It’s almost impossible to keep up with the arts and the culture and the entertainment and food and drink and the people and the places here in MPLS + STPL, so we’ve put together this list of stuff that we’re using as talking points this week and sharing them with you to pretend like they’re you’re own.
Who: John Cleese
We hate seeing all the fall programming coming in—it’s still summer for another at least one more month, damnit—but some tickets are too hot to not plan way out for. Like the one and only John Cleese who will be at Northrop on Oct 6th for a live appearance, audience Q&A, and full screening of Holy Grail before he hits the stage. That’s a lot of Monty Python for one night, but fans won’t mind.
When: Wednesdays in July
This is more like it, upcoming events while it’s still sunny and hot! Block off your Wednesdays all next month for the Reshaping Our World: Cinema Without Borders film festival from the partnership of Mizna and the Walker Art Center‘s Moving Images. The screenings of films from Africa and the Middle East are a show of solidarity with the countries, and their residents there and here, subject to the continued (and continually unconstitutional) travel ban proposed by the President’s administration.
Where: Record stores before club shows
One of the coolest live music experiences you can have is to catch an in-record store performance, especially when it’s a nationally touring musician playing a bigger venue in the evening. (We’d even go so far as to say it makes the club shows better!) And Electric Fetus has been having, as they are wont to do, some great pre-show shows recently and upcoming. Case in Point: Gen X alt-rock hero Matthew Sweet plays a set and signs copies of his new album before his Turf Club show on July 11th. Much more of this at other record stores, please!
What: Culhane Brewing‘s new Lowertown (Lowertown: Still So Hot™) Space
And speaking of Wednesdays, this Wednesday you can sample some of the beer from Culhane Brewing at their Community Support party where the brewery is trying to build support, including financial, for their remodeling of the old Station4 metal dump (RIP) in Lowertown. It’s worth noting that brewer Kathleen Culhane previously ran Sidhe Brewing and her beer has frequently received favorable reviews, so this might be an investment opportunity you want to get in on.
Why?: Brands on (Pride) Parade
On the one hand, cheers to the Pride parade organizers for getting through a Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t situation by working with the #BLM protest to delay the festivities since the MPD pulled their “All Lives Matter” line out to get the parade to reverse their decision to minimize police presence after a uniform officer killed another POC without criminal repercussions. It was probably the best case scenario. On the other: We’ve heard from several people, and think it’s a pretty shared opinion, that brands, politicians, and companies, have taken over, and taken the fun out of, most of the parade. Look, these things cost a lot of money, we get it. But we’re not sure how the free adhesive wall mounts new from 3M being handed out continue or support the legacy of the Stonewall Riots or show support for the community.
Several readers noticed that our header on Friday—”Facebook’s Jeff Zuckerberg ended Ramadan with Somali refugees in Minneapolis yesterday. So, there’s that?”—should’ve said Mark Zuckerberg, not Jeff. We were probably conflating him with CNN’s Jeff Zucker, another hugely influential captain of industry that we just don’t care about and think is doing a terrible job. We don’t regret the error, we’re glad at least some of you cared enough to write in, and we’re glad it’s not as big a mess up as 2015’s great Nick Carter/Nick Lachey incident.
Love Your Melon throws a block party that also helps support their nonprofit partner Be The Match. Cat lovers can head to record store Solid State to hear The Cat People and Dos Gatos. Electric Fetus hosts a listening party for the new deluxe/expanded edition of Purple Rain. Charlie Parr and his super fans will fill up the Hook & Ladder with throwback blues.
Get your Anna Maria Marconi cosplay all ready for Blizzard World 4 Comicon at the Mermaid in Mounds View. It’s an Arts & Crafts show at Uppercut Boxing with both adult and kid-friendly activities. Speaking of art, 801 Gallery has Art of the Art Car & Art Bike, an exhibition of other art from the artists. Check out the new clothing line from Spades & Shade at Dumpling and also eat dumplings. We’re very excited to see the OTO Art show Visual Expressions of Hearing at Squirrel Haus Arts. Duluth phenom Gaelynn Lea will wow the Grand Oak Opry. Do you like your rock on the yachty side? It’s Yacht Rock 7 with DJ Jake Rudh at Psycho Suzi’s. You must obey the dance commander Dick Valentine and his Electric Six at The Turf Club.
The Kaijus are back at brunch at the Parkway Theater. The Scandinavians take Minnehaha Park for a fest. The food trucks, 60 different ones, have their own fest at Lake and Hennepin with a mechanical bull for you to throw up on. Button Poetry fill up Icehouse with their selections of top notch spoken word.
Regular Readers know we’ve been huge fans of Lady Midnight‘s music in its many various incarnations: Formerly lead vocalist of afro-cuban band Malamanya, she is a member of underground electronic group VANDAAM and ensemble member of 9th House, a collaborative project from Twin Cities elite MC’s I Self Devine & Muja Messiah with whom she performed at the 2016 hip-hop festival Soundset. In addition she has contributed to past and upcoming recorded projects from Brother Ali, Sonny Knight & The Lakers, Sarah White, Jayanthi Kyle, Maria Isa, Mike the Martyr, Adept, Sloslylove and Noahs Heark (RBMA Paris alum).
On Saturday Lady Midnight plays First Avenue’s 7th St Entry with the laid back jammers of Dream of the Wild and up-and-coming alt-jazzy hip-hop group Seaberg, and we want to make sure all of our readers get to see her perform. You’re going to be downtown anyway, spend some time at this excellent show; Just reply to this email that you want to go for a chance at a pair of tickets to the show.
Since many of our readers don’t read anything—nothing, literally nothing, they barely listen to anything, too—we feel we should share some of the important-to-you stories being shared around the SotC virtual water cooler, so that you’re properly briefed before your happy hour.
News: After the Philando Castille trial’s painful ‘not guilty’ verdict, a bunch of evidence was released that added further grief to the jury’s decision.
Notes: The videos, particularly the side-by-side comparison of Officer Yanez’s dash cam with Diamond Reynolds’ Facebook livestream and the video from back of the squad—where Reynolds shouts and her daughter calms her down by saying she doesn’t want her mom also being shot to death—are extremely painful to watch. Indispensable indie reporter Tony Webster has been going through much of the evidence and highlighting additional details. For one, Yanez was wearing a ‘Police Lives Matter’ bracelet in a post-shooting photo and the investigating BCA actually sent Facebook a warrant to go through Reynolds’ account to look for criminal activity, which is outrageous. Then there’s Yanez’s suspect testimony about the smell of marijuana in the car being reason he feared for his life. Our take is his reasoning is post-facto and it played directly into his defense team’s case that pushed heavily on pot as a fear-causing factor that justified the shooting.
Btw, it’s also worth hearing civic rights leader and mayor candidate Nekima Levy-Pounds discuss the shameful acquittal by framing the decision within the greater scope of police harassment, community unemployment, and more in what she and other leaders call “the Jim Crow North”.
News: Following the verdict, Macalester professor and big deal author Marlon James wrote a must read personal reflection titled Smaller, and Smaller, and Smaller. on the branding of “the North” and his experience as a black man in it.
Notes: There’s a lot of lines that really drive the point about the Jim Crow North home without using the phrase. “I have a self-imposed curfew of when to ride my bike home, when to leave the park. I would rather risk my life riding late at night on the empty and mostly dark greenway, than riding on the street with Police officers looking for whoever matches a description. ” “The situations that cause outrage never go away for us. It never stuns us, never comes out of the blue. We don’t get to be appalled because only people expecting better get appalled.” “And even me hoping for hipster points on my fixed wheel bike, is countered by them thinking I probably stole the bike.” It’s a powerful piece and overwhelming in its commonality.
News: Also following the acquittal, the Twin Cities Pride organizers will be keeping the MPLS Police to a minimize their presence in the parade.
Notes: The one squad car at the front of the parade is required by law, but the organizers have kept other departments wanting to participate out of the parade. Will there still be MPD providing festival security? Yes. Is this controversial because it excludes openly out police? Yeah. Will the protest move change the internal culture of police departments? No. But we think that, in light of things like the thousands of racist comments about the case and verdict on social media and on news reports, it’s an important showing that many people want police reform and a focus on supporting minority communities.
News: Stevie Wonder briefly commented on the verdict during his visit and short performance at a North MPLS peace summit around violence within the black community.
Notes: The musician appeared at New Salem Baptist Church, where he’s previously visited as a friend of the pastor Jerry McAfee; the group’s discussion also included the shooting death of a man near Webber Park just the weekend before.
News: Ramsey Middle School in MPLS changed its name to Justice Page Middle School.
Notes: As is the case with most things, for those ‘people expecting better’, it’s the young people who provide much of the hope. After a student-led campaign, the middle school named after Alexander Ramsey, who called for Native people to be forced out of the state during the disastrous U.S.-Dakota war, will be renamed for former Viking’s star as one of the “Purple People Eaters”, and education advocate, state Supreme Court Justice Alan Page, the first black Minnesota Justice.
Out of all the correspondence we get, people asking for more lead time on weekend events is our readers’ biggest request. (Readers asking which Pride events to go to is next.) So with that in mind, here’s a quick look at some stuff that’s currently on our radar for this weekend.
PRIDE: The Saloon spends the entire weekend celebrating with a 40th Anniversary of Pride block party and Friday they have Wilson Phillips! The Beer Dabbler sets up in Loring Park for one of their famous craft beer samplers. The always excellent Grown & Sexy Pride returns for its VIIth installment and will fill up First Ave with DJs, dancing, drag, and more. There’s more dancing happening at the Kitty Cat Klub for HipsIhaker!’s Pride Weekend edition. The competition for the sexiest women’s gay Pride event is tough, but Boobytrap at Muse is out front.
Love Your Melon throws a block party that also helps support their nonprofit partner Be The Match. We’re telling you, don’t sleep on tickets to go see Kim Gordon (fr. Sonic Youth) play in her new project Body/Head at the Uptown VFW. Cat lovers can head to record store Solid State to hear The Cat People and Dos Gatos. Electric Fetus hosts a listening party for the new deluxe/expanded edition of Purple Rain. Charlie Parr and his super fans will fill up the Hook & Ladder with throwback blues.
PRIDE: The A-Mill lofts host Dirty Queer Show: The Bush Is Back, a show that pushes “boundaries of queer artists/performers & people in the non-mainstream side of sexuality & art”. En Vogue will give everyone something they can feel at the big Pride in Concert in Loring Park. If you miss the Big Freedia show, you can kind of make up for it by catching Blowtorch and Keezy plus other beat-slingers at Thank You, Cum Again: A Pride Dance Party at Icehouse. Of course Flip Phone XXL goes big during Pride, they’ll be playing all their throw back and contemporary fav jams with Valentina at First Avenue.
Get your Anna Maria Marconi cosplay all ready for Blizzard World 4 Comicon at the Mermaid in Mounds View. Check out the new clothing line from Spades & Shade at Dumpling and also eat dumplings. We’re very excited to see the OTO Art show Visual Expressions of Hearing at Squirrel Haus Arts. Spend your summer playing pinball around town—sign up for Pinball Twin Cities‘s summer league at their kickoff party at Tilt. Rockers BadNraD play at Surly Brewing. Check out some cool animation at the Hellavision Television Animation Show at Fool Proof. Duluth phenom Gaelynn Lea will wow the Grand Oak Opry. Do you like your rock on the yachty side? It’s Yacht Rock 7 with DJ Jake Rudh at Psycho Suzi’s. You must obey the dance commander Dick Valentine and his Electric Six at The Turf Club. Lady Midnight plays a killer show with Dream of the Wild and others at the Entry.
PRIDE: Grab some brunch on the Union rooftop with Miss Brit and watch the parade. The annual Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade down Hennepin Avenue happens at 11 AM. Lakes & Legends hosts a kid-friendly event in their tap room with Tiny Footprint Coffee to benefit Transforming Families. Lurcat has a luau with tropical drinks and dance floors.
The Kaijus are back at brunch at the Parkway Theater. The Scandinavians take Minnehaha Park for a fest. The food trucks, 60 different ones, have their own fest at Lake and Hennepin with a mechanical bull for you to throw up on. It’s the amateur cocktail competition Trophy Hunt at Eat Street Social.