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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 November 22 - November 29, 2005
Wednesday 23 November @ 20:31:30
Hot TicketsHalloween, Alaska...Buy Nothing Day...Echo and the Bunnymen...Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon...Heiruspecs...Generations for Peace...Holiday Theater...The Ice Storm...Chris Trapper...It may be cold, but these shows and events are hot, hot, hot!!! Give thanks - Check Your Pulse


November 23 - November 29, 2005


Halloween, Alaska
The Varsity Theater


The last time we were treated to the dulcet tones of Halloween, Alaska they were gracing the big stage at First Avenue, and while that show was plenty great, you shouldn’t miss a chance to catch them in the cozy and comfy confines of the Varsity. It may be a big space, but I’m betting they’ll have the bordello-bedspreaded air mattresses out for this one. While the band’s music plays to the lounge-y strengths of the venue. Hal, AK’s latest—Too Tall to Hide—might ratchet up the dynamics to incorporate the anthemic build of “Drowned” along with the windswept sparseness of “Forever,” and sure, they all stand up now (still not David King, though—what’s up with that?), but they’re still best enjoyed in an intimate setting that lets you soak up the music. Opener DJ Abilities is an inspired choice, and I applaud the decision to complement the headliners’ glitch-pop leanings with more glitch, less pop and lots of hip-hop. I’m also reading here on the Varisty’s website that he can charm a buttload of chinchillas for at least a fortnight. What do you need for that? A pocketwatch? Carrots on sticks? Get back to me. 8 p.m. $15. 18+. 1308 4th St. SE, Mpls. 612-604-0222. Steve McPherson

 


Buy Nothing Day
Internationally

What is more American than stuffing oneself on enough food to feed a small nation, sleeping it off in front of the TV, and then exploiting the people of said small nation by spending a day consuming like you’ve never consumed before? Probably nothing—and that’s the problem. Americans use shopping as a solution for everything and, as a nation, consume a grossly disproportionate amount of the world’s resources. The solution? Well, we don’t have one ... but Adbusters’ Buy Nothing Day is a step in the right direction. Taking place on the biggest shopping day of the year (the day after Thanksgiving), the event can include anything from protesting, to swap meets, to postering, to zombie walks, to anticonsumerist caroling. There’s only one rule for participation: don’t spend money all day. To find out about activities in your area, go to AdBusters.org. Michelle Lee


 


Echo and the Bunnymen
Fine Line Music Café


After you have had your fill of turkey, gravy and enough alcohol to fend off annoying relatives, you may find yourself looking for a mental health break from the pressures of a Thanksgiving Day weekend. Echo and the Bunnymen might be the cathartic pill that you’re looking for. This British group defines what it means to be an act that courageously flirts with the unique mix of putting a punk and alternative pop sound together and bringing it into the mainstream. Current acts like the Killers owe them a large debt. You can always count on Echo and the Bunnymen for comprehensive orchestral arrangements that usually climax into schizophrenic, yet premeditated, masterpieces. High school kids in the ’80s likely used this confounding mix to shout to the world that they were about to take it over. They have consistently recorded since their prime of the ’80s, including their recently released Siberia, which recalls some of their best work from their early days with a modern twist that their peers could only dream of composing. With Innaway. 8 p.m. $20. 18+. 318 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-338-8100. Louis Lenzmeier

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Walker Art Center


“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” put director Ang Lee on the map, bagging award after award and one love-letter review after another. There’s good reason: the film is not only a cinematic gem, it’s a remarkable breath of fresh cultural air. After all, things haven’t progressed much beyond Charlie Chan flicks, considering that authentic depictions of Asian life still come few and far between. The disappearance of a magical jade sword spurs a breathtaking quest for the missing treasure. Li (Chow Yun-Fat) is embittered by the loss of his jade sword, and his unrequited pursuit of Yu (Michelle Yeoh) is further complicated by the mysterious intrusion of an assassin. The identity of the assassin is gradually unveiled as another poignant tale of love begins to unravel alongside that of Li and Yu, all set against the backdrop of Western China’s incredible landscape. 7:30 p.m. $8/$6. 1750 Hennepin Ave. Mpls. 612-375-7600. Dwight Hobbes

Heiruspecs
Triple Rock Social Club


First of all: Yes, Twinkie Jiggles is my brother. Second of all: That doesn’t mean that Heiruspecs doesn’t rock the spot as well as or better than any other live act in the Twin Cities. Just ask Tre Hardson (see Toki Wright’s article in the music section). This is going to be their last local show before they go to the mattresses to prepare the material for their next album, so you best catch the fever while you can. Plus: this show is a benefit and they’re going to be taking nonperishable food items at the door in exchange for $2 off the cover charge. Now what’s not family-friendly about that? All you underage cats who cursed your fate when Heiruspecs got booted from a bill at the Mall of America that was supposed to go down on Fri., Nov. 25 can get your fill of live hip-hop at the early show while the rest of us can polish off the turkey and come by for a hot toddy at the late show. Incidentally, fruitcake does NOT count as a nonperishable food item. 5 p.m. All Ages. 10 p.m. 21+. $10/$8 with a nonperishable food item. 629 Cedar Ave., Mpls. 612-333-7499. McPherson

Generations for Peace
St. Martin’s Table


There’s still time to check out photos by local peace activist Chante Wolf, vice president of Veterans for Peace and veteran of the Iraq War. This is Wolf’s first photography exhibit, and the display will last through the rest of the month. The exhibit, titled Generations for Peace, shows the depth and diversity of the growing peace movement in the United States. The images offer rare glimpses into what the mainstream media has often ignored. Mon. - Sat., 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. 2001 Riverside Ave., Mpls. 612-339-3920. Rebecca Thurn

Holiday Theater
Various Locations


Seems like the gravy’s barely congealed from the Thanksgiving bird and we’re inundated with endless holiday hoopla—from ad circulars to ‘round the clock Christmas music. If you find yourself wrestling with your inner Scrooge, suspend reality and take in some local theater. In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater brings back the ancient Italian legend “La Befana”—a story about an old woman who in her search for the Holy Child discovers holiness in the hearts of all people. HOBT is always great for eye candy, and their holiday show combines both sacred and secular themes for audiences of all ages. For the nostalgic set, this is your last chance to see “A Christmas Carol” at ye ole Guthrie on Vineland Place, home to the traditional tale for more than 30 years. Need a giggle? Grab an eggnog and check out “A Christmas Carole Peterson” at the Loring Playhouse. Across the river, Lou Bellamy and company are staging the annual production of “The Black Nativity.” This year’s energetic and inspirational show focuses on family as a sustainer of culture, history and community. The Andrew Sisters return to the Great American History Center in “Christmas of Swing” and Mounds Theatre presents “A Christmas Story.” And for something completely different, catch the lovely Miss Richfield (we went to high school together!) in “High Hopes, High Hair, Hygiene for the Holidays: Making You a Better You,” a show created and performed by the diva herself. Various times, prices, locations. Call venues or visit theater websites. Nancy Sartor

 

 


The Ice Storm
Walker Art Center


Anyone who thinks well-to-do white folk never go through pure hell should see “The Ice Storm.” It’s a pricelessly apt title for a story of cold-hearted desperation. Kevin Kline is Benjamin Hood, a philandering drunk whose wife (Joan Allen) isn’t fooled one bit and whose teenage daughter (Christina Ricci), he suddenly finds out, can’t keep her pants on. Hood isn’t bad, he just isn’t particularly capable. Ultimately, his love for his no-longer-little girl may be his (and her) saving grace. There’s considerably less hope for the marriage, whether his wife gets fed up and walks out, or stays on in the lifeless relationship. In the midst of it all, a nasty storm hits the area and things really get bad. There’s an excellent departure, here, for Sigourney Weaver who seldom gets to show her range, as Hood’s extra-curricular bedmate, an estranged wife and caring mom with a bit more of a wild streak than is good for her. It’s a stark testament to the reality that all the privilege in the world is no substitute for self-respect. Producer James Schamus’ air-tight script (best screenplay at Cannes) is filmed by director Ang Lee with a sure, compelling hand. 2 p.m. $8/$6. 1750 Hennepin Ave. Mpls. 612-375-7600. Hobbes

Chris Trapper
Ginkgo’s Coffeehouse


Chris Trapper’s new disc Gone Again came to me as a welcome treat this past week, featuring as it does the New Orleans-esque stylings of the Wolverine Jazz Band. Trapper’s pop leanings, which are so boldly in the forefront in his usual outfit, the Push-Stars, are here couched in the sensitive and swinging accompaniment of banjo, tuba, clarinet, trumpet and trombone. A lot of front men who choose to go native in the trad jazz world hew to covers, but Trapper admirably sticks to his original guns here by composing all the tracks. Opener “All Time Favorite” is a standout, draping a sad-sack tale of infidelity in velvety curtains and clever wordplay like, “You’re out busy planning your escape/ and I’m a superhero with no cape.” It’s a sharp contrast to the woe-is-me vibe that pervades a lot of indie-rock nowadays (a lot of which I like), and a good reminder that the point of a lot of early jazz and blues wasn’t wallowing in misery, but dancing your sorrows away. Regrettably, he won’t be bringing the hot jazz band in person to Ginkgo’s, but he’ll bring his troubadour soul and his guitar along for a night of genial acoustic good-timery. 9 p.m. All Ages. $7. 721 Snelling Ave S., St. Paul. 651-645-2647. McPherson

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