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Twin Town High (vol. 8)
Hot Tickets for December 14 - December 20, 2005
Wednesday 14 December @ 21:05:27
First Ave's B-Day...follow the White Light...warm holiday anticonsumerist carols...Fifth Element B-Day bash...Ballet of the Dolls’ Giselle..and more early country than old-timey, more old-timey than bluegrass...plus other hot-like-potatoes shows/events/web-streams to warm your mitts this week...
Check Your Pulse!
14 - December 20, 2005
Sometimes it takes nearly losing a loved one to realize how important
they are in your life. That’s what my relationship with First Avenue
has been like ever since the hallowed venue that Prince immortalized in
“Purple Rain” was temporarily shuttered last year only to
reopen triumphantly. Yeah the place is filthy and I’m frankly scared
to use the bathrooms—but if you want genuine rock ’n’
roll heart and history you’re gonna have to get your hands dirty.
All the top dawgs are making it out for this special night. Leading the
list is an acoustic trio version of the Jayhawks—who haven’t
performed in over two years. Will the purple one himself show up? Stranger
things have been known to happen. With The Jayhawks, The Hold Steady,
Koalas, Jessy Greene, Polara, Rifle Sports, X-Boys, Aesma Daeva, The Mighty
Mofos, Curtiss A, The Mood Swings, Mike Watt, members of Golden Smog and
DJs Kevin Cole and Roy Freedom. 7 p.m. 21+. $12/$15. 701 First Ave.
N., Mpls. 612-338-8388. Rob van Alstyne
Center for Independent Artists
Performance, music and ritual to honor the Solstice season and the Sacred
Feminine will be held, encompassed by an opening ritual, to be followed
by an open dance and drumming circle, cabaret-style performances, and
ending with global-beat dance music. Founding mother and event organizer
Felicitas Maria Sokec says the event is designed to “reconnect women
with the concept of the Sacred Feminine in themselves, because most religions
are male-dominated.” The event is open to women of all religious
persuasions, and offers a safe place for women to express themselves.
Throughout the night, massage therapist, henna artists and mystic readings
will be available for an extra fee. For womyn only. 7–11 p.m.
$5. 4137 Bloomington Ave. S., Mpls. 612-331-1814. Rebecca Thurn
Triple Rock social club
As my colleague Rob
van Alstyne recently pointed out, there’s an almost unfair number
of pop-tastic bands in the Twin Cities these days. I’m sure there
are plenty of music editors at alternative weeklies all around the country
bemoaning the solicitations they get from bands, but man, am I ever glad
that White Light Riot got
in touch with me. Any powerpop band worth its salt has gotta sound great,
and recording your disc at the Terrarium, having it produced by Erik Applewick
and getting it mixed and mastered by Alex Oana means mission accomplished
for this foursome. “Out of Sight” might as well have the Current’s
address stamped on its forehead for how radio-ready it sounds and “Tuning
Out” recalls the Verve’s expansive soundscapes. Crackly guitars
dogfight with cascading melodies and harmonies, and while their cited
influences (Radiohead, The Beatles, The Cure) are in there, there’s
an urgency which recalls nothing so much as 1965-era Afghan Whigs.
Big choruses, piano arpeggios, the occasional dose of drum machine: what’s
not to love? Look for headliners The Hopefuls and The Melismatics to be
upstaged, and that’s saying something. 5 p.m. All Ages. $8. 629
Cedar Ave., Mpls. 612-333-7499. Steve McPherson
Ambassador Joe Wilson on White House Lies & Leaks
Lakes and Plains Regional Council of Carpenters and Joiners
Ambassador Joe Wilson and DFL Chair Brian Melendez as they discuss the
war in Iraq and White House scandals at a DFL fundraiser. Don’t
miss this opportunity to hear Wilson tell his side of the story, from
facing down Saddam Hussein to battling uranium lies and White House leaks,
drawing from his new memoir, “The
Politics of Truth.” As the U.S. ambassador in Iraq during Operation
Desert Shield, Wilson was responsible for freeing 150 American hostages.
In 2002, Vice President Dick Cheney requested the C.I.A to assign Wilson
to investigate claims Saddam Hussein was seeking to acquire uranium from
Niger for the purpose of advancing his nuclear program. When his investigation
turned up nothing, Wilson reported to officials in Washington there was
no basis for the claims. When President Bush repeated the claim in his
2003 State of the Union address, Wilson wrote in a New York Times op-ed
that the Bush administration exaggerated the case for invading Iraq. Supposedly
in retaliation and to discourage others from speaking out, White House
officials allegedly called reporters to identify Wilson’s wife,
Valerie Plame, as a clandestine C.I.A. operative. Conservative columnist
Robert Novak published the information, inciting an ongoing investigation
into the possibly illegal intelligence leak. 7:30 p.m. $50/$25 seniors
& students. 700 Olive St., St. Paul. 651-293-1200. Cyn Collins
(anti) Holiday Party
who here likes the holidays? I mean, it’s a hassle. There’s
a lot of bad Christmas music. Enforced family get-togethers are never
as much fun as impromptu ones. For me, what makes putting up with the
holly and the “Jingle Bell Rock” worth it are the fabulous
parties of the season. One that I’ll definitely be attending is
the Arise! Bookstore
holiday party. Why? Well, it’s sure to take a radical bent on the
holidays. In fact, some of the entertainment includes The Counterprop
Carolers and radical cheerleaders leading anticonsumerist carols; after
hearing them, I could somehow stand the ubiquitous Christmas music more.
For another thing, there’s free food and drink and 10 percent off
everything in the store. Plus, there’ll be a cheesy holiday sweater
contest: Wear yours, and the best will win a prize. Finally, the whole
shebang will be topped off by a riot grrrl dance party. Other performers
include Andy Gifford, Coleman Lindberg, Ba Ba Blacksheep. 7 p.m. Free.
2441 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls. 612-871-7110. Bernice Rouge
Fifth Element 6th Anniversary
The Fine Line
In the last six years we have seen a lot of change in the world. New old
Presidencies, the MySpace revolution, iPods, blogs, the universal pimping
of reggaeton. Locally we have seen redistricting of city wards, rap crews,
bike gangs, and the newfound ability to be an internet hater on Dunation.com’s
message board. The world is definitely a different place. Now in their
sixth year, local powerhouse hip-hoppers Rhymesayers Entertainment have
been running strong with their record store and operations base the Fifth
Element. Located on the tail end of Uptown (2411 Hennepin Ave., to
be exact), the store is home to national recording artists Atmosphere,
MF Doom and I Self Devine. The event will feature performances by Los
Nativos, who are readying for a national tour, Brother Ali, who is putting
finishing touches on the follow-up to Shadows on the Sun entitled
The Undisputed Truth, and a surprise late entry by Felt/Living
Legends member MURS. MURS will be replacing I Self Divine, who, due to
unforeseen scheduling conflicts, will be touring Denmark with DJ Abilities.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this one sells out. Get there early.
In the words of the great Dave Chappelle as Rick James, “It’s
a celebration, bitches.” With DJs Nikoless and Plain Ole Bill. 9
p.m. 18+. $10/$12. 318 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-338-8100. Toki
The Turf Club
For a town (nay, two towns!) with approximately a thousand musicians,
you’d think we could avoid quite so much band crossover, but lo,
’tis easier said than done. This edition of Heartbreak
and Harmony brings together three bands (but only two drummers, and
one fewer guitarist than you’d think) in the rank sweat of an enseamed
bed, stew’d in corruption (aka the Turf Club) for a musical three-way.
I, of course, am spoiled by getting the chance to hear the Ashtray Hearts
and Valet rehearse in my basement (yup, I live with guitarist Steve Yernberg),
usually late at night (jerks), but I’m still not sick of ‘em.
The Ashtray Hearts’ sublime Perfect Halves is a shoo-in for
most critics’ year-end top ten lists, wherein the band undergoes
a Peter Parker-like transformation from a whispy youth into a toned and
more muscular, yet still endearing, superhero. The music’s reason
enough, but if you haven’t been by the Turf recently, you should
reacquaint yourself as it’s looking better than it has since the
mid-’40s, I’d say. A couple coats of paint and a few animal
heads in the basement and voila! It’s the golden age of radio all
over again! Featuring The Owls, The Ashtray Hearts and Valet. 9 p.m.
21+. $5. Corner of University & Snelling Aves., St. Paul. 651-647-0486.
Ballet of the Dolls’ Giselle
Ordway Center’s McKnight Theatre
is filled with anticipation. For some, it’s expectant joy for the
birth of baby Jesus; for others, it’s the promise of an Xbox 360.
For me and my twisted sensibilities, it’s the Ballet
of the Dolls holiday show. This year the company revisits a production
of “Giselle,” infusing traditional ballet with wicked disco
and R&B tunes. “Giselle” is a story of unrequited love:
girl has boy; girl rejects boy; girl falls for bad boy; bad boy rejects
girl; girl goes mad. Julia Tehven stars as the lovely and tortured Giselle,
gliding between graceful arabesques and funky soul moves on a stage that’s
decked out fancier than a Norwegian fir (Stephanie Karr-Smith designed
costumes, Dean Holzman designed sets). It’s a festive audio/visual
razzle dazzle that beats freezing your butt off on Nicollet Mall amid
a bunch of snotty-nosed kids. Pretty boxes are defiled in a matter of
seconds, but a Doll’s show unwraps itself over the course of an
evening. Through Dec. 31. $30 - $75. 345 Washington St., St. Paul.
651-224-4222. Nancy Sartor
Theatre de la Jeune Lune
When I first read “The Little Prince,” it had me—and
the 16-year-olds in my French 4 class—in tears. The beauty of the
timeless story, penned in the 1940s by pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupery,
is beautiful in that it seamlessly combines philosophy and children’s
literature without all that Pooh Bear/Berenstain Bears/Care Bears (OK,
so I’m a little bear-biased) treacle. That is to say, the story
of the Little Prince and the plot is one that can be enjoyed equally by
adults and children. As is usually the case, Theatre de la Jeune Lune
has really done this work justice. Their production, starring Steven Epp,
Nathan Keepers and Max Friedman, doesn’t have a set to speak of,
so it relies on the actors’ movements and other small subtleties
to tell the story. Somehow, this fits perfectly with Saint-Exupery’s
tale. The Little Prince is so much about imagination; the more you use
your imagination in this production, the more you enjoy the play. It just
works. Go see this classic tale come to life. Through Jan. 1. 105 N.
First St., Mpls. 612-333-6200 or JeuneLune.org.
House of Mercy Xmas Show
yourself a Grand Old Xmas, as the House of Mercy Presents an Xmas show
for their monthly “Live at the Turf Club” tonight. They never
fail to have a phenomenal lineup for their very popular “Grand Ol’
Opry” style radio shows showcasing several local musicians. They
broadcast the show live on MisplacedMusic.org.
Tonight they feature The House of Xmas Band, Helen & Karen, Sam Keenan
& Jared Lukes, Accident Clearinghouse and The Get Up Johns. The Get
Up Johns (Joshua Wenck and Jake Hyer) are a duo with incredible harmonies
and instrumentation. They perform more early country than old-timey, more
old-timey than bluegrass. They both grew up learning harmonies in church
and “the voices blend well naturally together,” Wenck said.
“We try to push harmonies so intervals are more open, and with darker
notes.” Which explains something so many of us find so appealing
about their haunting, rousing music. The Get Up Johns are producing a
new CD to be co-released by 2024 Records and Mercy Recordings hopefully
by late February. It will feature their original “Guns to Carry”
(which I love), a song by Brett Larson (“Wishful Thinkin’”)
and some songs they learned from a Dwight Diller tape. 8 p.m. 21+.
$5. Corner of University & Snelling Aves., St. Paul. 651-647-0486.