PHOTOS: The New Mastersounds @ The Joy Theatre 12/30/17

first_imgLoad remaining images On Saturday, December 30th, The New Mastersounds played their last full show of 2017 in New Orleans at the Joy Theatre. With opening support from Khris Royal, the funk-fusion quartet brought their signature tunes for a raging night in NOLA before heading to NYC the next day for a New Year’s Eve celebration.Direct from Leeds, England, for almost twenty years, The New Mastersounds have been defining the future of funk music. The British four-piece—composed of guitarist Eddie Roberts, bassist Pete Shand, drummer Simon Allen, and keys player Joe Tatton—has released over a dozen albums, including ten studio recordings, and earned fans globally for their tight infusion of jazz and funk. The band has earned accolades both in the U.S. and the U.K., with the group having performed with funk pioneers like George Porter Jr. of The Meters, Galactic, Papa Mali, and more.Check out the gallery from Saturday night’s NOLA show below, courtesy of photographer Adam McCullough.The New Mastersounds | Joy Theatre | NOLA | 12/30/17last_img read more

Bob Weir & Phil Lesh Open First-Ever Duo Tour At Radio City Music Hall [Videos]

first_imgLast night, after months of excitement and speculation as to what fans could expect, Bob Weir and Phil Lesh opened their 6-date Bobby & Phil Duo Tour with their first of two performances at New York’s iconic Radio City Music Hall.Going into this performance, nobody was entirely sure what to expect. Would they play acoustic or electric? Would they invite out any special guests? What would the songs we know and love sound like played by just these two? The only other real basis for expectations was the pair’s Super VIP performance at LOCKN‘ last year, and that “very special hour” featured only two songs of just Bobby & Phil before Joe Russo and various others joined them for the remainder of that set, so this new project represented relatively uncharted waters.Lesh and Weir began to answer those questions when they emerged for an “Uncle John’s Band” opener, with Weir on acoustic and Lesh on his go-to 6-string Alembic bass. They were joined by percussionist Wally Ingram, who would come and go from the stage throughout the night adding tastefully subtle rhythmic texture while keeping the focus on Bobby & Phil.That focus on the two men in front would prove to be a theme of the performance, as it will no doubt be a theme of this brief tour. While Bobby spoke about “special guests” when originally announcing the shows, Ingram was the only other person to join him and Lesh on night one. And while rumors of heavy-hitting sit-ins were abundant pre-show, the response to the lack of guests on night one was overwhelmingly positive. Guests wouldn’t have felt right at this special performance. A deviation from the celebration of this pair’s decades-long musical partnership would have been out of place. On this night, all eyes were rightfully on Phil Lesh and Bob Weir. (That said, there’s always tonight…)After taking a few minutes to get their footing during “Uncle John’s Band”, the two settled in on “Operator”, Phil’s noticeably stronger-than-usual vocals leading the way. After a brief moment of banter in which Weir mused about how “every one of these tunes means something different to each person,” Bobby led the duo through a slow-and-steady “Ramble On Rose”, the audience audibly singing along throughout.After noting that “this next song has been really good to all of us,” the duo shared vocal duties on “Friend of the Devil”. Next, Bobby told a short story about the sounds he would hear from Pigpen‘s room when the late founding Grateful Dead member was entertaining his girlfriend. While the story itself didn’t amount to much, hearing Bob Weir do his best impression of Pig’s lady—a girl named Janis [Joplin]—(“Daddy! Daddy!”) proved to be one of the more amusing moments of the evening.A beautiful “Bird Song” came next, with Phil handling the vocal duties impressively. That was followed by a rendition of “He’s Gone” which the two built methodically into an interesting, pulsing jam. Next, Phil pleaded, “Tell me a story, Bobby.” Weir acquiesced as he traded out his acoustic guitar for his Stratocaster, telling a story of a summer he spent writing on a ranch in Wyoming. He was having writer’s block and needed to find an inspirational vision, so he set off on a hike in the mountains. As he explained, “It came to me…I just don’t fuckin’ know what I’m looking for here. But I gotta keep at it.” As he finished, he made the connection between that aimless Wyoming hike and the “Lost Sailor”/”Saint of Circumstance” that followed to close the set (“Sure don’t know what I’m going for/Sure don’t know/But I’m gonna go for it for sure”).The duo returned for their second set with “Loose Lucy”, with Bobby back on the acoustic to help thank the fans for a “real good time” all these years. “Peggy-O” followed and provided one of the night’s most memorable musical highlights, as Phil availed himself admirably on lead vocals and the two played off each other to emotionally moving effect.After attempting and promptly aborting another story, the duo moved into “Me and My Uncle”. Next, Bobby once again strapped on his Strat as Phil led them through a bittersweet “Mountains of the Moon” which eventually fluttered into a well-received reprise of the “Bird Song” from set one. “Let It Grow” followed and featured some remnants of “Bird Song” in its winding jam before eventually moving into Bob Dylan‘s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” and, finally, a set-closing “Not Fade Away” featuring a hot, impassioned blues jam.Phil came back out first after the encore break for his usual Donor Rap, also taking time to speak about the recent shooting in Parkland, FL and encourage all those in attendance to register to vote and “vote the motherfuckers out,” an appeal which was met with thunderous applause. A “Box of Rain” encore sent the audience back into the damp New York chill.With one show down, the Bobby & Phil duo tour has come further into focus. The two will get some rhythmic assistance from Wally Ingram, Weir will make use of both his acoustic and electric guitars, and Phil and Bob will trade lead vocal duties. As far as guests go, we’ll have to wait and see. But what was perhaps most surprising on night one–and thankfully so–was Weir and Lesh’s apparent mental approach to these shows.Unlike other “special,” stripped-down, intimate runs like this, the stories and the banter were not the focal points (however hard they may have tried to work them in). They’re not just going through the motions for a campfire-style sing-along, where the actual musicianship is less important than the experience, the audience interactions, the simple fact that it’s happening. There was not a stool or a chair in sight for either one of them. To Bob Weir and Phil Lesh, these shows are not a novelty. They are taking the music of their duo show seriously. On night one, they came to play for real, and in doing so exceeded the musical expectations of many fans. It wasn’t perfect–but it was good, and they’re just getting started…You can check out a selection of videos from the opening night of Bobby & Phil tour below:Bob Weir & Phil Lesh – “Uncle John’s Band”[Video:] Bob Weir & Phil Lesh – “Operator”[Video: rdeal1999]Bob Weir & Phil Lesh – “Ramble On Rose” [Video: Matt Frazier]Bobby & Phil – “He’s Gone”[Video: Matt Frazier]Bob Weir & Phil Lesh – Banter, “Lost Sailor/Saint of Circumstance”[Video: Matt Frazier] Bob Weir & Phil Lesh – “Mountains of the Moon”[Video: jomissa]Bob Weir & Phil Lesh – “Not Fade Away”Setlist: Bob Weir & Phil Lesh | Radio City Music Hall | New York, NY | 3/2/18Set One: Uncle John’s Band, Operator, Ramble On Rose, Friend of the Devil, Bird Song, He’s Gone, Lost Sailor > Saint of CircumstanceSet Two: Loose Lucy, Peggy-O, Me and My Uncle, Mountains of the Moon > Bird Song (Reprise) > Let It Grow > A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall > Not Fade AwayEncore: Box of RainBobby & Phil tour continues tonight with the second of two Radio City performances. You can see a full list of upcoming shows below. For more information, head to Weir And Phil Lesh Duo Upcoming Tour DatesMarch 3 – New York, NY – Radio City Music HallMarch 7 – Boston, MA – Wang TheatreMarch 8 – Boston, MA – Wang TheatreMarch 10 – Chicago, IL – Chicago TheatreMarch 11 – Chicago, IL – Chicago Theatrelast_img read more

Miley Cyrus, Mark Ronson Cover Ariana Grande’s ‘No Tears Left To Cry’ At BBC 1 Radio Performance [Watch]

first_imgMiley Cyrus and Mark Ronson are currently in the middle of a global media tour to promote their recently-released collaborative pop single, “Nothing Breaks Like A Heart”. The latest stop on their media blitz included a live performance on BBC 1 Radio‘s Live Lounge, where the two performed their new single in addition to keeping the show’s tradition of the featured guest doing a contemporary pop cover. Cyrus and Ronson chose to give listeners a wonderful live rendition of Ariana Grande‘s “No Tears Left To Cry” from the singer’s 2018 studio album, Sweetener, which arrived over the summer.Miley’s performance of the emotionally-driven pop ballad required the singer to reach deep within herself to pull out the intensity needed to sing such a heavy song. Cyrus was joined in the broadcasted performance by a small orchestra of violin and cello players, with Ronson seated beside her on the acoustic guitar. The singer showcased both her traditional singing abilities in addition to her rapping skills as she sang along to the lyrics, “I’m pickin’ it up, pickin’ it up, Lovin’, I’m livin’, so we turnin’ up, we turnin’ it up.”The performance even earned some praise from Grande, who gave her pop colleague a shoutout via Twitter. The only real question left for Miley Cyrus after hearing the cover is, “Where can fans get that heart-shaped disco ball hanging behind her during the performance?” Watch the video of the cover performance below:Miley Cyrus and Mark Ronson – “No Tears Left To Cry” [Ariana Grande cover] – BBC 1 Radio[Video: BBC 1 Radio]The other performance during the show saw Ronson and Cyrus giving listeners a stripped-down version of “Nothing Breaks Like A Heart”. The two were once again joined by a small orchestra, with the addition of a percussionist and a bassist. Check it out below:Miley Cyrus and Mark Ronson – “Nothing Breaks Like A Heart” – BBC 1 Radio[Video: BBC 1 Radio]Previous stops on Cyrus and Ronson’s ongoing media tour included appearances on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon and a musical guest spot on this past weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live. She also released a new single on Friday night: with a holiday cover of John Lennon and Yoko Ono‘s “(Happy Xmas) War Is Over” with help from the famous couple’s son, Sean Ono Lennon.last_img read more

The Disco Biscuits Revive “Haleakala Crater”, Perform Full ‘Hot Air Balloon’ Rock Opera At Hometown NYE Run [Full Videos]

first_imgAll in all, the 20th anniversary of The Hot Air Balloon Rock Opera was an enormous success, but the Biscuits had one last set to finish 2018 strong. Like they’ve done so many times before, they counted down into the new year with “Helicopters”, as the band and fans screamed, “Happy New Year, Look Out Below!”. They cranked the energy up as high as they could to finish the run as strong as it started, jamming into “Mr. Don” > “The Great Abyss” and back into the ending of “Helicopters” in true Bisco fashion.When the lights came on, the crowd was speechless. All they could do was cheer as loud as they possibly could. It was obvious that the band and crew had worked tirelessly to create the best possible experience for their die-hard fans to look back on, and it will be remembered as one of the most historic runs in Biscuits history. The band is showing no signs of letting up in 2019, with a three-night run at The Capitol Theatre scheduled in less than a month. So, buckle up and enjoy the ride, because the Disco Biscuits are here to stay.12/31/18 – Full Pro-Shot Video[Video: The Disco Biscuits]Setlist: The Disco Biscuits | The Fillmore | Philadelphia, PA | 12/28/18Set 1: The Overture, Once The Fiddler Paid, The Very Moon[1]> Voices Insane, EulogySet 2: Bazaar Escape[2]> Mulberry’s Dream, Above The Waves, Hot Air Balloon[3]Set 3: Helicopters[4]> Mr. Don[5]> The Great Abyss> Helicopters[4]Encore: Run Like Hell[1] with Holly Bowling on piano during intro[2] with ‘Voices Insane’ bridge[3] with New Year’s Eve countdown[4] with New Year’s Eve lyrics[5] unfinishedSets 1 and 2 were the 9th complete performance of the Hot Air Balloon rock opera, played on the 20th anniversary of its debut Another year has come and gone, and the Disco Biscuits ended it in spectacular fashion at The Fillmore in their home city of Philadelphia, PA. After a stretch of shows in Frisco, Colorado, and Mexico for Holidaze, the band and crew were primed to put on a four-night run that would be engraved in the minds of fans for years to come.From the first set to the final note, the compositions were tight and the jams were driven and thematic. All four members were clicking at an exceptionally high level and their synchronicity was beyond evident as they performed with the same aggressiveness that catapulted them to success twenty-plus years ago.The first night of the run started off with a bang with a monstrous “Basis for A Day > Crystal Ball > Basis for A Day”. The second “Basis” jam will be looked back on as one of the most impressive jams of 2018. Fans looked at each other in disbelief as an unforgiving tidal wave of trance-fusion rushed from the stage. It was pure mayhem in the best possible way. Keyboardist Aron Magner used his synthesizers like weapons of digital destruction as bassist Marc Brownstein and drummer Allen Aucoin provided a necessary backbone. Once the melody got tossed to guitarist Jon “Barber” Gutwillig, he caught it and sprinted into the end zone with ease. They finished the set with one of the most classic 1.0 segments in their catalogue, “Stone > Devils Waltz”. It showcases a completely different side of the band and is a prime example of how vast their spectrum of sound is.They kept their foot on the gas in the second set with a handful of standout moments, one being a memorable version of an inverted “Highwire” sandwiched in between “Hope”. Another came when they jammed out of “7-11” into their classic cover of Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies”. But nobody in attendance or watching at home will argue that the most unforgettable moment came at the end of the set. For the first time since 12/27/04, the Disco Biscuits busted out the famed “Haleakala Crater”, a song that many fans have been chasing for well over ten years. There were tears, there were smiles, there were cheers, high fives, and hugs. It was a truly extraordinary moment in Biscuits history as it was the first time that the song has been played with drummer Allen Aucoin behind the kit.12/28/18 – Full Pro-Shot Video[Video: The Disco Biscuits]12/28/18 – “Haleakala Crater”[Video: The Disco Biscuits]Setlist: The Disco Biscuits | The Fillmore | Philadelphia, PA | 12/28/18Set 1: Basis For A Day> Crystal Ball> Basis For A Day, Stone> The Devil’s WaltzSet 2: Hope> Highwire[1]> Hope, 7-11[2]> Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy, Haleakala Crater[3]Encore: Floes[1] inverted version[2] unfinished[3] last played 12/27/2004 (675 shows)Once the Disco Biscuits have momentum on their side, the sky is the limit and the musical possibilities are endless. They could not miss during the first set of 12/29. There was no noodling or miscommunications between band members. None of them stepped on each other’s toes or overplayed in a way that was unnecessary. Their individual decision making was conducive to one thing and one thing only—laying down the most impressive and complete set possible.After opening with a phenomenal standalone version of “42”, they took the crowd into deep waters with a three-song segment that was patient and explosive. “Resurrection > Naeba (inverted) > Pilin’ It Higher” was everything that a diehard Biscuits fan looks for when travelling around the country to see them. Since adding two Fender Stratocasters to his setup, Barber’s playing has been passionate and reinvigorated. “Resurrection” is one of the most groove-heavy songs that the Biscuits play, with a thick bassline and a steady rhythm that swings naturally. The band jammed into an inverted “Naeba” and the song’s blissfulness washed over the crowd, but that brightness soon turned into a nasty sonic assault of darkness. The extreme contrast in the Biscuits sound is what makes them stand out as the premier jamtronica act in the scene. “Pilin’ It Higher” gave Allen a chance to show off his ridiculous drum n’ bass chops as it always does, and his mechanics were absolutely brain shattering. Set one of 12/29 will undoubtedly be re-listened to for years to come.It seemed it would be a  difficult task to top that set, but the Biscuits followed it up with a massive palindrome that would best be described as non-stop tenacity. “Reactor > Orch Theme > I-Man > Gangster > I-Man > Orch Theme > Reactor” is the type of set that a fan would submit to the band as a fantasy setlist. It was dynamic with peaks and valleys that kept the audience engaged from start to finish. By the time they dropped into “Gangster”, the foundation of The Fillmore was shaking with a ferociousness that most outsiders wouldn’t be able to handle. But for the fans that have been to countless Biscuits shows, it was heavenly in the most sinister way possible. The jam out of “Gangster” was flawless, as they dropped their volume all the way down and the crowd went crazy, Barber laughing away. One can only imagine that he was thinking: “We cannot miss tonight”. The “I-man” was beautiful, but the jam into “Orch Theme” was comparable to a volcanic eruption. After landing in the ending of “Reactor”, they encored with an especially bluesy version of “Barfly” that had fans singing along in unison. All in all, it was one of the most complete shows of the year.12/29/18 – Full Pro-Shot Video[Video: The Disco Biscuits]Setlist: The Disco Biscuits | The Fillmore | Philadelphia, PA | 12/28/18Set 1: 42, Resurrection> Naeba[1]> Pilin’ It High[2]Set 2: Reactor> Orch Theme> I-Man> Gangster> I-Man> Orch Theme> ReactorEncore: Barfly[3][1] inverted version[2] Perfume version[3] last played 12/26/2014 (136 shows)By the time the third night came around, the band and fans were riding so high, it would be impossible for the music not to hold up to the previous nights. The first set contained another segment that is a definite contender for segment of the year, as “Feeling Twisted > Catalyst (inverted) > Morph Dusseldorf (inverted) > Down to the Bottom” featured the most risk-taking of the run to that point.It was the first time that the band inverted “Catalyst” and only the second time that they inverted “Morph Dusseldorf”, both of which are challenging feats that can only be achieved when the band is playing at their best. The funk jam out of “Morph” had the crowd swaying as one as Brownstein and Allen gave Barber and Magner a pocket to sit in and explore for as long as they wanted. The tone of Barber’s new Stratocaster sounded perfect as he found one immaculate riff after another. He capped it off with one of the most ferocious guitar solos that he’s played on the new axe. From there, Allen sped the tempo up to a steady gallop and the band slid into “Down to the Bottom” with undeniable swagger, ending the set on a high note.The Biscuits fanbase lost a few great fans in 2018, so when they opened up the second set of 12/30 with “Eulogy”, there were definitely some watery eyes in the room. Next came a standalone version of “House Dog Party Favor” that got digitally psychedelic before building into one of the steepest peaks of the run.Just like the previous night, they finished off the second set with a tremendous segment. The band used space to their advantage during “Mindless Dribble” > “Crickets” (inverted) > “Sabre Dance”. Magner and Barber took turns painting illustrious auditory landscapes on the enormous canvas that Brownstein and Allen provided. During the first notes of “Crickets”, they were all smiling with a contagious youthful energy. It was as if they somehow captured their emotions from twenty years ago in a bottle and popped the cork for this run. “Sabre Dance” is another challenging composition that is easy to get lost in, but they nailed it. They finally encored with “Svenghali”, another glorious example of the Disco Biscuits and their signature trance-fusion.12/30/18 – Full Pro-Shot Video[Video: The Disco Biscuits]Setlist: The Disco Biscuits | The Fillmore | Philadelphia, PA | 12/28/18Set 1: Frog Legs, Feeling Twisted> Catalyst[1][2]> Morph Dusseldorf[1]> Down To The BottomSet 2: Eulogy[3], House Dog Party Favor, Mindless Dribble> Crickets[1]> Sabre Dance[4]Encore: Svenghali[1] inverted version[2] first time inverted[3] last played 12/27/2013 (165 shows)[4] last played 7/18/2015 (117 shows)By the time New Year’s Eve came around, rumors were flying about what they had up their sleeve for the finale. A number of fans had a feeling the band would play their Hot Air Balloon rock opera in its entirety, and they turned out to be right.Upon entering The Fillmore for the final Biscuits show of the year, fans were greeted by staff and handed a playbill that read, “The Disco Biscuits Present A 20th Anniversary Performance of The Hot Air Balloon Rock Opera.” The two-act song cycle was written by Gutwillig in 1998 and debuted on New Year’s Eve at the intimate Silk City Diner in Philadelphia. It has only been played in its entirety three times in the 2000’s, and only once since Allen Aucoin joined the band. The last time was on Halloween in 2007, so a lot of the younger fans had never witnessed it.The band split the acts up in the first two sets of the night and let the music speak for itself, taking the crowd on a journey through the heartfelt story of love and the dedication to not only following your heart, but also following your dreams. The love triangle between Corrinado, Leora of the Sequoias, and her husband, the merciless ruler Manilla Trane has the ability to speak to anyone that’s willing to listen.The night opened with “The Overture” and was followed by “Once the Fiddler Paid”, the first two scenes of the story. Ghost Light pianist Holly Bowling, dressed as Leora, joined the band for one of the most elegant intros of “The Very Moon” to date. She exited the stage as the band jammed the song out and transitioned into “Voices Insane: with focus and devotion. They closed the first set with Eulogy, as it’s written in Act I, revisiting it in context after playing it the night before.The second set opened with “Bazaar Escape”, one of the most difficult compositions in the Biscuits catalog, and it was by far one of the most excellent renditions of the past ten years. The transition into “Mulberry’s Dream” was seamless, and the song contained some of the most exploratory improvisation of night. Nobody could have imagined what would happened next during “Above the Waves” as a waterfall poured down from in front of the lighting rig. The crew spent hours setting up the special effect that created an extremely psychedelic experience for the fans when mixed with the lighting design from Johnny R. Goode. The band capped off the set with the final scene of Act II, the titular “Hot Air Balloon”. It was a truly transcendental experience for everyone involved.last_img read more

Sing sacred, and hide the flute

first_imgIn 1636, when Harvard was founded, the Massachusetts Bay Colony had barely 10,000 settlers, and wolves howled at the edge of the endless forests.Making art at Harvard then was largely out of the question. In a Puritan world, art was subversion. For instance, the times required Edward Taylor (Class of 1671, and now considered a great metaphysical poet) to conceal his passionate verse in meditations on service to Christ. He saw his work as “a rich web that only the gospel markets afford.”Students at 17th century Harvard, preparing for the ministry, made art only by singing in chapel. The first documented concert at Harvard didn’t occur until 1771, and the first Commencement with a band came 10 years later.In the early 19th century, students singing in chapel were warned against “the irreverent fugue music of the day,” recalled General Oliver, a member of the Class of 1818. But his reminiscences for the Harvard Register included a confession: “Beneath my feather-bed, I used to conceal my flute,” because his strict Puritan father “was opposed to musical instruments generally.”Oliver went on to learn six instruments, a rebellious note that sounds sweet almost 200 years later. But the tale of the hidden flute was the story of art making at Harvard for many years: There wasn’t much, or it was covert.The curriculum — a strict regimen of Latin, Greek, and rhetoric — was closed even to what we know of as electives until after the Civil War. The first course in music came just before that, in 1855. John Sullivan Dwight, Class of 1832 and an early champion of music instruction at Harvard, called that course “the entering wedge, and we may all rejoice in it.”The walls were further breached as other “entering wedges” poked through: music as a subject (1864), freehand drawing and architecture (1874), and landscape design (1900).In 1926, Harvard inaugurated its Charles Eliot Norton lecture series on poetry and the arts. The next year, Harvard opened a new building for it crown jewel displaying the arts, the Fogg Art Museum.In 1931, the number of concentrators at Harvard College on the history of art was 142, considered a healthy figure. But by 1953 the number of concentrators had tumbled to 37, a sign to some observers that attention to the arts was waning — a consequence, they said, of the privations of the Great Depression and World War II.There was no mention of the visual arts in “General Education in a Free Society,” the 1945 study of undergraduate education commissioned by Harvard President James Bryant Conant, which guided curricular reform for the next three decades.But in 1956, an ad hoc group called the Committee on the Visual Arts at Harvard released a report recommending enhanced arts education for undergraduates, a visual arts center, a theater program, and having working artists on campus. The document, commonly known as the Brown Commission report, insisted that just “talking about knowing” was a medieval model of scholarship, and that “knowing and creating” belonged together.Teaching the history and theory of art is important, the report said, but so was the practice, “the actual manual process” of making art. After all, the report said, “the future artist has a place in Harvard College alongside the future doctor or lawyer.”The Brown Commission report made a difference, leading to building the Loeb Drama Center (1960) and the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (1963). Harvard created a Visual and Environmental Studies program in 1968.last_img read more

Delicate touch

first_imgChemists and engineers at Harvard University have fashioned nanowires into a new type of V-shaped transistor small enough to be used for sensitive probing of the interior of cells.The new device, described this week in the journal Science, is smaller than many viruses and about one-hundredth the width of the probes now used to take cellular measurements, which can be nearly as large as the cells themselves. Its slenderness is a marked improvement over these bulkier probes, which can damage cells upon insertion, reducing the accuracy or reliability of any data gained.“Our use of these nanoscale field-effect transistors, or nanoFETs, represents the first totally new approach to intracellular studies in decades, as well as the first measurement of the inside of a cell with a semiconductor device,” says senior author Charles M. Lieber, the Mark Hyman Jr. Professor of Chemistry at Harvard. “The nanoFETs are the first new electrical measurement tool for intracellular studies since the 1960s, during which time electronics have advanced considerably.”Lieber and colleagues say nanoFETs could be used to measure ion flux or electrical signals in cells, particularly neurons. The devices could also be fitted with receptors or ligands to probe for the presence of individual biochemicals within a cell.Human cells can range in size from about 10 microns (millionths of a meter) for nerve cells to 50 microns for cardiac cells. While current probes measure up to 5 microns in diameter, nanoFETs are several orders of magnitude smaller: less than 50 nanometers (billionths of a meter) in total size, with the nanowire probe itself measuring just 15 nanometers in diameter.Aside from their small size, two features allow for easy insertion of nanoFETs into cells. First, Lieber and colleagues found that by coating the structures with a phospholipid bilayer — the same material cell membranes are made of — the devices are easily pulled into a cell via membrane fusion, a process related to that used to engulf viruses and bacteria.“This eliminates the need to push the nanoFETs into a cell, since they are essentially fused with the cell membrane by the cell’s own machinery,” Lieber says. “This also means insertion of nanoFETs is not nearly as traumatic to the cell as current electrical probes. We found that nanoFETs can be inserted and removed from a cell multiple times without any discernible damage to the cell. We can even use them to measure continuously as the device enters and exits the cell.”Secondly, the current paper builds upon previous work by Lieber’s group to introduce triangular “stereocenters” — essentially, fixed 120-degree joints — into nanowires, structures that had previously been rigidly linear. These stereocenters, analogous to the chemical hubs found in many complex organic molecules, introduce kinks into 1-D nanostructures, transforming them into more complex forms.Lieber and his co-authors found that introducing two 120-degree angles into a nanowire in the proper cis orientation creates a single V-shaped 60-degree angle, perfect for a two-pronged nanoFET with a sensor at the tip of the V. The two arms can then be connected to wires to create a current through the nanoscale transistor.Lieber’s co-authors on the Science paper are Bozhi Tian, Tzahi Cohen-Karni, Quan Qing, Xiaojie Duan, and Ping Xie, all of Harvard’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The work was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience.last_img read more

Sir Alex leads the way

first_imgSir Alex Ferguson, manager of iconic Manchester United, is arguably the most successful manager in the history of professional soccer. So why not write a Harvard Business School (HBS) case on his leadership style?“It’s just a dream to be able to understand the drivers of his success,” said HBS Professor Anita Elberse of the source of her inspiration. The case was fascinating, and then came the visit.One day earlier this fall, Ferguson arrived at HBS to help teach the class.Ferguson has led Manchester United — one of the world’s biggest sports franchises — for the past 26 years. Last year, Elberse and case study co-author Tom Dye traveled to Manchester, England, to see Ferguson in action. They conducted comprehensive interviews and meetings with the Scottish manager, past and present players, and club staff members.Their findings offer fresh insights into Ferguson’s storied career and his approach to leadership, particularly his ability to foster a culture of success and dedication throughout the organization, from the team’s elite players to the workers who take care of Manchester United’s famous stadium and field.“If someone knocks on his door and they have a problem, the first thing he does is turn the chair around and say, ‘Sit down, let’s talk,’ ” Ferguson’s longtime secretary Lyn Laffin says in the case.In addition to using their detailed research to outline many of Ferguson’s core philosophies, the case’s authors went a step further. Once their work was complete, Elberse and Dye invited Ferguson to Harvard.“I can try to capture his thinking in a case, but that is only words on paper,” said Elberse, who frequently uses examples from the media, entertainment, and sports industries as the basis for her case studies. “To have him there, and for students to be able to see him in action, see how he addresses a group, and see snippets of his personality, there’s no replacement for that live experience.”“When you’re approached by an institution like Harvard, you know you are dealing with top quality,” said Ferguson. “I had to consider that I was opening myself up to something I’ve never done before. But at this stage of my life, I felt that if I’m helping young people progress through their own routes to management, then ultimately that was an important and compelling factor for me.”The Ferguson report differs from many typical HBS cases that analyze a particular scenario faced by an organization, or a key decision made by a company’s director or chief executive, explained Elberse. Instead, it explores Ferguson’s body of work, his leadership skills, and the keys to his sustained success.“I wanted students to examine his philosophy to the management of the club,” she said, “season by season, and game by game, so that they could distill the major lessons and his formula for success.”One key lesson is Ferguson’s fine-tuned ability to relate to people. He connects with his wealthy players, but he brings that intense engagement to all of his interactions. That was true during his visit to Harvard. Standing in the middle of a room in Aldrich Hall, he expanded on students’ observations about the case, answered a storm of questions, and even had a little fun with a Bayern Munich supporter in attendance. (Manchester United famously beat the German soccer club in 1999, coming back from a goal down to win 2-1 in extra time during the UEFA Champions League final.)In a departure from the standard HBS class that typically allots guests 20 minutes, Elberse turned over half of two 80-minute discussions to Ferguson to maximize his time. Many students arrived for the crowded classes wearing Manchester United jerseys. They also came prepared.“The whole atmosphere was professional,” said Ferguson. “It was clear that they had done their homework. That was the important thing. They had properly read the case study and supplemented that with their own opinions and research. … That gave me a certain assurance that I had made the right decision to go ahead with the case.”“The process was excellent, enjoyable, and comfortable,” he added. “I never felt intimidated in any way, and I never felt reluctant to be anything other than completely open.”The wide-ranging discussions touched on such topics as Ferguson’s expansion of the club’s youth system, his willingness to invest in top talent from other clubs, and the nature of his management style.HBS student and soccer enthusiast Folafolu Folowosele was thrilled to interact with and learn from a legend. Hearing how Ferguson “motivates his players, creates a culture around his team, and gets key influencers within his team to be the ones to drive that winning culture through … these are the lessons we can actually take in our business careers going forward,” Folowosele said.But the students weren’t the only ones learning lessons. Ferguson said it was enlightening to hear his career discussed and explored in such depth and detail.“The part of the discussion from which I learned the most about myself was when they were discussing the balance between ‘fear’ and ‘love’ in my approach to managing people. If you look at my history, there’s all this hype about hair dryers and anger and so on. But the students acknowledged another side to it, which is more apt in terms of how I have fostered relations with people and developed the team over the years. The reality is not always how the press portray it. I felt the students were quite accurate in terms of how they analyzed this aspect, questioning and recognizing this important dynamic of management.“The key element for me was Anita, and how she controlled the room. I am always talking about ‘control.’ She controlled that room. She was the boss. I thought that was very impressive, plus the fact that she has a certain humility about her; she’s quite down-to-earth.”Ferguson also connected with other students and soccer fans while at Harvard. During a visit in September to prepare for the HBS case discussions, he met with Harvard men’s head soccer coach Carl Junot.“He was entertaining and engaging,” recalled Junot, who said Ferguson put him immediately at ease and offered to meet the team. “It was so unanticipated. They were expecting me to come in and give them the practice plan as usual, and in walks Alex Ferguson. They were blown away.”In October, Ferguson set aside time for members of the HBS soccer club. Similar to Elberse’s classes earlier in the day, the more informal afternoon gathering was filled with students sporting Manchester United shirts. Club president John Hillman wore a jersey with the name Giggs printed on the back in honor of the team’s famous Welsh star.Like Junot, Hillman was struck by Ferguson’s easygoing style. “He was amazingly laid-back and down-to-earth.  … I could just tell that he was being very thoughtful, and was very interested in what I was saying.”One of guests sitting in on a case discussion with Ferguson was a soccer star herself. Heather O’Reilly, a key player on the U.S. women’s soccer team that won the gold medal during the London Olympics and a longtime Manchester United fan, called the experience “an honor.”“He’s the best of the best,” said O’Reilly.last_img read more

Lepore to deliver Radcliffe lecture Sept. 10

first_imgJill Lepore, the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History, was named the runner-up of the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Prize, one of the 2013 PEN Literary Awards, for her book “The Story of America.” Lepore, whose latest book is “Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin,” will speak at the Radcliffe Institute on Sept. 10 in a talk titled “Jane Franklin’s Spectacles: Or, the Education of Benjamin Franklin’s Sister.”last_img

Mini-lecture event showcases ‘best of’ Harvard University

first_img Read Full Story The Harvard Graduate Student Government (HGSG) hosts its third annual Lectures that Last event on April 9. The TED talk-style event features a professor from each of the 12 graduate schools for a 10-minute sketch of their research or teaching.Begun in 2012, Lectures that Last came from a vision to showcase the diverse intellectual pursuits of the faculties across different graduate Schools on one stage. In spite of quick planning that inaugural year, it was a well-attended success and has turned into one of HGSG’s (formerly the Harvard Graduate Council) major events. This year, about 1,000 students are expected to attend.The topics covered at are as unique and varied as the professors that present them. Professors were chosen via online nomination in January from students at their respective graduate school. This year, 400 students made over 2,000 nominations.Chosen professors have complete freedom to pick the topic they deem most important. This year, professors include Miguel Hernan (HSPH),  Bjorn Olson (HMS), Brittany Seymour (HSDM), Sergio Imparato (HES), Tina Grotzer (HGSE), Timothy McCarthy (HKS), Roy Gordon (GSAS), and Josh Margolis (HBS), among others.“The event is unique in its breadth,” notes Leon Liu, a PhD student at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, co-chair of the event, and HGSG’s VP, Communications. “Most seminars and conferences that go on at Harvard focus on one topic or field, and often within just one graduate school. Lectures That Last brings together all the graduate schools in wide cross-disciplinary engagement.” Event planners hope that the audience is exposed, educated and enlightened to new ideas outside of their own disciplines, and inspired to think beyond traditional boundaries, Liu added.Tickets are free to students and will go on sale on March 31. For more information, please visit the site or contact— Elizabeth Andersonlast_img read more

South Asia Institute hosts exhibit for Nepal

first_img Many of the city’s buildings and places of worship were destroyed or seriously damaged. Harvard’s South Asia Institute (SAI) is hosting an exhibit and fundraiser to help the country of Nepal and its people rebuild after the devastating earthquake of April 25. Thousands of Nepalese citizens were killed; tens of thousands more were injured and made homeless, while many of the city’s magnificent buildings and places of worship were destroyed or seriously damaged.Featuring photography by Grzegorz Ekiert, professor of government, and director of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, “Nepal — In Memoriam” will run until Oct. 29 and will also feature a closing reception and fundraiser that night.  The photographs are on exhibit at the CGIS Knafel Concourse, 1737 Cambridge St.The exhibit is designed to raise funds for SAI’s Nepal Research and Reconstruction Fund, which provides support for projects in Nepal developed in partnership with local organizations, with a focus on Nepal’s long-term reconstruction. The exhibition is sponsored by the Harvard University Asia Center, South Asia Institute, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, and Korea Institute.For more information. The recent devastating earthquake killed thousands of Nepalese. Photographs from the exhibit will be for sale with money raised going to SAI’s Nepal Research and Reconstruction Fund.center_img Palaces and temples, built by many generations of Newari craftsmen, are unique treasures of world architecture and art. Remembering Nepal Photographs by Harvard Professor Grzegorz Ekiert will be on exhibit at the CGIS Knafel Concourse. Photos by Grzegorz Ekiert ©last_img read more