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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 19 - May 25, 2004
Thursday 20 May @ 17:17:54
Hot Ticketsreally, really, really hot!

Hot Tickets

May 19 - May 25, 2004

Ron Sexsmith
@ The Ascot Room

A true class act, Ron Sexsmith is the kind of velvety rock crooner whose melodies sound so effortless that frustrated songwriters can’t help but envy him. A former Canadian postal worker, the sheepish troubadour has won over the hearts of rocks elder statesmen in the decade since his major label debut, winning raves from both the well-respected rock elite (Elvis Costello handpicked him as an opener for one of his world tours) to the slightly pathetic famous set (Rod Stewart recorded one of his songs). With younger stars now also flocking to tout Sexsmith (Coldplay’s Chris Martin performed a duet with him on 2002’s Cobblestone Runway) it’s only a matter of time before the sheer star power in Sexsmith’s corner gets him proper notice. Sexsmith’s latest, the recently released Retriever, is his best work yet—all winsome melodies and lovestruck lyricism. Frequently forced into solo acoustic opening slots, this is a rare full band headlining tour for Sexsmith, and should be a nice chance for the man to show off the wares from his seven albums at a more leisurely pace. With David Mead. 7 p.m. $12. 18+. 110 N. 5th St., Mpls. 612-338-3383.
(Rob van Alstyne)

My Morning Jacket
@ The Quest

The slow climb to stardom for Louisville’s My Morning Jacket continues, with the band now playing its eighth Twin Cities gig in the last two years (which is roughly the same pace at which they’ve hit up every other major north American city). The roadwork paid off with a major label record deal (RCA subsidiary ATO records released It Still Moves this past fall) and a pile of press clippings large enough to cover a good portion of their home state. The success may have come at a high price, however, as original lead guitarist Johnny Quaid and keyboardist Danny Cash parted ways with the band earlier this year, citing road fatigue as the reason. Fortunately, creative linchpin Jim James (vocalist/guitarist/songwriter) remains, a man with a golden voice (the answer to the question—what if Neil Young could actually sing?) and way with simple melodies that none of his contemporaries can touch. This will mark the first Twin Cities MMJ gig with the group’s new lineup so it should be intriguing. Equal parts laid-back country rockers and foot-stompin’ classic hard-rock revivalists, MMJ, in their sixth year of existence, are finally reaching the big time. With fabulous Fahey-esque folkie M. Ward opening (and MMJ performing as his backing band). The show is also part of a good cause, Music for America wil be registering voters at the event. 6 p.m. $13.50. All Ages. 110 N. 5th St., Mpls. 612-338-3383. (van Alstyne)

Fidel Film
@ Resource Center of the Americas

Next month, the annual Pastors for Peace Caravan rolls through Minneapolis on its way to Cuba, where the group continues to challenge the by-now 42-year-old U.S. embargo and once again deliver books, computers, and medical and school supplies. (For info: www.igc.org.) Banning travel puts Cuba in a propaganda-vacuum, but the documentary “Fidel” offers what New York magazine calls “an important and often unheard perspective on the Cuban leader as a voice for emerging Third World consciousness.” Archival footage spans the regime of the U.S.-supported former dictator Batista, the late 1950s revolution and events since. Multiple viewpoints are given by historians, Castro’s friends and family, and many Americans: writer Alice Walker, activist-singer Harry Belefonte, LBJ’s Attorney General and anti-war activist Ramsey Clark, Congressman Charlie Rangle and a former CIA agent. Besides quotes of Castro’s speeches, the film shows him visiting his childhood home, and hanging out with CNN-creator Ted Turner, prizefighter Mohammed Ali and Nelson Mandela. U of M political science professor August Nimtz (who’s visited Cuba) leads a post-film discussion. Bush and Kerry recently said the U.S. “should be tougher on Cuba.” Cuba may be a near-future military target, making this film a critical counter to disinformation. 6 p.m. Free. Resource Center of the Americas, 3019 Minnehaha Ave. S., Mpls. 612-276-0788. (Lydia Howell)

The Thermals
@ The Triple Rock Social Club

Pissed off that all your favorite bands seem to be mellowing out and discovering cleaner recording methods? Then The Thermals—all stiff upper-lip and fist-pumping shit-crunching gee-tars—are about to become your new favorite band. Aptly titled Fuckin’ A the Oregon outfit’s second album on indie heavy-hitters Sub Pop manages to spit through its dozen tracks in just under 28 minutes, god damn homie! Recorded by Death Cab for Cutie guitarist/freelance producer Chris Walla, Fuckin’ A is admittedly much cleaner than the preceding four-track recorded More Parts Per Million, but should still be plenty dirt-stained for those Lou Barlow acolytes moaning over the fact that no one likes to get down and dirty with their rock these days. The Thermals’ musical mission statement can be summed up thusly: Come in—make your point (preferably with a gnarled finger guitar solo)—and get the fuck out before the running time reaches three minutes. Refreshing, isn’t it? With Aneuretical and The Skinnys. 6 p.m. All Ages. $7. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls. 612-333-7399. (Nathan Dean)

Little Dirt
@ The 7th St. Entry

Local quartet Little Dirt’s members hail from all over this great land: two vocalists (guitarist Zac Stanley and keyboardist Kim Carolan) from California, a bass player (Bill Julin) from Pennsylvania, and a drummer (Ryan Otte) from the good ‘ol Twin Cities. Little Dirt’s finely rawking debut EP, Land And The Feet Down Before Us, makes for a fitting tribute to the collective musical know how of those three disparate states in the union. Their sound is at times reminiscent of the Pixies (perfectly sloppy guitars? check.), but the overall pop-rock feel of this group is simply a nice combination. With The Get Up Johns. 8 p.m. $5. 21+. 701 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-338-8388. (Louis Lenzmeier)

Talks on Arab-Jewish Schools
@ Walker Church & Humphrey Institute

Given relentless bad news from the Middle East and the seemingly intractable (as British journalist Robert Fisk calls it) “dance of death” between Israel and Palestine, one welcomes the chance to see positive efforts towards reconciliation. Lee Gordon is a co-founder of the Center for Jewish-Arab Education, which created two Hand in Hand elementary schools in Jerusalem that “integrated” Jewish and Arab children. Gordon presents a video and talks about this work at two Minneapolis events. The Walker Church event is a benefit to fund the creation of a third Hand in Hand school, and includes Global Jazz vocalist Karen Lyu (who’s performed Israeli and Palestinian songs) and Kairos Dance Theatre. Sun. May 23, 7:30 p.m. $5-$500. Walker Church, 3104 16th Ave. S., Mpls.; Mon. May 24, 2 p.m. Free. Humphrey Institute, Freeman Commons Room 205, 301 19th Ave. S., Mpls. 612-861-6040. www.handinhand12.org. (Howell)


On the Speakers
@ The 400 Bar

It was a sad day back in 2001 when San Fran Cisco’s Creeper Lagoon suddenly imploded in the midst of supporting their overly glossy major label debut album, Take Back the Universe and Give Me Yesterday (on the now defunct Dreamworks). Just three years earlier the band had been riding high as the industry’s “next big thing,” their 1998 Dust Brothers assisted debut, I Become Small and Go, inducing rapturous fits in all who heard it, and the single “Wonderful Love” getting significant commercial airplay despite the band’s meager label backing at the time. By 2001, however, fingers were pointing, tempers flaring and their long delayed follow-up had fallen on unkind ears—the honeymoon was definitely over, and soon, so was the band. And although multi-instrumentalist Sharky Laguna has oddly opted to soldier on with the Lagoon moniker, the first to truly make an impact on his own has been singer/guitarist Ian Sefchik with his new group, the L.A. based On the Speakers. On the Speakers recently released self-titled EP finds Sefchik turning against the bloated style of Creeper’s final work and reinventing himself as a rough-necked rocker (albeit one with a smooth voice and expertly timed delivery). Tracks like “Could I Be Right?” boast a crunchy swagger and a way with a big time chorus that make the absence of typical Creeper staples like programmed percussion and keyboards galore a total afterthought. Don’t be surprised if On the Speakers pending full-length finds Sefchik being hailed as “the next big thing” in music industry mags yet again (the EP, originally released by a tiny indie last year, was recently re-issued by the Universal Music Group). With the Joggers and headlining act French Kicks. 8 p.m. $10. 21+. 400 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls. 612-332-2903. (van Alstyne)

The Saw Doctors
@ First Avenue

If you’re one of those exceptional people capable of weekly Guinness-by-the-gallon drinking heads up, I’ve just found the perfect soundtrack to your surefire liver failure life. Hailing from Ireland (where did you think I was going to say, St. Cloud?), The Saw Doctors are the band I always envisioned when painting mental pictures of rowdy Irishmen engaged in joyous sing-a-longs. Hell, they’d serve as the perfect introduction to your first (or tenth) St. Patty’s Day party More Irish than Sinead (and, dare I say it?, even Van) the Saw Doctors meld Irish tradition to acoustic rock and delight all in the process. This stuff is so fun you don’t even need to be on the sauce to enjoy it.With The Shambles and Felonious Bosch. 7 p.m. $10 adv/ $15 door. 21+. 701 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-338-8388. (Lenzmeier)


Voltage: Fashion Amplified
@ First Avenue

Not since the heyday of MTV’s “House of Style” (wherefore art thou Cindy Crawford and your sexy-ass mole?) has a union of rock and fashion been attempted on this grand a scale. “Voltage: Fashion Amplified” will be a showcase of some of the TC’s premier fashion design/rock ‘n’ roll talent and should be unforgettable. With models sporting gear from over a dozen local designers there should be plenty of different hot looks on display, and the rocking end of things will be handled by seven of the Twin Cities’ finest outfits. Among the notables are Coach Said Not To, Revolver Modele, Shadowbox, Luke’s Angels, Friends Like These, the Melismatics and … in what is sure to be a memorable performance … the debut of Matty Schindler’s new full-band Faux Jean lineup. The best part of it all? This whole high-brow shindig is going down for a good cause—the show doubles as a fundraiser for Youth In Music, a non-profit organization supporting musical education. 7 p.m. $5 adv/ $8 door. 21+. 701 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-338-8388. (Dean)

On The Open Road
@ Penumbra Theatre

Actor Gavin Lawrence returns to Penumbra Theatre, where the company member established a well-earned reputation for strong chops as Omari Shakir (“Two Trains Running,” “Buffalo Hair” and “Three Ways Home.” He has spent a considerable amount of time, after a turn in Penumbra’s “Black Nativity,” trying his hand as playwright “Cut Flowers,” “Salt Fish and Bakes”). Thanks to Mixed Blood Theatre artistic director Jack Reuler’s juice, Lawrence is making a profitable go of it. He has acted at Mixed Blood as well as in the May-released, locally produced film “Justice,” starring Spike Lee veteran Roger Guenveur Smith. It should be good to see him back on the home ground where he established his name and once again is directed by Penumbra artistic director Lou Bellamy. Steve Tesich’s “On The Open Road” features, along with Lawrence, Benny Cannon, James Craven and area newcomers Jasmine Glenice Gilbert, Namir Smallwood and Jordan Young. The premise: in the not-far-away future, Earth erupts in apocalyptic warfare (imagine that), fostering Jesus Christ’s second coming. Al, a weary intellectual and Angel, an ex-boxer, traverse a wasteland, questing after entry to the “land of the free.” Turns out they must prove to a gatekeeper that there’s a reason to let either one in. Eventually, it boils down to answering the question, “Would you rather crucify Christ or take his place on the cross?” Previews May 25 & 26. Runs May 27-June 20. Wed. 10 a.m.; Thu. 7:30 p.m.; Fri. 8 p.m.; Sat. 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun. 2 & 7:30 p.m. $30-$35. Penumbra Theatre, 270 N. Kent St., St. Paul. 651-224-3180. (Dwight Hobbes)

@ The Dinkytowner Café

P.O.S., loud and energetic local rapper extraordinaire, headlines this night as part of the Dinkytowner’s Essential Elements series. An electrifying punk/Hip-Hop hybrid, P.O.S.’ debut Ipecac Neat (and a slew of great CDR’s with his Doomtree labelmates) have already garnered him much attention. If you haven’t caught him yet, tonight is a great night to do it. Get there early for a screening of “Juice,” starring Omar Epps & 2 Pac. EPS opens and Toki Wright hosts. 8 p.m. $5. 18+. 412 ½ 14th Ave. SE Mpls. 612-377-0044.
(Doc Pop)

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