September 11, 2011

Arts Around Ithaca: Week of Sept. 28

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They Might Be Giants Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. at The State Theatre.  You think your band is indie? They Might Be Giants was indie back when it was called “college rock.” You think your band is nerdy? They Might Be Giants scoffs at your Rivers Cuomo frames; they write songs about James K. Polk and compose children’s albums with equal aplomb, succeeding wildly at both. You think your band is happening? They Might Be Giants have been a happening group of dudes for thirty years, and the release of their latest album Join Us, combined with a delightful feature on The AV Club’s “Under Cover” series (covering, of all things, the schmaltzy “Tubthumping” by Chumbawumba), prove that they still got plenty in the tank. The lesson, aspiring musicians? Respect your elders. You can start by checking them out at The State Theatre.

Girlfriend. Friday, 7:15 p.m. at Willard Straight.In the trailer for Girlfriend, a 2010 movie written and directed by Justin Lerner ‘02, a young man with Down Syndrome is asked the question “what do you wish for?” “a love affair.” “with anyone in particular?” “yes.” What follows is the development of a relationship between the man and a the apple of his eye: a beautiful girl from his small town still trying to escape the turmoil of a local ex-boyfriend. Things get complicated when the boy starts offering the girl large sums of money. The main character, Evan, is played by Evan Sneider, who has Down Syndrome, and is an old friend of Lerner. Lerner, who lived in Spain after college, before moving to California, will be speaking about the film at its showing on Friday night.

Xiu Xiu. Thursday, 9:00 p.m. at The Haunt. Xiu Xiu may be considered avant-garde in some circles and they may just be a platform from which main-man Jamie Stewart expresses his inner turmoil (an album called Dear God, I Hate Myself was surprisingly not named ironically) and they may have a propensity for utilizing vomit and chocolate in a sort of synergy that needs to be seen to be believed (we speak, of course, of the video for Dear God’s title track), but that doesn’t mean they’re not for you! Okay. So Jamie Stewart’s project may be a bit polarizing, but it surely is a rewarding listen if you can stomach the more grotesque moments. Hidden underneath the chocolatey vomit are oh-so-clever song structures, Joy Division-like lyricism and a wicked dark sense of humor. Those willing to dig deep will find a rewarding, cathartic listening experience, especially live.

Other Events/Features. On and Around Campus Throughout the Week.

Artist David Schafer, a visiting artist and critic from the College of Architecture, Art and Planning in New York City, will discuss some of his work at 5:15 p.m. on Thursday at the Johnson Museum. Schafer is a visual artist and has done work in a wide variety of mediums. According to Schafer’s biography, his work is “driven by a wide range of theoretical and personal preferences,  ­­    which manifests mostly around the idea of site, language, and the built environment.”

Fits and Spells

A compilation of five short films that all explore altered states of mind. Their subject matter encompasses LSD use, hypnosis and even crazy fandom. Tuesday Night 7:15 p.m.

Music Performance. 

Check out the new Baroque organ in Anabel Taylor at 8 p.m. Tuesday night. Visiting lecturer Randall Harlow will play selected works of Arvo Pärt, Luciano Berio, György Ligeti, Tilo Medek, and John Cage.

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