The Solid Sound Festival — founded and curated by Wilco, every other year at MASS MoCA — is an amiable riot of discovery. I covered the inaugural edition for The New York Times, in 2010, and returned to file another review in 2015. I think my brief assessment in that piece still holds true:
Wilco fandom isn’t a prerequisite for enjoying this festival, but it sets the conditions for a specific vision of utopia: a convergence of grown-up indie tastes, with subsidiary interest in American roots music, multimedia projects, comedy, jazz and performance art.
This year’s edition of Solid Sound kicks off on Friday with a panel called Penguin Random House Authors in Discussion. I’ll be moderating this talk, with two writers I admire: Cheryl Strayed, best-selling author of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail and Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar; and multi-platform humorist John Hodgman, whose latest book is Vacationland: True Stories From Painful Beaches.
The Solid Sound Festival is sold out. If you have your tickets, I hope you’ll consider dropping by for this event! It’s going to be a fun and far-ranging conversation, and I’m really looking forward to it.