March 27, 2011

Arts Around Ithaca: Week of Mar. 28

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Music, comedy and campus concerts

Mountain Goats, Castaways, Apr. 2. John Darnielle’s long-running indie folk act has, despite its low fidelity recordings and extremely literary lyrics, established a cult following amongst Pitchfork-perusing hipsters looking for a songwriter who can discuss heady topics such as religion and divorce in the context of a pop song. Darnielle’s songwriting chops have earned him accolades far and wide, including a designation as “America’s best non-hip hop lyricist” from the New Yorker and inclusion on Paste’s 2008 list of the 100 Greatest Living Songwriters. The Mountain Goats’ live shows tend to be intimate affairs, with Darnielle singing and playing guitar, backed only by bassist Peter Hughes and, on occasion, Superchunk’s Jon Wurster on drums. Keep in mind though: intimate does not necessarily mean somber. With a humorous guest turn in Superchunk’s “Digging for Something” video and a reputation for his intriguing opinions on music (for instance, his manifesto on the many virtues of R Kelly’s “Ignition (Remix)” became something of an internet sensation), Darnielle should prove a delightful master of ceremonies for Saturday’s concert.

Andrew Bird, Bailey Hall, Mar. 31Multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird brings his violin, guitar and prodigious whistling skills to Bailey Hall to showcase his naturalistic, singular take on modern indie-folk. Renowned for his improvisational chops, he’s sure to provide new and interesting looks into his work. Opening will be shoegazers Alpha Consumer.

Johnson Museum, Tjaden and More

Johnson Museum, Mar. 19 through Jun. 12.  iCON: Consuming the American Image. This exhibition, which opened last week, attempts to find where the icon falls in the landscape of the American cultural imagination. It compiles a broad range of work by modern and contemporary artists, including Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, to formulate an answer to the question: how do icons construct our collective and individual identities as Americans? This exhibition is being curated by the History of Art Majors Society.

Margaret Atwood, Statler Auditorium Mar. 29. Margaret Atwood, the acclaimed Canadian essayist, poet, novelist, literary critic and two time winner of the Governer General Award, will be reading selected works for the Cornell Community.

Big Red Barn, Mar. 16 throught Apr. 12 Multitude. This exhibition, by MFA candidate Gabriela Jiménez, is an installation related to the ideas of domestic space and displacement. Jiménez interacts recycled materials and junk with the space of the Big Red Barn, referencing the slums of her hometown, Bogotá, to engage the continuously changing concept of the home.

Featured films at Cornell Cinema

Tucker, The Man and His Dream, Willard Straight Hall, Mar 30.  and 31, 7:00 p.m. and 9:20 p.m. respectively. This 1988, Francis Ford Coppola throwback, is part of a series of films starring Jeff Bridges that Cornell Cinema compiled to celebrate the career of the actor. In this film, which received critical acclaim but not box office success, Bridges portrays Preston Tucker, who famously marketed the Tucker Sedan, in 1948, before falling into a scandal with the Big Three Automobiles.

The Fighter, Willard Straight Hall, Mar. 30, Apr. 1-3, various times. This Oscar winner for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, starring Mark Walhberg  Christian Bale and Melissa Leo, chronicles boxer Micky Ward’s (Walhberg) title win, a run aided by volatile brother and trainer Dickie Ecklund (Bale). The movie is a fast paced mixture of sports, family, drugs and drama, and adds originality to an idea that has appeared many times before. The movie succeeds not simply because Walhberg, Bale and Leo excel, but because it’s based off of a compelling and true story. Both Ward and Ecklund will be speaking at Williard Straight before the Apr. 3 screening.

Gasland Mar. 28 and 29 at 9:00 p.m. and 7:15 p.m., respectively. A timely and locally relevant statement against hydrofracking, by documentarian Josh Fox.