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Kid Koala and Bullfrog

Jazz meets scratch meets funk meets Saturday-morning cartoons when Kid Koala shows up at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art this weekend for a show with Montreal-based groove band Bullfrog. Kid Koala—aka Eric Sans—is probably best known as the Canadian DJ behind such musical experiments as Gorillaz, an arty, animated “virtual band” led by Blur singer Damon Albarn, and Deltron 3030, a futuristic hiphop project featuring Del Tha Funky Homosapien on the mike and Koala on decks.

In 2001, Koala was tapped to open for Radiohead during the band’s North American tour, during which scores of “Fake Plastic Trees” fanatics were exposed to—and enthralled by—his unique sampling style, which incorporates . . . well, pretty much everything. Last we saw Koala doing his thing, his performance included spoken-word snippets, children’s music, motorcycle sounds, vintage jazz, urban hiphop, bird noises, and some stuff that probably came out of the vintage-record bin at his next-door neighbor’s garage sale. Koala returns to his roots on Saturday when he teams up with his band Bullfrog, a jazzy, funky, beat-driven pop group with whom he’s performed for nearly a decade.

You can catch the Kid Koala and Bullfrog extravaganza at MASS MoCA (1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, Mass.) at 9 PM on Saturday (April 13). Tickets for the show are $10 in advance, $13 at the door. Get them at the MASS MoCA box office or charge by phone at (413) 662-2111.

Grey Lady Cantata #7

Though Peter Schumann’s Bread & Puppet Theater considered children part of its target audience from its inception, the company never shied away from serious issues. Formed on New York’s Lower East Side in 1962, the puppet theater (which will perform at Hudson’s Time & Space Limited this weekend) soon began addressing the difficult idiosyncrasies of urban life—rent and rats, for example—themes unlikely to be addressed by, say, Lambchop or King Friday.

Weighty global issues, too, were taken on. In fact, it was the Vietnam War that led to the performance of the first Grey Lady Cantata, in 1967. In protest of America’s involvement in Vietman, the Bread & Puppet developed the Grey Lady puppets, “over-sized human puppets representing all shades of grey. The grey of melancholy, grey of wrongdoing and the grey of those forms of suffering that are inflicted from above, from airplanes or from politics, with no relationship to the sufferers below.” This most recent Grey Lady performance tackles a similarly fraught issue: the current war in Afghanistan and the “corporate media support” of our government’s actions there.

Bread & Puppet’s founder, Peter Schulmann, says that while the subject matter is heavy, the message is not bleak: “Our pageants . . . address well-known social, political and environmental issues or simply the common urgencies of life in this day and age. However serious the theme, the event itself is joyous and forward-going. The involvement is positive; it teaches hope.”

The Bread & Puppet Theater will perform the Grey Lady Cantata #7 at Time & Space Limited (434 Columbia St., Hudson) on Friday and Saturday (April 12 and 13) at 8 PM. Tickets are $12 members, $15 nonmembers. For more information, call 822-8448.

GuerrillaGirlsBroadBand

Try to identify the prevailing archetype of the artist—it’s tough. Is it the straw- hatted, loose-bloused landscape painter in Arles? The chain-smoking, drunk- driving, paint-spattered expressionist on Long Island? Or is it the cool, jet-setting, celeb- friendly pop minimalist in Manhattan? One thing is fairly certain, however: For the vast majority of you, it’s not an activist cadre of female multimedia artists who have adopted the personae of dead women artists and donned gorilla masks. The Guerrilla Girls—who stage an interactive lecture/demonstration at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute tonight (Thursday)—are just that, though.

In an attempt to call attention to discrimination in the art world, the Guerrilla Girls banded together in 1985, adopted the names of deceased female artists (such as Gertrude Stein), and stuck their heads in gorilla masks—because “by concealing their individual identities in public, their opinions gain a collective power.” Together they’ve written two books and staged numerable performance-art influenced protests. Now, they’re taking on the digital art world.

GuerrillaGirlsBroadBand is a multimedia Web project that “tackles the primordial discrimination of our technological world.” Utilizing a 24-hour Webcam, sticker downloads and media art by female artists, the Girls point out that the information revolution hasn’t necessarily revolutionized information. According to Gertrude Stein—not the dead one, the one with the gorilla head—“The first issue taken up by GuerrillaGirlsBroadBand was the contemporary wired workplace and how the same old inequities are played out in slick new surroundings.”

GuerrillaGirlsBroadband will be presented place tonight (Thursday, April 11), at RPI’s West Hall Auditorium. Tickets for the 8 PM lecture/demonstration are $8, $3 students and seniors. For more information, call 276-4829.

 

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