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DEEP


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.


THE SHOWS




Twin Town High (vol. 8)

Your Locally Grown Alternative Newspaper


Hot Tickets for February 8 - February 14, 2006
Thursday 09 February @ 10:10:32
Hot TicketsA Handsome Family...Cloud Cult: breakfast fo champions...Wierd soap opera-like Sex Diary...Arneson protects the Homeland...Missing Numbers: "Now that we don’t give a fuck, it’s more fun"...Singing Valentines!...Battle of the Jug Bands: a shameless self-promotion...B3 Organ Night...plus, other shows/marches/rallies to heat up your Valenitne's!

Check your Pulse!



February 8 - February 14, 2006


Handsome Family
Turf Club


Money can’t buy you love—despite the amorous hype spewing from florists and chocolatiers. But for a nominal fee you can catch the first couple of Americana folk/rock at the Turf. From Sonny and Cher, to Kurt and Courtney, husband and wife acts are that strange anomaly in the music world that often go painfully awry. Not so for Brett and Rennie Sparks, aka the Handsome Family. Married more than 16 years, they’ve foregone the dangers of downhill skiing and dodged an appetite for heroin in favor of a prolific career that’s produced several acclaimed CDs. The key to their musical and marital success? Writing and singing about destruction and despair: “We should have been dancing / like lovers in a movie / but I fell and cut my head in the snow. / I wanted to tell you all the ways that I loved you, / but instead I got sick on the train.” (“A Beautiful Thing” from In the Air). Brett’s haunting bass timbre resonates long after the show has ended. Rennie’s a bass-playing lyricist, published writer and painter. With soul searching, Southern gothic songwriter Jim White.
8 p.m. $12. 21+. University & Snelling Aves., St. Paul. 651-647-0486. NANCY SARTOR

 


Cloud Cult
The Varsity


The Varsity continues to take advantage of its inherent charms with this bill headlined by Cloud Cult. Often venues constitute nothing more than a space in which a show happens, with only a tangential relationship between the aesthetics of the band and the feel of the place itself, but Cloud Cult will be sure to take good advantage of the environs with film projections and onstage painters. Last year’s Advice from the Happy Hippopotamus continues to pay dividends for attentive listeners, and I’m still regularly awed by its scope, sound and heart-on-sleeve aesthetic. In that last quality it reminds me a lot of Built to Spill’s There’s Nothing Wrong with Love and its wide-open, starry-eyed optimism in the face of the regular battering that life hands us. Hope seems to be in somewhat short supply these days, so you should take your uplift where you can get it. Openers Cowboy Curtis and Bill Mike Band stand on two sides of the record releasing divide: Cowboy Curtis’ much anticipated sophomore album should be dropping anytime now, while Bill Mike’s debut has been settling into local music fans’ regular rotations for a few months already. If the Timberwolves could only find two such heavy hitters to join KG, we might have a championship basketball team, and not just a championship music scene. 8 p.m. $10. 18+. 1308 4th St. SE, Mpls. 612-604-0222. STEVE MCPHERSON

Sex Diary of an Infidel
Penumbra Theatre


This is one of the more promising ideas at Penumbra Theatre Company in quite some time. Michael Gurr’s “Sex Diary of an Infidel” revolves around hotshot journalist Jean, highly acclaimed for reporting on a teenage junkie. Trying to ring up another notch on her belt, she and photographer/boyfriend Martin go to Manila, investigating Australian involvement in the sex tourism trade. As the story gets going, Max, an Australian pimp and boss/occasional lover of Filipino transsexual Toni, becomes entangled with Jean and Martin, respectively. For good measure, Toni, who’s saving up for a sex–change operation, charges money to be photographed, even by news photographers. Studying Toni for Jean’s report, Martin gets emotionally attached and winds up queering his job with Jean, who, it turns out, doesn’t much mind, as she’s enjoying the company of her ex, Max. Talk about your weird soap operas. With snappy dialogue and minimal plot, this could be a truly audacious adventure. In this production artistic director Lou Bellamy throws a real curve ball: he’s taking time off from directing. None of the cast are company members; only one actor, Phil Kilbourne (“Dinah Was,” “Black Eagles”), has worked there before. Alexis Camins, Laura Esping, Casey Greig, Sam L. Landman and Carolyn Pool make their Penumbra debut. Ching Valdes-Aran directs. This is the play’s American premiere. Through Mar. 5. Wed. 10 a.m.; Thu. 7:30 p.m.; Fri. 8 p.m.; Sat. 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun. 2 & 7:30 p.m. $32. 270 N. Kent St., St. Paul. 651-224-3180. DWIGHT HOBBES

Heidi Arneson
Patrick’s Cabaret


An originator of one-person performance, Heidi Arneson has made her indelible mark on Twin Cities theater. She’s entertained audiences with the autobiographical “Da Grade School” and “Ten Bedroom Heart,” meditated on female power as “The Snake Lady,” and imagined a psychic-punk resistance to a completely corporatized future in “Queen of Block E.” Within six months of the 9/11 attacks, Arneson responded with the emotionally provocative “Homeland Insecurity.” Also an inspiring teacher, Arneson is taking her mind-expanding techniques for writing and creating performance into Minnesota prisons. She returns to the stage with some of her recently released students, who tell previously silenced stories that we all need to know. Also Sat. Feb. 11. 8 p.m. $7. 3010 Minnehaha Ave. S., Mpls. 612-721-3595. LYDIA HOWELL

 


Missing Numbers CD Release
400 Bar


Where Bellwether’s breath-fogged alt.country might have cut you like a razorblade and left you to bleed out in the tub on a frigid Iron Range morning, guitarist/vocalist Jimmy Peterson’s new project, Missing Numbers, is more likely to wrap you up with a rusty guitar string and leave you swinging in the woodshed out back on a moonless Minneapolis night. Their debut album on Eclectone Records was dark and menacing—refreshingly so—but it was only a first step compared to their Susstones debut No Anecdote. Guitarist Casey Gooby has traded fire-breathing for fire-eating, holding himself in check to make room for barroom sax and trumpet, which cut through the dusty and blown-out sound of Peterson’s weathered voice. They’re really not so different than your favorite local bar band—if your local bar happens to be in Twin Peaks. The standout here? “Cheaper by the Ton,” whose cycling keyboard melody should probably be quarantined as an infectious biological weapon. Sometimes it seems like this town is full of almost-made-its: bands that seemed to have everything going for them but never really got that last push. But, in the end, what is making it? A lot of it seems like a big old headache, and as Peterson avers, “Now that we don’t give a fuck, it’s more fun.” You might dream of doing what you love as a means to making a living, but sometimes a job’s just a job, and as Mark Mallman has pointed out, “It’s not even a dirty job that somebody has to do; it’s just a dirty job.” Remember when music was just music? Not promotion and demographics and marketing? So do Missing Numbers. Raise a glass to giving in and not giving a you-know-what. With Mood Swings and Porcupine. 8 p.m. $5. 21+. 400 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls. 612-332-2903. MCPHERSON

Singing Valentines
Minneapolis & St. Paul

The balcony. The serenade. Who wouldn’t love to have that happen to them? If you’re too timid to express in song your love or extreme like face to face, you can hire the College of St. Catherine Women’s Choir to do it for you. The choir is offering to surprise your sweetheart with a song and a rose, delivered at work, home or at a restaurant. The cost of a live serenade is $25; over the phone it’s $15. In-person deliveries will be made to downtown St. Paul, Highland, Merriam Park, Mac-Groveland, Summit Hill and University Avenue neighborhoods, as well as nearby neighborhoods in Minneapolis. A limited number will be scheduled, so order soon. Delivered Feb. 13 & 14. To order go to www.stkate.edu. REBECCA THURN

 


Immigrants’ Rights March
Chicago & Lake, Minneapolis


Politicians are already gearing up for 2006 re-election, and when not milking terrorism for votes, they’re scapegoating immigrants. Governor Tim Pawlenty is imitating Congress with his own anti-immigrant legislation, which put a patina of “national security” over racial-profiling. Meanwhile, immigrants, with or without documentation, flee union-busting death squads, human rights abuses and U.S. corporate takeovers of their homeland economies. On Sunday local churches, labor unions, civil liberties and immigrants’ rights groups are marching in solidarity with our newest neighbors. 2 p.m. Starts at E. Lake St. & Chicago Ave. S., goes north on Bloomington Ave. S. and ends at the American Indian Center, 1520 E. Franklin Ave., Mpls. 612-276-0788 ext. 11. HOWELL

24th Annual Battle of the Jug Bands
Cabooze


This is a shameless self-promotion. The staff of Pulse will be performing as part of the Battle of the Jug Bands. The retro hippie hootenany and potluck gets more popular every year. This year, 32 bands vied for 23 spots. There’s high-toned bribing of judges, and Judy Larson always tries to steal the prized Waffle Iron that’s awarded to the lucky winner. Great fun! The Pulsations perform around 3 p.m. 12:30 - 8 p.m. Free, donations appreciated. 21+ 917 Cedar Ave. JugBandBattle.net. ED FELIEN


Support local sentenced human rights activists
St. Stephen’s Church


The week after a military jury in Colorado decided not to jail a U.S. Army interrogator after finding him guilty of negligent homocide in the death of an Iraqi prisoner, a federal magistrate in Columbus, Ga., has sentenced dozens of nonviolent human rights activists to prison, including two from Minnesota and five from Wisconsin. Minnesotans Sam Foster and Steve Clemens were sentenced to two and three months in prison, respectively, for trespassing in November at Fort Benning, home to the U.S. Army’s notorious School of the Americas (SOA)—recently renamed the “Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.” Frequent Pulse contributor John LaForge of Nukewatch was sentenced to six months in prison. After the school’s training manuals—which outlined vicious and illegal interrogation methods—were unearthed by activists in the 1990s, the school was forced to admit that it was teaching torture. Not everyone can afford to cross the line at the SOA, but everyone can support those who do. This gathering at St. Stephen’s Church offers a brief background on the SOA, testimony from Steve and Sam, music and special guests. Donations to help cover the expense of their witness will be collected and appreciated. 2 p.m. 22nd St. & Clinton Ave. S., Mpls. SOAW.org. SID PRANKE

 


B3 Organ Night
The Artists’ Quarter


Candy hearts, blah blah blah, chocolate, blah blah blah, roses, etc. It’s too cold here to go to a romantic overlook and make out in the car on Valentine’s Day, and all those fancy-schmancy restaurants are already booked, so why not do something original and treat your sweetie to some serious soul and groove down at the Artists’ Quarter? I’ve got a newsflash for all you cats who haven’t been digging in the crates for vintage Jimmy Smith and Lonnie Liston Smith LPs: B3 is for lovers. The AQ is a low-ceilinged and appropriately dark (yet not dingy) jewel of a jazz club, easily the equal of the Village Vanguard in vibe and comfort, if not in historic import. Downtown Bill Brown, Gary Berg, Billy Franze and Kenny Horst are there every Tuesday for your listening pleasure, and maybe you’ve been taking them for granted. So take my advice: Get out your best pinstriped suit or little black dress, pick up some roses and a Whitman sampler at SuperAmerica, grab your best guy or gal and make your way to downtown Saint Paul for a stiff martini (shaken, not stirred, two olives) and the warbly, woody tones of the 61 swell and 61 great keys–122 notes of Hammond Organ delight. 9 p.m. $3. 21+. 408 St. Peter St., St. Paul. 651-292-1359. MCPHERSON

 
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