Take me with who?
There were two very different outcomes when two funk kings kept their Twin Cities fans waiting on Sunday. Reportedly due to a flight delay, D’Angelo wasn’t at First Avenue for his sold-out concert even by the time opening band LP Music took the stage, with guest drummer Questlove (of the Roots and Jimmy Fallon’s show). Nonetheless, D’Angelo went on only an hour late and put on a thrilling two-hour performance. Meanwhile, out at Paisley Park in Chanhassen, Prince’s fans waited four hours for him to show for the third night in a row, to no avail. The host of the three-night “international dance party” was never advertised to perform, but his face was on the posters for the $40 shows. On Saturday, he teased by playing guitar with Liv Warfield for all of 90 seconds with his back to the crowd. Otherwise, he left the music entirely to others, also including Grrrl Prty and LP Music.
No love for Questlove
If you think fans were disappointed when they went to Paisley Park, you should have seen how No. 1 Prince fan Questlove reacted. Upset that Prince didn’t show up to see D’Angelo and him at First Avenue, the drummer extraordinaire went off on his Instagram account. Sampling: “Damn Big Brother, why hast thou forsaken us? … What option was better than seeing your two best students? … This happened last time we was in town. I travel all ends of the earth to see you big bro … Yeah I’m mad bro.”
University of Minnesota student John Thomas was named Funniest Person in the Twin Cities on Tuesday night at Acme Comedy Club. He beat four other finalists with a three-minute routine that focused on being gay and overweight. “I’ve got the name of an athlete and the body of a stadium,” he said. Thomas will get $1,000 and, presumably, at least one free soda from the Acme bar.
Minnesota Orchestra launches the fall season this weekend with two new violinists with international backgrounds. Australia native Susie Park, who was on the orchestra’s Cuba trip in May, has been appointed first associate concertmaster. China native Rui Du takes the post of assistant concertmaster.
Any doubts that the Twin Cities are cultural talent spotters were put to rest Thursday when President Obama presented the 2014 National Medal of Arts to 14 artists, writers and performers in a White House ceremony. Honoring lifetime achievements, the medals are the country’s highest culture award. None of the winners hails from Minnesota, but four of them — visual artist John Baldessari, installation sculptor Ann Hamilton, choreographer/performance artist Ping Chong and musician Meredith Monk — have been featured in Walker Art Center exhibits or events that helped boost them to national acclaim. A fifth medal went to New York’s Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, whose arts program director, Ben Cameron, has worked for Minnesota philanthropies and will return as executive director of the Jerome Foundation in January.
The 17th annual Laughing Waters Bluegrass Festival may have been billed as a family-friendly affair, but that didn’t stop the unpredictable Robbie Fulks from throwing a couple of R-rated numbers into his headlining performance. Children danced in front of the Minnehaha Falls Park band shell Monday, oblivious to some of the country-punk singer’s lyrics about overdoses (“She Took a Lot of Pills & Died”) and envy-inspired murder (“I Just Want to See the Man”). Claiming that the Twin Cities have a stronger bluegrass community than his home base of Chicago, Fulks teased that he planned to move to Minnesota. Fine with I.W., Robbie. Just don’t expect to babysit our kids.