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Twincy Cheat Sheet: Some Really Strange Things

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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.

What: The MN Science Museum sweatshirt on Stranger Things 2

Local fans of Stranger Things—which seems like a lot of people?—lost their marbles when they saw that one of the nerdy kids—we don’t watch the show, sorry—was wearing a sweatshirt with a Brontosaurus that said Science Museum of Minnesota. The actual Science Museum did, too. But they’re also very smartly printing up a bunch of those sweatshirts ASAP.

Where: New restaurant not Taco John’s

It says a lot about our readers that the single biggest story that we’ve run this year was that fliers went up at Lyn-Lake for a new Taco John’s and it wasn’t. Man, the emails we got. Outrage! Well if that worked you folkx up, then know that instead of TJ’s the spot is going to be a restaurant with fancy wood-fired food called The Hasty Tasty.  

Who: MPLS Mayor Hodges’s Strib photo Halloween costume (pictured)

While we’ve disagreed with a lot things she’s done, particularly with her lack of communications (which is improving by her own efforts, not her office’s) and her handling of the Jamar Clark killing, MPLS Mayor Betsy Hodges doesn’t get enough credit for being funny. At this weekend’s Give a Sh-IT! halloween party, Hodges cleverly dressed up as a Star Tribune photo of herself, cocking her head and closing her eyes to poke fun at the paper’s frequently unflattering pictures. It’s great because it’s true.    

When: Saturday at The Twin Cities Film Fest films and post-party

Here’s what we don’t understand about the Arts & Culture scene here in MPLS + STPL—why doesn’t everyone go to film festivals? It’s really a fun time to check out two-three films in a day, or even more through the week, that you know are going to be good because they’ve been selected by talented curators. And actually, it was full houses for sold out shows on the last day of the Twin Cities Film Fest (big kudos to Artistic Director Steve Snyder, who did a great job on the breadth of films being shown), which is great. It was also great to see King Otto running the decks at the post-party, which was more fun than we expected.

Why?: The big 98° at Christmas show

Is the New Standards long-standing holiday show not your cup of egg nog? What about Nick Lachey and the rest of boy (turned-man) band 98° doing their holiday show at their Pantages Theatre. Super fans can even get a $500 VIP “Dressing Room Meet & Greet” that includes a champagne toast, but no clear answer if the guys will actually be dressing at the event.


Win Tix: John Hodgman + Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches

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Join Rain Taxi in welcoming John Hodgman back to the Twin Cities! He will be reading from and speaking about his new book, Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches (Viking), in which the fearless author wanders through the wildernesses of Western Massachusetts where he spent much of his youth, the beaches of Maine that want to kill him, and the haunted forest of middle age that connects them. Though wildly funny, this is also Hodgman’s most poignant and sincere book to date—don’t miss seeing him present Vacationland live in person! Thursday, November 2, 2017, 7:00 PM. Kagin Commons at Macalester College 1600 Grand Avenue, St. Paul.

This is a great event for the intersection of our readers who enjoy both books and brainy comedy! Just reply to this email for a chance to win tickets to see Hodgman next Thursday.


Quick Q+A: Monica LaPlante

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Regular Readers know we’ve been tremendous fans of Monica LaPlante‘s music and we’re very excited to finally be able to have some of it on vinyl. Ahead of her Noir LP release show with Catbath and Blaha—one of the last shows happening at the Triple Rock—we sent her a Quick Q+A to check back in on LaPlante on her rigorous schedule, recording, radio play, and any costume ideas (the show is of course going have costumes on stage and off).  

Secrets of the City: You’ve played sooooo many shows in the two years since we first interviewed you—so many!—was it hard to take a break from playing to record Noir or was it a sort of welcome vacation? Or was it just in-between all the shows?

Monica LaPlante: It was super easy to record because I was working with my manager Noah Hollander, who was part owner of The Pearl recording studio. We just recorded everything one song at a time with his brother Zach when there was open time at the studio. When Noah left The Pearl a year later, we had to find a new place to finish the album. It was really difficult and took a long time to find one we felt as comfortable in. We tested out a lot studios in the Midwest, but ended up finishing the record at Key Club in Benton Harbor, MI.

Are you surprised at the wider success of “Hope You’re Alone” as a single? It’s awesome to hear it on the radio.

It’s a relief to finally hear it on the radio!! I wrote Hope You’re Alone almost 4 years ago! We actually played it at our Jour release show at the Ritz theater in 2013. We’ve been Hail Mary passing it out to radio stations for a while, and the timing finally worked out. I always thought it was a good song, I mean the chorus is three words repeated over and over again, so it’s catchy enough! I finally feel reaffirmed in my songwriting with all the recent acknowledgment from local radio.

Will the show be the only spot people can grab the album? Will it make it out into record stores for wider consumption?

The vinyl will make it out to record shops as well! The Electric Fetus and Barely Brothers will for sure have copies. They’ll be coming with a poster, an insert with lyrics, and a digital download card.

How bittersweet is it that the party is one of the last remaining shows at the Triple Rock?

Noah and I booked the show without a faintest idea that this would happen. I just feel fortunate enough to have an opportunity to play the Triple Rock one last time. It’s a great chance to have one last wild night there, that’s for sure!

Do you feel a lot of pressure for your costume since you’re headlining? What if you dressed up as the Triple Rock? (Actually don’t do that, we’re going to do that.)

There’s always pressure in a group costume in general! We toyed with a number of ideas. Last year I was Robert Palmer and the rest of the band went as his supermodel lady band. It kind of went over most peoples’ heads, but pretty entertaining for us. This year we’ll be doing something a little more recognizable, but you’ll have to come out to see it!

Monica LaPlante releases the vinyl edition of Noir with Catbath and Blaha. Friday, October 27th, 9 PM. $8. Triple Rock Social Club. 


Win Tix: Wolf Parade + Charlie Bliss

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The soaring choruses, rousing anthems, sprawling guitars and chaotic keys that make up Wolf Parade are on proud display over the course of Cry Cry Cry, the band’s thunderous first album in seven years. That unique combination of sounds and influences, spearheaded by electric co-frontmen Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner—a complex yet relatable, energetic brew of glam, prog, synth-rock, and satisfying discomfort—helped define 2000s indie rock with three critically celebrated albums, and propelled a growing Wolf Parade fandom even after the band went on a then-indefinite hiatus in 2010. Fresh off their appearance on Stephen Colbert, Wolf Parade are back at First Avenue for the first time in seven years for a big show with Charlie Bliss in the Main Room on Friday, October 27th. $25.

Wolf Parade throw a fantastic show and we know we have some of their fans among our readers. Just reply to our email that you’re interested in going for a chance at a pair of tickets! 


Kickstart Our Heart: Art Shanties

Art Shanties

There’s a lot of really good kickstarters that will make our thriving metro an even better collection of arts & culture scenes—plus you get goodies if the projects get funded. Here’s something to throw your hard-earned money on proposals like:

Regular Readers know that we love and celebrate the Art Shanties, an integral part of our Twincy winter arts and culture scene, and no you can do the same as a part of their new membership program. Check out their kickstarter, which helps raise money but also talks about some big changes—moving to Lake Harriet this winter!—and has some great rewards including their upcoming on-ice party.