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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 May 10 - May 16, 2006
Thursday 11 May @ 14:52:17
Hot TicketsThe Rainer Maria transformation... grand slam jazz night for MN Sur Seine Festival... MCAD Student Show... NegativlandLand... well-polished and listener-friendly - The Amber Estate... Gomez under the radar... a Full Moon Walk... Global Warming Town Hall Meeting... the old timey-old-timey Brass Kings (CD release)... plus, HOT PICK OF THE WEEK: “House of Fury”


May 10 - May 16, 2006

Rainer Maria
Triple Rock Social Club

Rainer Maria have undergone quite the transformation since their beginnings nearly a decade ago in Madison, Wis.; morphing along the way from scream-heavy technically-challenged emo firebrands to the relatively sleek NYC-based power trio of today. Although old time fans are likely to be disappointed by the super-waxy sheen of new album Catastrophe Keeps Us Together—the second consecutive RM album in which guitarist Kyle Fischer’s blood-curdling yelps are kept completely silent—there’s still plenty to love for those willing to roll with the changes. Bassist Caithlin De Marrais has never sounded more forceful or confident, having finally fully grown into the banshee yowl tremulously hinted at on prior releases and although Fischer’s windpipes may have been silenced, his guitar roars as loudly as ever, taking at least equal share of the spotlight with De Marrais’ voice. Fans have always known Rainer Maria can rock; what’s surprising here is how effective they are in more dulcet moments, like the largely acoustic shuffle of “Terrified.” Who says literate punks can’t age gracefully? With Ambulette, Marlah. 6 p.m. $10. All Ages. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls. 612-333-7399. ROB VAN ALSTYNE



Fundraiser for MN Sur Seine Festival
Turf Club

A dazzling array of many of the finest jazz musicians in the Twin Cities are gathering to perform tonight and raise funds for the 3rd Annual Minnesota Sur Seine Festival. The lineup includes Happy Apple, Fat Kid Wednesdays, James Buckley, George Cartwright, Gorilla Warfare, Jello Slave and Chris Thomson. What a grand slam of a jazz night out! This year’s Sur Seine is scheduled for Oct. 12–22. Once again, jazz musicians from France, Great Britain and elsewhere will perform dynamic collaborations with many of this fundraiser’s performers, bridging vast distances while simultaneously breaking sonic barriers. The caliber of musicians brought in from across the pond is just astounding and greater heights of aural ecstacy will build over the 10 days as musicians get to know each other better and form new combos and experiment with and innovate their jazz styles continually. Returning musicians include free jazz pioneer Evan Parker, architect of modern Euro jazz Michel Portal, and experimental pianist Benoit Delbecq, who is already slated to perform with Happy Apple, one happy incident of many to look forward to. Many new performers from around the world will be joining the ever-growing fold and it simply couldn’t be done without the support of our local jazz-lovin’ community. So come out and show Sur Seine musicians your love for the festival and help make it happen! 9 p.m. $8. 21+. Corner of University & Snelling Aves., St. Paul. 651-647-0486. CYN COLLINS


MCAD Student Show

Check out work by graduating seniors at the Minneapolis College of Art + Design during its annual student show. The exhibit includes creative work by all of the 14 majors offered at MCAD; from filmmaking to furniture design, painting to printmaking. The graduates’ work is displayed throughout the main building, and ranges from the sly and clever to the beautiful and moving. What’s more, because it takes plenty of talent and perseverance to make it through four years at MCAD, it’s all good! Plus, there’s a bonus show of select work by recent MFA graduates on display at the Soo Visual Arts Center through May 20 (see review p. 14). Soo VAC reception Fri. May 12, 6 - 8 p.m. Free. 2640 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls. 612-871-2263. MCAD Commencement reception 5 - 7 p.m. Free. 2501 Stevens Ave. S., Mpls. 612-874-3700. BETSY MOWRY

Creative Electric Studios

When trying to sum up Negativland in a 150-word “hot ticket” left me weary with anxiety-fueled writer’s block, there was only one thing to do: borrow, sample, juxtapose, collage and “culture jam” my way through this assignment. And as long as I left U2 out of it, there’d likely be no fear of retribution or litigation. (U2 sued Negativland. Twice.) Because, Boy, trying to figure out How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb could cause quite a Rattle and Hum and undoubtedly lead to War, or at the very least, an Unforgettable Fire Under a Blood Red Sky. But I digress … Negativland: not really a band, but they record and make music. More aptly, an artist collective that manipulates media in order to expose media manipulation. Activists who promote copyright reform and question capitalist propaganda. Hi- and lo-fi techies whose website offers step-by-step instructions on how to build a teletour box and phone fidelity device (including cost and item numbers for each gadget). Twisted genius? Brilliant pranksters? Decide for yourself. Reception 6:30 - 11 p.m. Exhibit runs through June 10. 2201 2nd St. NE, Mpls. 612-706-7879. LIBERTY FINCH

The Amber Estate

7th Street Entry

If you like your indie rock to be well-polished and listener-friendly, this might just be the bill for you. Headliners The Amber Estate are a trio, but eschew the usual power trio lineup of bass-drums-guitar. Instead you get “the Mutt” (a bass/guitar hybrid featuring a couple of bass strings and a handful of guitar strings), keyboard and drums. Despite the odd instrumental lineup, they still manage to deliver catchy prog-pop with an edge. Reticence have a similar tendency towards prog, although it’s more fuzzed out and inward looking. Their debut disc, ReMedial, featured at least one sterling silver track in the 8-bit videogame ode “Up Up Down Down.” Go ahead, finish it: Left Right Left Right B A Start. The Icy Shores have a serious Foo Fighters fetish, and their debut disc compares favorably with indie power-pop records with ten times the budget. All in all, a solid lineup of streamlined rocking with nary a clunker in the bunch. With Reticence and The Icy Shores. 8 p.m. 21+. $6. 29 N. 7th St., Mpls. 612-332-1775. STEVE MCPHERSON

The Quest

You might not be familiar with the multi-headed British blues/roots/pop monster that is Gomez because somehow they’ve managed to slip around under the radar in the U.S. since the release of their debut album Bring It On way back in 1998. That disc was an appealing mix of lo-fi roots music and big-voiced pop that managed to be as comfortable as a worn-in pair of sneakers without sounding like a tepid rehash. That year, they won the prestigious Mercury Prize in England and since that time have grown into something of a festival mainstay, a role for which their rambling brand of easy-riding summer anthems are tailor-made. Their latest, How We Operate, opens with the breezy ode to wallflower-dom, “Notice.” “I’m not the only guy I know/ That you’ll never notice,” sings Ian Ball over a ramblingly beautiful backdrop. While nothing they’ve done since has recaptured the garage-band beauty and innocence of Bring It On, How We Operate does an excellent job of solidifying their rep as a band that can appeal to fans of songwriting-driven acts like Snow Patrol just as well as jam-heads like Dave Matthews and Ben Harper. Expect a live show that’ll match up to the very best road-dog bands out there. 7 p.m. 18+. $18. The Quest. 110 N. 5th St., Mpls. 612-338-6169. MCPHERSON


House of Fury
Riverview Theater

This Friday marks the return of one of Minneapolis’s unique pleasures: the mixture of Metropolitan State University’s Asian Media Access, which was developed to meet the media needs of Minnesota’s Asian community, and the Riverview Theater, which is a genuinely splendid bijou with a decidedly old-fangled sensibility. The two join forces for occasional late-night Friday night movies, and there’s nothing quite like the pleasure of sitting in an exquisite movie palace enjoying chocolate-covered Japanese snacks (Pocky is a popular favorite) while watching martial arts flicks. This Friday will feature “House of Fury,” described as a Chinese “Spy Kids,” in which retired secret agent-turned-chiropractor must lead his children against a rogue agent. 11:15 p.m. $3. 3800 42nd Ave., Mpls. 612-729-7369. MAX SPARBER


Full Moon Walk
Minnehaha Park

It took lots of people devoting years of their lives to save Coldwater Spring, the last sacred spring in the Twin Cities. It is estimated that more than 10,000 gallons of water flow through the spring daily; on a recent trip to the area, I noticed the water flows more quickly than a fast bath, and comes directly from the rock. This weekend’s full moon offers a unique opportunity for a group moonwalk and geological tour of the Coldwater area. Fossil collector and rock hound Alan Olson will take visitors through 450 million years of geologic history down the Mississippi bluff from Coldwater to the river, as well as sharing the struggle it took to protect and preserve the spring. A group howl at the moon will wrap up the evening. 7 p.m. Free. South end of Minnehaha Park (from Highway 55, turn east at 54th Street and circle left into the parking lot) FriendsOfColdwater.org. SID PRANKE

Global Warming Town Hall Meeting

Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church

Except for a few crackpots on Big Oil Corporations’ payroll, scientists agree that global warming is real, environmentally destructive and a result of human actions. Intensified storms like Hurricane Katrina and the Dec. 2004 tsunami seem to be one result, as are more severe droughts. Viable solutions are being developed and can be implemented on a state level, which is where all national environmental protections have originated. The Climate Change Coalition hosts a diverse panel that includes Will Steger, Arctic explorer; Rick Kupchella, KARE 11 reporter; Minn. State Rep. Keith Ellison, co-founder of EJAM (Environmental Justice Advocates MN); Lynn Hinckle, UAW 879, author of the “Ford Green Proposal”; Chad Kister, author of “Arctic Melting” and more. 1 - 4 p.m. Free. 511 Groveland Ave., Mpls. LYDIA HOWELL



Brass Kings CD Release
Turf Club

The Turf Club is hosting a CD release party for The Brass Kings’ self-titled debut CD. One of the most unconventional old-timey stringbands in town, their ferocious, world-influenced rhythms take that old-timey sound down some unusual roads. Highly regarded Twin Cities guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Steve Kaul taps into old country blues, Latin rhythms, experimental music, Hawaiian slack-key, Middle Eastern and Far Eastern influences. Timely and provocative songs, such as “Rural Methlab Blues” and “Heavy Hands” (about the Iraq war), display Kaul’s wry, insightful songwriting. Brad Ptacek, former punk bassist with Urban Guerillas, gave up his electric bass guitar when he fell for the washtub bass, after first plucking its weedwacker line for a jugband. Ptacek draws out all the notes on that line with a wild verve. Washboard, refrigerator parts player and foot stomper, Mikkel Beckmen (Charlie Parr, Crush Collision Trio) began his career on a pack of Grain Belt Premium bottles. His exquisite metal rhythms on the washboard add to the Brass Kings funky hillbilly rhythms, which drive dancers into a frenzy. Aptly self-described as something like “Split Lip Rayfield jamming with Ravi Shankar,” they’re not to be missed. With The Tin Star Sisters and Pert’ Near Sandstone. 9 p.m. $2. 21+. Corner of University & Snelling Aves., St. Paul. 651-647-0486. COLLINS


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