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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 December 14 - December 20, 2005
Wednesday 14 December @ 21:05:27
Hot TicketsFirst 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!

December 14 - December 20, 2005

35th Anniversary Party
First Avenue

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

Goddess Night
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


White Light Riot
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

Join 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
Arise! Bookstore

So 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 Wright


Heartbreak and Harmony
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. McPherson

Ballet of the Dolls’ Giselle
Ordway Center’s McKnight Theatre

Christmastime 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

The Little Prince
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. Michelle Lee


House of Mercy Xmas Show
Turf Club

Have 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. Collins

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