Welcome to Artcetera. Arts-and-entertainment writers and critics post movie news, concert updates, people items, video, photos and more. Share your views. Check it daily. Remain in the know. Contributors: Mary Abbe, Aimee Blanchette, Jon Bream, Tim Campbell, Colin Covert, Laurie Hertzel, Tom Horgen, Neal Justin, Claude Peck, Rohan Preston, Chris Riemenschneider, Graydon Royce, Randy Salas and Kristin Tillotson.

Justin Vernon's Eaux Claires fest formally announced with new partner

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider under Music, Concert news Updated: December 16, 2014 - 11:54 PM

 

Justin Vernon with Bon Iver at the Coachella Music Fest in 2012. / Damon Winter, New York Times/AP

Justin Vernon with Bon Iver at the Coachella Music Fest in 2012. / Damon Winter, New York Times/AP

Is Justin Vernon’s good name enough for fans to bet $100-$200 on next summer’s Eaux Claires Festival? Organizers will find out starting Thursday at noon when tickets to the inaugural two-day festival in Vernon’s native Eau Claire, Wisc., go on sale at early-bird prices before any performers have been named.

Two-day general-admission passes can be had for $100 via www.eauxclaires.com. VIP passes that include free beverages (yes, including beer) will be available for $200.

A formal announcement of the festival was made today, following the news a month ago that the Bon Iver frontman/namesake and his partners at Boston’s Crashline Productions received approval to hold the fest July 17-18 at Foster Farm on the Chippewa River near Eau Claire, where the popular Country Jam festival is also held.

Wednesday’s announcement added one more partner to the list of co-organizers, who adds a little indie-rock star power to the event: Aaron Dessner, guitarist for the National and a heavy dabbler in classical and none-of-the-above music composition. Dessner’s brother Bryce is himself curator of an eclectic new fest, Music Now, happening in March in their native Cincinnati.

 

Aaron Dessner

Aaron Dessner

Aaron Dessner said in the press release for the Eaux Claires Fest: “Justin and I have been friends and collaborators for years,” “Working together to create and curate Eaux Claires is something we've been talking about for a long time. To finally see it come together, and to imagine the music, art and community the festival will bring together, is very exciting."

 

Said Vernon: “After several years of touring and playing music festivals of all different types around the world, I wanted to put together an event that would honor what we love about this place — including an independent attitude and blaze orange caps — but also shine a light on less familiar and surprising elements that are already weaving themselves into our future. Having this festival right in my backyard gives me and the guest artists a chance to share familiar work and new creations in a setting close to my heart and different than any other stage in the world.”

It’s still unclear if Vernon or Dessner will also be performing at Eaux Claires (pronounced “oh Claire” just like the city), and if so, if they will do so with their best-known acts. Sources close to Vernon say he indeed plans to bring back Bon Iver next year. The National don't have any gigs booked besides at that Music Now fest. We’ll find out for sure when the lineup is revealed early next year.

Current to celebrate 10th anniversary with 10 days of musical events

Posted by: Jon Bream under Music, Concert news, Local TV and radio, Minnesota musicians Updated: December 16, 2014 - 4:30 PM
Jeremy Messersmith/ Photo by Tony Nelson

Jeremy Messersmith/ Photo by Tony Nelson

To celebrate its 10th   anniversary,  89.3 the Current is staging 10 Days of Random Acts of Musical Kindness in January. Some of these acts are more random than others but most of them are pretty cool and definitely kind.

* The events start Jan. 15 on the low-key with a Coffee Break with the Morning Show, with music by the Ericksons and free doughnuts and coffee. Free.

As for the more exciting events:

* Record shopping at the Electric Fetus with three Current DJs on Jan. 16. Free.

* 10-inch record release party for a special anniversary vinyl disc, with live performances by the Suicide Commandos featuring Craig Finn and Tad Kubler of the Hold Steady and L'Assassins on Jan. 17 at the Turf Club. $15.

* Jose James, the Minneapolis native who has been making noise since moving to New York, will be in concert at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester on Jan 17. $24.

* Concert and party featuring Hamilton Leithauser of the Walkmen, at the Turf Club on Jan. 17. $15.

* Concert with Current faves Dan Wilson, Jeremy Messersmith and Caroline Smith at the Bryant Lake Bowl on Jan. 18. Tickets only by winning on the radio.

* Mary Lucia’s Rock and Roll Radio Hour goes live with Little Man, Tropical Depression and —drum roll, please — Billy Idol at the Turf Club on Jan. 19. $25.

* A screening of Prince’s “Purple Rain” with live music by Heiruspecs featuring guest vocalists Maurice Jacox, Ashley Dubose, Tickle Torture, and a “special guest” at the Fitzgerald Theater on Jan. 20. $15.

* Two-day anniversary concert and live broadcast featuring Cold War Kids, Dead Man Winter, Hippo Campus and Allan Kingdom on Jan. 23, $20, and Atmosphere, J. Roddy Walston and the Business, The Trashmen and PaviElle at First Avenue on Jan. 24. $25

Tickets for all ticketed events go on sale this week: noon Thursday for MPR members and noon Friday for others. For more information, go to thecurrent.org/ten

  

Richard Hillstrom (1915-2014), Lutheran minister, art collector, museum namesake

Posted by: Mary Abbe under Art, Culture, Galleries, Minnesota artists, Museums Updated: December 16, 2014 - 5:14 PM

Richard Hillstrom at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts,1993. Star Tribune photo by Rita Reed

The Rev. Richard Hillstrom, a Lutheran minister who parlayed a modest salary, a discerning eye and a passion for American art into a museum-quality collection, died at his home in Edina on Dec. 16. His health had been failing in recent weeks, and his death was announced by Gary Langness, a longtime friend. He was 99.

Though Hillstrom devoted his long professional career to the ministry, it was as an art collector that he made his most enduring mark on the culture of Minnesota. His most important legacy is likely to be the collection of about 250 American modernist paintings and drawings that he donated to his namesake Hillstrom Museum of Art at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, his alma mater.

Over the years he also gave the museum an endowment totaling $1.5 million as of 2012. Asked how a minister could amass so much money, he credited smart investing through Lutheran Brotherhood (now Thrivent Financial) at a time when the stock market was strong, according to the Gustavus Quarterly.

He was also founding curator of the Lutheran Brotherhood (now Thrivent Financial) art collection which features Old Master prints and drawings on Christian themes by Albrecht Durer, Rembrandt  and others.

Starting in the 1940s when Hillstrom was ministering to a parish in the hard-scrabble steel milling town of Gary, Indiana, he would visit the Art Institute of Chicago on his days off and then poke through the city's galleries and antique shops where he was drawn to paintings by Swedish American artists. His budget was extremely modest, and he later recalled the guilt he felt at having bought, for $5 each, original lithographs by Grant Wood, John Steuart Curry and Thomas Hart Benton, three of the country's leading regionalists. Each of those prints would be worth thousands now but, at the time, his $15 purchase felt like a fortune on a minister's salary.

Over his 70 year career, Hillstrom amassed a refined and important collection of paintings by early 20th century American modernists Maurice Prendergast, Guy Pene du Bois, Everett Shinn, John Twachtman, Willard Metcalf and Reginald Marsh plus prints and drawings by John Sloan, Grant Wood, George Luks and Edward Hopper among others.

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts staged a show of his collection in 1993, and he gave pieces of art to the Institute as well as to the Weisman Art Museum, the Minnesota Historical Society, the American Swedish Institute and the Minnesota Museum of American Art among other venues.

"I admired Rick greatly, both for his deep, self-taught knowledge of art and for his supportive friendship," said Donald Myers, director of the Hillstrom Museum at Gustavus." He was eager to make it possible for others to be affected by art in the way that he was. And he was always happy to guide and encourage friends in their interest in collecting art and in supporting art institutions.  

"He was a great mentor and friend to me, always ready with encouragement and advice but never insistent on having things done just his way," Myers continued.  "He enjoyed his friends and loved to be able to joke with and tease them and have the same kind of good-natured ribbing come his way."

Born in Dassel, Minn, a town of 800 about 50 miles west of the Twin Cities, Hillstrom and his four brothers were first generation Americans, their parents Alma and Martin Hillstrom having immigrated from Sweden to the United States. Following his 1938 graduation from Gustavus Adolphus College, he studied theology and was ordained as a Lutheran minister in 1942. 

After serving the Gary parish for five years during World War II, he was an assistant minister at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis for five years. He spent the bulk of his career, 30 years, as chaplain at St. Paul's Bethesda Lutheran Medical Center from which he retired in 1982. In retirement he went on to establish the Lutheran Brotherhood (now Thrivent) art collection which has toured exhibitions to communities and churches throughout the Midwest.

At the time of the 1993 Minneapolis Institute of Arts exhibit, his friend Edward Lindell, a senior vice president of Lutheran Brotherhood, said that Hillstrom's generosity was characteristic of a man who was by temperament  "a great mixture of art sophistication and Lutheran piety."

Local designer to appear on 'Today' show

Posted by: Neal Justin under Television Updated: December 16, 2014 - 11:58 AM

Cookies for breakfast?

That's what's on the menu Wednesday morning on the "Today" show -- and a local baker is part of the fun.

Whitney Hermes, a designer at the Minneapolis-based marketing agency Preston Kelly, is one of three finalists in a "Today" show contest geared towards finding the tastiest, healthiest cookies.

Hermes' gingerbread cookies are based on a recipe handed down from a kindergarten friend, Esther Hanson, who is from St. Paul.

The winner gets a cooking class at Sur La Table.


 

Green Day, Lou Reed, Mpls. native Naftalin elected to Rock Hall of Fame

Posted by: Jon Bream under Music, Awards, Minnesota musicians Updated: December 16, 2014 - 1:38 AM

Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong/ Photo by Tony Nelson

Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong. (Photo by Tony Nelson)

To no one’s surprise, Green Day made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its first year of eligibility.

Also elected was frequent nominee Lou Reed, who died in October 2013 and was a sentimental favorite even though he's already a Rock Hall of Famer as leader of the Velvet Underground.

Other members of this year's class:

-- Blues-rock guitar heroes Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble.

-- Punk champion Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

-- Masterful ‘70s soul man Bill Withers.

-- 1960s blues favorites Paul Butterfield Blues Band, whose keyboardist, Mark Naftalin, grew up in Minneapolis, where his father, Art, was the mayor.

Mark Naftalin.

Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong also has a Twin Cities tie-in: His wife, Adrienne, is from New Brighton and the couple has a second home in the Twin Cities. Last summer, he played guitar on a few dates with the Replacements (who, ironically, didn't make the Hall of Fame ballot this year despite their much-heralded reunion).

The 30th annual induction ceremonies will be held April 18 in Cleveland.

The aforementioned inductees were voted in by music industry figures, critics and previous Rock Hall inductees.

A Hall of Fame committee also voted to induct 1950s-60s R&B group the 5 Royales as an early influence, and to give Ringo Starr an “Award of Musical Excellence” (he was previously inducted as a member of the Beatles).

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