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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 March 30 - April 5, 2005
Thursday 31 March @ 00:11:17
Hot TicketsPulse SFSN Volume 2 CD Release Show...The Rank Strangers...24-Hour Play Project...Action vs. Action...Ben Lee...and many other smokin' shows and events this week! Check Your Pulse!

March 30- April 5, 2005

Pulse SFSN Volume 2 CD Release Show
The Dinkytowner Café

Pulse has long been a proponent of rocking tunes in a smoke-free environment, and this gig celebrates our commitment to clean-air musicality in style. Celebrating both the release of our new local music compilation, The Best of Smoke Free Saturday Nights Volume 2 (featuring a lineup of local music all-stars who have all played Pulse-sponsored smoke-free concerts in the past), and the Minneapolis smoke-free ordinance kick-off (all bars in the city go smoke-free today). The disc, which comes with the price of admission, is reason enough to head down to the Dinkytowner. The album features unreleased cuts from Valet, Martin Devaney, Volante and others alongside choice album cuts from groups like Kurmodgeon and Cowboy Curtis. All the bands playing tonight are on the disc, and this showcase provides a great chance for the underage set to see some talent that all too rarely plays for the non-bar crowd around town. Featuring Valet, Martin Devaney, Cowboy Curtis, Kurmodgeon, Jacob Grun (of Seldomseen). 5 p.m. $5. All Ages. 412 ½ 14th Ave. SE, Mpls. 612-362-0427. Rob van Alstyne

Metro Independent Business Alliance Meeting
Roseville Public Library

In a time when mega-corporations like Wal-Mart are wiping out the Mom-and-Pop stores that give neighborhoods their human touch and local charm, a group of Greens and local entrepreneurs are fighting back, by forming a coalition of independently- and locally-owned businesses. The group, the Metro Independent Business Alliance, was created as a network of such businesses to help each other, publicize the virtues of local economy and promote their common interests. MIBA will hold its first meeting March 31 at the Roseville Public Library, and this is your chance to join the fledgling group and vote for where you think it should focus its energies. 7 p.m. 2180 Hamline Ave N, Hamline Ave. and Cty. Rd. B2, Roseville. 651-647-4261 or MIBA.IDCwebDev.com. Brian Kaller



The Rank Strangers
The Turf Club

As constant as the cold during a Minnesota winter, Minneapolis mainstays the Rank Strangers’ enviably voluminous and high quality output adds another chapter tonight with the release of the new Chop Chop EP. Six cuts of defiantly lo-fi clang mixed with tautly jangling guitars straight out of Michael-Stipe-with-a-full-head-of-hair-era-R.E.M., the result is oddly beautiful. Stepping back from the darn near polished vibe of the preceding I Only Fear That We Are Modern, Chop Chop proudly declares “no pianos were played during the making of this recording.” It remains a puzzle to me why Minnesota’s answer to Pavement hasn’t garnered a higher profile around town, but as long as RS continue cranking out 7”s, albums and EPs at their feverish pace I won’t be the one telling them they deserve to take a break. With Space Camp, Middlepicker. 9 p.m. $5. 21+. The Corner of University and Snelling Ave., St. Paul. 651-647-0486. van Alstyne

Beaner’s Duluth
The 400 Bar

By now it’s no secret that plenty of great music is being made up North, but it’s still nice when the folks keeping everybody warm at Beaner’s Central, a concert coffeehouse that routinely shows off the city’s best, bring some of their musical magic down here to the Twin Cities. This concert doubles as a CD release show for One Week Live Vol. III, a live CD/DVD combo package chronicling a massive Duluth music fest this past September that featured 36 live performances over one week. The disc is great, and three of the aces who performed on it will be showcasing their Americana music skills in the appropriately rustic confines of the 400 Bar. With spring finally breaking, it’s an ideal time to check out the down home sound of the great white North. Featuring David Hanners, Sara Softich Band, Jack Norton. 9 p.m. $5. 21+. 400 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls. 612-332-2903. Nathan Dean


24-Hour Play Project
Theatre Unbound

Theatre Unbound introduced the concept of the 24-hour play to the Twin Cities nearly four years ago and has held this annual event each spring to raise money for the company. Formed in 1999 by a group of seven women artists, Theatre Unbound champions the female voice—producing work by women playwrights, employing women directors and designers and exploring material that offers challenging roles for female actors. The 24-Hour Play Project includes six plays that were written, rehearsed and performed within, you guessed it, 24 hours. The concept is intriguing: six teams of playwrights meet the Friday night before the event and create scripts based on an emotion, an action, a line of dialog and an object. “In the past, we’ve used objects such as a chocolate frosted donut, a corset and duct tape,” says Theatre Unbound Artistic Director Stacey Poirer. This year’s elements are kept top secret until the playwrights assemble on Friday night. Saturday morning the scripts are turned over to the directors and actors, who have only three hours to rehearse before show time. This high-pressure creative process leads to bold, interesting and unpredictable results. Doors 7 p.m. / show 8 p.m. $25. Illusion Theater, Hennepin Center for the Arts, 528 Hennepin Ave., 8th floor, Mpls. 651-331-0129. Nancy Sartor

Home-grown renewable energy
Borlaug Hall

Researchers at the University of Minnesota are exploring how to turn wind into hydrogen, ethanol into electricity and manure into heat, and on Saturday two professors will host a class on how you can take part. Learn how you can power your home or car with energy from wind power, bio-fuels and other sustainable possibilities. Professors Phil Goodrich and Lanny Schmidt will describe their hands-on research, and Professor Vern Eidman will analyze the economics in a session called, “Home-grown renewable energy.” This session is the latest in the University’s Classes Without Quizzes forums, sponsored by the College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences and its Alumni Society. Other classes held the same day will talk about safe food, gardening, climate change and more. 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Borlaug Hall, St. Paul Campus. For more information visit COAFES.umn.edu. Kaller

Susstones Re-entry
The 7th St. Entry

Things have been semi-quiet for local record label Susstones in the first quarter of 2005, but that’s about to drastically change, and this concert, dubbed the “Susstones re-entry gig,” drives that point home with force. All three Sussers on the concert bill are hard at work on new recordings that should surface before the end of the year so expect plenty of new material from edgy pop-rockers the Melismatics, girl power-pop trio The Mood Swings and hard charging Matty Schindler and his latest incarnation of Faux Jean. This concert also marks the “official” release for Polara’s new EP, Green Shoes + 4, which is a teaser for Ed Ackerson and Co.’s. forthcoming full-length. As if all that weren’t reason enough to ensconce one’s self in the welcoming darkness of the Entry, Los Angelino’s the Lift (who Tom Hallett waxed ecstatic about in last week’s edition of “Round the Dial”) will also be on hand to deliver the pop goodies. Featuring The Melismatics, Faux Jean, The Mood Swings and The Lift. 9 p.m. $6. 21+. 701 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-338-8388. van Alstyne

Action vs. Action
The 400 Bar

A power-pop secret that’s been brewing in the 400 Bar on Wednesdays for months, the crazed party-hardy pranksters of Action vs. Action finally get an appropriately raucous weekend airing this time around. Expect plenty of theatrics (funky helmets and audacious stage moves are the norm) and fist pumping choruses. It’s a testament to A vs. A’s high energy output that when they opened up for the Olympic Hopefuls a few months back at the Uptown Bar there wasn’t a noticeable drop-off in audience head bopping between the openers and the headliners. With Red Phone Dispatch. 9 p.m. $5. 21+. 400 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls. 612-332-2903. Dean


Ben Lee
First Avenue

Most musical wunderkinds end up in painful “where are they now?” stories (check out the particularly poignant “Behind the Music” on Leif Garrett for an extreme example), so it’s nice to see that Ben Lee, who first showed up on the pop culture radar at age 16, is not only still around—he’s making the best music of his now decade-long career. Sadly, still known by many for his romantic connection to Hollywood starlet Claire “My So Called Life” Danes (the pair split last year), Lee’s new album Awake Is the New Sleep, should certainly change all that. A lengthy collection of ambient-leaning pop with plenty of ’80s touches, Awake finds Lee’s wide-eyed lyrical positivity set to some ass shaking grooves and delicious hooks. Awake Is The New Sleep is the first pure pop pleasure of the year. With Har Mar Superstar and Maria Taylor (of Azure Ray). 7 p.m. $10 adv/ $12 door. 21+. 701 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-338-8388. van Alstyne

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