Arts Orbit Radar 12/16/10


What’s happening this week

Thursday, December 16

On the radar: Touring Broadway musicals get their big shot at relevance as Billy Elliot takes the stage at the Orpheum today. Don’t blow it, kid.

Under the radar: One-upping Rift’s 48-hour songwriting contest, Ant-Civ Records’ 48hr Band Contestival assembles entire bands for two-day sprees of musicmaking. The 2010 installment—the fifth annual—kicks off this afternoon at Dusty Pixels with a registration party featuring Larry Wish, El Le Faunt, Zombie Season, and Peer Precious. Registration costs five bucks, “to prevent excessive flakiness.”

Friday, December 17

On the radar: Nobody has all-star Soul Asylum tribute nights, and Dave Pirner isn’t walking on to The View and making people pee their pants, and no one’s written The Soul Asylum Encyclopedia, but the fact remains that Soul Asylum are one of the biggest bands ever to come out of Minnesota—and unlike the Replacements or Prince or Bob Dylan, you can actually see them play at First Ave. Tonight.

Under the radar: The hard-working and hard-partying people of MPLS.TV are thrusting hard into 2011, with more video content, a forthcoming website revamp, and a blog (which I’ll be among the contributors to). Tonight, they host a supporter appreciation party at their Northeast Minneapolis headquarters, and then a City of Music video series screening at the Red Stag; Chris Koza and Alicia Wiley will perform.

Saturday, December 18

On the radar: In an event that’s shaping up to be the Woodstock of suburban alt tweens, Motion City Soundtrack headline Popsickle 2010 at First Avenue, featuring Minus The Bear; Foxy Shazam; Gold Motel; A Great Big Pile of Leaves; Gospel Gossip; Now, Now; One for the Team; Take Cover; and The Chord and the Fawn. Will there be an ocean of pom-pom-topped knit winter hats advertising cheap beer? Does the Popemobile have a parking angel?

Under the radar: With the Soap Factory considering the unprecedented step of installing heat, and the Art Shanties on figurative rather than literal ice for the winter, the time is ripe for one last badass artist to mount a big crazy wintertime installation. That badass artist is Rosemary Williams, who is presenting an exhaustive video catalog of the entire contents of her home. As Jason DeRusha tweeted when he found himself hanging out with reindeer in downtown Hopkins: “Why? Why not?”

Sunday, December 19

On the radar: It’s the last day of the 2010 Holidazzle parade. The only people who will be sorry to see it go are those who never have any other reason to be in downtown Minneapolis between the hours of 5:00 and 10:00 p.m.

Under the radar: The Riverview Theater is really putting those nerdy asses to the test this year: for its annual Lord of the Rings marathon, it’s screening the extended versions of Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. Only the standard theatrical version of Return of the King will be shown, though, so if you really must see Saruman bite it, you’ll have to do so in the privacy of your own Hobbit hole.

Monday, December 20

On the radar: Among Phil Spector’s stable of stars, Darlene Love is most closely associated with the holiday season: she’s the voice behind 1963’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” by general consensus the greatest Christmas-themed pop single of all time. That song was originally written for the Ronettes’ Ronnie Bennett, who became Ronnie Spector when she married Phil in 1968 (the marriage lasted six years). Though Bennett didn’t wax “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” the Ronettes have three sterling tracks on the classic compliation A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records, and in recent years Spector—best known for the indelible “Be My Baby,” sections of which she reprised in the 80s duetting with Eddie Money on “Take Me Home Tonight”—has toured during the holiday season singing seasonal tunes. She’s at the Dakota tonight, and you’d be well-advised to take this opportunity to hear one of the truly legendary voices of rock ‘n’ roll.

Under the radar: Local lilter Eliza Blue releases a “very informal Christmas EP” tonight at the Aster Café. Warning, or enticement: there will be a singalong section of the evening. See if she’ll do “Part of Your World.”

Tuesday, December 21

On the radar: Story slams are the new poetry slams—at least, that’s the hope of StorySlamMN, an organization that’s sponsoring a new story slam series at Kieran’s. Get slammed with a dozen fresh steaming-hot stories at the inaugural event tonight.

Under the radar: Sometimes the promotional text summarizes an event so definitively that I don’t even want to try to improve upon it, and here is one of those cases: “It’s the FULL MOON. It’s the LUNAR ECLIPSE. It’s the WINTER SOLSTICE. It’s the FULL MOON PUPPET SHOW!!!” Tonight at the Lyndale location formerly known as the Storefront in a Box and even more formerly known as the Arise! Bookstore, hang out with your friends and YOB, watch some puppets, then go watch the moon disappear. That’s some serious Minneapolis magic for you right there.

Wednesday, December 22

On the radar: Not to be confused with the following year’s Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (which is a pretty strange film in its own right), Forbidden Zone is a deeply, deeply weird 1982 cult film that blends animation and live action in a surreal mélange. It stars Hervé Villechaize at the height of his Fantasy Island fame, and was the first movie scored by Oingo Boingo’s Danny Elfman, who would go on to write music for films including the Spider-Man series, Good Will Hunting, and almost everything directed by Tim Burton. Unsurprisingly, Forbidden Zone is a special favorite of Freaky Deeky creator Hamil Griffin-Cassidy. It screens tonight at the Trylon.

Under the radar: When it’s cold and snowy outside, you’re looking for warm and cozy and drinky—and you’re always looking for free. Tonight’s Jenny Dalton show at the Kitty Cat Klub will meet all those criteria. Sharing the bill are Burnsville City Limits and the Western Ridge.

Daily Planet arts roundup


Black Swan is a mesmerizing miracle from Darren Aronofsky (review by Jay Gabler)


Vänskä’s Messiah is dynamic and stirring (review by Jay Gabler)
Ian Flomer, John Henry of MC/VL, and the hottest Scrabble-themed rap video of 2004 (feature by Jay Gabler)
30 Epic minutes with Far East Movement (review by Kate Gallagher, photos by John James Wallace)
Doomtree Blowout VI: Shaking it all night long at First Avenue (photos by Mandy Dwyer)
Food Pyramid at Cause Spirits and Soundbar (photos by Jeff Rutherford)
Daryl Hall and John Oates make dreams come true at the State Theatre (review by Dwight Hobbes, photos by Steven Cohen)

Theater and Dance

In the Heart of the Beast’s La Befana is a warm, rich story on all scales (review by Leslie Kruempel)
Fezziwig’s Feast: It’s about the family, not the food (review by Jay Gabler)
The 1419 dream: What is the future of Minneapolis’s hottest DIY art space? (feature by Sheila Regan)
Nimbus Theatre plans new theater for Northeast Minneapolis (feature by Sheila Regan, photos by Valerie Gallagher)
Kevin Kling’s Tales from the Charred Underbelly of the Yule Log entertains, proudly, at the Guthrie Theater (review by Leslie Kruempel)
With Anthony Fedorov, the Ordway brings Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat back to its roots (review by Jean Gabler)

Visual Arts

Is the Northside Arts Collective finished? Board of directors say yes, many members say no (feature by Sheila Regan)

Food and Dining

Holiday haute cuisine in St. Paul (feature by Kristal Leebrick)
Minneapolis plan promotes urban ag (feature by Andre Eggert)
Granola maker relies on seasonal, local ingredients (feature by Natalie Zett)
Cafe’s menu sometimes depends on what the farmer digs up (feature by Kristal Leebrick)


“Santa is real!” (blog entry by Amy Doeun)

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