Every summer, millions of people get their pathos on when they take a weekend to care about a sponsored cause while they run for an extended period of time. Marathons that don't involve scooting around wearing "meat shorts" and a numbered bib stapled to your chest are less common. Back in the days of the flapper, people got their jollies by pole-sitting for days on end, but short of David Blaine, no one seems to be playing the super-fun "Let's sit still for days on a platform or pole!" game anymore. Dance marathons still happen, but they are scarce compared to the "fabulous fifties," when every Potsie, Ralph Malph or Leather Tuscadero dragged their ass to Arnold's to watch Fonzie help little Joanie C. win the respect of her pre-teen peers and perhaps a coveted cupie doll or $5 prize by remaining on the floor the longest.
Okay, there is your history lesson from Gramps Nadelle. The Bang on a Can Marathon sounds like a much more enjoyable way to spend 26 hours. Taking place from 8 P.M., Saturday, June 2 to 10 P.M. on Sunday, June 3 at the World Financial Center Winter Garden in New York, the Marathon features composers, performers and filmmakers from all over, and it is all free! The Bang on a Can organization was formed in 1987 by Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe in a concerted effort to present and garner attention for "contemporary" music in the very best sense of the word. Did we mention that the Marathon is free?! Below are lists of those participating this year, including bigger names of Eno, Moore, Reich, and the just-added La Tengo. The only question remaining to ponder is how the festival managed to get Yo La Tengo to play? I mean, they NEVER play live!
Composers: John Luther Adams, Louis Andriessen, Christopher Adler, Derek Bermel, Don Byron, Mary Ellen Childs, Mark Dancigers, Franco Donatoni, Brian Eno, John Fitz Rogers, Michael Gordon, Judd Greenstein, John King, Phil Kline, David Lang, Alvin Lucier, Missy Mazzoli, Thurston Moore, Steve Reich, James Tenney, Matt Tierney, J.G. Thirlwell, Galina Ustvolskaya, Edgar Varese, Lois V. Vierk, Julia Wolfe, Marcelo Zarvos, Evan Ziporan.
Performers: Bang on a Can All-Stars, Iva Bittova, Robert Black, The Books, Clogs, Dälek, David Cossin, Eighth Blackbird, Ethel, Dominic Frasca, Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble, Michael Harrison, The Hartt Bass Band, The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Vijay Iyer, Kyaw Kyaw Naing, Manorexia, Mashrig, The Meehan/Perkins Duo, Juana Molina, Patti Monson, NOW Ensemble, Odd Appetite, Milind Raikar, Real Quiet, red fish blue fish, Steven Schick, Mark Stewart, Mike Svoboda, TACTUS, The Talujon Percussion Group, The World Saxophone Quartet, Yo La Tengo, Young People's Chorus of New York City.
Filmmakers: Bill Morrison, Matt Mullican.