeski and Tom Hamilton at One Eyed Jacks (5/2) and Marcus King and DeShawn “D’Vibes” Alexander at The Howlin’ Wolf (5/3). For more info, click here; to purchase tickets, click here for 5/2 and here for 5/3. For our full guide to Jazz Fest late nights, click here.
Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons, Post Malone, and Fall Out Boy will headline Music Midtown when the festival returns to Atlanta’s Piedmont Park on September 15th and 16th. Other acts on the bill include Khalid, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Gucci Mane, Janelle Monae, Portugal. The Man, Foster The People, The Revivalists, Kacey Musgraves, and Sylvan Esso.Launched in 1994, Music Midtown eventually grew to become the largest musical event in Georgia during its original run from 1994 to 2005 (attendance hit 300,000 per year during that time). Following a six year hiatus, the festival was revived in 2011 and continues to draw tens of thousands of people to Atlanta every September.Tickets for Music Midtown are now on sale. You can check out the festival’s full lineup below.
Frank Zappa has been gone for 25 years now, but his timeless music still lives on. Back in 2015, the Zappa Family Trust posthumously released Frank’s 100th official album, Dance Me This, which was the final record completed by the modern-day composer before his death in 1993. With one-hundred albums under his belt and nearly forty years worth of music, Frank Zappa’s career was an astonishingly massive accomplishment of musical greatness. So massive, in fact, that anyone interested in diving into the seemingly endless Zappa catalog might not know where to begin.We could go on and on; from the beautifully complicated arrangements of Uncle Meat and Waka/Jawaka or the powerful live performances from the Mothers of Invention on Fillmore East – June 1971 and Just Another Band From L.A., to the scathing political genius of Broadway The Hard Way and the unrivaled classical brilliance of The Yellow Shark. We could wax poetic for days. With so much music to choose from, getting started on your journey through the world of Frank Zappa can no doubt be a daunting task.Well, have no fear, Live For Live Music is here! We present our Top 12 most essential Frank Zappa albums. A list for beginners… or as Mr. Zappa would say, “strictly from commercial.” Let’s get started!12. Zoot Allures (1976)Zoot Allures was released in 1976 and was Zappa’s 22nd album. It is the only release on the Warner Bros. label, due to a thorny lawsuit between the two. Regardless of this, the record was one of Zappa’s most popular and features one of the strongest gatherings of musicians ever assembled by Frank. When you’ve got the genius Frank Zappa, Napoleon Murphy Brock (vocals), Terry Bozzio (drums, vocals), Roy Estrada (bass, vocals), Ruth Underwood (synthesizer, marimba), Ian Underwood (saxophone) and Bruce Fowler (trombone) all together on one record, the results are unsurprisingly unparalleled. Featured on this album are the hits “Wind Up Workin’ In A Gas Station,” “Disco Boy” and the fan favorite and live staple “The Torture Never Stops.”11. Freak Out (1966)“Suzy Creamcheese, what’s got into you?”In 1966, Freak Out started it all. This generation-defining debut is a bizarre twist of rock n’ roll, doo-wop and early psychedelic music. Whilst being incredibly musically diverse, Freak Out is one of the earliest examples of a concept album and demonstrates some of the finest illustrations of irony and social/political satire in American rock music. Here lies the seeds that grew into the summer of love. From the opening track, “Hungry Freaks, Daddy” to the Watts Riot-inspired “Trouble Every Day,” this debut record from Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention is one of the biggest game-changing albums out there.10. You Are What You Is (1981)“You are what you is, and that’s all it is,” sings Frank on this gem of the early eighties. It features Zappa at his most political, railing against Republicans, religion and the overall ridiculousness of American society. The music video of the title track was banned from MTV for depicting President Ronald Reagan strapped into an electric chair. The album touches on everything from religion (“The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing,” “Dumb All Over,” “Heavenly Bank Account”) to infidelity (“Harder Than Your Husband”) and even Deadheads (“Teenage Wind”), as well as the Halloween hit, “Goblin Girl.” This is some of the very best of eighties-era Zappa and exemplifies the lyrical and intellectual prowess of the late creative genius.9. Hot Rats (1969)Hot Rats was Zappa’s second solo effort and proved to be one of his most celebrated musical works. The album is a jazz fusion masterpiece and features one of Zappa’s most well-renowned instrumentals, “Peaches en Regalia.” Hot Rats is jam-packed with horns, reeds, organ, bass, drums, percussion, flutes, saxophones, clarinets, tape speed manipulation, bizarre sound effects and extended guitar jams. Captain Beefheart takes the lead vocal on “Willie The Pimp,” which also features Don “Sugarcane” Harris on violin. Other highlights include the jazz instrumental, “Little Umbrellas” and the colossal thirteen-minute jam, “The Gumbo Variations.” If you don’t own Hot Rats, you don’t have a Zappa collection.8. We’re Only In It For The Money (1968)For a guy who had such a strong disliking of the psychedelic movement, Zappa sure knew how to write top-notch psychedelic music. Better than anyone else could, in fact, and unlike many of the similar bands of that time, Zappa did it completely sober. We’re Only In It For The Money was Frank’s response to The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and is known as one of the greatest experimental albums of all time. The album artwork is a parody of the famous Sgt. Pepper album cover, along with the tongue-in-cheek album title which is no doubt yet another saucy jab at the ‘fab four.’During a time when ‘flower power’ was at its most popular, Zappa saw right through these trends and fashioned a creatively contemptuous musical parody of the times. Songs such as “Who Needs The Peace Corps?”, “Concentration Moon”, “Absolutely Free” and “Flower Punk” unmercifully tear into what Frank saw as the shallow absurdities of the hippie counterculture. However he didn’t just point his finger at the youth. Frank takes aim at the parents and authority figures of sixties America on tracks like “Mom & Dad”, “Bow Tie Daddy”, and “What’s The Ugliest Part Of Your Body?”. With brilliantly hilarious satire, expert musicianship, mind-bending arrangements and incredibly advanced recording techniques, We’re Only In It For The Money is by far one of the most important albums of the late sixties.7. Zappa In New York (1977)Zappa In New York was recorded at the Felt Forum and at the Palladium during a chaotic time in New York City, and that chaos echoes loudly throughout this tremendous live record. This was also one of the greatest lineups that Frank has ever pulled together, live on stage, and if you close your eyes while listening, you’ll feel like you’re front and center. The young and extremely charismatic drummer Terry Bozzio delivers some of the albums most memorable moments. Whether it be playing the part of the devil in “Titties & Beer” or glam-rock star Punky Meadows in “Punky’s Whips,” Bozzio delivers lots of laughs. Not to mention the drum masterpieces, “The Black Page Drum Solo” and “The Black Page 1 & 2.”Never to be outdone of course, is Frank’s face-melting guitar work on songs like “Cruisin’ For Burgers” and “Pound For A Brown.” The explicitly hilarious, “Honey Don’t You Want A Man Like Me” was a live staple at the time and is one of the high points on the record as well. Even Saturday Night Live announcer, Don Pardo found his way onto the stage, providing the spoken-word introductions for “I’m The Slime”, “Punky’s Whips” and “The Illinois Enema Bandit.” Zappa In New York is hands-down one of the greatest live records of all time.6. One Size Fits All (1975)Perhaps one of his most successful, One Size Fits All is a grand-slam of a record. This was Zappa in his prime and features the exceedingly intricate fan favorite, “Inca Roads”, as well as the singles “San Ber’dino” and “Sofa No.1 & 2.” The band lineup includes some of the most prominent members of the Zappa alumni: George Duke (keyboards, vocals), Napoleon Murphy Brock (flute, tenor saxophone, vocals), Tim Fowler (bass) and Ruth Underwood (vibraphone, marimba, percussion). “Po-Jama People,” “Florentine Pogen” and “Andy” also are highlights on this phenomenal record, and are among some of the greatest songs of the entire Zappa catalogue.5. apostrophe (’) (1974)apostrophe is as close to commercial as Frank Zappa could get. This highly-renowned rock classic offered up the first charting single of his career, “Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow.” The song was in conjunction with the subsequent tracks, “Nanook Rubs It,” “St. Alfonzo’s Pancake Breakfast” and “Father O’Blivion,” however the radio edit of “Yellow Snow” was the official single. Also in attendance is the well-known “Cosmik Debris” as well as the standout track, “Uncle Remus,” which sheds light upon racial tensions in America. apostrophe is an essential of the essentials and still stands as the biggest commercial triumph of Zappa’s career.4. Over-Nite Sensation (1973)Recorded during the same sessions as Apostrophe, this progressive masterpiece was the launch of Zappa’s commercial years. With hits like “Camarillo Brillo,” “I’m The Slime,” “Dirty Love,” “Zomby Woof,” “Montana” and the obscenely sexually-charged fan-favorite, “Dinah-Moe-Humm,” this record is brimming with classics of the 1970’s. No doubt a controversial record, the subject matter predominantly focuses on themes of a sexual nature. Pornography, masturbation, bestiality, oral and anal sex are all in attendance. Classy material indeed.Meanwhile, songs like “I’m The Slime” take aim at the addictive nature of television; “a tool of the government and industry” as Frank puts it. The song ironically even made its way onto the popular new late-night television show at the time, Saturday Night Live, where Zappa’s performance of the song was broadcast to television screens all across the country. Quite the incongruous yet ingenious public sensation indeed.3. Roxy & Elsewhere (1974)When it comes to live albums, you can’t get much better than Roxy & Elsewhere. Primarily recorded at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood, California, it stands as one of the most extraordinarily complex Zappa recordings ever. Some of his most difficult and intense instrumentals are on this album. “Echidna’s Arf (Of You)” and “Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing” are arguably two of the most elaborate instrumentals in rock history.“Cheepnis” and “Be-Bop Tango” are also so outrageously multifarious, they are truly out-of-this-world. Percussionist Ruth Underwood’s work on the xylophones, marimbas and vibraphones is some of the best you’ll ever hear, while the vocal stylings of Napoleon Murphy Brock are some of the strongest of his career. Also in the lineup is George Duke (keyboards, synthesizer, vocals), Tom Fowler ( bass), Bruce Fowler (trombone), Walt Fowler (trumpet), Jeff Simmons (rhythm guitar, vocals), Don Preston (synthesizer), and both Ralph Humphrey and Chester Thompson on drums. Other notable songs are the kinky “Penguin In Bondage” and the autobiographical anthem “Village Of The Sun.” Roxy & Elsewhere offers up the best of the best.2. Sheik Yerbouti (1979)By 1979, Zappa was at his apex. Recorded both live and in the studio, Sheik Yerbouti is a massive double-album of pure creative genius. Much of the album’s material pokes fun at the popular music and culture of the late 1970’s. From disco and cocaine (“Dancin’ Fool”) to sex and S&M (“Bobby Brown Goes Down”/“Broken Hearts Are For Assholes”), Zappa saw right through the trends of the 70‘s just as he did during the previous decade. Peter Frampton is mocked on the opening track “I Have Been In You” and even Bob Dylan takes a hit on the following song “Flakes.” It seems no one is safe.Whether it be the fiery performance of “Tryin’ To Grow A Chin,“ the politically incorrect hilarity of “Jewish Princess” or the silly and suggestive “Wild Love,” Sheik Yerbouti gives the fans everything you’d want from a Zappa record. To this day, it stands as Frank Zappa’s biggest selling album. “I knew you’d be surprised!”1. Joe’s Garage Acts I, II & III (1979)1979 was a big year for Frank Zappa. It was a tough choice between this album and Sheik Yerbouti, but after some thought, Joe’s Garage won the well-deserved spot at number one on our list.Joe’s Garage is a rock opera with three acts. It’s a concept album, telling the story of an Orwellian universe where music has been made illegal. “If the president (any one of them) went on TV and sat there with the flag in the background (or maybe a rustic scene on a little backdrop, plus the flag) and stated sincerely into the camera and told everybody that all energy problems and all inflationary problems had been traced to and could be solved by the abolition of music,” Zappa explains in the album’s liner notes, “chances are that most people would believe him and think that the illegalization of this obnoxious form of noise pollution would be a small price to pay to buy gas like the good ol’ days.”The title track is one of Zappa’s most famous tunes, along with the popular fan-favorites “Catholic Girls,” “Crew Slut,” “Fembot In A Wet T-Shirt,” “Why Does It Hurt When I Pee” and the guitar instrumental “Watermelon In Easter Hay,” which is famously known as one of Zappa’s greatest solos. The album certainly isn’t without Frank’s usual intricacies. “On The Bus“ is a face-melting guitar opus and “Keep It Greasey” has a mind-boggling 21/16 time signature. All in all, Joe’s Garage is the epitome of a Frank Zappa record. From the musical diversity and density to the satirical humor and masterful guitar wizardry, Joe’s Garage Acts I, II & III showcases the very best of Frank Zappa.So that’s it, folks. That is our list of the top 12 most essential Frank Zappa albums. If you don’t have these records, well, what are you waiting for? Go on, expand your mind and your music collection. Give your ears and your mind a treat, because as Frank famously said, “music is the best.”You can also check out Joseph Conlon’s list of Zappa’s 50 Greatest Songs.
As Aqueous continues their co-headlining trek with BIG Something, the Buffalo-native quartet has shared the second installment in their newly launched “Jam of the Week” series. The latest Aqueous Jam of the Week comes in the form of the 15+ minute “Warren In The Window” from their performance last weekend at Denver, CO’s Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom.INTERVIEW: Aqueous’s Mike Gantzer Recaps 2018 Highlights, Prepares For All-Improv SetAs Aqueous guitarist/vocalist Mike Gantzer says of the jam in question, “I love when we’re in these languid pockets of groove when we improvise, and [bassist] Evan [McPhaden] and [drummer] Rob [Houk] really lock in together-it’s an ebb and flow thing. ‘Warren in the Window’ from last week’s Denver show has that vibe going on big time, and [guitarist/keyboardist] Dave [Loss] really gets after it on the solo, too.”“Warren In The Window” – 2/17/19Setlist: Aqueous | Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom | Denver, CO | 2/17/19SET ONE: Kitty Chaser (Explosions), Realize Your Light > Warren in the Window, Welcome to Paradise1, Numbers and Facts, Don’t Do It > Mice > Don’t Do It, Rosanna2 3ENCORE: Uncle Phil’s Parachute > Short People4 > Uncle Phil’s ParachuteNOTES:1 ft Mikey Carrubba of Turkuaz2 ft Nick MacDaniels, Jesse Hensley, Josh Kagel, Ben Vinogard, and Casey Cranford of big Something3 Toto cover, Aqueous debut4 InstrumentalYou can download the entire show via Nugs.net.Aqueous and BIG Something continue their tour this weekend with stops in Seattle, WA (2/22) and Bend, OR (2/3). For a full list of Aqueous’ upcoming tour dates, head to the band’s website here.
moe. recently concluded a seven-date northeast tour, which wrapped up at the Beacon Theatre in New York City with a special guest performance from John Popper. The Blues Traveler frontman provided harmonica duties to a trio of tunes, including “New York City”, “Blue Jeans Pizza”, and “Moth”, foreshadowing the following week’s exciting announcement.Days later, the Buffalo rockers announced a co-headlining tour with Blues Traveler, which is sure to include plenty more collaborations with the legendary Mr. Popper. G. Love has been tapped for opening duties throughout the tour, which will take the bands to 21 cities from mid-July through mid-August.The All Roads Runaround Tour will feature three sets: one set from moe., one set from Blues Traveler, and a third collaborative set featuring both bands. General on-sale and VIP packages for the All Roads Runaround Tour are currently open via Live Nation.Watch pro-shot video of moe. and John Popper performing the iconic “New York City” in New York City from earlier this winter.Moe w/ John Popper | Beacon Theatre | 2/23/19 moe. & Blues Traveler w/ G. Love – All Roads Runaround Tour DatesJuly 11 – Farmingville, NY – Long Island Community Hospital Amphitheater at Bald HillJuly 12 – Asbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony Summer StageJuly 13 – Baltimore – MECU PavilionJuly 15 – Portsmouth, VA – Union Bank & Trust PavilionJuly 17 – Northampton, MA – Pines TheatreJuly 19 – Boston – Rockland Trust Bank PavilionJuly 20 – Wallingford, CT – Toyota Oakdale TheatreJuly 21 – Gilford, NH – Bank of New Hampshire PavilionJuly 24 – Toronto, ON – REBELJuly 27 – Cleveland, OH – Jacobs Pavilion at NauticaJuly 28 – Cincinnati, OH – PNC PavilionJuly 30 – Detroit – Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom HillJuly 31 – Indianapolis, IN – Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State ParkAug. 2 – Nashville, TN – Ascend AmphitheaterAug. 3 – Atlanta – Coca-Cola RoxyAug. 4 – Raleigh, NC – Red Hat AmphitheaterAug. 6 – Greensboro, NC – White Oak Amphitheatre at the Greensboro Coliseum ComplexAug. 7 – Jacksonville, FL – Daily’s PlaceAug. 9 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music HallAug. 10 – Irving, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music FactoryAug. 11 – Austin, TX – Stubb’s Waller Creek AmphitheaterView All Tour Dates
To meet the faculty associates for the Radcliffe Institute, you would have to travel from one end of Harvard’s campus to the other, from the bustling streets of the Longwood Medical Area to bucolic Observatory Hill, with stops at the Barker Center across from Harvard Yard, the shiny new Center for Government and International Studies on Cambridge Street, and the towering William James Hall on Kirkland Street. Then you would have to call Berlin, where a faculty associate is at an institute for advanced study, the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.This geographic span shows the breadth of Radcliffe’s Academic Engagement Programs (AEP), the faculty-led initiative that Barbara J. Grosz, dean of the Radcliffe Institute and Higgins Professor of Natural Sciences in Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, is building. “We want to engage faculty from all disciplinary areas to explore new approaches to pressing questions,” said Grosz, who served as Radcliffe’s dean of science from 2001 until 2008. Grosz says her goal is to advance research and to promote cooperation among faculty members by providing them with resources and space that foster collaboration.Since becoming dean of the institute, Grosz has appointed six new faculty associates, all of them accomplished in their fields: Ewa Lajer-Burcharth, Brigitte Madrian, Leah Price, Robert J. Sampson, Dimitar D. Sasselov, and Rosalind A. Segal.Ewa Lajer-Burcharth, a Radcliffe faculty associate in the humanities and the William Dorr Boardman Professor of Fine Arts in the Department of History of Art and Architecture, has worked with a faculty committee drawn from across the University to design the institute’s annual gender conference for April 15-16, 2010. At the conference, artists and scholars will explore the ways that gender affects how people experience physical and personal spaces and how space affects the way they think about gender.Leah Price, RI ’07, a Radcliffe faculty associate in the humanities and a Harvard College professor in the English Department, and Ann Blair, a former Radcliffe faculty associate in the humanities, a Harvard College professor in the History Department, and the Henry Charles Lea Professor of History, will convene academics, librarians, and students at the institute next fall for a conference called “Why Books?” on Oct. 28-29. Realizing a vision of Grosz and Diana Sorensen, dean of the arts and humanities in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and planned in consultation with faculty from a range of fields, the conference will further conversations on the history and future of books.One of the most ambitious AEP ventures is the City as Social Science Laboratory, part of the Radcliffe Institute’s new Policy Studies Initiative, designed by Robert J. Sampson and Brigitte Madrian, the institute’s social science faculty associates. Madrian and Sampson are working with faculty from other Schools at the University to link records in the Boston area — including medical reports, crime records, census data, and immigration information — with the goal of studying city problems such as substandard housing, failing schools, and crime.“There’s a wealth of data in the Boston area that researchers and administrators in local institutions have compiled,” said Sampson, chairman of Harvard’s Department of Sociology and the Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences. He and Madrian, the Aetna Professor of Public Policy and Corporate Management at the Harvard Kennedy School, think Boston has been underutilized as a laboratory for social issues. By launching the City as Social Science Laboratory, Madrian and Sampson can bring local practitioners together with leading academic researchers and apply data to urban problems.Madrian and Sampson have strong ties to other social scientists at Harvard. Among their collaborators is Nancy E. Hill, a professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, who was named the first appointee to Radcliffe Institute’s Suzanne Young Murray Professorship in July.To work with AEP faculty to strengthen the institute’s connections across the University and to expand AEP activities, Grosz has appointed Rebecca Wassarman as director of AEP. A longtime member of the Harvard community, Wassarman has already collaborated with faculty members and senior administrators at many Harvard Schools. She earned an A.B. in history from Harvard and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.Discussing the AEP initiatives, Grosz described the institute as an “engine of intellectual innovation.” The institute has supported activities that engage Harvard faculty members, students, fellows, and the public. But organizing these activities under the one AEP umbrella is Grosz’s innovation. “The best way to draw people at the University together is to engage people from its different parts to address important problems,” Grosz said. “That’s how the Radcliffe Institute is seeding new intellectual ventures.”“This is a terrific program,” said Harvard President Drew Faust. “It places the Radcliffe Institute at the center of our efforts to foster collaboration among faculty members from across the University who bring a range of disciplinary perspectives to issues of pressing concern.”To read the full story.Pat Harrison is publications manager at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
Prague 1984 Exhibition material quoting official documents: “Photographic documentation must give us a clear and precise picture of actualities which have a causal relationship to the subject …” Prague 1977 These never-before-seen photographs and films of “subjects of interest” were taken secretly during the “normalization” era of hard-line socialist entrenchment after the 1968 Soviet-led occupation of Czechoslovakia, according to the exhibition notes. The photos are unsettling, depicting years of humdrum, everyday life framed through the lenses of unendingly suspicious watchdogs.“Prague Through the Lens of the Secret Police,” at Harvard through Dec. 21, is an exhibit of spooky images from the 1970s and 1980s. They depict the “normalization” period in Czechoslovakia, an intensely repressive interval between the Soviet-led crackdown in 1968 and the collapse of Communist rule in 1989.The exhibit, at the Center for Government and International Studies, consists mostly of banner-size photos and text cards translated from Czech.There are also six minutes of looped video. In one scene, filmed with a hidden camera, a man simply eats an apple. “From now on, when I eat an apple, I’m going to be watchful,” said Mark Kramer, a fellow and director of the Harvard Project on Cold War Studies, part of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.The Czech secret police went to great lengths to keep track of people “who were perfectly innocuous,” he said. “These weren’t terrorists. They weren’t dangers to the state.”The images, grainy and haunting, capture the dreary period known as “dumpling socialism,” a term of ironic nostalgia for Czech Communists. “The Prague we see,” reads the exhibit catalog, “is full of scaffolding, peeling facades, and socialist-era cars with two-stroke engines.”The exhibit is from the Institute of Totalitarian Regimes in Prague, where a related Security Services Archive opened last year. The show’s first U.S. stop was the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. Its second is Harvard.Kramer has worked extensively in the Czech police archive. Stored end to end in file cabinets, he estimates, are more than 30 miles of documents. Czech authorities say it will take a decade to digitize all of that paper, microfiche, film, and photography.Similar archives are open to the public in most former nations of the Soviet-controlled Eastern Bloc. But the Czech archive, established by law, is the freest and most accessible, said Jiri Ellinger, first secretary and head of the political section at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, D.C. At Harvard, he spoke at an opening reception Nov. 15 to a crowd of about 150. Prague 1977 “Prague Through the Lens of the Secret Police” introduces the visual products of the activities of a special unit of the Communist secret police (Státní bezpečnost, or StB) – the Surveillance Directorate of the Interior Ministry – which carried out surveillance of Czechs, Slovaks, and foreigners whom the Communist regime deemed hostile or suspicious in any way. Prague 1978 One of the exhibition’s aims is to show those who never experienced life in a Communist dictatorship what the secret police actually did at the behest of Czechoslovakia’s Communist regime. Prague 1978 The secret shadowing of designated people was carried out by about 200 policemen. Photos courtesy of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, Prague Prague 1985 Camouflaging a Nikon camera was difficult. Servicemen installed the Nikon next to the radiator of a car and devised a vent for picture taking on the front grille. The driver controlled the camera, notes the book “Prague Through the Lens of the Secret Police.” Prague 1985 The camera was hidden under a coat, in a suitcase, or in a handbag. The Communist secret police would release the shutter at moments when they felt the subject was in front of the hidden lens. Prague 1985 The officers’ most commonly used exposure time was 1/125 of a second and often even 1/60 of a second. ‘Prague Through the Lens of the Secret Police’ Prague 1984 A one-of-a-kind exhibition of photographs and films taken by the surveillance unit of the Czechoslovak secret police in the 1970s and 1980s, “Prague Through the Lens of the Secret Police,” is on display at Harvard’s Center for Government and International Studies through Dec. 21. This is the second stop in the exhibition’s U.S. tour. This is not an art exhibit, though the photos have “a peculiar charm,” said Ellinger. “Rather than enjoy it, I would ask you to think about it.”The people in the pictures could not speak, read, or gather freely, he said. And the people taking the pictures thought of citizen surveillance as normal.Still, the black-and-white photos, tilted and blurry, carry the unmistakable, if accidental, imprint of art. “An important work of art,” admits the catalog, “can also sometimes be created by people of whom it would not have been expected.”The exhibit begs the questions: Who were these unintentional artists, whose photos can move onlookers years later? Who were these secret-police officials, whose naïve pictures — taken without aid of the human eye from satchels and pockets — evoke so vividly the drab Prague of the Communist era?In 1948, when Czechoslovakia became a Communist state, there were 14 men in a special police unit who were spying on citizens. They had only one camera. By 1989, just before the Velvet Revolution transformed the Czech Socialist Republic into a democracy, 795 men and women were in the Surveillance Directorate of the State Security Service.These domestic spies embraced a James Bond modernity. They used many cameras — concealed in tobacco pouches, purses, briefcases, transistor radios, lighters, and on engine blocks (for mobile surveillance). They mounted Sony television cameras in parked cars and in a baby carriage wheeled around by operatives posing as married couples. They ran up tabs for meals and beer. All was carefully archived, including deadpan written reports that read like postmodern fiction.One began: “ALI was caught at the train station hall while perusing the arrival board. ALI was bareheaded, dressed in a white-striped outfit and white shoes. She was carrying a white plastic bag and a brown purse. Afterwards …”Haviland Smith, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s station chief in Prague from 1958 to 1960, attended the opening. He called surveillance “an expression of the regime’s desire to stay in power — nothing more, nothing less.”Surveillance was often layered, professional, and constant.It could be comical too. Shortly after arriving at a Prague hotel, Smith’s wife complained how there was only one towel in their room. “Within two minutes,” he said, “there was a knock on the door, and the maid stood there with an armful of towels.”By 1989, police spies had amassed more than 7,000 files on civilians. They gave their operations code names with novelistic resonance, including Rome, Tennis Player, Bula, and Condor. They nicknamed their surveillance subjects with similar verve: Alice 83, Smoke, Typist, and Aloe, for instance.Producer 1, tailed from 1982 to 1989, was filmmaker Milos Forman. Doctor A — bespectacled, bearded, and on crutches in the exhibit photos — was Zdenek Pinc, a Prague professor of ancient philosophy.“He was dangerous to the regime,” as were his beloved philosophers from 2,000 years ago, said Ellinger, because “he wanted to study and think freely.”The Czech archive is important for more than Cold War scholarship, and “has immense value on the personal level,” said Ellinger, who was 15 at the time of the Velvet Revolution in 1989. “To know exactly what happened is the first step toward healing.”
The Harvard University Asia Center was established in 1997 to reflect Harvard’s deep commitment to Asia and the growing connections between Asian nations. An important aspect of the center’s mission is the support of undergraduate and graduate summer projects abroad. This summer, the Asia Center will fund 75 students traveling to east, south, and southeast Asia to conduct research, participate in internships, and pursue intensive language study.Harvard’s study of Asia is spread across the University’s departments and Schools, and a wide array of disciplines comes together under the auspices of the Asia Center. Through such a convergence, the center brings a layered, multifaceted approach to probe questions of history and culture, economics, politics, diplomacy, and security, and the relationships among them.View a complete list of grant recipients.
Harvard Library is offering an environmental way to let your favorite people know you care on this Valentine’s Day. Simply click on the link provided, choose a card, write your greeting, and send it via email. The cards range from a 19th-century hand-drawn valentine card from Houghton Library to an image from Emily Dickinson’s herbarium at Houghton Library. Even Harvard’s Map Collection can find its way into someone’s heart. So click, write, and send.