If the innovative composer and disco producer Arthur Russell were still alive, he might be amazed by all the attention that his too-short life (he died of AIDS in 1992, at the age of 40) and work have received lately. His songs, which were clearly ahead of their time, have been popping up everywhere from art shows to T-Mobile commercials. And now there’s Matt Wolf’s new documentary, Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell, which will be screened tonight as part of the Kitchen’s three-day Russell tribute. (Russell was also the former music director of the Kitchen.) The film includes rare archival footage and commentary from friends, family, and fellow artists, including Allen Ginsberg, Ernie Brooks (Modern Lovers), Philip Glass, and Jens Lekman. On Friday and Saturday, check out live performances of Russell’s songs as well as his instrumental works for ensembles.
Thu., May 15, 7 & 9 p.m.; May 16-17, 8 p.m., 2008