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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 June 1 - June 7, 2005
Wednesday 01 June @ 04:44:55
Hot TicketsPinback...Alexander Payne...Modest Mouse...Ida...Immigrant Dreams...Alva Star, Nee Nee...How Was the Show Anniversary Party...The Hold Steady...these are some blazin' shows/events this week...Check Your Pulse!

June 1 - June 7, 2005

The Fine line Music Café

Symbiotic San Diego pop duo Pinback have been churning out ass-shaking, head-scratching tunes for seven years, but it wasn’t until the release of last year’s typically stunning Summer in Abaddon that those outside of underground indie circles took notice. Thanks to mucho love on the “O.C”—the omnipresent Fox teen soap with an unexpectedly hip soundtrack—Pinback’s legions have swiftly increased tenfold, hence this move to the relatively cavernous Fine Line after a packed show at the Triple Rock this fall. The setting may have changed, but rest assured the tunes will remain the same. Expect the core of Armistead Burwell Smith IV (who, thankfully, goes by the name Zach in casual conversation) and Rob Crow to be rounded out in the live setting by a group of supporting players as the band’s semi-computerized intelligent dance pop gets shot through with a dose of good old fashioned flesh and blood on stage. This gig is guaranteed to satisfy those in search of overlapping vocalists spinning forebodingly vague lyrics (a surprisingly large niche, judging by advance ticket sales on the band’s current tour). With Pit er Pat. 9 p.m. $12 adv/$14 door. 18+. 318 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-338-8100. Rob van Alstyne


Alexander Payne
Walker Art Center

Critics often call Alexander Payne’s movies brilliant comedies, but they are barely comedies. His subversive, satirical studies of small but self-important characters—“Citizen Ruth,” “Election,” “About Schmidt,” “Sideways”—show people in a rut of normality but a step away from desperation. A staunch advocate of independent filmmaking, the writer-director published a “Declaration of Independents” in Variety last year calling for more intelligent, human movies and less Hollywood blockbusters. On Friday, fresh from his job as jury president at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, Payne will speak at the Walker Art Center, discussing creative filmmaking with Los Angeles Times critic/National Public Radio commentator Kenneth Turan. The Walker will also show several of Payne’s films next week: See this week’s calendar for details. 8 p.m. $12 - $24. 1750 Hennepin Ave., Mpls. Gyros Popodopolous


Modest Mouse
The Orpheum Theatre

College-rock-superstars-turned-actual-stuperstars Modest Mouse have been touring their commercial breakthrough, Good News For People Who Love Bad News, damn near into the ground since its release 14 months ago—and who can blame them? I’d be hard-pressed to find a Top-40 rock album that’s been this compelling and deep in at least five years, so I’m not going to fault Isaac Brock & Co. for doing the getting while the getting’s good. More importantly, as highlighted by the band’s two-night stand a few months back at First Avenue, Modest Mouse isn’t just sleepwalking through a replay of Good News each night; they’ve been using the ample road time to dip into nearly every release from their voluminous back catalog of jittery stop/start slant-a-pop. With Camper Van Beethoven. 7:30 p.m. $27. All Ages. 910 Hennepin Ave., Mpls. 612-339-7007. Also on Sat., 6/4 at same time and place. van Alstyne


First Avenue

It’s been a long wait for new tunes from New York indie-folk luminaries Ida but on the band’s first album in four years, Heart Like A River, the quartet shows no signs of stiffness from the time away. The group is based around the husband-and-wife team of Daniel Littleton and Elizabeth Mitchell, with a third songwriter, sad alto Karla Schickele, in the fold for good measure. Ida imbues each of their three talented songwriter’s tracks with a classy sophistication, whether they’re tackling a bristling rock number like Littleton’s “599” or the harmony-heavy breeziness of Schikele’s “Honeyslide.” This is music ideally suited to captivate any ardent Low fans, as well as devotees of old school ’70s singer/songwriter fare like Joni Mitchell. Not to be missed. With headlining act Cloud Cult and openers Fitzgerald (see Cloud Cult feature). 6 p.m. $8 adv/$10 door. All Ages. 701 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-338-8388. van Alstyne


Immigrant Dreams
The Playwrights’ Center

Gavin Lawrence interviewed people of color—from new African immigrants to Korean-Americans, Mexican migrant workers to black folks—who have been here in Minnesota for generations, inspiring a one-man performance. Lawrence himself immigrated from Ghana when he was seven years old. In this show Lawrence uses his wide-ranging talents as poet, songwriter, actor and filmmaker, channeling these silenced voices. A collage of quintessential Minnesota images is used as a backdrop for these invisible experiences, about being a person of color in the Twin Cities and America. Winning audiences at Penumbra, Mixed Blood and the Guthrie theaters, Lawrence accomplishes an artistic synthesis of insights that has the power to jumpstart the overdue conversation about race, redefining community in real and human terms. 8 p.m. $10. 2301 E. Franklin Ave., Mpls. 612-251-8948. Also on Sat. 6/4 at 8 p.m. LYDIA HOWELL


Alva Star, Nee Nee
The Uptown Bar

It’s been nearly a year since Alva Star played just the second of two gigs in support of Escalator—easily one of the top five local releases of 2004—but it’s not as if sole constant member John Hermanson’s been slacking off. As exuberant backing vocalist/sweet key-tarist in the Olympic Hopefuls, the man has had plenty to occupy his time over the last few months (not to mention his constant production work for other artists). Thankfully, Hermanson’s regrouped with a new cast of supporting players (original bassist Brian Roessler is back and Spymob drummer Eric Fawcett is behind the kit and there’s a fifty/fifty chance that Darren “Kid Dakota” Jackson will be joining in on the fray) and Alva Star is making a welcome return to the Twin Cities gigging circuit. It should be highly interesting to see the group handle the gargantuan task of moving the sleek and lush soundscapes of Escalator out of the studio and onto the stage. Also on the bill is Nee Nee, a slick popping local lady whose forthcoming album, Secret Lover, is an intoxicating blend of funky sweetness (not too surprising considering the players ranged from Nee Nee’s husband Brent Paschke of Spymob and N.E.R.D. to Prince and the New Power Generation’s Tommy Barbarella and the Black Eyed Peas’ Printz Board). Boasting more than just an impressive resume of guest players, the advance sampler of Secret Lover I’m currently savoring could well wind up on a lot of local—not too mention national—top 10 lists by years’ end. A lithe blend of organic playing and sexy sampling, Secret Lover at times sounds like an roboticized Aimee Mann album and at others like a lost ’80s dance pop gem—which is really a convoluted way of saying this is compellingly original work. With These Modern Socks (three former members of the short lived but much loved Day Kit). 9 p.m. $5. 21+. 3018 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls. 612-823-4719. van Alstyne

How Was the Show Anniversary Party
The Turf Club

As any local scenester knows, there’s just one place to go if you want the low-down on that great gig you didn’t quite get around to making it out to the other night—and that spot is HowWasTheShow.com. For three years, site honcho David DeYoung and his crew of intrepid scribes (some of whom now write for this publication on occasion) have been at all the best local shows, assiduously taking notes and passing on the pertinent info to more sedentary music lovers. Befitting tonight’s dual celebration of DeYoung’s birthday and How Was The Show’s launch date, a stellar lineup of local players has been set up. On the off chance that you’re unfamiliar with any of these artists, I’ve got a feeling you know at least one website where you can find out some info about them. Featuring: Vicious Vicious, Romantica, JoAnna James, Chris Koza, Pete Hofmann and special guests. 8 p.m. $6. 21+. The Corner of University and Snelling Aves., St. Paul. 651-647-0486. van Alstyne


The Hold Steady
First Avenue

Even though Craig Finn and the boys of the Hold Steady have been keeping the rock alive in NYC since 2000, the ex-Lifter Puller leader still proudly proclaims The Hold Steady is a “Minnesota” band whenever he gets the chance. Which has been damn plenty considering the amount of media heat that has greeted the Hold Steady’s sophomore album, Separation Sunday. It’s not every day that formerly local heroes with their hearts still tied to Minnesota grace the cover of the Village Voice—and let there be no doubt they deserve all of the accolades. A front man whose verbose talk-singing storytelling owes a good deal more to Hip-Hop than your typical rocker, Finn’s full throttle delivery finds the perfect partner in lead guitarist Tad Kubler’s righteous riffage —the result is a sonic party that could appeal to fans of both AC/DC and Atmosphere. Sound intriguing on paper? Imagine it in person. With the Plastic Constellations, P.O.S. 9 p.m. $12. 21+. 701 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-338-8388. van Alstyne

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