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From TC to D.C.: Setzer donates signature guitar to Smithsonian

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider under Music, Minnesota musicians Updated: October 20, 2014 - 2:22 PM
Brian Setzer said goodbye to a great love at the Smithsonian's Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. on Friday. / Photo courtesy the Smithsonian

Brian Setzer said goodbye to one of his great loves at the Smithsonian Museum of American Histroy in Washington, D.C., on Friday. / Photo courtesy the Smithsonian


An adopted Minneapolis resident for more than a decade now, rockabilly star Brian Setzer has also now found a permanent home for his trademark guitar in Washington, D.C.

The Stray Cats leader donated a replica version of his orange 1959 model Gretsch 6120 guitar to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History over the weekend. It’s the same type of guitar he used to record “Rock This Town” and other Stray Cats favorites, which Setzer custom-fitted with two Monopoly game dice drilled onto the volume knobs. He had the replica built after the overworked original became unusable.

“Maybe in a hundred years people will look at my guitar and be inspired to play it and enjoy it the way I do,” Setzer told the Smithsonian, whose instrument collection also includes John Coltrane’s sax, Prince’s “yellow cloud” guitar and one of Eddie Van Halen’s striped axes.

Another sign of his guitar godliness, Setzer is featured on the cover of this month’s Guitar Player magazine. That follows the release of his new album, “Rockabilly Riot! All Original!” which came out in August and features all new songs. While we’d welcome a stripped-down show to promote that record, Setzer’s next hometown gig will be the tour kick-off for his annual Christmas big band tour at the Orpheum Theatre on Nov. 14.

Sleater-Kinney reunion tour coming to First Ave on Valentine's Day

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider under Music, Concert news Updated: October 20, 2014 - 10:19 AM

One of indie-rock’s most influential bands of the late-‘90s, Sleater-Kinney will come roaring back to life early next year with a new album, career-spanning vinyl box set and reunion tour, including a Valentine’s Day date that’s sure to be a bona-fide love-in at First Avenue. Tickets to the Feb. 14 show go on sale Friday at noon for $30.

From First Avenue's Instagram account.

From First Avenue's Instagram account.

A clue that the First Ave date was coming, the club sent out a photo via Instagram last week of a new star on its wall that simply reads, “I-5, Exit 108.” That’s the way to get to the band’s namesake Sleater Kinney Road in Olympia, Wash. After 12 years and seven albums for the Kill Rock Stars and Sub Pop labels -- including 1997’s seminal “Dig Me Out” -- the trio called it quits in 2006 when its career was still peaking. Its second-to-last show at Lollapalooza in Chicago that summer was actually the best of a half dozen S-K shows seen by this writer, just a hyper-rocking, ultra-tight affair that felt like a triumphant farewell.

At least one of the members, guitarist/co-vocalist Carrie Brownstein, went on to be more famous after the band went on hiatus, thanks to her involvement with the IFC series “Portlandia.” She and drummer Janet Weiss toured with a new band, Wild Flag, in that time, and Weiss also performed here often with Stephen Malkmus, Quasi and Bright Eyes. Singer/guitarist Corin Tucker bowed out for a while to concentrate on motherhood but finally returned in 2012 to play the Entry behind her second solo album.

There’s a new S-K album already in the can, “No Cities to Love,” coming Jan. 20 on Sub Pop. The first track from it, “Bury Your Friends,” is posted below. An expansive vinyl box set with all their prior albums, titled “Start Together,” will be issued Tuesday.

Minneapolis plays a role in new James Brown documentary

Posted by: Neal Justin under Music, Television Updated: October 20, 2014 - 10:18 AM



James Brown/ photo by Dita Blangkara/AP

One may not normally associate the Twin Cities with James Brown, but a new HBO documentary makes a case that the area has played a pivotal part in the Godfather of Funk's history.

"Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown," produced by Mick Jagger, covers the Brown's pivotal years. Among the most memorable footage: Brown singing "I Feel Good" with then-presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey, perhaps a blueprint for the future Paul McCartney-Michael Jackson duet, "Ebony and Ivory."

On a more somber note, drummer Melvin Parker recalls the time during a Minneapolis gig when Brown snapped at his brother, Maceo. In the dressing room, it appeared that Brown was going to hit Maceo in the mouth so he couldn't play his horn. According to Melvin, he pulled out a gun, fired a shot, and then put the barrel in Brown's face.

The Godfather quickly backed off.

You can hear the tale yourself when HBO premieres at 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27.

Pearl Jam's 32-song Xcel Center set list

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider under Music Updated: October 19, 2014 - 11:59 PM
A low-lit Eddie Vedder near the start of Sunday's Pearl Jam concert at Xcel Energy Center. / Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

A low-lit Eddie Vedder near the start of Sunday's Pearl Jam concert at Xcel Energy Center. / Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

If you got dragged to Sunday’s Pearl Jam show unwillingly and somehow never warmed up to the band during the duration of the performance, then it must’ve been one excruciating night.

I’d read reviews from prior shows on this jaunt and knew it would be a long one, but I was even surprised how the band just kept going. When the house lights came up for “Alive” during the second encore, it just screamed “finale!” Sure enough, though, the show even rolled on from there, with “Rockin’ in the Free World” blaring out under the bright lights, curiously followed by the much more languid but similarly provocative “Indifference.”

The show clocked in at 3 hours and 10 minutes in the end, with 32 songs. Click here to read the full review.

Here’s the set list:

Pendulum / Release / Nothingman / Go / Life Wasted / Corduroy / Lightning Bolt / Mind Your Manners / Save You / Even Flow / Sirens / Love Boat Captain / Daughter / I Got Id / The Fixer / Unthought Known / Given to Fly / Rearviewmirror

ENCORE 1: Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town / Thin Air Footsteps / Imagine (John Lennon cover) / Last Kiss (Wayne Cochran cover) Why Go / Do the Evolution / Porch

ENCORE 2: Black / Setting Forth (Eddie Vedder solo song) / Better Man / Alive / Rockin' in the Free World (Neil Young cover) / Indifference

Twin Cities Jewish Film Festival: from police drama to pickled herring

Posted by: Colin Covert under Culture, Movies Updated: October 17, 2014 - 5:06 PM
"Dancing in Jaffa" IFC Films.

"Dancing in Jaffa" IFC Films.

With a dozen films over 15 days, the 2014 Twin Cities Jewish Film Festival is a showcase of zany comedy, dark police drama and heart-warning historical documentary. With screenings at both Minneapolis’s Sabes Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Community Center of the Greater St. Paul Area, the series offers features in English and subtitled Hebrew, German, Spanish and Arabic, running from Oct. 19 through Nov. 2.
The charming “Dancing in Jaffa” opens the festival at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Sabes JCC. Getting fifth-grade boys and girls to dance together is tough. It’s tougher still when the students are a diverse mix of Palestinian Israelis and Israeli Jews. That’s the challenge ballroom dance champion Pierre Dulaine took on. When boys and girls dance together, Dulaine’s theory goes, they will see a person, not a vilified abstraction. A fey, theatrical fellow, Dulaine is a natural camera subject. Whether the cross-cultural friendships begun here will stand the test of time is anyone’s guess, but it’s a start.
On Thursday at 7:30, the subject is the legendary New York fish market “Russ& Daughters,” whose history since 1914 (including four generations and 1,800,000 pounds of pickled herring) is celebrated in “The Sturgeon Queens.” The 52-minute documentary interviews scores of the late owner Joel Russ’s descendents and fans as diverse as actress Maggie Gyllenhaal and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The screening is at the St. Paul JCC.
Oct. 23 at 7:30 there’s “Zero Motivation,” an Israeli “Private Benjamin”-style satire of female military misfits. Variety called the film – nominated for a record-maker 12 Ophir awards, the equivalent of Oscars – “a biting, darkly comic look at the life of the women of the Israeli military [that] showed audiences that for these female secretaries and paper-pushers, boredom can be just as dangerous as battle.”
For a full listing of films and accompanying events, visit http://tcjfilmfest.org/films-and-events.php. You can purchase tickets at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/producer/247176, call the Box Office at 952-381-3499, or email tickets@sabesjcc.org.


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