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Rock the Garden 2015 Lineup: Modest Mouse, Belle and Sebastian, Babes in Toyland, and More

Today, the Walker and 89.3 The Current announced the lineup of Rock the Garden 2015. For the second year, the festival will span two days: Saturday and Sunday, June 20 and 21. On Tuesday, March 10 we celebrated the announcement by revealing one artist every hour live on 89.3 The Current. We liveblogged the announcement all […]

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Today, the Walker and 89.3 The Current announced the lineup of Rock the Garden 2015. For the second year, the festival will span two days: Saturday and Sunday, June 20 and 21.

On Tuesday, March 10 we celebrated the announcement by revealing one artist every hour live on 89.3 The Current. We liveblogged the announcement all day, and you can see the entire list of bands below, along with a few fun facts about them.

For more updates, follow the action on Twitter at @walkerartcenter@RockTheGarden, and @TheCurrent.

Modest Mouse, Issaquah, WA (Sunday, June 21)

Modest Mouse. Photo: Courtesy the Artists

Modest Mouse. Photo: Courtesy the Artists

  • Modest Mouse hasn’t played in the Twin Cities since 2010, and their upcoming release, Strangers to Ourselves, is their first full-length album in eight years. The album features “The Best Room,” a single based on frontman Isaac Brock’s experience of the famous Phoenix Lights UFO sighting of 1997.
  • Speaking of Modest Mouse and celestial weirdness, a meteor appeared in the sky as the band was on stage during November’s Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin. The song they were playing: “Dark Center of the Universe.”
  • Last fall, Glacial Pace Records re-released the band’s early albumsThis Is a Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To Think About and The Lonesome Crowded West on vinyl. Along with those reissues came a handful of previously unreleased early songs. Check out Lonesome Crowded West outtake “White Lies, Yellow Teeth.”

Babes in Toyland, Minneapolis, MN (Sunday, June 21)

Babes in Toyland. Photo: Courtesy the Artists

Babes in Toyland. Photo: Courtesy the Artists

Seun Kuti and Egypt 80, Lagos, Nigeria (Sunday, June 21)

Seun Kuti and Egypt 80. Photo: Johann Sauty

Seun Kuti and Egypt 80. Photo: Johann Sauty

  • The son of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, saxophonist, singer, and bandleader Seun Kuti has been carrying on his father’s legacy with a style of West African dance music all his own. First playing with the band at the age of eight, Seun leads Egypt 80, the group of musicians who once backed up his father.
  • Kuti’s most recent album, A Long Way to the Beginning, was produced by jazz pianist Robert Glasper, who will perform at the Walker in May with pianist Jason Moran. The album also features guest rappers M1 (of Dead Prez) and Blitz the Ambassador.
  • Seun was offered the lead role in Fela!, Bill T. Jones’s hit Broadway musical about his father’s life and music, but turned it down. “It would just give ammunition to those who say I am copying my father,” he told the Guardian.

JD McPherson, Broken Arrow, OK (Sunday, June 21)

JD McPherson. Photo: Courtesy the Artists

JD McPherson. Photo: Courtesy the Artists

  • Broken Arrow, Oklahoma’s own JD McPherson makes roots music with simultaneous originality and shameless nostalgia, drawing influence from both Little Richard and Wu-Tang Clan. McPherson’s music is part Motown and part rockabilly with a little bit of the fuzzed-out blues of the Black Keys thrown in for good measure. On February 10, McPherson released his second full-length LP, Let The Good Times Roll.
  • Even though he’s not a son of the Midwest, McPherson has a huge fan base in Minnesota. When asked about this by Mary Lucia during a recent in-studio session at The Current, McPherson said, “We all know that Minnesotans are very intelligent and sensitive, artistic people, with the highest level of taste.” You flatter us, JD.
  • Before deciding to play music full time, McPherson was trained as a visual artist. He received an MFA from the University of Tulsa in Open Media. You can sense the influence of an art-school background on the literary style of his songwriting.

The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, New York, NY (Sunday, June 21)

The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger. Photo: Courtesy the Artists

The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger

  • The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger features singer-songwriter Sean Lennon along with his girlfriend and collaborator Charlotte Kemp Muhl. Their music merges the classic ’60s psych sounds of a certain world-renowned four-piece with the surrealism of more modern acts like the Flaming Lips and Ariel Pink.
  • While the two have been recording music together since 2008, they just released their debut album, Midnight Sun, last year. PopMatters called it “a near perfect album,” while Mojo praised the record’s “out-of-body transmissions that channel Bends-era Radiohead, Syd Barrett whimsy and woozy melodic weirdness.”
  • Ever wonder what Sean Lennon’s favorite flavor of ice cream is? Or what he would do if he found $46 on the ground in a parking lot? Find the answers to these and other questions in this interview with Lennon, conducted by a grade-schooler named Olivia for the website Kids Interview Bands.

Belle and Sebastian, Glasgow, Scotland (Saturday, June 20)

Belle and Sebastian. Photo: Soren Solkar

Belle and Sebastian. Photo: Soren Solkar

  • In January 2015, Belle and Sebastian dropped Girls in Peacetime Want To Dance, their first album since 2010. Nineteen years and nine albums into their career, the band is still finding new nooks and crannies of pop history to plum for inspiration. On this album, they’ve injected the danceability of ’80s synth pop without losing any of their revolutionary edge.
  • Last year frontman Stuart Murdoch made his debut as a film director and writer with the musical God Help The Girl. The film garnered a Special Jury Award at Sundance, and the soundtrack featured original songs by Murdoch and Belle and Sebastian.
  • Belle and Sebastian might not be the first band you’d expected to cover Journey, but when you’re playing a children’s hospital, you have to break out the hits. Here they are playing “Don’t Stop Believing” at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for the Songs For Kids Foundation.

Conor Oberst, Omaha, NE (Saturday, June 20)

Conor Oberst. Photo: Courtesy the Artist

Conor Oberst. Photo: Courtesy the Artist

  • The last time Omaha native Conor Oberst swung by the Twin Cities to play to a packed crowd at First Avenue, he also stopped by The Current to perform a stunning in-studio session with his tour mates Dawes.
  • In a recent interview with Noisey, Oberst revealed the existence of an unreleased collaborative album he recorded with Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis and the Postal Service’s Jimmy Tamborello in 2003 called Blood on the 4-Tracks. Unfortunately, it seems the only way they’d be interested in releasing it is as a novelty edible seven-inch on Third Man Records. Your move, Jack White!
  • Speaking of long-lost Oberst projects, he will be touring all of April with his recently reunited punk project Desaparecidos. The group will be releasing the follow-up to its 2002 record Read Music/Speak Spanish on Epitaph sometime in 2015.

Courtney Barnett, Melbourne, Australia (Saturday, June 20)

Courtney Barnett. Photo: Courtesy the Artist

Courtney Barnett

  • Singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett is a slacker-rock stream-of-consciousness poet. Her music has the dreamy languidness of a sunny June afternoon, but her lyrics employ the cutting storytelling of a master satirist. Rolling Stone has referred to her as “Jerry Seinfeld with a fuzz pedal.”
  • The music video for “Pedestrian at Best,” a single from her upcoming record Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit(due out March 23), features Barnett playing a depressed clown who just can’t seem to catch a break. Hilarity ensues.
  • Want to watch Courtney Barnett cover the entirety of INXS’s seminal 1987 album Kick? Sure you do!

Lucius, Brooklyn, NY (Saturday, June 20)

Lucius. Photo: Peter Larson

Lucius. Photo: Peter Larson

  • Described by the Guardian as “exuberant” and “relentlessly melodic,” the Brooklyn indie-rock quintet Lucius makes millennial girl-group pop with anthemic ambitions. Their live act is somewhere between a fashion show and a rock opera, featuring dual vocalists Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig singing in unison dressed in identical outfits.
  • Respected economist, New York Times columnist, and self-proclaimed “60-year-old wannabe hipster” Paul Krugman is an avowed fan.
  • The cover of Lucius’s latest album, Wildewoman, features art with a timely Walker connection: Belgian artist Evelyne Axell’s 1964 painting Ice Cream will be featured in the Walker-organized exhibition International Pop, on view from April 11 to August 29, 2015.

thestand4rd, St. Paul, MN (Saturday, June 20)

thestand4rd. Photo: Courtesy the Artists

thestand4rd

  • Made up of Twin Cities wunderkinds Allan Kingdom, Spooky Black, Bobby Raps, and Psymun, thestand4rd fuses cloudy hip-hop with R&B and ethereal electronic music. The New York Times describes their live show as an act that walks the line between “reverent church hymnal and intense backpack-rap show.”
  • Rapper Allan Kingdom recently found himself in the spotlight when Kanye West featured him on his new single “All Day” along with Theophilus London and Paul McCartney. The song debuted with an explosive live performance at last month’s Brit Awards.
  • At the tender age of fifteen, singer Spooky Black’s first single “Without You” scored mountains of Internet hype, with the song’s music video hitting the million-views mark while he was still in high school. Spooky graduates in 2016, by the way.

ROCK THE GARDEN 2015

The annual summer festival returns Saturday, June 20 and Sunday, June 21, 2015 from 2–10 pm each day, in the green space next to the Walker.

BUY TICKETS

Tickets go on sale to Walker and Current members on Thursday, March 12 at 11 am. Any remaining tickets go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, March 17, at 11 am.

Mark your calendar and make sure that your Walker membership is up to date. Walker/MPR membership ID numbers will be required for all pre-sale purchases.

Walker membership: 612.375.7655 or membership.walkerart.org.

MPR membership: 1.800.228.7123 or mpr.org/support.

Wanna Dance with Somebody?

So you think you can dance? In anticipation of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker/Rosas’ performance at the Walker Art Center, Oct. 15–17, Northrop and the Walker are asking you to step up and record your own performance of Rosas danst Rosas for a #ReRosasMN video submission contest! Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s seminal work Rosas danst Rosas (1983) […]

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So you think you can dance? In anticipation of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker/Rosas’ performance at the Walker Art Center, Oct. 15–17, Northrop and the Walker are asking you to step up and record your own performance of Rosas danst Rosas for a #ReRosasMN video submission contest!

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s seminal work Rosas danst Rosas (1983) is a mechanical, sensual, and compellingly emotional choreography that established her reputation as an artist in the post-modernist movement. Believe it or not, the simplicity of the dance makes this work accessible and it can be reproduced by practically anyone (it was even copied by Beyoncé!). De Keersmaeker says all you need is a chair.

Beyoncé, or as many know her as Queen Bey, received a little hoo-ha surrounding the reproduction of a Rosas danst Rosas for her music video “Countdown,” but De Keersmaeker took all of the negative publicity and turned it into a positive creative effort. That’s where you come in. Re:Rosas! The fABULEUS Rosas Remix Project started at the request of De Keersmaeker so that anyone and everyone could recreate Rosas danst Rosas.

In a video message posted on her website, De Keersmaeker said, “You can change the order of the movements, make your own movements… Have fun and I’m a very curious to see the result!” There have been more than 1,500 reproductions of her dance from over 30 different countries, each with their own individuality and creativity expressed.

So, how do you get started? Watch the step-by-step tutorial that breaks down the movements, structure, and full choreography. The contest starts today and runs through the night of October 13. Post your completed video through Vine or YouTube and tweet it with the hashtag #ReRosasMN. The submissions with the most retweets have a chance to win a grand prize package. The package includes:

If you aren’t too psyched about debuting your own performance of Rosas danst Rosas, you can still participate in #ReRosasMN by retweeting a video that has been submitted to the contest. Everyone who retweets a submission will be entered in a drawing for:

  • 2 tickets to Rosas danst Rosas (opening night)
  • 4 drinks while you enjoy the performance

All video submissions can be viewed here. Good Luck!

ReRosasMN

The fine print:
1. Contest open to legal residents of the United States of America.
2. All videos submitted must be original work.
3. All videos submitted must be received between 12 a.m. September 10, 2014 and 11:59 p.m. October 9, 2014.
4. You agree that it is your sole responsibility to obtain all permissions necessary for the grant of rights contained in full contest ReRosaMN Rules.

Miranda July Unveils Somebody App; Try It at the Walker

Public spaces can seem pretty alienating these days. Take a look around—on the bus, in the park, on the street, even at the dinner table—and it feels like most everyone is focused deep into the rabbit hole of their phones. This fall, the Walker will participate in a new project from the genre-defying make-believer/people-connector Miranda July that seeks to turn our love […]

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Public spaces can seem pretty alienating these days. Take a look around—on the bus, in the park, on the street, even at the dinner table—and it feels like most everyone is focused deep into the rabbit hole of their phones.

This fall, the Walker will participate in a new project from the genre-defying make-believer/people-connector Miranda July that seeks to turn our love affair with our cell phones into real-life, face-to-face interactions with strangers.

Today at the Venice Film Festival, July launched a free iPhone messaging app called Somebody, along with a short film about how it might be used.

Somebody uses GPS to find other app users in close proximity to the people you already know. Instead of sending your friend a text directly, you’ll ask someone else nearby (likely a stranger) to deliver your message, in person, to the recipient. Want your message to be a singing telegram, or to couch it in air quotes? The app’s interface also includes actions to assign to your stand-in (or you can create your own).

Anybody can use Somebody at any time, but the technology relies upon having app users close to one another. To encourage experimentation with the app, July has established a first wave of “hotspots” at several art centers across the country, and the Walker is proud to be among them.

So, join us at any Target Free Thursday Night in the next two months (leading up to the World Premiere of Miranda July’s New Society here on October 30 and 31), as we play with strangers using Somebody. And we’ll have somebody else (a real live person!) on hand to help answer questions.

As July says of Somebody, “I see this as far-reaching public art project, inciting performance and conversation about the value of inefficiency and risk.”

For loads more information and to download the app, visit somebodyapp.com.

SOMEBODY_hands_RGB_011_08182014

“Drone, not Drones”: Behind the Slogan that Capped Low’s Infamous 27-Minute Set

Arguably the most buzzworthy moment of Rock the Garden this year — competing with Dan Deacon’s parking ramp rave and a homecoming set by native son (of sorts) Bob Mould — was a controversy-stirring performance by Low. Instead of giving an audio tour of its latest release, The Invisible Way (Sub Pop), the Duluth indie […]

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Arguably the most buzzworthy moment of Rock the Garden this year — competing with Dan Deacon’s parking ramp rave and a homecoming set by native son (of sorts) Bob Mould — was a controversy-stirring performance by Low. Instead of giving an audio tour of its latest release, The Invisible Way (Sub Pop), the Duluth indie trio filled its entire 27-minute set with one song, expanding the 14-minute 1996 tune “Do You Know How to Waltz?” by nearly double. As if by way of explanation, Low front man Alan Sparhawk concluded the set with three now-infamous words: “Drone, not drones.” Asked about it later that night, he told journalist Chris Riemenschneider, simply, “I got it off a friend’s bumper-sticker, and thought it was fitting.” Now that the dust has settled, we got in touch with that friend — Minneapolis’ Luke Heiken — to hear more.

Screen shot 2013-07-10 at 3.18.50 PM

A fixture in the Twin Cities music scene for years, Heiken ran ScheduleTwo.com, a site (and record label) that up until mid-2008 livestreamed concerts from local music venues. One day in February, Heiken was playing around with an industrial sticker maker and came up with a phrase he liked: “Drone, not drones.” That same night, Sparhawk tweeted, “Mim sez these drones are bullshit. That’s all I gotta know. #potus” — presumably a response to news of a leaked white paper on the Obama administration’s justification for “targeted killings” using unmanned aerial vehicles. Heiken tweeted back, sharing his slogan and, the next day, an image of his sticker. He liked the phrase so much he bought the URL dronenotdrones.com and hatched a plan to do something with it — a benefit show or compilation album to raise funds for groups working to help the innocent victims of the war on terror. On June 12, he tweeted to Low, asking if the band might be interested in such a project.

Fastforward three days, when Sparhawk on stage “dropped that #TruthBomb on #rockthegarden,” as Heiken put it on Twitter. He wasn’t in the crowd, but Sparhawk’s words — which he later credited to Heiken — prompted action: “I really need to get on it now that Al has forced my hand by tipping it.”

“I was inspired by people caring about the message and wanted to strike while the iron was hot, so knowing releasing music would take a while to put together, I made the t-shirts,” he says. Proceeds from the shirts, as well as the compilation and benefit concert he’s hoping to pull off, will go to either Doctors Without Borders or the Red Crescent, or both. With bands and labels approaching him, he’s making good progress towards his dreamed-of Drone Not Drones recording, which, like the benefit show, he hopes to see released this winter. He’s hoping it’ll be released on vinyl, but acknowledges it may have to be a digital release instead. He’s already confirmed the participation of Twin Cities artists Take Acre, Paul Metzger, and Peace Drone (a side project by members of Flavor Crystals and Magic Castles), German musician/sound artist Stephan Mathieu, and Sparkhawk himself, and he hopes to have more confirmed bands to announce soon.

While Heiken’s stance on drones is nuanced — his personal view isn’t as bumpersticker-ready as the slogan on his t-shirts — his take on the mini-controversy over Low’s Rock the Garden set isn’t.

“I’m told [drones] are important to track down terrorists and to keep me and my family safe,” he says. “But there is a line crossed when we fly these things into sovereign nations and use explosives to kill people, without a trial, who are believed to be present and write off the loss of life and limb for any people caught in the blast.” He takes issue with the lack of clear governance of drone use. While manned flights are heavily regulated, he says it’s the “wild west” where drones are concerned.

Low's Alan Sparhawk at Rock the Garden 2013. Photo: Amy Fox

Low’s Alan Sparhawk at Rock the Garden 2013. Photo: Amy Fox

He calls the flap over Low’s droning set, however, purely “ridiculous.”

“If I got on the Internet every time I saw a band I was bored by,” he says of the online furor, before trailing off. “This shouldn’t be a tragedy. People creating Twitter accounts for it? I’ve never seen people dislike a set so much they’d go out of their way to do that.”

Heiken has seen Low perform “Do You Know How to Waltz?” before. “It’s one of my favorite musical memories: sitting with my now-wife under a blanket in the dark listening to that song. It’s ridiculous that so many are complaining about that at a modern art museum. Even without that, if Low played their normal set, the squares would’ve been turned off. Nothing they could’ve done would’ve made people who where there for Metric or Dan Deacon happy. But it made lots of Low fans happy.”

Related: Low: Rock the Garden’s own Rite of Spring?, by Walker senior performing arts curator Philip Bither

St. Vincent: Much Buzz

Yesterday St. Vincent had a show on the rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the first musician to ever play there. You can see her in a little over a month here at the Walker, when she plays two back to back shows in the McGuire Theater on October 2—7 pm and 10 pm. […]

Yesterday St. Vincent had a show on the rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the first musician to ever play there. You can see her in a little over a month here at the Walker, when she plays two back to back shows in the McGuire Theater on October 2—7 pm and 10 pm. This Walker show will kick off her fall tour, where she will play behind her new album Strange Mercy (out September 13).

The first video for a track off her new album just premiered. The song is called “Cruel” and you can watch it here:

The new album’s first single, “Surgeon” is a real doozy. Pitchfork recently called it a “powerful and cerebral comeback” and named it one of their Best New Tracks, read the review and listen here.

This video for “Laughing with a Mouthful of Blood” (off her last album Actor) is my personal fave and features two of the Portlandia folks, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, back when they were ThunderAnt.

Workshop and Open Rehearsal with Miguel Gutierrez

                          Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People (his company) are in town. At their free open rehearsal and Q&A next week, Thursday, August 4, at 8 pm, not only will Miguel Gutierrez be performing, but he will be joined in performance by, notably, […]

Miguel Gutierrez (far left) during a 2008 rehearsal at Walker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People (his company) are in town. At their free open rehearsal and Q&A next week, Thursday, August 4, at 8 pm, not only will Miguel Gutierrez be performing, but he will be joined in performance by, notably, Ishmael Houston-Jones and K.J. Holmes, as well as Michelle Boulé, Hillary Clark, and Luke George. Houston-Jones is a Bessie-award winning performer, author, teacher, and arts consultant whose choreographic work includes multiple collaborations with iconic queer novelist Dennis Cooper, and K.J. Holmes is adjunct faculty at NYU’s Experimental Theater Wing whilst exploring simultaneous projects as an independent dancer, singer, poet and body worker. This is a cross-generational choreographic project jam-packed with talented people, and there isn’t even room here to expound on the dazzling resumés of Michelle Boulé, Hillary Clark, and Luke George.

Miguel Gutierrez himself is known primarily for his work as a choreographer and dancer, but he also has investigated a “choreography of the human voice” and recently wrote a book of poems/”Performance Texts” that Eileen Myles thinks is great.

Rather than overshadow this blog with the amazing accomplishments of all the Gutierrez Powerful People, let me say that Miguel Gutierrez’s work is explosive, sexy, spontaneous, and subversive. His recent piece Last Meadow  “mixed movement and words from James Dean’s three movies to look at the myth of America the father, and confusion as a potentially transformative, sensory-enlivened state.”

If you are a mover of any kind, Miguel is leading a workshop this Saturday! And for everyone: the open rehearsal and Q&A is next Thursday. Otherwise you’ll have to wait until Fall 2012 to catch Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People here when they debut And lose the name of action.

My Morning Jacket + Todd Haynes + Erykah Badu

Rock the Garden 2011 headliners My Morning Jacket performed last night at the Louisville Palace Theater and were joined onstage by Erykah Badu. The concert was live webcast via American Express’ “Unstaged” series, with Todd Haynes (recently at the Walker for the premiere of Kelly Reichardt’s Meek’s Cutoff) filming. If you missed the live broadcast, […]

Rock the Garden 2011 headliners My Morning Jacket performed last night at the Louisville Palace Theater and were joined onstage by Erykah Badu. The concert was live webcast via American Express’ “Unstaged” series, with Todd Haynes (recently at the Walker for the premiere of Kelly Reichardt’s Meek’s Cutoff) filming.

If you missed the live broadcast, MMJ’s VEVO has some high-quality videos of the performances. Below is MMJ and Erykah Badu performing the MMJ track “Wordless Chorus”- Pitchfork has the full story.

Visionaries, iconoclasts, shapeshifters: announcing a bold new performing arts season

We have all been working very hard on putting together our next performing arts season for 2011/12, and are thrilled to share the details with you! This season features five premieres, six walker commissions, fresh global performance, and a  celebration of Merce Cunningham, as well as three mini-festivals: New Voices from the Congo, The Music of Vijay […]

We have all been working very hard on putting together our next performing arts season for 2011/12, and are thrilled to share the details with you!

This season features five premieres, six walker commissions, fresh global performance, and a  celebration of Merce Cunningham, as well as three mini-festivals: New Voices from the Congo, The Music of Vijay Iyer, and our annual Out There festival of alternative performance. See the full season listed here.

Highlights from performing arts curator Philip Bither:

“More than ever, the coming season reflects our commitment to support the freshest, most timely works and ideas by commissioning boundary-pushing artists—from large-scale visions by master innovators such as choreographer Bill T. Jones (in his own kind of tribute to Cunningham/Cage) to dynamic new creations by mid-career artists Big Dance Theater, Young Jean Lee, and Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and including voices new to Minnesota and the Walker such as Rabih Mroué and Brooklyn indie folk heroes the Lisps. Fierce visionaries, iconoclasts, shapeshifters—the transnational and hyper-connected artists of the Walker’s 2011–2012 performing arts season boldly take us into the future.”

Want more in-depth, insider info?

We kick off our season this September with the annual insider preview: join Philip Bither in the McGuire Theater to hear about the details of each show, why it was selected, what you can expect, history on the artists, and behind-the-scenes info from the makers themselves. Afterward we chat in the Balcony Bar over a drink and share our enthusiasm for the upcoming projects. Good Times!

Click here to browse the full lineup on the Walker calendar.

Look for the full season brochure in July. Tickets for the 2011-2012 season go on sale July 19.

Puppet Cinema is free. Open all day Saturday and Th-F-Sa nights

                          What is this key? Come to Puppet Cinema for Puppets this Saturday during gallery hours (11 AM-5 PM) to find out who’s who in Twin Cities puppets. The installation is also open one hour prior to all performances of The Devil and […]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is this key? Come to Puppet Cinema for Puppets this Saturday during gallery hours (11 AM-5 PM) to find out who’s who in Twin Cities puppets. The installation is also open one hour prior to all performances of The Devil and Mister Punch (a Work-in-Progress) (tonight through Saturday).

Over 120 puppets made by over a dozen puppeteers have been installed in the McGuire Theater.  Watch a short film with the puppets or take advantage of the designated photo ops. When’s the next time you’ll get to watch a movie with a theater full of puppets?

Bedlam Theatre Director John Bueche explains how Puppet Cinema came to be:

All year the Walker’s been doing the Adventures in New Puppetry series. They approached Bedlam way back-a-when about co-presenting the final installment in the series: Improbable‘s Punch show. At first the answer was pretty straightforward – have it at BEDLAM – that would automatically wild it up, set the social tone for the art and the audience.

It was all set, but shazbang, then Bedlam goes and closes its venue last fall. The Walker said, hell, we STILL want you involved, wild it up, set a social tone OVER HERE.

The Devil and Mr. Punch it was felt, for numerous reasons, would be well served by a more intimate audience, to get you closer to the action, keep it tight. This drove the idea to seat the audience on the McGuire stage up close with the Mr Punch show. That left the CHAIRS in the McGuire empty. That’s a lot of space.

I started thinking about what a fantastic adventure it is to walk through the attic at Heart of the Beast, the basement at Open Eye, Mark Safford‘s living room or the garage of just about anyone from Barebones. And thinking about those empty seats. Julian C said, “hey, we’ve been groovin’ on the idea of puppets watching movies, you know, like, what KINDS of movies do puppets like to watch?”

[CLICK  HERE for a video PREVIEW of Puppet Cinema for Puppets with John Bueche]

It took an all star puppet crew to pull the install together. Alison Heimstead, currently heading up the Puppet Lab at HOBT, did the amazing work of inviting, curating, prodding, building the plan and envisioning the mix. Fellow Barebones co-Founders Julian McFaul and Mark Safford, with Chris Lutter of Puppet Farm and truly astounding puppet wrangler Duane Tougas rounded out the install team (along with Andrew Wagner and Kyle Waite from the Walker side.)

Next week, you’ll have to go back to enjoying puppets on stage or seeking out the storage and stashes in separate studios all over town. For now, enjoy Puppet Cinema for Puppets and celebrate the vast talent of the TC puppet scene.

 

Have you ever wondered what movies puppets like to watch?

We did too! So we asked Bedlam Theatre and more than a dozen local puppeteers to come hang out in the McGuire and create a wild puppet world populated by 150 of the Twin Cities’ weirdest, most arresting puppets, large and small. They’re all sitting in the theater (or hanging from the ceiling) and watching a mash-up of their […]

We did too!

So we asked Bedlam Theatre and more than a dozen local puppeteers to come hang out in the McGuire and create a wild puppet world populated by 150 of the Twin Cities’ weirdest, most arresting puppets, large and small. They’re all sitting in the theater (or hanging from the ceiling) and watching a mash-up of their favorite puppet films, created by filmmaker Ragnar Freidank, a collaborator of Julian Crouch from the UK troupe Improbable.

We are calling it – Puppet Cinema for Puppets – An Unlikely Installation, and it’s presented in association with Improbable’s The Devil and Mister Punch, May 19-21.

Join us at two free open house events, where more than a dozen featured local puppet creators will be on hand to meet and talk all manner of puppet subjects.

When:

Thursday Evening May 19,  7-8pm

Saturday Afternoon May 21, 11am-5pm

Open prior to all the Devil and Mister Punch performances and for one full special day on Saturday May 21, 2011 during gallery hours (11am – 5pm).

Copresented with Bedlam Theatre and the National Performance Network (NPN).

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