MUSIC | Taylor Swift turns the Xcel Energy Center into a teengirl fantasy land

In the minutes before Taylor Swift took the stage on Wednesday night for the second of two sold-out shows at the Xcel Center, the giant LCD screens on either side of the stage displayed messages from Taylor (see: “messages from Taylor”). “Make some noise, Saint Paul!” “I see all your signs!” The excited and impatient crowd reacted with piercing screams and sent in messages of their own as though they were having a private conversation with their BFF TayTay. “You changed my life!!!” “U r a beautiful inspiration.”

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MUSIC | The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Twin Shadow fill the bill at the Triple Rock

If there is anything particularly notable to say about The Pains of Being Pure at Heart show at the Triple Rock on Monday night, it’s that openers and relative newcomers Twin Shadow were clearly the main attraction, undoubtedly responsible for the packed house I was greeted with upon entry—a fairly unsurprising, yet nonetheless unusual detail.

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STYLE | Envy, chiffon, and sublimated homoeroticism at Voltage: Fashion Amplified 2011

You only had to step one foot inside of First Avenue last Friday night to realize just how seriously the organizers of Voltage: Fashion Amplified took the event. As someone coming from outside of the fashion community I was skeptical about how successful a Minnesotan approximation of the Fashion Week model might be. It was immediately clear that MNfashion meant business, as the entire thing from entry to finish was like a well-oiled machine.

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MUSIC | Toro Y Moi and Braids bring the family to the 7th Street Entry

Before Braids played at the 7th Street Entry on Sunday, I had the opportunity to watch MPLS.TV interview them for their new Entry Level series. It was during this interview that I learned that lead singer Raphaelle Standell-Preston had bronchitis, and though she seemed spunky as ever, I wondered how this set would compare to their impressive show back in February.

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MUSIC | Diamond Rings at the Triple Rock Social Club: Fun, artistry, and a sexy sternum

Oh my goodness, go see a Diamond Rings show. Whether or not 80s-influenced dance pop is “your thing,” his stage presence is undeniably entertaining and the live performance was just plain fun. His show at the Triple Rock on Sunday night was one of the best I’ve seen this year and has set the bar remarkably high for anyone to eclipse the experience. Though this may be more appropriate concluding paragraph material, on the chance you don’t read this entire thing I want to make sure you get the message. Seriously, if you get a chance, go see Diamond Rings.

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