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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 September 29 - October 5, 2004
Thursday 30 September @ 12:25:25
Hot TicketsThe Court & Spark...Her Space Holiday...Jonathan Rundman...Damien Jurado, Richard Buckner, Dolorean...and many other piquant tickets this week!

September 29 - October 5, 2004

Tracy Shedd
@ The 7th St. Entry

Formerly frail folkie Tracy Shedd has bulked up the sound for her third record, Louder Than You Can Hear, and the results are nothing short of wondrous. Proving that music other than Creed and insipid boy bands can come from Florida, Jacksonville’s Shedd and her crack band—which includes her husband James Tritten on lead guitar, bassist Richard Dudly and drummer Cash Carter—have crafted a lengthy 14-song treatise on the joys of slightly frayed dueling electric guitar pop. Shedd’s clear, airy voice is the perfect counterpart to Tritten’s alternately clean trills and searing distortion. Shedd was formerly on Teenbeat Records, and her band’s sound is at times akin to the intricate gossamer-guitar style of former labelmates Aden, but on the whole, Shedd’s found her own singularly rockin’ new sound sure to delight in the live setting. With Shelterbelt and Semiconductor. 9 p.m. $5. 21+. 701 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-338-8388. Rob van Alstyne


Girls just wanna have fun, right? Well, that and rock out, spin the beats and sport the latest threads—all for a good cause. Sounds like another Girlfest. A celebration of female-fronted acts and DJs, the night kicks off with an outrageous retro/futuristic fashion show, featuring threads by Lula Vintage, Cliche and design duo Starfive + Spacebug. Acts include electronic darlings Thosquanta and Little Tin Box, Telephone and sonic soul mates Ear Candy. Hip Hop and spoken word converge with a performance from local poetess, Desdemona. Jessy Greene, violin-brandishing chanteuse, co-headlines with cheeky punk-rocker Punky Bruiser. Between acts, girl DJs Starfive, First Avenue’s Miss Paris 7 and internationally acclaimed beat mistress DJ Coppertop will keep the crowd moving. Girlfest ‘04 also tips its collective hat to a good cause: all of the performers are donating 10 percent of door takings to a girl-oriented charity of the audience’s choice, which include the Harriet Tubman Shelter for Battered Women, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and Life Haven Home for Homeless/Young Mothers. Go and have fun! 8 p.m. $3 adv / $5 door. 701 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-338-8388. ELECTRO SUZY

The Court & Spark
@ The 7th St. Entry

It was a long-ass wait, but The Court & Spark have delivered on the promise of their 2001 sophomore effort Bless You with the just released and even more sublime Witch Season. A San Francisco alt. Country outfit whose records possess the requisite amount of grass wafting in the air, The Court & Spark aren’t all stoned atmospherics. Head Sparkie MC Taylor has a great twang and his band never misses a step, whether playing it close to the vest and traditional (“Hallelujah I”) or getting a little wacky (the bong-load instrumental “St. John the Evangelist”). The group’s collaborated with everyone from currently-hot folkie M. Ward to legendary Byrds/Flying Burrito Brothers member Gene Parsons, all of whom were undoubtedly wooed to the party by the Court & Spark’s stash—of talent. With I Can Lick Any Sofabitch in the House, The Winter Blanket. 9 p.m. $5. 21+. 701 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-338-8388. van Alstyne

Her Space Holiday, Neotropic
@ The 400 Bar

Adventurous electro-record label MUSH has rounded up a posse of its all-stars and is hitting the road. Headlining the event are precocious lap-top poppers Her Space Holiday, a one-man band featuring the perpetually brokenhearted Marc Bianchi musing about his failings over automated drumbeats and sumptuous orchestral samples. His latest, The Young Machines, veers between bleary-eyed ambient explorations and some gyrating pop moments, and shows that Bianchi’s IDM-powered muse continues to evolve, a decade on from when he first began his home recording adventures. Also on the bill is Neotropic, a collaboration between Riz Mazlen, one of the first female electronic artists to gain widespread critical recognition, and beloved local music man JG Everest. Just how the European Mazlen linked up with Everest in the first place is anyone’s guess, but the collection of forward-thinking ambient dub they cook up together on the just-released White Rabbits means their cross-continental connection is worth celebrating. Not afraid to incorporate more organic elements such as harmonica or flute solos into her lengthy compositions (four cuts come in over the nine-minute mark), Mazlen continues to be one of electronic music’s leading ladies. With Daedelus, Octavius, Black Curtain, Thavius Beck. 9 p.m. $8 adv/ $10 door. 21+. 400 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls. 612-332-2903. van Alstyne

Still Rockin’ in the Straight World
@ Guthrie, Minnesota Orchestra and Chanhassen Dinner Theatre

We at Pulse pride ourselves on discovering the alternative sound, light and fury to the established cultural institutions. But sometimes what at first seems predictable can surprise and amaze. The Guthrie production of “Death of a Salesman” was theater at its finest. Anyone who stayed away because they didn’t want to see an old chestnut roasted missed a thoroughly profound moment in theater. Joe Dowling and a hard-working cast made the play come alive through intense acting and stunning visual tableaux. Osmo Vanska got the Minnesota Orchestra off to a great start with his opening concert. The first selection featured fellow Finn Jean Sibelius’s last published work, “Tapiola.” Bringing Sibelius to Minnesota was obviously a labor of love for Vanska, but it was with the Charles Ives Ragtime Dances in the second part of the show that he actually boogied and got down! If you want to see four fine musicians having fun and making fun of themselves, go see “Oil City” at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre. The premise of the story is a high school reunion music recital. The geeks go wild and it’s great fun for everyone. Tickets to the Guthrie, Minnesota Orchestra and Chanhassen can be a lot cheaper than you might think if you call and ask about rush lines and specials. ED FELIEN


Jonathan Rundman
@ The 400 Bar

Despite having collaborated with a number of noteworthy artists and going strong in the music-making game for more than a dozen years, Minneapolis-by-way-of-Chicago pop-rocker Jonathan Rundman still flies pretty low under the radar locally—which should hopefully change with the release of his new album and first in four years, Public Library. Recorded with seminal ’80s college-rockers the Silos in New York City (with their frontman Walter Salas-Humara producing) and featuring a slew of guest session players (who have recorded with the likes of Graham Parker, Freedy Johnston and Joe Jackson), Public Library is a slick and classy slice of Midwestern rock. Fans of the aforementioned Johnston will undoubtedly be delighted. With the Silos. 9 p.m. $8 adv/ $10 door. 21+. 400 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls. 612-332-2903. van Alstyne

The Fula from America: An African Journey

August Wilson isn’t the only incredible playwright to come out of Penumbra Theatre Company. Carlyle Brown, whose poignant drama “Buffalo Hair” premiered at Penumbra, can not only write his ass off, but has seen his plays produced at the historic Negro Ensemble Company, Arena Stage, Children’s Theatre Company, Cleveland Play House, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Pillsbury House Theatre and other prestigious places. His not being a household name testifies to the power of tokenism. See for yourself with the return of his transfixing tour de force “The Fula from America: an African Journey.” The show is autobiographical: a black American writer embarks on a pilgrimage to the Mother Continent and finds himself the proverbial stranger in a strange land. He falls back on grit and wit to simply survive the experience and walk away with a new, miraculously improved sense of self. You don’t have to be black to be thoroughly moved by this work. Its intrinsic appeal—the search for relatedness and belonging—is universal. And the script, rich in authentic characters and inspired dialogue, is brilliant. Oct. 2 - 24. Thu. – Sat. 8 p.m.; Sun. 2 p.m. $12 - $15 ($25 opening night). Center for Independent Artists, 4137 Bloomington Ave. S., Mpls. 612-724-8392. DWIGHT HOBBES



Damien Jurado, Richard Buckner, Dolorean
@ The Turf Club

This is the first date of a tour that will keep the celebrated songwriting triumvirate of Damien Jurado, Richard Buckner and Al James on the road for six weeks. Jurado and Buckner are already well-established solo artists on the indie-folk circuit with some high profile history and James, who leads the Portland band Dolorean, seems destined for an equally storied career based on the strength of his band’s sophomore album, Violence in the Snowy Fields. Buckner is touring in support of his just unveiled mini-opus, Dents and Shells—a 10-song set recorded during the brief spell he lived in Austin, Texas. Buckner’s latest work isn’t much of a departure from his past, but that’s hardly a major complaint when assessing the work of a craftsman with a chilling mountain yowl and way with words that Faulkner himself would admire (and apparently Volkswagen too —one of his older tunes is currently being employed to hawk Touaregs). Seattleite Jurado is the rare musician on par with Buckner when it comes to quieting loud bars with solely the power of his voice, so their pairing makes perfect sense. While a proper follow-up to 2003’s overtly rootsy Where Shall You Take Me? is still being worked on, Jurado’s released a stop-gap EP to tour behind this time out, the hastily assembled Just In Time for Something. Five songs spanning ten minutes and recorded live in what sounds like a toilet bowl (it’s actually “salvaged ¼” tape” according to the liner notes) its clear that Jurado isn’t exactly bringing his A-game to this half-formed batch of sketches, but it’s a testament to his abilities that he can lay down some stunners (“Motion Sickness” ranks with his best) even when merely going through the motions. 9 p.m. $10. 21+. The Corner of University and Snelling Ave., St. Paul. 651-647-0486. van Alstyne


The Mendoza Line, Charles Bissel (of the Wrens)
@ First Ave.

A double shot of the East Coast’s finest, The Mendoza Line and Wrens frontman Charles Bissel are guaranteed to bust out a feel-good, hard-partying show. The Mendoza sextet are fresh off the release of their stellar sixth album, Fortune, which has been raved over relentlessly by none other than “the Dean” himself, renowned NY Times critic Greil Marcus. But don’t listen to him—listen to me. The Mendoza Line are flat-out great, a three-headed songwriting beast (two guys, a girl, no pizza place) that only improves with age. As the band faces off against their impending 30s, their anthems to aimlessness, taut new-wave nuggets and off-kilter country experiments inch ever closer toward lasting greatness. Be warned: the ML are legendary live boozers and tend to cook up a significantly more cacophonous racket than their records would indicate, so don’t come expecting note-perfect renditions of album classics. Opening the night is Bissel, and it should be a rather interesting experiment to see how the full-bodied sound of the Wrens (best evidenced on their long-delayed Pitchfork-worshipped 2003 outing The Meadowlands) will be distilled down to its essence. Here’s hoping Bissels’ solo performance can bottle some of the nervey magic that makes the Wrens album so magnetic. 9 p.m. $6. 21+. 701 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-338-8388. van Alstyne

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