Earth Night has been a staple of Papadosio’s touring calendar for the better part of a decade. This year, the seventh-annual celebration is set to take place in Chicago at Concord Music Hall on Saturday, December 16th, and will feature performances by host band Papadosio as well as Dirtwire (featuring David Satori of Beats Antique) and Lapa (also known as Ilya Goldberg of Emancipator). It was also recently announced that Concord Music Hall will host a pre-party on Friday, December 15th, with Papadosio performing a Live PA set along with support from Zombie Mañana. Tickets for Earth Night on Saturday, December 16th are currently on-sale and can be purchased here. Pre-party tickets for Friday night can be purchased here.
Earth Night 2017 Promo Video
[via The Earth Night Network]
2017 has been particularly special for the renowned jamtronica act Papadosio. This summer, the band performed their second-ever headlining performance at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, marking yet another major success in the band’s consistent upward trajectory within the scene. The Asheville, North Carolina-based progressive space rock act’s fanbase is consistently growing, and it’s no secret why. In addition to their beyond-tight and characteristic fusion of the jam and electronic music, the group’s dedication to giving back—both to fans and to causes they care deeply about—is unparalleled.
Unsurprisingly, Earth Night’s mission of “Music – Tech – Art – Action” will be ever-present at this year’s highly anticipated event. As is the Papadosio way, the group has adopted a powerful ethos for the annual event, treating fans to dialed-in musical performances by socially conscious artists while also hoping to empower attendees to make a difference in this constantly changing world. Tickets for Earth Night on Saturday, December 16th are currently on-sale and can be purchased here. Pre-party tickets for Friday night can be purchased here.
Ahead of this blowout event, Live For Live Music was able to chat with event organizer and producer Jason Takahashi about the importance of staying engaged and fighting for important causes, and specifically, those related to the pressing matter of global climate change. Takahashi, also known as “Taka,” worked as the producer of Papadosio’s visual show between 2012 through 2016, in addition to organizing the first-ever Earth Night back in 2009. Read on to see our conversation with Jason “Taka” Takahashi and see what he had to say about Earth Night’s mission this year.
Live For Live Music: Over the last seven years, Earth Night has become a staple of the Papadosio touring calendar. Regardless of what city the event takes place in, Dosio always headlines. Why is this event so important to you?
Jason Takahashi: Well, it’s a tradition the band and I started when Sam Brouse and I were undergrad students in upstate New York at Skidmore College in 2009. I think over the years, it just evolved into a way to host a special event around the holidays and catch up with a lot of friends, while also paying respects to the world that sustains us and the things we often overlook in our busy lives. I’m glad the guys have continued to enjoy playing it and hosting it with me. A good example of a small seed coming to life and growing throughout the years.
L4LM: When looking at an event like Earth Night as a celebration of this beautiful planet, it’s hard not to think about the changes necessary for a more peaceful and unified existence. There is plenty of negativity out there, but also, clearly, positives as well. Where do we stand in 2017?
JT: Most days, it seems like humanity is on the verge of breakthrough and breakdown. Science and technology are constantly discovering new horizons, while many of our institutions and cultural norms are seemingly being broken down. When Earth Night started, it was a part of a political science thesis project I put together—I basically sought to connect ancestral intelligence with artificial intelligence under the premise that our future can’t be written without really understanding more about our past. While I still find that very much to be true in regards to lost ancestral and indigenous knowledge of the Earth, there’s almost no time to spare in addressing and standing up to the direct environmental threats to our world and lives. It seems we have the tools and knowledge, but not the consensus about how to move forward. As artists, we’re constantly trying to understand how to establish that connection.
“We Can Always Come Back” from Atlanta Earth Night 2015
[via The Earth Night Network]
L4LM: When thinking about Earth and the climate, inevitably, politics come into play. In the music world—specfically when artists get behind various causes—people get easily agitated, calling for artists to “keep the politics out of music.” But, the spirit of rock and roll and music in general has always been closely tied to such issues. What are your thoughts on how an artist should tread on these hot topics, whether it be in their actual music or the causes they get behind?
JT: It’s definitely a slippery path for an artist to stake out some political ground, and I think it depends on each artist. I’m constantly inspired by artists who go out of their way to give a voice or lend their support back to their respective communities. Giving back is always a welcome gesture, which Earth Night and Papadosio have tried to do every year since its inception. However, when it comes to creating awareness or conversation around difficult topics in our political sphere, I think it’s good to pick your battles and commit to a cause.
For us, it’s largely been making ourselves heard and protecting this planet for future generations of humans, animals, and plants alike. This year, we will focus our efforts on supporting the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) because they are spearheading legal battles to protect us and our planet from the catastrophic consequences of climate change. You could say it’s a way of shielding ourselves from some of the more difficult discussions, but every single other political issue will be exasperated by this single conflict that we face, so it must be met head on.
L4LM: With the current administration recently proposing legislation to roll back the Clean Power Plan and end various emissions regulations on the coal industry, it makes one wonder why it is so difficult to end the use of coal and move forward with renewable energies such as solar, wind, ocean waves, and geothermal heat. Is this a war on science and common sense for the love of money?
JT: The current administration is less of a representation of average Americans and more so a game of monopoly for old-world business tycoons and conglomerates. Scott Pruitt is dismantling the EPA piece by piece and sacrificing the work of the hundreds of willing public servants, scientists, and innovators of the last administration. I don’t expect this to last very long, as it seems like the last gasping breaths of a dying industry—but it just so happens to have terrible timing. It’s a further reminder that people need to vote in the 2018 midterms and stop people like Pruitt, a man who sued the EPA over a dozen times on behalf of dirty energy companies, from ever stepping foot in a confirmation hearing. Nevertheless, incredible clean-power solutions are becoming more mainstream than ever before. While this election has definitely been one of the harshest setbacks for both civil rights and environmental regulations, I hope we can transmute our disgust into action and really start to get our generation involved in the renovating of the Republic.
L4LM: How do you think we keep fighting the good fight in a positive fashion, without all of the divisiveness?
JT: The biggest thing for me, personally, has been the work I’ve been doing with kids recently. I took a position last year teaching technology classes around the Denver Public School district, and it’s given me a lot of hope and courage to keep fighting on behalf of the next generation while trying to pass on some of the values I find important. I think continuing to uncover the possibilities in the arts and technology is one of the great unifying factors as well. It brings people of all walks together to dig deeper into what we’re truly capable of and what our collective purpose might be.
L4LM: We appreciate your time and thoughtful responses, Jason. Best of luck with Earth Night this year!
* Jason specializes in live concert visual production, digital content creation, event production, artist management, and K-12 technology education. Check him out at www.JasonTakahashi.com.
Tickets for Earth Night on Saturday, December 16th are currently on-sale and can be purchased here. Pre-party tickets for Friday night can be purchased here. For event updates and additional information, join the Facebook Event page.
[cover photo courtesy of Keith Griner @ Phierce Photo]
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