This week in Saint Paul: Monday, September 29–Sunday October 5, 2014

My Minnesota mind cannot help but wonder if we are going to be “punished” for the abundance of beautiful weather that has greeted the many wonderful activities in the Capital City. One look at the Almanac arts calendarand that imposed pennance is not in sight. The summer officially ended under the cover of a deceptive sun and a couple of kind, brief sprinkles of rain. That’s great momentum to carry us into this week.

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MUSIC PHOTOS | Lykke Li at First Avenue

Photos by Chad Rieder

On Sunday, September 28, Lykke Li played at First Avenue in Minneapolis. MORE »

BEHIND THE STORY | Towards a Minnesota aesthetic

In the over 50 years of the Guthrie’s Theater’s existence, it’s never had an Artistic Director that was from Minnesota. All of the Artistic Directors have come from either overseas or New York, with the exception being Garland Wright, who originally was from Dallas but was based in New York City when he was hired. Now there are many good reasons for this, mainly having to do with keeping the Guthrie as an institution with a national reputation, but I don’t see why, after all this time, we couldn’t have an Artistic Director whose career was nurtured right here in Minnesota.

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Up Down US

Photos By: 
Emma Parfitt

This is a matching series of photos taken in Minneapolis. The cental idea is about taking some time out of our daily lives to look at the world above or below us.

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Museum Day Live: An excuse to be a tourist in your hometown

Photos by Ann Treacy

Saturday, September 27 was Museum Day, or at least according to Smithsonian Magazine it was. Five museums in the Twin Cities participated; we visited four. The fun part was that they were museums that we don’t visit often – two were entirely new to me. Celebrating Museum Day really just means you can get access to free tickets but it’s also a good excuse to get out.

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Everything on track with Blind Shake and Kitten Forever at the Amsterdam for a Lowertown Line gig

Lowertown Line’s show at the Amsterdam Bar this week got everything right. It’s in St Paul! It’s right by the train station. I walked in and got a ticket for a free beer. I didn’t have to worry about eating before the show as the Amsterdam has the best broodjes (mini-sandwiches) in town. Beer-braised smoked pork with a side of curry ketchup – what’s not to like?

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MUSIC REVIEW | DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist turn tables at Skyway Theatre

Photos By: 
Emmerlee Sherman

School was in session last night in the Twin Cities as DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist rolled into the Skyway Theater with an aggressive and infinitely danceable turntable sound brought out through the record collection of the “The Godfather” of Hip Hop culture, Afrikaa Bambaataa.

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THEATER REVIEW | Minnesota Opera puts on Puccini with "La fanciulla del West"

(Photo by Michal Daniel) Sheriff Jack Rance (Greer Grimsley) calms himself before proposing to Minnie in La fanciulla del west.

The Twin Cities opera scene kicked into high gear on Saturday with Minnesota Opera’s annual gala and opening night of La fanciulla del west. The opera’s live performance at the Ordway was simulcast into neighboring Rice Park, courtesy of grants from the Knight Foundation and the St. Paul Cultural Star. The outdoor event drew an audience that began assembling more than two hours in advance and stuck out through a pre-show rainsquall.

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Red Hot Gold Rush and more at Minnesota Opera Gala

Minnesota Opera celebrated the start of its 2014-2015 season on Saturday with a gala dinner, a Puccini opera, and an elaborate post-performance afterparty. The Wild West setting of the opera was matched by the Red Hot Gold Rush theme of the afterparty, and patrons were treated to live music, dancing, and themed activities such as panning for gold.

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MUSIC PHOTOS | Nick (Carter) & (Jordan) Knight at Mill City Nights

Photos by Patrick Dunn

You could pretty much label the Nick and Knight concert at Mill City Nights September 24th a “Girls Night Out.” What else would you expect from this collaboration between boy band superpowers Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys and Jordan Knight from New Kids on the Block. It was just the 6th night of the 39-date tour and you could feel an energy of anticipation and excitement from the line formed outside the club clear up to the front of the stage. With plenty of material to choose from between the two of them, there was no need for an opening act and a big plus is they perform with a talented band of live musicians unlike many harmony bands who perform to a recorded track. The show opened up with “Nobody’s Better” and included an assortment of tunes from their new album as wells as their respective groups and solo projects.

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