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.
A perfect twofer pairing of the best Duluth has to offer -- and now an annual tradition -- Trampled by Turtles will once again headline an all-Minnesotan concert at scenic Bayfront Festival Park in downtown Duluth on July 11 with openers John Mark Nelson, Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank and Actual Wolf. Tickets go on sale Friday at noon for $25 through eTix.com and First Avenue outlets.
The concert’s promoter, First Ave moved the show to the weekend after July 4 from the weekend before the holiday to improve the chances of avoiding a rainstorm like the one that hit last year when Doomtree was the opener (Atmosphere joined TBT the year before).
However, that date switch sets up a possible conflict for Twin Cities music lovers who might make the drive, since it falls on the second night of the Basilica Block Party, when Wilco is expected to be the headlining act. The Basilica’s lineup won’t be announced until Thursday afternoon, with Weezer the expected July 10 headliner and other names such as Jenny Lewis, Echosmith and Jason Isbell in the rumor mill.
Bayfront won’t be the biggest instate gig by Trampled this year: Those ever-nomadic acoustic pickers -- who slipped in Duluth Homegrown and First Ave gigs into their busy tour itinerary next week -- will host a second installment of their well-received Festival Palomino at Canterbury Park in Shakopee on Sept. 19. The lineup, said to be packed with several other big names, will be announced in mid-May.
Still, for fans of TBT and/or Duluth, it’s hard to beat the homey vibe of the Bayfront shows, which are always free for children 12 and under and usually include a passing ore boat or two. Other concerts on for the grassy waterfront amphitheater this year include the Bayfront Reggae & World Music Fest on July 18 (acts TBA), the Howling Moon Music Fest on July 31 (with country singer Jon Pardi) and, of course, the Bayfront Blues Fest Aug. 7-9 (Otis Clay, Charlie Musselwhite, NRBQ). There is also one concert listed as TBA on Aug. 29.
A few noteworthy new additions to the summer concert calendar today:
*After a concerted effort to get folks to stop calling him Billy, Smashing Pumpkins frontman William Corgan is going even farther down the mature-arteest route by launching his entirely remade band’s first-ever reunion tour. The last date on the short summer jaunt will be June 25 at the Pantages Theatre, not too far from where the stage was when the old Pumpkins played what was likely the biggest concert in Minneapolis history at the 1998 Aquatennial Bloc Party. Tickets for the Pantages show, dubbed “Insong: An Acoustic-Electro Evening,” go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. for $52.95 through Ticketmaster or the State Theatre box office. Sir William says he’s going to play solo tunes and even Zwan songs on the tour in addition to Pumpkins classics.
*Dawes has found another fun place to play in the Twin Cities: The Cabooze Plaza, where the Los Angeles throwback rockers will top out an excellent three-band bill on Tuesday, July 14, with locally affiliated jazz-pop specialists Lake Street Dive and burgeoning Brooklyn harmony rockers the Lone Bellow. Those tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. for $30 through eTix.com and First Ave outlets. Dawes’ new David Rawlings-produced album arrives June 2.
*Another new Cabooze Plaza show for a completely different audience: British proto-pop-rocker Charli XCX, the most laughably horrendous act we saw at SXSW 2014, will land there on Tuesday, Aug. 4., on a co-headling tour with .fun guitarist Jack Antonoff’s summery rock band Bleachers and opening L.A. buzz act BØRNS. Tickets for the all-ages show are listed at $30.50 and go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster.
NEA chair Jane Chu was in the Twin Cities recently, one of many site visits she’s made around the country since being confirmed last summer to lead the organization.
Chu visited The Loft Literary Center, MacPhail Center for Music and the Hmong Cultural Center among other places. She took a few moments to munch on some almonds and answer questions about her trip. While at MacPhail, she got up to speed on the center’s curriculum, which includes an online learning program.
Chu, who ran the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City before coming to the NEA, said arts are not restricted to performances or exhibits. The NEA, she said, has a healing program for military service people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder that uses art classes.
“Servicemen find ways through the arts to find their way back home,” said Chu.
She also said the arts can be a nice equalizer – a common language – for non-English speakers in programs that help people get integrated. Chu wasn’t at the NEA when the organization was under fire during the great culture wars of the 1990’s. She laughed when asked if there’s room for “weird art?”
“Of course,” she said. “Art can be weird, it can be all over. That’s the beauty of it. Art should be self expression and that covers all forms.”
Chu was born in Oklahoma of Chinese immigrant parents. She studied piano and music education in college and also holds an MBA and honorary doctorate in music.
"I point to myself when people talk about the variety in the arts because I have this combination of Bok Choy and Corn Dog background," she said.
Ken Burns, arguably the most famous documentarian in history, will talk about his work and upcoming PBS projects on May 16.
Don Shelby will host.
The conversation will take place at the Minnesota HIstory Center in St. Paul from 4-5:30 p.m.
The event is open to the public with tickets priced at $20 for TPT members and $30 for non-members. To make a purchase, go to www.tpt.org/kenburns
Let's start the campaign immediately for Shelby to do the interview as Mark Twain.
Got an arty idea? The Knight Arts Challenge St. Paul is taking applications today through May 18 for its second round of grants totalling $1.5 million.
Anyone can apply, artist or not. Last year, winners ranged from a construction company that restored historic signs in Lowertown to an artists' collective that put on a light show projected on a steam plume at the city power plant.
It couldn't be simpler. You need to describe your plans in 150 words or less and follow only three rules:
1) The idea must be about the arts.
2) The project must take place in or benefit St. Paul.
3) The grant recipients must find funds to match Knight’s commitment.
Four Q & As offering tips will be held starting next week:
This is the second of three years that the Knight Foundation will fund the challenge, part of a total $8 million investment in the arts in St. Paul that the Miami-based foundation has made. It also divided $3.5 million to five St. Paul arts groups -- The Arts Partnership, Penumbra Theatre, Springboard for the Arts, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and TU Dance.
For updates on the challenge, follow @knightarts and #knightarts on Twitter, @knightfdn on Instagram and Knight Foundation on Facebook.
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