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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 25 - May 31, 2005
Wednesday 25 May @ 20:50:26
Hot TicketsThe Softrocks...Civil Liberties Forum...David Kirby on Autism and Vaccines...The Life And Times...Mojados: Through the Night...Mideast in the Midwest...Sexy Spring II...Moonshine Flush...Cowboy Curtis, Vicious Vicious...The Ramayana Project...Immigrant Workers Speak Out...Check Your Pulse!


May 25- May 31, 2005

The Softrocks
The Uptown Bar

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my two years on the job here at Pulse it’s that just when you think you’ve run out of local music to cover another exciting band pops up around the corner. A case in point: newcomers the Softrocks. With a front man (Mike Sapiro) whose got the ragged indie-rock battle cry down perfectly—not to mention an awesome hair cut—and a perfectly sympathetic Pavement-esque backing band, the Softrocks have all the key ingredients in place to become yet another local band you’ll love. The band’s self-titled debut album, which is getting its CD release celebration tonight, features lengthy and angular songs that never lose their way and occasionally boast a prickly energy (“Bedroom Lights” is a flat-out gem). Not content to get too cozy in the college rock fold, however, the quartet’s also willing to spruce things up a bit when deemed necessary (yes, that really is an accordian at the center of “Last Cult of Dionysus”). With Fitzgerald, Ennui. 9 p.m. Free. 21+. 3018 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls. 612-823-4719. Rob van Alstyne

Civil Liberties Forum
May Day Books

One of the more difficult responsibilities people face in a free society is to insist that all people, even possible terrorists, be given a fair trial—especially after September 11. That is what civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart wanted to do for Sheik Abdel-Rahman, a Muslim cleric who was held in New York. Several years after the former children’s librarian defended Abdel-Rahman in 1995, FBI agents arrested her and searched her home, alleging that she was a threat to national security. The proof? Stewart had allegedly discussed the case with her client and others, and the FBI had tapped her phone. The Antiwar Committee will host a forum, “Forum on Civil Liberties in a Time of ‘War on Terrorism,’” to discuss Stewart’s case and what it means for our own freedoms. The forum will also discuss the case of Colombian rebel Ricardo Palmera, arrested on drug charges last year. Human-rights groups say they believe the charges to be false, and that the Colombian government is targeting Palmera as a political dissident. 7 p.m. 301 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls. 612-333-4719. AntiWarCommittee.org. Gyros Popodopolous

David Kirby on Autism and Vaccines
Bound to be Read Bookstore

One of the nation’s lesser-known controversies involves a possible link between infant vaccines and childhood autism. The number of autism cases is increasing, for unknown reasons, and a growing number of parents of autistic children believe that infant vaccines may be the culprit. On the other side of the debate stand medical professionals, whose studies deny such a link, and who say that parents are spreading an urban legend that will only result in children becoming more susceptible to disease. New York Times writer David Kirby has written “Evidence of Harm: Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic, a Medical Controversy,” a book that examines the impassioned debate with as much detachment as possible. 7:30 p.m. Free. 870 Grand Ave, St. Paul. 651-646-2665. Brian Kaller


The Life And Times
The Triple Rock Social Club

Allen Epley led Kansas City outfit Shiner through a decade of mind-bending-genre-blurring noise rock before that group called it a day in 2002, and he’s wasted no time regrouping with a new crew in The Life and Times. Continuing in Shiner’s cathartic high-decibel vein, the J. Robbins produced debut full-length from the Life and Times, Suburban Hymns, won’t be available until August—but the lucky few who have heard it (aka me), can’t help but marvel at the blend of sleek anthemic hookery (is it weird that I’m catching shades of U2 all over the place?) and dense sound atmospherics. It’s hard to picture just three dudes pulling this business off in the live setting (Epley’s guitar and vocals are rounded out by moog player/bassist Eric Abert and drumkit ace Chris Metcalf) and it should be interesting to see how the Life and Times handle the challenge. With Middlepicker, Story of the Sea. 9 p.m. $6 adv/$8 door. 21+. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls. 612-333-7399. van Alstyne



Mojados: Through the Night
U Film Society

We’re all immigrants. We’re all strangers in a strange land. My people came in coffin ships from County Cork in Ireland and in steerage next to a barrel of lutefisk from Smaland in Sweden. Some came unwillingly in slave ships from Africa. Some came in cramped freighters from China. Not all the migrant workers survived the passage. And now the first are last. Mexicans, probably descended from the first immigrants and probably the only ones who walked here across the land bridge from Asia, are coming north for jobs. It all seems so familiar, so painful, so authentically American. “Mojados: Through the Night” is the story of three young men who make the journey. They face freezing nights, no food and water and the continuing presence of death and disaster—all for the chance to mix your cement, roof your house, paint your garage or bus your dishes so they can send money back to their families. It shouldn’t have to be that hard. Through June 2. Bell Auditorium, 17th & University Ave. SE, Mpls. 612-331-3134. Ed Felien

Mideast in the Midwest
The Loft

Think of a “Middle Eastern woman” and you probably picture an oppressed woman in a burka. You probably don’t think of New York’s Lebanese lesbian cartoonist Jen Camper, author of such socially and politically radical works as “Subgirlz.” This Friday, the Loft in Minneapolis will feature works and talks by and about Middle Eastern women, including Camper, Chicago writer Sahar Kayyal, and local writers William Nour, Samir M. Nasser and more in a forum designed to develop and facilitate artistic expression in the Arab, Muslim, and West Asian/North African community. 7:30 p.m. $5. 1011 Washington Ave. S., Mpls. 612-215-2575 or Loft.org and Mizna.org. Kaller

Sexy Spring II
Various locations

If mowing the lawn, schlepping the kids to soccer or tackling that heap of laundry seems like the same banal weekend routine, perhaps crafting your own sex toy or gleaning tips on writing erotica might be more inspirational. Sexy Spring II is a collective-sponsored three-day educational conference that explores sex, sexuality, gender and relationships through classes and entertainment. The concept was born during collaboration between the Bat Annex Free School and Resource Center, a knowledge and skill-sharing group dedicated to strengthening communities and the Toolshed, a radical sex-positive artists collective. Class offerings at this year’s conference are as diverse as a high school boy’s fantasies, covering everything from self-help and health to fetish and erotica. Samples include “How to Ask for What You Want (for Shy People”); “Natural Strategies for Reproductive Health and Awareness,” “Kinky Play: Techniques of the Trade” and more, more, more. A kick-off and orientation session begins at Spokes Pizza on Thursday night. In addition to classes, there’s also a dinner party, cabaret and an ice cream social. This is not your mother’s Memorial weekend agenda. Events run Thu. - Sat. For more information and a complete list of events, go to BatAnnex.org. Liberty Finch

Moonshine Flush
The Terminal Bar

Comprised of players from a number of prior local outfits (Oliver and the ID, Heavenzone, Kung Fu Grip), new local quartet Moonshine Flush boast a truly unique sound and vision. Based around acoustic guitar, viola and upright bass, one might expect Moonshine Flush’s music to be strait-laced old school folk. But as their name hints at, there’s a ribald wit and mischievous muse at work in the mind of singer/songwriter/guitarist Oliver Thayer. You’re not going to hear songs about working out in the fields or the joys of a walk in the country, but you are likely to hear love songs centered around congenital defects (“Three Balls”) and songs poking fun at bad-music-loving ex-girlfriends (“Clear Channel Whore”). Moonshine Flush are sure to beguile those who like a little humor in their pop song diet. With LEVEL. 9:30 p.m. $5. 21+. 409 E. Hennepin Ave., Mpls. 612-623-4545. Nathan Dean

Cowboy Curtis, Vicious Vicious
The Hexagon Bar

Two of the best bands in the Twin Cities brought together for one special occasion. The bands? Cowboy Curtis and Vicious Vicious, the former a young peripatetic pop combo on the rise and the latter the TC area’s hottest purveyors of caucasion-funked-popitude. The occasion? My birthday. Yeah, I know it’s lame to throw yourself a party but I just couldn’t resist the urge to pull a few strings and put together my dream concert bill. So arrive early to catch the solo stylings of local newcomer Pat Leo and kick back for a rare stripped down solo set from Ela front man Bill Caperton (who’s in the process of finishing up his band’s highly anticipated sophomore album with Askeleton’s Knol Tate). Then get ready to get up out of your seat for Cowboy Curtis (who’ll be showcasing tasty new-wave inflected pop craft from their recently recorded but still unreleased new album helmed with Halloween, Alaska’s Ev Olcott behind the boards) and headlining act Vicious Vicious. Anyone yet to rediscover Erik Appelwick’s groove-led pop group since he brought Vicious Vicious back from hiatus a few months back in between his near-constant Olympic Hopefuls gigging is truly missing out. With the release of VV album No. 2 finally on the horizon (Don’t Look So Surprised drops in mid-June), what better time than now to get yourself reacquainted? 9 p.m. Free. 21+. 2600 27th Ave. S., Mpls. 612-722-3454. van Alstyne

The Ramayana Project
Hamline University

Globalization has its perks, and the Ramayana project, presented by the Katha Dance Theatre, is one of them. This weekend over 40 artists from India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and, of course, Minnesota will gather to tell the tale of the thousands-year-old classic Hindu epic. The Ramayana depicts prince Rama’s Odyssey after he is banished to the forest to prevent him from becoming king. Rama and his wife Sita, both the epitome of heroic righteousness, struggle against a host of obstacles, including the demon king Ravana. Eventually, they triumph—Rama slays Ravana and he is returned to his kingdom. The saga has spread from India across the varied cultures of Southeast Asia adopting colorful local influences. The Ramayana Project is a celebration of these shared roots and traditions. Combining dance, drama and music this cross-cultural collaboration of the Ramayana demonstrates the power of perseverance and the victory of good over evil. Something we could all use a little bit more of these days. 10 a.m. & 8 p.m., May 27; 8 p.m. May 28; 2 p.m. May 29. $5 - $15. Anne Simley Theatre, 1536 Hewitt Ave., St. Paul. KathaDance.org. John Tribbett



Immigrant Workers Speak Out
Resource Center of the Americas

Latino immigrants are one of the fastest-growing segments of the workforce, but many are unorganized and come to this country with little information about workers’ rights. Filling that void is El Centro de Derechos Laborales, a Minnesota-based organization that works to improve the situation of immigrant workers in the United States through workshops, English classes and other services. On Saturday, May 28, some of the organizers of El Centro will talk about their experiences in “Immigrant Workers Speak Out.” 10 a.m. $4. 3019 Minnehaha Ave., Mpls. 612-276-0788 ext. 22 or tortiz@americas.org. Kaller


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