Arts Orbit Radar 5/27/10


What’s happening this week

Thursday, May 27

On the radar: John Swardson, Courtney Yasmineh, the Snaps, and Jezebel Jones are playing at Sauce in a benefit show to help families affected by the fire in the McMahon’s building on Lake Street earlier this year. It’s a serious situation, but with METRO’s Scott Schneiweis hosting, the mood should be anything but somber.

Under the radar: Looking for a place to twist the night away with the coke-addled girlfriend of your druglord boss? At Lee’s, a band organized by Mick Sterling are playing a set consisting only of music from Quentin Tarantino films. What’s the set called? Zed’s Dead, baby. Zed’s Dead.

Friday, May 28

On the radar: In a town with no shortage of great designers, the team at Aesthetic Apparatus have distinguished themselves with clean, eye-popping graphics seen on the walls and torsos of all the hippest locals. They’re celebrating 11 years in business with an exhibit at MCAD, opening tonight.

Under the radar: Top local actor Ansa Akyea, who has lived in Liberia, is part of the cast of Pa’s Hat, a world premiere play about that nation’s conflict-ridden recent history. The production opens today at Pillsbury House Theatre.

Saturday, May 29

On the radar: Music festival season is officially in full swing, huzzah! Local favorites including Gay Witch Abortion, No Bird Sing, Joey Ryan, Red Pens, Halloween Alaska, Black Blondie [pause for breath], Lucy Michelle, Black Blondie, and Total Babe play at this weekend’s two-day Memory Lanes Block Party.

Under the radar: If you’re up north for the weekend, consider swinging by Lac de Flambeau for the opening of the Woodland Indian Art Center, showcasing Native artists from across the region.

Sunday, May 30

On the radar: If you’re a hip-hop fan, when you walk into Canterbury Park for Soundset you’ll feel like a bookworm stepping into the Bodleian Library.

Under the radar: Depending on your perspective, it says something about either how much or how little progress GBLTQ Americans have made in recent years that there exists an organized movement of people for whom an event involving a Big Gay Pride Party and a rainbow flag the size of a city block demands a “queered up alternative.” That alternative is the annual Dyke March, and tonight its organizers the TC Avengers are hosting a fundraiser featuring performances by Heidi Barton Stink and Nice Purse.

Monday, May 31

On the radar: Lakewood Cemetery advertises itself as “celebrating life since 1871.” Victorian Era Minnesotans probably didn’t refer to funerals as “celebrations of life,” but never mind that—it’s a beautiful and historic resting place, and its memoral chapel (that’s the pillared edifice you see looming before you when you head south on Hennepin from Lake Street) is exactly 100 years old. The cemetery’s Memorial Day event is a good opportunity to pay your respects to the fallen while also learning more about a South Minneapolis landmark.

Under the radar: According to, the band most similar to Cheap Girls is Hard Girls. Not similar to either, however, are Girls. If you want to try to make sense of it all you can start by going to see Cheap Girls at the Triple Rock tonight; personally, I’m going to stick with “Girls On Film.”

Tuesday, June 1

On the radar: The Flint Hills International Children’s Festival, the Ordway’s big celebration of small people, kicks off today.

Under the radar: Seattle emcee Astronautalis, who’s best-known locally for his collaboration with P.O.S., is at the Entry tonight. Check out Jon Behm’s review and photos of Astronautalis’s January stop at that venue, when the Doomtree star joined him onstage.

Wednesday, June 2

On the radar: The Sound Unseen Film Festival, with the programming guidance of our writer Jim Brunzell, has been expanding throughout the year—and now it’s heading north for a five-day satellite festival it’s describing as “Duluth’s first-ever international film and music festival.”

Under the radar: By popular demand, The Saved By the Bell Show is returning to the BLB—with a special guest appearance by Patrick O’Brien. (Not @brokenhalo; it’s the Patrick O’Brien who played Mr. Dewey on the original TV show.)

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

Daily Planet arts roundup


Hmong writer tells refugees’ stories (feature by Gail Olson)


Har Mar Superstar joins Marijuana Deathsquads for a brief but memorable (and loud) moment at Nick & Eddie (photos by Jay Gabler)
Gayngs invade First Ave for “The Last Prom on Earth” (review by Jay Gabler, photos by Meredith Westin)
Peter Wolf Crier, with help from Kill the Vultures, celebrate their record release at the Turf Club (photos by Meredith Westin)
In City Pages showcase, Dessa demonstrates why she is indeed among the best of the Twin Cities (review by Jay Gabler, photos by Meredith Westin)
On Shade of the Trees, Storyhill sing sweetly but can’t write their way out of the forest (review by Dwight Hobbes)
Even an unruly brood can’t spoil a magical night with Vicky Emerson (review by Dwight Hobbes)
Songs of summer: Free music in Minneapolis and St. Paul (feature by Jennifer Thomsen)
The Tallest Man on Earth and Nathaniel Rateliff at the Varsity Theater (photos by Meredith Westin)
Jake Shimabukuro wows the Cedar with a fleet-fingered performance on the ukulele (review by Venora Hung)

Theater and Dance

In Urban Samurai’s Bright Ideas, the protagonists are weirdly dim (review by Becca Mitchell)
A compelling John Jasperse piece at the Walker? Nope, Wishful Thinking (review by Jay Gabler)
Circle Mirror Transformation at the Guthrie: Well, that’s awkward. (It’s supposed to be.) (review by Jay Gabler)
Killing Joke’s The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant gets a lot of laughs—maybe more than it should (review by Matthew A. Everett)
Walking Shadow’s Transdimensional Couriers Union brings epic sweep to the People’s Center (blog entry by Jay Gabler)
At the Fitz, Wits fail to shine (review by Ashley Kuehl)
Pillsbury House Theatre looks at Liberian conflict in world premiere Pa’s Hat (feature by Sheila Regan)

Visual Arts

Metro State rededicates art gallery to pioneering African-American photographer Gordon Parks (feature by Crystal Erickson)
Goodbye to ARP! (blog entry by Jay Gabler)
Rosa Maria de la Cueva Peterson turns her lens on the Mill City (blog entry by Jay Gabler)


Midtown Farmers Market: Bigger, better, and here to stay (blog entry by Jeremy Iggers)
Kabuki in Eden Prairie (blog entry by Amy Rea)
Farmer’s Market coming to St. Anthony Village (feature by Mary Treacy)
Oh how I love So Low! (blog entry by Jeff Skrenes)

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