Minnesota's Dark Dark Dark is a chamber-folk collective that fills any stage they're on with their varied and engrossing sounds -- much as they do with their eight band members.
Employing instrumentation ranging from cello to clarinet to the gorgeous, slightly dusky vocals of the intricately inked-up Nona Marie Ivie, the band weaves ambition and variety into their songs with seeming ease. For the lack of a better way to put it (and at the risk of sounding less-than-intelligent): This is a band that just makes you feel smarter for having listened closely to one of their handful or EPs or LPs.
The group's most recent album, Wild Go, is their most fully realized work to date. On it, the band's emphasis on mood outweighs any possible dependence on bombast. It's a carefully crafted sound, much a tapestry that would hang in an expertly curated vintage boutique.
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Fitting, then, that music isn't the only art that the members of Dark Dark Dark explore. Daring performance art projects and even in-house installations in some top-notch museums have served as creative outlets for the band members' abundant talents.
Given that the band can surely discuss just about anything -- and the fact that Dark Dark Dark will hit the stage of Dan's Silverleaf tomorrow night -- we thought it would be insanely cultured of us if we asked self-described "punks and vagabonds" in the band to tell us about their All-Time Top Five Museums to Visit While Touring the World. After the jump, Ivie and fellow vocalist Marshall LeCount answer with the most detailed and well-thought-out All-Time Top Five List we've seen thus far int his experiment.
Dark Dark Dark's All-Time Top Five Favorite Museums To Visit While Touring The World
No. 5.) Centre Pompidou in Paris, France. Just kidding! We used to think so, but last time we went, they hustled us for cover and sent us through their dirty tubes without much but a tourism experience. They haven't washed or painted the exterior in forever, and it seems like an expensive art-dive right now. Maybe things will come around again. I did cry at a Basquiat there, once.
Real No. 5.) Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. It was on the forefront of "contemporary art center re-designs." It looks great, and has amazing performance programming. A great collection, too, as well as an exciting layout that's fun to navigate.
4a.) Mütter Museum in Philadelphia. They have a body and medical oddities collection (Goth points!) that leave you with long-lasting emotional and psychic effects.
4b.) Abita Mystery House and UCM Museum, Abita Springs, Louisiana. See: "Bassigator," and custom-stamped tin coins.
3a.) American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. This one's described as a museum for "self-taught" and folk artists -- so, presumably, the museum that will immortalize all our friends. But, of course, it already has a great collection and good programming.
3b.) Arsenale, Biennale di Venezia in Venice, Italy. You can jump a fence here and see the way every country included has chosen to represent themselves through contemporary art, with the exception of those excluded for political reasons.
2a.) Museum of Natural History in New York City. Although it is sometimes sad to see the entire natural world reproduced in dioramas that resemble perfectly the natural world, the awe and beauty and absolute wonder of seeing the natural world represented historically and accurately may have an inspirational effect that could be acted out in each audience member, in any number of ways. Perhaps, also, it is better than sending people out into the wilderness, where they inevitably break things and litter.
2b.) Philadelphia Art Alliance in Philadelphia. They recently acquired a large grant from the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative for The Miss Rockaway Armada to have a heyday there.
1.) Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, Massachusetts. This one has facilities that can house works of art that are too big to fit anywhere else. There is good contemporary curatorial prowess, they have great performance programming, and they have an administration that is incredibly supportive of the arts and interested in facilitating their artists. It has beautiful grounds and is located in The Berkshires, which is also home to at least three of our favorite swimming places.