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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 February 22 - February 28, 2006
Friday 24 February @ 11:12:27
Hot TicketsSPARK it up!...AR15 is not a gun (but they are a weapon)...Modern, Mystery, and Halloween, Alaska...Tristan Prettyman: Not your regular California beach, the TC Jazz Fest and other shows/events/arts to set your weekend on fire!

Check Your Pulse!

February 22 - February 28, 2006

Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Art 2006
University of Minnesota

The festival opened Tuesday night with jazz-rock quartet Electropolis accompanying a silent film from the 1920s. Too bad if you missed it. However, you can still take in, from morning to night, and mostly for free, the video concerts, live internet performances, electroacoustic concerts, women’s guerrilla performances, installations, late night avant shows at the Nomad World Pub ($5) (stuff like “Improvised Explosive Device” and “Funkenspiel”), and, true to academic form, panels, papers and lectures. Artists from all over the world will be there. The star attraction is world-renowned American pioneer composer Alvin Lucier, whose work will be performed throughout the festival (please see Friday’s listing for more information on Lucier). He’s on for the keynote address at 11:15 a.m. on Fri. in Anderson Hall, Rm 370. His work “Nothing is Real” will be presented Friday night at the Ted Mann Concert Hall, along with “Dick and Don” by Mike Olson. Longtime Minneapolis electronic composer Olson harvested fragments from Cheney and Rumsfeld press conferences, speeches and congressional hearings on Iraqi prisoner abuse to create a sound collage. The festival’s range of titles, from the political to the poetic to the entertaining to the psychological, makes you want to check out the experience. It will be as far out as the sound waves Lucier’s most recent compositions cause to spin through space. Through Feb. 26. 612-626-8742. See for schedule and directions. MARY ANN VINCENTA

Jackson’s Juke Joint Mardi Gras Party
The Viking

Jump, twist and shout! Jackson’s back, just in time to throw another wild Mardi Gras party. Jackson Buck, former KFAI programmer of “Jackson’s Juke Joint,” is back at KFAI after a year away working on Florida hurricane damage. Before he left, he had developed the beloved and ultra-popular “Jackson’s Juke Joint” Wednesday series at the Viking Bar, bringing his guest musicians across the street from the station to the stage. This Wednesday marks the return of his Mardi Gras party with New Orleans-style R&B Tabasco-peppered with Cajun and Zydeco spices from the Rockin’ Pinecones featuring Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton (Café Accordion Orchestra) at 7 p.m. They cover hits and obscurities by the likes of Clarence “Bon Ton” Garlow, Clifton Chenier, Boozoo Chavis, Professor Longhair, Queen Ida and many other Louisiana greats. Then, at 9 p.m., wild boogie-woogie monster pianist Andrew “Cadillac” Kolstad takes the stage with his raucous, raunchy good-time ways with the keys and vocals. Cadillac’s been featured on MPR’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” and recently was selected to represent the Twin Cities as a solo performer at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, where he brought the house down at jams all over. There will be Cajun food and Mardi Gras party favors and accoutrements to adorn yourself with. Aaaaiiieeee! It will be bon temps for sure! 7 p.m. Free. 21+. 1829 Riverside Ave., Mpls. 612-332-4259. CYN COLLINS


The Varsity

I doubt whether too many artists would say they support racism, but how many of them are willing to put their money where their mouth is: their name. AR-15 is a California rap duo whose name stands for the 15 anti-racist principles that guide the group. Name checking everyone from the Weathermen to Harper’s Ferry on the track “John Brown” might not seem like an obvious path to hip-hop stardom, but their radical politics are not so far removed from what most left-leaning hip-hop fans believe; they’re just a little more vocal about it. Their hearts are in the right place, even if one of the two tracks they have available online cribs its beat from Dr. Dre’s “Bad Intentions.” They may have played more colleges and community centers than clubs up until now, but no one can deny that their goal is a worthy one, and with so many white rappers trying to play the rap game by out-gangstering each other, it’s refreshing to hear a group with their heads squarely on their shoulders and their eyes on a distinct prize. With headliners the Blend and Hustle Farm. 8 p.m. $5. 18+. 1308 4th St. SE., Mpls. 612-604-0222. NEIL GRECCO


Halloween, Alaska with These Modern Socks and Mystery Palace
The Triple Rock

I know that you’re supposed to start small and build up to bigger venues, but Halloween, Alaska’s recently been backing that thang up and more power to ‘em. Since their release show at First Ave last fall, they’ve played the Varsity and now they’re making a stop at the Triple Rock before playing an acoustic set at the Bryant-Lake Bowl in March. For all their atmospherics and moodiness, this band can bring it, especially with David King manning the drums. I’m still milking enjoyment out of the band’s sophomore effort, Too Tall to Hide; bits of texture and subtlety melt their way into the songs’ nooks and crannies like butter on an English muffin. Front man James Diers is also going to be making a guest appearance at the Bryant-Lake Bowl this weekend to help out Love-cars guitarist Matt Foust’s new project The Few Nice Words, who are appearing with Twin Cities mainstay JG Everest. The Few Nice Words make a beautifully dark noise that has me anticipating their debut release, which will hopefully drop this spring. Back when I was just a sapling here in Minneapolis circa 1998, Love-cars and Everest’s old band, the Sensational Joint Chiefs, introduced me to the local scene, and it’s great to have them all playing shows this weekend. Ah, misty watercolor memories ... 9 p.m. $8/$10. 21+. 629 Cedar Ave., Mpls. 612-333-7499. The Few Nice Words with James Diers and JG Everest @ the Bryant-Lake Bowl. Sat., Feb. 25. 10 p.m. $8/$10. 21+. 810 W. Lake St., Mpls. 612-825-8949. STEVE MCPHERSON

Alvin Lucier
The Spark Festival at the School of Music

What is music? No, seriously: ask yourself. My Intro to Experimental Music class at Wesleyan, taught by Alvin Lucier, changed my answer to that question considerably. Lucier has pioneered many new methods of music making, but is best known for his piece “I Am Sitting in a Room,” in which the performer reads a short text into an empty room. The performance is recorded, played back into the room and recorded again. And again and again. It’s an amazing enough concept that’s laid out in the performance’s text (“I am going to play it back into the room again and again until the resonant frequencies of the room reinforce themselves”), but what’s truly stunning is how unexpectedly beautiful the result is. With the sparest of concepts and tools, Lucier creates a sonic painting of the sounds that lie dormant inside every space we inhabit and in the process makes us realize that music is so much more than arpeggios and appoggiaturas. Lucier is the keynote speaker at the Spark Festival, and several of his pieces will be performed as well. The schedule of performances is extensive and sure to shift your paradigm if you’re willing to open yourself up. Lucier’s keynote lecture is at 11:15 a.m. in Anderson Hall, Rom 370. All events are free. For a complete listing, visit Spark. MCPHERSON


Spirit Road Radio
Air America Minnesota AM 950

Pulse and Southside Pride writer Burt Berlowe will be the co-host of a new hour-long radio show called “Spirit Road Radio,” which will debut on Air America Minnesota AM 950 on Sat., Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. Berlowe will be joined on the air by Rick Bernardo, a local performer, wellness consultant and staff member at the Women of Nations Native-America shelter. According to Bernardo and Berlowe, Spirit Road Radio will emphasize how spirituality and social change can be combined to create a more caring and peaceful world. “As we travel along Spirit Road,” the co-hosts say, “we will find the humanity in everyone through stories, songs, humor and the voices of ordinary people being extraordinary. We invite listeners to join us on the journey.” Initially, Spirit Road Radio will air on the fourth Saturday of each month, with the hope of eventually becoming a weekly show. It is in need of sponsors, advertisers, volunteers and people to listen and call in their comments. For further information, go to their program website. REBECCA THURN

Tristan Prettyman
The Fine Line

Tristan Prettyman might look like a regular California beach girl but, for the most part, she doesn’t fit the air-headed stereotype associated with the Left Coast. This San Diego native is equal parts surfing and music nut. Prettyman’s musical talents include the ability to convey a soothing acoustic pop. Prettyman’s new album, twentythree, is a comforting collection of tunes that you will find to be quite mesmerizing. The album’s signature tune, “Shy That Way,” showcases Prettyman’s delicate voice in a fine duet with pop-music wunderkind, Jason Mraz. Another impressive thing about Prettyman is that she has the songwriting mentality of someone who has been around a while and, despite her background, keeps topics like lying around on the beach all day out of her work. She has so much more to talk about and does it with an experienced poet’s touch and a soothing, “you-just-try-to-stop-listening-to-me” voice. Comparisons to Jack Johnson are ill-suited and the only reason she gets them is because of each musician’s addiction to surfing. Prettyman’s sound and storytelling are much more layered and gratifying and suggests a very bright future for this 23-year-old. 8 p.m. $14.50/$16.50. 18+. 318 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-338-8100. LOUIS LENZMEIER

School Daze Zine Tour
Arise! Bookstore

The zinester world is a strange and wonderful one indeed. It’s a world of self-publishing, where 20 pages you photocopied at Kinkos can spread to bookstores and distros around the world. It’s where the stars, much like the rockstars of music, are known by the names of their zines to many in the subculture (e.g. the somewhat-famed Aaron Cometbus). And yes, it’s a world where people do zine tours, much like book tours but not involving agents or Barnes and Noble engagements. The School Daze Zine Tour is stopping in Minneapolis, and Michel Valdez will be reading of his experiences as a teacher’s assistant in LA. There will surely be tales of children, Spiderman, vomit and such. Oh yeah, and cute little “School Daze” zines with clear plastic covers! Local writer Sam Richard will also be reading from some of his self-published works. 7 p.m. FREE. 2441 Lyndale Ave S., Mpls. 871-7110. MICHELLE LEE


14th Annual Twin Cities Jazz Fest
The Doubletree Hotel

Chase your cold winter cares away with cool live jazz all day. Headlining at this year’s Twin Cities Winter Jazz Fest is David “Fathead” Newman, longtime saxophonist, close friend and road companion of Ray Charles. During the sixties, Newman recorded and toured with numerous jazz greats, from Hank Crawford to Gregg Allman, from Herbie Mann to Aretha Franklin to Aaron Neville. Newman is accompanied by his bassist, John Menegon, hot young pianist Tanner Taylor and drummer extraordinaire Phil Hey. Newman leads a stellar lineup of be-bop, big band, jazz vocals, world music and hot club jazz, including Clearwater Hot Club (featuring wunderkind Sammo Miltich), vocalists Patty Peterson and Dorothy Doring, Laura Caviani, Peruvian guitarist Andrés Prado, and the Cedar Avenue Big Band with Debbie Duncan. Three groundbreaking Twin Cities jazz greats—Eddie Berger, Jeanne Arland Peterson and Irv Williams—are receiving lifetime achievement awards. Alto saxophonist Berger, originally from Philadelphia, has been a bebop advocate since the ’50s and an integral part of the Artists’ Quarter from the club’s inception. Singer and pianist Peterson will be introduced by legendary broadcaster Leigh Kamman, and tenor saxophonist Williams, who’s released two critically-acclaimed CDs since turning 85, will be introduced by his favorite drummer, the Artists’ Quarter’s proprietor Kenny Horst. A silent auction fundraiser for Jazz88 FM and the Twin Cities Hot Summer Jazz Festival will also be held. 1 p.m. – 9 p.m. $23/$25. 1500 Park Pl., Mpls. 952-542-8600. COLLINS

Kiki Smith
Walker Art Center

Artist Kiki Smith will be at the Walker this weekend to guide her traveling show to its temporary residence in Minneapolis. Following its stay in the Twin Cities, the exhibition, which has shown previously at the San Fransisco Museum of Modern Art, will be headed off to Houston’s Comtemporary Art Museum and the Whitney in New York. On Sunday, Kiki Smith will be speaking in the Cinema room and will be joined by New York art critic Peter Schjeldahl. The occasion promises to be interesting and possibly eye-opening for both the new appreciator of Smith’s work, and those who have followed her career from the start. 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 or $15 for Walker members. 1750 Hennepin Ave., Mpls. C. KOZA

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