Wednesday news and reviews

Here’s a look at what stories are making headlines…

Books

Varied subplots all lead to assassination

– Tom Zelman, Star Tribune

Author Keith Elliot Greenberg uses a number of devices to keep us interested in the day John Lennon died. Unfortunately, he only partially succeeds.

Music

Despite cuts in giving, SPCO balances budget

– Graydon Royce, Star Tribune

Strict cost controls kept expenses in line while fundraising and attendance dropped slightly.

SPCO draws from endowment to keep budget balanced

– Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press

That rainy day is here, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra was prepared for it.

Who is the real Jeremy Messersmith?

– Matt Beachey, Examiner.com

Jeremy Messersmith used to just be that guy with the loop pedal who tapped out a beat on the body of his acoustic guitar, played some chords over it, then layered voice upon voice upon voice to create an eerie choir backed by gentle rapping and strumming.

M.anifest, Jon Davis, Pete Hennig selected as MECA winners

– Andrea Swensson, City Pages

It’s always reassuring when an organization recognizes the time and resources required for a musician to devote any significant portion of time to their art.

2011 album trainspotting: Why not start now?

– Ray Cummings, City Pages

Here’s a little free, unsolicited, pre-Christmas advice from Gimme Noise: Do let the iTunes gift cards Santa leaves behind burn a metaphorical hole in your stocking.

Lupe Fiasco’s Modest Mouse-cribbed single ‘The Show Goes On’

– Andrew Flanagan, City Pages

Fiasco’s long-anticipated, label-delayed third record, Laser, has been attached a release date, with a Modest Mouse-cribbing single in tow.

High notes out of reach, Judds still touched hearts

– Jon Bream, Star Tribune

Wynonna sounded all stuffed up, but she and Naomi managed to put on a memorable show at Mystic Lake.

El DeBarge, ’80s popstar, releases first album in 16 years

– Jen Boyles, City Pages

If you’re under 30, you can feel free to just move right along.

Television

2010 British Television Advertising Awards to make a somber impression at the Walker Art Center

– Jay Gabler, TC Daily Planet

If the advertising firms of the United Kingdom have done their jobs well this year, after the Walker Art Center’s sold-out run of screenings of winners of the 2010 British Television Advertising Awards, there will be several thousand Minnesotans slightly less likely to do cocaine, drive after doing cocaine, smoke cigarettes, get into an unmarked cab, tolerate being the victims of domestic violence, drive over the speed limit, take an airline flight, carry a knife, or drink and drive–though slightly more likely to drink in general, though slightly less likely to drink to drunkenness.

Theater

Win-win: David Sedaris’s “Santaland Diaries” presented by Frank Theatre at Hennepin Stages and by Theatre Limina at the Bryant-Lake Bowl

– Betsy Gabler, TC Daily Planet

Sedaris fans won’t go wrong with either show.

‘Fezziwig’s Feast:’ Twin Cities theater veteran Jon Cranney creates a story within a story — for a show within a feast

– Kathy Berdan, Pioneer Press

Marley was dead: to begin with. So intoned a 78-rpm record of Lionel Barrymore reading the part of Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol.” Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail. Jon Cranney was hooked.

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