Arts Orbit Radar 7/1/10


What’s happening this week

Thursday, July 1

On the radar: Tweetups and Tumblr tumbles are so 2009. Tonight, LOL/OMG, the world’s nicest gossip blog, hosts an all-out “social media meetup” at the 501 Club. Blue Sky Blackout, St. Villain, and Courtney McClean will play for an audience of “Tweeters, Facebookers, bloggers, Foursquarers, and any/all social media hounds.” Just don’t tell Courtney if you still have a MySpace—she might write a sketchy song about you.

Under the radar: A couple of months ago, I only knew my then-housemates Bella Ruse as a happy couple who received packages from faraway harmonica stores and played pretty songs in the kitchen. Then I saw Joseph and Kay play with their full band at the 331 and realized, wow, these guys are really good! Next thing I knew, they were off recording an album in a Michigan church and being announced as the local opening act for Lilith Fair. If you haven’t yet made the acquaintance of these folk-pop-stars-on-the-rise, head to Barbette tonight; they’re playing a free late night set for your enjoyment.

Friday, July 2

On the radar: The Taste of Minnesota music lineup, per usual, is heavy on retro comfort food—Sammy Hagar, Counting Crows, Gin Blossoms, the Offspring, 311 (yes, 311, sorry, you’re now retro comfort food)—but that’s what national holidays are all about, right? At any rate, today’s bill is a bit of a departure, featuring local hip-hoppers Atmosphere and P.O.S. along with the Walkmen and Minus The Bear.

Under the radar: Suburban life has been the subject of surprisingly exhaustive artistic exploration—including a major exhibit recently at the Walker. In a multi-artist exhibit opening tonight, Altered Esthetics adds a twist by pitting suburban life squarely against city life. Which will win? (Aesthetically, that is. Or esthetically. Whatever.)

Saturday, July 3

On the radar: In what looks to be one of the highlights of the summer, the Hold Steady and the Whigs rock the plaza at the Cabooze.

Under the radar: You have to be suspicious of the entertainment value of any show called “A Star-Spangled Salute to America!” that doesn’t somehow involve Foxy Tann, but tonight at Orchestra Hall, the presence of heart-stopping vocalists Jearlyn Steele and Robert Robinson should help make up for the fact that the work slated for inclusion in a program of “colorful sounds that embody the diversity of this great land” was all composed by dead white guys.

Sunday, July 4

On the radar: Every 4th of July, the Soap Factory finds itself with a bigger audience for its Ten Second Film Festival—in which miniature-length films are projected on the venue’s outdoor wall immediately following the fireworks. Before long the organizers may find themselves projecting cell-phone videos on an Imax screen to accommodate the crowds, so get ’em while they last in their original backyard glory.

Under the radar: On a holiday celebrating American pride, it’s only appropriate to take pride in one of the great American musical genres: hip-hop. Local artists take the stage tonight at the Kitty Cat Klub for a holiday hip-hop party.

Monday, July 5

On the radar: It’s a zydeco paradise in the Twin Cities this week—first it was Buckwheat Zydeco at the Zoo, now it’s C.J. Chenier at the Dakota. Do yourself a summertime favor and make it a twofer.

Under the radar: A free late-night set by Kid Dakota at Barbette is an extremely civilized way to celebrate the end of a fun long weekend.

Tuesday, July 6

On the radar: Yacht rock is suddenly big business, and Kings Wine Bar indeed means business. Tonight, DJ Jake Rudh will send you sailing away on a smooth sea of sax—and will give away, count ’em, five pairs of tickets to the State Fair show featuring Michael McDonald, Boz Scaggs, and Donald Fagan. Anchors aweigh!

Under the radar: The Como Avenue Jug Band takes up residence for a month worth of Tuesday nights at the 331 Club—with tallboys and tacos to keep you sated while you shuffle.

Wednesday, July 7

On the radar: Stellaaaaa! Er, Jahnaaaaaa! Marinaaaaa! Bethhhhh! Kaaaaate! The ladies of l’etoile lead an outing to the Guthrie for a first peek at the theater’s new take on A Streetcar Named Desire: $25 gets you a ticket and a post-show cast party. Partnering with the l’etoile crew sure seems like a better bet for the Guthrie than following the beaten path of other companies and branding a series with some cute name that’s a synonym for please-please-please-if-you’re-under-40-come-to-our-shows-please-please-pretty-please-with-a-vodka-cran-on-top.

Under the radar: MST3K founding host Joel Hodgson finally gave in and joined the Cinematic Titanic crew; that’s all well and good, but why not enjoy the series in its original glory? Tonight, the Clown Lounge screens episode 212: Godzilla vs. Megalon.

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

Daily Planet arts roundup


A conversation with Debra Granik, director of Winter’s Bone (interview by Erik McClanahan)
The best of CGI, from Tron to Avatar: Landmark films in the use of computer-generated special effects (feature by Erik McClanahan)
Community heroes documentary receives standing ovation at the Capri (feature by Jimmy Stroud)


Mates of State sweat it out at the 400 Bar (review by Jay Gabler)
Juana Molina entrances audience at the Walker (review by Jay Gabler)
Molly Dean spills the beans about forthcoming disc, Alicia Wiley collaboration (interview by Dwight Hobbes)

Theater and Dance

My strategy for being more gay this weekend (blog entry by Matthew A. Everett)
Blank Slate’s Hair: An all-teen cast capture the spirit of the 60s (review by Rachel Reiva)
Cirque du Soleil’s Alegria is a subdued—well, relatively subdued—spectacle at Target Center (review by Jay Gabler)
“Smithsoniansmith” (this is it): Hijack and Scott Heron thrash the joints (review by Jay Gabler)
Tamara Ober presents PIPA and exciting new work at Red Eye Theater (review by Jay Gabler)
Shameless plug of the weekend: Twin Cities Improv Festival (TCIF) 4 (blog entry by Matthew A. Everett)
Shameless plug of the day: Kick My Asthma (blog entry by Matthew A. Everett)
Park Square’s Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily: Elementary indeed (review by Becca Mitchell)

Visual Arts

Guillermo Kuitca brings Everything to the Walker in absorbing career retrospective (review by Jay Gabler)
Ta-coumba Aiken (blog entry by Jennifer Holder)

Food and Dining

Declaring food independence this July 4 (blog entry by Andrew Ranallo)
Mañana Pupusería y Restaurante (feature by June Bennett)
Gastro Non Grata takes a Vagabond Vacation at First Ave (photos by Jay Gabler)
Greater Frogtown CDC celebrates community farming, urban spaces (feature by Crystal Erickson)

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