Arts Orbit Weekly: 10/30/08

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This week’s picks

Thursday, October 30
Catch a free screening of Michael Moore’s new documentary Slacker Uprising at the soon-to-be-razed Oak Street Cinema.

Friday, October 31
There’s no more ironic holiday than Halloween, so celebrate in appropriate style at the Bryant-Lake Bowl’s Lebowski-themed 15th birthday party.

Saturday, November 1
Todd Haynes’s 2007 film I’m Not There, a stylized portrait of Bob Dylan in which the singer/songwriter is portrayed by several different actors, is strictly for Dylan buffs—but if you count yourselves among them, you won’t want to miss tonight’s screening at the Walker Art Center—it’s coupled with a talk by legendary music critic Greil Marcus, who has written about Dylan more (and better) than most.

Sunday, November 2
Writer/actor/director Jon Ferguson is, as Mugatu might observe, so hot right now. His production of George Orwell’s Animal Farm opens this weekend at the Southern Theater—timed uncoincidentally to coincide with the election, coincidentally to coincide with Ferguson’s hiring as theater programming director at the Southern. (If you’re on the fence about whether or not to go, watch our theater section for the forthcoming Daily Planet review.)

Monday, November 3
I was at Cheapo the other night, and as I was choosing between the $17.99 2-disc edition of Dylan’s new release and the $169.99 3-disc edition, I found myself enjoying the music playing over the store’s speakers: a mix of pop nuggets from the 80s and 90s. The artist, it turned out, was Girl Talk, a DJ who’s bringing his mixing board to First Avenue‘s mainroom tonight. While you’re there, buy a PBR tallboy to refresh our writer Jon Behm, who will be there taking notes and snapping photos.

Tuesday, November 4
Sitting in front of the TV tonight waiting for election results to come in is just going to fray your nerves—so take advantage of the Minnesota Opera’s offer of $20 tickets to Mozart’s glorious The Abduction from the Seraglio. (In plain English: Escape from the Harem.) Click here for information on how to take advantage of this exceptional bargain.

Wednesday, November 5
Times Literary Supplement writer Michael Greenberg has delivered what promises to be one of the season’s most moving, and chilling, reads: Hurry Down Sunshine, a chronicle of the summer his daughter went mad. Tonight he’ll be presenting the book at the Virginia Street Swedenborgian Church, a Cass Gilbert gem just down the street from St. Paul’s Common Good Books, the event’s host.

Daily Planet arts roundup

Music

We had a slew of music coverage this week, starting with a special report on the prospect of a major new concert hall at St. Paul’s Ordway Center. MTN presents a video from the She Rock festival; and Justin Schell profiles Sarah Yang, the young winner of CHAT’s InSession award. Dwight Hobbes talks with Ellen Stanley, of Red House Records, about the St. Paul roots label’s 25th anniversary tour.

Also, we report on four alt-rock concerts:
• Dustin Luke Nelson, our man in the Big Apple, reports from the CMJ music festival, where artists from Minneapolis’s Draw Fire Records played a showcase set packed with fans.
• Jon Behm presents a review and photographs from TV on the Radio’s recent First Ave gig.
• Dwight Hobbes sings the praises of Sunshine Behavior at the Cabooze, “a bunch of young white guys playing their skinny asses off.”
• And I review a sunshiny concert by L.A. band the Little Ones at the 7th Street Entry.

Books

Dwight Hobbes interviews Allan Kornblum, publisher of Coffee House Press, which celebrated its 25th anniversary with a party this week at its new Grain Belt Brewery headquarters. A video from MTN features participants and attendees at Stevens Square’s annual Zinefest. Rachel Dykoski reviews the bracing political tract Bad for Democracy: How the Presidency Undermines the Power of the People, and Pat Coleman picks the next three entries on his list of the 150 best Minnesota books: two books on Minnesota Republicans, and Winning Football by legendary U of M coach “Bernie” Bierman.

Movies

The Oak Street Cinema’s days are, finally, officially numbered, reports Kayla Lafond…but I write that tonight you have a chance to bask in the theater’s funky glory for free while enjoying a screening of the new Michael Moore doc, Slacker Uprising. Emily Byers-Ferrian reviews the nerdiest film at Sound Unseen, and Jim Brunzell the Third enjoyed the charming new Mike Leigh film Happy-Go-Lucky. (This week in the Daily Planet, look for an exclusive profile of the British director, whose body of work is currently screening at the Walker Art Center.)

Visual Arts

Sari Gordon asks whether Red Wing is turning its back on a potential flood of artists—you know, those kinds of people. And Betsy Mowry profiles Steve Dietz, the omnipresent multimedia man of the Minneapolis art scene.

Theater

Two dispatches from Cedar-Riverside: Jon Ferguson, whose Animal Farm opens tomorrow night at the Southern Theater, has been named theater programming director at that theater, I report. And Dwight Hobbes thanks God for Jean Salo, the lead actress who saves an otherwise tepid production of A Plague of Angels at Theatre in the Round.

Dining

Jeremy Iggers praises King’s Korean, the “pride of Fridley”; and Julia Quanrud writes about Lyndale’s Common Roots Café, which delivers delicious food and has a business model that will soothe your conscience. (If you’re feeling a little less conscientious after a couple of Surlys, you can lurch across 26th to the CC Club.)

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Jay Gabler is the Daily Planet’s arts editor.