Arts Orbit Weekly: 5/28/09

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This week’s picks

Thursday, May 28
The Heliotrope experimental music festival opens today and runs through Saturday; to warm up, you may want to catch the new documentary Rip! A Remix Manifesto.

Friday, May 29
Fun fact of the day: the Prospect Park water tower (a.k.a. “the Witch Tower”) was originally built to serve as a bandshell. The musicians actually lugged their gear all the way up there for exactly one performance, than everyone involved said to hell with that. Now the landmark’s observation tower is only open once a year: the Friday after Memorial Day, coinciding with the Pratt Ice Cream Social. After enjoying the view, head to the Walker for William Klein’s Model Couple (to gawk at the groovy styles onscreen) and then to First Ave for Fischerspooner (to gawk at the groovy styles onstage).

Saturday, May 30
There may be no night this summer more likely than tonight to blow the roof off the entire city of Minneapolis. Are you ready for this? You’re not, but here goes. At the Hex: Speeds the Name. At Lee’s: A Night in the Box and Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles. At the Cabooze: Gogol Bordello. At First Ave: the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. And it’s the last night at the Dinkytowner! Good God, y’all.

Sunday, May 31
1994 may seem like an eternity ago, but if you’re old enough to go to an 18-plus show, you were alive then—which means you were alive when South Africa, a “developed” nation, was still under the rule of racial apartheid. Lunga Sinuka was there, and his play The Cool Train brings that era to chilling life. Today’s the last day to see it at the Mixed Blood.

Monday, June 1
Graham Rawle’s The Wizard of Oz can’t possibly be as cool as his Lost Consonants series, but it’s still pretty neat. After taking it in at the MCAD Gallery, stroll down 25th to Pho Hoa, which Jeremy Iggers calls one of the best of the 4,987,903 Vietnamese noodle houses on Nicollet.

Tuesday, June 2
Murder at the Jackalberry bush camp! A tourist and a Zimbabwean teacher have been found bludgeoned to death, and Detective Kubu must work fast to solve the crime before the killer strikes again. Adding to the intrigue of The Second Death of Goodluck Tunubu is the fact that the novel’s author Michael Stanley is actually two men, one of whom—Stanley Trollip—splits his time between Johannesburg and Minneapolis. Michael Stanley will be at Once Upon a Crime tonight…which actually means that Stanley Trollip will be there. Or does it? Update: Mystery solved! Both Stanley Trollip and his co-author Michael Sears will be there.

Wednesday, June 3
Jenny Lewis made the unfortunate mistake of following M.I.A. at Coachella this spring—but really, no one except maybe Neil Dynamite and the Heartlites could follow that act. Lewis’s latest solo album Acid Tongue is actually pretty good, even if it’s not in the same league as her preceding release, the rich and heartfelt Rabbit Fur Coat. Here’s betting her set at First Ave tonight will comfortably exceed your modest expectations. If you’re not the betting type, follow the intrepid Andy Sturdevant and his merry (wo)men to the Metrodome for artists’ night in the cheap seats.

Daily Planet arts roundup

Music

By any measure, it was an outstanding week in our music section. We had great video of The Daredevil Christopher Wright dropping their new disc, a remarkable interview with folk legend Richie Havens, a conversation with proud “sappy love song girl” Jenny Sanford, a review of the fine new Mother Banjo album, a preview of the sixth annual Heliotrope experimental music festival, and my list of tips for bands looking to get noticed.

But who was the subject of what’s been the top-read story on the Daily Planet since the day it was published? None other than Slim Shady.

Movies

Quick quiz: What’s America’s biggest film festival? Sundance? Nope. Tribeca? Wrong again! It’s the Seattle International Film Festival, and our man Jim Brunzell is there right now. Read his preview of the festival, and watch for his upcoming reports in the Daily Planet. Meanwhile, those of us who are still here can enjoy Brett Gaylor’s Rip! A Remix Manifesto—or, for about the same price, buy a wonderful pirated DVD! It’s not clear which Gaylor would prefer you do.

Design and style

Remember that awesome enviro-friendly fashion show way back in February? No? Well, fortunately Melissa Slachetka has photographic evidence of the innovative designs on display.

Theater

It was the week of the weird and wonderful in local theater, with news about singing sperm and flying wombats and a man who goes looking for bed and finds death instead. Matt Everett also filed a fascinating report on the Guthrie talk by Lambda Legal director Kevin Cathcart.

Dining

Jeremy Iggers nods to one of his favorite cheap lunches: Tin Fish on Lake Calhoun.

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Jay Gabler (jay@tcdailyplanet.net) is the Daily Planet’s arts editor.

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