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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 May 9 - 15, 2007
Wednesday 09 May @ 11:54:58
Hot TicketsThe Legendary Jim Ruiz Group :: Les Nubians :: Against Me! :: Ben Weaver CD Release Show :: Jeremy Scahill :: Geek Prom :: Tickle Fight :: Sorry Muthas CD Release :: The Tragically Hip AND THIS WEEK'S HOT PICK: Shatterproof CD Release Show @ The Varisty Theater


The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group
7th Street Entry
It's been six long years since the Twin Cities' top purveyor of Parisian-styled pop has played a live show, so the fact that Jim Ruiz is getting on a stage is cause enough alone for celebration. But listen to the list of his bandmates for the occasion--Peter Anderson, Allison LaBonne of the Owls and Kim Anderson of the Tin Star Sisters--and you'll realize this is a can't-miss gig. Expect plenty of the piquant pop and bossa nova swing that made Ruiz so beloved in the late '90s, not to mention new material as well--Ruiz has come out of his self-imposed music retirement in full force and hopes to have a new album ready for release by the end of 2007. With Black Audience, Flavor Crystals. 9 p.m. $6. 21+. 701 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-338-8388. ROB VAN ALSTYNE

Shatterproof CD Release Show
Varsity Theater
For a minute there in the mid-'90s, Fort Apache was the next big thing. The small studio in Cambridge, Mass., took a big ride on the cred garnered from sessions by The Pixies, and soon, it wasn't just a New England studio: It was a label owned by MCA, and home to one of my favorite forgotten bands of '94, Cold Water Flat. About that same time, Minneapolis powerpop band Hovercraft were bought off by another group of the same name, re-christened themselves Shatterproof, signed to Fort Apache Records, and recorded a sparkling album of jangly, angelic pop that quickly disappeared. You can't keep good hooks down, though, so now local label Catlick Records is re-releasing Shatterproof's debut album, Splinter Queen, and throwing a big party at the Varsity where the original lineup will make a triumphant return to the stage. Fans of Big Star, Teenage Fanclub and The La's should feel free to rejoice. With The Texas Know-How, The Icy Shores, Moon Maan, Careers in Modeling and The Million. 7:30 p.m. $7. 18+. 1308 4th St. SE., Mpls. 612-604-0222. STEVE McPHERSON

Les Nubians
Trichrome Productions has been a busy little beaver of late. The company just brought in reggae star Mikey Dread and now they're representing French hip-hop/R&B sirens Les Nubians. "Music is every moment of our lives," says Helene Faussart, one half of the duo. And from the passion they bring to their silky smooth sound, you have to believe her. She and sister Celia have an international following that includes devotees in Jamaica, Egypt, Cameroon, Chad, London and you name it. Their 1999 U.S. debut, Princesses Nubiennes (Higher Octave/Virgin), became the most successful French-language album on Billboard's charts in more than a decade. Les Nubians haven't stopped knocking audiences out since, getting a Grammy nominee in 2004. Opening for this stop on their U.S. tour are homegrown Afro-Cuban rock powerhouse, New Primitives. 9 p.m. $20/$22. 917 Cedar Ave., Mpls. 612-338-6425. DWIGHT HOBBES

Against Me!
Myth Nightclub
What are you doing this Friday? Going to see Against Me! That's me being bossy--but with good reason. This anarcho folk-punk rock band out of Gainesville, Fla., puts on one of the greatest live shows you'll ever experience. When these guys take the stage, they take it to rock, and rock hard. No trite banter with the audience, no breaks, just continuous kick-ass music. The intensity of their unrelenting energy and enthusiasm will overwhelm you. The band--whose album New Wave drops July 10--is currently on tour for Americans Abroad!!! (Sire Records, 2006), but hopefully they'll slip in some old favorites like "Pints of Guinness Make You Strong," "Cliché Guevara," "Baby, I'm an Anarchist!" and "Those Anarcho Punks Are Mysterious." To sweeten the pot, indie punk rockers Cursive will be performing. Hailing from Omaha, Neb. (and just one of several phenomenal bands in the Saddle Creek Records collective), Cursive is still ostensibly touring for their 2006 release Happy Hollow, a stylistically brighter and more upbeat album than their previous, The Ugly Organ. Surprisingly, Against Me! and Cursive are on tour with hardcore-progressive metal band Mastodon, who headline Friday's show. Get ready to drink, jump, sweat, be amped to deaf, and shout until your throat's raw. With Planes Mistaken for Stars. 5 p.m. $22. All ages. 3090 Southlawn Dr., Maplewood. 651-779-6984. AUDRA OTTO

Ben Weaver CD Release Show
7th Street Entry
Ben Weaver's been camped out on the edge of some deep, dark woods for at least as long as I've known him. But the man who cut his teeth on hard-hearted and rusty Americana seems to have grown a bit weary of blood-and-guts roots music on his latest, Paper Sky. Recorded and produced by Chicago studio whiz Brian Deck (Iron & Wine, Modest Mouse, our very own Robert Skoro), his new disc doesn't abandon the dusty, wilted tones of banjo, barroom piano and bowed upright bass, but things have definitely gotten broader, looser and weirder. "The Unelected" seeps out of the speakers on the back of a woozy Rhodes line, and the drums on "Surrealism + Blues" sound like they're buried under a slab of fallen concrete. Weaver's grizzled vocals are intact, as is his easy way with the line that divides poetry from prose. "We were cut from cloth," he sings on "Black on Black," "with the very same blade / Like a snake hides its legs, our skin is the same." He may never reach the level of popularity here that he already enjoys in Europe, but we'll be the worse for not embracing his expanding take on the cold and lonely heart of American songwriting. With Eirean Lorsung and Tarlton. 8 p.m. $10. 21+. 29 N. 7th St., Mpls. 612-332-1775. STEVE McPHERSON

Jeremy Scahill
Humphrey Institute
Jeremy Scahill, the author of the highly acclaimed new book "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army," will kick off KFAI's "Fresh Voices" lecture series this Friday evening. Scahill is an independent journalist who has spent extensive time reporting from Iraq and Yugoslavia, is a regular contributor to the national radio and TV show "Democracy Now!" and is currently a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute. "Blackwater" is the unauthorized story of the epic rise of one of the most powerful and secretive forces to emerge from the U.S. military-industrial complex--ostensibly a private mercenary army. "We're extremely proud and privileged to present Jeremy Scahill," said Janis Lane-Ewart, KFAI's executive director. "His lecture on how little-known but highly influential companies such as Blackwater shape our foreign policy and affect expenditure of our tax dollars promises to be provocative and add a new dimension to our knowledge of American foreign policy, domestic affairs and the war in Iraq." Join in this special and important fundraising event! Tickets are available online and at various Twin Cities locations. 7:30 p.m. $15. Cowles Auditorium, U of M West Bank, 301 19th Ave. S., Mpls. 612-341-3144 ext. 23 or kfai.org. AUDRA OTTO

Geek Prom
Science Museum of Minnesota
There's been a growing trend in alternative proms in the past few years, and there is an almost science-fiction quality to it, as though these prom participants were so disgusted with the past that they had to go back and fix it. And so, if you were a gay or lesbian teenager, and felt that your high school prom was an unwelcoming place for you and your same-sex date, there are now plentiful GLBT proms that you can go to. Similarly, if you spent most of your high school years stuffed in your locker, and either avoided prom altogether or went with a relative (cousin, mother, brother, etc.), well, it's time to break out your dressiest pocket protector. The Geek Prom is a five-year old institution, started in Duluth, that not only welcomes outcasts and misfits, but actually celebrates them. Here's a prom that encourages attendees to play video games, do math equations and dance as badly as possible (prizes are awarded for, in their words, "spaz dancing"). And, while there will be nerds a-plenty, in their oversized glasses and clip-on bow ties, participants are encouraged to dress in any way that would garner them heaps of abuse in the uncaring world outside: superhero costumes are welcome, as are spacesuits. So put down your comic books and pack away your AD&D maps for one night, friends; the prom awaits us, and, if we can't be cool, at least we can be uncool together. $15/$10 with student ID. 18+. 120 Kellogg Blvd W., St Paul, 651-221-2550. MAX SPARBER

Tickle Fight
Varsity Theater
There's a rubber room waiting for Cody McKinney. Right down the hall from the one that's waiting for similarly gifted, equally insane singer-songwriter David Byrne. The comparison's inevitable, but that doesn't mean McKinney is an imitator. In fact, he makes a zany mark all his own, heading up the superb band Tickle Fight, which is McKinney (bass) along with Rachel Neels (vocals), Pete Hennig (drums), Jordan Carlson (vibes-percussion), Park Evans (guitar) and Tanner Taylor (keyboards). Tickle Fight packed the Uptown Bar to capacity last December with their EP release gig. So show up early if you want a seat or standing room at the stage. With First Communion Afterparty and The Honeydogs. 8 p.m. $10. 1308 4th St. SE, Mpls. DWIGHT HOBBES

Sorry Muthas CD Release
Eagles Club
On "Mutha's Day Eve," the Sorry Muthas--a folk scene fixture of the 1960s and '70s--return for their first public show in decades. This CD release show is a reunion performance for the band, whose kids have grown into fine local musicians themselves. The Sorry Muthas have reissued their largely unavailable first and only album, Greatest Hits Vol. 3, which was originally released on vinyl in 1971. See what all the fuss was/is about, as the band performs engaging acoustic folk, blues and jugband music by the likes of Memphis Minnie, Gus Cannon and his Jug Stompers and Loudon Wainwright III. From 1967 to the early '70s, folks all across the nation danced, laughed and cried, as the Sorry Muthas put 66,000 miles on Papa John Kolstad's bus, "Humper." The band shared stages with luminaries such as Utah Phillips, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Earl Scruggs, and many members of the Sorry Muthas were regulars on Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" during those early years. A highlight for the band was playing a large outdoor rock concert in Wisconsin that also featured Linda Ronstadt, Kris Kristoferson, Country Joe, the Grateful Dead and Ken Kesey. Indeed, it's a wonder they even remember the '60s, but they were there. Saturday, the Sorry Muthas bring it all back home as original members Kolstad (guitar, vocals), Judy Larson (guitar, handhorn, vocals), Bill Hinkley (guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, vocals), Cal Hand (dobro), Bob "Bobo" Stelnicki (washtub bass, vocals, bones and gizmos) and early Mutha, guitarist Rod Belville take the stage. Their musical offspring, including Cadillac Kolstad, Katey Belville and Amanda Hand, will also take the stage, along with guest harmonica player, Clint Hoover. Thank goodness the Eagles has a properly huge dance floor. 8 p.m. $10/$12. All ages. 2507 E. 25th St., Mpls. 612-729-4469 or illcitymusic.com. CYN COLLINS

The Tragically Hip
First Ave
The Tragically Hip are Canada's answer to the Rolling Stones. Don't believe me? Then just head on down to First Avenue on Monday night and witness the sight of numerous Canadians losing their collective heads seeing their heroes play in a venue roughly ten times smaller than they routinely sell out north of the border. Still going strong 20 years after their inception, the Canadian group's fusion of Stones-y grit and cocksure showmanship with frontman Gordon Downie's abstract lyricism and Michael Stipe-like bleat connects instantly in the live setting. With Wintersleep. 7 p.m. $25/$30. 18+. 701 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-338-8388. ROB VAN ALSTYNE
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