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Quick Q+A: Darin Corbin + F1rst Wrestling LIVE!


Regular Readers know that we’re huge fans of the wrasslin’ action put on by F1rst Wrestling and this Thursday (TONIGHT!) the hometown promotion make their debut at the Uptown VFW a month before the giant Wrestlepalooza event. F1rst Wrestling: LIVE! is a perfect introduction to see local pro wrestling the way it’s always meant to be—up close and with a bunch of people cheering over their beers. The “Golden Circle” seating is already sold out, but there are a few GA tickets still remaining that we very strongly recommend grabbing.

Ahead of the Lyn Lake invasion, we quick checked in with one of the least popular personalities—and thereby most popular personalities—The Ginger Snap Darin Corbin about his evolving alliances, attack plans, and surprise appearances.

Secrets of the City: Don’t you miss the good times you had in The North Star Express with Ryan Cruz? Do you think you can ever share the same corner again?

The Ginger Snap Darin Corbin: If those were good times, I’ve been having awesome and amazing times since the split. And no, I don’t plan on reforming the NSE ever again.

What’s the strategy going into the ring for a Monster’s Ball Match against notable indie wrestler Abyss? Do you think the hometown crowd will be on your side for this one?

I don’t think the hometown crowd will be a factor; considering how much they all of sudden hate me. Bunch of ungrateful jerks. As far as Abyss goes, he’s a monster who doesn’t think before he acts. I’m already 10 steps ahead. So I’m not worried about Abyss being able to outsmart or catch me!

Assuming you win against Abyss, what kind of momentum does that give you going into the big time Wrestlepalooza at First Avenue in January?

Correction: When I win. And I’ve been riding momentum since the split. Things have been great and I make things happen. So January will be no different.

A bunch of txts were flying back and forth during the WWE TLC match at the Target Center when some of us noticed that the EMT who helped Kurt Angle looked just like our favorite local heel! How did that come about? Was it just crazy to be involved in a production like that?

After receiving my University of Phoenix Medical Degree after doing online night classes, it was only a matter of time before the job market came calling . . . and just happened to be WWE.
Good thing I was there for the gold medalist. And yes it was quite the production and a great event to be a part of. I look forward to working together more in the future . . . so keep watching when
they come around the Midwest.

F1rst Wrestling: LIVE! goes down Thursday, December 7th at 8 PM. GA tickets available, $12.

F1rst Wrestling Live! Wildcat


Regular Readers know that we’re huge fans of the wrasslin’ action put on by F1rst Wrestling and this Thursday the hometown promotion make their debut at the Uptown VFW a month before the giant Wrestlepalooza event. F1rst Wrestling: LIVE! is a perfect introduction to see local pro wrestling the way it’s always meant to be—up close and with a bunch of people cheering over their beers. The “Golden Circle” seating is already sold out, but there are a few GA tickets still remaining that we very strongly recommend grabbing.

Ahead of the Lyn Lake invasion, we quick checked in with one of the most popular personalities, Wildcat the Feline Super Hero, on his signature moves, territory, and more, ahead of the face-smashing fun. 

Secrets of the City: One of the best parts of any F1rst show is the Meow! Meow! Meow! chant you get going. How did that come about and did you think it would be such a hit?

Wildcat: Meowing is a cat’s way of communicating with humans. It seemed quite natural to greet the crowd with a round of MEOW! MEOW! MEOW! and I was happily surprised when they learned my language and joined in.

You’re not only a wrestler, you’re also a crime fighter. Does your watch include both MPLS + STPL or do you just stick to one city? Or do you even bust up bad guys in the burbs, too?

A vigilante crime fighter knows no boundaries. No villain can out range Wildcat and escape the claws of justice. So no matter your location if your actions are treacherous keep your eyes towards the shadows because that is where Wildcat prowls.

Have you had any luck figuring out what to do when your kryptonite—a ball of yarn!—makes its way into the ring?

I know exactly what to do in that situation: Get that yarn between my claws and scratch it to shreds! Meow for now.

F1rst Wrestling: LIVE! goes down Thursday, December 7th at 8 PM. GA tickets available, $12.

Burger Hunter: The Depot Tavern

The Depot

It’s the countdown to the final ever Burger Hunter, everyone’s favorite Secrets of the City feature! That’s right, there’s only a few more hunts left until Mike S. goes on an extended cleanse (as The Juice Bar Hunter?)! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s previous meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the Twitter.

It’s the holiday season because it’s December and now it’s cold. This hunt takes us indoors to the place where I’m almost certain there’s never Christmas music, The Depot Tavern. It’s conveniently parked next to First Avenue because they own it. Upon entry it’s kinda like you’re in a New York Music Scene Diner Bar Restaurant. And the dinner music is real good. But would you expect anything less. The staff has more style than all of fashion week combined! You feel like you’re watching some bad-ass scene from a movie, when actually you’re living it. Anywho, the Bacon Cheddar burger is a fine starting point. Meat is Angus. Seared up by chef hardcore. Hella juicy with a minor drip party. Bun toasted. Kaiser like. Eggy. Onion strizzle on top with the bacon is an OTP and that bottom caramelized onion ketchup sure likes to dance. More of a marmalade TBH. But Wow! Crispy and smooth and just a v perfect bite happening. This ones G’d up from its feet up. Comes with house-cut fries that are one notch too thick. Lots of stars outside, another star inside!

Scorecard:   Flavor: 8.3   Presentation: 8   Originality: 8

The Depot Tavern, 17 North 7th St, MPLS; thedepottavern.com

Free Ideas: Twincy Holiday Art Sale

pint glass

Every single venue in MPLS + STPL has an arts market going on through the month and we love it. Among the localized pint glasses, art prints, knit pieces, and more, we thought there was a few things missing. Here’s what we’d have at our two foot by one foot table set up at a tap room. 

A Bob Mould Bob Mold—$45

Celebrate the Husker Du guitarist with a cake/ bundt pan that makes desserts in the shape of the face of local legend Bob Mould.

Classic Twincy Bars Pint Glass Set—$35

Want to remember classic bars from MPLS + STPL? We’ve got a trio of pint glasses from The Uptown Bar (says Uptown Bar), Triple Rock (says Summit), and Nye’s Polonaise (small cocktail glass) from the back of our cabinet that have been there long enough that they’re peak local vintage.

Handmade Wrestlepalooza Wrestling Action Figures

Collect ’em all! Arik “The Anarchist” Cannon! Wildcat! That jerk Darin Corbin! For any fan of local action, we’ve taken old wrestling action figures and repainted them to be everyone’s favorite ring stars.

Secrets of the City Custom Beer Blends

Remember when it was a thing for a hot second to mix Surly Furious and Bender to make an off-menu Surly Fender? Well, we’re bringing back that spirit with our own beer blends like the 300 Sweet Children (a mix of Fulton’s Sweet Child of Vine IPA and 300 Mosaic IPA), Kentucky Cowbell (a mix of Urban Growler’s Cowbell Cream Ale and Kentucky Uncommon Ale), Ominous Wind (a mix of Bad Weather’s Windvane Red IPA and Ominous Double Brown Ale) in pint-sized jars with our custom logo stickered to the front.

Pictured: A new pint glass from Adam Turman, who has actually good things for sale at his holiday pop-up. 

Quick Q+A: Charlie Crompton + The British Arrow Awards

British Arrows

As true a Twincy holiday tradition as anything, today marks the month-long run of The British Arrow Awards at The Walker Art Center. The highly entertaining ad spots—some selling products, some doing social messages, all truly well done—will likely be some of the most creative pieces anyone sees all year. Yes, it’s true—and that’s why a bunch of the early screenings are already sold out. 

Since many of our Regular Readers have been to The British Arrow Awards before, and will go again, we sent a Quick Q+A to  chairman of the British Arrows Board of Directors Charlie Crompton to get a little deeper look at ads vs. art, what makes the awards have to work with, Brexit, and why we love British humor so much.

Secrets of the City: Are British advertisements more popular with the Americans than the Brits? Will British audiences, say, buy every single ticket to a month of screenings like Twincy goer-outers will for The Walker?

Charlie Crompton: The British Arrows Awards celebrates excellence in advertising. But the Brits of course, being well, British, hate being sold to, so you have to make short films that trick people into watching, even though they’re free. No one would admit to actually liking them though, that would like admitting that you liked Ed Sheeran or something, which is unthinkable—although not as unthinkable as liking James Blunt, obviously. There are mini comedies, mini tragedies and mini adverts for Mini Coopers, ads with epic stories, and ads with enormous stars. You lot love it unreservedly—and so do we really but we’d never say that out loud. It takes a lot of skill to craft ads that the whole country loves and takes to their hearts—and then of course, tells everyone that they could have done it better themselves.

There’s been a mix of clever, funny, technically impressive spots, but also some darker commercials—from a year or two ago, the plea to keep the women’s shelter open where the young homeless woman is invited home by two guys and then threateningly chased still haunts me. Do the Arrows aim for a certain mix or are you at the mercy of what came out that year?

We’re absolutely at the mercy of what’s come out that year—and that’s a great thing. The selection of ads that you’ll see at the show are the winners—the best ads of the year—and as such are a perfect time-capsule or snapshot of what our country is like in 2017. This is our 41st year—the Walker’s 31st year of taking the show . . . If you looked at any year, you’d get a better idea of the mood of the country, than watching a news reel. This year, we’ve been reeling from the uncertainty of Brexit, a government just hanging on by their fingertips and the Syrian refugee crisis . . . Great Britain hasn’t been feeling so great—so we do what the Brits do best: We celebrate what we are good at—We laugh at ourselves, we laugh at James Blunt, we make beautifully poignant PSA’s, we blew the doors off The Paralympics, we get out there and celebrate being fit—whatever shape or age we’re in; at this time of the year, we remind ourselves why it’s important to come home for Christmas . . . These are the things that make us feel safe in this world—and if we can make others less fortunate feel that we’re looking out for them too—it shows that these ads, in their own way can actually make a difference to people’s lives.

How much does an agency gain from winning an Arrow award? Is it something that goes front and center on their websites and sales pitches?

Definitely, they have a huge legacy in British advertising. The British Arrows is the most significant of the British awards to win . . . And after 40 years they’re not easy to win either . . . If you get a bronze—or a silver, it’s a major accomplishment . . . A gold is something that gets nailed straight away on your wall – even if your other half doesn’t think it looks as great in prime position above the fireplace, as you do. There are around 1000 entries every year which our juries, made up of the most talented advertisers, ad agency creatives, production companies and film crafts spend days locked in a dark room to choose the best from. And that’s what’s being shown here at the Walker.

To put you on the spot, what’s your all-time favorite British commercial?

I love this ad from 2000 for Marmite. Every time I watch it, it makes me laugh out loud. Marmite is so British . . . If you weren’t born there, you can’t understand how on earth we could thrive on something that is so disgusting. Our whole civilization is built on the stuff. They only do one ad a year, so each one has to punch way above its weight and this says so much about British advertising . . . The ad agency, Adam&EveDDB have never dropped a ball yet with this brand and their ads could only be made for British audiences. Half of the population love Marmite, the other half hate it, so they celebrate that. It’s even spawned its own parlance back home: If someone is regarded as a ‘Marmite character’, it means that you’ll either love them or hate them—there’s no middle ground. I’m thinking of getting Donald Trump a pot—that might sort him out.

What do you as Arrows Chairman think it says about contemporary art that some of the most daring and creative things an art-going audience will see all year are commercials peddling products?

Well, in Britain at least, ads are so much part of the zeitgeist, that I think they can be the most contemporary of contemporary art. So much craft goes into making these ads as good as they are . . . When you look at Waitrose’s – ‘Robin’ or ‘Buster the Boxer’ for John Lewis, the work that’s gone into bringing these to the screen is extraordinary, not only in the conception and shooting but in the weeks of seamless post production. And ‘Superhumans’, which was voted the best ad of the year, took a superhuman effort from so many people at the top of their game to bring to the screen, not least the actors themselves. The irony of course of showing them in Minneapolis, is that you can’t buy most of the products being sold here even if you wanted to—so you can just enjoy them for what they are—brilliantly produced bite-sized contemporary moving art. And if you don’t like one, as one of the audience said to me last year, “another one will be along in a minute” and there’s something here for everyone. Including that aunt who came to stay with you for Christmas, two weeks early, and looks like she might never leave. Better get the Marmite in then.

The British Arrow Awards run December 1st-30th at the Walker Art Center’s Cinema and McGuire Theater, various showtimes. $14 general, $11.20 Walker members.