Flaneur Productions, in association with The Minnesota Fringe Festival and Franklin Art Works, presented Heliotrope II, June 17th & 18th, 2005
Review and photos here:
Friday, 17 June:
12:00am Dave Krejci
Known for his involvement in The Third Eye, Green Machine and The Angus Strychn Trio, Dave Krejci's solo performance this evening will make a perfect closer for the first night of the festival. His performance will feature the Cleophone, a tabletop instrument of his own design made of electric pickups, piano strings and a sliding device to change the pitch of the strings, all fed through dual rotating leslie speaker cabinets. A beautiful sound that truly has never been heard before and goes far beyond any mere gimmick. Truly captivating.
A somewhat reclusive local group that has always seemed to garner more recognition overseas and on the coasts of the US than at home (doubtless in part due to their relationship with the Australian label Camera Obscura, who have released most of the band's recordings), Salamander is known for longform, krautrock-influenced improvisational space rock. At Heliotrope however, they will be concentrating more heavily on material from their latest CD, "Bent Hemlock," which features a somewhat more acoustically-oriented approach (though there will definitely still be some exploration of the Cosmos). The set will also feature a guest appearance by 12-year-old chanteuse Madeline Westby, who made a chillingly beautiful contribution to the new disc.
10:00 Paul Metzger
Paul Metzger, once known chiefly as the high-volume, frenetic guitarist of St Paul's TVBC, has garnered considerable acclaim in the past year or two for his efforts on his specially-modified banjo and acoustic guitar. Both of these instruments have been mutated with extra strings and bridges, stretched well beyond their intended parameters (by Metzger's design modifications of course, but also by his insane virtuosity in attack and melodic approach) by this inventive musician. Echoes of raga, middle- and far-east melodies, gypsy music and the American backwoods all play a part in his extended improvisations, in which rhythm is implied more than imposed, and time seems to take on new dimensions.
9:00 International Novelty Gamelan
An offshoot of the Schubert Club's traditional Gamelan ensemble, the International Novelty Gamelan uses the undeniable soul and approach of this most ancient Javanese musical tradition to create new, modern works of startling beauty and originality. Truly incredible, unto themselves and outside all other music in the region.
8:00 Milo Fine/Davu Seru
Milo Fine is an almost legendary name in certain circles, and an unknown quantity in others. His brand of free jazz improvisation has not been watered down by long years or trends of any kind, and as a percussionist and clarinet improvisor he is world-class in every sense. For this performance, Milo will be joined by the inimitable percussionist Davu Seru, whose experimental sensibilities and unbelievable technique will doubtless provide the perfect complement to Milo's stylings. Come early or miss out bigtime; both of these players provided standout performances at last year's event.
Between All Sets:
Throughout The Evening on Friday, Innova recording artist and mad archivist Greg Carr will be presenting "The Rimes Of The Ancient Mixmaster" between sets, collaging 78s together through an echoplex on his vintage 78 mixer, which has two platters and THREE tonearms. Incredible.
Saturday, 18 June:
12:30 White Map
Insane duo featuring Zak Sally of Low on drums and Scott Brown of Noise Quean Ant on guitar or whatever else he wants. Last year's festival saw many an audience member picking their jaws up off the floor during their strobe-lit, backpack-bullhorn fueled performance. Indescribable; a fantastic closer, not one to miss!
Pummeling sludge-dirge of the highest order, beating even the strongest among us into simpering submission. Thickly psychedelic in its heaviness, fans of early Swans, Godflesh, SunnO))) and Loop will easily find something to appreciate here. An unstoppable juggernaut in sound. Featuring members of Cows, TVBC and Noise Quean ant.
10:30 Dallas Orbiter
Dallas Orbiter made quite an impression last year with the conceptual piece they let loose on the crowd, some of whom may only have been aware of them in their guise as an exploratory, spaced-out pop group with a gift for complex songwriting and soaring vocal arrangements. A band of remarkable versatility and an impressive array of talent (and gear).
9:30 Eason Trio
Terry Eason has always been able to straddle the line between pop and psychedelia, discipline and freakout with greater ease than one would imagine possible. His prowess as a guitarist is undeniable, as is his ability to know when to rein it in and when to open the floodgates. He also has a knack for picking some fine musicians to collaborate with, as will doubtless be evident to all who witness.
9:00 The Pins
This somewhat reclusive local group have managed to maintain a cohesive vision through many years and more than a few stylistic and lineup changes, always sticking to their own visions despite the musical climate of the day. Influences from places and times like 70s Germany and 80s New Zealand have always been there, but filtered through a unique sensibility. This will be their first show as a trio since the retirement of drummer Nate Cutlan, and guaranteed to show their adaptive and inventive nature in action.
This group is known to many through their releases as a high-octane rock band with many a college radio hit under their belt, but for their performance at Heliotrope they will change gears a bit, playing exploratory soundtrack music with visual accompaniment onscreen. Given the skills and tastes of the musicians, this is quite an exciting opportunity to see another facet of this long-standing group.
8:00 Salubrious Invertebrae
Ralph Karsten, world-renowned producer of the innovative, high-end Atma-sphere line of home audio products as well as the groundbreaking, unprecedented Rendition guitar amplifier, is known in a musical context as Salubrious Invertebrae. His particular brand of totally live analogue synthesizer music (with occasional addition of Native American flute passages) will appeal to fans of vintage and modern space music. If reference points are needed, think Cluster, Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream. Excellent in every sense. His ability to win over the unfamiliar was made apparent recently in his well-received appearance with Porcupine Tree.
7:00 Michael Yonkers
Local guitar iconoclast Michael Yonkers has been forging his own territory and making his own sound devices since the late 1960s, and continues to do so with as much zeal and energy as any young upstart could ever hope to have. He will soon be retiring from public performance (what is this world coming to?), so don't miss out on a chance to see a man who has always been ahead of his time, giving it his all for his most visceral and sincere expression.
6:00 Brown Rainbow
A revolving-door improv collective that almost always features Charles Gillet and Jaron Childs, ranging from as few as 4 people to as many as 14 at any given time, Brown Rainbow's sound is as wide-ranging as their membership. Sure to be inventive and interesting, impossible to second-guess.
5:00 Andrew Kereakos
A.K.A. Howlin' Andy Hound of Thee Viceroys and The Blood Shot, doing something of a musical 180 with his new solo work, grounded in a raga-inflected acoustic aesthetic. We all know how hard he can rock six strings, making this striking change in context a most exciting proposition indeed.
4:30 In The Valley Of The Shadow Of The Handbarrow
An intriguing new group featuring infamous local loose cannon Wendy Darst, along with screenings of childhood Super 8s. Anthropoligical investigation of effects of Kings Island, exploding Indy cars, and the Jackson 5 on later farm implement instrument production. Helping to further the cause of electric shovel music here and abroad.
The primal essence of the Id attempting to make itself presentable with a cheap suit and a nice guitar, this charismatic duo certainly have the chops and the fire to pull off a cameo appearance in a Tarantino/Lynch bar-scene massacre, but the presence of mind not to take themselves too seriously. Ferocious reverb and pounding toms guaranteed.
BLACKi is an improvising ensemble. The personnel and instrumentation varies all the time. The goal of the group is to provide improvised sound and structure.
B/P/W are an improv trio that have been playing together since the late 1990s, featuring members of The Pins and Salamander, as well as soloist Jesse Petersen. Their cinematic soundtracks are sometimes acoustic, sometimes electric, always improvised and held together by the complementary styles and restrained interplay of these three musicians.
2:30 Sean Connaughty
Salamander guitarist and renowned painter goes it alone with his unique solo acoustic vision, improvised not only musically but lyrically as well. He finds voice to be "an extremely ergonomic tool," and uses its immediacy to create his surreal narratives.
2:00 Jaron Childs
An alto sax soloist who eschews the screeching upper-register assaults of many of his contemporaries, Childs uses his sax almost as an extension of his body, his breath sometimes barely even vibrating the reed while his hands explore the more percussive aspects of the pads in between brief melodic phrases. A refreshing approach to alto improvisation.
1:30 Charles Gillett
A guitar improvisor with a unique approach, a ton of effects and tiny, tiny amplifiers that he pushes to their limits. Sounds that would be painful in a larger context are made quite palatable via his efficient and imaginative method. Unlike any other.
1:00 Jesse Petersen
A guitar improvisor of long standing, Petersen's percussive style is at turns delicate and deadly, clean and concussive. His inventive style keeps us all guessing.
12:30 Idee Fixe
Stream-of-consciousness strangeness from members of Shit-Fi and GST. An unconventional approach to their instruments as well as to music in general pushes them into new territory.
Longform, deep-space voyages for sustainer pickups, voice and effects. Heavy atmosphere aided by homewritten software. Dm is also a member of the experimental duo Panzram.
Minneapolis and St Paul are two cities well known for their prolific music output, yet the well is much deeper than most of us here truly realize. There are of course trends that rise and fall with the years, with lots of ink being spilled over the "it bands" and hot tickets of the day, but there are many artists in these towns with persistence and imagination who go about their creative endeavors despite (or in some cases, blissfully unaware of) the way the wind is blowing at any given time. These are all local acts; some of the performers have an ironic tendency for being better known outside the Twin Cities than they are at home and some are simply criminally overlooked in general, yet they all seem to share similar creative ethics. These are the artists that Flaneur Productions are proud to give their due for the second year running as part of the two-day Heliotrope Music Exhibition at the Franklin Art Works in Minneapolis on the 17th and 18th of June. These musical projects vary widely in sound and style, but are held together by a strain of mutual respect and interest in each other's work as well as a common tendency to forge ahead in search of new ideas and modes of expression. Improvisation in many contexts (jazz, rock, folk, avant-garde), modern psychedelia, out-jazz, primal rock, invented and adapted instruments and soundtrack/sound collage music are all represented, as well as many acts that cross several stylistic lines simultaneously. The exhibition will feature film projections by local video artists and other interesting filmmakers throughout, as well as the opportunity to obtain recordings and other items by the performers, many of whom have been extremely prolific in their chosen fields. All who attended last year seemed to agree that it was easily among the year's live-music highlights, and this year is poised to be every bit as exciting to the adventurous listener.