Brazil, Iceland and Vietnam are the promised locations of Vice Media's ambitious new Apple Music streaming documentary series "The Score," but first comes Minnesota. The series — spotlighting music in far-off locations — debuted Wednesday with an episode titled "Reservation Rap," all about Minnesota's booming American Indian rap scene. Native rappers including Baby Shel, Tall Paul, Thomas X and Left Field were filmed on their home turf, hanging out at basement studios, front-porch barbecues and powwows. They talk openly about the poverty, addiction, mental illness and other struggles faced in their communities, which they all vent about in their music. "They think we're extinct out here," Red Lake Reservation rapper Baby Shel says in one scene, talking about his Ojibwe tribe. "We're done keeping our mouths shut. We want to be seen and heard." It's powerful stuff. Available for viewing with an Apple Music subscription. Baby Shel, by the way, landed his own slot at the Soundset festival on May 29 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.
Weed and tequila
Between dance songs that kept a largely AARP-age audience shaking their booties for two hours at the State Theatre on Saturday, Mavericks frontman Raul Malo discussed how to have a good time beyond the music. Yes, that was tequila he was drinking. No, you can't have some, he told an inquiring fan. Malo also told a delectably shaggy story about performing at the Library of Congress last fall where Willie Nelson was being honored with the prestigious Gershwin Prize. The country legend summoned Malo and country singer Jamey Johnson into a library room to smoke a joint. "When Willie hands you drugs, you do them," Malo explained. He also mentioned that the Secret Service passed by, noticed a particular odor and explained, "Wherever Willie goes, it's legal."
Kyu-Young Kim, who is artistic director and principal violin for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, can now add "instant emcee" to his résumé. On Sunday, just before an SPCO concert at Benson Hall in Arden Hills, percussionist Peter Kogan discovered he'd left his sticks at a previous concert. While he went to fetch a spare set, Kim filled several minutes with some ad-libs on the reason for the delay and on the program, featuring Jonathan Cohen on cello. Since Cohen had traveled from Europe, he didn't want to assume the risk or expense of flying his own instrument in its own seat. Instead, he borrowed a cello from Kyu's baby sitter. As Kogan walked in with his sticks, the audience, charmed by Kyu's anecdotal confessions, burst into applause.
Back in the saddle
Unlike the relocated Soundset hip-hop festival, the 22nd annual Warped Tour will still take place on the Canterbury Park grounds in Shakopee this summer, but it will have to move to a new, grassy corner of the property. The old site where both festivals were held in recent years has been lost to a big new residential development. Warped Tour draws about half of the 30,000 fans that Soundset gets each year, so it will fit on the smaller site. It's set for July 24 with a lineup including veteran acts Good Charlotte, Less Than Jake, New Found Glory, Sum 41 and Big Reel Fish as well as more recent mainstays Falling in Reverse, Yellowcard and Mayday Parade.
Walker Art Center has hired two new curators, Adrienne Edwards from New York City and Vincenzo de Bellis from Milan, Italy. Edwards, who specializes in artists of the African diaspora and the global south, is a curator at the nonprofit organization Performa, which stages a three-week biennial that brings 100-plus to New York. She will keep her job at Performa and, starting in April, be "curator at large" for the Walker, commuting regularly from New York. Since 2012, De Bellis has been artistic director of Milan's International Fair of Modern and Contemporary Art. His start date is pending visa approval.
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