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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 January 3 - January 9, 2007
Wednesday 03 January @ 17:31:29
Hot Tickets365 Days Project :: Cynthia Hopkins :: Jeremy Messersmith :: Sin Cities 7 All-Star Cabaret :: Amplified Life presents The 2007 Next Up Showcase :: Mike Elko :: Thom Hartmann :: Henna Party :: Delfeayo Marsalis AND THIS WEEK'S HOT PICK: Ice Palace CD Release Show at The Triple Rock


365 Days Project
WMFU's Beware of the Blog
It's a little unusual to point to a web page for an event, but for fans of off-the-beaten-track music, 2007 will see the revival of one of the singular events in the history of the internet. For a full year in 2003, the web was home to one new mp3 per day, and they tended to be astounding. There were a few of the legends of outsider music, such as William Shatner's lunatic version of "Rocket Man" and Orson Welles' hectoring of the producers of a frozen peas commercial. These recordings had made the rounds for decades, shared with eager collectors who played faded reel-to-reel tapes with each other. But the 365 Days Project presented some extraordinary discoveries as well, such as Sister Gertrude Morgan, a New Orleans-based singer and painter who preached the gospel in the streets of the French Quarter, and whose chanted, semi-improvised gospel record was released locally in 1969. Since then, Sister Gertrude has enjoyed a significant revival, with her album enjoying a re-release on CD and her unpolished illustrations touring the country as superlative examples of visionary art. The new 365 Days project has a greatly expanded mission—rather than simply releasing one mp3 per day, they will be releasing entire albums, or several albums. January 1 of this year started with a bang, returning to two favorites from the original project. First, is Battle Creek, Mich., Christian deejay Michael Mills' protracted 1981 lecture on "Hidden and Satanic Messages in Rock Music." While the original Project merely included clips of Mills playing albums backward to reveal their abstruse messages, the new version has the entire thing, so if you ever felt that Bow Wow Wow or Dan Fogelberg secreted evil messages in their music, well, it turns out you were right, and Mills will tell you why. Secondly, the 365 Days project has returned to a lost 1977 variety show special on ABC called "Beatles Forever," in which a series of inappropriate performers took cracks at warbling the hits of the Fab Four. Up until now, we could only enjoy Anthony Newley's spirited version of "Within You, Without You," but now we can enjoy a medley of Lennon/McCartney tunes by perhaps the oddest chorus ever assembled: Ray Charles, Tony Randall, Bernadette Peters, Anthony Newley, Dianne Carroll, Mel Tillis and Paul Williams. Get your iPods warmed up, friends—2007 looks to be the best year ever. Download at blog.wfmu.org. MAX SPARBER

Cynthia Hopkins
Walker Art Center
What if WWII Paris café singer Edith Piaf sang in post-Katrina New Orleans? What if Kurt Weil were a 21st century performance artist with a video-camera and an upright piano? What if country music went psychedelic? These transformations might come close to mirroring performance artist Cynthia Hopkins, who kicks off Walker Art Center's 2007 Inside Out There performance series. Hopkins wowed Walker audiences with her 2005 "Accidental Nostalgia." This new work, "Must Don't Whip 'Um," is about a fictional singer who's backed up by Gloria Delux, adept at violin, standup bass, jazz funeral horn and assorted odd instruments, all of which makes for a soulful musical gumbo. Hopkins' voice is a restrained wail that converges with a broken-hearted whisper not unlike a female version of Tom Waits. Her poetry expresses stubborn desire surviving disaster as she sings, "There is a crack in everything / That's how the light gets in." Through Jan. 6. Post-show party & artist talk on Dec. 5. $12 - $20. 1750 Hennepin Ave., Mpls. 612-375-7600. LYDIA HOWELL

Jeremy Messersmith
7th Street Entry
You've probably heard Jeremy Messersmith; his song "Novocain" is all over radio right now, and why not? It's a fairly incredible song, leavening a sensitive guy refrain ("I need a shot of Novocain / to numb my broken heart") with a toothsome melody that keeps it from getting maudlin. What you might not know is that it's followed on his debut disc, The Alcatraz Kid, by another fantastically winsome tune, "Easy Lovers, Hardly Friends." Messersmith has a gift for taking the everyday and making it seem quietly epic, spanning the gap between the reality of our fairly boring lives and the glossy way we feel about the movies with a few chords and a skippingly descending melody. "Started with a tiny whisper / in my ear," he sings in "Easy Lovers," "Ended like a roller coaster / at the county fair." Caught in the push-pull of an off-again, on-again relationship with nothing at the core, he makes a situation that most of us would just whine about to our friends into a beautiful slice of pop perfection. And then he does it over and over again. I can hardly wait for the follow up. The pairing with Chris Koza is an inspired one, as Koza busted out of the gates with a killer debut album and has since followed it with a strong second effort and a just-released EP—in essence, he's running the same race as Messersmith, just a couple laps ahead. Also with The Winter Blanket. 8 p.m. $6/$8. 21+. 29 N. 7th St., Mpls. 612-332-1775. STEVE McPHERSON

Ice Palace CD Release
Triple Rock Social Club
Ian Prince and Darren Jackson started local label Speakerphone Records so they could release records on their own terms, but up until now they've strictly released Kid Dakota and Story of the Sea records, two bands of which they're principal members. Now, however, they're turning to a band a step outside the fold, Ice Palace. Led by Adam Sorensen and Sam Needham on vocals and guitars, with bass support courtesy of Sarah Schneeberger and Cloud Cult drummer Dan Greenwood, Ice Palace fits in ably with the palette established by Kid Dakota and Story of the Sea. The title of the second track on the disc, "Nuance and Spark," may as well be the chief ingredients in the group's musical recipe. There aren't a lot of gimmicks on their debut album, Bright Leaf Left, just solid songwriting and straightforward and often beautiful indie rock. "She Holds Hands" is built around a delicately brittle guitar part and a fractured narrative about a misunderstood woman. "Some bastard down the street / tried to say that she holds hands for a living," goes the end of a verse that leads into a lushly harmonized chorus, and the band is smart enough to drape the song in a minimum of ornamentation, sticking with a simple guitar/bass/drums setup; there's a mournful organ that comes in toward the end, but that's about it. "Trampolining" recalls The Tragically Hip's easy way with a melody and concept, and the album is built on such subtle charms, opting out of bluster and obvious hooks in favor of a dusky and unfussy wisdom. Besides label mates Kid Dakota, Ice Palace will be joined by Duplomacy, whose All These Long Drives has been quietly winning me over with its particular brand of understated yet brilliant songwriting. 9 p.m. $6. 21+. 629 Cedar Ave., Mpls. 612-333-7499. STEVE McPHERSON

Sin Cities 7 All-Star Cabaret
Bryant-Lake Bowl
Sick of all the holiday wholesome family goodness, the rosy-cheeked children singing carols, the repeated viewing of "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Miracle on 34th Street"? Take a break and celebrate the seven deadly sins in this BLB cabaret, which features all kinds of local musicians, actors, writers and producers. The Sin City 7 All-Star Cabaret will be featured the first weekend of every month, beginning in January. Tonight's debut show—hosted by Bobbi Miller, a local jazz vocalist, and Dave Mondy, a past writer for "A Prairie Home Companion" and winner of Best Solo Comedy award at the San Francisco Fringe Festival—could arguably have the most exciting theme there is: Lust. Remember that BLB's theater seats only 99, so arrive early and grab a drink or snack. For details, check out their website, which proudly displays the Bertolt Brecht quote, "A theater with no beer is just a museum." This should be a good evening to take it to heart. Also Sat. Dec. 6. 10 p.m. $12/$10 with Fringe button. 810 W. Lake St., Mpls. 612-825-8949. CHARLES DAVIS.

Amplified Life
Turf Club
You've got an all-star hip-hop bill with Amplified Life Presents: The 2007 Next Up Showcase. Sponsored by Radio K, this roundup of five acts is projected to "make a major impact in the Twin Cities and abroad this year." And it's hard to argue with that. Heading the bill is Toki Wright, who has racked up numerous accomplishments over the years. A member of The C.O.R.E. and APHRILL as well as president of the youth non-profit YO! The Movement, Wright's preparing to release his solo debut, A Different Mirror. He has performed at Scribble Jam (the largest hip-hop festival in the country), SXSW (South by Southwest) and Coachella Music Festival as hype-man for Brother Ali. He's also toured Portugal, Rwanda, Brazil and Uganda. Also performing are Mike Mictlán, Maria Isa, Hmong duo Delicious Venom and Illuminous 3. Sounds like you need to be early about the business of getting a seat. 9 p.m. 21+. Corner of University & Snelling Aves., St. Paul. $5. 651-503-1596. DWIGHT HOBBES

Mike Elko
Susan Hensel Design
Mike Elko is a TC printmaker with a piercing wit that's evident in his rabbit foot motif work titled "Faith-Based," and his dark variations on Wal-Mart ads. In the new exhibit We Drove, We Saw, We Ate, Elko unveils a summer tradition with an opening night mid-winter picnic. Play the "Family Vacation Game," share travel adventures and win a prize. Come to the opening, and be sure to return on Feb. 17 for an original performance by Talking Image Connection, a group inspired by Elko's art. Through Feb. 28. Opening reception 5 – 9 p.m. 3441 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls. 612-722-2324 or susanhenseldesign.com. LYDIA HOWELL

Thom Hartmann
Lyndale Church of Christ
A new generation sees college tuition going up 15 percent annually while grants disappear and loans threaten to shackle their future. Owning a home might be a pipedream instead of the old American Dream. Secure jobs with decent wages, healthcare and pensions are becoming nostalgia. Thom Hartmann, an Air America radio host and author, is fighting back in his book "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle-Class and What We Can Do About It." Hartmann takes aim at corporations and conservatives, explores how we got here and offers suggestions as to how we can stop it. 2 p.m. 31st & Aldrich Ave. S., Mpls. 612-822-4611 or magersandquinn.com. LYDIA HOWELL

Henna Party
Jawaahir Dance Company
Release your inner dancer at Jawaahir's 14th Annual Henna Party, which offers more than just temporary henna tats. As one of the oldest and most well-respected Middle Eastern dance companies in the Twin Cities and beyond, Jawaahir Dance Company and the Cassandra School have been shaking bellies and clanging finger symbols since 1978. This is the 14th year for the Henna Party, which brings Middle Eastern hospitality to the Middle West and celebrates a culture that, sadly for most of us, has been obscured and distorted by years of senseless war and inept foreign policies. The event features a short performance by Jawaahir dancers who will also teach some basic moves. Stay for delicious nibbly treats, mingle with friends and indulge in the centuries-old tradition of henna painting. 2 – 5 p.m. $10/$8 groups of five or more. 1940 Hennepin Ave., Mpls. 612-872-6050 or jawaahir.org. NANCY SARTOR

Delfeayo Marsalis
Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
Just when you thought the Marsalis clan had run out of folk, presented for your consideration is one Delfeayo Marsalis on trombone. Making it just fine in the world of jazz in his own right, this Marsalis has toured internationally with the likes of Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Slide Hampton and Max Roach, as well as with his own modern jazz ensemble. "His layers of tone float through the room like clouds of cotton candy, gently shifting the color and tone of each note, carving and shaping them to perfection," says the Louisville Jazz Society. Ought to be a nice time, catching him live. Also Jan. 10. 7 & 9 p.m. $35/$30. 1010 Nicollet Ave., Mpls. 612-332-1010. DWIGHT HOBBES
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