This summer is surely shaping up nicely, as the newest festival to announce their lineup is High Sierra Music Festival. The four night excursion will take place from June 30-July 3rd in Quincy, CA, capitalizing on the beautiful Northern California climate for an early summer throwdown.Headlining the festival will be Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Thievery Corporation and Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. The full lineup is stacked with sets from Dr. Dog, Greensky Bluegrass, Femi Kuti & The Positive Force, JJ Grey & Mofro, Xavier Rudd, Leftover Salmon, Lettuce, North Mississippi Allstars, ALO, The Floozies, The California Honeydrops, DRKWAV (John Medeski, Skerik & Adam Deitch), The Motet, The New Mastersounds, Turkuaz, Elephant Revival, The Soul Rebels and more! TAUK, Twiddle, The Main Squeeze, Break Science are also featured on the bill.Considering this is just a phase one announcement, we’re certainly optimistic for this great festival. Tickets and more informaion are available via the High Sierra Music Festival website.
Month: March 2021
This year’s Sloss Music & Arts Festival will take place at the Historic Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark in Birmingham, Alabama on July 16 & 17. Headliners for the 2016 festival include The Flaming Lips, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Death Cab For Cutie, and Ryan Adams, with supporting performances from White Denim, The Arcs, Dr. Dog, Ghostland Observatory, Shovels & Rope, and many more.You can peep the full lineup in this video announcement:With over 30 bands, 3 stages, in just 2 days, the event also features handcrafted cocktails from Redmont Distillery, a new collaboration between Starr Hill Brewery and Trim Tab Brewing Company, crafted especially for the 2016 Sloss Fest. Also new this year is a technology-focused event presented by BBVA Compass and TechBirmingham. For more information, visit the festival’s website. Tickets go on-sale March 4th. Full lineup below:
Load remaining images Setlist: Greensky Bluegrass at The Castle Theatre, Bloomington, IL – 3/16/16Set 1: Help!, Lose My Way, Windshield, Working on a Building, Wheel Hoss, The Four (1) > Wings for Wheels, All Four, DemonsSet 2: In Control, That’s What Love Will Make You Do, New Rize Hill, Casual Wednesday, Cold Feet, Leap Year (2), Old Barns, Hit Parade of Love, Bottle Dry, Better Off, Living OverE: Gumboots(1) Extended jam out of “The Four”(2) Bustin’ Loose teasesFull gallery of images below: There’s just no denying that Greensky Bluegrass is a band on fire. Their live shows continue to bring a passionate intensity, and fans everywhere can’t get enough of their music. The group recently rolled in to The Castle Theatre in Bloomington, IL, playing their hearts out for a fun-loving show. The group opened up with a cover of The Beatles’ “Help!” and went into newer songs “Lose My Way” and “Windshield,” keeping up the energy throughout. A cover of Jerry Garcia’s “That’s What Love Will Make You Do” and Jimmy Martin’s “Hit Parade Of Love” punctuated a great second set full of Greensky originals.Thanks to photographer Rily Cochran, we have a gallery from the performance. Dig it:
For anyone who was hoping Simon & Garfunkel reunion, don’t hold your breath. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Paul Simon was asked about any possibility of working with Art Garfunkel in the future.Simon sternly responded, “No, out of the question… We don’t even talk.”The singer/songwriter also talks about how he plans to craft setlists for his upcoming tour, saying that fans should expect a selection of songs from Simon’s new album, Stranger to Stranger, which is due out on June 3rd. The new release sounds rather exciting, actually, as Simon explores one-of-a-kind instruments and unique tonal structures.Of course, all of the classics will also be in store. “They wanna hear ‘You Can Call Me Al,’… So I play it. It’s not like I would pick out ‘You Can Call Me Al’ and play it because I really want to, but people like it so much that I’m like, ‘Of course I’ll do it.’ I’ll play ‘Me and Julio [Down by the Schoolyard]’ too, though I actually like ‘Me and Julio.’”Simon’s tour kicks off at Jazz Fest next week, and runs until June. Tour dates can be seen here.[Via Rolling Stone]
With such a lengthy and successful career as Neil Young’s, it’s surprising that anything he does could be a “first” anymore. Then again, Young did just release the first live album to be mixed with choirs, animal noises, traffic and more (read the review here), so it is readily apparent that the singer/songwriter is continuing down a path of novelty, even at age 70. Whether the rejuvenation comes from his work with Promise of the Real, from within, or from somewhere else, it’s quite nice to see Neil Young hard at work.Today we’ve learned that Neil Young will make another first, performing with Promise of the Real at Town Park in the beautiful Telluride, CO. From September 30-October 1st, Young will hit the stage with POTR for what is sure to be two magical evenings of music. The Colorado town has hosted the likes of Phish, Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan and more during its musical tenure.Telluride tickets go on sale next Tuesday, July 26th in Telluride, and will be released to Neil Young’s fan club on the 27th, before a general on sale one day later, on July 28th. Seeing Neil Young’s first-ever Telluride performance is sure to be a memorable experience! All the information can be found here.
Just when you thought all hope was lost for the music business, it turns out that some things do, in fact, get better. Last week, during the 48th week of 2016, vinyl album sales beat digital downloads in the UK for the first time ever. This new statistic, brought to us by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) and The Vinyl Factory, expresses a huge growth in the vinyl market in just one year’s time.Vinyl sales in the UK tallied £2.4M to digital’s £2.1M in sales last week. For comparison, last year’s sales during the 48th week of the year saw £1.2M in vinyl sales to digital’s £4.4M. This shows a huge shift in consumer preference, as the popularity of vinyl amongst music lovers seems to be growing exponentially.This comes directly after Record Store Day Black Friday and the overall beginning of Christmas season, which may influence results in some way, but the outcome is all the same. Vinyl, at least for a week, is king. While the sales of digital downloads and CDs are plummeting, the sales of vinyl records are on the rise in a huge way.[photo courtesy of David’s Used Books]
Gov’t Mule brought their Southern rock style out West last night, performing at the Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas along their ongoing late winter tour. Mule put down a great performance in Sin City, calling on blues guitarist Chris Tofield and Chris Vos, of opening band The Record Company, for a memorable night of music yesterday, March 4th.The collaborations began when Mule called on Tofield at the end of the first set, jamming out the song “Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody’s Home.” Vos would join in during the encore, letting loose on the blues standard “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl,” before Tofield joined again for the finale, “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man.”Check out some YouTube videos of the collaboration as well as the setlist, all posted below. Setlist: Gov’t Mule | Brooklyn Bowl | Las Vegas, NV | 3/4/17Set One: World Boss, Mr. High & Mighty, Steppin’ Lightly, About To Rage, Whisper In Your Soul, Doing It To Death, Time To Confess, Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody’s Home*Set Two: Railroad Boy, She Said She Said, Tomorrow Never Knows, Fallen Down, The Other One Jam, Kind Of Bird, 30 Days In The Hole, I Don’t Need No DoctorEncore: Good Morning Little Schoolgirl&, Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man*&* = With Chris Tofield& = With Chris Vos[Photo by Rex-A-Vision]
When Strange Design’s Adam Chase and Matthew Chase decided to put together their Phish and James Brown tributes, Jazz Is PHSH and The James Brown Dance Party, it was anybody’s guess that both concepts would take off as much as they have. But performance after performance, the Brothers Chase have brought in some of the most talented musicians from across the jam, funk, and jazz spectrum, and each show is always a treat for spectators who can’t get enough of the two projects. With a performance at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York, serving as their backdrop, both acts are primed and ready to take things to the next level on Saturday, June 3rd. We have a feeling you’ll want to be at The Capitol Theatre when it goes down, particularly when considering Fred Wesley of James Brown Band and the J.B.’s, Eric “Benny” Bloom of Lettuce, and Kofi Burbridge of Tedeschi Trucks Band have all been confirmed for the evening, with more even announcements about special guests on the way (purchase tickets here).Across the various iterations of the James Brown Dance Party and Jazz Is PHSH, both groups have boasted guests from stellar acts such as Snarky Puppy, Trombone Shorty, Galactic, Trey Aanastasio Band, The J.B.’s, James Brown Band, Bootsy Collins Band, Lettuce, Aquarium Rescue Unit, Victor Wooten Band, Break Science, Pretty Lights Live Band, Kung Fu, and more. The rotating cast of all-star musicians just gets better and better each time either tribute comes together, and The Capitol Theatre show will be no different.Clearly, The Capitol Theatre performance is fixing to truly be a heater of a show! Tickets for James Brown Dance Party and Jazz is PHSH show on Saturday, June 3rd are currently on-sale and available at the venue’s website. For show updates and additional information, join the Facebook Event page.[cover photo courtesy of Andrew Scott Blackstein Photography]
Pink Talking Fish is kicking off 2018 with a national winter tour, rocking through a mix of northeast ski destinations, a run through Virginia, and visits to Colorado and New Mexico. The ten-stop tour will culminate with a blowout show at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York with a very exciting show. Following the momentum from last year’s celebration–when the band hosted a 3+ hour performance of the Talking Head’s film Stop Making Sense with special guests from The Meters, Turkuaz, Deep Banana Blackout, and more–Pink Talking Fish have officially one-upped their own game. On February 10th, the Capitol Theatre will present Pink Talking Fish: The Wall.Pink Talking Fish: The Wall will be a full rendition of Pink Floyd’s masterpiece The Wall with Phish and Talking Heads songs intertwined through the album cuts. Like last year, this will be a marathon performance and this interpretation of The Wall promises to explore uncharted territories beyond comprehension. As special guests for the evening, Dopapod guitarist Rob Compa, as well as Sammi Garett and Shira Elias from Turkuaz will be special guests for this event, with many more surprises in store.Here is a full list of upcoming Pink Talking Fish Tour dates:FALL TOUR:11/15: Charleston SC at The Pour House11/16: Charlotte NC at The Rabbit Hole11/17: Birmingham AL at Old Car Heaven11/18: Asheville NC at New Mountain AVL11/19: Atlanta GA at Terminal West11/30: Columbus OH at Woodlands Tavern12/01: Columbus OH at Woodlands Tavern12/02: Columbus OH at Woodlands Tavern12/14: Asbury Park NJ at The Stone Pony12/15: Saratoga Springs NY at Putnam Den12/16: New Haven CT at Toad’s Place – Kung Fu’s Annual Toy’s For Tots BenefitNEW YEARS RUN:12/29: Portland ME at Aura – double bill w/ Kung Fu12/30: New York NY at Irving Plaza – Phish Afterparty12/31: Worcester MA at The Palladium – Big Ball Jam w/ Keller Williams, Percy Hill & Bearly DeadWINTER TOUR:1/12: Plymouth NH at The Flying Monkey1/13: Mount Snow VT at The Snow Barn1/18: Roanoke VA at 5 Points Music Sanctuary1/19: Richmond VA at The National1/20: Norfolk VA at The NorVa1/27: Jay VT at Jay Peak Resort2/03: Crested Butte CO at The Tap Room2/04: Taos NM at Taos Mesa Brewing Company2/05: Denver CO at Cervantes Other Side2/10: Port Chester NY at The Capitol Theatre4/19-21: Live Oak FL at Wanee Music Festival
On June 19th, a new book on the Grateful Dead will be released titled Fare Thee Well: The Final Chapter Of The Grateful Dead’s Long, Strange Trip. While numerous books have been written on the Grateful Dead—ranging from near-academic chronological accounts of the band’s long-storied history to highly specific tomes dedicated to single shows—Fare Thee Well sets itself apart, diving deep into the frequently turbulent relationships among the surviving members of the band following Jerry Garcia’s death in 1995.Written by Joel Selvin, a noted music critic who came to fame with his weekly column in the San Francisco Chronicle, Fare Thee Well holds nothing back in detailing the frequently messy lives of and in-fighting among the surviving Grateful Dead members from 1995 up to the Grateful Dead’s final, historic Fare Thee Well concerts in 2015. With a focus on Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart, the book’s approach is specific yet expansive, tracking other key figures in the extended Grateful Dead family as they weave in and out of the Core Four’s post-Jerry lives.As a fan of the Grateful Dead, in all honesty, the book can be difficult to get through; it shows our musical heroes from the storied band at their sometimes-best but frequently worst, leaning into all the messy details and drama that plagued the Grateful Dead following Jerry’s death. If Amir Bar-Lev’s recently released documentary, Long Strange Trip, implied that Deadhead’s god-like reverence of Jerry Garcia played a hand in the drug addiction that finally did him in, Fare Thee Well refuses to let readers see the surviving members of the band as anything but truly and deeply human.The tales told in the book range from feel-good to hauntingly sad, cringe-y to enraging. Perhaps most interestingly, the book establishes early on the moral code that the Grateful Dead adhered to while Garcia was alive—the all-for-one mentality and the band’s strict adherence to a code of silence when it came to the personal relations among the band—and slowly shows how many of these chief principals decayed with Jerry’s loss. As a reader, this is inherently guilt-inducing: knowing that the band at one point wanted to keep these secrets close to their sleeves, then reading through a 268-page book laying out all the dirt for fans to consume.In fact, Selvin recognizes this in the acknowledgments section of the book,Even all these years later, the remnants of the band’s code of silence remain. People around the musicians continue to be reluctant to openly discuss personal matters or band politics. Many declined the opportunity. Most of the people would have likely demurred had it not been for long-standing personal relations.While the acknowledgments offer a rundown of well-known figures close to the Grateful Dead, it seems as though only Bobby and Mickey spoke to Selvin for the book. That said, Fare Thee Well seems well-researched, though it’s difficult to tell how much contributors’ long-standing resentments have shadowed the “truth” of the book.It seems glaringly obvious throughout that Phil Lesh and his wife, Jill, had very little if anything to do with the project. The writing on them is unforgiving, and Lesh frequently plays the antagonist in Fare Thee Well, with him and his wife depicted as egotistical, combative, unfair, and, at many points, cruel. While it’s likely that they were menaces at points in the years after Jerry’s death, it’s interesting to see how the book is so quick to vilify them.While many passages go deep into the various terrible things the Leshes exacted on the other members of the band—and this is not to defend some of their actions, because they range from annoying (declaring themselves the only ones capable of carrying on the Grateful Dead’s spirit) to despicable (Jill Lesh yelling at a backup singer on tour in front of her child that the singer will always be a nobody)—one wonders what is lost by not having the Leshes’s perspectives on certain situations.At one point late in the book, after paragraphs have been dedicated to outlining various fights between the Leshes and other members of the band, in less than a sentence, Selvin offers why Phil and Bill Kreutzmann had such an on-going tense, if not bad, relationship: Phil always held onto the fact that Bill Kreutzmann had drunkenly groped his wife’s breasts backstage at a show. That incident is glossed over, shockingly so in the era of #metoo, and never referenced again outside that one sentence—highlighting how eager the book is to find the bad guy without contextualizing the various hurts they might have experienced.However, the book is more than a collection of accusations levied against the Grateful Dead bassist. There are charming stories, like a brotherly fight between Mickey and Bobby, with spaghetti central to the fight itself and the way the two lovingly made up the next day. There are stories that are so terrible it’s almost funny, like Bob Weir unceremoniously using a hose to spray Jerry Garcia’s ashes off the side of a boat during an ash-spreading ceremony gone truly awry (“You’ve got to get it all in the water!” he tells those on the boat). There are stories that are truly devastating, like most passages with Vince Welnick, who is a hauntingly sad presence throughout Fare Thee Well.Overall, Joel Selvin’s Fare Thee Well: The Final Chapter Of The Grateful Dead’s Long, Strange Trip is a captivating and fairly comprehensive summary of the Core Four’s years after Jerry Garcia’s death. It’s not necessarily a pretty read—it can brutal at points—but if anything, it will make readers so grateful for the Fare Thee Well shows and that we have been able to see the four of them performing altogether, knowing that will never happen again.You can read a description of Joel Selvin’s upcoming book on the members of the Grateful Dead and their lives after Jerry below. You can also pre-order the book, which is due out on June 19th, via Barnes & Noble.The Grateful Dead rose to greatness under the inspired leadership of guitarist Jerry Garcia, but the band very nearly died along with him. When Garcia passed away suddenly in August of 1995, the remaining band members experienced full crises of confidence and identity. So long defined by Garcia’s vision for the group, the surviving “Core Four,” as they came to be called, were reduced to conflicting agendas, strained relationships, and catastrophic business decisions that would leave the iconic band in shambles. Wrestling with how best to define their living legacy, the band made many attempts at restructuring, but it would take twenty years before relationships were mended enough for the Grateful Dead as fans remembered them to once again take the stage.Acclaimed music journalist and New York Times bestselling author Joel Selvin was there for much of the turmoil following Garcia’s death, and he’ll offer a behind-the-scenes account of the ebbs and flows that occurred during the ensuing two decades. Plenty of books have been written about the rise of the Grateful Dead, but this final chapter of the band’s history has never before been explored in detail. Culminating in the landmark tour bearing the same name, Fare Thee Well charts the arduous journey from Garcia’s passing all the way up to the uneasy agreement between the Core Four that led to the series of shows celebrating the band’s fiftieth anniversary and finally allowing for a proper, and joyous, sendoff of the group revered by so many.
Next month, Rooster Conspiracy will make its San Francisco debut, with guitarist Eric Krasno, bassist Reed Mathis, keyboardist Todd Stoops and drummer Jay Lane offering up their psychedelic, improvisations. Rooster Conspiracy’s San Francisco debut is scheduled for July 26th at The Independent—the night in between Phish’s highly anticipated West Coast performances in San Francisco and Los Angeles.Rooster Conspiracy was actually born from Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann‘s good intentions and celebratory spirit during the first few days of 2017. Having just rung in the new year in a friend’s backyard in Hawaii with a band that included his Billy & the Kids bandmate Reed Mathis and Mathis’ Electric Beethoven bandmate Todd Stoops, Kreutzmann was in the mood to keep jamming. When he heard that Eric Krasno just arrived on his little island of Kauai, he invited the guitarist to join in.In the time since the project’s inception, Rooster Conspiracy has taken on a life of its own. While the Grateful Dead drummer is often unable to make performances on the mainland, Kreutzmann’s presence is still felt in the band’s song selections, which frequently use Grateful Dead songs as a jumping point for creative, exploratory jams. In Kreutzmann’s stead for the upcoming San Francisco show, the band has once again tapped Ratdog and Primus drummer Jay Lane, who has become a staple of the project, previously performing with Rooster Conspiracy at the group’s East Coast debut at Brooklyn Comes Alive in 2017 and more.Tickets for Rooster Conspiracy’s upcoming San Francisco debut at The Independent on July 26th go on sale on Thursday, June 28th, at 12 p.m. (PT) via Ticketfly.
Following their first three-night run ever at The Gorge Amphitheatre in picturesque George, WA, Phish returned to San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, a venue that’s become a favorite for the band and fans alike in the 3.0 era. 2018 marks the fifth run Phish has played at the Bill Graham, yet the first time they’ve played only 2-nights, rather than the usual three-night run. Only five shows into tour, Phish is quickly finding their groove, displaying an impressive amount of guts paired with extreme syncopation and precision.“46 Days” got the show off to a roaring start, as the band took the stage right after 8 p.m. Pacific Time. Being an 8,500 capacity, entirely general admission venue gives the Bill Graham a very special feeling, aside from being in the heart San Francisco, a city rich in rock and roll and psychedelic history. Trey Anastasio‘s tone is sounding impeccable these days, and “46 Days” was a perfect example, as Page McConnell kept pushing Trey to continue peaking during the opening number of the night. Giving Anastasio a chance to catch his breath, McConnell tickled the opening notes of “McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters”. Page laid down some serious work on the grand piano throughout the song, leading the way through the breezy Gamehendge journey.Trey’s opening riff to “Pigtail” rang out next, and the crowd seemed loose and settled-in, singing along to the Anastasio/Tom Marshall tune, which was debuted at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA 12/28/2010 but only recently entered a semi-regular rotation in the band’s live shows. With fairly little improvisation, the band was quickly on to “Cities”, with Mike Gordon hammering away, looking lean and mean. Following the main-theme of the Talking Heads tune, the band slowly crept into blissful territory with a sprinkle of some dark-Phish, taking the “Cities” jam out for a ride. Jon Fishman‘s almost metronome-like attentiveness allowed for Anastasio and Gordon to lock into a solid groove before pumping the breaks and moving on.The band changed gears from there, with Gordon taking vocal duties on “Nellie Kane”, the classic penned by bluegrass pioneers, Hot Rize. Trey laid down some seriously aggressive licks, before hopping into a funk-filled bowl of “Gumbo”. McConnell quickly took matters into his own hands, standing up and tinkering away on the clavinet. When Page stands, everyone stands, and the intimate room roared as McConnell kept soaring higher and higher. Crashing back into the chorus, the band kept their momentum going, marching into the sweet-sounding opening of “Guyute”. Phish nailed “Guyute”, reciprocating the crowd’s raucous energy at the first indoor venue of the tour. Anastasio’s lofty peaks in the final minutes of “Guyute” bounced off the walls, with Fishman keeping up the perfect pace.Following in the “animal” theme of the first set, “serpents, snails, and slugs” of “Axilla” came out to play, leading way to another creature, “The Dogs”. With Page’s signature dog-howling effect taking charge, Trey seemingly mimicked the dogs on his Languedoc, blasting off into a fierce and fiery solo on the Chilling, Thrilling tune. The setlist did not have any crazy Type 2 improv, but the song selection was on point, as things kept flowing into the emotional opening whistles of “Dirt”. Free from push and shove, the rowdy mood of the Bill Graham toned down, and Phish showed off their vocal prowess as Gordon and McConnell blended a tasteful harmony behind Anastasio’s lead. Everyone needs a moment to reflect on all of life’s gifts and sometimes hardships, and “Dirt” last night provided just this. Changing gears once again, “David Bowie” brought set one to a close, highlighted by some soaring guitar peaks, as Big Red continued to pick up the pace through the jam’s final climax.Phish came back out for second set opening with “Moma Dance”, marking only the third time the band has opened second set with it since 2009, the other two times being in 2009. This “Moma Dance” also marked the first repeat of 2018’s summer tour, as well as the first “Moma” at the Bill Graham since 2014’s memorable rendition, when Phish worked in a “We Are The Champions” jam to resounding applause as the local San Francisco Giants simultaneously wrapped up their World Series game 7 victory in Kansas City. Harnessing the Bill Graham’s unbeatable energy, Anastasio ripped through “Moma”, getting the dance party fully engaged.Smoothly segueing into “A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing”, the band prepared for liftoff and took the jam deep into a realm of exploratory sonic textures. McConnell kept the upbeat “ASIHTOS” rolling, as his three bandmates followed behind his delicate work on the organ. This led the way to a massive explosion by Anastasio, letting it all hang out. With the building practically in flames, Anastasio and McConnell pushed back into the main theme of the song, delivering a final verse and chorus.“Mercury” has quickly became a favorite second-set staple in the Phish catalog since its 2015 debut, and last night the band worked through the complex and ambitious jam precisely, with Anastasio putting on a show with his washy Leslie speaker effect that he’s been thoroughly enjoying utilizing since the tart of summer tour. The jam patiently worked its way into a spacey-voyage, with Trey sustaining bold, peaking notes, allowing Gordon and Fishman to create a complex rhythmic backbone. Things kept escalating and growing, with McConnell tickling the ivories in between Anastasio’s monstrous solos, leading to a massive peak.The heavy jams kept coming as “Carini” approached, quickly moving into a fast-paced funk bounce, with Anastasio providing splashy riffs behind an infectious Gordon groove. Tuesday’s “Carini” had a unique flow, harnessing speed and tenacity from start to finish. The jam cruised into a feel-good segment out of the funk, with Anastasio taking full reins as his bandmates followed attentively, leading to a gargantuan, explosive Anastasio peak. There are moments when Phish starts sounding perfect—and last night’s “Carini” was A+, top-notch, perfect Phish.The jam slowly fizzled out, and the San Francisco crowd erupted, leaving nothing for the band to do but drop into another fast-paced favorite, “Maze”. As Fishman’s opening signature drumbeat grew louder, “Maze” took off, and the race between Anastasio and McConnell was on. The energy of the night never stopped growing, as Trey’s final peaking segment of “Maze” could have shattered any glass window within 500 feet. As Mike’s sticky bass tones signaled the start of “Boogie On Reggae Woman”, any thought of a slower song getting in the way of this top-notch Phish set was in the rearview mirror.The “Boogie” was short-lived, but seamlessly flowed into the opening of “Harry Hood”. Picking away delicately and effortlessly, Anastasio glimmered beneath Chris Kuroda‘s spectacle of a light show, with the 8,500 person crowd bouncing along in unison. Continuing in the theme of the night, Anastasio and McConnell interlocked in an exploratory space voyage, with McConnell charging to the finish line on the grand piano, forcing Anastasio, Gordon, and Fishman to chase him down. Everyone at last nights show can feel good about Hood, and the band sure as hell did, too. Phish came back out for their encore with “Squirming Coil”, letting McConnell steal the show one more time as Fishman, Anastasio and then Gordon, slowly exited the stage, leaving the Chairman of the Boards to take the final bow.Phish returns to the Bill Graham tonight for their second of two performances tonight, which they will webcast free of charge. Next, they’ll head south to The Forum in Inglewood, CA for a pair of performances on Friday and Saturday. For a full list of Phish’s upcoming dates, head to the band’s website.Setlist: Phish | Bill Graham Civic Auditorium | San Francisco, CA| 7/24/2018Set I: 46 Days, Mcgrupp And The Watchful Hosemasters, Pigtail, Cities> Nellie Kane, Gumbo, Guyute, Axilla, The Dogs, Dirt, David BowieSet II: The Moma Dance> A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing> Mercury> Carini> Maze, Boogie On Reggae Woman> Harry HoodE: Squirming Coil
[Video: LazyLightning55a]Grammy Award-winner, Maurice “Mo Betta” Brown, is a renowned trumpeter who defies genre, having performed with huge names from the worlds of jazz, blues-rock, and hip-hop. Formerly of Tedeschi Trucks Band (with whom he won a Grammy for Best Blues Album in 2012, after arranging the horn parts on the group’s debut album, Revelator), Mo Betta has recorded with Aretha Franklin, Wyclef Jean, De La Soul, Macy Gray, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Lettuce, and The Roots, among others, and produced tracks for Talib Kweli, Omar, and Prodigy. The sensational performer is also a veteran of Brooklyn Comes Alive, having served as an unofficial artist-at-large last year when he was invited up as a surprise guest for numerous sets across the weekend.Herbie Hancock Tribute featuring Maurice Brown – “Watermelon Man” – Brooklyn Comes Alive 2018 Trumpet star Maurice Brown, improvisational virtuoso Dave Harrington, and the Disco Biscuits‘ keyboard wizard Aron Magner have all been announced as Artists-at-Large for this year’s edition of Brooklyn Comes Alive. All three musicians will be on hand throughout the day to sit-in with the many supergroups, tribute sets, and once-in-a-lifetime collaborations that Brooklyn Comes Alive has to offer.In addition to being one-fourth of one of the most celebrated jam bands in the scene, The Disco Biscuits’ Aron Magner has become a staple at Brooklyn Comes Alive. The versatile keyboardist has been a fan-favorite player and collaborator for years, frequently performing with a number of heavy-hitting super jams and rare side projects—such as Breaking Biscuits, a group featuring the Biscuits’ Aron Magner and Marc Brownstein and Break Science‘s Adam Deitch and Borahm Lee, which he debuted in 2016 at Brooklyn Comes Alive— and supergroups, such as his tenure as a member of Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann‘s 2014 solo project, Billy & The Kids.Breaking Biscuits – “Little Fluffy Clouds” – Brooklyn Comes Alive 2018 The fourth-annual Brooklyn Comes Alive will return to Brooklyn’s beloved Williamsburg neighborhood on September 29th for an all-day music marathon at Brooklyn Bowl, Music Hall of Williamsburg and Rough Trade. Inspired by the vibrant musical communities of Brooklyn and New Orleans, Brooklyn Comes Alive brings together more than 50 artists, allowing them to carry out passion projects, play with their musical heroes, and collaborate in never-before-seen formations. Tickets are on sale now on Eventbrite. Visit BrooklynComesAlive.com for more information. [Video: Live For Live Music]The third and final artist-at-large at Brooklyn Comes Alive 2018 is Dave Harrington, who is also scheduled to appear with the Karina Rykman Experiment at the festival along Robert Walter of the 20th Congress. A critically acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and improvisational guru based out of New York City, Harrington blurs genres, blending sounds in a unique way that makes him one of the more exciting and unpredictable players on the scene. He is a former member of Darkside, which featured him and frequent collaborator Nicholas Jaar, and also often plays with Joe Russo, occasionally performing together as an experimental duo. Dave Harrington is also a BCA vet, having led Dave Harrington’s Merry Pranksters last year, which was one of the most psychedelic and buzzed-about sets of the weekend.Dave Harrington & Joe Russo – Nubul – New York, NY – 3/2/2018 [Video: LazyLightning55a]
Tedeschi Trucks Band has announced their first fall tour dates for 2019, as the 12-piece band will play a trio of shows in the Southwest this November.Tedeschi Trucks Band will open up the run at Tulsa, OK’s Brady Theater on November 12th, followed by a show at San Antonio, TX’s Tobin Center for the Performing Arts on November 14th. TTB will finish out the run with a performance at Austin, TX’s Bass Concert Hall on November 15th.A fan pre-sale is currently underway using the code “TRUCKS.” Tickets go on sale to the general public this Friday, March 1st at 10 a.m. (CST).Tonight, Tedeschi Trucks Band continues their winter tour with a performance at The Met in Philadelphia, PA. On Thursday, the band will then head to Birmingham, AL’s Alabama Theatre, followed by shows at Augusta, GA’s William B. Bell Auditorium and Asheville, NC’s Thomas Wolfe Auditorium this weekend.Head to Tedeschi Trucks Band’s website for a full list of upcoming tour dates and more information.
The B-52’s have announced an extensive world tour in celebration of their 40th anniversary, which began in 2018 and will continue through this fall. OMD and Berlin will offer support at select U.S. stops along the tour.The B-52’s will open up their tour in May with festival appearances at West Palm Beach, FL’s Sunfest (5/4); Arlington, TX’s KAABOO Texas (5/12); and Nashville, TN’s Nashville Boogie Vintage Weekender, followed by a series of European performances throughout June and early-July.The band will open up their extensive North American run of shows at Costa Mesa, CA’s Pacific Amphitheatre on August 1st, and will continue through September 24th with a special tour-closing performance at New York City’s Summerstage – Central Park.“Who knew that when we played our first house dance party in Athens, Georgia in 1976 that we would be still be rocking the house in 2019?” vocalist Kate Pierson explains in a press release. “Visiting over 10 countries to perform for our fans around the globe makes us so incredibly happy. Let’s rock!” vocalist Cindy Wilson adds.Additionally, Billboard notes that the band has teamed up with producer Fred Armisen and director Craig Johnson for a forthcoming documentary.Head to The B-52’s website for ticketing and more information.The B-52’s 2019 World Tour Dates:May 4 West Palm Beach, FL Sunfest*May 12 Arlington, TX KAABOO Texas*May 26 Nashville, TN Nashville Boogie Vintage Weekender*June 21 Vitoria, Spain Azkena Rock Festival*^June 23 Amsterdam, Netherlands Paradiso**^June 24 Brussels, Belgium Ancienne Belgique**^June 26 Cologne, Germany E-Werk**^June 27 Berlin, Germany Columbiahalle**^June 29 Gateshead Sage, UK Gateshead Sage**^June 30 London, UK Eventim Apollo**^July 2 Nottingham, UK Royal Concert Hall**^July 3 Manchester, UK O2 Apollo**^July 5 Paris, France Olympia**^July 7 Argeles Sur Me, France Festival les Deferlantes*^August 1 Costa Mesa, CA Pacific Amphitheatre**August 3 San Diego, CA Bayside Summer Nights @ Embarcadero Marina Park**August 4 Los Angeles, CA Microsoft TheaterAugust 6 Portland, OR Oregon Zoo AmphitheaterAugust 7 Seattle, WA BECU ZooTunes Concert SeriesAugust 8 Missoula, MT Kettlehouse AmphitheaterAugust 10 Bend, OR Les Schwab AmphitheaterAugust 11 Murphys, CA Ironstone AmphitheatreAugust 12 Saratoga, CA TheMountain WineryAugust 14 Phoenix, AZ Comerica TheatreAugust 16 Salt Lake City, UT Red Butte Garden AmphitheatreAugust 17 Dillon, CO Dillon Amphitheater**August 18 Greenwood Village, CO Fiddler’s Green AmphitheatreAugust 21 San Antonio, TX The Majestic TheaterAugust 22 Austin, TX Bass Concert HallAugust 24 Sugarland, TX Smart Financial CentreAugust 25 New Orleans, LA Saenger TheatreAugust 28 Clearwater, FL Ruth Eckerd HallSeptember 6 Greensboro, NC White Oak Amphitheatre at Greensboro Coliseum ComplexSeptember 7 Atlanta, GA Cadence Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain ParkSeptember 8 Huber Heights, OH Rose Music Center at the HeightsSeptember 11 Grand Rapids, MI Fifth Third Bank Summer Concerts at Meijer GardensSeptember 13 Toronto, ONT, CA Sony Centre for the Performing ArtsSeptember 14 Detroit, MI Meadow Brook AmphitheatreSeptember 17 Washington, DC The AnthemSeptember 19 Philadelphia, PA Mann Center for the Performing ArtsSeptember 20 Mashantucket, CT Foxwoods Resort Casino – Grand TheaterSeptember 22 Asbury Park, NJ Sea.Hear.Now Festival*September 24 New York, NY Summerstage – Central ParkAll dates are with The B52s, OMD and Berlin unless noted below.*Festival Date^European Tour**Headline DateView Tour Dates
“This is a wonderful story of collaboration and imagination,” said Harvard President Drew Faust, moments before cutting a ribbon yesterday afternoon to open the new Harvard Center for Biological Imaging (CBI).The facility, on the second floor of the BioLabs at 16 Divinity Ave., is not just another room filled with microscopes. For everything about the facility is unique, from its conception, to its open design, to the fact that its equipment will be replaced every 24 to 36 months.But what may be the most important aspect of the CBI, Faust said, is not its collection of cutting-edge scientific instruments, but rather that “it makes the instruments the instruments of collaboration, as well as the instruments of science. And that, to me, is tremendously important.” The fact that the new center is furthering interdisciplinary, collaborative science at Harvard is why Faust offered to help provide funding for it.Jeremy Bloxham, the Mallinckrodt Professor of Geophysics, professor of computational science, and dean of science in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, told those attending the ribbon cutting that “as I look back over the last five to 10 years, there’s a real change to how science is supported at Harvard. It used to be that individual investigators were supported, [and] equipment would disappear into their labs and wouldn’t be used by anybody other than the members of that particular lab group.“Now, we have a much stronger emphasis on building centers. We do that not just [because it’s] financially more effective to build centers, but because it’s scientifically more effective to build centers. … It’s having people interact with each other … having people bump into each other while using the instrumentation [helps to ensure] that new ideas emerge and people find new ways of doing things,” Bloxham said.Quoting 18th century satirist and essayist Jonathan Swift, Faust noted, “‘Vision … is the art of seeing things invisible.’ I thought of this not just because the center is dedicated to making the invisible visible,” Faust said, “but also because every step in its creation … was made possible by this ability to make the invisible possible.”The envisioning of the center began with Jeff Lichtman, a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB), asking first himself, and then colleagues in his and other departments, what doesn’t work about the way most imaging is done, and what might correct that.“I’ve been a director of imaging centers for 20 years,” said Lichtman, who is now the director of the new CBI, “so I know what their strengths and weaknesses are, and there were a number of weaknesses I wanted to address. One serious problem,” he said, “is that the expense of these devices [the microscopes] is enormous — they literally cost what a house costs. And with the pace imaging technology is moving forward, within three or four years they’re out of date.“We needed an evergreen imaging facility,” Lichtman said in an interview. As an observer of the “sociology of science,” Lichtman said, “Laboratories know certain technologies, but when you have a field that’s moving forward rapidly, you can have a mismatch between the gray-head lab heads and the microscopists. The students are young and open-minded … but normally there’s no opportunity for students using one piece of equipment to have real exchange with people using others.”Lichtman, MCB assistant professor Sharad Ramanathan, and MCB chair Catherine Dulac, the Higgins Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, proposed creating a center with a unique open architecture. Rather than have individual microscopes sequestered in closed rooms, the center’s scopes would all be at stations in an open space, with direct-down lighting, and easily moveable 5-foot-high partitions around the instruments. With that arrangement, scientists and students would all be exposed to all of the technologies being used, and the work going on, in the center. The CBI eventually will have a dozen microscopes, including several that have been placed there by individual researchers, including Dulac and Doug Melton, the chairman of the new Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology (SCRB).Additionally, they developed what Lichtman calls a unique “health club” model for the use of the center. “Normally, facilities work on an hourly rate, typically $30 to $60 per hour to use the equipment,” he explained. “That is a tremendous damper on students trying to learn to use devices; they spend 10 hours, and it’s $600. Instead, labs wanting to use the CBI will purchase annual memberships at $2,000 per year per person. That works out to about an hour-and-a-half a week at $30 an hour, and most labs use way, way more than 1.5 hours per week,” Lichtman said.Then came the question of how to ensure that the CBI is always filled with state-of-the-art equipment. Jim Sharp, president of Carl Zeiss Microimaging, came up with a unique solution to that problem: Rather than purchase microscopes, at upwards of a half-million dollars each, the CBI and Zeiss worked out a leasing arrangement that not only guarantees that the microscopes will be replaced with the latest equipment every 24 to 36 months, but also provides for a Zeiss engineer to be at the CBI full time, maintaining the delicate instruments and helping the researchers work through any problems with them. Additionally, Zeiss will ask Harvard scientists working in the CBI to evaluate Zeiss equipment still in the alpha and beta stages of development.“We would like to learn from you; we’d like to look over your shoulder so we too can improve,” Sharp said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.Though the new imaging facility is in the BioLabs, it is open to researchers from all across the Cambridge and Longwood campuses, as well as to those with laboratories in affiliated hospitals throughout the area.One of those attending the opening was CONTACT _Con-3C179B75AAE Jeffrey Macklis, a professor in SCRB, whose laboratory is moving from Massachusetts General Hospital to the Bauer Building in Cambridge. Macklis said he’d been talking about such a facility with other members of SCRB for some time, so when he heard the idea of the center, he embraced it, and has already purchased CBI memberships for 20 members of hislab. “We’re very excited about coming together with our MCB colleagues,” Macklis said. “Just having Jeff Lichtman thinking about our microscopy is worth the membership alone.”
HLS Dean Martha Minow received the Gold Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Public Discourse from the College Historical Society of Trinity College, Dublin at a ceremony on Nov. 13, 2012. The College Historical Society, popularly referred to as “The Hist,” is one of the world’s oldest undergraduate debating societies, established in 1770. It is “built on a belief that discourse and intellectualism are vital to the program of society.”Minow received the award for her leadership in the area of human rights and her advocacy for members of racial and religious minorities, women, and persons with disabilities. Upon accepting the award, she gave a lecture on the question, “Should Child Soldiers be Forgiven?”Previous recipients of the Gold Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Public Discourse include Iranian judge and civil rights activist Shirin Ebadi, Burmese politician and democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, author, activist and philosopher Noam Chomsky, economist Jeffery Sachs, economist Joseph Stiglitz and former president of South Africa F.W. de Klerk.The late Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was also a recipient. Upon receiving the medal, he stated, “I consider this occasion one of the greatest honors of my public life, as well as an opportunity to express myself in matters that I feel are vital to our time.”
When the American runner Jesse Owens outdistanced the competition on his way to winning four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Nazi leader Adolph Hitler’s response was to suggest a possible link between Owens’ performance and the fact he was African-American.This led the anthropologist W. Montague Cobb to publish the 1936 article “Race and Runners,” which was intended to dispel the idea that Owens’ winning performance was somehow related to race. Through numerous measures and physical tests, Cobb found no distinct evidence that would attribute Owens’ abilities to his race.Cobb’s study, along with many other examinations and investigations of differences in human physiology — such as noses, hair, sweat glands, ears, and feet, and reactions to many diseases — are examined in “The Nature of Difference: Sciences of Race in the United States from Jefferson to Genomics” by Harvard College Dean Evelynn M. Hammonds. The book examines the many instances throughout history where race played a role in the scientific investigation of human differences.Hammonds discussed her book Friday in Sever Hall before about 50 students. She said her intention in putting the book together was to show that over time, society’s preconceptions of race have played a role in many scientific, medical, and anthropological studies.“When people think about science, they think about it being objective. Therefore, the idea that something like race could be part and parcel of scientific questions is not intuitive for many people because science is supposed to provide unambiguous answers and not leave you with lots of questions,” she said.Hammonds, the Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science and professor of African and African American studies, presented her talk as part of Wintersession, the time between terms that allows students who have returned before the start of classes to experience unusual opportunities. A College-led programming initiative, Wintersession offers students a wide range of elective activities, allowing them to pursue artistic or creative passions, explore a career interest, or participate in recreational activities with friends.Hammonds told the students she was surprised that after the Jamaican Olympian Usain Bolt won successive gold medals in 2008 and 2012, questions about what made him excel were raised, similar to the way they were raised about Owens.“All humans have differences. Why is it so hard to leave it at that? Why can’t that answer be the definitive end one about our differences?” she said. “It still surprises me that a fraught, imprecise, historically contingent concept like race is still offered as an explanation for human differences in the 21st century. When I first read about Jesse Owens, I wasn’t surprised at what happened in 1936. But when I saw sportswriters were asking similar questions about Usain Bolt, I couldn’t believe that people are still asking questions about the relationship between race and athletic performance.”After the talk, the students said the information Hammonds discussed was eye-opening.“This was a really good talk. I thought the different physiological studies of the 1800s was kind of surprising,” said Kimberly Mihayo ’15. “The persistence of the question of race, and why the discussions about race have not changed over time, I also found interesting.”“The Nature of Difference” republishes several studies of human dissimilarities, from the time of Thomas Jefferson to the present. Hammonds stressed it is important to look at the long history of the study of differences in humans because even though scientific methods and societal perceptions change, the study of such differences has tried continuously to answer the same questions.“If there is one thing we hope students learn from this book, it is we are these debates. We are the ones who keep raising these questions in the same ways, over and over again,” Hammonds said.The first 40 students received copies of the book, with a chance to have Hammonds sign them. But the chance to hear directly from the scholar is what brought most students to Sever Hall during Wintersession.“I thought it was really fascinating. I know people who have had her in class, and I have heard really good things about her as an intellectual. Not only is she the dean, but she is also a scholar, so this was a good opportunity to hear her speak,” said Elise Baranouski ’15.
For those who practice medicine, the fee-for-service business model and “production pressure”—the requirement to see as many patients in as little time as possible—are impediments, according to Lucian Leape, adjunct professor of health policy at Harvard School of Public Health and a leader of the patient safety movementIn a Q&A with MedPage Today, Leape was asked for the most important advice he could give to medical students or new doctors. “Don’t let the paperwork, red tape, data collection, and bureaucratic nonsense keep you from enjoying the reality of taking care of patients,” he said. Read Full Story
In 1994, Richard Lazarus was named to the Environmental Protection Agency’s newly created federal advisory committee on environmental justice. Among its responsibilities: helping implement President Bill Clinton’s executive order on environmental justice. But the task force’s first act, recalled the Howard and Katherine Aibel Professor of Law, amounted to a coup.Then-EPA chief Carol Browner????s decision to have the head of a state agency lead the group was “a major misstep” said Lazarus, and the committee promptly rejected her choice. “You don’t put the head of a state agency in charge of anything to do with environmental justice.”The rebuff highlighted a glaring disconnect within the environmental justice movement at the time, Lazarus said. “The whole problem was that mainstream environmental groups and agencies had not been paying attention to the needs and distinct interests, from the environmental protection perspective, of low-income communities and communities of color in the United States.”When the student-led Harvard Environmental Law Society (HELS) hosts the 26th annual National Association of Environmental Law Societies Conference Friday and Saturday at HLS, decision-makers representing a range of sectors in the environmental justice movement will be part of the discussion. In recognition of the 20th anniversary of Clinton’s executive order, the two-day event will explore the current environmental justice landscape, as well as strategies to uphold environmental law as a national priority.“Unlike the EPA back in the 1990s, the students got it,” said Lazarus who praised the conference planners for bringing together community organizers with “people who have been major players and inspirational leaders in this area from all walks.”“This is not just something where there are going to be a bunch of national leaders who run the show. It is all about community empowerment.”In preparing to bid for the national conference, a team of students led by HELS co-presidents Genevieve Parshalle ’15 and Cecilia Segal ’15 considered a framework built around a hot-button issue such as climate change or hydraulic fracking. They opted instead for a subject they think has received less attention, but could “gain traction” with other students.“Environmental justice is more interdisciplinary and touches on things like social justice, civil rights,” said Segal. “A lot of people are passionate about those topics and we realized we would get a much broader appeal with a topic like this; this is actually more about humans affected on a daily basis.”Among the roughly 200 attendees will be social scientists, lawyers, community organizers, representatives from state and federal agencies, grass-roots activists, and students.“I am thrilled to be attending Harvard Law School’s Environmental Justice Conference,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator for EPA New England. “Environmental justice is such an important topic, one that is in fact critical to EPA’s mission.”The first day of the conference will explore the roots of the environmental justice movement and include a talk by Texas Southern University’s Robert Bullard, whom many consider the father of the environmental justice movement. Lisa Jackson, former EPA head and now vice president of environmental initiatives at Apple, will also speak.On Saturday, the discussion will turn to specific issues of food justice, urban environmental justice, and access to clean energy. The event will conclude with a series of informal discussion sessions with Spalding and representatives from other federal agencies. Organizers plan to blog about the conference for the EPA’s website.“I think it is just an amazing opportunity to see what happens when you get all these people together with the express purpose of thinking about what’s worked, what hasn’t worked, and how can we move forward on this topic,” said Parshalle. “It will be really exciting to see what suggestions come out of it, and to see if we can really help move the conversation forward.”Harvard is emerging as a national presence in environmental law, said Lazarus. In 2005, the School hired Jody Freeman, a leading scholar in administrative and environmental law, to launch its environmental law program. Today the program includes a clinic and the Environmental Policy Initiative, a resource for federal and state officials.“It would have been unimaginable anytime before now since 1970 to have Harvard host this meeting,” said Lazarus. “But the fact we are really is a statement about where the program has come.”Both the Law School’s commitment to the issue and the students involved in the environmental program were critical in securing the conference, he added.“The students are extraordinary. They put in the bid. They came up with the environmental justice theme. They did it. … It’s a wonderfully, sensitively constructed program.”Asked about the status of environmental justice 20 years after Clinton’s order, Lazarus said, “In the mid-’90s there was a tremendous sense that we were going to see a sea change in the ways that environmental laws were administered and enforced. I think that those very optimistic sentiments have been realized, but only in part.”To learn more about the conference, visit the NAELS 2014 website.
Anne Peretz, founder of Parenting Journey (formerly The Family Center, Inc.), and Chris Byner, interim executive director of Boston Centers for Youth and Families (BCYF), will be honored at this year’s Summer Urban Program Auction, an annual fundraiser held by Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA). The auction, which will take place at Harvard University’s Knafel Center on April 15, raises money for PBHA’s award-winning summer camps for low-income families, while celebrating community members whose work enriches the lives of youth and families in Boston and Cambridge.Peretz is the founder of The Family Center, Inc., a family therapy clinic and family support program geared to low income and immigrant families. The Family Center (now known as The Parenting Journey) has also developed powerful curriculum for new parents, as well as training social workers and teachers in how to support families more effectively. There are currently over 500 Parenting Journey sites in several cities and Peretz has recently developed a comparable program in Burundi.Byner oversees BCYF’s network of 35 community centers, located in nearly every neighborhood in Boston. Byner is a former manager of the Streetworkers Program, a national model for effective youth violence prevention and intervention services. The success of the Boston Streetworkers Program has caused community and police groups to seek Byner’s help in setting up similar programs in other cities across the country. Read Full Story
On Saturday nights, Mark Mauriello ’15 sprinkles an eerie magic in Oberon, the black-box space of the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.). Painted in gold and green, dusted in glitter, and swirling on roller skates, Mauriello portrays Dr. Wheelgood, a fairy-like creature with a love of foreign substances in “The Donkey Show,” Diane Paulus’ disco-inspired version of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”But this week, Mauriello will forego his skates for a turn as playwright and author Oscar Wilde during a three-night run at Oberon of his show “OSCAR at The Crown and the love that dare not speak its name.” The production, his senior project, is the culmination of his four years in Cambridge, he said, where he crafted his own concentration in theater arts and performance and immersed himself in Harvard’s rich arts scene, working closely with the A.R.T. and the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club.“It’s like a combination of the work that I’ve done here in my special concentration,” said Mauriello, “living between a world of theater and theater studies, dramatic-arts courses and dramatic literature courses in the English department, and also taking some art-history courses, and VES [visual and environmental studies] courses that are studio-based.”It was one of those courses that led him to Wilde, in a sophomore seminar that explored his work and his successful yet tragic life. The story was meant for the stage, said Mauriello, whose play opens on Wilde at the height of his career and charts his destruction following three very public trials, his conviction in 1895 for gross indecency for having sexual relations with a man, and his sentence to two years of hard labor. One of the show’s main themes, said Mauriello, is the notion of the public versus private persona, and how far people go to control their image: “In the beginning of the play, Wilde is at his peak. He has immense control over himself and the way he was being perceived by others, and the way he interacted with the world.”Mauriello, who also directs the show, thinks the piece will resonate with audiences familiar with the ubiquitous form of self-expression known as the selfie, and the desire to present a picture-perfect image to friends, relatives, and even strangers via social media. But he also hopes to offer them something unexpected. “The idea behind the show is that as [Wilde’s] life and his world begin to deteriorate, the show starts to deteriorate,” Mauriello said.The first act opens with a party-like atmosphere. Singers and dancers appear onstage alongside Wilde, who acts as if “he owns the room.” Once the party devolves, a brief video interlude fills in the story of Wilde’s three trials. In the third act, the dancing girls, electronic music (composed by Mauriello’s friend Andrew Barret Cox, an Emerson College graduate), and flashing lights are gone. In their place is Mauriello, alone on stage with a piano.“Even the theatrical structure, like character, get teased apart,” said Mauriello, who wants to leave his audiences wondering, “Is that Oscar Wilde? Is that an actor playing Oscar Wilde? Is that Mark?“My hope for the audience … is that we kind of surprise you with where we go.”Mauriello’s concentration looks a lot like the new theater, dance, and media concentration recently approved by members of Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He said he likely would have chosen that option had it been available when he was a sophomore, but Harvard’s flexibility and support enabled him to chart his own artistic course regardless.“I feel like I’ve found the right path, and looking back it was exactly the right thing for me. It feels good to get to the end and think, ‘OK, I think I did it right.’”Still, Mauriello is thrilled for the students coming up behind him who can take advantage of the new concentration.“Harvard has done so much for the arts, especially in recent years, to recognize them and to elevate them and make them an important part of our culture … I think just putting them on this equal plane with other academic fields says a lot.”“OSCAR at The Crown and the love that dare not speak its name” runs April 15 and 16 at 8 p.m. and April 17 at 10:30 p.m.
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) recently announced the election of seven Harvard faculty members among its 84 new members and 21 foreign associates. Members are chosen for their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research, and will be formally inducted into the NAS at its annual meeting next year.The newly elected members of Harvard include:Robert H. Bates, Eaton Professor of the Science of Government in the departments of government and African and African American Studies. Bates’ research focuses on the political economy of development, particularly in Africa, and on violence and state failure.Catherine Dulac, Higgins Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dulac’s group uses molecular, genetic, and electrophysiological techniques to explore the molecular and neuronal basis of innate social behaviors in the mouse. They investigate the architecture and functional logic of neuronal circuits underlying pheromone signaling and the phenomenon of genomic imprinting in the brain.Scott V. Edwards, professor of organismic and evolutionary biology, curator of ornithology, Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology in the Museum of Comparative Zoology. Edwards’ major interests include multilocus phylogeography and speciation in birds, genome evolution during the transition from reptiles to birds, host-pathogen interactions, the evolutionary consequences of disease outbreaks, and statistical models for inferring multilocus phylogenies, and historical demography.Alfred L. Goldberg, professor of cell biology, Harvard Medical School. Goldberg’s major discoveries have concerned the biochemical mechanisms and physiological regulation of protein breakdown in cells and the importance of this process in human disease. His laboratory first demonstrated the non-lysosomal ATP-dependent pathway for protein breakdown, now termed the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway.Jeannie T. Lee, professor of genetics and pathology, Harvard Medical School, molecular biologist, Massachusetts General Hospital, investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Lee specializes in the study of epigenetic regulation by long noncoding RNA using X-chromosome inactivation as a model system. Her lab has made several contributions toward understanding how RNA directs chromatin and gene expression change.Bruce Western, professor of sociology, Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Professor of Criminal Justice Policy, director of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy, faculty chair of the Criminal Justice Policy and Management Program, John F. Kennedy School of Government. Western’s research broadly studies the relationship between political institutions and social and economic inequality. He has long-standing interests in criminal justice policy, incarceration, and the effects of incarceration on poor communities.Hao Wu, Asa and Patricia Springer Professor of Structural Biology, professor in the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, and Boston Children’s Hospital’s program in cellular and molecular medicine. Wu’s lab focuses on elucidating the molecular mechanism of signal transduction by immune receptors, especially innate immune receptors. Her lab uses X-ray crystallography in conjunction with other biochemical and biophysical methods, such as electron microscopy, to elucidate the protein-protein interactions involved in these processes.The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and — with the National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council — provides science, technology, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.
In the opening sequence of “Love Story,” a voiceover declares that the film is about a young woman named Jenny Cavalleri who dies at 25. That young woman, played by Ali MacGraw, loved “Mozart, Bach, the Beatles … and me.” The “me” is Oliver Barrett IV, played by Ryan O’Neal.Depending on whom you ask, the movie is either corny or enduring. But when “Love Story” was released in 1970 it became a zeitgeist hit, a modern “Romeo and Juliet” that lifted its young leads to stardom.And it all started at Harvard — the movie, written by Erich Segal ’58, A.M. ’59, Ph.D., ’65, was one of the last granted permission to film throughout campus, in spots as iconic as Harvard Stadium and alongside University students.In the 45 years since its release, “Love Story” has remained a touchstone for people who came of age in the ’60s and ’70s, as well as incoming Harvard freshmen, for whom a pre-semester screening has become a rite of passage.Some of those freshmen turned out at Kirkland House on Monday for an Office for the Arts-sponsored discussion with MacGraw and O’Neal, who pulled up in a vintage MG convertible like the one Oliver commandeers in the film. Draped in a crimson and ivory scarf, O’Neal could have been Oliver returned to campus for his 50th reunion and, if not for her character’s premature demise, MacGraw might still have been Jenny — the Radcliffe musician from a working-class family who upends Oliver’s world. Hand in hand, they strode across the street looking the same, but older.Of course the cameras were there to receive them, and when a passing student asked what was happening, he looked confused when the cameraman prattled off the actors’ names.“Google it!” the cameraman said with a laugh.Inside Kirkland House, the Harvard Arts Blog’s editor-in-chief, Alicia Anstead, led a discussion with the stars that ranged from their early impressions of Harvard to working together again after all these years. MacGraw and O’Neal are currently mid-tour for A.R. Gurney’s “Love Letters,” which runs through Saturday at Boston’s Citi Performing Arts Theater.O’Neal called Harvard “a character in our story,” and MacGraw noted that it still looked the same.The actors, now in their 70s, have weathered divorces and deaths and everything in between. MacGraw married producer Robert Evans and then her co-star Steve McQueen; bad boy O’Neal finally settled into a decades-long romance with Farrah Fawcett, who died from cancer in 2009.“I had done one film — zero experience — and this was my second film. It was this joyful experience,” recalled MacGraw. “I might tell you in the ensuing decade it was rarely duplicated in terms of fun or optimism.”She was paid just $20,000. “Not enough to pay my alimony,” quipped O’Neal.The success that followed the low-budget film, including Academy Award nominations, surprised them both. “We were just hardworking people who got lucky and became actors,” said O’Neal. “You have to keep your feet on the ground because it’s easy to lift off and behave badly. And I know.”On set, the two clicked immediately, said MacGraw. When pressed by Anstead to explain why, she answered: “There’s a chemistry and a caring, and we’re both Aries —”“She’s a good kisser,” O’Neal interjected. “Wow!”The longstanding mutual affection prompted one brave audience member to wonder aloud whether there was more to their story. Though they were both married at the time, “We had tremendous crushes on each other,” revealed MacGraw.As for Jenny’s famous line — “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” — MacGraw said, “I never questioned that — except for the next 45 years.”
In his book “Being Mortal,” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Professor Atul Gawande explored how conversations between patients and doctors can make end-of-life care more meaningful. In an effort to bring this message to a broader audience, the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) and the John and Wauna Harman Foundation organized a series of community screenings of the Frontline documentary based on the book. Held in 39 communities around California, these events reached a higher percentage of viewers from communities of color than the documentary did when it aired on public television last year. In a post-screening email survey, 81% of respondents said that they had spoken to someone about their wishes around end-of-life care after viewing the documentary.Gawande, a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and executive director of Ariadne Labs, told CHCF that he is “incredibly gratified” by hearing the stories of people who have applied “Being Mortal” to their own lives. In an interview published online February 8, 2016, he said, “They are feeling that they can have these conversations that defined what mattered most to them or to their family — and in many cases, translated into the doctor’s office, where they can advocate for themselves. I’m definitely also seeing the conversation among my colleagues — doctors and nurses — who are finding the words to ask people about their fears and hopes and the limits that they would place around what they’re willing to endure.” Read Full Story
Back home earlier this summer, I walked around the Los Angeles Leadership Academy, a public charter high school in Lincoln Heights, Calif., and gazed up at what looked like the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. It was my first day as an operations intern at the school’s massive hillside urban oasis, affectionately dubbed LALA Farm.I had applied from Trinity College in Dublin, where I was studying during the spring semester, for a number of internships through Harvard’s Center for Public Interest Careers. The center organizes almost 100 paid summer fellowships with public-service organizations nationally, along with international opportunities and postgraduate fellowships, including the Mindich Service Fellowships, which funded my internship. Generally, the center compensates student fellows with a stipend of $3,000 to $5,000 for 10 weeks of work, supplemented by online readings and reflections designed to challenge students to engage intellectually with their experiences, while developing skills and knowledge through their own and their peers’ work in the nonprofit sector.As I sat in the library in Ireland during exam period so far from home, I felt extraordinarily unable to envision what I might do this summer — my last as a Harvard undergraduate. Spending it at home in Los Angeles was not a part of my travel-minded agenda. Then, about a month before leaving Ireland, I got an email offering me the chance to garden, work with high school students, and seek funding for an interesting project in food justice, all in one package. It was a perfect fit for my skill set, and my family missed me. So I accepted. Still, my worldly mind maintained its reservations as I packed my bags: How much could my home city really teach me, in comparison to far-flung lands?That’s how I found myself staring up at a quarter-acre of terraced hillside tucked next to a basketball court, a wavering line of stairs climbing toward a priceless view of downtown L.A. I had worked on a full-scale organic farm before, but I realized I knew nothing about what I was getting into. The farm was revitalized a year ago when Britt Browne, a local artist and grower, came on as manager. She began an after-school farm program and had the hillside terraced, increasing its production capacity.Roger Lowenstein, a Harvard Law School alumnus (J.D. ’68), had founded the school, which is located in a low-income area of L.A., in 2002 as a social justice-themed academy focused on developing leadership skills.I quickly saw that I too would grow over the summer. During the week, I worked directly with Britt, while Roger played the role of mentor extraordinaire. As Britt and I watered, transplanted, and tended to the plants early each day, the farm flourished before my eyes. But there is nothing easy or simple about growing organic, on the side of a hill, amid residential surroundings, in an area that has been experiencing a four-year drought. Pests constantly attacked our corn, onions, and cucumbers. The heat scorched our lovely young native California trees. A neighbor’s dog dug up the strawberries. Sometimes it was a daily battle, making it difficult at times to remember why it was so important to refrain from using pesticides, to pursue small-scale, diversified farming, and to share that information.Nourishing the plants and soil sustainably was satisfying. But the most unexpected, beautiful, and rewarding part of my internship came in spending time with the LALA students, rather than the LALA vegetables.‘Learning a little about an unfamiliar area from a new point of view challenged me to search for the needs and assets in my own backyard just as diligently as the ones further afield.’ — Amanda BeattieFor 20 days in mid-summer, 10 to 15 LALA high school students showed up every day, eager to farm. We’d pump the tunes and enthusiastically dig, plant, build, harvest, learn about food justice, and brainstorm for the Lincoln Heights Farmers Market, where we soon began to sell bunches of herbs and other treasures from the farm’s first summer.The students were smart and dedicated, coming up with products for the market, unashamed to ask questions about farming, and working with more wholeheartedness than our organized volunteer groups. A student named Rene shared how he took his health into his own hands in middle school, through reading about the food system and changing his eating habits, Jen and Brenda came up with a best-selling product, and Brian diligently took notes on customer buying habits at the market in order to improve our marketing. The students switched easily between English and Spanish to engage customers. They all had their own trials to negotiate, but their joy and passion were contagious.I could simply say that it was rewarding to encourage high school students to believe in themselves and to learn to grow their own food (in an urban setting, no less), or that it was invaluable for me to learn how to locate and apply for grant funding and use that knowledge to secure backing for LALA Farm’s future. I could say that working at the intersection of education, food justice, nonprofit work, and even art, all in the heart of my own city, has deeply influenced my life and career trajectory. And all of that would be true. It turned out that working “at home” afforded just as many challenges and nuances as studying abroad, and learning a little about an unfamiliar area from a new point of view challenged me to search for the needs and assets in my own backyard just as diligently as the ones further afield.But if I’m being honest, what will stay with me the longest are the excited faces of Rene, Jen, Brenda, Brian, and all of the other students at LALA as they worked alongside me, sharing glimpses of their lives along the way. They reminded me in their actions that though life and high school can be pretty difficult, often the most powerful thing we can do is show up, share our true selves with each other, and be willing to give what we can to a good cause. We weren’t about to solve the world’s problems. But we were real people trying to have an impact, however small. To me, that humble willingness of the human spirit to do what we can to help each other is what sustains all good nonprofit work — at home or abroad.Amanda Beattie is a Harvard College senior with a concentration in the comparative study of religion, focusing on religion and society, with a secondary in ethnicity, migration, and rights. Mindich Service Fellowships and internships at Harvard’s Center for Public Interest Careers are available in various locations, and all interested students are invited to apply. SaveSave Students prepare bouquets of crimson clover, a cover crop grown on the farm to enhance soil structure. Photo by Amanda Beattie Seedlings were nurtured in the hoop house on the roof of Los Angeles Leadership Academy before being transplanted into the hillside beds. Photo by Amanda Beattie Students harvested beets for the weekly Lincoln Heights Farmers Market. Photo by Amanda Beattie The view of Los Angeles from the LALA Farm. Photo by Amanda Beattie
Read Full Story Harvard University opened its first cross-disciplinary research center in Sub-Saharan Africa, building a new platform for African and Africanist academic exchange. Working with its companion office on Harvard’s Cambridge campus, the Harvard University Center for African Studies Africa Office will lower barriers to research for African and international scholars across the continent and serve as a resource for the increasing number of Harvard students and faculty members conducting research and traveling to Africa.The office will also facilitate and strengthen relationships with business, cultural, and academic leaders across the African continent. A key objective for Harvard CAS is to build upon existing connections with universities and other educational institutions by facilitating inter-faculty research and student exchange, both on Harvard’s campus and on the African continent.As part of the opening of the office, University Provost, Professor Alan M. Garber, the Center for African Studies’ Faculty Director Emmanuel Akyeampong, and Obenewa Amponsah, the recently appointed Africa Office Executive Director, facilitated a roundtable discussion of academic leaders from Harvard and academic institutions from across Africa. Participants convened to discuss mutual areas of research and to develop strategies for educational development. The Center for African Studies also hosted its Second Annual Hakeem and Myma Belo-Osagie Distinguished African Business and Entrepreneurship Lecture, which draws lessons from prominent African leaders.
Braxton Shelley believes in the holy power of sound.Harvard’s newest assistant professor of music brings years of experience as a composer, pianist, choir director, and minister to his intellectual pursuit of spiritual music.“Having a strong academic study of religion beside the vocational life has enriched me; it adds to the music,” said Shelley, who is also the Stanley A. Marks and William H. Marks Assistant Professor at the Radcliffe Institute. “There’s another level of rigor and sophistication that I think matters because a lot of what animates gospel music is inseparable from the articulation of belief.”The Rocky Mount, N.C., native, whose “Groove” may be the best-named course in the fall catalog, said that all of his formative music experiences took place in church. His first piano teacher was the church musician, and by age 9 Shelley played piano or organ every Sunday at Rocky Mount’s Church of the Open Door-Baptist.Being equally passionate about social justice, he planned to study law and become a politician, but a music theory course provided intellectual depth to the somatic understanding of sound he’d internalized for years.“I knew chord symbols and how to talk about harmonies, but a lot of my early church playing was by ear,” said Shelley, whose second album “I’ve Gotta Tell It” comes out later this year. “A lot of the work is still by ear. Theory put words to what I felt. And at the same time, some of my brighter curiosities related to the social and religious phenomenon coalesced with my interest in music.”Performing provides a constant source of inspiration, Shelley said, pointing to a 2013 concert at Mt. Level Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, N.C., as an example. The show featured original compositions by Shelley, including a fast-paced, groove-based song called “Mighty God” in which an ecstatic shout-and-dance broke out. Shelley sees these moments as “sacraments, extensions of divine presence.”“I was at the piano, watching what I spent a year and a half trying to put to words manifest before my eyes,” he said. “That was a nugget of experience that said to me, ‘Yeah you’re on to something.’”Though he plays piano and organ, sings, and has a master’s in divinity and a Ph.D. in history and theory of music, Shelley said his musical strength lies as a composer.“I have written songs during a church service, sitting at the organ playing,” he said. “I’ve written songs at the piano during practice time during chill meditative moments, and I’ve just heard melody or words and pitch and then I’ll go work it out.“I’m really patient. I routinely let songs sit in my head six to eight months. I don’t write them down until they’re done, and I know when they’re done. I could finish a song if I wanted to, but I prefer them to work out themselves, so I wait to feel inspired and it’s kind of completely itself.”In “Groove,” a graduate seminar, students will examine the interrelation of rhythm and movement across a historical span reaching back to 17th-century dances such as the passacaglia and chaconne.“The phenomenon of groove is embedded in a long history of music and dance,” Shelley said. “At some level groove is thought to result from the interaction between instrument and/or performers. In this case, groove seems to be understood as both a feeling and a musical entity that facilitates the production of that feeling.“In a broader sense, it’s a cut or ridge that facilitates movement, so I want to see what happens when we put together all of the conversations of the way we think of groove.”Music professor Braxton Shelley directs “Due Glory”
In a time when a U.S. president has been known to call journalists the “enemy of the people,” the everyday work of reporting the news has rarely been more challenging. That’s how Margaret Sullivan, the media columnist for The Washington Post, sees it.Following the death of New York Times media analyst David Carr in 2015, Sullivan is one of the few national voices in print and on the web who speaks hard truths about the embattled news industry’s shortcomings and offers thoughtful remedies amid heightened public skepticism about the value that journalists bring to society.Sullivan, former editor of The Buffalo News, rose to national attention in 2012 when she became the first female public editor of the Times, charged with holding it ethically accountable for its actions. She moved to The Post in 2016.On campus this week for a visit to the Shorenstein Center at Harvard Kennedy School, Sullivan spoke with the Gazette about the state of the news business, why it was a mistake for The Times to eventually eliminate the public editor position, and what young journalists should know about the craft.Q&AMargaret SullivanGAZETTE: The media have been a big part of the news in the last year or two. What’s the state of journalism today? What should reporters and editors be doing that they’re not?SULLIVAN: I think we are in a period of incredible turmoil. And in some news organizations I would even go so far as to say chaos. But we’re in a time of great change. We’re under attack, certainly, from the president.On the issue of trust, I have a more nuanced point of view. I spent this past summer really trying to talk to non-coastal, regular folks about their feelings about the news media. I came away feeling like the reality wasn’t quite what I had seen portrayed in public opinion polls. It was a more nuanced picture than that. A lot of people don’t think the news media is perfect, but they do feel like they can get credible information from their own news media. There is sort of a split between this idea of “the media” that’s out there and “my media,” which is more trusted. So, if you read The Boston Globe and look at The New York Times online and listen to NPR, you feel like, “Yes, I know what’s going on.” But if I were to ask you about “the media,” you might get this idea that I’m talking about all kinds of things: Facebook, Sean Hannity, CNN. So I don’t think we’re defining it well. I think it’s extremely misleading to talk about “the media” as if it’s some sort of cohesive entity. It isn’t. I think it needs to be examined a little more closely, and that [will begin] to give us a better picture.In terms of what journalists should be doing at this point, part of what’s going on is we’re covering a president who is unlike any other. And so, we can’t really just do things the same old way and expect that to work. Some of the things I’m seeing that I think are good involve the new emphasis on fact-checking. Fact-checking done in real time is extremely important. Any kind of explainer journalism is very helpful. Take this whole thing with the [Rep. Devin] Nunes memo: If you asked people to explain that to you, I think they would have a hard time doing so except as a fight between the president and Republicans in Congress and the Democrats. Can people really describe what the issues are? Probably not. So I think we need to do a better job of catching people up on issues so they can have a better understanding.GAZETTE: There was much hand-wringing after the election about the press coverage. Has the media learned lessons from the start of the 2016 presidential campaign?SULLIVAN: I think we’re doing a better job with paying attention to some of the parts of the country that we weren’t very much in tune with — at least some news organizations are. I can speak about The Washington Post for one, which has something called the America Desk, that makes an effort to cover all of the United States and get away from just the Acela corridor. The Post was doing that before as well, but now we’re doing more of it. Part of the reason for that is that we know we didn’t capture the feeling of the country fully, and election night was a big wake-up call.GAZETTE: At a time when trust in the news is low, and demand for accountability and reader engagement are high, why have so many newspapers, including The Post and The Times, done away with the public editor or ombudsman position? That seems counterproductive.SULLIVAN: I think news organizations find ombudsmen/public editors to be something of a burr under the saddle. You’re there to critique them, basically, and it’s not very fun to be critiqued. And it’s worse, in some ways, when it’s coming from inside.But I think that the biggest news organizations, and I would certainly include The Times in this, did benefit from the role because it made readers feel like they had an advocate inside the paper. I don’t accept the argument that, “Well, there’s so much outside criticism that that should take care of it. All we really need to do is bring that criticism to the surface and answer those questions.” That’s not the same thing as having an experienced journalist able to go to the top people and get some answers.GAZETTE: Last month, you wrote a column critical of The Times in which you talked about the paper being “addicted” to its unique access to power, and how that has harmed its coverage, exacerbating what appears to be a crouch the paper enters when people criticize it. For example, there was a 2017 feature story about a white supremacist that appeared empathetic, and a recent opinion page given over to Trump voters. Those drew flak for seeming to accommodate a “both sides” equivalency. Why are they defensive about criticism?SULLIVAN: The Times is a unique institution, and one of the reasons I wrote that column was that I think that what The Times does is very important. It affects the entire media system. And so, it’s especially important for them to be transparent, it’s especially important for them to own their mistakes. All journalists make mistakes, and all news organizations make mistakes. The Times also attracts a tremendous amount of criticism.Someone observed, when I was public editor, that criticizing the Times is a form of performance art. It’s kind of like, “Here’s a way that I can get attention, too — by criticizing The Times.” So all of those things are part of the mix. The Times does a lot of things extremely well, but I do say they have a tough time fully owning their mistakes. And that’s why I think having a public editor there, although it may not be pleasant, is useful.GAZETTE: There’s a fascinating piece in Politico magazine that explains how the #ReleaseTheMemo hashtag was a coordinated campaign, an example of computational propaganda with ties to Russian bot networks and aided by U.S. residents and others on social media and conservative media. The goal of computational propaganda, the piece explains, is to shape news coverage, frame issues in a favorable way, and shape the behaviors of both lawmakers and the public. By that measure, #ReleaseTheMemo wildly succeeded. Do you think people working in news understand that newsgathering and other trappings of news (exposes, analyses, punditry) are being used as a tool of information warfare and that in some cases, as with Russia, straight-ahead reporting is being used to advance an agenda?SULLIVAN: I think we’re beginning to grapple with that. It’s a huge change in our business and one that’s very hard to get your head around and extremely important to do so. I’m not sure how it translates into action, actually, because O.K., even if you know that this is going on, how is it supposed to change? You can certainly write about it, you can explain it to people, you can take it into account. But in the end, you’re doing your best to gather the news and present it as truthfully as possible. There may be some brilliant answer to how to deal with this new reality, but I don’t know what it is.GAZETTE: Has the industry sufficiently recognized how President Trump has been able to control the news cycle by getting outlets to chase tweets and remarks that serve his interests, but that may have no real public policy implications? His “treason” remarks this week about Democrats who didn’t clap for him at the State of the Union address is an example. Related Trump’s language, unseemly to critics, reassures his base First as candidate and now as president, his word choices and stances are regularly directed at the worried working class, professor says SULLIVAN: When the president of the United States speaks, especially speaks in an unusual, outrageous, accusatory way, we have to pay attention to that and also point out, in this case, what the actual meaning of treason is, and that this isn’t treason. Treason is right up there with calling the press “the enemy of the American people.” It’s a very harsh kind of criticism to level. The president has a relationship with language that’s nontraditional, to say the least. He uses expressions and descriptions in a way that are very exaggerated. Do we overreact to that sometimes? Yes, I think we do.I don’t think that we should be in the business as journalists of chasing every tweet and writing stories about every tweet. But when President Trump is tweeting, these comments become part of the political record. These are statements from the president, who’s extremely powerful and influential, and I don’t know how we ignore them. But I don’t think we have to react to each one of them as if we’re responding to a five-alarm fire.GAZETTE: What advice do you give aspiring young journalists? Should they go into the industry and, if so, what should they know and know how to do?SULLIVAN: I’m generally encouraging to students who are really committed to being journalists. If they have a passion for it and they’ve done the internships and the student newspapers and all the things you have to do, I think there are still opportunities out there. Certainly, the work couldn’t be more important than it is now, so I never want to say to someone who is a passionate student journalist, “Forget it; you need to go to law school.” I wouldn’t and I don’t say that. But I do think we need to be realistic. The old path is not there anymore: the idea that you might go to work for a small-town paper and quickly get yourself to a regional and then move on to a really big paper. That path, while it hasn’t disappeared entirely, is much less dependable than it used to be.Some of the digital-only news organizations based in New York or Washington, they aren’t very fulfilling places to work because their business model is based in part on volume of readership, also known as clicks, and so the writers have to generate a lot of work. It’s kind of a hamster wheel, in some cases, so that is not always very satisfying. But I also know a bunch of young journalists who have managed to get really good jobs and do fine work. I do think they need to master the old skills and also need to be able to do a lot of the newer things. They have to be strong on social media. They might need to be able to shoot their own videos or do others things like that. They need to have a combination of the old and the new.This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
According to polls conducted last year by the Pew Research Center and The Wall Street Journal/NBC News, many Americans are souring on higher education. There is a concern among many that college is becoming an opportunity limited to the privileged, and a growing sense that the expense doesn’t justify the return. Other detractors paint colleges as anti-American barracks in the culture wars.Harvard is perhaps the best-known institution of higher education in the U.S., but with that popularity comes a vulnerability to stereotypes.Harvard students are some of the brightest and most ambitious, but they are still regular people who need to relax and pursue interests outside of school. Harvard’s new Instagram series, #HarvardUnwind, seeks to showcase that lighter side of the student body. Students like music and TV that they are reluctant to admit to. They have profound thoughts but also puzzling pet peeves, and, just like anyone who has been working hard, they are eager for an excuse to take a break.Follow #HarvardUnwind on Instagram to see how Harvard students unwind.,Dan Kim ’19Q: How do you take a break?“I like to run, I’m actually going to go on a run later today. It’s very therapeutic, and there are a lot of really nice running routes around here. Like Fresh Pond, down the river. There’s a castle all the way down in Somerville. It’s just a way to stop thinking about things.”,Sarah King ’21Q: If Harvard had a smell, what would it be?“Mulch. It doesn’t smell like mulch ever, really, but when I came for Visitas, I think they redid the mulch. I came in through Agassiz, and they have really good landscaping, so I think they had fresh mulch. So that was the first thing I smelled here, and now every time I smell mulch I’m just like [inhales], ‘Ah, Harvard.’ ”,Haley Daniels ’18Q: What’s a strong opinion you have about something trivial?“I get furious if someone doesn’t tell me that they are going to cut their hair before they get a haircut. Because I’m being affected the most by having to watch you have different hair. That’s jarring. I should at least get a warning.”,Sam Benkelman ’20Q: What blows your mind?“There are a few languages in the world that use clicks in them, and that phoneme is a remarkably easy one to produce. Everyone can do it; children will do it automatically when they’re growing up. Yet it’s only found in a few thousand native speakers. So that’s kind of mind-blowing, to wonder why don’t more languages have clicks in them.”,Riya Sood ’20Q: What’s your guilty pleasure?“Probably occasionally listening to pop music because I claim to be a very big alternative fan — which I am — but we all have our moments. I generally go to throwbacks, so pretty much anyone who was singing in the early/mid-2000s, that’s great: Britney, Demi Lovato, Jonas Brothers, the fun stuff.”,Mollie Todt ’18Q: What’s taking up too much of your time?“That’s a really difficult question because I’m such an organizer. I really delegate well. So, I guess I would have to say sleep. I wish I could get less of it, but I have to have nine hours in order to be able to function. I work over at St. Peter’s School in Cambridge, so I’m up at 6:30.”,Julian Nunally ‘17, J.D. ’20Q: What’s something you’re interested in that most people don’t know about?“I went here for undergrad; I studied comparative religion. Now I’m in the Law School, and I want to be a minister. Most people don’t see the connection there. I think law and religion have a lot of things in common, basically in how you interpret the text, whether you use the literal meaning or you use context to imbue meaning into that text, whether reading either a statute, or a contract, or a holy text. I think that’s really cool.“So, in practical use, I really want to be a minister of a church, but I also want to run non-profits off of that. There’s a lot of laws surrounding what a non-profit can or can’t do, and so the ability to manipulate those laws in order to do more good is where the Law School comes in. But also, there’s a lot of moral issues that law can’t fix. So, in order to fill in those holes, I think religion gives you that morality to fix.”,Gabby Sims ’18 and Kirsi Anselmi-Stith ’18Q: What’s your favorite show right now?Anselmi-Stith: We’re on a “Bachelor” kick right now.Sims: We’re really into the latest season.Anselmi-Stith: It’s just smutty TV to distract from any larger goals.Unfortunately, the subject matter of this interaction lapsed before the roll out of #HarvardUnwind could be finalized, and was not posted to Instagram.,Jessie Laurore ‘18Q: What’s your favorite spot on campus?“My room in Cabot, hands down. I meditate there. I really like decorating, so I took my time. I’m very proud of it. I have my plants. I dunno, I just try to make it a space where I feel really at home: very warm.”,Kun Luo, M.Arch. ‘20Q: What’s something you loved as an undergrad that you never thought you’d give up?“I was a drummer. I had a band, I was kind of a drum teacher, and I had performances every weekend. But now I totally lost all of that. I never play drums anymore.”
“Wait times were much shorter than we expected. We think this implies that interventions to increase awareness of available prescribers could provide a short-term boost for access to addiction treatment,” said Barnett.Other Harvard Chan School researchers included Tamara Beetham and Marema Gaye.Funding for this study came from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Pharma-to-doc marketing a vulnerability in opioid fight Harvard-Michigan summit on issue explores addiction, policy First-time opioid prescriptions drop by 50 percent Related Yet this all-or-nothing approach may not be to patients’ advantage Buprenorphine-naloxone (buprenorphine), a highly effective, evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD), is difficult to access in states with high rates of death associated with opiates, according to new research led by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The study also found that access to buprenorphine is especially challenging for patients with Medicaid coverage.“We were surprised to find roadblocks at every step of the process of getting buprenorphine, from finding a clinic with any prescribed, to finding one that will take public insurance,” said Michael Barnett, assistant professor of health policy and management at the Harvard Chan School.The findings were published online June 3 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.Improving treatment for OUD is a national priority. Use of buprenorphine, which can be prescribed in both office-based and outpatient settings, has been associated with substantial reductions in opioid overdose deaths and greater likelihood of long-term recovery among OUD patients. However, numerous barriers limit access to the treatment.For this study, Harvard Chan researchers and colleagues at Harvard Medical School and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health wanted to assess real-world access to buprenorphine among uninsured and Medicaid-covered patients. To do so, they created an audit survey, also known as a “secret-shopper study,” in which each health care provider was called twice, once by a caller posing as a Medicaid enrollee and once as an uninsured patient. The calls were limited to providers in six areas of the U.S. that have high burdens of OUD, including Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Ohio, and Washington, D.C.Overall, there were 1,092 “patient” contacts with 546 buprenorphine prescribers. The findings showed that 38 percent to 46 percent of callers who reported current heroin use were denied an appointment, which the authors said may represent a substantial barrier for patients who are hoping to access care rapidly. The study also found that only 50 percent to 66 percent of clinicians booking new appointments allowed buprenorphine to be prescribed on the first visit. Additionally, a smaller percentage of callers with Medicaid coverage than those paying with cash were offered appointments.The researchers said that the scarcity of clinicians accepting new patients is a prominent barrier to care. However, among clinicians who were accepting patients, wait times were generally less than two weeks, indicating that there are opportunities to improve access to buprenorphine.
The positive effects of optimism Julia Boehm, a former research fellow at Harvard Chan School and current associate professor in the Cream College of Health and Behavioral Sciences at Chapman University, agrees that staying upbeat these days can be a challenge. “It’s something I’m working hard on in my own life. The thing to do is to hold onto what we can in these unusual circumstances. We might be losing something in terms of larger social relationships but there are ways of cultivating that, like having game nights over Zoom and really holding onto the people in your bubble. We can still practice kindness toward others in this time, which is something that’s shown to produce feelings of happiness. And you can always say, ‘The sun still rises every day, and the sunset still looks beautiful.’”Optimism may not come easy, but evidence is growing that it makes a measurable difference. “What we have done is to understand that optimism is in some way protective for health,” Kubzansky said. “Higher levels of optimism been shown to be associated with lower risk of developing diabetes, coronary heart disease, and poor lung function. And it can contribute to greater likelihood of achieving exceptional longevity — as well as healthier aging. This is important, because living longer but sicker is not something anyone aspires to. We have documentation of these associations, and we’re looking more closely into the mechanism.” More risk of physical, psychological damage, less access to health care unevenly tip scales Lower risk of depression with elevated exercise Mindfulness meditation and relaxation response affect brain differently Beyond its intrinsic value (that is, being optimistic is a positive facet of mental health in its own right), optimistic people tend to make healthier decisions. “They tend to be more goal-orientated, willing to delay gratification: ‘It may be more fun to sit on the couch and eat bonbons, but I also have this goal of being fit, so I’m going to the gym’ and optimism can help keep people focused on their larger goals. Data suggest this is the case. Optimism is linked with better health behaviors, a better diet, less likelihood to smoke. So behavior is one pathway, but we are also looking at potential biological pathways that might link optimism to better health including cellular markers. Some initial findings suggest some biological pathways are plausible. For example, people who are optimistic have healthier lipid profiles, and less risk of developing hypertension.”Boehm adds that studies have indicated that a positive attitude reduces the risk of heart disease by anywhere from 10 to 40 percent. “Let’s be honest, optimism is not going to stop you from getting cancer if you have a history in your family and aren’t taking care of yourself. Where it comes into play is there are often factors that encourage us to take actions that help our health. And people who are optimistic tend to engage in healthier behavior than people who are not.”A devil’s advocate could certainly argue that there are a lot of old cranks out there. The caustic Dorothy Parker outlived most of her Algonquin Round Table colleagues, and Bob Dylan just released one of his darkest albums at age 79. “There are always going to be people who appear to be the outliers,” says Boehm. “But maybe that cranky person is the one walking around with some resolve for the future.” 35 minutes a day of physical activity may protect against new episodes, even in the genetically vulnerable Related Positive thinking linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular events COVID’s triple whammy for Black students Study finds a host of health benefits accompany an optimistic attitude Study found that each program showed unique patterns of brain activity Protecting the heart with optimism Bad day, or week? Or maybe it’s the endless eon that 2020 and the first month of 2021 have felt like?A Harvard expert has some advice, and it doesn’t involve diving ever deeper into coverage of the pandemic or politics.“Try to have some perspective,” says Laura Kubzansky, Lee Kum Kee professor of social and behavioral sciences at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH). “If you look at the history of world events, things are always changing. So it helps to avoid saying things like, ‘This will never change, we’ll be in this situation forever.’ And it helps to recognize where the silver linings are — which I’d say the news media is especially bad about doing.”If you can’t conjure up some optimism, she says, try focusing on the hopeful things in your life. “Sometimes it’s just about realizing there’s a certain amount of randomness in the world and you need to roll with it. Maybe now that the world is disrupted, you can find out things about your kids that you wouldn’t have learned otherwise. Maybe you can notice that it’s a beautiful foliage season, and spend time outside. And maybe you can think that we’ve just been too driven, we all need to slow down.“Finding perspective isn’t just about optimism — it’s also about the things that travel with it, in terms of feeling a sense of meaning and purpose. And that goes with the understanding that you’re not going to feel good all the time — that’s OK. It’s a hard time and nobody’s saying ‘Look on the bright side every minute.’” “Higher levels of optimism been shown to be associated with lower risk of developing diabetes, coronary heart disease, and poor lung function.” — Laura Kubzansky, Harvard Chan School The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.