Arts Orbit Radar: 7/2/09


This week’s picks

Thursday, July 2

On the radar: There are a lot of people who still get really excited when Soul Asylum perform, and there are a lot of people who think the Roots are even cooler now that they’re Jimmy Fallon’s house band. If you’re among either of those groups, your evening plans are set. It’s also the annual Hmong Freedom Celebration, and this year emcee Tou SaiKo is helping to organize an all-out two-day hip-hop battle associated with the event.

Under the radar: Fringe favorite Allegra Lingo is at the BLB previewing her 2009 show, and if you really want to feel that out-in-the-street rock ‘n’ roll spirit, there’s a battle of the bands going down on “the legendary streets of Richfield.”

Friday, July 3

On the radar: Tonight, glam and spectacle rule: Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza opens in St. Paul, African fashion show ExtraVaaKhangha rolls out at the Graves 601 (relocated from the suddenly shuttered Trocaderos), and Judas Priest tastes Minnesota.

Under the radar: CONvergence will bring sci-fi fans from all over the country to Bloomington, and our peeps at l’etoile will be there to greet them with smiles, syle, video art, and vodka. If you’re looking for a more conventional evening of entertainment, stop by the Celtic Junction for Pop Wagner’s 60th birthday bash; it also serves as a fundraiser for medical expenses Wagner has incurred after a horse-riding injury.

Saturday, July 4

On the radar: Taking a break from his grueling schedule of making cameos on other people’s albums, Elvis Costello graces Harriet Island tonight. Earlier in the day, Haley Bonar—of whom we’ve seen all too little lately—plays a free show at the Walker as part of their Fantastic Fourth celebration. (Technically, it’s the Fantastic Fourth! celebration, but I’m on a campaign against putting exclamation points in event titles. Thus far, it’s been unsuccessful.)

Under the radar: These days the Ten-Second Film Festival only qualifies as “under the radar” in very relative terms, but it’s no less awesome than it was when nobody knew about it.

Sunday, July 5

On the radar: They don’t have a new album yet, but who needs an excuse to sell several thousand $80 tickets? Not No Doubt, who are at the X tonight as Bret Michaels takes the stage at what is most likely his first show ever to be even partially sponsored by Snyders Drug Stores.

Under the radar: Two veteran performers who never, never disappoint—both at great, small venues. Roseanne Cash is at the Dakota and Charlie Parr is at the Turf.

Monday, July 6

On the radar: Canadian critical darlings Sunset Rubdown have been very quickly winning fans with their brand new album Dragonslayer. They’re at the Entry tonight in one of the few U.S. stops on a tour that starts in Calgary and ends in Cardiff.

Under the radar: If you’ve ever felt the desire to hop up on a pair of stilts, there’s no one better to learn from than the pros at In the Heart of the Beast. A five day Stilt ‘n’ Spin Day Camp begins today. It’s meant for kids, but who knows…they might not be too picky about that age requirement.

Tuesday, July 7

On the radar: If you’ve never been to one of the improvised music nights at Art of This…well, then you’re just like me. But I’ll bet they’re far out! Also tonight, there are free after-dark puppet plays at Sibley Park.

Under the radar: Our writer Rachel Dykoski is fighting leukemia; tonight at Kieran’s, the Word Ninjas are unsheathing their swords to help her. Or maybe you already have plans to howl at the moon.

Wednesday, July 8

On the radar: Is it worth 20 bucks to watch TV at the Guthrie? When the show stars Helen Mirren, maybe so. In what is sure to be a significantly more raucous event, Somali rapper K’naan is at the Fine Line.

Under the radar: Jessica Lea Mayfield, I wrote when she opened for the Avett Brothers at the Cabooze last year, “commanded attention by delivering lovely vocal performances with an impassive facial expression that left the audience in suspense as to whether she was going to finish her set or say ‘Fuck it,’ drop her guitar, and go out back to have a heater.” When her manager read that, she wrote complimenting me: “You definitely get what Jessica is all about.” Mayfield will be at the Entry tonight. Meanwhile, down at the West Bank Social Center, Mary Mack and punk poet Paul D will be throwing down to celebrate and help build the center’s new library.

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

Daily Planet arts roundup


The music news of the week was the news of the week: the sudden death of Michael Jackson. Carl Atiya Swanson reflects on the Greek tragedy that was MJ’s life. Still alive and kicking—very much so—are the Sugarhill Gang, who were at the Fine Line for a great show last Wednesday. Also in music news this week, hip-hop producers prepared to face off in Content Under Pressure—a contest that ups the 36-Hour Songwriting Contest’s stakes by 33 hours—and a legendary local legend was inducted into the Barbershop Harmony Society’s “legendary Hall of Fame.” Finally, Dwight Hobbes talks with Ezra Sauter, the fleet-fingered founder of Soulacious.


Out this weekend are two much-anticipated movies that are much-anticipated by two entirely different demographics: the new Michael Mann gangster flick Public Enemies and Woody Allen’s Whatever Works, starring Curb Your Enthusiasm‘s Larry David.


Guthrie employee Matt Everett will miss The Intelligent Homosexual, and he explains why in two blog posts: one about the play and one about the event. Matt also gives us the scoop on an upcoming preview of Allegra Lingo’s 2009 Fringe show and explains why he loves the daring troupe Mad King Thomas; and Anna Sundberg helps you work regional theater into your summer road trip plans.


Have you spotted St. Paul’s Border/Frontera Taco Truck? Jeremy Iggers has, and he enjoyed its wares. Yes, they have tongue!

Visual Arts

Why is art criticism so often so opaque? I offer a metaphysical engagement with the ludic poetics of bullshit.

Design and Style

Jahna Peloquin pays tribute to the style of two recently deceased fashion icons: Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett.

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

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