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.
Along with the Minnesota Zoo's Music in the Zoo series lineup, there was a glut of concerts announced Monday morning. Here's a roundup:
*Nothing says America like the Beach Boys, what with their stories of hot-rods, bikini babes and inner-band lawsuits. The copyright holders of the Beach Boys name on tour, co-founder Mike Love and longtime member Bruce Johnston, will play a special July 4 concert at Mystic Lake Casino & Hotel, which is bringing back its outdoor concert set-up just for the occasion. Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. for $32-$69 through Ticketmaster or the casino’s box office (952-496-6563). Those $32 tickets are for the lawn, where blankets and folding chairs will be allowed, but not coolers.
*If Def Leppard and Tesla are your cup of tea but not Styx and the Minnesota State Fair, Xcel Energy Center is offering fans a chance to see those first two bands with a different middle-slot group, Foreigner, just a couple months after the fair on Oct. 5. As if Styx and Foreigner draw such wildly different audiences. Tickets to the X show go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster and the arena box office at prices not yet announced (other cities are in the $30-$100 range). Def Leppard’s Aug. 27 date with Styx and Tesla at the fair grandstand is sold out except for VIP seats.
*After playing the zoo last summer, Counting Crows will be back in town for another outdoor gig Sept. 13 at Cabooze Plaza with openers Citizen Cope and Hollis Brown. Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster for $50.
*A cool little festival worthy of a road trip, Omaha’s Aug. 15 Maha Festival will include a pair of Minnesota favorites, Atmosphere and the Jayhawks, along with Rock the Garden headliner Modest Mouse, the Purity Ring, the double-V bands (Wavves and Alvvays), Ex-Hex, Speedy Ortiz, the Good Life and more. Tickets are on sale now for $50.
It’s obviously too late for them to take my advice to relocate to the Metrodome. Rock the Cradle organizers did, however, move the date of their oversized, hyperactive and damn wonderful kids music fest by about a month to the second weekend of April (from early March). The 10th annual free event happens again Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and adjoining Children’s Theatre. The date change should mean less puffy coats and moon boots for parents to lug around. We’ll see if it lowers or raises the bulging attendance of past years.
This year’s performance lineup lacks the Big Two of Minnesota kids-music duos, the Okee Dokees and Koo Koo Kanga Roo (though there's a hint the latter may do a surprise “pop-up” set). That means it's a good year for some of the other local family-friendly acts to shine.
First and foremost is Honeydogs frontman Adam Levy’s band with his daughters, Bunny Clogs, who just issued their animalistic second album in January, “Whales Can’t Whistle.” The Bazillions, led by married educators Adam and Kristin Marshall, have enjoyed more than 2 million YouTube views for their “Schoolhouse Rock”-style music videos such as “Preposition.” They just issued those clips on a new DVD, “ Rockin’ Video Connection.” Rounding out the lineup is Duke Otherwise from Madison, Wis., and the MacPhail Center for Music House Band, whose school is also hosting the “Sing, Play & Learn” room with early-childhood specialists all day.
Other activities throughout the day include: The popular Kid’s Disco in the Children’s Theatre, wherein we get to see the 89.3 the Current DJs dance and (at least for one day) refrain from playing Father John Misty; Storytime with the Current DJs, which will be without the usual, “Why does he talk funny?” questions from the audience this year with Mark Wheat out of town; dramatic workshops with the Children’s Theater Co., plus several arts-and-crafts projects.
Click here for the full program. Here’s the live music schedule:
Fresh into Berlin, an attractive young Spanish immigrant decides to spend her late night in a techno nightclub, dancing, drinking and looking to meet some handsome twentiesh locals. What can possibly go wrong? Hang on tight, here comes the answer.
The German action film “Victoria,” filmed in one continuous uncut shot across two dozen locales and 134 minutes, grabs viewers by the collar and pulls them along for a wild, antsy, bumpy ride. Spain's Laia Costa plays the clever, impulsive title character; German actors Frederick Lau, Franz Rogowski, Burak Yigit, and Max Mauff play her new mates who need her help to pull off a quick job for a large stash of money. Don’t expect subtitle overload; because she doesn’t speak their native language, everyone uses English. Digging deeper into the plot details would be like telling the route of a roller coaster.
Cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grøvlen and director Sebastian Schipper stunningly merge the chases from “Run Lola Run” and the magical realist feel of “Birdman.” Berlin Film Festival Jury president Darren Aronofsky (“The Wrestler,” “Black Swan,” “Noah”) made it a prize-winner declaring, "This film rocked my world." Don’t bother to look for an editing credit; this one shot marvel isn’t a bag of technical make believe, it’s a showpiece of dynamic choreography right down to the improvised dialog.
New York/Twin Cities art movie exhibitor Adopt Films has the film’s North American rights. After its debut at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, it’s heading toward a late summer or early fall national release.
Grøvlen will attend tonight’s 6:45 presentation at St. Anthony Main,” Victoria’s” only screening at the festival. For ticketing and more information, visit the MSPIFF website at http://bit.ly/1DpUaOR
"International Pop" curators Darsie Alexander and Bartholomew Ryan with Italian artist Sergio Lombardo's silhouette painting of President John F. Kennedy. Star Tribune photo by Jim Gehrz
Walker Art Center's new "International Pop" show, running April 10 - August 29, is a sizzling, delectable feast that puts real meat on the bones of pop culture. The cheesy food metaphor is irresistible in an exhibition that opens with a gallery of wall-sized paintings of garish food and sculpture about eats and eating. But there's much more to this $1.5 million extravaganza than just a reprise of what Americans already think they know about Pop Art.
Curators Darsie Alexander and Bartholomew Ryan spent much of the past five years delving deep into the history and archives of Pop before assembing a carefully edited and provocative interpretation of that zesty cultural moment. Focused on the formative dates 1958 - 1972, the show is a dense, fast-paced melange of 175 paintings, sculpture, videos and installations by more than 100 artists from 20 countries, most of which haven't been seen here before and many of which stretch common notions of what Pop Art is.
Looking abroad, they discovered that American products, politics and personalities were everywhere, but that artists from Iceland to Argentina, Germany to Japan looked askance at the dominance of the American-way-of-life even as they embraced it. And so artists elsewhere gave Pop the flavor of their own cultures, slyly using Pop imagery and idioms to critique capitalism, war-mongering, dictatorships, and even to mock the hypersexualized cult of big-boobed blondes that pervaded movies and magazines of the day.
In 1964 Icelandic painter Erro, for example, produced a vast 6 ft. by 9 ft. "Foodscape" cluttered with American fast food and brands (look for the Jolly Green Giant, Heinz ketchup, etc.) while the French-born Venezuelan sculptor Marisol served painted tv dinners to the self-portrait figures in her 1963 "Dinner Date." By 1970, however, Brazilian artist Cildo Meireles was using Coca-Cola bottles as a distribution system for criticisms of his homeland's military dictatorship. Had the authorities noticed the messages he printed on his altered Coca-Cola bottles he'd have been jailed, but the popular pop sailed under the censor's radar. And now several of Meireles bottles are on view at the Walker, footnoted too, of course.
Every item in this color-saturated, complex show is rich with art, history and socio-political commentary. You can look at the art and videos, read the labels and footnotes, and groove on the memories. Or you can just stroll through and enjoy the moment. In either case, it's a fabulous exhibit.
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