1. In 1818, German artist Caspar David Friedrich painted Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, in which a man props his foot up on a wind-whipped mountaintop, looking out over a wild, foggy landscape. For its depiction of man confronting the pure majesty of nature, the painting became one of the defining images of the Romantic Era. On Friday night at First Avenue, this was the pose repeatedly struck by Crystal Castles singer Alice Glass, propping her foot—clad in a protective boot as she recovers from a broken ankle—on a monitor and leaning out toward the wildly dancing throng.
2. “This music has a spontaneity that doesn’t exist in any other kind of music, and it’s what is here now. It’s unfair to classify it as rock and roll and condemn it. It has limited chord changes, and people are always saying the words are banal and why doesn’t anybody write lyrics like Cole Porter anymore, but we don’t have any presidents like Lincoln anymore either. You know? Actually, it’s more like the blues. It’s pop blues. I feel it’s very American. It’s very today. It’s what people respond to today. It’s not just the kids. I hear cab drivers, everybody, listening to it.” (Phil Spector, as quoted in Tom Wolfe’s 1964 essay “The First Tycoon of Teen”)
3. “While one stream of popular music has been maturing over the past couple millennia, another has been immaturing. The first reached puberty with—what? Monteverdi?—and the second may have finally attained its spurting climax of primal devolution with Sleigh Bells, the New York duo who brought their shuddering eruption of pop to the Triple Rock on Monday night.” (Twin Cities Daily Planet, October 2010. Photo by Meredith Westin.)
4. Welcomed by jubilant worshippers vying to touch the hem of his garment, Jesus Christ enters Jerusalem in the event that inspired the tradition of Palm Sunday.
5. The music video for Wang Chung’s 1986 hit single “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” consisted of images flashed in very rapid succession. The video was banned by some television stations in the wake of reports that it caused certain people with epilepsy to have seizures. (Vidcaps via Photobucket)
6. “How do you even “review” a show like this? It was absolutely fucking nuts. Almost everyone danced the whole time. Arms were constantly in the air. People were grinding on each other on the mezzanine rail and even on the pizza counter, for God’s sake. I was standing in front of the speakers at stage right, letting the breeze from the woofers keep me cool in the sweltering heat.” (Twin Cities Daily Planet, March 2011. Photo by Mandy Dwyer.)
7. In Fritz Lang’s 1927 science fiction masterpiece Metropolis, the evil scientist Rotwang creates a robot in the form of a hot labor-reform leader named Maria. To demonstrate the robot’s similarity to a real woman, Rotwang instructs her to perform a topless erotic dance at the club Yoshiwara, where she inspires such a mad sexual frenzy that men murder each other over her. Whether Alice Glass is or is not a robot, I do not know. Her shirt remained on throughout Crystal Castles’ set, though less restrained crowds in other countries have tried to rip it off.
8. “Does this current flood of hipster culture mean that we’re in a ‘renaissance’ era? It just might. I think several elements of culture have collided at once to lead to major disenchantment—the market crash and downfall of the Baby Boomers’ ‘spend, spend, spend’ mentality, the sudden global awareness of the growing population and increasing scarcity of resources, approaching runaway C02 rates, the Internet and accessible technology, unrest in the Middle East, etc. It’s hard to pinpoint it when you’re in the middle of it, but this is an important time of change, and those hipsters everyone likes to hate on just might be its byproduct.” (Becky Lang, The Tangential, February 2011)
9. “German composer Carl Orff (1895-1982) […] is primarily known for his 1936 dramatic cantata Carmina Burana (Songs of Beuren), which was regarded as a showpiece of what music should be in the Third Reich. Based on a medieval collection of songs by wandering students and runaway monks, the work forms a vivacious manifesto of the undergraduate mentality and its perennial agenda. Orff presents these rascally texts in a style of sophisticated primitivism, with a compelling if unsubtle gift for good tunes, striking instrumental colors, and nonstop rhythmic drive.” (Jan Swafford, The Vintage Guide to Classical Music. Photo: a 2007 production of Carmina Burana by the Smuin Ballet.)
10. Crystal Castles perform at First Avenue on March 11, 2011.
Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Collaborative.