Arts Orbit Radar 4/8/10


What’s happening this week

Thursday, April 8

On the radar: Compiling, and reading, best-of-the-decade lists last year reminded a lot of people just how great the Strokes are and just how influential their buzzing power pop has been. The band’s frontman Julian Casablancas is currently doing a solo thing, and he brings that thing to First Ave tonight.

Under the radar: A couple of years ago Jim Lichtscheidl and Sarah Agnew were crawling across the Open Eye stage in Archy and Mehitabel, and now it’s Frank Theatre’s turn to infest the space with their adaptation of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis.

Friday, April 9

On the radar: The Jets, a Minneapolis group best known for their hits “Crush On You” and “Rocket 2 U,” were the Owl City of their day. Whether they would have been reviled by music bloggers, had there been blogs in 1985, as much as Owl City is now we’ll never know-but judging by the reaction when I played “Crush On You” a Grumpy’s a couple of months ago, the bloggers are cool with them now. Tonight they’re at the State Theatre for a show that kicks off a reunion tour.

Under the radar: Taja Will, one of the Twin Cities’ best and most adventurous dancers, curates an evening of improvisational dance at Fallout.

Saturday, April 10

On the radar: You may have heard about Alex Ross’s rave New Yorker review of a recent performance by the Minnesota Orchestra: “a performance of uncanny, wrenching power, the kind you hear once in a decade.” And that was with a little-known score by Sibelius. Just imagine what they’ll do tonight with the theme from Super Mario Bros.!

Under the radar: Four top Twin Cities bands—City on the Make, Gospel Gossip, Lookbook, and Peter Wolf Crier—perform a free outdoor show tonight at Lutsen Mountain. If that’s a bit of a trek, you can enjoy the down-home-and-dirty sounds of Courtney McClean and the Dirty Curls, who are releasing their debut EP tonight at The Beat Coffeehouse.

Sunday, April 11

On the radar: A tweet from Bobby Kahn on the morning of Monday, April 5: “I think it’s safe to say I will be a lot more hungover next monday morning #majorlazer

Under the radar: Is baseball “back” now that we have an outdoor field again for the Twins? Was baseball ever “gone”? Has baseball survived teflon and steroids and $6 beers? Discuss amongst yourselves today as Magers & Quinn hosts Peter Schilling (novelist, The End of Baseball) and Doug Grow (sportswriter, We’re Gonna Win, Twins!).

Monday, April 12

On the radar: Each day for a year, Ben Kucera sent Jesse Draxler a word or phrase, which Draxler interpreted as a drawing. The resulting collection of Draxler’s eye-catching and often poignant drawings, collectively called Methadont, is on display through today at Umber Studios.

Under the radar: Seven courses. Seven vodka drinks. Edina.

Tuesday, April 13

On the radar: When offered a giveaway via Twitter for tickets to opening night of Avenue Q, people got kind of excited about it. “TICKETS PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” (@amycrea) “I’m stuck with Blue’s Clues a lot so Avenue Q would be a real break!” (@ManadaB) “i desperately want tickets! (bc i’m a little bit racist)” (@mdodes06)

Under the radar: When Cyn Collins isn’t answering your questions about life and love, she’s digging up the roots of American music with her show on KFAI and a series of shows she presents at the 501. Tonight, she welcomes Patches and Gretchen and Iguano. (That’s two acts, not one or three. If you aren’t sure where to break that list of names, you should definitely go to the 501 tonight and get educated.)

Wednesday, April 14

On the radar: Even Tegan and Sara aren’t a more perfect pair than Richard Thompson and Loudon Wainwright III, two veteran singer-songwriters who each have an uncanny gift for weaving heartbreak together with sardonic humor and turning it into songwriting gold. They’re at the Fitzgerald Theater tonight, in a double bill they’re calling “Loud and Rich.”

Under the radar: If Loudon Wainwright were in town and not performing, it’s a good bet he’d be at the Southern to see Nico Muhly—a composer and arranger who’s worked with Loudon’s son Rufus as well as artists including Grizzly Bear, Björk, and the National—perform with singer-songwriter Sam Amidon.

Have an event you’d like to put on our readers’ radar? Submit it directly to our calendar.


Daily Planet arts roundup


For the second year, the Walker is presenting a series of Iranian films; Lydia Howell previews this year’s crop.


Lauren Ernt previewed a benefit concert for the Nonviolent Peaceforce, Dwight Hobbes praised the sweet sounds of Pieta Brown, and photographer Meredith Westin and I got up close and personal with Har Mar Superstar’s briefs. Later, we were blinded by the light as Miike Snow played the Varsity.


In reviews this week, Matthew Everett enjoyed the first Naked Stages program at Pillsbury House, and I thought Coward’s Women at the Guthrie was perfectly fine while Joking Envelope’s Safe as Houses was frustratingly unhinged. Meanwhile, Dwight Hobbes talked with Bedlam Theatre’s Maren Ward about the upcoming 20 10 Fest, Matthew Everett blogged about his newly-forged relationship with Urban Samurai, and Alan Wilfahrt photographed the in-progress construction of puppets for this year’s MayDay parade.


“Sometimes,” writes Amy Rea, “I just want nothing more than the comfort of a good steak and a nice supper club.” Not exactly simple pleasures, but she found them at Wildfire in Eden Prairie.

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