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Wednesday, July 18,2012

Hey, Mr. Curator, put a record on

Broad Art Museum's Summer Annex hosts music and film events

by James Sanford

There has not been much music in the former Chrome Cat space since the bar closed last year. That will change Thursday during “Dollar-Bin DJ Night,” one of the Broad Art Museum’s summer events in its Summer Annex.

Among the DJs who will spin their favorite used-vinyl finds is Dan Hirsch, the Broad’s curator of performances and public programs, who explained the DJ night ties into Kristin Cammermeyer’s “Resituating” exhibition, which is on display in the Annex.

“We decided to have fun with the theme of taking dusty vinyl from the bargain bins and throwing it back into the light,” said Hirsch, a former Bostonian who has made many a visit to East Lansing’s Flat Black and Circular shop. “Since I’ve moved here, it’s been kind of a haven for me,” he admitted.

In the same way, Cammermeyer used discarded items from construction sites in her artwork, Hirsch and his fellow DJs — including Bay Area transplant Tammy Fortin, a musician, vocalist and mixtape artist — will do the same with old records.

“Once Kristin’s show came in, as far as a theme, it seemed like a natural ‘a-ha’ moment to combine the two (ideas),” Hirsch said. “It might have a life beyond this (show’s) closing, but we’ll see how it goes. It’s also a tribute to the Chrome Cat’s history as a bar with music and dancing.

“It also serves as a pivot point, since we’re halfway through the summer residency. This marks the transfer over to the second half, which includes films, a dance party and family programming during Lansing JazzFest.”

Hirsch wasn’t certain what he’d be playing, although he warns attendees to expect variety. “It’s gonna be all over the place; I’m not married to any particular genre,” he said. “In keeping with the vision of the museum, it should be very eclectic, with some curveballs in there. I think I’ll be as surprised as anybody else.”

“Dollar-Bin DJ Night” is the first of several projects the Broad Art Museum has planned for July and August. A “Summer Dance Party,” headlined by Janka Nabay and the Bubu Gang, is planned for July 26 in Old Town’s former Mustang Bar. Nabay, a native of Sierra Leone, teamed up with a group of New York musicians to play what Hirsch calls “an intersection between the bubu-style music that Nabay knew and this really rhythmic music that the other guys were playing in other bands they were in.”  

August brings “New Movies in Old Town,” a weekly series that features “buzzed-about films from the festival circuit that might not otherwise reach Lansing area,” according to Hirsch. Two confirmed titles are director Ira Sachs’ “Keep the Lights On” — a portrait of a turbulent 10-year-long relationship between a filmmaker and an artist that Hollywood Reporter critic David Rooney hailed as “breaking new ground in contemporary American gay cinema” — and the documentary “Marina Abramovi%u0107: The Artist is Present,” which examines the Yugoslavian artist as she prepares for a major show at the Museum of Modern Art. A third film will be announced shortly.

“We want to contribute to the film culture here, along with the great East Lansing Film Festival and the emerging Capital City Film Festival,” Hirsch said. “We want to contribute to that with some adventurous, experimental and independent films. This is our bid for jumping into that pool.”

Aimee Shapiro, the Broad’s director of education, oversees the crafts, games and activities during Broad Art Museum Family Day at Lansing JazzFest on Aug. 4. “It’s our way of being involved in JazzFest,” Hirsch said, “and hopefully, our involvement will grow.”

Broad Art Museum Summer Series

‘Dollar-Bin DJ Night’

8 p.m. Thursday, July 19, Broad Art Museum Summer Annex, 226 E. Grand River Ave., Lansing
Free

‘Summer Dance Party’

8 p.m. doors, 9 p.m. music, July 26, 1215 Turner St., Lansing

$7

‘New Movies in Old Town’

9:15 p.m. Aug. 2, 9 and 16 (titles are still to be confirmed), Broad Art Museum Summer Annex

$5 general admission

‘Broad Art Museum Family Day at Lansing JazzFest’

Noon-4 p.m. Aug. 4, Old Town

Free

broadmuseum.msu.edu

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