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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 March 29 - April 4, 2006
Wednesday 29 March @ 20:09:40
Hot TicketsACT UP!... Guided by Robert Pollard... Erik Brandt, singer/multi-instrumentalist with The Urban Hillbilly Quartet (UHQ)... 331 Club First Birthday Bash... Poet Sekou Sundiata... Poet Sarah Fox... Not poets but Keep Guessin' (Hockey Night)... the 21st century labor movement...plus, other sizzlin' shows/events/poetry to thaw yer buns this winter...


March 29 - April 4, 2006

United in Anger: A History of ACT UP
University of Minnesota

Whether you yearn for the days of AIDS activists filling the streets shouting “ACT UP, Fight Back, Fight AIDS,” or never knew that a small group of people utilizing imaginative tactics, exciting graphics and relentless energy utterly changed America’s response to the AIDS crisis, you should check out filmmaker Jim Hubbard—who made the notorious “Homosexual Desire in Minnesota”—and author Sarah Schulman as they deliver the Toni McNaron Lecture on Arts and Culture. Schulman and Hubbard will speak about and show video clips from the ACT UP oral history project. The purpose of this project is to present a comprehensive, complex, human portrait of the people who have made up ACT UP/New York. These men and women of all races and classes transformed entrenched cultural ideas about homosexuality, health care, civil rights, art, media and the rights of patients. They introduced new and effective methods for political organzing and achieved concrete changes in medical and scientific research as well as in insurance. For more information about the project, see ActUpOralHistory.org. 7 p.m. Free. Cowles Auditorium, Hubert H. Humphrey Center, 301 19th Ave. S., Mpls. 612-625-0537. PHIL WILLKIE


Robert Pollard
First Ave

If Robert Pollard were a garbageman instead of a musician, he’d be the type who announces his retirement, collects all the presents at his going-away party and then shows up for work again on Monday, riding along on the trucks because he just couldn’t bear sitting at home. A million monkeys typing on a million typewriters until the end of time probably have only a slight edge on the volume of work the man has put out, both with Guided by Voices and under various guises over the years. Following what must have been an almost unbearable “hiatus” (which saw the release of a GBV boxed set, a collection of Pollard’s stage banter and an EP), Pollard unleashed his first post-GBV solo record, From A Compound Eye. The good news for fans is that it’s not a marked stylistic deviation from GBV. You still get 26 tracks, many of them almost miniscule, teasing you with their melodic possibilities and curio-like perfection even as they stop short and give way to the next bit of inspiration. Comparison to other artists is almost futile, given the monolithic influence GBV has exerted on the indie scene; it’s a little like trying to compare the Rolling Stones to another band. His mic-swinging days might be behind him, but maybe he’s not so much a garbageman as a junk artist—picking up the cast-off chunks that litter the streets and turning them into something beautiful. 6 p.m. $13/$15. 21+. 701 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-338-8388. STEVE MCPHERSON

Erik Brandt CD Release
Cedar Cultural Center

Erik Brandt, singer/multi-instrumentalist with The Urban Hillbilly Quartet (UHQ), skillfully spans a range of genres as broad as his travels—from Oakland, Calif., to British pubs to Australia. Tonight, the UHQ backs him up along with a bevy of friends that supported him on his debut CD, Green-Eyed Alone. Tim O’Reagan of the Jayhawks contributed his exquisite harmonies, lending to the alt.country vibe of the CD. Romantica’s Luke Jacobs added his bass and harmony vocals as well. Dave Strahan’s (UHQ) banjo and Peter Rasmussen’s harmonica give the new CD a comfortable downhome feel, especially on the beautiful twang of “Shooting Stars.” At the same time, songs such as “Dent” stretch into Roxy Music’s ethereal rock territory. Brandt’s vocals, at times fiery and at others plaintive and haunting, such as on “The End,” melancholy piano and quirky songwriting make for a great CD accessible to everyone. Susan Enan, who opens, grew up in England and performed in Belfast and the Edinburgh Festival. Her CD, Moonlight/Skine, Bone & Silicone, charted high on Radio K. This show is highly anticipated and recommended. 7:30 p.m. $10 adv/$12 door/$8 student/teacher/postal worker with ID. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls. 612-338-2674. CYN COLLINS


Sophie Scholl
Landmark Cinema

In an exclusive Twin Cities engagement, Landmark’s Edina Cinema opens “Sophie Scholl—The Final Days” this weekend. The film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film in 2005 (losing out to “Tsotsi”) and is based on the true story of Sophie Scholl, a German anti-Nazi heroine who lost her life as a member of the White Rose, an underground resistance movement started by college students in Munich. Director Marc Rothemund recreates the last six days of Sophie’s life from her arrest to interrogation, trial and sentence. Through Apr. 6. 2, 4:30, 7 & 9:30 p.m. $8/$5.25 seniors/matinees. 1320 Lagoon Ave., Mpls. 612-825-6006 or LandmarkTheatres.com. REBECCA THURN

Bell Auditorium

John Trudell has said that “I am older than America.” He may have had cultural/political reasons for saying that, but having briefly met him once at an antinuclear benefit in the mid-1990s and locking with his really intense eyes, I definitely felt the presence of what people call a very old soul. Trudell is truly an inspiring and visionary man, and filmmaker Heather Rae follows the life work of the Native American poet/activist/musician from the late ’60s to the present in the documentary “Trudell.” His Native American activist group, Indians of All Tribes, occupied Alcatraz Island for 21 months; the FBI labeled him as a dangerous man in the ’70s—an FBI memo from that time reads: “He’s extremely eloquent, therefore extremely dangerous.” More recently, I made a point of seeing him in the movie “Thunderheart” and still have his “Graffiti Man” music/poetry cassette from the ’90s, which I plan to listen to once again before I see this film. Through Apr. 6. 7:15 &9:15 p.m.; Sat. & Sun. 5:15 p.m. $8/$6.50 seniors/students/$5 members. 10 Church St. SE, Mpls. mnFilmArts.org. SID PRANKE

First Birthday Bash
331 Club

What better day for the 331 to celebrate its first year of “bands, booze and blasts” than 3/31? The stage will be crowded throughout the night with some 331 mainstays: old-time Americana—the 331’s preferred genre—will be represented by Glen Hanson’s Lonesome and Monday’s house act, The Roe Family Singers, as well as the Get Up Johns. On top of that, the bill includes Thursday night’s house act, the Tin Star Sisters, whose covers of ’80s songs you thought you hated will make you laugh and almost cry, particularly their take on Barry Manilow’s “Mandy.” Their sparkly regalia, tap dancing, accordion and vibraphone have made them an absolute favorite act of those in the know. Also performing are Ear Candy and The Como Ave Jug Band, which crowds about 10 members on the tiny stage and drives the crowd crazy with spastic spoon rhythms and weird takes on old tunes. Le Cirque Rouge de Gus Cabaret and Burlesque troop—who perform as the house act every other Saturday—will also spill onto the floor and into the audience, performing their raunchy antics. 9 p.m. Free. 21+. 331 NE 13th Ave., Mpls. 612-331-1746. COLLINS

Sekou Sundiata
Walker Art Center

Poetry is being reinvented as a cultural force. Since the 1960s Black Arts Movement, Sekou Sundiata has boldly re-imagined language with theatrical/musical elements, challenging our deepest assumptions. His new work “51st (dream) state” responds to post-9/11 realities, in order to, as he says, “think about these things out loud.” With music composed by Ani DiFranco, Graham Hayes and others, and working with a dozen musicians, singers and spoken word artists, Sundiata weaves song cycles, poems, monologues and images, contemplating America’s unprecedented global power and questioning the individual’s place in society, national mythologies and identity. Sundiata observes, “Living in the aftermath of 9/11, I feel an urgent and renewed engagement with what it means to be an American. But, that engagement is a troubling one because of longstanding estrangement between American civil ideals and American civil practice.” Dialogues follow each performance. This will be one of the most extraordinary cultural events of 2006. 8 p.m. $15/$12 members. Also Sat. 4/1. 1750 Hennepin Ave., Mpls. 612-375-7600. LYDIA HOWELL



Marvin Gaye Tribute

Once upon a time, pop R&B had a lot less pop and a lot more R&B to it. Consider the late soul singer Marvin Gaye, for instance, one of the genre’s true greats. His cast-iron, raw-edged chops just never quit, whether he was crooning ballads or belting out up-tempo jams. “What’s Going On” is a tribute to the timeless icon that features a lineup of Twin Cities including Stokley Williams (Mint Condition), Julius “Juice” Collins (Greazy Meal), JD Steele (The Steeles), David Eiland (The Hoopsnakes), Lynval Jackson (International Reggae All-Stars) and Ray Covington. Also on hand will be talented newcomers Shauntae’ and Erica West. For good measure, there’s special guest Odell Brown, who gigged with Marvin Gaye and is co-author of his Grammy-award-winning hit “Sexual Healing.” All this goes down on Saturday at The Cabooze. 8:30 p.m. $10 adv/$15 door. 21+. 917 Cedar Ave., Mpls. 612-338-6425. DWIGHT HOBBES

Sarah Fox
Suburban World Theater

Sarah Fox’s debut collection of poetry, “Because Why” (Coffeehouse Press), is on the receiving end of considerable praise from folks whose business it is to know such things. Big time poet Nick Flynn, who’s written for the New Yorker and Paris Review, calls her “thrilling.” Dale Pendell, who has a couple of well-received poetry books of his own, says her poems “buzz with energy and imagination.” For good measure, Fox got one of those all-so-elusive Bush Foundation fellowships, as well as one from the National Endowment for the Arts. She teaches poetry and creative writing through the Loft and SASE, The Write Place. If you’re into poetry, you’ll want to catch one of her Fox stops at the Suburban World Theater. She won’t resurface again in the Twin Cities until next June. 4 p.m. Free. 3022 Hennepin Ave., Mpls. 612-825-6688 or SuburbanWorldTheater.com. HOBBES

Hockey Night
The Entry

Hockey Night continue to elude me. They released one of my favorite local discs last year (Keep Guessin’) and, amidst the uncertainties surrounding the future of their label Lookout!, have managed to stay the course, but I still haven’t managed to catch their double-drummer attack live yet. I was so close at the Malachi Constant CD Release Show for Pride, but a friend’s party and a general intolerance for the smokey confines of the Turf Club forced an early exit. Keep Guessin’s refreshingly raw sound had me instantly hooked, and I still love the wealth of guitarmonies, string squeak and fret buzz that litter the tracks; this is most definitely a band that’s letting it all hang out. Spin.com thought enough of them to name them Band-of-the-Day just a little while back, and their laissez-faire attitude won them comparisons to those paragons of screw-it, the Replacements. You can’t throw a stone in a dive bar without hitting someone comparing singer Paul Spranger’s voice to Pavement doyen Stephen Malkmus’, which is fair, but Malkmus’ recent output has been a little too prettied up for my tastes, so I think I’ll stick with Spranger. It all adds up to a band that’s worth catching, and maybe this time I’ll actually get to see them, provided I can get out of my intramural croquet tournament. Damn these extracurricular commitments. With the Vets, Signal to Trust and Zibrazibra. 4 p.m. $6. All Ages. 29 N. 7th St., Mpls. 612-332-1775. J.J. GIANTVALLEY

Labor Forum
Macalester College

Northwest Airlines mechanics and cleaners are six months into a strike
. What’s that fight about? NWA claims imminent bankruptcy will result without pay cuts of 25 percent or more—for the striking workers, that is, not executives. Healthcare benefits are being scaled back (with premiums going up), and pensions may disappear entirely. NWA is outsourcing airplane maintenance to China and planning massive layoffs. This type of labor crisis is affecting more and more working people as, at the same time, CEO’s salaries peak at 500 times what average workers make, and bonuses are won by cutting jobs. The 100-year-old Industrial Workers of the World (IWW, also known as “Wobblies”) are hosting a forum exploring how the NWA strike can inspire a 21st century labor movement. Speakers include: Macalester professor of labor history, Peter Rachleff; Ted Ludwig, president AMFA Local 33; and rank and file members of AMFA, IWW and other unions. 7 p.m. Free. John Doe Auditorium, Campus Center basement, Snelling & Grand Aves., St. Paul. 612-338-4410 or IWW.org. HOWELL

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