Wednesday, November 02, 2005

2001 Sound Unseen - I

Ok, so back to a little history of the show...
I mentioned Mark Hosler came to Minneapolis to give his lecture/film presentation on Negativland in 2005. I've tried to bring a sound collage artist of note to the Twin Cites at least once a year, and have sponsored a few related events along the way as well. It all started in 2001, with the 2nd Annual Sound Unseen Underground Film and Music Festival. Nate Johnson (the festival's founder) contacted me in 2001, to ask me to curate a section of his festival. He was very interested in Plunderphonics, and the artists I play on Some Assembly Required and wanted me to put together a sort of side-show for his 2nd annual festival and, of course, I was more than happy to oblige.

So, in September of 2001, we presented the world premier of the Tape-beatles expanded cinema performance for "Good Times." Escape Mechanism opened the show with our final performance as Cast of Thousands with Escape Mechanism. That was a huge thrill. There were an awful lot of people at the Oak Street Cinema that night (including John Oswald - who would make an appearance later that week). "Good Times" was breathtaking and the crowd really dug it. It was an awesome way to kick off the Plunderphonics section of the festival, and it even made the City Pages A-List, that week.

I'm going to see if I can't finally figure out how to move photos into position around specific comments with this post, even if it appears that there is no way to title them... This is a photo apparently taken by the Tape-beatles, at the Oak Street Cinema, of the three film projectors utilized in their Polyvision, or Expanded Cinema, presentation of Good Times. Did I mention it was the world premier? Yeah, we were pretty proud of that fact.

So, Lloyd Dunn and John Heck each flew to Minneapolis with all of their gear from Prague, where they are currently living (They're both originally from Iowa, just one state away from Minnesota - a fact noted with chagrin, by Nate, when going over the travel budget!). Oswald had flown in from Canada that day (Sunday), basically just in time to see the show, but Dunn and Heck had arrived the day before, along with Jon Leidecker (Wobbly) from California, and all three of them joined me on Some Assembly Required. That was the first time I'd ever done a live interview with an artist (or group of artists). I nearly always pre-record and edit the many interviews I've done with sound collage artists for the show. So that was a very exciting weekend for me. I'd known Lloyd Dunn and Jon Leidecker for some time prior to the event, but this was the first chance I'd had to meet them in person.

Actually, thats not true - I forgot about a road trip I took to Chicago to see the Tape-beatles at the Empty Bottle. I'd gotten notice that they were performing nearby (My old stomping grounds are only about 6-8 hours away, depending on how strictly you follow the posted speed limits), and decided to go and see them perform. It was a smoky bar, but well attended and it was pretty cool to see, I think it was Grand Delusion, live, as presented by the band themselves. I literally drove down, saw the show and went right back up to Minneapolis. I suppose thats pretty common for people who live to see shows, but I rarely do something like that. I didn't even have time to look up any old cohorts. The only person I saw was a guy named Eric, who used to be projectionist at the Music Box Theater, where we both worked back when I lived there. No surprise to see someone so serious about film at such an event!

While they projected onto a large white bedsheet at the Empty Bottle, their performance at the Oak Street marked the first time they'd ever given a film presentation in an actual movie theater. A nearly sold-out show, in late September, with the smell of fresh popped popcorn... Gregg, Corey and I having just wrapped up our final set as a band... I remember sitting there watching the show and feeling very happy. Some of my favorite memories are in old movie theaters like the Oak Street. Dunn, Heck, Leidecker, Oswald and I all went out for pizza after the show, with some friends of theirs, to Pizza Luce on Lyndale Avenue. Good Times, indeed!

Oswald and Leidecker were to take the stage next, at the Bryant Lake Bowl, the very next day... But, I think I'll move on to the other shows in another post. I think I've gone on long enough for this one. thanks for reading!
jon nelson


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