The Sound Unseen Festival, Oct. 7-16
T. Rex fans in Minneapolis/St. Paul, tonight is your freakfest. Some of you might own the 1972 cult film Born to Boogie on DVD, but the film screens here in 35mm (Dylan Hicks digs it), preceded by a cool local band, Little Man (more here), and followed by a "T. Rex Trashy Prom" at Four Seasons Dance Studio near Loring Park, featuring the Shim Sham Shufflers, a dance contest, and more.
Friday, Oct. 7 (Opening Night)
Shawn Hewitt and the National Strike are the sort of unlikely indie-R&B act that must come from Canada: The Soft Society (Universal) is like Rufus Wainwright playing D'Angelo, or Marc Dorsey covering Radiohead, and otherwise fits Hewitt's own "prog soul" description. The band performs at the 7th St. Entry preceded by a screening of Canada Now!, featuring rock videos from Hewitt, Broken Social Scene, Death From Above 1979, the New Pornographers, and more. With openers the Swiss Army, Digitata, and Beatrix Jar.
Saturday, Oct. 8
Otherwise, camp out today and Sunday (between noon and 9:30 p.m.) at the Walker Art Center for a series of classic and bizarre musical films, curated by Christian Marclay. Highlights include Walt Disney's Fantasia in 35mm and "Skeleton Dance" on 16mm, rarely screened Mauricio Kagel films on video, a Sonic Youth re-creation of "Piano Piece #13" on video, Peter Moore's 1964 short Stockhausen's Originale: Doubletakes on 16mm, and the four-and-a-half-hour Rameau's Nephew by Diderot (Thanx to Dennis Young) by Wilma Schoen on 16mm, which Rob digs (that screens on Sunday at 7:00 p.m.) Here's a full schedule of the two-day festival-within-a-festival.930 F Streeet, a 2005 video doc about the Washington, D.C. venue the 9:30 Club (the First Avenue of D.C.), which screens at 9:30 p.m., and again on Oct. 13. One particular former 18-year-old went to the club many times at its old location circa 1988-1990, and it permanently shaped his ideals for multi-culti punk/hip-hop clubgoing. The vid shows with a 2003 Mission of Burma video doc I haven't seen. There's also the Townes Van Zandt 2005 documentary on 35 mm screening today at 7:30 p.m. (Terri wrote about it).
Watch the 1979 reunion of Count Basie, Big Joe Turner, Jay McShann, Dizzy Gillespie, and Charlie Parker on 35mm in 1979's Last of the Blue Devils, which screens at 5:00 p.m. (as well as Sunday at 3:30 p.m.) (Though this, too, is available on DVD.)
Finally, for cool family fare, consider today's 1:15 p.m. screening of The Point, the 1971 16mm animated "classic" narrated by Ringo Starr.
Sunday, October 9
Otherwise, Christian Marclay's Sound Art Cinema series continues at the Walker (see above).
For its important and largely untreated subject, Stranger: Bernie Worrell on Earth seems worthy. The 2004 video doc protrays the great P-Funk keyboardist (who hit on my then-girlfriend before his last show at First Avenue), and screens at 5:30 p.m. today (and again on Tuesday). Dylan lamented the absence of the man himself and much of his music, but it could still be a nice slice of funk history. Screens with the appealing-sounding 2005 video The Human Hambone.
Hipsters will descend upon As Smart as They Are, a 2005 video documentary about the McSweeney's house band, which should play to a pre-sold audience of McSweeney's enthusiasts and might be as funny. It screens at 7:30 p.m., and again on Oct. 10.
Thom York fans, meanwhile, probably shouldn't miss a screening of Radiohead Television, the 2004 vidfest.
Monday, Oct. 10
Either way, you can still make a 5:00 p.m. screening of Spectrum: Minnesota Soundtracks Vol. 3, the latest and by far the best collection of locally-produced music videos associated with the event, which recalls the inspiration of MTV's toddler years (and the wildly varied budgets), with vids finding visual and conceptual hooks as well as pop ones. One turns Heiruspecs into hip-hop icons just by letting each musician get face time (who knew rapper Felix should have belonged in Handsome Boy Modeling School?). There's rich entertainment just in seeing otherwise familiar faces from the local scene (Vox Vermillion, Chariots, Revolver Modele, Ela, Jessy Green, the Soviettes) look glammer than life on the big screen. (Here's the Star Tribune preview.)
There's also a Death Cab For Cutie 2005 video doc screening at 5:00 p.m. at Bryant-Lake Bowl, but it screens again at the same venue on Oct. 12 and it's already on DVD (though this has timing going for it: the band plays the same evening at First Avenue).
Tuesday, Oct. 11
Otherwise, the Bernie Worrell 2004 video doc screens again at the Bell tonight.
Wednesday, Oct. 12
Meanwhile, Life in a Box, a 2005 video doc about the gay country duo Y'All, actually sounds fun.
And Rough Cut and Ready Dubbed (see above) re-screens at Oak Street.
Thursday, Oct. 13
There's also a screening of the 2004 video TV Party, a vintage punk document that has not (so far as I know) reached DVD.
Saturday, Oct. 15Chairkickers' Union Party (here's the new label site!) hosted by Low's Alan Sparhawk (pictured) at the 331 Club in NE, with Paul Metzger, The Keepaways, No Wait Wait, If Thousands, and "DJ Sparhawk." Otherwise, the 16mm Mingus: Charles Mingus 1968 sounds like the kind of lost nugget these festivals are great for catching. It screens at 6:00 p.m.
More family fun: The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T also sounds good--I like the idea of a cult 1953 kids movie on 35mm.
Sunday, Oct. 16 (Closing Night)
At last, chill time at the Wrap Party in Robot Love, on 27th and Lyndale, with music by Dave Wesley of Sursumcorda and Minneapolis musicman Tom Rimarcik. 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.