This week's hounds praise the Walker's 'cultural commons,' wonder who'll be the last comic standing in Minneapolis, and get sucked into a Vermont songwriter's folk opera.
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Minneapolis painter Pete Driessen has a great deal of respect for poet and writer Lewis Hyde, who'll be speaking at the Walker tonight at 7pm. One of Hyde's favorite topics is the idea of a cultural commons, a communal marketplace of ideas that can enliven social discourse. Pete says the Walker's summer long experiment, "Open Field," which is based on Hyde's concept, has been a great success.
Photography enthusiast Audra Williams loves a good comic, but she also appreciates the work that goes into developing a comedy routine. Audra says the "Funniest Person in the Twin Cities" competition at the Acme Comedy Club has all the hilarity and pathos you'd expect from amateur local comedians trying to turn three minutes of stand-up into gold. The finals will be held Tuesday, Sept. 7, at 8pm.
One of Ellen Stanley's favorite singer-songwriters has made Ellen's favorite record of 2010. Ellen is the frontwoman for Mother Banjo and also handles publicity for Red House Records in St. Paul. She says in "Hadestown," Vermont singer-songwriter Anais Mitchell has created an at-times rollicking and mesmerizing folk opera based on the Greek myth, "Orpheus." Mitchell is playing Thursday, September 2 at 7:30pm at the Ginkgo Coffeehouse in St. Paul; Friday September 3 at 7:30pm at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center; and Saturday, September 4 at the Storyhill Festival in the Brainerd Lakes area.
And you can get an early sneak peek at the Art Hounds' picks every week by texting the word ART to 677-677.
In honor of the close of Walker's inaugural summer of "Open Field" - it's physical embodiment of a "cultural commons" - renowned "commoner" Lewis Hyde is speaking tonight. Hyde is the author of "Common as Air: Revolution, Art and Ownership."
Hyde defines the cultural commons as "that vast store of unowned ideas, inventions and works of art that we have inherited from the past and that we continue to create." As opposed to intellectual property, which belongs to a person or a company, our cultural commons is something we all share, and are all influenced by in different ways.
Hyde argues that our cultural commons suffers from "a kind of public invisibility, a lack of political, economic, and juridical standing" that makes it hard to fully value and protect.
Hyde will talk tonight at 7pm at the Walker Cinema, but if you can't make it, check out the above excerpt from a talk he gave, in which he uses Bob Dylan to explain the influence of the cultural commons on an individual's work.
Posted at 3:13 PM on September 2, 2010
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Music
Eclipse Records on University Avenue.
MPR Photo/Chris Roberts
As I write this the folks at Eclipse Records in St. Paul are boxing up their music and getting ready to haul it off to storage.
Co-owner Joe Furth says the sudden closing of the store is due to a legal battle with the landlord, stemming from some water leakage to the University Ave storefront.
Furth says Eclipse Records is planning to relocate, but needs some time to come up with a "Plan B." He says that includes reconsidering whether the record store wants to continue hosting live band performances.
This is not the first time Eclipse has moved dut to a conflict with a landlord, nor is it the first time the store has closed and taken a break. In 2004 Eclipse left its Grand Avenue location when it wasn't able to renegotiate the rent, and went dark for four years before re-opening on University Avenue in 2008.