Arts Orbit Weekly: 1/15/09


This week’s picks

Thursday, January 15
Urban Samurai at the JCC—now that’s a multicultural event! Take a road trip to St. Louis Park to catch the amusing play Halfway Home.

Friday, January 16
Warm up with a little fine wine and fine art at the opening of lauded local artist Andréa Stanislav’s show Holiday in the Sun at the Burnet Gallery in the Chambers Hotel. Then scurry down to the West Bank to catch a three-for-one: performances by Lamb Lays With Lion and Milwaukee’s Insurgent Theatre, plus music from the Wars of 1812.

Saturday, January 17
In the first-ever show sponsored by our awesome media partner Brit Rock at the Top, the 400 Bar will host Sika, Victory Ship, and Joey Ryan and the Inks—a band with “boundless energy and unabashed pop sweetness” that Jon Behm predicts will make First Ave’s Best New Bands of 2009 showcase a year from now.

Sunday, January 18
What film chronicled American Indian life in L.A. in the 1960s with a cinema verité style that helped inspire the American Indian cultural renaissance of the 70s? If you answered The Exiles, you’re right! Reward yourself with a matinee of the seminal film at the Walker, then make your way Nordeast for the second-anniversary birthday blowout of Chuck and Sean’s Trivia Night at the 331 Club. There are trivia nights all over the Twin Cities…but have you ever been to one where the prizes include a PBR surfboard? That’s what I thought.

Monday, January 19
If you liked Chuck as a trivia host, you’ll love him as a jug band bassist. Enjoy the Como Avenue Jug Band in the unlikely context of the bar at Solera. No cover, drink specials, tasty tapas. And have you ever heard a jug band cover the Magnetic Fields? That’s what I thought.

Tuesday, January 20
Will Tam Tam’s African Restaurant disappear? Who knows, but your support can’t hurt. After a delicious dinner, see several of your neighbors co-starring in Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino.

Wednesday, January 21
Those of you who take every single suggestion in this newsletter (I know you’re out there) may be taken aback when you walk into the Turf Club and see Chuck yet again—this time in the faux barbershop vocal group Dude-Wop. You’ll be certain he’s paid me off, and hopefully you’ll be right…but regardless, you’re sure to enjoy Joke Band Day. Other one-off goofs on the bill include electro-pop duo Synphil, dVRG’s Angels, PoonTwang, and Twinkie Jiggles with MCTC. Among these groups’ members you may recognize Martin Devaney and members of Heiruspecs.

For more weekend picks, see the Weekend What’s What from l’etoile magazine.

Daily Planet arts roundup


It’s not exactly “music,” but it’s powerful and it comes on a CD: Dwight Hobbes writes about the new ¿Nation of Immigrants? spoken word disc featuring a number of local artists sounding off on cultural diversity.


What to see onstage this weekend? Jon Behm promises that you’ll enjoy some belly laughs at Urban Samurai’s Halfway Home, but Dwight Hobbes can’t see the appeal of Kevin Kling’s The Ice Fishing Play at Theatre in the Round. And what did you miss last weekend? What Jon calls a “perfect” performance by New York’s Ballet Hispanico.

Meanwhile, Matt Everett continues his 2009 blogathon with entries on the writing process and the casting process, as well as a rave about the Acting Company’s production of Henry V.


Michele St. Martin writes about Kathryn Kysar’s Riding Shotgun—an anthology of women’s writings about their mothers—and the Asian-American Press reports on Katie Ka Vang’s new chapbook Never Said.


Jim Brunzell III is off to Utah for the Sundance Film Festival—as well as Slamdance, the anti-Sundance—and he tells us what he’s looking forward to seeing there. But there’s plenty to see here at home:
Clint Eastwood’s long-awaited Gran Torino, starring several Hmong actors from Minnesota.
The Wrestler, starring Mickey Rourke in what JB3 calls the best performance of 2008.
• And The Exiles, a gritty but luminous portrait of American Indians in 1960s Los Angeles.


The quest for great Indian cuisine in the Twin Cities continues, and Jeremy Iggers is happy to be your guide. If you’re looking for great pan-African cuisine, you have Tam Tam’s…at least for now, writes Rita Apaloo.

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