It was a bit of deja vu at the memorial celebration Saturday for Hopkins-raised arts impresario Tim Carr. After a church service, Curtiss A was onstage at St. John’s school, screaming “Land of the Free,” backed by two players from the Suicide Commandos and other members of the Minneapolis Rockestra. The scene evoked Carr’s signature Minneapolis moment when, as a Walker Art Center official, he presented M-80: A New-No-Now Wave Festival at the University of Minnesota Fieldhouse in 1979. Carr went to become a New York talent manager (Laurie Anderson, Arto Lindsay, Eric Bogosian) and a bi-coastal record-label talent scout (he signed Beastie Boys, Megadeth and Babes in Toyland, among others). In 2002, he moved to Thailand, where he died of heart failure in April at age 57. The inadequate audio quality Saturday in the echoey St. John’s gym (Carr and his eight siblings attended the school) was reminiscent of the loud, muffled sound of the U of M fieldhouse back in 1979. A gaggle of young women, Tim’s nieces, were dancing to the music. The only things missing were the dirt floor and Carr’s ever-present sweet but mischievous smile.
Music man of Maple Grove
A singing yeti is off-Broadway bound this summer, thanks to Phil Darg of Maple Grove. A social sciences teacher for various Minnesota state colleges, Darg recently began dabbling in writing song-and-dance theater. His “Sasquatched! The Musical,” about a hairy but dignified woods creature befriended by a young boy, was chosen for a five-show run in Manhattan by New York Musical Theatre Festivals, as part of its “Next Link” program for promising newbies. “Sasquatched!” was one of 12 musicals selected by a panel of seasoned Broadway vets, including Tony winners Marsha Norman and Michael Cerveris. “I never thought it would get picked, so now I’m on the hook to do it,” said Darg, who is actually pretty stoked about the whole thing. Donald Brenner, whose previous credits include Glenn Beck’s live-show version of his hit book “A Christmas Sweater,” will direct, and parts have been offered to 12 actors. The hard part now — fundraising. “If several thousand Minnesotans gave just $5 to $10 each, we could be on the playing field with all those well-financed new York shows,” Darg told I.W. Come on all you angels: Details at www.sasquatched.com.
When ‘Freebird’ cries
Two of the more clichéd frequent occurrences at a First Avenue concert — the singer referencing “Purple Rain” and a clubgoer yelling “Freebird!” — were handled with unusually witty aplomb by Father John Misty at his sold-out show Tuesday night. During a breakdown in “Funtimes in Babylon,” the Los Angeles singer told his bandmates he liked them better than “that girl I’ll get to dive into Lake Minnetonka,” and he wouldn’t fire them for “writing a song that clearly reflects my daddy issues” (a loose play on Prince’s “Purple Rain” character). As for the Lynyrd Skynyrd request, Misty feigned ignorance. “What is this ‘free bird’? Is that some kind of local thing?” he asked, and then added with eye-rolling wryness, “That’s what I love about being on the road: Getting to know local customs that don’t happen anywhere else in America.”
Pour these grant writers a tall one. ArtPlace America, a three-year-old Chicago-based consortium of public and private arts funders, has included three Minnesota groups in its 2013-14 round of grants. Two projects in St. Paul and one in Lanesboro, Minn., have each received $300,000-plus for efforts toward “creative placemaking.” Bedlam Theatre picked up $350,000 to develop a Lowertown space designed to serve as an arts nexus for the Central Corridor light rail. Blue Ox, an artists’ collective, also got $350,000 to construct a mini-golf course as the anchor attraction on a 15-acre redevelopment of the Schmidt brewery site. In southeastern Minnesota, Lanesboro received $313,000 toward its $1 million “arts campus” project, which will expand the arts outside the theater and gallery and onto the streets (one example: a rhubarb printmaking session at the farmers market). This round of $52 million in grants is the third cycle for ArtPlace, which has previously funded five other projects in Minnesota, for a total (including the aforementioned) of $3,073,000. Ex-Minneapolitan Rip Rapson, former McKnight Foundation president who has led the Kresge Foundation in Detroit since 2006, is chair of ArtPlace America’s presidents’ council.
Rockin’ road shows