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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 February 2 - February 8, 2005
Wednesday 02 February @ 20:03:13
Hot TicketsImitation of Loud...Crossfire...Limbeck...Ruby! The Story of Ruby Bridges...Azita...The Dirty Things...Concert for Darfur...and many other smoldering tix this week! Check Your Pulse!

February 2 - February 8, 2005

How to Fix Health Care

Merriam Park Branch Library

National health care expert Kip Sullivan, local business owner John Kolstad and others will give a free presentation on the future of health care Wednesday evening in St. Paul. Sullivan, whose articles have appeared in the Nation and the Washington Monthly, will discuss why he favors a universal health care system and opposes governor Tim Pawlenty’s proposed health care plan. Kolstad, owner of Mill City Music and chair of the Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition, will talk about the advantage of universal health care to small businesses. The presentation begins at 7 p.m. at the Merriam Park Branch Library, 1831 Marshall Ave, St. Paul, 651-642-0385. Brian Kaller

Imitation of Loud
The Turf Club

Tonight marks the second installment of a new local music series curated by local music scenester Oren “O.G” Goldberg and dubbed “Imitation of Loud.” Here’s the basic gist: Artists normally seen parading around stages backed by larger (and generally rockin’) ensembles change it up and are forced to go it alone solo. Musicians are left to quake in their boots wondering if their songs are solidly constructed enough to work without the padding (and volume) typically supplied by their bandmates. Sound interesting? You’re damn right it is! This night will feature solo turns from local musicians of all stripes, including recently returned from living in New York Hip-Hop outfit Kill the Vultures (formerly known as Odd Jobs). Featuring short solo sets by members of Vox Vermillion, Askeleton, Kill the Vultures, Thunder in the Valley and more. 9 p.m. $4. 21+. The Corner of University and Snelling Avenue, St. Paul. 651-647-0486. Rob van Alstyne

Armatage Elementary Auditorium

Clay Hess, the Grammy award-winning guitarist from Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, will play with his group Crossfire in a series of concerts the first weekend in February. The Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Association will present Hess as part of its Lonely Pines Concert Series. The group features mandolin player Ron Inscore, banjo player John Wheat and bass player Beth Lawrence, and they will also be accompanied by local musicians Tom Schaefer on fiddle and Jon Garon on guitar. 8 p.m. $15 adv/$18 door/under 17 half price. Armatage Elementary Auditorium, 56th and Penn Ave. S., Mpls. 800-635-3037 or MinnesotaBlueGrass.org. Kaller

STAND Festival ‘05
Pillsbury House Theatre

The work of playwright Kia Corthron, who saw “Snapshot Silhouette” (her study of strained relations between Somalis and American blacks) produced at The Children’s Theatre Company last year, returns to CTC at the center of the venue’s annual teen event STAND: A Festival of Theatre, Art and Personal Re/Action. Corthron’s play “Splash Hatch on the E Going Down” is the story of 15-year-old Thyme, who, along with her young husband, is preparing for the birth of their child and dealing with the ravages of environmental racism. This theatrical experience will be enhanced for teens as they artistically explore the themes and issues of the play during residencies in select high schools prior to the production and festival. Festival components include The STAND JAM (February 4 at 9:30 p.m.), an evening of spoken word created and performed by teens with mentoring by Toki Wright and Desdemona; a forum on environmental racism and environmental justice (February 10 at 12:30 p.m.); selected scripts from CTC’s teen playwriting program Write Now! (February 11 at 12:30 p.m.) and an ongoing teen-created art exhibit. STAND previews Feb. 2, opens Feb. 3 and runs through Feb. 13. $12 students & seniors/$15 adults. Pillsbury House Theatre, 3501 Chicago Ave. S., Mpls. 612-874-0400. Dwight Hobbes

The Whole Music Club

Limbeck have already swung through the cities a few times playing on great bills, but it took the news that their new record was being recorded here in Minneapolis with Ed Ackerson (Polara) and Gary Louris (the Jayhawks) for me to finally snap to attention and check out their music. I’ve been hitting myself for missing out on them ever since. Combining a gritty ’Mats-inspired take on porch-rock (strongly akin to contemporaries like Lucero), Limbeck change the script up a little by hailing from Southern California and clearly having a little bit of power-pop seep into their musical drinking water (the singer’s voice is also much cleaner and clearer than the sort that usually accompanies this sort of tuneage, sounding at points strongly like Fountains of Wayne front man Chris Collingwood). This is the kind of timeless heart-on-ragged-sleeve-rock that always strikes me as particularly Minnesotan, so it’s little surprise that two living local music legends have been enlisted to help the band sculpt their next record. With Somerset, The Response, The Dog and Everything. 8 p.m. $3 for U of M students/faculty/staff, $5 for general public. 18+. Coffman Memorial Union, 300 Washington Ave. SE, Mpls. 612-626-7275. van Alstyne

Ruby! The Story of Ruby Bridges
SteppingStone Theatre

SteppingStone Theatre looks at real life for some of its most compelling productions. This time around, it’s “Ruby! The Story of Ruby Bridges.” Ruby, at just 6 years old, shouldered the task of becoming the first African-American to attend Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans in 1960.  Unimaginable as it may be today, that was a time when a vulnerable child had to face the cruelty of angry mobs, hostile classmates and teachers who ignored her. Somehow little Ruby Bridges not only faced such circumstances, but prevailed. Richard Hitchler directs. $8. Feb. 4 – 27. Weyerhaeuser Auditorium at Landmark Center, 75 W. 5th St., St. Paul. 651-225-9265. Hobbes.

Big V’s

Azita Youssefi is a second generation Iranian-American from Chicago, and her distinctive brand of jazzified indie-rock is guaranteed to tickle you pink. Recording with a bunch of buddies from the Tortoise/Soma studios scene of the Windy City (guitarist Jeff Parker, drummer/engineer extraordinaire John McEntire), Azita rocks the electric piano with subtle force on her latest outing, Life On the Fly, displaying a classy sophistication that her previous Chi-town No Wave bands, Bride of No No and the Scissor Girls, only hinted at. Her sultry, quavery voice coos unpleasantries with such sly charm (“The VCR’s in pawn/ The curtains drawn”) that it’s easy for the bummer-heavy lyrics to float right on by. Passionate idiosyncratic singer/songwriter fare with a flair for the dramatic, Azita won’t fail to make an impression on your ears. With 2024 records local folk duo Fitzgerald. 9 p.m. TBA. 21+. 1567 University Ave., St. Paul. 651-645-8472. van Alstyne


The Fine Line Music Café

Did Brice go ahead and grow up on me while my back was turned? Former local geek-rock advocates who seemed at least half-bent on inciting laughter with their melodic Ben-Folds-Five-on-speed pop attack, Brice appear to have left their intentionally awkward musical adolescence behind on their sophomore full-length Cabin Capers, which is getting the proper CD release show treatment this weekend. Granted, these guys’ voices still strain with a certain pubescent yearning, but they’ve also got some serious musical chops working and appear to have mellowed out significantly judging from the cool jazzy stylings of instrumental cuts like “The Great Glass Elevator.” The album-closing epic (eight minutes!) “Exploring the Fall,” even sounds downright reflective with its loping bass line, layered walls of shimmering guitar and keyboard, and mellow mish-mash of harmonies. If Brice continue developing at this rate, then this band of childhood friends may end up being one of the Twin Cities finest. With The Fighting Tongs, This Is Exploding, Charlz Newman Band. 8 p.m. $6. 21+. 318 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-338-8100. van Alstyne

The Dirty Things
The Turf Club

Those of you who can’t stop shaking your asses to Franz Ferdinand and the Rapture have a new band to fall in love with, and this time from the Midwest! Chicago’s The Dirty Things have just one self-released EP under their belt, Movement Making Noises, but it’s aptly titled and already causing quite the stir in their hometown. Whenever indie-trends like this sweep the nation (I’ll just dub this one “the new new wave” rather than “boygeorge2k5”) it’s easy to be skeptical, but judging from their material, it appears the Dirty Things (and in particular front man Michael Scahill’s woozy Robert-Smith-in-panic-mode vocals) have got the staying power to outlast any fads. With a serious lineup of local music heavy hitters: Kid Dakota, Friends Like These, The Deaths. 9 p.m. $5. 21+. The Corner of University and Snelling Avenue, St. Paul. 651-647-0486. van Alstyne

Concert for Darfur
The Fine Line Music Café

Nothing guarantees Twin Cities musical star power quite like a worthy benefit cause, as this show raising proceeds that will go directly to medical relief for refugees in the Darfur conflict proves yet again. The money will be donated to the American Refugee Committee. ARC is running medical clinics, providing clean drinking water, and distributing critical supplies in several large refugee camps near Nyala, in South Darfur. This region of Sudan has been torn by an 18-month civil war between indigenous rebel groups and the Janjaweed militia, supported by the Sudanese government. Over the course of the conflict, tens of thousands have been killed, hundreds of thousands of women raped, and more than 1.8 million people driven from their homes. Hundreds of thousands more face starvation in the coming months, as the violence continues. No one is pretending this show can singlehandedly change the situation, but at least it’s a step in the right direction, plus a worthwhile (and enjoyable!) way to spend a Saturday night. Featuring Dan Israel, Molly Maher, Missing Numbers, Robert Skoro, Rass Kwame, Sunplugg’d, The Vestals, The Melismatics, Romantica, Honeydogs, Yawo. Molly Maher. 7:30 p.m. $12. 21+. 318 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-338-8100. van Alstyne

The Ascot Room

A trio of Los Angelinos from bands you’ve never heard of (Ednaswap, Failure), Auto Lux have managed to grab the national press spotlight with their debut Future Perfect. It’s amazing what recording for Sony BMG and having T-Bone Burnett produce your debut can do for one’s profile. That said, the music’s worth some attention on its own merits—a lush blend of My Bloody Valentine-style shoegaze swirl and Imperial Teen’s cheeky grating pop-work. Boy-girl vocals matched with buzz-saw guitars and icy production values (wait a sec—is this a different T-Bone Burnett behind the board?) guarantee Future Perfect’s dark squeals will have your ass shaking ‘til the morning comes. With Secret Machines, Moving Units. 5 p.m. $15. All Ages. 110 N. Fifth St., Mpls. 612-338-3383. Nathan Dean

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