MUSIC | Watson Twins, Sue McLean, and others talk about being women in the music industry

Students from the music business program at Globe University/Minnesota School of Business organized an event called “Celebrate Women in Music,” held April 6 at the Fine Line Music Cafe. The event, which was the first-ever of its kind sponsored by the college, comprised two parts. First, there was a panel discussion with women holding various roles in the music industry, including Sue McLean, who was awarded an honorary degree from the college. The second part of the event was a concert featuring the Watson Twins.Kim King, who is the Fine Line’s talent buyer, served as moderator for the panel, which included the Watson Twins, Lisa Klipsic, Sue McLean, Stephanie Timberlake, and Pamela McNiell. King began the discussion by asking the panel what the “aha! Continue Reading

MUSIC | Hey, Twin Cities, where’s the love for old school? Hip-hop legend Afrika Bambaataa thrills a small crowd at Epic

It seems odd that in a city where people toast Dre Day every year with screen-printed forties, Minneapolis hip-hop heads completely overlook the classics. But it always happens, and so did it when Afrika Bambaataa came to Epic Nightclub on Saturday, March 13, an event that brought out many talented breakdancers from the area. The legendary DJ performed at to a small crowd including many faces familiar to those who frequent old-school hip-hop shows. The small size of the crowd isn’t surprising in a city where Rhymesayers and Doomtree rule. The friend who accompanied me to the show is a good example of the typical Minneapolis hip-hop fan. Continue Reading

DESIGN | “Create, inspire, brand, and market”: AIGA Minnesota honors the best in local design

The Minnesota chapter of AIGA, the professional association for design, will hold its 32nd annual Design Show this Friday, March 26, from 6-9 p.m. at the Walker Art Center. For this year’s show, entrants were asked to “show your block.” Christina Rimstad, Design Show chair, explained that “‘Show Your Block’ is a call to designers out there to display their genius, demonstrate their pride by showing us their best ‘blockbusting’ work created over the past year.” Winning work from the show will be on display, sorted by the categories of Advertising and/or Branding Campaigns, Annual Reports, Brochures, Case Studies, Direct Mail, Green Leaf Award, Identity System, Illustration, Invitations/Announcements, Logos/Marks, Miscellaneous, Packaging, Posters, Public Service, Self-Promotions, Signage/Environmental Design, Student Work and Interactive. The Fellow Awards will be held in the Walker’s Cargill Lounge from 5-6 p.m.; recipients Sue Crolick, Joe Duffy, and Eric Madsen will speak and show their work. Continue Reading

THEATER | “Smart, clever, talented, and, to some extent, desperate”: Sabes JCC hosts the first-ever Minneapolis Jewish Humor Festival

The 2010 Minneapolis Jewish Humor Festival will be the first ever of its kind, offering a variety of one-person shows, one-act plays, improvisational and standup comedy, music, film and visual art, providing a comprehensive look into the world of Jewish humor. The festival will take place at Sabes Jewish Community Center beginning February 25, and is running through March 7. 
The idea for the festival came from Claire Avitabile, the director of performing arts at Sabes. “It was my idea, and it took a jam-packed nine short months to plan,” says Avitabile. “There was a Festival of Jewish Humor in California that I researched, but that was more spread out—like every weekend over the course of several months, instead of the closer-knit 11-day festival that we decided to go for.” A variety of national and local acts will take the stage in the Dolly and Edward Fiterman Theatre, including local actor/writer Amy Salloway, whose So Kiss Me Already, Herschel Gertz! Continue Reading

THEATER | At the Guthrie, Joe Dowling’s “Macbeth” is gloriously gory

Man’s greatest nightmare is the hell he creates all on his own. Nearly 400 years later, Macbeth remains one of the darkest tragedies ever written, and is realized to its full potential in the Guthrie’s 50th Shakespeare production, which runs through April 3rd. On the Wurtele Thrust Stage, director Joe Dowling turns the world of Macbeth into a vivid hyperreality.The play opens with a glorious war scene, where Macbeth and Banquo defeat Macdonwald’s army. But the horrors of war are hardly better than the Macbeths’ forebodingly stark home, its living room minimally decorated with only a sleek, black leather couch and matching rug. Lady Macbeth (Michelle O’ Neill) saunters in, exuding power in a white pantsuit. Continue Reading

VISUAL ARTS | Painter Ghobad Hendessi, raising awareness of Iranian repression

Local painter Ghobad Hendessi is new to the art scene, but the Iranian-American has an important story to tell in his work. He has 13 paintings on display at the Dunn Bros. coffee shop at 530 University Avenue S.E. in Minneapolis, with an opening reception this Friday, February 12, from 5-8 p.m. Hendessi’s works focused on Iran include the image of a chalk outline holding a “Free Iran” sign on the Stone Arch Bridge, challenging the viewer to imagine what their world would be if life were disrupted here instead. Hendessi’s other works are excursions into a variety of different painting styles, from exercises in technique to works based on unusual dreams. Hendessi hopes to finish another painting by the show, a mainly pointillist piece showing silhouetted figures of Iranian civilians standing in front of a fire while a realistic portrait of the artist looks out to the viewer, as if he’s reaching out of the canvas. Hendessi hopes that his work will be inform his American friends (including me) about what’s going in Iran, in order to cause a stir and get something done. Continue Reading

“Way better than anyone’s seen”: MPLS.TV hosts fundraising concert, looks to second season

“Winter Jubilee” is a fundraiser for MPLS.TV, an up-and-coming public access comedy show airing Thursdays at 11 p.m. on MTN 17, and always streaming online. Bedlam Theatre will be home to the fundraiser, which takes place Thursday, January 28 at 6 p.m. Admission is $10, which will go to MPLS.TV. Performing at the event will be Guante, Zoo Animal, Chelsea Boys, We Became Actors, Bethany Larson and the Bee Knees, and Paragraphs. DJs will end the night with a dance party. The fundraiser will also have games and door prizes, including the musical score of season one.  MPLS.TV’s creators are Chris Cloud and Kevin Albertson, lifelong friends from St. Continue Reading

Frogtown residents to meet, discuss urban farm proposal on January 14

Frogtown Gardens will hold a meeting called “A Vision for Frogtown Farm,” on Thursday, January 14 from 6-8 p.m. in the Community Room at Rondo Outreach Library of St. Paul. Members of Frogtown Gardens will present a plan to build a community farm on a 13-acre vacant area, located at Victoria Street and Van Buren Avenue, the former headquarters of Amherst H. Wilder Foundation. Those interested in helping out with the project are highly encouraged to attend. 

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VISUAL ARTS | Monkeys and robots and other “things that I think are awesome”: Chuck U opens his first solo exhibit

Local painter, illustrator, and graphic designer Chuck Ungemach has been scribbling his unique brand of doodles for years now. He’s known around town for designing concert posters and album art for work from Muja Messiah’s Grand-Theft-Auto-inspired Thee Adventures of a B Boy D Boy to Dance Band’s Geekadelic; contributing artwork to the Star Tribune,, and Rift Magazine; and creating the logo for the late Dinkytowner Cafe.  
Ungemach, or “Chuck U” as he’s commonly known, will reveal Robozoology, his first solo art exhibit, with an opening reception at Nicademus Art and Framing on Saturday, January 9 from 6 p.m. to midnight. Robozoology is a wonderful and bizarre land inhabited by animals and by animal-like creatures with robot limbs and wires for body parts. The show will also include past commissions, and will feature live music by Idle Hands as well as highlights from Ungemach’s iPod. Chuck U creates two and three-point perspective drawings, mixing a palette of pastel and monochromatic hues, and combining paisley patterns, wires, and worm-like tubes with animals and architectural forms. Subterranean Science Club places the worm-like creatures from the Geekadelic album art in a cross-sectioned village of tiny houses, bridges, and underground waterways. Continue Reading

THEATER | Green T’s “Tales of Rashomon” parlays a simple story into big questions

Green T Productions presents a unique blend of theater styles with its winter play, Tales of Rashomon, an adaptation of a Japanese classic. The play, directed by Kathy Welch, is on stage at Mixed Blood Theatre until January 3.The play is adapted from two classic short stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, “Rashomon” and “In a Grove.” The latter story was made famous in 1950 with Akira Kurosawa’s film Rashomon. The short story of “Rashomon” involves a servant and a thief who take refuge from the rain under the Kyoto Rashomon. The second story, “In a Grove,” revisits four accounts of the death of a Samurai.Tales of Rashomon weaves the two stories together: a servant (Timothy Daly) stumbles upon a beggar woman (Natalie Wass) after seeking refuge under the gate of Rashomon, which in the 12th century was a place thieves hid and corpses were tossed. Continue Reading