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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 4 - 10, 2007
Wednesday 04 April @ 13:45:03
Hot TicketsMemorial Vigil for Maria Inamagua :: Nu Funk Mafia :: Blood Wedding :: Memories of France :: Owen :: Casual Confusion :: Mike Farrell :: Big Little Victories :: Limbeck :: Minnesota Book Awards Celebration AND THIS WEEK'S HOT PICK: Big Quarters CD Release Show at the 7th St. Entry


Memorial Vigil for Maria Inamagua
Ramsey County Jail
On February 24, 2006, Maria Inamagua was arrested and placed in detention at the Ramsey County Jail. During the month of March and early April, Maria and her family sought unsuccessfully to get proper medical attention for her increasingly severe headaches. Maria fell and struck her head, and her condition deteriorated for several hours without medical treatment, leading to a coma, from which she never recovered. Due to public pressure and the Maria Inamagua Campaign for Justice, the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security has now taken up the investigation of Maria's death to see if all applicable detention standards were met in Maria's case, and if they are currently being met at Ramsey County Jail. Support the cause! 12:30 p.m. 425 Grove St., St. Paul. Call 612-874-9104 for more info. ADA SCHOCK

Big Quarters CD Release
7th Street Entry
Last week, Dwight Hobbes big-upped Big Quarters for their appearance at the Quest for the Voice Benefit Concert, but I wanted to call special attention to their CD release show, because it's been a long time coming. They've been killing it since their name was EPL, Brandon Allday's gravelly baritone a perfect counterpoint to brother Medium Zach's mid-range flow and his sterling production. After being asked by Zach to contribute a bass line to one of his tracks, my brother (Sean McPherson from Heiruspecs) commented that it's really difficult to guest on Medium Zach tracks because they're so perfect to begin with that he didn't think he had anything to add. Up until now, we've only gotten bits and pieces ("Song for Brown Babies," which appeared on last year's Twin Town High and makes its re-appearance here; the wonky flute-loop jam "Lou Diamond," which Zach handed off to me at a show nearly six months ago), so the appearance of a bona fide album from this duo is a cause for celebration and it's that rarest of birds in hip-hop: a cohesive record with a sonic identity, not just a collection of singles. Hosted by I Self Devine with FamFeud, Mavin MC, M.anifest and Tish Jones. 5 p.m. $6. All Ages. 29 N. 7th St., Mpls. 612-332-1775. STEVE McPHERSON

Nu Funk Mafia
Nu Funk Mafia are natural-born hell-raisers and have an album, Time 4 Exodus, to prove it. From the opening cut ("Time 4 Exodus") to the last ("Come Back 2 Bed"), this is power-rock and nothin' but. Recorded at FS Studios, engineered by John Stojevich and Bribe the Ghost's guiding light Tom Smouse, this expertly recorded disc gives listeners a generous store of high-voltage fare--16 cuts worth. The trio, which includes Nick Greenwald (guitar/vocals), Marty Illetschko (drums) and Brian Tollefson (bass guitar/vocals), have opened for the likes of Kip Blackshire, God Johnson and R&B seductress Shauntae. This time around, they open for Afro-Cuban rock aces New Primitives. 9:45 p.m. $5. 18+. 917 Cedar Ave., Mpls. DWIGHT HOBBES

Blood Wedding
Minnesota Opera Center
There's a lot of good theater in the Twin Cities, but not much that's great. And I mean great in the most exclusive way possible: the sort of performance that profoundly transforms its viewer, the sort of theater that climbs inside you and sticks around for a while--years even--demanding the sort of attention that more private memories, such as those of great personal pain or joy, usually require. Ten Thousand Things, a local company that tends to perform for audiences in prisons and homeless shelters, is about as often great as you'll find in this town, and they do it with the lightest of touches. Their plays are, of necessity, constructed of few props, simple costumes and easily portable sets, but they do miracles with very little. It helps that their artistic director, Michelle Hensley, is of such superlative reputation that she attracts the best actors the Twin Cities have to offer. It also helps that Hensley's reputation is built in a fertile, penetrating imagination--she stages plays in such a way that small gestures and quick changes of costume reveal hidden depths, even when she's tackling something as slight as "The Unsinkable Molly Brown." Ten Thousand Things' latest play is an undisputed masterpiece, "Blood Wedding," by Spanish poet and dramatist Federico García Lorca, telling of a tragic series of romantic entanglements, with staging that includes Theatre de la Jeune Lune co-founder Barbara Berlovitz and a cast of puppets. Through Apr. 7. 8 p.m. $20. 620 N. 1st Ave., Mpls. 612-203-9502. Apr. 13 - 15 at Open Book, 1011 Washington Ave., Mpls. tenthousandthings.org. MAX SPARBER

Memories of France
California Building Gallery
I can't imagine anything better than escaping to the French countryside, holing up in an old stone farmhouse, building fires instead of watching TV, strolling down winding cobblestone streets, dining on a daily fresh catch and conversing with locals over wine and cheese. For some local artists it's an inspirational trek they've been making since 1990, when (former Twin Cities) artist Elizabeth Manfredi befriended a French student at the U of M agriculture campus who offered up his empty farmhouse in Brittany as an artist retreat. Painter Florence Hill tells me she's been traveling there for 16 years. "Brittany is unchanged--so beautiful and picturesque," she says. "It's not populated by tourists, and the people are real. We've developed some very deep friendships." This week, Memories of France opens at the California Building Gallery, showcasing the work of Hill, Manfredi and others, including Frank Wetzel, Cynthia Kath, Doug Lew and Richard Stevens. Their work in oil painting, photography and water media reflects the beauty of the French countryside and is the perfect antidote for our delayed Midwestern spring. Through Apr. 19. Reception Fri. Apr. 13, 5 – 8 p.m. 2205 California St. NE, Mpls. 612-782-0353. NANCY SARTOR

Varsity Theater
Since the dawn of the new millennium, Chicagoan Mike Kinsella (under the nom de plume Owen) has been quietly compiling one of the most intriguing recorded catalogs of any singer/songwriter going. His latest collection, At Home with Owen, is yet another dazzler, featuring Kinsella's deft acoustic finger-picking married to impressive percussive backdrops, weepy violins and ambient electronic sounds. Thankfully, the Current has recently woken up to Kinsella's merits and begun spinning "The Sad Waltzes of Pietro Crespi" with some regularity. I defy fans of indie singer/songwriters to find a more perfect slice of melancholy to usher in the spring rains. With Rocky Votolato, Drag the River. 6 p.m. $10 adv/$12 door. All Ages. 1308 4th St. SE., Mpls. 612-604-0222. NATHAN DEAN

Casual Confusion
Red Sea
Casual Confusion is one of those bands it's hard to get enough of. Colin Hodges plays sharp guitar, sings with compelling urgency and writes catchy, hard-charging songs. Mike Hayostek is lowdown and lyrical on bass. Drummer Zach Dennison slams and fills with a seething vengeance. They are all devout believers in rocking the roof off the house and will remind you a bit of Lenny Kravitz, except they've got a better range and bring it stronger from the gut. When they downshift for the ballad "Future Shock," Robin Trower doesn't do it any better. Bottom line, these boys burn like someone was about to outlaw fire. 8 p.m. 320 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls. 612-333-3349. DWIGHT HOBBES

Mike Farrell
Magers & Quinn Booksellers
There's a lot to know about Hawkeye's various bunkmates from the longrunning television series "M*A*S*H." For example, Wayne Rogers, who played Trapper John for three years, once wrote a rather naughty film for St. Paul-born filmmaker Ted V. Mikels called "Dr. Sex." Then there's David Odgen Stiers, who played the insufferable Major Winchester III for six seasons, was a classmate of Roger Ebert. And then there's St. Paul native Mike Farrell, who played Hawkeye's amiable co-conspirator B.J. Hunnicut for eight years. Farrell hasn't been seen much as an actor since then: Some voice work, a few guest spots, some stage work here and there. But that doesn't mean he hasn't been active. Even before he became well known as an actor, Farrell had been active politically, and his resumé as a political activist is quite impressive; he worked with Human Rights Watch, was president of Death Penalty Focus, and has a long history of support for organized labor. Farrell wrote about these experiences in a recent autobiography titled "Just Call Me Mike: A Journey from Actor and Activist," and he'll be returning to Minnesota this Friday to read from it. 7:30 p.m. 3038 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls. 612-822-4611. MAX SPARBER

Big Little Victories
Art of This
Driving down Lowry Avenue last year I nearly veered off the road, when just past University Avenue I encountered an art mural of staggering proportions. The image has kept tongues wagging in Northeast ever since it went up 'cuz it's not often you see a gigantic pink forlorn-looking baby goat on the side of a two-foot building. Stencil artist John Grider, who received a grant in 2005 from the Minnesota State Arts Board, created the mural on the side of his friends' business, Salon Stella (400 Lowry Ave. NE). This week, Grider brings his goat-and-stencil show to the Art of This gallery for an exhibition entitled Big Little Victories. In an online interview (ourartsite.com), Grider tells Zach Smith that his goal is to do murals on a global level within five years. At the rate he's going, he'll easily succeed. This year Grider's got shows in Reno, Dallas, Philly and Nashville, not to mention Jerusalem and Melbourne--the latter as part of the Melbourne Stencil Festival. Catch him locally at this progressive gallery for an eyeful of amazing work. Through Apr. 29. Opening Sat. 8 p.m. 3222 Bloomington Ave. S., Mpls. 612-721-4105. NANCY SARTOR

Varsity Theater
Southern California rockers Limbeck are no strangers to the Twin Cities scene, having spent many months here during 2005 recording their sophomore album Let Me Come Home in Uptown at Ed Ackerson's Flowers Studio and even toasting the Triple Rock in song. Now they're coming back around shortly before the release of a self-titled third album that finds the group continuing the slow move away from the sinewy pop-punk leaning pastures of their debut and more towards loping mid-tempo pop with bells and whistles attached (Let Me Come Home split the difference to great effect). If you've ever wondered what Chris Collingwood of Fountains of Wayne would sound like fronting Golden Smog, then this is a band you'd do well to check out. With Hot Rod Circuit, the Forecast. 5 p.m. $10 adv/$13 door. All Ages. $13. 1308 4th St. SE., Mpls. 612-602-0222. NATHAN DEAN

Minnesota Book Awards Celebration
Kieran's Irish Pub
The second Tuesday of each month, the "Raking Through Books" Happy Hour Book Club meets for book discussion, literary trivia games and socializing at Kieran's in Minneapolis. The Happy Hour Book Club--co-sponsored by the Loft Literary Center, the Rake, the U of M Bookstore, Kieran's, Peace Coffee and KFAI Radio--does not involve membership; all are welcome at the monthly gatherings. April's meeting will be a special celebration of the 19th Annual Minnesota Book Award nominees. (Winners will be announced on May 5.) This event will be a fantastic opportunity to mingle with authors from every genre. Nominated books will be available for purchase and signing. 5:30 - 7 p.m. 330 S. 2nd Ave., Mpls. 612-339-4499. AUDRA OTTO

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