Ai Weiwei

Hansel, &c.

Good art makes you think; great art inspires action. One of the best concerts I’ve ever attended was Daniel Martin Moore, Ben Sollee, and Yim Yames performing at the Jefferson in Charlottesville, Virginia on their Appalachian Voices Tour. I’ve seen Ben Sollee in concert many times over the years; he’s a fabulous performer. But what set this particular show apart from others was that it was about something deeper, more important than merely singing or playing well. It was geared towards inspiring the audience towards action — more specifically, action against mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia. The album Dear Companion, a collaboration effort by Moore and Sollee and produced by Jim James, was created solely to raise awareness about mountaintop removal. Midway through the concert, they introduced a gentleman from rural Kentucky who spoke about how MTR was ruining his community. He was not particularly well-spoken, and…

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