Tears of Strangeness

Lost and SafeThe Books are my favourite band, they have been for some time now. I love the complexity and ingeniousness of their tracks; they manage to sound arty and detailed without being close or oppressive. You get the sense that they are writing in a light, airy space. It’s great music to listen to if you work with sound, perfectly produced.

Amanda Hadingue, one of the founding members of Stan’s Cafe, told me about Tears of Strangeness ages ago. I’m not sure if she invented the idea but I’ve never heard anyone outside the company using the phrase. It’s when you experience something that is so strange… well I don’t suppose I have to explain what it means, either you’ve experienced them or you haven’t.

MASS MoCAToday I was searching around on the web for some contact details for Sue Killam, the Performing Arts Manager at MASS MoCA. I wanted to write her a letter thanking her for the amazing support and assistance she and her team provided when I was working there recently. Looking at photos of MASS MoCA and the city of North Adams reminded me of how much I grew to love the place during my stay. It’s an odd city, reminding me of Twin Peaks when I first arrived, but it really grows on you and I was feeling strangely sad and wistful until I came across an article that provoked the uncanny prickings of Tears of Strangeness. According to an article on iBerkshires.com, the second The Books album Lost and Safe was recorded in an old Victorian house in North Adams and according to Wikipedia, both members of the band are still living there! Man, that’s so freaky. I’ve been in the Radio Shack from where Nick Zammuto must have bought the components for his spoon boxes. Maybe they even came to see the show, maybe they liked it!

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2 Responses to Tears of Strangeness

  1. Sue says:

    Hi Jon, Greetings from MASS MoCA.

    We believe that spring has finally sprung in North Adams and we’re here for a night of words from Jim Carroll.

    So lovely to hear from you and you can rest assured that we at MASS MoCA still speak so fondly of our time with Stan’s Cafe. Not only did the work resonate, but the people were second to none. Its not uncommon for us to exclaim at random moments “can’t we bring back the Brits?”

    As for The Books, they are indeed from the area and are currently touring again. Alas, they didn’t come up in conversation as we could have tried to connect you all. Next time.

    Do stay in touch.

  2. Sarah says:

    Read interview with Books’ Nick Zammuto:

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