Summer Music & Movies announces 2014 lineup

Photo by Steve Cohen

The Walker Art Center's Summer Music & Movies series has consistently provided Twin Cities film and music lovers with a wonderful -- and entirely free -- night out that celebrates the eternal link of both creative mediums.

This year's lineup incudes Greg Grease (above) and his new ZuluZuluu project, the Cloak Ox, and more paired with iconic films. Showings and performances are every Monday night in August. Loring Park hosts the events on August 4, 11, and 18, and Walker's Open Field is the setting for the final night on August 25.  

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Purple Rain-inspired African film seeks funding


Have you ever wondered what Prince's Purple Rain would look and sound like filtered through an African lens and the Tuareg-language? Well, you now have the chance to fund that distinctive film through Kickstarter, as the first Tuareg-language fiction film, Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai (humorously translated as Rain the Color of Blue With a Little Red In It), is seeking contributions to help their artistic cause.

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Inside Llewyn Davis: A near-perfect mix of music and message

Photo By Alison Rosa

Any time Oscar-winning St. Louis Park filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen announce that they are releasing a new film, there is going to be plenty of local interest. When they decided to set their new one, Inside Llewyn Davis, in the early-'60s folk music scene of New York City that would eventually embrace a young Bob Dylan, Minnesota moviegoers became even more intrigued.

Last night, I was fortunate to attend an early screening of the Coen brothers' new film -- which opens in an exclusive early engagement at the Uptown Theatre this Thursday night -- and came away impressed with the focus and care that was shown to folk music throughout the film, as well as the knowing attention given to the insecure struggle of the creative life.

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The story of Thunderbird, a Purple Rain-inspired drama set in Minneapolis

Categories: Film
A shot from the opening of the first episode

"Summer in Minneapolis. A killer on the prowl. A young woman's personal journey told in disco."

This is the tagline for Jesse Dvorak's new web series, Thunderbird. Its first episode premiered on YouTube through Carbon City Cinema last Thursday, and the series follows Micah, the lead singer for the neo-disco outfit Thunderbird, as she learns more about herself while navigating an imagined music scene during a Minneapolis summer.

"The music is a huge part of the inspiration and narrative," Dvorak said. He's had more than a little experience in the world of indie music, recording and touring with various bands -- mostly electronica in the vein of Moby -- for more than a decade before focusing on film. This shines through in the series' soundtrack, which grabs the viewer from the first scene.

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Filmmaker Bill Morrison brings his films to the Walker tonight

Categories: Film, Interview
Bill Morrison's approach to film is much like most modern day composers or musicians. With primarily discarded archival footage as his main axe, his visual storytelling resembles sample-based music. Often the origins of his source material become greatly obscured by the final expression in his work.

Decasia, Spark of Being and Light is Calling utilize multi-layered images that create a dreamlike translucence. Visually, they lend themselves naturally to music, which further puts a point on an intended (or unintended) meaning or narrative.

Gimme Noise had the opportunity to talk to Morrison about his films last week. Describing his process and ultimately how music works as an inspiration and companion for his films, Morrison, who has worked with ambient guitar master Bill Frisell as well as Walker regular Laurie Anderson and modern composer Michael Gordon will be present to discuss his work at the Walker Art Center tonight.

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Rodriguez: "They made love to my music, but they also made war to my music"

Categories: Film, Music
Courtesy of Light in the Attic
Back in the late '60s, the singer-songwriter Rodriguez was slated to be Detroit's own Bob Dylan. Although he made a couple of terrific records, they only made it as far as the cut-out bin in the United States. Over time, however, his music caught fire in South Africa, and he became revered from afar, influencing countless revolutionary punk and protest singers through the years.

Now, this bumpy road to late-life stardom is the subject of the new documentary Searching for Sugarman, named after one of his signature songs. Rodriguez was in Minneapolis recently to promote the film, and right when Gimme Noise met him in the lobby of the W Hotel last month, it was clear this wouldn't be the typical interview. More »

Re:Generation movie in MPLS: Win tickets, download free tracks

Re:Generation: The mighty Skrillex makes a cameo
If the Grammys showed us anything this year  -- aside from the apparently difficult pronunciation of Bon f'ing Iver -- it was that electronic music is here in a big way.

Now, in association with the awards show, documentarian Amir Bar-Lev introduces a one-night engagement of his film Re:Generation, which explores the musical skills and style of five DJs he sees as most influential today: Skrillex (who won big at the Grammys last weekend), DJ Premier, The Crystal Method, Mark Ronson, and Pretty Lights.

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Ex-Hole drummer Patty Schemel talks about her new documentary

"How many famous women drummers do you know?" Hit So Hard: The Life and Near-Death of Patty Schemel is a no-punches-pulled portrait of the life and times of hard-hitting drummer Patty Schemel. The film tells a raw, intimate story about openly gay Schemel, and provides an up-close look at her struggles with being different, addiction, the deaths of her close friends, her near-devastating descent into drugs after a major betrayal, and ultimately her journey back to a clean, new life. 

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Sound Unseen screening no wave documentary Blank City tomorrow night at the TRYLON

Categories: Film
Lydia Lunch in a scene from Blank City
"If you could be anybody, who would you be?"

"An outlaw, a film director, a rebel, a rock star!" yells a '70s gangster shooting a gun at the Super 8 camera, cutting to a rapid-fire Mars punk song over a killer montage of '70s film clips of punk and no wave musicians and actors.

Such is the beginning of riveting, no-holds barred documentary Blank City. It was New York City, 1970s, and a crew of artists, newly armed with hot Super 8 cameras, began shooting their lives and the punk and no wave musicians around them with no permits, no restrictions.

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Replacements documentary 'Color Me Obsessed': music-free is okay with me

Categories: Film
Rare indeed is the music documentary which flaunts the fact that not a single note of its subject's work is heard throughout the duration - but considering the subject in question is the infamously fractured 'Mats, maybe not all that surprising either?

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