James Taylor plans 2nd benefit concert in Great Barrington.

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James Taylor plans 2nd benefit concert in Great Barrington.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

By The Associated Press

Saturday January 23, 2010 at the Mahawe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington

Singer James Taylor plans 2nd benefit concert in Great Barrington to aid Haiti earthquake relief

By The Associated Press

January 20, 2010, 12:53PM

GREAT BARRINGTON – Singer James Taylor has scheduled a second benefit concert in Massachusetts to aid earthquake relief efforts in Haiti after the first show sold out.

Taylor announced on his Web site that he’ll play a second show on Saturday at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington.

The first show, scheduled for Friday, sold out in 90 minutes Tuesday and raised $300,000 – $150,000 in ticket sales, which was then matched by Taylor and his wife, Kim.

Both shows will benefit Partners in Health, a Boston-based group that brings modern medical care to poor nations and has been working in Haiti for more than 20 years.

The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, who lives in nearby Lenox, says on his Web site that a second concert “is the least I can do.”

For more information log onto the following Web sites: For ticket information visit: http://www.mahaiwe.org, to learn about Partners in Health, http://www.pih.org, James Taylor’s Web site http://jamestaylor.com.

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“It was initially quite painstaking,” says keyboardist Chris Seligman. “But we put love into our space and our space gave us love back.”

Campbell is also a parent, but his recording sojourns in Montreal allowed him to keep, shall we say, more traditional musician’s hours.

“I’m a nighttime guy, I don’t really like making records in the day,” says Campbell, who made the studio his home for the duration of his recording sessions. “I slept on the couch. I’ve never enjoyed making a record so much, because I always hated going home at the end of the day. This time, in Montreal, the studio was my home.”

Funnily enough, it was during one of Campbell’s studio sleepovers that the city itself became truly present: noise was bleeding in from the gay discotheque, The Royal Phoenix, located on the floor below them.

Says Campbell: “I went to sleep to the sound of Charli XCX every night—and I loved it.”

So rather than fight the funk, Stars rolled alongside, with the incessant 4/4 thump emanating from below serving as the metronomic template that would form the basis of No One Is Lost. You can hear that influence percolate in real time on the album’s monumental lead-off track “From the Night”—Stars’ most epic opening salvo since Set Yourself on Fire’s “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead”—with a near-subliminal pulse vibrating the floorboards beneath your feet before exploding into a kaleidoscopic, French-touched house jam. And that crowd noise you hear at the beginning? That’s Millan and Seligman walking into The Royal Phoenix during a Friday-night rager, field-recording gear in hand.

“The sub-bass throb coming from the club below our studio was undeniably and unavoidably influential,” affirms drummer Pat McGee. “It motivated us to out-throb the throb.”

But the Royal Phoenix proved to be more than just a musical inspiration; the bar essentially served as Stars’ home away from home, with the band coming to know the servers on a first-name basis, and even getting cocktails christened in their honour. And through observing the bacchanalia playing out every weekend in their de facto rec room, the thematic framework for the album came into focus.

“I always find it so moving and beautiful to watch people have their nights out. “ Campbell explains. “There’s something so heartbreaking about it: People have jobs that they have to get up for, jobs they hate, and they live for the weekend; they live for these moments. And they put everything they have into it: They put all their money into it, they put their emotion into it, they sacrifice their health for it, just to make a connection out there, and go home with someone and not be alone.”

During the writing of the new album, Stars were hit with another cruelly sobering reminder of just how precious our days here on this planet really are: the band’s long-time manager, Eoin O Leary, was diagnosed with cancer.

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Campbell, for his part, offers a somewhat more urgent interpretation:

“This record’s called No One Is Lost because that is a fucking lie. We are all lost, we are all going to lose this game and, as you get older, you lose people more and more. Eoin’s been facing down the Grim Reaper, and that was bringing us the fuck down. But we decided to go for it anyway, and so did he, and it was enormous act of blind hope to even think he would make it this far. So I wanted to call this record No One Is Lost because I just wanted to close my eyes and jump and hope that was true. Life is loss, love is loss. And loving people is about accepting that you’re going to have to say goodbye to them. And that’s why it’s fucking brave. It’s easy to hate, because you never have to let go of anything. It takes guts to be gentle and kind. That’s Stars’ ethos: this life is very heartbreaking and sad… so let’s get completely fucking arseholed and listen to some Dionne Warwick.”

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