Pop rocks

Edison Project



Goodbyes are always tough, but the difficulty of bidding farewell is compounded when the opportunity to make it formal and final is denied.

That's how I feel about the Edison Project.

I've put off writing about this great, and evidently late, Augusta act's dissolution because I didn't want it to be true. The Edison Project was special, a band that was always enthused and energized, playing with a passion too often lost after infinite nights playing infinite sets.

But that passion was not enough. For a variety of reasons, some professional and some personal, the Edisons have decided to go their separate ways.

It's the sort of thing that comes with the rock band package. Bands form, play and then, far more often than not, break up. It's the circle of life -- with guitars.

Some might say that I'm taking the split pretty well, given my well-documented support of the band. Perhaps, but it's because I have an ace in the hole.

Just as every band runs its course and splits, so does every split band reform, if only for one evening. I'm not saying there's an Edison Project reunion in the near future -- far from it. But this was a very young band. Eventually they will start pining for that particular pleasure they found when standing onstage together. I'm not saying it will happen soon. Perhaps not this year. Perhaps not next. But I'm patient. I can wait.


Is someone trying to steal my Christmas? I hope not. We aren't even out of July yet.

Still, there's been some difficulty putting the annual 12 Bands of Christmas CD and concert together.

Coco Rubio, who put together the concert portion of the event, announced Monday that he was stepping down from 12 Bands. Joe and Emily Stevenson, who have run the business end of the charity, initially thought they might put the event out to pasture this year.

Now things seem to be in flux.

The reasons behind the split are complex.

Both the concert and CD were expensive and time-consuming projects to produce. While much of the money made from sales and concert admission went to children's charities, it was only through the generosity of sponsors and donors that the 12 Bands team was able to write those checks.

Six years ago, when the current incarnation of 12 Bands began in earnest, those donors were a bit easier to drum up, but last year's economic slide drained many of the area's deep pockets.

It should also be noted that time was getting harder to come by for the principals to invest in the project. All involved have businesses and families outside of 12 Bands.

Still, there are some bright baubles to be found.

Mr. Rubio has announced that he will offer a multi-night, multi-band holiday celebration. He also wants to include some seasonal music downloads as part of the project.

And Ms. Stevenson said that there has been some talk of a Best of 12 Bands compilation, and possibly an associated concert.

Right now there isn't a lot of concrete information on either the 12 Bands or Rubio Christmas projects, but I'll be keeping an eye on this developing tale of two Christmas concerts.


I don't think modern dance pioneer Merce Cunningham, who died earlier this week, ever made it to Augusta, but that doesn't mean there aren't connections to be found. In 2006, the Augusta Ballet performed Mr. Cunningham's acclaimed 1964 work Cross Currents . It was an event made possible by Sutton Stracke, the then-executive director of the ballet and a former employee of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

I dropped an e-mail to Ms. Stracke, whom I know from my high school years with she and her husband, Christian, at Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School, commenting that we all should live a life as full as the dancer/philosopher/artist/choreographer. She agreed, admitting that the news had still left her weepy.

She went on to write that she's serving on the Cunningham board and hoped she might convince the company to include Augusta on a legacy tour of Mr. Cunningham's works.

Is it a long shot? Perhaps, but it's nice, if only for a moment, to think that Augusta's last act with Merce Cunningham is yet to come.

Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or steven.uhles@augustachronicle.com.



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