Celebrate the craft of writing with some of the best, brightest, and most ubiquitous writers in the Twin Cities! Local writer and reviewer Lightsey Darst hosts The Works: A Writers’ Salon; this evening the assembled women and man of words focus on guilty pleasures, “things you know you shouldn’t like but can’t help loving anyway.” Ooh la la. Presenters include MC Hyland, the curator for the Pocket Lab Reading series, poet Haley Lasche, and everybody’s favorite arts ambassador Andy Sturdevant, who will talk everyone through his obsessive teenage fascination with Rolling Stone album guides of yesterday. The salon runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Bryant Lake Bowl cabaret; cost is $6-12 on a sliding scale and tickets are available at the door or at the Bryant Lake Bowl website.
Get acquainted with up-and-coming local pop rock at tonight’s New Music Tuesdays hosted by in-the-know gents of Minneapolis Fucking Rocks at Honey. This week’s installment of the music series at the underground hot spot features Skies Alive who, with heartfelt vocals and amped up guitars, sound like a younger version of another well known Minneapolis group, Motion City Soundtrack. The group will be highlighting tracks off its new EP ‘Til I Die. Dan Mariska opens with a solo set. The event is 18+, starts at 9 p.m., and costs $5. For more information, visit the event page.
Of the live music shows tonight, no show at a small venue will deliver as much bang for your buck as Children of Bodom and the Devin Townsend Project at Station 4. The Finnish heavy metal band has few contemporaries when it comes to technical skill, thanks to guitar virtuoso Alexi Laiho, one of the most respected shredders in the genre and one of the reasons that the tour is sponsored by Guitar World. Make sure to get to Station 4 early and have your ears assaulted by the solo work of Devin Townsend of Strapping Young Lad. Septicflesh and Obscura will open. Tickets are $26 at the door and because it’s a 16+ show, the doors open at 6 p.m.
The latest exhibition at Altered Esthetics offered artists the chance to express their feelings about the current political climate. The nonpartisan exhibit features work from Jennifer Weigel, Madeline Crew, and others. Join the tomfoolery at the exhibition’s opening party tonight, which includes pin the tail on the donkey (or pin the tusk on the elephant) and other election-themed activities. It’s the perfect way to kick off your Fourth of July activities. 7 to 10 p.m., 1224 Quincy St. NE, Mpls., 612-378-8888. For more information visit alteredesthetics.com.
If you have more fun in a cabaret than at the cabin, spend your Saturday at the Bryant Lake Bowl with some Shakespeare awesomeness. Dovetail Theatre presents Shakespeare Smash, a fundraiser for its first show, Leonce and Lena, opening in September. The show regales audience members with the story of a prince and princess from the kingdoms of Popo and Pipi who want to escape from royal traditions for a shot at true love. The Smash consists of three rounds of Shakespearean characters (Richard III, Ophelia, Iago, and Joan of Arc) fighting for the title belt. Tickets are pay-what-you-can between $10 and $20. Get there at 9:30 p.m. when doors open so you catch the showing of all the rejected audition tapes. Show starts at 10 p.m. 810 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-825-8949. For more information and to buy tickets, visit dovetailtheatre.com.