We’re in the thick of it, people. There is no escape. The “holidays” are officially in full effect! We can’t help but love the twinkling lights, the prettily wrapped gifts, and of course, the holiday cheer. Spend some quality time with your bestest pals and cohorts while making the rounds to this weekend’s festive soirees, and make sure they know how much you appreciate them! After all, the holiday spirit also manifests itself in rounds of shots, hugs and high-fives. xo-l’étoile THIS WEEK ON L’ETOILE Jahna updates our Guide to Holiday Shopping Events HERE The l’etoile Holiday Gift Guide is online HERE l’etoile reviews the ‘Tis the Season for Glitz n’ Glam Fashion show HERE Chase Turner shoots pix at Blacklist’s Black Christmas Party HERE Juleana Enright fills us in on ‘The Art of the Party’ HERE Stephen Stephens shoots last week’s Hot Holiday party HERE
ART PICK: ALEX PRAGER Like many artists, photographer Alex Prager finds a certain lure to California, susceptible to the lights, the sleepless sky and, of course, the seedy underbelly. Her latest artwork, Week-end, (set to open early 2010 at the M&B Gallery in L.A.) involves a series photographs where “darkness lies portent and colors behave corporeally.” Like stills from a ’60’s French film with classic Lolita flirtation, her photographs capture a cinematic world illuminated by the bright and smooth LA light. At times, a Valley of the Dolls emptiness is called to mind. In others, a David Lynch reel, where tension can heighten merely by adjusting color saturation. Taking cues from her favorite luminary photographers – Brassaï, Mitch Epstein – Prager’s democratic photography style relies on staging (often with modish wigs, 60’s frocks and psychedelic backgrounds), atmosphere and the efficient use of negative space. Often her models seem damaged, like they’ve just stepped out of a Andy Warhol party, more knowing and adulterated than they came in. Pretty, damaged girls? Yep, that sounds like California. Click HERE for the Alex Prager site FRIDAY DECEMBER 18TH Gregoire Pinto @ Wednesday Studio, D-2 2500 University Ave. W. Minneapolis 4pm-Midnight / free In ’98, local artist Gregoire Pinto – sparked by a reflective mission statement – set out to create pieces of artwork that not only represented his ideals but which replaced the gaps in culture to restore what had been lost. Currently back from a hiatus in search of “decorative surrealism,” the artist returns to the galleries for a show complete with his signature style of acrylic and glaze, vivid color schemes and ritualistic design patterns. Catch the artist in all his glory tonight. Just don’t call it a comeback! Click HERE for the Facebook event FRIDAY DECEMBER 18TH Dosh + Skoal Kodiak @ Cedar Cultural Center 416 Cedar Ave. S. Minneapolis 7 pm doors/ $12 advance, $15 day of Local experimental beatmaker, (Martin) Dosh, has long held down MPLS’ electronica scene with an avant-garde flair and wordless poetics. His latest album, Wolves and Wishes, features collaborations with vocal stars Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Andrew Bird; visual artist and Anticon member, Odd Nosdam; and experimental rockers, Fog, showcasing the multi-instrumentalist at his most seasoned. As Andrew Bird’s new record drops January 20th – a record Dosh has heavily played a role in – the one-man-band will be busy touring, so don’t miss your chance to catch his sculptural compositions live tonight. With dance rock band, Skoal Kodiak. Paper Colt Ensemble (Dark Dark Dark’s Marshall and Jonathan) spin ambient tunes between bands. Click HERE for the Cedar Cultural Center site FRIDAY DECEMBER 18TH Sussedtacular! @ Varsity Theater 1308 4th St. SE Minneapolis 7:30pm / 21+ / $7 in advance, $10 at the door Susstones celebrates its third annual holiday extravaganza with about a million bands. Polara plays their first show in who knows how long, in honor of their new single. This year, The Mood Swings, Mercurial Rage and Two Harbors all celebrated Susstones CDs releases, and converge tonight at the Varsity in Susstone solidarity. 2009 newcomers Blue Sky Blackout are also in attendance, along with Joe Werner of First Communion Afterparty to get the show started with some of his solo work. Need one more reason to be in attendance? Marc the Guv DJs all night, and if you stay for all the bands, you’ve only paid a little over a dollar per band, and in true Sussed style, who knows what special musical guests might show up? Click HERE for the Susstones site FRIDAY DECEMBER 18TH Mickey Leigh & Legs McNeil: I Slept with Joey Ramone @ Nick & Eddie 1612 Harmon Place Minneapolis 9pm / Free Dust off your leather jacket and make your way to Nick and Eddie tonight as author and musician Mickey Leigh (brother of the late great punk god, Joey Ramone) and famed punk historian, Legs McNeil, discuss their newly released book. The latest nouvella in the Ramones saga, the ironically titled, I Slept with Joey Ramone: A Family Memoir, details the personal life and music career of the rebellious misfit intimately and BS free. Co-written by Legs McNeil, author of Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk, the memoir spans over two decades and is filled with underground facts about the punk movement in America, angst-ridden anecdotes, eccentric escapades, and of course, sibling rivalry. An engaging documentation of a dysfunctional family and the musical roots of the gangly man regarded as a counterculture icon and a pioneer for punkdom. Join the authors and ‘be sedated’ by lively conversation, food and drink specials, book purchasing and signing – perfect for a last minute gift for the punk rocker on your list. Co-sponsored by Rain Taxi Review. Click HERE for the facebook event FRIDAY DECEMBER 18TH Cheers to a Season of Temptation! @ 1419 1419 Washington Ave S Minneapolis 10pm / $3-5 donation The artist-run space 1419 teams up with Jelly Mountain and Bohemian Press to bring you a holiday party you won’t soon forget. Costume contests don’t stop at Halloween, so think of a good Santa or Jesus or reindeer-inspired get up. The artists in residence at 1419 request outrageousness and spectacular outfits. Venture to the third floor to witness a Christmas-themed installation by emerging U of M and Minneapolis artists. In round robin format, bands Farms, Bad Tanya, Tips for Twat, and Early Dreams play, and later Famuel and Gary Slam provide the tunes to get you dancing and prancing, like the pitter patter of little reindeer feet. Click HERE for the facebook event COOL LINK: STACK Have you exhausted your magazine subscription choices through your cousin’s girl scout troupe sales? Try Stack! They hand-pick artsy, independent magazines, and send you a new one every other month. Consider it a fruit-of-the-month club for super cool magazines. You can opt of out mags you already get, and discover six new ones over a year. Genius! We totally want this for Christmas. Click HERE for the Stack site SATURDAY DECEMBER 19TH Grown & Sexy @ Northrup King Building 1500 Jackson St. NE Suite #332 Minneapolis noon-5 pm/ free The 12 diverse teens involved with the Walker Art Center’s Teen Arts Council (WACTAC) might have more constructive things to do than wait in line for Twilight tickets – like weekly meetings where they design, organize and market events inspired by Walker exhibits, performances, films and other such fodder. In its 13th year, the program has witnessed a potpourri of promising art from over 100 bright young artists. Now all grown & sexy (as the exhibition’s title suggests), the alumni artists reunite for the first exhibition celebrating the art of the lively WACTAC crowd and embracing what the future holds for their artistic endeavors. The Grown & Sexy artwork ranges from sculpture and installation to paintings and drawings. The exhibit opens this weekend, but the reception won’t be held until December 23rd and will feature a wrap-up party with live music. Click HERE for this art event and more at www.mplsart.com SATURDAY DECEMBER 18TH SooVac Art Sale @ SooVAC 2640 Lyndale Ave S Minneapolis 10am-6pm/free SooVAC has a last-minute heroic solution for all you procrastinating shoppers: a sale and art extravaganza! Their second annual art sale offers discounts on local artist’s work, from the likes of Nick Howard, Andy Ducett, and Terrance Payne. If you missed their Dollmighty fashion show last week, Erin Currie (Curster’s Boutique), Stephen Filla and Gina Louise’s work is still up, so in addition to finishing (or starting) your holiday shopping, you can absorb a little culture too. Viola! Click HERE for this art event and more at mplsart.com SATURDAY DECEMBER 18TH Peach Holiday House Warming @ Peach 275 East 4th Street Suite B200 St. Paul 6pm-10pm/free Lowertown is ripe with art, and Peach is the newest multipurpose art space in the area. Peach has been showcasing art for at least a few months now, participating in the St. Paul Art Crawl and the Lowertown 1st Fridays events, but they will make their official debut tonight with with music, food, and a festive fundraising exhibition. Later, DJ Satchel hosts an afterhours social that invites you to BYOB and hobnob with the St. Paul artsy set. Juicy! Click HERE for the Peach site BONUS: Since you’re in the neighborhood, it would be a shame to miss the Lowertown SantaCon. From 5pm on, strange Santas and Christmas creatures descend on the capital city to crawl the pubs, led by the wild Brass Messengers street band. We doubt you’ll be able to miss this spectacle! SATURDAY DECEMBER 19TH New Flavors Premiere @ Oak Street Cinema 309 Oak Street SE Minneapolis 5pm-10pm / free Know why we’re skateboarding fans? It’s not JUST because sk8er boys are cute and their tricks are impressive; it’s because skaters always seem to be ambitiously cranking out art and film project, which we think is “rad.” Tonight, Kevin Horn presents his latest, New Flavors, a Twin Cities-focused skate flick. Not only is your trip to the lovely Oak Street Cinema free, but you can pick up a copy of the film after the show! And if we know skateboarders and filmmakers, we know that their still-secret after party is bound to be fun! Click HERE for the facebook event SATURDAY DECEMBER 19TH Ping Wang: Winter Worm Summer Plant + 10,000 Waves @ Shoebox Gallery 2948 Chicago Ave. S. Buzzer 08 Minneapolis 8 pm-2 am/ donations encouraged Here in MN, when winter strikes we rarely think about vegetation – largely due to the fact that most of it is buried under mounds upon mounds of snow. But artist Ping Wang – recipient of the MN Book award – and her Shoebox Gallery installation, Winter Worm Summer Plant, brings our attention to the ecological devastation of the Sino-Tibetan plateau using the herbal/medicinal worm-plant, chongcao. Through the mediums of photography and poetry, the author/photographer contrasts the age-old Tibetan ways of survival with clashing images of modern times. Wang will premiere her poem “10,000 Waves” accompanied by dance and music by Bruce T. Bolon and Yong Tsi. Peeps are encouraged to bring poems relating to a migrant experience to share during the open mic segment. Buzz 08 (Smuda Studio) to get in! Click HERE for this art event and more at mplsart.com SATURDAY DECEMBER 19TH l’etoile & Blacklist present: JUBILEE @ Secret Location Minneapolis rsvp to firstname.lastname@example.org for location 9pm-2am / Free Come socialize and shimmy with your friends from l’etoile and Blacklist Vintage this holiday season! Our invite-only, secret location soiree is sure to jingle your bells, with holiday tunes from DJ Jake Rudh, a bar featuring 1950s-era cocktails courtesy of Phillips Distilling, a lavish Christmas cookie buffet and more. Don your best 1950s cocktail attire and meet us under the mistletoe! The secret location will be announced the day before the event to guests who have RSVP’d to email@example.com. Formal 1950s cocktail attire requested! Sponsored by l’étoile magazine, Blacklist Vintage, Phillips Distilling, and Cake Eater Bakery SUNDAY MUSIC PICK: BANJO OR FREAKOUT XMAS ALBUM The fuzzy, atmospheric beauty that is Banjo or Freakout has now applied itself to Christmas. UK-based musical wonder, Alessio Natalizia, has been being buzzed about in the blogsphere and beyond for a while now. And just in time for Christmas, he’s offered up a festive (and free) interpretation of classic holiday tunes such as Jingle Bells, Silent Night, Joy to the World and more — all with his signature ethereal, gauzy touch. We know what we’re playing on Christmas Eve! Click HERE to download the FREE Xmas Album SUNDAY DECEMBER 20TH Rock the Halls @ 501 Club 501 Washington Ave. S. 7 pm-2 am/ 21+/ free Ok, you got us! We love holiday nostalgia – and no doubt you’ll find us jingle janglin’ all the way down “sentimental lane” this season in vintage wear, toting peppermint cocktails. Leave it to Indie Soup to produce a holiday jamboree filled with the spirit of a traditional Christmas, with a few altered surprises. Deranged versions of Xmas tunes anyone? Get yr naughty or nice self down to Rock the Halls early for an all night affair of bands, DJs, dancin’, holiday visuals, tasty yultide grub and drink specials. Plus, trivia, mad giveaways from sponsors including Summit Brewery, John Oulman Salon and Shuga Records — plus a free pint glass with a Summit draft purchase (while supplies last). And because it’s on 501 grounds, there’s no cover! Rock around the Christmas tree to sets from The Nightinghales, Sun in the Satellite, Come Fizzy Dolphin, Telepathos, Moon Stone, Luke’s Angels, David Beckey, and record spinning action from special guest DJS. And don’t forget to don some gay apparel! – we’ll leave that one up to individual interpretation. Co-sponsored by l’étoile! Click HERE for the 501 Club Site TUESDAY DECEMBER 22ND JagerCon: Sci-Fi Tuesdays @ Clubhouse Jager 923 Washington Avenue N. Minneapolis Every Tuesday 10 p.m. / 21+ / Free Join hosts Kate Iverson (l’étoile magazine, Secrets of the City) and Beth Hammarlund (l’étoile magazine, A Tiny Machine) every Tuesday Night for JagerCon! JagerCon is a weekly sci-fi party featuring screenings of classic nerdy movies and television shows — topped off with 2-4-1 cocktails all night served by Star Captain Paul! Mingle with like-minded sci-fi geeks, discuss D&D strategies, and use that Captain Picard impression you’ve been perfecting to pick up chicks at the bar. Snort-laugh the night away while bragging about your MMORPG addiction and enjoy a cozy, nerd-friendly environment. Upcoming Events: DEC 22: Star Wars Holiday Special DEC 29: Back to the Future JAN 5: Spaceballs JAN 12: Star Wars: The Clone Wars JAN 19: The Forbidden Zone JAN 26: Earth Girls Are Easy FEB 1: Return to Oz FEB 9: Dune FEB 16: Dreamcatcher FEB 23: Nightwatch MAR 2: The Hunger This week’s flick is the Star Wars Holiday Special!
GUEST BLOGGER: A TINY MACHINE Beth Hammarlund contemplates ways to motivate herself. my new domestic strategy Perhaps if I wear a gorgeous cocktail dress while washing and drying dishes, it’ll make the the task of attacking my sink of dirty plates and wine glasses a little less daunting. Must purchase adorable vintage apron and cute rubber gloves to adequately protect the aforementioned dress and fresh manicure. For more from A Tiny Machine click HERE GUEST BLOGGER: LE PETIT CONNAISSEUR Jahna Peloquin fills you in on where to score custom-made dresses in the Twin Cities. Really people, it’s not as far fetched and expensive as it sounds. This holiday season, go custom Still looking for the perfect New Year’s Eve dress? One luxury I allow myself is getting custom dresses made for events by my favorite local designers. I’ve already commissioned George Moskal to make my New Year’s Eve outfit this year, inspired by this look I recently featured in a Vita.mn Holiday Fashion editorial. For the rest Jahna’s custom guide click HERE