Thursday news and reviews

Editor’s Note: I was out sick yesterday, so this is actually two days worth of arts stories… enjoy!


‘Everybody is an Astronaut’ opens at the Katherine E. Nash Gallery

On any given day in the Twin Cities there are a number of galleries open, free for the public in order to get their fill on work by established artists. But we can’t forget that many artists’ journeys to renown also begin here.

– Coco Mault, City Pages


New local literary site hopes to attracts writers and readers alike

Hazel & Wren seeks to provide all sorts of services for book lovers, including writer’s feedback, writing prompts, submission tips, and event listings, all with an unstuffy, decidedly playful tone.

– Jessica Armbruster, City Pages

New biography explains Gandhi’s successes, failures

A refreshing and incisive account of a British-trained Indian lawyer who became a world-famous hero of the nonviolence movement.

– CARL ROLLYSON, Star Tribune


‘Stomp’ bangs and clangs into Ordway

The hit show derives its power from a simple concept: bang on a can and move your feet to the beat.


Stomp at the Ordway

A gaggle of lithe and muscular performers, wearing dusty dungarees and old tank tops, have this throbbing beat woven into every fiber of their being. They pursue it, beating out variations on an astonishing array of found objects: brooms, matchboxes, sticks large and small, metal cans small and large, plastic bins, trash can lids, cigarette lighters, newspaper.

– John Olive,

A history not in the history books: “Bottineau Jig”

Choreographer and dance scholar Jane Peck has for the past 15 years been researching a time period that she says very few people know about. In the area around the Twin Cities, in the 20-30 years before the U.S.-Dakota War, it was normal for people to have blended marriages.

– Sheila Regan, City Pages


‘Cold Weather’ and ‘Avenue Q’: The perils of young adulthood

– Max Sparber,

‘Minnesota Naughty’ at the History Museum, and the rudest rum ever

– Max Sparber,

Ana Voog at Smitten Kitten and ‘tonight, we stay indoors’: Lives mundane and astonishing

– Max Sparber,


Julian Schnabel talks about “Miral,” his controversial new film about Israel and Palestine

Artist/painter/filmmaker Julian Schnabel was recently in the Twin Cities to take part in the Regis Dialogue and Retrospective at the Walker Art Center–he was the 53rd filmmaker to be featured in the prestigious series–but he was also in town to talk about his controversial new film, Miral.

– Jim Brunzell III, TC Daily Planet


World-class locals

Sometimes taken for granted, these six regulars on the Twin Cities music scene are as good as touring acts that get more attention.


Hmong parody song has KDWB apologizing

A rock song parody targeting Hmong has one of the Twin Cities’ most popular radio stations apologizing.

– PAUL WALSH, Star Tribune

KDWB song parody angers some Hmong (w/audio)

During the station’s morning show last week, listeners were asked to send in title suggestions for a song that the show’s personalities would have less than an hour to write.

– Amy Carlson Gustafson, Pioneer Press

Minnesotan guitarist Billy McLaughlin chronicles his ongoing neurological struggles

In 2001 McLaughlin was diagnosed with a neurological disorder called focal dystonia.

– Andrew Flanagan, City Pages

Dessa: 100 Creatives

Her current job titles include rap artist, slam poet, and professor.

– Jessica Armbruster, City Pages

British Sea Power at Cedar Cultural Center, 3/29/11

British Sea Power have a catalog that spans from sweeping and epic to explosive and driving–the power to crush both skulls and hearts.

– Pat O’Brien, City Pages

Treehouse Records celebrates another 10 years

The storefront has outlived the 8-track, the cassette, and the cd as the dominant musical forms pushed by an industry whose focus has always been on moving units.

– Loren Green, City Pages

DeVotchKa’s Nick Urata talks romance and his band’s European influences

Gimme Noise caught up with DeVotchKa’s front man Nick Urata via email just a few days prior to their performance at First Avenue this Friday.

– Cindal Lee Heart, City Pages

Adventure’s Benny Boeldt on video games and his new album

On his encore, Lesser Known, Baltimorean Benny Boeldt makes a detour into anthemic storm-trooper synth-pop that’s maintains a delicate balance between euphoria and apprehension.

– Ray Cummings, City Pages

Mud flies at Jeff Tweedy’s solo gig in Rochester

Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy played Rochester for the second time on Tuesday night, and maybe the last time. No offense to Rochester area residents themselves – in fact, the crowd was probably more than half filled with Twin Citians – but there must’ve been a mass cloud of laughing gas leaking out of the Mayo Clinic or something that made the crowd as goofy and annoying as any of recent memory.

– Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune

Yelawolf with Prof and Muja Messiah at First Avenue, 3/30/11

The show sold out 20 minutes after doors, causing a good chunk of the line to disappear in a huff.

– Jack Spencer, City Pages


‘Heaven’ brings the horrors of war into focus

Music, dance, song, and drama explode across the stage throughout Heaven, a striking new piece by Flying Foot Forum’s Joe Chvala and composer Chan Poling.

– Ed Huyck, City Pages

‘Arms and the Man’ misses mark

Sometimes the order in which you see shows makes all the difference. Had I taken in Arms and the Man at Friday evening’s opener at the Guthrie Theater, I might have thought it a solid piece of theater about war, soldiers, and honor. Instead, I took it in after seeing Heaven upstairs at the Dowling Studio, and Arms and the Man just pales in comparison.

– Ed Huyck, City Pages

Social dogma cleverly subverted by quick-witted Arms and the Man

While Arms and the Man lacks the absurdist energy that made such recent productions as The 39 Steps so memorable, the more refined approach proves an ideal fit for the material. The skewering of social graces is a subtle art, but the Guthrie achieves the deed with comic precision and imaginative staging, making Arms and the Man an anti-romantic comedy that even cynics can enjoy.

– Brad Richason,

Mixed Blood makes hay with “Avenue Q”

Avenue Q, currently playing at Mixed Blood Theatre, is a filthy little puppet show–and I mean that as a compliment.

– Matthew A. Everett, TC Daily Planet

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