What’s happening this week
On the radar
Grand Old Day is the big brand-name event this weekend, but there’s a lot of buzz surounding the new Northern Spark festival: an all-night art orgy all along the Mississippi that seems like (not to stretch the metaphor) fertile ground for adventure.
In music, local singer-songwriter Caroline Smith is at the Entry on Thursday to air some of the new material she’s going to be recording for her forthcoming sophomore disc. Also, raucous R&B revivalists the Detroit Cobras are at the Varsity on Friday, and longstanding indie darlings Iron & Wine are at First Ave on Wednesday. On Sunday, rabid readers will squeeze into the Aster Cafe as wicked wordsmiths spill bookish blood at the fourth Minneapolis Literary Death Match.
Under the radar
In St. Paul on Saturday, the Hamline Midway Spring Fest celebrates a community at the heart of the Central Corridor. If the weather gets too hot for comfort (fat chance, the way this spring has been going), you can escape to the high seas at the Trrrrrrylon Micrrrrrocinema for the firrrrrrst weekend of a monthlong film festival devoted to pirrrrrrates.
People interested in the future of local theater are advised to make their way to the Red Eye Theater for a program of works in progress that opens the theater’s annual New Works 4 Weeks festival. Another intriguing indie theater offering is Force/Matter, “A visceral speculation on the nature of time, relationships, gravity, love and simultaneity.”
Finally, Obsidian Arts is gathering a collection of African-American artist all-stars at Wilson Park Tower—not to paint, but to whip up some appetizers! The fare should be at least a step up from the bowls of Chex Mix you get at most open studio events. If you stay late and miss Too Much Love at First Ave, don’t worry: DJ Sovietpanda is spinning a miniature version of the popular dance night on Wednesday at noon (?!?!) outdoors at the U.
Daily Planet arts roundup
• Kung Fu Panda 2: A goose fathers a panda, and other surprises (review by Tony Libera)
• The Hangover Part II: A hungover review (by Jay Gabler)
• Sleigh Bells and CSS at First Avenue: The loudest thing you’ve ever heard (review by Natalie Gallagher, photos by Jay Gabler)
• Twin Cities community bands play loud and local at Landmark Center (photos by Jeff Rutherford)
• When it rains (blog entry by Dwight Hobbes)
• Northeast Minneapolis mural: Broken Crow + Over Under (blog entry by Paul Schmelzer)
• Healthy eating and human service define Flamingo in St. Paul (feature by Andrea Parrott)
• Mushroom music (video blog entry by Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine)
• New at the Midtown Farmers Market: Kabomelette (blog entry by Jeremy Iggers)
• Canton Foods: Seven decades of artisan noodles and sprouts (feature by Nykol Johnson)
• Of lizards and boys (blog entry by Lisa Gray)
• The Fargo tornado of June 20, 1957 (blog entry by Dick Bernard)
• When the folks come to town (blog entry by Lisa Gonzalez)
• Railway woman: Beatriz Mendez-Lora has worked on all three Minnesota LRT projects (feature by Laura Baenen)
• Sailing up steam: For Katya Gordon, life on a boat is a lesson in alternative living (feature by Kelly Westhoff)
• Rob MacIntyre: The NoMi tornado hero (blog entry by Megan Goodmundson)