Arts Orbit Radar: 6/25/09


This week’s picks

Thursday, June 25

On the radar: It’s already a festive weekend, and it’s not even the weekend yet! The Twin Cities Improv Festival kicks off at the Brave New Workshop, and Bedlam gets radical and raunchy with Queertopia.

Under the radar: Whoever decided that Stillwater needed an ice bar should get some kind of award. What kind of award, I don’t know.

Friday, June 26

On the radar: Uptowners don’t need any excuse to be proud (sometimes obnoxiously proud) of being Uptowners, but when Pride Week rolls around, it’s high time for the Uptown Pride Block Party. It’s also high time for a new Gospel Gossip record, which the band will be dropping with a show tonight at the Turf Club.

Under the radar: You’ll have to step out into the alley behind Art of This if you want a little high time at the ARP! release party, but then be sure to get back inside for a sweet taste of Tropical Ambrosia Salad.

Saturday, June 27

On the radar: The Avett Brothers’ show at the Cabooze last year was one of the year’s best; tonight they’re at the Zoo riding a lot more hype. Afterwards, get out of that stinkin’ fresh air and watch Jenny Dalton cover 80s favorites at the 501.

Under the radar: It’s the last weekend to catch Shipwrecked!, one of the best-reviewed shows of the summer, at the Jungle Theater. A few blocks away at Magers & Quinn, comic Bill Santiago will be presenting his new book Pardon My Spanglish: One Man’s Guide to Speaking the Habla.

Sunday, June 28

On the radar: It’s time for the 8th annual People’s Choice Flavor Awards at Izzy’s, the little ice cream shop that brought Bobby Flay to his knees.

Under the radar: Joel Hodgson, the comic most famous as co-creator and original star of Mystery Science Theater 3000, is at Mercy Seat Lutheran Church to lead a humorous quiz about ethics—and to boot, they’re throwing in a setting of the liturgy written by Ben Kyle of Romantica. If this is a publicity stunt to get people to show up at church, it’s a pretty good one.

Monday, June 29

On the radar: It’s about that time of the week for Switchblade Comb’s Record Party: all-vinyl DJs at the Uptown Bar! (Fortunately for them, vinyl is what they play—not what they wear.)

Under the radar: Just one more day to see work by the one and only Dr. Seuss at Jean Stephen Galleries. Truth be told, the late Dr. “shows” at Jean Stephen quite often—but still, it’s fun to take a look.

Tuesday, June 30

On the radar: Four legends (or at least descendants of legends) of black music are in town tonight. Hip-hop titan Nas shares a stage with Damian “Junior Gong” Marley at First Ave, and down at the Zoo it’s King Sunny Ade and Femi Kuti.

Under the radar: After nearly two years of vacancy, it’s finally been announced that the old Acadia Cafe location at Franklin and Nicollet will be a Tillie’s Bean coffee shop. Meanwhile, the Acadia isn’t looking back—it’s reversing the curse that’s long haunted establishments trying to get a footing in its prime location at Cedar and Riverside. Tonight at the Acadia, A Starlight Incident will be headlining a bill that also includes Zach Mathe and Claire Taubenhaus.

Wednesday, July 1

On the radar: Hasidic reggae-rapper Matisyahu is at First Ave tonight. His music is actually pretty good—not quite good enough for most people to know him as more than “that Hasidic reggae-rapper,” but then, most people know Björk as “that swan-dress singer.”

Under the radar: Mary, Lisa, and I will be out on the Daily Planet yacht tonight, drinking Krug Rosé as Capt. Iggers steers a lazy course around Lake Minnehaha. For the rest of you poor saps, there’s YachtRock at Clubhouse Jäger.Have an event you’d like to put on our readers’ radar? Submit it directly to our calendar.

Daily Planet arts roundup


It was a big weekend in music, as a sunsoaked crowd enjoyed the Decemberists at Rock the Garden and the Northside’s Capri Theater reopened with a snazzy, jazzy lineup of local stars. Also this week, Dwight Hobbes talks with singer/songwriter Art Vandalay.


Lydia Howell offers thorough coverage of the Walker’s Queer Takes film series, and Jim Brunzell talks with Ondi Timoner, director of the controversial film We All Live In Public.


We packed our reviewers in the seats this week! We have two perspectives on Live Action Set’s My Father’s Bookshelf at the Guthrie: Matt Everett calls it “heartbreaking, frustrating, and sometimes annoying,” while Dwight Hobbes goes so far as to call it “two hours of torture.” Meanwhile, I headed to the People’s Center for Walking Shadow’s flashy but slightly preachy Robots vs. Fake Robots, and my mom went to the Ordway, where she enjoyed—but was a little confused by—Singin’ in the Rain.

Looking forward to the Fringe Festival, our new blogger Rachel Reiva previews the shows in this year’s Teen Fringe. Coming up even more quickly is the Twin Cities Improv Festival; Matt Everett fills you in, and plugs the Rockstar Storytellers as well.


Jeremy Iggers visited Bennett’s Chop and Railhouse, which turned out to be about as unpretentious as you can get while still charging $3.50 for a pint of Hamm’s.

Visual Arts

I talked with Walker director Olga Viso about her new tome Unseen Mendieta, a tribute to the late, pathbreaking Cuban-American artist Ana Mendieta. Also, the Weisman shared several of Abdi Roble’s images of the Somali diaspora, many of which are now on display at the campus landmark.


Dwight Hobbes profiles St. Paul poet/photographer Mark Nowak, whose new book Coal Mountain Elementary shows the global horrors of coal mining. Mary Thoemke reviews a pair of books on underground exploration in Minnesota, while Ellen Frazel, a poet herself, offers an erudite analysis of two books of poetry that were also-rans in the Minnesota Book Awards.

Design and Style

Jon Behm planted himself at the end of the runway at the Poolside Fashion Show and caught some great shots of the spring’s preppiest fashions.

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Jay Gabler ( is the Daily Planet’s arts editor.

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