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The Black Dog inspires creativity -- its high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and spacious tables encourage daydreaming, journaling, doodling and other precursors to art making.


Twin Town High (vol. 8)

Your Locally Grown Alternative Newspaper

Hot Tickets for April 19 - April 25, 2006
Thursday 20 April @ 17:41:16
Hot TicketsRobert Earl Keen... Jamie Lidell: he’s British... Rebel Reels' rebel women... Green Green Water... Clem Snide is not a man... Vets for Peace... Haley Bonar: stopping chit-chat in it's tracks... The Plastic Constellations frickin’ bring it... David Rovics reincarnates Phil Oches... James Baldwin: From Another Place... Paradise Now... Untold Stories of Labor...


April 19 - April 25, 2006

Robert Earl Keen

Fine Line Music Cafe

When you hear Robert Earl Keen and start to think of Lyle Lovett, you’re not far off. Like Lovett, Keen is a prolific storyteller who can recount a true American tale on any subject. His latest album, What I Really Mean, is another example of Keen’s deep and comprehensive storytelling. Like any country-tinged musician who can hold his own, he tells of heartbreak over lost loves and healing deep emotional wounds. His sound on this latest material is a mixture of alternative-outlaw country mixed in with fine bluegrass pickin’, which is so good that you may think Allison Krauss had a hand in his studio band. Having been in the music business for more than two decades, Keen has a few stories about an industry that has buttered his bread all these years. All of this talk doesn’t necessarily mean that Keen can’t kick up his heels; you’ll find his interesting sense of humor in the more aggressive, uptempo tunes and come to the conclusion that Keen is the real deal. With Cross Canadian Ragweed. 7 p.m. $21/$23. 21+. 318 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-338-8100. Louis Lenzmeier

Jamie Lidell
Varsity theater

Jamie Lidell’s a cute boy in emo glasses. He’s got the artfully-sexed dark hair and carefully contoured stubble. He’s British. You think you know him. Sensitive songwriter guy, right? Whiny beat-poet wannabe who wails over grainy drum machines? So wrong, my friend. Lidell’s a soul singer with husky lounge-act tones and funky disco beats. His live shows have been called “exhilarating, in a masochistic way” and in homage to the 1920s vaudeville scene, he will occasionally improvise entire sets wearing weird suit jackets. He’s on tour to promote his dance-worthy Multiply, released in 2005. Thanks to workaholic Erik Stromstad’s booking prowess and pretty-pretty light show, the Varsity is quickly become the “it” place for smaller national acts. Come on down for a hump-day dance party with the “mesmerizingly manic” Lidell. Plus, he’s British, and that makes everything cooler. 8 p.m. $10/$12. All Ages. 1308 4th St. SE., Mpls. 612-604-0222. Jennifer Whigham

Rebel Reels
Center for Independent Artists/El Colegio

Chances to experience cinema from a female point of view are rare, but Rebel Reels features three diverse documentaries about a trio of unique women. Dawn Smallman’s “Ridin’ & Rhymin’” (co-directed with Greg Snider) tells a fresh Western tale of Georgie Sicking, a cowgirl/poet who is equally deft with a lasso, a lyric or a lullaby. Carolyn Scott, an emerging filmmaker and environmental activist, steps up to the political plate with “Texas Gold,” a story about Diane Wilson, a fourth-generation fisherwoman, who has survived imprisonment, surveillance and hunger strikes in her confrontations with petro-chemical polluters on the Texas Gulf Coast. And in “Meridel Le Suer: My People are My Home,” a Minnesota legend is beautifully remembered. The voice of Le Suer—a journalist, Communist, labor activist, feminist and poet—recounts the major struggles of the 20th century in her diary entries and poems that span 75 years of her life. 7 p.m. $5-$10 (proceeds go to Diane Wilson’s campaign to restore the Clean Water Act). 4137 Bloomington Ave. S., Mpls. 612-724-8392 LYDIA HOWELL

Green Green Water
Macalester College

As consumers we are not always aware that our consumption wreaks havoc on other people. The film “Green Green Water” offers enlightenment. It shows Manitoba Cree First Nations struggling with the aftermath of a series of Manitoba hydro projects, which provide a portion of Minnesota’s electricity. The film’s director, Dawn Mikkelson, will be present. 7 p.m. Free. John B. Davis Lecture Hall, Snelling & Grand Aves., St. Paul. 651-696-6000. ELAINE KLAASSEN



Clem Snide
400 Bar

Let’s make this clear: Clem Snide is not a man. They’re a band from Brooklyn fronted by Eef Barzelay, who just released his debut solo album, Bitter Honey. This show is being billed as an acoustic evening with Clem Snide, so it’s anybody’s guess who exactly will be on hand to perform, but the content will be largely the same. Barzelay and Co.’s approach to indie folk-tinted alt.country ranges from gently to sharply skewed, from bitingly sardonic to blissfully earnest, but at their best (that’d be 2001’s Your Favorite Music), they’re transcendent. Whether it was on the darkly beautiful ode to domesticity “Bread,” or the flat-out meanest velvet-gloved punch of “The Water Song,” that album’s (and Clem Snide’s) most affecting moments came compliments of acoustic guitars, so here’s hoping the back catalog makes an appearance. I can still remember the night that the last verse of “The Water Song” really hit home for me, driving around the back streets of the Connecticut town I lived in, unable to untie the knot in my stomach: “And you say it doesn’t matter/ ‘cause you know from all those books you never read/ you knew how they would end.” 8 p.m. $10. 21+. 400 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls. 612-332-2903. Steve McPherson



Vets for Peace Sgt. Geoffrey Millard
Holy Trinity Church

Iraq War veteran Sgt. Geoffrey Millard issues a challenge to all those with “Support Our Troops” magnets on their cars: Visit a VA hospital—Millard visits the one in Buffalo, N.Y., where he lives. “I go there all the time … see the conditions they are living in and how they are sleeping on a thin mattress on a piece of plywood, go watch them die of Gulf War Syndrome … and understand that our homeless problem in America consists largely of veterans, 33 percent according to the Department of Defense.” Sgt. Millard spent eight years in the Army’s 42nd Infantry Division, where his duties ranged from securing Ground Zero after 9/11 to serving 13 months in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He will speak on the costs and crimes of war, and will be joined by speaker Amy Santoriello, a St. Paul woman who lost her brother in Iraq. The event is sponsored by Veterans for Peace Chapter 27, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization composed of veterans from WWII to present. 1 p.m. $5-$10 suggested donation; no one turned away for lack of funds. 2730 E. 31st St. 612-821-9141. ADA SCHOCK

Haley Bonar
Turf Club

I watched Haley Bonar’s performance at the Cedar Cultural Center a few weeks ago in rapt silence, like most of the crowd there, so it’ll be interesting to see how she fares at the much more raucous Turf. If anybody can stop the chit-chat at one of the most notoriously chatty bars in town, it’ll be Bonar, whose soothing voice and gentle manner lure more flies (or foxes) with honey than with vocal histrionics or “American Idol”-style grandstanding. Her latest, Lure the Fox, is a deceptively engaging record; the first couple of times through, it seems slight and spare, but I’m willing to bet if you give it a chance, you’ll find yourself coming back time and again for the restrained and smoky menace of the title track and the heartbreaking falsetto coda and complexly woven narrative of my personal favorite, “Hawaii.” For Bonar, it’s a meditation on the cyclical nature of generations inevitably following the footsteps of those that have gone before, its chorus telling the story of a young Daedalus making the same mistake his son was later to repeat. I caught the strains of a parent’s loss of his child in its dark threnody, but whatever your interpretation, it’s affecting stuff, and worth delving into further. With the Ashtray Hearts. 9 p.m. $6. 21+. Corner of University & Snelling Aves., St. Paul. 651-647-0486. McPherson

The Plastic Constellations’ Vinyl Release
Triple Rock Social Club

If you’re someone who pays any kind of consistent attention to music in the Pulse, I’m sorry for sounding like a broken record yet again, but The Plastic Constellations frickin’ bring it. I’m just glad to see them paired with some other acts that bring it as well. I finally got to catch Hockey Night opening up for Mates of State at the lovely Varsity Theater, and it was all I hoped for. The gentlemen next to me were going on about the eerie Allman Brothers parallels: guitarist Scott Wells’ Duane-worthy locks and blistering Les Paul, the double drummer attack, etc., and I have to agree: There’s a definite connection to a more innocent time of rock-fer-rock’s-sake, but there’s also an appealing lack of pomp and bombast. It’s refreshing to find bands that can adopt the best outward trappings of ’70s rock while maintaining the ideals and inner core of the best underground rock from the past decade and a half. It makes for one delicious cocktail: one part Allman Brothers, one part Thin Lizzy, two parts Pavement. All that’s left to do is shake, pour and light on fire. With Hockey Night and Building Better Bombs. 5 & 10 p.m. $7. All Ages and 21+. 629 Cedar Ave., Mpls. 612-333-7499. McPherson



David Rovics, Mitch Walking Elk, Alistair Hulett
St. Joan of Arc Church

From labor struggles in the 19th and early 20th centuries, to the Civil Rights movement, to peacemaking; music always powers political struggle. The BBC says, “If Phil Oches came back from the dead, he’d sound like David Rovics.” Rovics is a prolific singer/songwriter and anti-corporate globalization troubadour with deep labor and anti-war roots. He’s at St. Joan of Arc Church this Monday, joined by Indigenous folk artist Mitch Walking Elk and famed Aussie Scottsman Alistair Hulett, who reinvents Celtic music with politicized lyricism. Bolster your spirit of resistance with these three great voices for justice. Advanced tickets are available at the Electric Fetus and Homestead Pickin’ Parlor. 7 p.m. $12. 4537 3rd Ave. S., Mpls. 612-823-8205. HOWELL



James Baldwin: From Another Place
Minneapolis Community & Technical College

“James Baldwin: From Another Place” is an extraordinary documentary by filmmaker Sedat Pakay, who knew the African-American writer during Baldwin’s Istanbul years. Baldwin—a kind of bridge between Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X—was a strong voice of the Civil Rights movement who was ahead of his time by being openly gay. His essays remain relevant in the 21st century, and his novels are still moving. Paday will give a talk after the screenings, along with an exhibit of his Baldwin photographs. The event is part of MCTC’s “The Common Ground Project.” 1:30 p.m. Free. Also Wed. Apr. 26, 9 a.m.; Thu. Apr. 27, 7 p.m. Rm. L3100, 1501 Hennepin Ave., Mpls. 612-659-6000. HOWELL


Paradise Now
May Day Books

Whether it’s in the corporate media or in a high-budget Hollywood film (think Steven Spielberg’s “Munich”), Palestinians are often portrayed as suicide bombers. Yet what motivates this violence is rarely explored. Best Foreign Film Oscar nominee “Paradise Now” focuses on two young Palestinian men who have been best friends since childhood. Said (Kais Nasef) and Khaled (Ali Suliman) have survived deep poverty and Israeli rocket blasts in Nablus when they are chosen to carry out an attack on Tel Aviv. With psychological depth and gripping suspense, this Palestinian-made drama shows what might be the last 48 hours of their lives. 6:30 p.m. Free. 301 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls. 612-333-4719. HOWELL

Migrants, Labor, Civil Rights
Riverview Library

Understand the roots of recent massive marches by Latin American immigrants in the kick-off event for the St. Paul Public Library’s annual “Untold Stories of Labor” series. Notre Dame history professor Marc Rodriguez draws from his recent books as he explores how migrants and Mexican-Americans struggle for civil rights in the Midwest and Texas. The “Untold Stories” series runs through May 20. 7 p.m. Free. 1 E. George St., St. Paul. 651-222-3242. HOWELL


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