Art Hounds: Ghost, Dirty Girls, Al Church and State

189288_10150262964203350_81814868349_7408133_5812840_n.jpgPhoto of Al Church and State by Shinano Katagiri

The hounds have uncovered a devil-worshipping Swedish heavy metal band, a slew of confessional style performers and artists who turn the phrase ‘dirty girls’ inside out, and an indie rock band which is seriously tongue-in-cheek.

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charlieward.jpgPhotographer and musician Charlie Ward has some advice. Take all your troubles down to the Amsterdam Bar this Friday and let the Minneapolis indie rock band Al Church and State lift them off your shoulders, at least temporarily. The group is fronted by Al Church, who Charlie classifies as a huge goofball. You’ll hear songs about such disparate subjects as making up your own dance moves, birthday parties, and intense relationships.

HeatherMeyer.jpgThe phrase ‘dirty girls’ carries a lot of baggage, but actor and playwright Heather Meyer says a performance fest in Minneapolis is trying to present a more nuanced, multi-layered interpretation of what it means, good and bad. “Dirty Girls Come Clean” is a remount of a production of short works–in musical, performance art, spoken word monologue and mini-play form, which attempt to re-define ‘dirty girls.’ On stage at Nimbus Theatre through January 28.

mikecroswellmetal.jpgSome say satan and heavy metal go hand-in hand, and bands such as Ghost, which St. Paul composer Mike Croswell has been following for the last couple years, are living proof. Mike says devil worship comes up often in the Swedish group’s lyrics, but the playing is disciplined and tight. “Ghost” is in the midst of its first American tour, and arrives at Station 4 in downtown St. Paul this Wednesday, Jan. 25.

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