Old friends 4 sale
Let the world note and long remember that on the second day of February in the year 2014, both of our revered but painfully private Minnesota music icons — Bob Dylan and Prince — not only appeared on television but spoke. In multiple sentences. Without sunglasses. Who remembered what the speaking voices of these men of mystery sounded like? In concert, any utterance more than introductions of the band members is rare for Dylan. And then who can understand what he’s mumbling anyway? Prince might speak in concert or to Barbara Walters, but his voice is so soft and deep. On Sunday, Prince delivered scripted dialogue on Fox’s post-Super Bowl broadcast of the sitcom “New Girl” — some of it witty, some of it stupid, to borrow a word he used. He magically managed to convince a butterfly to land on his shoulder, and he showcased his pingpong skills. In a commercial for Chrysler during the Super Bowl, Dylan displayed his acumen for shooting pool and reading from cue cards. His narration during this two-minute spot was probably the longest anyone has seen him speak in public since the 2005 Martin Scorsese PBS documentary. I.W. wonders how many takes — and how much money — it took to get the elliptical poet to utter such lines as “Detroit made cars, and cars made America” with clarity and sincerity.
Have violin, will travel
The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra will bring violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja on board for the 2014-15 season as an artistic partner. The SPCO will be the first U.S. orchestra to present the Moldova native in concert. SPCO president Bruce Coppock called Kopatchinskaja “the most ravishingly intense and virtuosic musician I have heard in a very long time.” She is now based in Bern, Switzerland, and regularly collaborates with the London Philharmonic. She was recently nominated for a Grammy for solo work of Bartok, Eotvos and Ligeti. Her first major project with the SPCO will focus on weaving traditional folk music and classic works with Eastern European influences.
Singing for your supper
A few Josh Ritter fans opted for Kurdish food a few blocks from the Fitzgerald Theater before his gig on Monday, only to find Ritter himself walking into Babani’s, an 18-year-old restaurant in downtown St. Paul, for a bite before his show. Sitting alone in a booth, the Idaho singer-songwriter was asked if he’d mind posing for a family photo with Jim Moline of Lake Elmo, his fiancée, Vanya, and daughters Mira, 21, and Asha, 16. Moline told Ritter his daughters were huge fans. Ritter happily agreed — and Moline returned the favor, paying the singer’s tab.
400 Bar fans: Malls R Us
It took all of about five minutes for the snark attack to begin on Twitter following the news that the 400 Bar, the shuttered indie-rock bastion on Minneapolis’ West Bank, plans to reopen in the Mall of America in June in a complex with a new restaurant and music museum. Under the hashtag #400BarAtTheMall, hundreds of Twitter users went hog wild blending music monikers with names from the MOA store directory, a play on the seemingly disparate union of a indie/alt/hip/cool music venue and the pantheon of commercialism. Some of our favorite mash-ups: “Pearle Jam Vision,” “CinnaBon Iver,” “As Seen on TV on the Radio,” “The Sharper Imogen Heap,” “2Pac Sun,” “Taco Bell & Sebastian,” “Diarrhea Planet Hollywood,” “Gap Your Hands Say Yeah,” “Dollar Tree 6 Mafia” and “Alt-J Crew.” Of course, the fact that these Tweeters were able to rattle off MOA venues suggested they aren’t so cool that they don’t know the mall.
The revamped Replacements are set for a May 10 performance at Atlanta’s Shaky Knees Music Festival, which hews closer to the average ’Mats fan’s musical tastes than this year’s Coachella lineup, which includes the band April 11 and 18. Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson and their new bandmates are listed on the Shaky Knees poster for May 9-11 under Alabama Shakes, the National and Modest Mouse and over Spoon, the Gaslight Anthem, Violent Femmes, Conor Oberst and fellow Minnesotans the Hold Steady and Trampled by Turtles. Not only is it a great lineup for middle-aged and NPR-attuned indie-rock fans, but Shaky Knees is also less expensive than Coachella, with three-day passes on sale for $150 (vs. $375 for either weekend of the big California desert fest). The festival is held at Atlantic Station in downtown Atlanta and thus not a campout event like Coachella. Word is the ’Mats are looking at other dates, — but your guess on where and when is as good as ours. C.R.