Arts Orbit Radar 12/1/11


On the radar

1. The Seward Arts Festival now in its 12th year is a happy gathering of poets, writers, dancers, and musicians to celebrate the neighborhood arts and taste the fruits (wine and food) of labor by local businesses. The kickoff party for the art festival and Franklin Frolic is Friday at the Playwrights’ Center.

2. When Uncle Tupelo broke up 17 years ago, everyone thought Jay Farrar was the real talent…but today, Son Volt are cult curiosities while Wilco have no problem filling the State two nights in a row. They’ll do so on Tuesday and Wednesday, with idiosyncratic postpunk icon Nick Lowe opening.

3. Foster the People perform the show they should’ve back in October, this time with Polica as the opening act on Sunday at First Avenue.

4. The British Television Advertising Awards have been rechristened the British Arrows Awards to reflect the fact that video advertising now happens as much online as on TV; despite the name change, they still feature the same mix of remarkable short films that also happen to be advertisements. 

5. Across the street, the Orpheum hosts a road warrior who’s been at it even longer than Jeff Tweedy: Jean Valjean of Les Miserables.

Under the radar

1. The First Annual Lowertown Art Show at the AZ Gallery may not have the number of years under its belt like other aforementioned art festivals, but is designed to showcase the variety of work of artists (who live and work in the Lowertown and Downtown areas of St. Paul) all the same.

2. Gustafer Yellowgold is part pop-rock show, part animated storybook (the New York Times calls it “a cross between Yellow Submarine and Dr. Seuss”), but altogether a wholesome show for the young and the old and possibly some of the in-between.

3. Mu Performing Arts’s 20th annual New Eyes Festival at Dreamland Arts starts Friday and will feature six readings by local playwrights/artists and open the floor up to the audience for feedback, workshop style.

4. Only at Christmastime can anything on the Guthrie’s expansive McGuire Proscenium Stage be considered “under the radar”; Charley’s Aunt, opening this weekend, offers a humorous alternative to A Christmas Carol for theatergoers looking to get their 2nd Street fix without being visited by any spirits that refuse to stay in the glass.

5. Hey, remember Clap Your Hands Say Yeah? That band you wrote off after their sophomore album Some Loud Thunder was panned by all the relevant bloggers? Well, they’re still at it, determined not to become the indie Spin Doctors. They’ll be at the Varsity on Thursday night, supporting their new disc Hysterical.

Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Collaborative.