Alexei "Crescent Moon" Casselle on Duluth, Coloring Time, and Red Stag Block Party
Photo by Carrie Thompson
Alexei "Crescent Moon" Casselle is a renaissance man who has left his mark in many places
around the Twin Cities, most recently in his groups Kill the Vultures and Coloring Time. The performer is currently working on a new project, F to I to X, with longtime friends and stage cohorts No Bird Sing and Kristoff Krane. Between his many projects, Alexei still finds time for family and teaching at FAIR School in Downtown.
Gimme Noise caught up with Casselle to ask him about what he's been up to as of late before his upcoming show with Kill The Vultures at the Red Stag Block Party on Sunday, August 5.
Gimme Noise: You were up north recently during the flood in Duluth. What were your thoughts watching this unfold?
Alexei Casselle: I was in a cabin thirty miles north of Duluth when the rain was at its most intense (10" in 24 hrs), so I was fairly secluded from most of the damage that was being dealt by mother nature. Aside from debris in Lake Superior and live reports of the storm on the radio, I mostly saw the damage online like most people. I did have my family with me, so that always raises the concern and anxiety level in any potentially dangerous situation, however we made it back to Minneapolis safely.
You do a lot with the community, including teaching at FAIR School. Can you tell me more on what you do there?
I teach a spoken word class for high school students at FAIR School Downtown. This will be my second year in the classroom, so I'm really looking forward to building upon a program that I helped start last fall. It's basically an introduction to poetry/creative writing and performance. The students build community in the class through exploration of identity and the world around them through writing exercises and performance.
Outside of Kill the Vultures, you've been performing with Coloring Time, which is essentially improv. What goes through your head when you have no set song while performing? Is there structure with what you do? Can you tell me how it differs performance-wise from Kill the Vultures?
When I perform with Coloring Time, or any other improvised medium, I try to keep myself as open and neutral as possible, which is very counter-intuitive to my strong desire for structure, a script, a plan. The instrumentalists of CT are so gifted and in tune with each other that it never gets old for me, musically, and then there are the vocalists who are also in constant motion, and feeding off each other. As a performer, it's really the one of the best venues to experiment and try to improve your craft.
What has Kill the Vultures been up to lately? Any new music in the works?
We've been working diligently on our next record for several months, and should have it recorded by the end of this summer. As most artists feel about their current project, I believe it's our best material to date and we haven't even gotten to the advanced stages of tracking. The release itself will most likely be spring of 2013. We've also just formed F to I to X , so we've been busy preparing for the release show and all the work that goes into forming a new band/collective.
KTV is performing at Red Stag on Sunday. Are you planning on catching any other bands' sets? Who should we check out? What can we expect from your set?
This year's line up is super strong, so I'd like to catch as many acts as possible. I'm friends with most of the bands so I want to hang with good people and support them as well as listen to good music. I'd say catch as many of the sets as possible. For the Kill the Vultures set you can expect sweat, conviction, and a free concert.
Lineup for Red Stag Block Party
Jack Klatt & The Cat Swingers with Dakota Dave Hull
Kill the Vultures
All Tomorrow's Petty
Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theater
MC Foxy Tann
Sunday, August 5--All Ages, Free, 3-10 pm
Red Stag Supperclub
509 1st Ave. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
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