What’s happening this week
On the radar: Even more embarrassing than the Twins’ continual inability to get past the Yankees in the MLB playoffs is the inability of local musicians to come up with a decent rally song for any of our sports teams. No one expected much from G.B. Leighton, but the Hold Steady’s Twins-themed “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” also fell flat, and we won’t even discuss Prince’s pennywhistle-laden “Purple and Gold.” We need someone to step up to the plate like Boston’s Dropkick Murphys did for the Red Sox with their rewrite of “Tessie,” the anthem that propelled the Boston Americans to victory in the 1903 World Series. Now there’s a song that makes you want to spill some beer! The Dropkick Murphys will be the visiting team tonight at First Avenue.
Under the radar: Speaking of sports, tonight at the Bryant-Lake Bowl there’s a double-header featuring versatile local actor Patrick O’Brien. First up, O’Brien co-stars in a new production of Tom Stoppard’s translation of Gerald Sibleyras’s Heroes; then, he comes back on stage at 10 to reprise his most famous character: Mr. Dewey from Saved By the Bell.
On the radar: There are so many Minnesotans going down to Austin for the South By Southwest music festival, one wonders how there will be room left for all the Texans—let alone people from the other 48 states. Several of the bands headed to SXSW are playing a sendoff showcase today at the Varsity Theater.
Under the radar: It’s not the Choreographers’ Evening, but it’s a Choreographers’ Evening. Well, actually it’s technically “a Choreographer’s Evening,” despite the fact that there are many choreographers involved and it takes place over the course of multiple evenings. The point is, there’s some good dancing going on up Ritzward.
On the radar: This country is in bad shape, writes musician Jeremy Walker on mnartists.org. “Contemporary U.S. culture is loud, adolescent, self-aggrandizing, greedy, divisive, and rude, bloated by opinion without knowledge and bereft of any sense of its own history.” What’s his prescription? “We need jazz music […] It is so hard to play well, to sound good. And we need things that require us to reach beyond what can be purchased on demand.” If you’re ready to fasten your bootstraps, hunker down, and be part of the solution, head to the University of Minnesota for this weekend’s jazz festival.
Under the radar: With no fewer than 11 proposals on the table at tonight’s FEAST, competition will be tough—keep that ballot secret, because you don’t want to piss off any poets!
On the radar: Nearly a year after the Last Prom on Earth, local supergroup Gayngs return to First Avenue to host annother epic event: the Gayngs Affilyated Showcase. Will this be like Golden Smog’s Down by the Old Mainstream or like the Traveling Wilburys’ Volume Three?
Under the radar: In local theater, 2011 is the Year of the Puppet. The Walker Art Center is spotlighting puppetry in its performing arts season, and both Open Eye Figure Theatre and In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre are going great guns with original productions and with stellar guest productions. This weekend at Open Eye is an example of the latter: Thingumajig Theatre presents the fable The November Day.
On the radar: It’s St. Patrick’s Month, so the hard-partying Irish rock bands are all stumbling through town for predictably sold-out shows. Tonight at First Ave: Flogging Molly.
Under the radar: Holly Newsom, the dynamic frontwoman of Zoo Animal, is playing a free set tonight in the cozy confines of the Red Stag Supperclub. Expect her to showcase some of the lauded new solo material she’s lately been playing.
On the radar: “There are 800 people on ecstasy in there!” protested an underager who was thrown out of First Avenue the last time Girl Talk was in town. “How could they kick me out for being drunk?” Pro tip: stick to Adderall this time around…and after the show, do your homework!
Under the radar: Even in post-Legacy-Amendment Minnesota, when performance artists standing naked on garages are singing the praises of the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008, many artists and artlovers believe that state legislators need to be reminded of the importantance of supporting the finer things in life. If you agree, book it to the Capitol today for Arts Advocacy Day.
On the radar: Sarah McLachlan’s Lillith Fair revival fizzled last year at Target Center, but the Minnesotans paying $75 apiece to see her at the Orpheum tonight seem convinced that she’s still got that soulful way with a syllable.
Under the radar: The Irish seem to be the last ethnicity people are comfortable telling jokes about. As it happens, the Irish give as good as they get.
Daily Planet arts roundup
• Black Books event draws literature fans of all ages in St. Paul (feature by Erica Deanes)
• University of Minnesota fashion design senior spotlight: Kathryn Sterner (photos by Jay Gabler)
• University of Minnesota fashion design senior spotlight: Allison Danzl (photos by Jay Gabler)
• University of Minnesota fashion design senior spotlight: Tierra Oliver (photos by Jay Gabler)
• University of Minnesota fashion design senior spotlight: Kayla Frazier (photos by Jay Gabler)
• University of Minnesota fashion design senior spotlight: Laura Henslin (photos by Jay Gabler)
• 83rd Academy Awards Governors Ball preview feeds the hungry press (feature by Barb Teed, photos by Jeff Rutherford)
• Farrelly Brothers’ Hall Pass: Pefect for a low-expectations date night (review by Jay Gabler)
• Want a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? Former Minnesotan chairs the selection committee (feature by Barb Teed, photos by Jeff Rutherford)
• Academy Awards makeup artists and hairstylists demonstrate why they were nominated (feature by Barb Teed, photos by Jeff Rutherford)
• Red carpet arrivals at the Academy Awards: Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon, Mark Wahlberg, and more (photos by Jeff Rutherford)
• More Oscars attendees, from Celine Dion to Christian Bale to Colin Firth to The Donald (photos by Jeff Rutherford)
• Josh Ritter at First Avenue: So happy (review by Kate Gallagher, photos by Mandy Dwyer)
• Baths, Braids, Houses: Fun with plurals at the 7th Street Entry (review by Sarah Heuer, photos by Jay Gabler)
• Biffy Clyro rock the 7th Street Entry like an arena (review by David Jarnstrom)
• Blank Slate’s Pinocchio is a sterling page-to-stage adaptation (review by Sraah Rattanavong-Wash)
• Mixed Blood Theatre’s Agnes Under the Big Top: Six rings shy (review by Christopher Kehoe)
• Conference, play highlight Islam’s Western legacy (feature by Amanda Bankston)
• Mad Munchkin and Eclectic Edge present an ode to winter, with dancing and puppets (review by Sheila Regan)
• History Theatre’s Adrift on the Mississippi tells the true story of slaves who escaped to Minnesota (feature by Jeanette Fordyce)
• Jesus Christ Superstar at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres: Crucifixion blues (review by Jay Gabler)
• Guthrie Theater screens a riveting King Lear, direct from London (review by Caitlin McHugh)
• The Pillowman by Six Elements Theatre: Cold, hard truth (blog enty by Jay Gabler)
• NoMi bus stop bouquet is now complete (blog entry by John Hoff)
• Northeast Minneapolis Arts District features art and eats (blog entry by Mary Treacy)
• Azariah Acres Farm (blog entry by Amy Doeun)
• Vincent—A Restaurant, in Minneapolis (blog entry by Amy Rea)
• Peanut butter from Champions (blog entry by Amy Doeun)
• The Hmong wedding (blog entry by Bao Vang)
• Best tweets of February (blog entry by Jay Gabler)
• Remembering Rev. Peter J. Gomes of Harvard University (blog entry by Jay Gabler)
• Baseball: Not an obsession, but a love (blog entry by Jean Gabler)