Posted at 8:54 AM on May 6, 2011
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Television
The latest episode of MN Original is a particularly fine one, featuring, among other things, an inside look at Dan Wilson's songwriting process.
Some of my favorite moments:
Wilson - who is a one-man band on his newest album - talks about how Dan the piano player is annoyed with Dan the drummer, who's just not that good. But he says it's okay, because having a mediocre drummer keeps things "fresh and loose."
Speaking of drumming - Duniya Drum and Dance proceed to rock the house, and the two youngest performers absolutely steal the show.
Nancy Carlson, author of Harriet's Recital and a host of other children's books, gets a hero's welcome at Northview elementary school.
And Joe Chvala's Flying Foot Forum performs an absolutely riveting and creepy "I saw Esau."
Posted at 9:53 AM on May 6, 2011
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Music
So is this how the MN Orchestra musicians will be dressed tonight?
This weekend the Minnesota Orchestra takes us back, but not as far back as it usually does. Instead, it will focus on the more recent classical hits... from the '80s. Some highlights from the program:
"Welcome to the Jungle"
"Like A Virgin"
"In Your Eyes"
"Total Eclipse of the Heart"
"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)"
"Come on, Eileen"
"Every Breath You Take"
"Time After Time"
and, of course - "Thriller"
So will the musicians be wearing tuxes and ties, or legwarmers and acid wash jeans?
Comedian Mary Mack is bouncing back from a difficult year that almost knocked her off the circuit. In an article in the Star Tribune, Tom Horgen writes:
A year ago, Mack seemed destined for even bigger things, but then her momentum slammed to a stop. In June, her 70-year-old father died from heart disease. Mack was extremely close to her dad, a small-town mechanic. "I got my sense of humor from my dad," she said. "He was a great storyteller." Almost a year later, she has a tough time holding back tears when talking about him.
"It was really hard," she said last week. "I lost my motivation."
She quit booking shows for a time. When she would perform, her sets included less and less about her father, who was -- as with the rest of her family -- the bread and butter of her routine.
Fortunately, for us, Mack is back in action, having just finished up a string of performances at the Acme Comedy Club in Minneapolis.
For me, the big surprise was in how Mack got her start. It turns out she's a classically trained musician with degrees in both conducting and clarinet. She didn't explore comedy until audiences for her polka band made it clear they liked the parts where she stalled between numbers better than the numbers themselves.
Polka's loss is comedy's gain.
After ten years as the Guthrie Theater's face to the media, Melodie Bahan has decided to move on.
In an e-mail sent out this morning, the longtime Director of Communications said "The decision was not an easy one for me, but I'm at a point in my life where I'm ready for a change and some new challenges. The time is right."
Bahan has seen the Guthrie through its move from the Walker Art Center grounds to the Minneapolis riverfront, and since its relocation, has managed the publicity for full seasons on three different stages to both local and national media.
Bahan said she plans to take time off before transitioning to a new job.
I must admit, when I first reported on the MN Arts Count back in March, I thought "really? You're going to count ALL the artists in Minnesota in just seven weeks?"
Turns out the Minnesota State Arts Board has realized that finding all of those artists may take a little more time. Today the MSAB announced it's extending the count to May 31. It was originally set to close at the end of April.
According to MSAB Executive Director Sue Gens, "there are so many arts and community events in May where we can further promote participation in MN Arts Count that we felt that extending the deadline was prudent."
The Arst Board's definition of "art" is quite broad, and is hoping to get an initial estimate of the following:
- Individuals: anyone who, professionally or personally, sings, acts, dances, writes, draws, paints, sculpts, illustrates, photographs, films, knits, weaves, directs, plays an instrument, composes, shares stories, designs or engages in any other form of creative expression.
- Businesses/organizations that support, host, produce or perform creatively: venues, restaurants, coffee houses, taverns, galleries, theaters, groups, troupes, bands, ensembles, companies, local governments, schools, community education departments, churches, arenas, festivals, fairs, programs, businesses, social service agencies, or any other type of organization which displays, hosts, or otherwise supports creative expression in the state of Minnesota.
The state legislature directed the State Arts Board and the state's eleven regional arts councils to conduct the census to help measure the influence of arts in the state.
You can participate in the MN Arts Count here.
Bruce Coppock, former president of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra who left his position in 2008 to undergo cancer treatment, has found work in a more southern clime.
Coppock will become the Managing Director of the Cleveland Orchestra's Miami Residency.
The Cleveland Orchestra's Miami Residency, now in its sixth year, features a series of subscription concerts the orchestra performs in the Miami-Dade area.
Coppock considers himself nearly fully recovered from his bout with cancer and will assume his position on a full time basis on June 27.
"The Miami Residency is one of the most compelling and creative initiatives ever undertaken by an American orchestra. It is an honor to be given the opportunity to serve Miami's growing and vibrant cultural life, and to work with The Cleveland Orchestra, which has long had my deepest admiration," Coppock said.