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Fritz Lang + Dark Dark Dark + Modern Times Spychestra + beautiful evening = Joy overload

24 Aug

So Monday night i went an event out at the Walker Art Center (or more precisely the lawn adjacent, where the infinitely nicer old Guthrie used to reside–ugh the new one is a nightmare) to see a screening of Fritz Lang’s “Spies” IMDB with live music scroing done by Minneapolis musicians Dark Dark Dark(album art on site may be NSFW) (who are amazing) and a choir numbering like 30-40 people styling themselves the Modern Times Spychestra.  In short the event was amazing.

While i wasnt blown away by the film, it at least wasnt awful.  The film was pretty standard fare for the time period, hilarious overacting reminiscent of vaudeville, but typical for films of the time that drew acting talent from the stage and other venues where such exaggeration was standard.  You can read summaries of the film elsewhere, so ill just sum it up as a love story with an arch-villian, some gunfights, and a train wreck.

The music and on stage performances accompanying the film were absolutely thrilling.  While there were often long periods of quite and lull, there were some key set moments where the music soared and caught me up and immersed me in the moment and in the film.  The segment i recorded and posted on youtube, in particular, was quite arresting.  One of the ‘squads’  of the Spychestra was waving red lights around, while they, or another squad clanked on what sounded like old clunky bells or pipes or something.  It is impossible to capture what a neat moment it was…well..watch the video.  I may post some others but this was probably my favorite moment of the night.  You can hear me say “wow” like an idiot a little ways into the clip…

Additionally, there mustve been like several thousand people gathered to watch the film, and they appeared to come from all walks of life, which was awesome (although there did seem to be a particularly strong hipster contingent…)  the vibe was electric and cool, and in some ways it felt almost like some quasi-hippie gathering from back in college (ah those were the days).

I cannot say enough about the music.  Using a lot of repeating themes and motifs, the music was at times sparse enough to leave you wondering if you were imagining you heard something and at others insistent, driving, and enveloping.  the piano and cello work, in particular, were fantastic.  I felt, during some of the more intense musical sections, that i was listening to a second coming of Phillip Glass.  Seriously, words don’t do justice.  They were just that good.

If you dont know who Dark Dark Dark are, seek them out.  I think there music is more accessible than a lot of similar groups (although they really do kinda have their own niche carved out, so parallels are hard for me to find). I’ll post about Dark Dark Dark soon, with some vids or something…

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