Over the Weekend: 2/7-2/10
Cold though it be outside, our warmhearted crew is ever vigilant for goings-on. The dance of Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker came to the Walker accompanied by the music of Steve Reich, fusing the divine with the mechanical. Up north at this year's Arctic Blast, Vikings fans, players, and alumni gathered in Mille Lacs for some snowmobiling, drinking, and fundraising for the Vikings Children's Fund. The slideshow includes photos of a man with autographs on his face. In permanent marker. Eric Refsland's full review will be up later today.
For those caught somewhere between the poles of "modern dance" and "drunk Vikings fans," Friday and Saturday, Bar Fly's inaugural Cityscene festival showcased some musical gems. We've got this full report from Andy Mannix:
CITYSCENE FESTIVAL AT BAR FLY
Friday marked the beginning of the two-night, local indie Cityscene festival at Bar Fly's Loft venue. The twenty-four band lineup ranged from those presently forging the Twin Cities scene to those merely perpetuating it, and everything in between.
Tim Rivard, co-founder of Street Fusion, the booking company that dreamed up Cityscene, told me he chose the bands primarily based on Myspace popularity. Rivard said the idea was to gather the best of the scene into one weekend long event that he hopes to put together annually.
The most memorable performances of Friday came from psychedelic revivalists First Communion Afterparty and experimentalists Fort Wilson Riot. At first listen, First Communion Afterparty sounded like a Brian Jonestown Massacre cover band. But as their harmonies took shape, so did their unique, refined approach to a kaleidescope-folk style you wouldn't
expect to see amidst the neon lights of a Minneapolis bar. Decked out in vintage sun dresses and toting tambourines, they certainly looked the part. And as a testament to a dire commitment to their style, they were selling their music solely on vinyl.
Early in the night, when I asked Fort Wilson Riot's Amy Hager what she thought of another band, she prefaced her opinion by telling me that she is a “voice person.” But the binary meaning of that didn't quite hit me until I actually heard her sing, which was as compelling, delightful and incomparable as the band's sound. FWR has an authentic energy and subtle hopefulness that reminded me of why I hear strangers raving about the Twin Cities music scene on the bus. They gave me hope that adjectives like “experimental” are more than just empty equivocations put in place to appeal to confused hipsters.
The only downside to FWR's performance was that only nine people were standing in attention – and I couldn't help but get the impression that most of them were friends of the band. Another handful watched from distant tables, but I think they would have been at Bar Fly regardless.
That was the scene Friday. The enormous warehouse feeling of the venue would have made almost any crowd look small, but I'm not sure those in attendance could even account for the night's combined band members. But for the most part, the bands didn't seem to mind – or at least didn't show it.
SALTY STORIES FROM A SWEET SPOT
The Northstar Storytelling League hosts an evening of tales once a month at Java Jack's cafe in South Minneapolis. The first hour features a trio of professional tellers and their host. The second hour is an open mic. This month's host was Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux. The featured performers were Heatherlyn, Sara Boyle Trautner, and Noel Labine, and we bring to you a piece from each of them:
* A story of love and salt, told by Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux.
* An original song called "Home With You," by Heatherlyn.
* A story of a wedding ring and a very large fish, from Sara Boyle Trautner.
* A story called "Lovebirds," told by Noel Labine.