Arts Orbit Weekly: 11/6/08


This week’s picks

Thursday, November 6
If last year’s documentary Helvetica got you all hot and bothered, you won’t want to miss the new film Typeface, which features naked wooden letterpress type from the first frame to the last. It’s screening tonight at the Walker.

Friday, November 7
While the hipster crowd squeezes into the Northrup King Building, escape west across the river, where the Northside Arts Collective is holding its annual Arts and Artists Gala.

Saturday, November 8
If you’ve never seen a Radio On show, you’re missing out. The frenetic, flamboyant local band take the stage at Bunker’s tonight.

Sunday, November 9
Okay, now go to Art Attack.

Monday, November 10
Breakfast and beer make an excellent late-night combo any time, but when the beer is free—as it is for women every Monday night at the Dinkytowner—it’s downright magical.

Tuesday, November 11
In a recent article, I referred to “two overexposed institutions sitting at the opposite extremes of happening-ness: the Bryant-Lake Bowl and Garrison Keillor.” In a cosmic convergence, booklovers tonight get to choose between the two. The BLB will be hosting the Books and Bars book club, which is discussing Michael Chabon’s new novel The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, while Keillor holds court downtown at the library.

Wednesday, November 12
Joe Dowling’s production of Shadowlands opens this weekend at the Guthrie; avoid the weekend crowds and choose between a matinee and an evening performance today. (Look for the Daily Planet review, which will appear Monday in our theater section.)

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

Daily Planet arts roundup


Music news from inside and outside the metro area this week. In Minneapolis, the Southern Theater board had to look no farther than its own offices to find the Southern’s new music programming director: Kate Nordstrum. The Southern’s press release tells the whole story. And down south in Austin, a rap duo seen on VH1 is releasing an album that they claim is “the first release in hip-hop history by an explicitly white anti-racist group.” Huh?

Four concert reviews: I write on Bob Dylan’s election night gig at the Northrop (“a set that was—as expected—no radical departure from his usual live act, but was marked by an unusual buoyancy”), Jon Behm covers Girl Talk at First Ave (“comparable to the bacchanalian excesses of ancient Rome”) and Yeasayer at the Triple Rock (“even when their energy isn’t at its peak they can still outshine most bands on the stage”), and Susan Budig reports on Lura at the Dakota (“her sensual, distinctive movements made it easy to forget our troubles”).

And then there are the shows by Blacktop Badge and Casual Confusion that Dwight Hobbes wasn’t able to review…because the bands have disappeared. It’s “a damned shame,” he says.

Visual Arts

“Happy birthday to us,” the Northside Arts Collective plans to sing in a celebration tomorrow. Lauretta Dawolo Towns reports. Betsy Mowry writes about enviro-friendly artmaking practices being funded by Public Art Saint Paul. Helen Kinuthia profiles Rabi Sanfo, a Burkinabé sculptor working in Minneapolis, and I report on a New Mexico sculptor who works with—and converses with—dirt. And with Art Attack coming up, Chris DeLine writes about Sean Tubridy, the artist and graphic designer responsible for the Northrup King Building’s logo.


Talk about local news for global citizens! We have film news from three continents this week.
• British director/writer/actor Mike Leigh, a five-time Oscar nominee, sat down with the Daily Planet’s Erik McClanahan for an interview about Leigh’s uncharacteristically cheerful new film Happy-Go-Lucky.
• Meanwhile, on this side of the pond, there’s Pond Hockey, a locally-made documentary that’s winning raves at film festivals across the country. Jim Brunzell III writes about the film, which is about to be released on DVD.
• And finally, Sheila Regan reviews two Japanese films screening at the Walker as part of a tribute to legendary director Nagisa Oshima: Cruel Story of Youth and “the gay samurai movie,” Taboo.


“That was flippin’ awesome!” I agree with my friend’s assessment of Jon Ferguson’s new production of Animal Farm at the Southern. Jon Behm is also impressed, though a bit bewildered, by Mixed Blood’s convoluted 1001. You wouldn’t guess it from the production photo accompanying her review, but Lydia Howell found Workhaus Collective’s Forgetting a little too cool and cerebral for her taste; Theatre Unbound’s How I Learned To Drive, on the other hand, she calls the best local production of the year. Finally, my aunts Betsy and Martha were wowed by Broadway’s Legendary Ladies at the Ordway. “Next year,” they write, “we’re bringing friends and celebrating…ummm…something!”


What’s a “gay mystery”? Find out in my review of Minneapolis author Ellen Hart’s Sweet Poison. If you’re looking for “lusty” (Victorian) action, though, your better bet is the 1874 Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Minnesota, Pat Coleman’s latest pick for one of the 150 best Minnesota books.

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Jay Gabler is the Daily Planet’s arts editor.