By Jack Spencer
By Michael Madden
By Reed Fischer
By Emily Weiss
By Emily Weiss
By Zach McCormick
By Jeff Gage
By Reed Fischer
More Photos About Buildings and Chairs
DAVID BYRNE PAUSES and looks into space as he's speaking, as if reading his own speech balloon, and he laughs. He does this several times while discussing how it came to be that he is exhibiting his photography of hotel lobbies and billboards in Minneapolis ("You may ask yourself..."). He mentions his art-school fascination with faking UFO Polaroids--"they're always more convincing than anything that's been developed in a lab"--and his first trip to the Cities, playing the Longhorn with the Talking Heads. But Byrne kicked off his photo career only a couple of years ago, with a show at CBGB's adjacent café in Manhattan. "I figured, well, I had pretty good luck the last time I started out here," he says, letting the joke sit. He's as skeptical as you should be of rock star "hobby" art, though the pieces in Wedding Party, his collaborative work with his wife Adele Lutz, are as conceptually rich as his best music. The collection features furniture and appliances lovingly adorned with specially designed apparel to evoke the personalities of objects. "We were trying to do something about clothing the aura, spirit, whatever," he says. "It wasn't until afterward that I realized they were likenesses." So, is Byrne the boombox in the slip? For more information, call the Weinstein Gallery; (612) 822-1722. (Peter S. Scholtes)
Too Illegit to Quit
THOUGH NONE OF the thousand-plus teen ravers at the party knew it at the time, last year's three-day Origin rave ended in a close brush with the law after promoters Form Productions neglected to notify the Douglas County Sheriff's Department about the bliss fest. Though no criminal charges were filed against the party throwers, according to the Douglas County attorney they did have to cough up a "pretty little fine" for failing to file for a permit. So you live, you learn, right?
Apparently not: This year's Origin 2, thrown by Form and Soul Theology Productions, seemed to operate under the old raver ethos: Throw the party now (June 25-27), worry about the legal consequences later. But this time around, the rave got busted before it even began. Set to take place on private land in Aitkin County just west of Moose Lake and north of Hinckley, Origin 2 ground to a halt when the law arrived at the site early Friday morning. According to organizers, deputies stuck around well into the night, stopping young people and directing them back to where they came from.
Sgt. Scott Turner of the Aitkin County Sheriff's Department suggests that the party throwers might've been wise to learn their lesson last year: "It's simple enough to get a permit for this type of get-together, which is what they should've done. When we got out there, we said to the folks who were putting on the show that we all should've been having this conversation a month ago." There were no arrests, and Turner adds that his department has no plans to pursue the matter.
According to Soul Theology's Logan Cross, organizers willfully skipped the permission process when choosing the rental site. "Last year we would have been shut down had the cops known about it beforehand," Cross figures. "So we found a secluded space--there are no residents for miles. It's bordered by a forest. That's why we didn't apply for the permit: We didn't think [the local authorities] could find us."
After several delays, promoters arranged a replacement party at a south Minneapolis warehouse space, on June 26. One enthusiastic attendee remarks that the setting reminded him of the rave scene five years ago. "It was windowless, hot, sweaty, and completely illegal," he gushes. (Michaelangelo Matos)
The Power of Negative Thinking
EVERY BUSINESS HAS its share of hirings and firings, but the recent canning of four longtime employees in as many weeks at First Avenue has produced its own soundtrack recording. After DJing and bartending for six years, John Smith was the most recent worker to be let go, on June 28; he claims the spate of firings was aimed at anyone who criticized the Minneapolis club's management during a June 5 employee meeting that devolved into a shouting match. James Orndorf, who has DJ'd for 11 years at the club, secretly taped that meeting, and later composed a dance track using samples of one manager yelling at employees, "Get the fuck out, okay?" and, more to the point, "You're fired!"
Orndorf was subsequently given his walking papers, on June 21--because, he claims, management tagged him as "unhappy." (After repeated calls to First Avenue, City Pages reached general manager Steve McClellan, who answered the question of why Orndorf and the other discontented employees were dismissed with a simple "Just put down whatever John and Jim want it to be.") The following Sunday, during Orndorf's vacated shift, Smith played the "You're fired" song at closing time. The next day, he says, he was summoned to the office and fired when he admitted to playing the track. "I did it as a tribute to James and thought it was funny," Smith says. "It wasn't vindictive."
The turmoil at the Ave. gives some context to an otherwise baffling "editorial" by the club's promotions director Tiger Roholt in the latest issue of the club's in-house magazine. Titled "The Effects of Negativity," the polemic references Aristotle and Nietzsche before warning, "Be on the lookout for negative people who fabricate a world of dream-logic...don't get sucked into their dreary world." Perhaps he should add, "or else."(Peter S. Scholtes)