Tedeschi Trucks Band Taps Eric Krasno & Tash Neal For SPAC Encore [Audio/Video]

first_imgOn Tuesday night, Tedeschi Trucks Band rolled into the beloved Saratoga Performing Arts Center in New York with The Marcus King Band and Drive-By Truckers for the fourth stop on their 2018 Wheels of Soul tour, following shows in Jacksonville, Tuscaloosa, and Charleston. While the previous two tour stops saw collaborations from both support acts and their headlining hosts, the SPAC show marked the first to welcome special guests from outside the tour’s billing.One of the greater parts about the annual Wheels of Soul tour is the freedom it allows for Tedeschi Trucks Band to explore: TTB decides who they want on the road, they show everyone why with stand-out sit-ins across all three sets, and both the artists and the fans benefit from the pristine interactions. So, on the night before July 4th, it’s no wonder TTB welcomed out some more friends to celebrate. Following sit-ins from Drive-By Truckers’ Patterson Hood on Wings‘ “Let Me Roll” and Marcus King on Charles Segar‘s “Key to the Highway”, frequent collaborators Eric Krasno (Lettuce/Soulive) and Tash Neal (The London Souls) joined the twelve-piece ensemble for a rocking “Statesboro Blues” to close out the night.Thanks to videographer Sean Roche, you can check out videos from the collaborations below:“Statesboro Blues” with Eric Krasno & Tash Neal“Key To The Highway” with Marcus King“Compared To What” with Marcus King“Let Me Roll It” with Patterson Hood And, thanks to Adam Z, you can listen to the full show below:Setlist: Tedeschi Trucks Band | Saratoga Performing Arts Center | Saratoga Springs, NY | 7/5/18Tell The Truth, Part Of Me, Don’t Know What It Means, The Letter, Little Martha/Midnight In Harlem, Down In The Flood, Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever, I Want More, Let Me Roll It*, Laugh About It, Key To The Highway^, Shame, Bound For GloryE: Statesboro Blues&*w/ Patterson Hood^w/ Marcus King&w/ Eric Krasno and Tash Neallast_img read more

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The Werk Out Hosts Stellar Artists, Guest Sit-Ins, & Collaborations At Legend Valley [Videos/Photos]

first_imgAt the beginning of August, The Werks‘ annual summer music festival, The Werk Out, returned to Thornville, Ohio’s Legend Valley. Spanning from August 2nd through 4th, the ninth-annual festival curated one of the best lineups of the summer, with multiple sets from The Werks, Umphrey’s McGee, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, and Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, plus one-off performances from Lettuce, Twiddle, Papadosio, Turkuaz, The Marcus King Band, Knower, Zach Deputy, Ghost Light, Mungion, Ekoostic Hookah, Spafford, Octave Cat, Rumpke Mountain Boys, and more.With so many high-profile artists on hand, the festival set itself up to host a number of special collaborations. As The Werks drummer Rob Chafin told Live For Live Music ahead of The Werk Out, “We always aim to book bands that are our friends, that we are always touring with, or that we have befriended along the way. It’s good to have some friends who are doing really well across the board here. We’re really stoked for this year, because I feel like it was the perfect storm to get a lot of our friends in one place.”Clearly, The Werk Out 2018 was the perfect storm for musical collaboration. In addition to guest sit-ins during the more standard band performances—including Twiddle inviting Pigeon Playing Ping Pong’s Greg Ormont out to lead the vocals on “I’m Gonna Be”—the festival also handpicked a number of special collaborative sets. Twerkapod, a supergroup that features members of The Werks, Twiddle, and Dopapod, offered a special tribute to the music of the ’90s, while the festival’s “Werk Out Superjam” saw numerous musicians on the bill coming together for an exploratory set.You can check out a selection of videos from The Werk Out 2018 below. At the bottom of the article, you can also check out an extensive gallery of photos, courtesy of Doug Siegel.Twiddle w/ Pigeons Playing Ping Pong’s Greg Ormont – “I’m Gonna Be”[Video: prettydeadgirlx]The Werks (acoustic) – “Wide Awake” Photo: Doug Siegel [Video: Evan the “Dancing Guy”] [Video: prettydeadgirlx]Twerkapod – “Closing Time” [Video: IZEoftheWorld]Twerkapod – “Gin And Juice”[Video: prettydeadgirlx]Twerkapod – “I Saw The Sign” Pigeons Playing Ping Pong – “Porcupine”[Video: HaloG0d]The Werk Out 2018 | Legend Valley | Thornville, OH | 8/2–4/2018 | Photo: Doug Siegel [Video: Evan the “Dancing Guy”]Werk Out Superjam [Full Set] [Video: prettydeadgirlx]Octave Cat – “Fever Subsides”[Video: Evan the “Dancing Guy”]Octave Cat – “Limber Up” Load remaining imageslast_img read more

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Pigeons Playing Ping Pong Announce Webcasts For Upcoming Boulder Run

first_imgPigeons Playing Ping Pong are currently in the midst of a lengthy 2018 fall tour. The run continues tonight, Thursday, October 18th, and tomorrow, Friday, October 19th with the band’s return to the Boulder Theater in Boulder, CO. Thankfully for everyone who won’t be able to make it, the band has announced that they will webcast both Boulder shows via Nugs.tv. The pay-per-view webcasts will be available both individually and as a discounted two-night package.After Pigeons Playing Ping Pong hits Boulder, the band will head east for a special four-night Halloween run dubbed “Red Hot Sgt. Peppers,” which will honor the music of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Beatles. Pigeons Playing Ping Pong will bring their “Red Hot Sgt. Peppers”-themed show to The National in Richmond, VA on Halloween night and reprise the party the next night, November 1st, at Neighborhood Theater in Charlotte, NC and the succeeding two evenings at Variety Playhouse in Atlanta, GA (11/2 and 11/3).To purchase your Boulder webcast, head here. For a full list of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong’s upcoming tour dates, head to the band’s website here.[H/T JamBase]last_img read more

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Eric Krasno Joins Dave Matthews Band At MSG [Video/Photo]

first_imgPhoto: Matt Rea On Thursday night, Dave Matthews Band kicked off his first of two nights at Madison Square Garden in New York City. On just the second night of tour, the band continues to ride a wave of momentum behind their 2018 release, Come Tomorrow, which marked the band’s record-breaking 7th-straight record to hit #1 on the Billboard charts.Dave Matthews Band kept the audience captivated for a 15+ song set, featuring an exciting mix of newer material (“Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin)” and “Again and Again”) and a heaping portion of old-school Dave, including favorites “#41”, “Satellite”, and “That Girl Is You”, as well as a cover of Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion”. Toward the middle of the extended set, Lettuce/Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno joined the band on stage for “Lie In Our Graves” from 1996’s Crash. For the encore, Dave Matthews and his amazing Band returned for “What You Are” and “Ants Marching”.Dave Matthews Band w/ Eric Krasno – “Lie In Our Graves”  11/29/18[Video: Gregory Marcus]After tonight’s show at MSG, DMB will make stops in ten more cities on their fall arena tour, which will hit venues along the east coast in addition to a stop in Canada. through early December. For more information on Dave Matthews Band tour, head to his website.In related news, Eric Krasno announced a last-minute show at the Blue Note in New York City, NY with his E3 Organ Trio this Saturday, December 1st at 12:30 a.m. The jazz trio consists of drummer Eric Kalb and organ player Eric Finland, with Krasno on guitar and vocals. Special guest John Scofield, one of Krasno’s “all time heroes,” will also join the late-night show. Head here for more information.Setlist: Dave Matthews Band | Madison Square Garden | New York, NY | 11/29/18Seek Up, That Girl Is You, Why I Am, Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin), Kill The King, #41, Satellite, Again and Again, Sweet Emotion (Aerosmith cover), Minarets, Can’t Stop, Lover Lay Down, Lie In Our Graves (w/ Eric Krasno), Sleep To Dream Her, Typical Situation, Funny the Way It Is, You and Me, You Might Die TryingE: What You Are, Ants Marching Load remaining imageslast_img read more

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Widespread Panic Honors National Puppy Day With Vic Chesnutt Cover For Night Two At The Cap

first_imgWidespread Panic turned up the heat to unprecedented levels of glory on night two of their three-night run at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY. The setlist was unbelievable on paper with the accompanying music doing righteous justice to the tunes.Kicking off an outstanding second night of music, Widespread pondered through “Wonderin’”. The song was supposed to be played during the first night’s encores but was scratched in favor of P–Funk’s “Red Hot Mama”. Buffalo Springfield’s “Mr. Soul” followed with Jimmy Herring serving up a bowl of lightning and John Bell on point. Neil Young was often quoted as one of the band’s biggest musical influences as they frequently return to Ol’ Neil’s catalogue.John Bell restored faith in humanity with a heart-wrenchingly, honest take on Pop’s Staples song, “Hope in a Hopeless World”. The opening lines “Baby born in New York City / Wrapped in a blanket all tattered and worn” ignited the crowd’s excitement carrying through the heavy tune with other lyrics such as “Looking for hope in a hopeless world / Searchin’ for love in these hateful times / Try to stay strong but my mind is weak”, “Saturday’s child don’t wanna go to Sunday school”, and “Somebody out there got to know what Pops been talkin’ about.”JoJo Hermann’s keys dazzled throughout “1×1”, a song based on the historical account of the collapse of Clear Creek Bridge and the mythical savior, Sugarman. Written exactly twenty-one years earlier with the help of Beanland’s guitarist Bill McCrory, Sugarman “dropped his candy “and rescued the audience members one by one in this wild jubilee. Slowing it down for the only time of the show, the boys mellowed out for a bouncing introduction of “Christmas Katie” which soon progressed into a furious maelstrom cast from the fingers of the White Wizard, Mr. Jimmy Herring.A suave segue that led into “Good Morning, School Girl”, an old blues standard first recorded by Sonny Boy Williamson but also notably played by the Grateful Dead, steamed the venue up with a dog-like John Bell charging the atmosphere with haggard seduction. Bloodkin’s “Who Do You Belong To?” rolled on with a steady rhythm before the tasty riffs of “Thought Sausage” left the audience salivating by the bucketload. Eventually, when Dave School’s bass barrage relented and Jimmy Herring returned to Earth, John Bell stirred the pot enough and gave the command to “come on and git it.”To close the first set, Widespread kept it savory with a “Bowlegged Woman” sandwich with “Action Man” in the middle, electrifying the audience. The intensity during this sandwich continued throughout the night with JB being particularly gritty throughout Calvin Carter and Bobby Rush’s “B.W.”Getting back to business, Jimmy Herring’s guitar led the band through the jolted flight of “Saint Ex”- a song based on the German pilot who shot down his favorite author of Little Prince notoriety, Frenchman Antoine de Saint–Exupéry, in WWII. (“If I knew I knew you, I never would have shot you down”). Continuing to draw aces from their sleeves, the band hypnotized the audience with “Hatfield” that culminated into a torrential, downpour of quick-lipped raps, fast-finger riffs, and boot-stompin’ rhythms.A chain reaction of improvised jams transitioned smoothly through a blazin’ cover of J.J. Cale’s “Ride Me High” and again transitioning in cosmic progression into a badass version of Robert Johnson’s “Stop Breaking Down”. “Stop Breaking Down” had a wicked “Give Me Back My Wig” rap showing off John Bell’s impressive lyrical quips. (“Gimme back my wig and let your head go bald … “ & “The stuff in my pocket gonna bust yer brain out / Make you do the shibbity-shoe-bop”)After a short pause, the boys whipped up a mean “Machine > Barstools” that continued the trend of rockin’ heaters. JB’s vocals shone as Dave Schools pummeled his bass throughout both songs, and introduced an epic third to the madness with an awesome performance of “You Should Be Glad.” JB gave chills of excitement when he exclaimed, “It’s good to be back again!”, an honest statement after their first run at the venue in twenty-seven years.As Jimmy Herring slathered the jams with hot sauce, Schools kept the thundering rhythms rolling as the Panics knocked a cover of Tom Waits’ “Goin’ Out West” out of the park. JB kept Tom Waits’ grizzly intensity for a finger-licking good performance of the old school, crowd favorite “Contentment Blues.”Somewhere during the passionate jam, the stage’s curtains caught fire. In an attempt to extinguish the spreading conflagration, the band summoned up the wits to perform “Chilly Water.” The audience fulfilled their duties and responded with projectile water which was able to put out the fledgling fire. The closing tune included a primitive, drum battle between Duane Trucks and Sonny Ortiz, that ended the second set with a percussive bang.Upon return for encores, Dave Schools asked JoJo Hermann to “tell the nice people of Port Chester what day it was”. JoJo, to which responded, “It’s puppy day.” With another scratch to two consecutive nights, the Widespread Panic opted for the hard-hitting bass lines of Vic Chesnutt’s “Puppy Sleeps” as opposed to the uplifting piano of “This Part of Town.” The heavy-hitters kept coming with a dirty take on Steve Ferguson’s – of NRBQ notoriety- “Flat Foot Flewzy.” Schools was a veritable hype-man with his howls, yelps, and made a call-to-the-moment vocalizing his appreciation of the night and the audience and prompted JB to include a quick “Hot in herre” Nelly-style rap in the background to ice Saturday night’s whacky smokeshow.Widespread clearly had unfinished business with The Capitol Theatre in ’92 and through the second set, exonerated the bad blood by fulfilling their personal vendetta with hard-hitting home run after home run.Widespread Panic Announces Live Stream For Capitol Theatre CloserThey conclude their three-night stay in Port Chester’s The Capitol Theatre tonight. As always, “Never Miss a Panic” show, regardless of what day of the week it is.Setlist: Widespread Panic | Capitol Theatre | Port Chester, NY | 3/23/19I: Wondering, Mr. Soul, Hope In A Hopeless World, 1×1, Christmas Katie > Good Morning Little Schoolgirl, Who Do You Belong To?, Thought Sausage, Bowlegged Woman > Action Man > Bowlegged WomanII: Saint Ex, Hatfield > Jam > Ride Me High > Jam > Stop Breakin’ Down Blues, Machine > Barstools & Dreamers, You Should Be Glad, Goin’ Out West > Contentment Blues, Chilly WaterE: Puppy Sleeps, Flat Foot Flewzylast_img read more

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The String Cheese Incident Closes Fox Theatre Run With Memorable Performance [Photos/Full Audio]

first_imgOn Saturday, The String Cheese Incident continued the celebration of their 25th anniversary at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, MO. As keyboardist Kyle Hollingsworth told Live For Live Music late last year, “With celebrating 25 years, we really wanted to return to some of the places that have always been special to us and fun to play. Vegas, Jazz Fest, The Fox, and those spots have always provided something a little extra for us as a band.”EXCLUSIVE: Kyle Hollingsworth Talks The String Cheese Incident’s 25th Anniversary, Surprises In Store For New Year’s RunThe String Cheese Incident made good on Hollingsworth’s prediction, delivering a memorable performance in their second of two shows at the Fox this weekend. Following an opening “Colorado Bluebird Sky”, the band worked through “Get Tight”, “(Nothing But) Flowers”, and Chuck Berry‘s “You Can Never Tell”. From there, String Cheese launched into a lengthy rendition of “Best Feeling”, from their Keller Williams collab album, Breathe (1999). The set came to a close with extended jams followed on “The Big Reveal” and “Beautiful”.Following setbreak, the band emerged to kick off the show’s second half with “Into The Blue”. A well-paired “Let’s Go Outside” > “Outside and Inside” came next, followed by a cover of Tom Petty‘s “You Wreck Me”. From there, excellent renditions of “Way Back Home”, “Rivertrance”, and “Rollover” rounded out the set before a “Rosie” encore sent the crowd home dancing.Listen to a full audience audio recording of the performance below:The String Cheese Incident – 4/20/19 – Full Audio[Taped by Michael Frasca]You can check out photos of the performance below courtesy of photographer Daniel Ojeda.Next up for The String Cheese Incident is a trio of shows in New Orleans during Jazz Fest including an “evening with” performance at The Orpheum on May 2nd and a pair of shows with Pigeons Playing Ping Pong at Mardi Gras World on May 3rd and 4th. For a full list of the band’s upcoming tour dates, head to their website here.Setlist: The String Cheese Incident | Fox Theatre | St. Louis, MO | 4/20/19Set One: Colorado Bluebird Sky, Get Tight > All Blues > Nothing But Flowers, You Can Never Tell, Best Feeling > The Big Reveal > BeautifulSet Two: Into The Blue, Let’s Go Outside > Outside and Inside, You Wreck Me, Way Back Home > Rivertrance > RolloverEncore: RosieThe String Cheese Incident | Fox Theatre | St. Louis, MO | 4/20/19 | Photos: Daniel Ojeda Load remaining imageslast_img read more

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Light worsens migraine headaches

first_img“This explains the throbbing headache and accompanying scalp and neck-muscletenderness experienced by many migraine patients,” said the study’s seniorauthor, Rami Burstein, a Harvard Medical School professor of anesthesia and critical care medicine atBIDMC.In addition, for reasons that have been unknown, nearly 85 percent of migrainepatients are also extremely sensitive to light, a condition known asphotophobia.“Migraine patients may wear sunglasses, even at night,” he said, adding thatthe dimmest of light can make migraine pain worse. Extremely disabling,photophobia can prevent patients from such routine activities as reading,writing, working, or driving.It was the observation that even blind individuals who suffer from migraineswere experiencing photophobia that led Burstein and first author Rodrigo Nosedato hypothesize that signals transmitted from the retina via the optic nervewere somehow triggering the intensification of pain.The investigators studied two groups of blind individuals who suffer migraines.Patients in the first group were totally blind due to eye diseases such asretinal cancer and glaucoma; they were unable to see images or to sense light,and therefore could not maintain normal sleep-wake cycles. Patients in thesecond group were legally blind due to retinal degenerative diseases such asretinitis pigmentosa; although they were unable to perceive images, they coulddetect the presence of light and maintain normal sleep-wake cycles.“While the patients in the first group did not experience any worsening oftheir headaches from light exposure, the patients in the second group clearlydescribed intensified pain when they were exposed to light, in particular blueor gray wavelengths,” said Burstein. “This suggested to us that the mechanismof photophobia must involve the optic nerve, because in totally blindindividuals, the optic nerve does not carry light signals to the brain.“We also suspected that a group of recently discovered retinal cells containingmelanopsin photoreceptors [which help control biological functions includingsleep and wakefulness] is critically involved in this process, because theseare the only functioning light receptors among patients who are legally blind.”The scientists took these ideas to the laboratory, where they performed aseries of experiments in “an animal model” of migraine. After injecting dyesinto the eye, they traced the path of the melanopsin retinal cells through theoptic nerve to the brain, where they found a group of neurons that becomeelectrically active during migraine.“When small electrodes were inserted into these ‘migraine neurons,’ wediscovered that light was triggering a flow of electrical signals that wasconverging on these very cells,” said Burstein. “This increased their activitywithin seconds.”And even when the light was removed, he said, these neurons remained activated.“This helps explain why patients say that their headache intensifies withinseconds after exposure to light, and improves 20 to 30 minutes after being inthe dark.” Thediscovery ofthis pathway provides scientists with a new avenue to follow in working toaddress the problem of photophobia.“Clinically, this research sets the stage for identifying ways to block thepathway so that migraine patients can endure light without pain,” saidBurstein.In addition to Noseda and Burstein, co-authors include BIDMC investigatorsVanessa Kainz, Moshe Jakubowski, Joshua Gooley, and Clifford B. Saper, alongwith Kathleen Digre of the University of Utah. The study was funded by grantsfrom the National Institutes of Health and from Research to Prevent Blindness. Normal0017014001338491311.1282000Askpeople who suffer from migraine headaches what they do when they’re having attacks,and you’re likely to hear “go into a dark room.” Although it’s long been knownthat light makes migraines worse, the reason why has been unclear. NowHarvard scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) have identified a visualpathway that underlies sensitivity to light during migraines. Thefindings, which were published in yesterday’s advance online issue of NatureNeuroscience, help to explain the mechanism behind this widespread condition.The research involved blind individuals and those with normal eyesight. Amigraine is a one-sided, throbbing headache associated with a number ofsymptoms, including nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. Migraines are notoriouslydebilitating and surprisingly widespread, affecting more than 30 million peoplein the United States alone. Migraine pain is believed to develop when themeninges, the system of membranes surrounding the brain and central nervoussystem, become irritated, which stimulates pain receptors and triggers a seriesof events that lead to the prolonged activation of groups of sensory neurons.last_img read more

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The future energy mix

first_imgShell Oil Co. President Marvin Odum said he expects global energy demand to double by mid-century, with renewable sources making up a much greater part of the supply than they do now, and with fossil fuels remaining a major part of the mix.Odum, who spoke Tuesday (April 27) at the Science Center, delivering the Harvard University Center for the Environment’s final “Future of Energy” lecture of the academic year, presented his views and those of the oil industry giant as it looks ahead.According to Odum, energy from renewable sources would surge in the coming decades, to a scale that today would equal 60 percent of production. But with the global population expected to climb to 9 billion and the increasing industrialization of the developing world, he expected overall demand to grow enough that renewable sources will make up just 30 percent of the 2050 energy mix.Much of the rest, he said, must come from fossil fuels, making mitigation technologies that keep carbon from being released into the atmosphere essential.“Supply is going to have trouble keeping up with that kind of demand growth,” Odum said. “All forms of energy will be needed.”Consequently, environmental stresses due to energy consumption also will increase, Odum said, resulting in more government regulation. He came to Harvard, in fact, expecting to talk about the new U.S. energy and climate bill, but negotiations on it collapsed last week when one of the sponsors, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, abruptly withdrew from talks with Democrats. Though the halt was surprising, Odum said he still expects some type of energy legislation to be passed.The global energy industry is so enormous that major changes take a lot of time, Odum said. A look at the past century shows that it takes almost 30 years for any new energy source to reach even 1 percent of the market, he said. First come years of research and development, followed by small demonstration plants that lead to further improvements. That is followed by larger commercial plants that take a long time to site and build. Biofuels are now about 1 percent of the market, and wind will be about 1 percent by the middle of the decade.That slow development pattern will have to be radically sped up, he said, if renewables are to be 30 percent of the mid-century energy mix. Government can help, with regulations and incentives. Odum said that government establishment of a carbon market, with pricing and trading, will be a big factor driving growth of renewable energy sources. Without that, he said, it will be difficult to attract the kind of private capital needed to finance that growth, and it is unlikely government will step in to fill the gap.Odum said he sees the industry having several roles to play in the future. First, it needs to provide more energy to meet demand. Second, it needs to increase the efficiency of its operations. Third, it needs to provide more low-carbon energy.Carbon capture and storage is an example of the third role, Odum said. Shell has begun one such large project associated with its oil sands effort in Canada. It’s being done in partnership with the Canadian government, which has invested $800 million. He expects to begin injecting carbon into underground storage areas by 2015 at the earliest.Another example is Shell’s continued investment in natural gas. Though a fossil fuel, gas produces much less carbon dioxide than either oil or coal. By 2012, natural gas is expected to make up more than half of Shell’s production.Odum said the company expects the number of motor vehicles to double worldwide by mid-century, with 40 percent of miles driven by electric-powered vehicles. That expected explosion in demand for transportation fuels has Shell investing in biofuels, working with a producer in Brazil.Though Shell was not involved, Odum also addressed the recent Gulf of Mexico oil drilling platform tragedy and the spill that has resulted. Such platforms, he said, have so many redundant systems that he doesn’t understand how the tragedy happened. Whether the accident and the resultant oil pollution affects the acceptability of offshore drilling elsewhere depends on how the situation is resolved and how successful mitigation efforts are, he said.last_img read more

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Harvard wrestlers prepare to get down

first_imgThe David G. Bunning ’88 Head Coach of Wrestling Jay Weiss has put together a challenging tournament and meet schedule that will prepare the Crimson for the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association and the NCAA championships.Harvard will compete in three tournaments throughout the year — the Binghamton Open, the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, and Midlands — as well as contend against 17 opponents in dual meets. The Crimson will face at least four teams that ranked among the top 10 at the end of last season and five teams that finished in the top 20 at the NCAA Championships.The Crimson wrestling season opens on Nov. 20 against Binghamton University.Read the complete story.last_img read more

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Teachers as part of the solution

first_imgIf Randi Weingarten had her way, the teaching profession would look a lot like the National Football League (NFL).In the NFL, said the president of the American Federation of Teachers, the countless hours spent off the field practicing, training, and reviewing game day tapes are vital to preparing athletes to perform at their best.“Does anybody really think that football players only work during the period of time that they are on the field?” she asked a crowd at a Harvard Graduate School of Education Askwith Forum on March 31. The same needs to be true for teachers, she said, and unions play a critical role in making that sports model a reality in schools.During the discussion, Weingarten laid out her organization’s four-point “theory of action” on how to turn the American public school system from an industrial to a knowledge-based model, in which teachers are fully supported.Quality is a big part of the puzzle. The importance of the union is about “having a voice, it’s about being able to say ‘this is what I need to do my job,’” said Weingarten, adding that unions need to not only support teachers, but also to weed out those who aren’t performing, and to “ensure the quality of the services we deliver.”While her work includes negotiating working conditions, salaries, and benefits, it also involves examining the preparation, support, and evaluation of teachers, she said. To that end, her organization recently developed a framework for teacher evaluation based on practice and student learning.Ensuring teaching quality with a successful evaluation system, said Weingarten, is a “lever for change in our school systems.”School systems also need to address the issue of equity.“We can’t just say the kids with the least should get the most; we have to actually do something about it.”For Weingarten, that something involves emulating organizations like the Harlem Children’s Zone, a nonprofit that uses a comprehensive formula for a child’s well-being, including a network of medical, education, and social services.Accountability is also important, as is a fundamental need for collaboration, she said. When teachers, unions, superintendents, and parents work together, change is possible.She hailed a New Haven teacher contract of 2009 as a “national model.” The collective bargaining agreement addressed wages and benefits, but also “gave teachers voices in a number of decisions.”Weingarten offered other examples, including a New York school district that worked with unions to scrutinize spending decisions to avoid layoffs, and one in California where unions and superintendents collaborated on professional development events, parent nights, and anti-bullying campaigns. Across the country, people have been “using this collective bargaining and collaboration model to create problem-solving contracts that bring real reforms to schools and use quality, equity, [and] shared responsibility with collaboration.”She said “we need to actually follow the evidence,” citing recent studies indicating that more than 83 percent of students in charter schools did worse or no better than their peers in public schools, and reports that merit pay for teachers doesn’t improve student performance.“We have got to wean ourselves off of the silver bullets, the magic potions. … Let’s actually transform our whole system, let’s actually look and see what works. Let’s figure out if we can actually sustain that, replicate it, and let’s use collective bargaining and the voice of teachers as a mechanism by which we help transform schools.”Weingarten began the talk with a story about her own days as a teacher. She recalled wearing suits to class and the comments of her students who told her that her polished wardrobe made them feel important.“It reminded me what kids see in teachers,” she said, adding, “We need to be reminded all the time what we mean to them.”last_img read more

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