Sound Check

The House that Jindra Built

LOSING EVERYTHING YOU own is a scenario most of us only imagine, usually while morbidly pondering about how our lives could become suddenly worse. But it actually happened to Jindra, a longtime noisemaker in the local experimental-improv scene who often books shows at Gus Lucky's Art Gallery. On March 11, the musician found his house burnt down, along with all its contents, including some five grand in credit-card-purchased music equipment.

Fortunately, Jindra has a lot of friends, having pretty much selflessly built the homey Gus Lucky's--at 1626 E. Lake St., across from Pizza Shack; (612) 728-9668--into a local mecca for avant-garde musicians. "It was his idea to have music here in the first place, and to specialize in alternative and experimental music," says gallery director Jonathan Whitney, who also books shows at the venue. The bands participating in Jindra's latest and last Monthly Music Festival--every evening between Friday, June 2 and Monday, June 5 at the gallery-café--have agreed to donate proceeds to help Jindra pay off his debts.

The four-day festival would be worth admission for the music and atmosphere alone, bringing together video-game noise music (the Radar Threat on Friday, plus Radar Threat's Atari Orchestra on Sunday), haunting string-based instrumentals (Jigsaw on Saturday), and skronky hard rock (Ouija Radio on Monday). Other highlights include Chicago's percussion-synth ensemble MiLkBaby on Friday and St. Paul's pop-electronic duo Triangle on Monday. Now will anyone play either the Talking Heads classic "Burning Down the House," or the funk/rap favorite "The Roof Is on Fire"?

The House that Ed Built

AFTER FIVE YEARS of booking nationally known queer-friendly bands at various all-ages spaces around town under the Homocore Minneapolis banner, Ed Varga is moving to Olympia, Washington, where he'll work as a sound designer and engineer on the anticapitalist rock opera Transfused, with music written by his old friends the Need, along with Donna Dresch, Pat Male (Yo Yo) and others. The production opens July 6 and runs through July 15 at Olympia's historic Capitol Theatre, if you're in the neighborhood. Varga will also be helping out with sound engineering at Ladyfest, an all-female-band rock festival in Olympia held in early August.

Homocore brought a lot of bands to town--including the Third Sex, the Butchies, Team Dresch, and Longstocking--that otherwise might have skipped us, and gave queer punk fans a unique opportunity to see queer groups in spaces set aside for them. "I wanted to create a community that I wanted to be a part of," says Varga. "I think a lot of the straight clubs ignore queercore bands, and I thought it was special to have a show at a nonrock venue, where people have to seek it out. I've seen Tribe 8 play at a club and play the District 202, and the feeling is just completely different."

Folks interested in keeping Homocore alive should attend what may be its last event on Friday, June 2 at Intermedia Arts; (612) 874-4444. Miranda July will screen her latest installment of the visual chain letter Big Miss Moviola, an ever-growing of works by women moviemakers, with a going-away party held for Varga afterward.

The House that Prince Built

Yes, white people can call him Prince again. A few weeks back I took a friend visiting from out of town to one of Mr. Nelson's Friday-night Paisley Park Studios parties, where she and a bevy of other writhing female fans were invited onstage to dance to one long-ass Funkadelic - meets - go - go - meets - somebody - left - the - beatbox - on - all - night - and - it - burned - a - hole - in - the - wall - jam. My date was indelicate enough to call the guy Prince to his face, though he smiled back. (She was also indelicate enough to later jump naked into the waters of Lake Minnetonka, like in Purple Rain, sort of, though that's another story.) A couple of days later the Artist announced he would reassume his birth name, though I doubt those in his employ will shake the now ingrained habit of calling him "He" or "Him" or "the Man."

Anyway, "He" is opening Paisley Park to the public for a week beginning June 7 (his 42nd birthday), asking $70 a pop for a tour and entry to a "party" with as-yet-unannounced performers--kind of like every Friday night, plus $63. Fans eager to see his first local indoor concert proper since 1997 should catch his June 13 Northrop Auditorium gig; (612) 371-5656.

Meanwhile, MTV-sired filmmaker Jordan Brady is reportedly making a spoof of Purple Rain called Velvet Hail, in which the director hopes to cast Chris Rock in the "Kid" role. Somebody should just cut to the chase and make an up-to-the-minute Prince biopic, complete with lawsuits against fans, Paisley garage sales, and irritated calls from "Him" to the new R&B station, KARP (96.3 FM), for playing too many of his songs in a row.

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