Snooping around at Soundset
Minneapolis hip-hop star Prof was one of the record-shattering 28,000 attendees at Sunday's Soundset festival in Shakopee just hanging out and hoping to catch Snoop Dogg. He instead wound up performing on the main stage as a very-last-minute fill-in for Busta Rhymes. Prof killed it, too, despite having knee surgery three weeks earlier. Via his Twitter account, Busta blamed his no-show cancellation on mechanical issues with his plane leaving from Las Vegas. "Everybody knows I live 2 perform live and I promise the people of Minnesota we will fix this," he tweeted. The performer to really feel sorry for Sunday, though, was Kimya Dawson. The former Moldy Peaches anti-folkie came to town to perform one song with Aesop Rock, her partner in the new Rhymesayers-backed duo the Uncluded — and that happened to be the one song during which the sound on the main stage cut out completely. The mics did not turn back on until the seemingly oblivious Aesop Rock yelled, "Give it up for Kimya Dawson!"
Mall welcomes this teen
Instead of pulling a last-minute senior prank, Adam Jacobs of Brooklyn Park began celebrating his approaching graduation from Perpich Arts High School by attending the premiere of his feature film, "Weekend Hat," Wednesday night for a sold-out audience of 300 at the Mall of America. The precocious Jacobs has already won awards for "Hank," a short comedy. "Weekend Hat," starring mostly some of Jacobs' fellow students and featuring songs by young local bands, is the story of an awkward teen whose search for his special hat leads him into "unexpected dangers and intrigue," complete with a "criminal gang." Sounds a bit like the Coen Brothers' "Miller's Crossing." (Remember that wind-tossed fedora?) Watch a trailer at www.startribune.com/a2279
Another random, out-of-nowhere sign that Paul Westerberg is alive somewhere: The Replacements frontman-turned-hermit wrote his second piece for the New York Times Opinion Pages last weekend, this one on the art of songwriting — which he still considers an art, not a profession. "Aim for the audience's pockets, and you'll miss their hearts by a mile," the Minneapolitan wrote. He revealed the two things he relies on most to judge his own art: "My talent (if that's what we call it) is never, ever doubting goose bumps," he said. The other, believe it or not, is his dog: "Phony blues wailing or an ill-suited style attempt will send [him] running. Yet when it's so right it's scary, my four-legged audience is guaranteed (though I must say he's yet to come up with a decent bridge)." So does this mean the dog gets a co-producer credit when his master finally releases another album?
Everyone loves a party, especially arty types eager to celebrate in style. Three of Minneapolis' leading arts organizations are throwing bashes this summer. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts leads off Saturday with a gala dinner ($750) in conjunction with an outdoor party in its courtyard with music by Doomtree and Morris Day and the Time ($85-$175). Next up on June 15 is the American Swedish Institute with a traditional, daylong Swedish Midsommar Festival. The family-friendly event includes singing, dancing, fiddling, "flower head-wreath making," glass-blowing, a flea market and a mini-golf course. Walker Art Center will round out the season Sept. 21 with its annual benefit gala in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Dubbed "Avant Garden," the event promises music, art, gourmet food, specialty cocktails, an auction and dancing ($100-$500).
Instead of chilling or changing outfits or whatever he usually does between shows, Prince held another sound check Saturday night between concerts at the Myth nightclub. He was happy with the original afternoon sound check but not with the sound during the first gig, he told his sound engineer. So Prince went through the laborious process of testing the sound and critiquing guitar tones — "more mid-range," "warmer," etc. Then, before he was through with his readjustments, he announced: "Open the doors." After his third request over a five-minute period, security staff finally opened the doors, and a few fans heard the last moments of the sound check. Prince even reached down from the stage and shook three fans' hands before walking offstage and doing whatever he does between shows.
Pop-up season starts
The brainy wood nymphs behind art-lit magazine Paper Darts are joining creative forces with Soo Visual Arts Center by opening a pop-up shop at the gallery's 26th & Lyndale location. Six simmering weeks of anything-goes artistic happenings are promised, if they succeed in sucking sufficient amounts of indie-underground talent into their vortex. The goal, says Paper Darts editor Meghan Murphy, is "to fuse into one hot mess of collaboration, inspiration and perspiration." It's all a bit fuzzy, but sounds like a painting-pondering-poetry orgy is about to hit LynLake, starting Saturday. Proceed with imagination. Details at paperdartspopup.org.
Buy, buy, buy
As per usual, a stellar list of local talent has donated art to "The Auction," as the Minneapolis College of Art and Design tags its annual shindig to benefit the MCAD scholarship fund. Tickets to the swell June 7 event clock in at a hefty $125 per, but include cocktails, nibbles, valet parking and opportunity to watch special guest Genevieve Gorder of HGTV fame in live-auction action. Plus, think of the art to be had from A (Kinji Akagawa) to Z (Ulana Zahajkewycz). Expect prints, paintings, photos, sculpture and even kids' book illustrations.