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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.


THE SHOWS




Twin Town High (vol. 8)

Your Locally Grown Alternative Newspaper


Hot Tickets for February 1 - February 7, 2006
Wednesday 01 February @ 14:40:11
Hot TicketsCrossing the Atlantic CD Release...The Story of Hope...Illusive indy films...Art on ice...The Devaney Hearts...punk Passions...Emily Carter...plus, Flogging Molly and other shows/events/tix/ to boil out your case of S.A.D. (Show Asphyxiation Disorder).

Check Your Pulse!



February 1 - February 7, 2006


Crossing the Atlantic CD Release
Big V’s


From what I understand, “Crossing the Atlantic” began as a ‘zine in Wisconsin, shepherded into being by Todd Vandenberg and composed of poetry, prose and photography. Then Atom Pechman and Scott Bergmann of St. Paul indie rockers Friendly No One proposed the idea of creating a musical companion to “Crossing the Atlantic” by recording longform soundscape tracks blending ambient music, vocals and found sound in Pechman’s home studio. Over the years, a revolving cast of performers has contributed to the various recordings and now Gilead Media is prepped to release a compilation CD of the fruits of these labors. The disc is going to cover volumes 2-4 of “Crossing the Atlantic,” with volume 1 on a “Jackass” DVD-like hiatus. Friendly No One’s debut–The Cleveland Specials–had a lot of sparkle and shine for a basement-recorded disc and so I expect the same out of this collaborative effort borne of the same studio. Amorphous soundscape music can sometimes seem like a losing proposition, but you just have to bring the right mindset. Brian Eno pioneered ambient music as an experience that could be as active or as passive as the listener wishes; the music would reward careful listening with complexities, but could also just exist in a space as a kind of decoration. When you put records by Tarentel, Unwed Sailor or this here project into that kind of mental space, you’ll find they bloom in unexpected and uniquely enjoyable ways. Hopefully the evening will blend bits of this stuff into more trad sets by Friendly No One, No-Fault and Pushing the Ghost. 10 p.m. 21+. $5. 1567 University Ave. W., St. Paul. 651-645-8472. STEVE MCPHERSON

The Story of Hope
SteppingStone Theatre


“The Story of Hope,” by Matthew Vaky and Isabell Monk O’Connor (who wrote the children’s book “Hope”), expands the conventional take on Black History Month. Along with Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman and George Carver and his peanuts, we get insight into an issue that has long impacted kids, particularly in the multicultural Twin Cities: self-identity. The African American saying “Neither fish nor fowl” describes youngsters whose complexion is blended with that of another race, usually white. It’s a seldom-acknowledged truth which, ever since sexually active slave-owners, has been part of black culture. And this play looks it squarely in the eye through the experience of a little girl named Hope. She is stopped dead in her tracks by a school mate who looks at Hope like she’s an alien species and asks, “Are you mixed?” Leslie Barlow, who played the part in SteppingStone Theatre’s 2001 premiere, comments, “It’s a good play for anybody to see, [not just] a bi-racial person. It goes back into the history of all kids.” Works for me. 7 p.m. $9. Through Feb. 26, Tue. matinees at 2 p.m. 75 W. 5th St., St. Paul. 651-225-9265. SteppingStoneTheatre.org. DWIGHT HOBBES

"Illusive Tracks”
Oak St. Cinema


If you’ve been watching this space, you know that the Oak Street Cinema is having some tough times. But are they just going to lay down and wait for the train? Hell no! In addition to the classic films and director- or genre-specific runs of some of the most significant films in the canon of celluloid, the Oak Street is trying out some new stuff. Last week they screened “The Squid and the Whale” and “Ballets Russes”—two critically-acclaimed films which will also be shown through Thursday—and this week they open “Illusive Tracks” (or, “Murder on the Stockholm Express”), premiering here in the Twin Cities. You won’t find this one in your Netflix queue or at your local video store. It’s a Swedish comedy thriller that blends elements of film noir and a classic love story on a train bound for Berlin just after the conclusion of World War II. The film’s hero is a writer seeking to help out refugees and survivors of the atrocities of WWII and, as the alternate title implies, encounters both intrigue and some intriguing characters who could have come straight out of the pages of an Agatha Christie thriller. Through Feb. 9. 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.; Sat. & Sun. matinees at 5:30 p.m. $8/$6.50. 309 Oak St. SE, Mpls. 612-331-3134. mnFilmArts.org. NATHAN DEAN

New York Doll
Bell Auditorium


Arthur “Killer” Kane is the bassist for the influential glam rock pioneers The New York Dolls, who are going to reunite. Arthur has had a rough 30 years: his former life of alcohol, drugs and debauchery has noticeably taken its toll. He harbors resentments and jealousy toward the other living members of the Dolls, particularly David Johansen, for Johansen’s continued success. Arthur, meanwhile, is working in the library at the Church of Latter Day Saints and living hand-to-mouth. When Morrissey, the Dolls’ biggest fan, arranges a reunion, Arthur is delighted, bewildered and apprehensive. The film follows this incredibly moving journey and has some great footage of the Dolls performing in the ’70s. David Johansen is also great fun to watch. Through Feb. 9. 7:15 & 9:15 p.m.; Sat. & Sun. matinees at 5:15. $8/$6.50. 17th & University Ave. SE, Mpls.612-331-3134. mnFilmArts.org. LARRY COHEN

 


The Art Shanty Projects
Medicine Lake


One of the best aspects of Minnesota culture is that people don’t just stay inside and whine about the weather. No, when the world is frozen, hardy Minnesotans are still out there biking, jogging, cross-country skiing and fishing. Maybe they’re wearing a few more layers; maybe they’re on top of the same lakes whose waters they’re in at more clement seasons; but they’re outside and enjoying the cold. A perfect example of this is the Art Shanty projects. A project of the art/performance gallery extraordinaire The Soap Factory and co-curated by David Pitman and Peter Haakon Thompson, the Art Shanty projects take art where only ice fisherman have gone before: in a little frozen village atop Medicine Lake (just across the lake from a little town of ice-fishing huts). There are 20 shanties, each offering different activities and aesthetics from knitting to films to storytelling to just plain cool-looking art. Last year, the icy temperatures let people drive out to the art village. This year’s warmer weather has altered the Art Shanties somewhat. The shanties are closer to the shore, the “ArtCars on Ice” parade will be caravanning in the parking lot, and the tap dancers of “Dancin’ on Thin Ice” will be tapping on REALLY thin ice. However, in its third year the Art Shanties persist, and this weekend should be a great one for appreciating Minnesota winter and art in all its glory. From 1 to 3 p.m., there will be the Intermedia Arts winter ArtCars parade; at 3:15 p.m. the “Dancin’ on Thin Ice” tap dancers will begin their dancing fundraiser to send free dance shoes to Brazil, Louisiana and Mississippi; from noon to 5 p.m., David Hamlow will lead post-consumer toy construction workshops; a robot carves ice from noon to 3 p.m.; from 1 to 5:30 p.m. you can trade stories for treats alongside ice fisherpeople in the Rendezvous Café; and The Zombies on Ice eat brains and such at 4 p.m. The Knitting Shanty will be open for knitting; the Norae Shanty for singing; the Vista Shanty for tea and games; the Science Shanty for learning. Oh, and bone-chilling movies will be shown from 7 to 10 p.m. There are so many activities happening in so many shanties, it’s bound to be a (frigid) blast. The Art Shanties project is up through Feb. 19 and open every day, though not all the artists are there during the week. There will be a closing event on Feb. 18 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Near the East Medicine Lake Beach parking lot. AtrShantyProjects.org. MICHELLE LEE

Martin Devaney & The Ashtray Hearts
The Entry


While I always recommend checking out Devaney’s live show, I’m marking this one with whatever passes for “Chef’s Special”—star, dagger, pilcrow—in my show calendar because this will probably be your last chance to catch him performing with some old friends: Sean McPherson and Peter Leggett from local hip-hoppers Heiruspecs. Ask any of the artists they’ve backed up around town, from Jessy Greene to Ela: They bring a level of lockstep musicianship and professionalism that does what Kobe Bryant can’t—they make their teammates better. The Ashtray Hearts have been coping with the loss of keyboardist Brad Augustine to New York City, but they’ve handled the transition admirably and the extra space leaves more room for Steve Yernberg’s understated and elegant guitar work. The shift has also forced Aaron Schmidt to abandon his familiar post at the microphone, Budweiser in hand, and take on more of the keyboard duties in the band. I wonder if his rider states that he will only play keyboard parts that require one hand so he can keep his trusty Bud by his side. With the Get Up Johns. 8 p.m. 21+. $6. 29 N. 7th St., Mpls. 612-332-1775. JEFFREY JAMES GIANTVALLEY


Passions
The Triple Rock Social Club


Passions will punch you in the face. The first time you hear Grant Cutler’s screaming-life vocals ex-plode from his diminutive frame, you’ll have a sense that whatever he’s on about, he really means it. His sympathetic backers (Mike Gunnerson on guitar/vocals, Luke Skansgaard on bass/vocals and Joe Mabbott on drums) seem equally engaged in the task, but if this is your first time experiencing the band, bring earplugs. I learned my lesson the second time I caught them because they match their ear-shattering volume with a sensibility for catchy hooks that only emerges when you’ve got some kind of foam or silicon buffer in your ear. Or when you get to hear them on disc. This past weekend, Mabbott (who runs Minneapolis hit factory the Hideaway) passed me a hot-off-the-presses mastered copy of their soon-to-be-released new album and it’s an expansive listen, careening wildly from full-on digital hardcore on tracks like “Red Carpet Memories,” to melodic disco punk on “Black Eyes,” to the streamlined speed and metallic sheen of my personal fave, “Go On Mpls.” There’s enough sonic diversity (electronic touches, organ riffs ripped straight from Caesars, semi-ironic —possibly—hair metal guitars) to keep you engaged for the whole ride, which morphs from a rollercoaster on CD into a fall from a tall building when they take the stage with an aim to crush it. Leave sweaty, leave happy. With The Cardinal Sin, Black Cougar Shock Unit and SevenOneFive. 10 p.m. 21+. $6. 629 Cedar Ave., Mpls. 612-333-7499. MCPHERSON

 

 


Emily Carter
Acadia Cafe


Wonderful news: Emily Carter Roiphe (note: diligently inquiring minds failed to ascertain whether the new last name means she recently got hitched) is doing her thing in-person. One of the strongest writers we’ve seen in these parts for quite some time, she fired up Twin Cities lit with her story collection “Glory Goes and Gets Some” (Coffee House Press). She has also received the Loft/McKnight Award, a National Magazine Award, the impossible-to-win Bush Fellowship and had the title story from her collection selected by Garrison Keillor for a volume of “Best American Short Stories.” Despite all the acclaim, she hasn’t been doing a whole lot of public appearances these days. In fact, appreciative audiences probably owe her buddy Chris Shillock their profound thanks, as she’s doing this gig as the special guest for a bill headlining Shillock and Tabatha Predovich. Also appearing: Scott Vetsch, Astronaut Cooper’s Parade. 7:30 p.m. $7. All Ages. 1931 Nicollet Ave. S., Mpls. 612-874-8702. HOBBES

Flogging Molly
First Avenue


With one band member actually from Ireland, Flogging Molly certainly has one up on all other “Irish Folk Punk” bands playing today, although that label may not actually fit them very well. Flogging Molly are more like an Irish jig being played by a couple of traditional jig players and a couple of punks—but it doesn’t really matter what you call their music, it’s just fun. Expect a lot of opportunities to sing along, dance and raise your beer in the air with one of the most energetic live bands that you could expect to see. The show opener is Idaho’s Scotch Greens, who play a haunting mix of early American roots, bluegrass and punk. Although the Scotch Greens’ new album is not scheduled to be released until late February, it is not overly optimistic to expect them to play some new songs. Southern California’s Rolling Blackouts will open with their primitive rock ’n’ roll sounds. 8 p.m. $19 adv/$21 door. 21+. Also Sat. 5 p.m. SOLD OUT. All Ages. 701 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-332-1775. SAM RICHARD

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