Thursday, May 6, 2010

Weekend What's What 5/7-5/11


With Art-A-Whirl coming up NEXT weekend, the Twin Cities' non-Northeast art spots are trying to cram in as much as they can before all eyes turn to the famed Arts District and remain locked there through the 16th. And who can blame them? There's more than enough arty goodness to go around, so we say "load us up!" The more visual stimulation the better, especially since we'll need something colorful to distract us from the so-called SNOW in MAY rumor that has been circulating. Say it ain't so!


Photo by Kate Iverson for l'etoile's
"Kiss Me, Cake" Spring photo shot


Rob Callahan reviews Cole "Inky" Sarar's chapbook "An Army of Nursery Rhymes"

Jahna Peloquin updates our sales and shopping guide

l'etoile releases our Spring 2010 fashion editorial: Kiss Me, Cake


With Art-A-Whirl quickly approaching, May 14-16, we thought it proper to clue you in on some awesome artists who will be showing their work this year! Check back each week leading up to the Whirl for more artist spotlights, plus our big guide to Art-A-Whirl 2010 the week-of! This week's pick is painter Susan Opitz.

Seasoned art vet Susan Opitz caught our eye years ago with her chaotic swirls and splats of vibrant color splashed across large canvases. This educator and art scene regular is known for her inventive array of abstract pieces that are both eye-catching and uniquely concieved. The self-proclaimed “messy painter” will present yet another leg of her prolific, ongoing body of work that she believes captures her life experiences and emotions -- varying from the drippy, water washed piece she calls “Inferno” to the bright, speckled canvas of “Sails." Find Opitz at her studio in the California Building in studio 106 over Art-A-Whirl Weekend, May 14th-16th.

Click HERE for the Susan Opitz site Click HERE for more info on Art-A-Whirl 2010


Cinco De Mayo Fiesta

@District Del Sol
Various locations
St. Paul's West Side

4-9pm Friday / 10am-6pm Saturday / Free

Time for a fiesta! This Friday and Saturday District del Sol on Saint Paul's West Side is celebrating Cinco de Mayo for the 28th year in a row -- complete with six fun-filled blocks of festivities. A pinnacle of local latin culture celebrations, St. Paul's Cinco festival is the end all be all of spicy soirees (which, btw, is co-produced by l'etoile's own Brian Gioielli, who happens to be the Marketing Director for the Riverview Economic Development Association over on the Westside!). On Friday evening you'll be treated to a "Sound Off and Hop" showcase plus the awesome annual lowrider car show. Saturday, hit the streets from 10am to Noon to watch the colorful parade as it weaves its way from Plato & Wabasha to Ada & Cesar Chaves. Then jam out to live music on multiple stages while you scarf a neverending array of delicious latin fare from locally-based businesses and mingle with all manners of interesting folks. Also included in the two-day event is a Cinco Sports Zone, a Community Wellness Village, a People's Choice Salsa Tasting Contest, a Photo Contest Area, a History Area, craft vendors, and so much more.The first big street fair of the season, the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta is one of the hottest (free) tickets in town!

Click HERE for the Cinco site


Raccoon Rally

@ Mueller Park
25th & Bryant

5:30-9:30pm / $10 registration fee
$15 fee plus official RR Tee

If you haven’t heard already, Portland was recently dethroned as America’s best bike city, and the crown passed to our very own Minneapolis. Take that Portland hipsters! A perfect example of MPLS bicycle culture is highlighted tonight in an alleycat race brought to you by local bike-loving coffee shop, Urban Bean. For the non-bike messengers out there, an alleycat race is an informal scavenger hunt style bicycle race where riders complete tasks, earn points and hit check points, competing to win bodacious prizes and of course, glory. Tonight’s race is a great opportunity to get out on your 10-Speeds, cruisers and fixed gears for an epic, city-wide race featuring prizes and plenty o' swag. Meet at Mueller Park to register, grab a race manifest, get your hands on swag bags with spoke cards from artist John Vogt and Pedalar, gift cards and more, and get pumped up for the 6pm race. Sponsored by #30DAYSOFBIKING, ROBOTlove, Metro Mag, Summit, Lululemon Athletica and Pizza Luce - just to name a mere few! Prizes include a framed Art Crank poster, gift cards, bike tune-ups from Angry Catfish and tons more! Riders: bring a lock and a messenger bag; wear your helmets and bike lights and don’t forget to be safe and follow traffic laws! The race ends with a killer after-party featuring tasty treats from mobile culinary pros, Chef Shack, a raffle drawing, DJ spun tunes and drinks. For post-party info or to register, visit or register at the park day of.

Click HERE for the Facebook Event


Scion Installation Six Art Tour

@ Pink Hobo
507 E Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55414

7pm-11pm / Free

Stop by the Pink Hobo Gallery Friday night to see eye-poppin' video art installations from ten up-and-coming artists from around the world! Talented creatives were recruited from New York, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, Paris and more, making Scion's 6th annual art experience something that you certainly don't see every day at a local independent gallery. The fact that this year's video-fueled traveling exhibition makes its Minneapolis stop at the Pink Hobo is certainly apt, as the gallery serves as the storefront for interactive/animation agency, PUNY, who among other impressive things, is a major artistic contributor to the hip and innovative children's show Yo Gabba Gabba. The exhibit, put on by automotive giant Scion, is definitely curated by some in-the-know peeps considering the visual line up includes buzzworthy types such as Dust La Rock, Mark Mothersbaugh, Josh Graham, Monihan Monihan, PMKFA and many more. Not to mention, Scion definitely throws a pretty sweet party every time they are in town, complete with hot art, hot beats and hot people. Definitely worth a stop on your busy itinerary tonight!

Click HERE for this art event and more at

Scion Installation 6: Video - Minneapolis from Scion ART on Vimeo.


Keegan Wenkman: My Life as a Number

@ XYandZ Gallery

7-11pm / Free

Let’s not bash Portland too much this week, eh? After all, it is home to former local and DIY illustrator, printer and binder, Keegan Wenkman. Co-owner/operator of KeeganMeegan Press & Bindery and Onefootinfront Illustration Studio, Wenkman creates hand-drawn pen and ink illustrations that accompany an exploration of symbolism, emotionalism and spiritual perspective. The exhibit will also mark the official release of Codex Viginti Sex, a letterpress printed, hand-bound book - the first in 26 planned volumes featuring Wenkman‘s art and technical progress. Tonight, lay eyes on this artist's well-honed, imaginative illustrations, as well as silkscreen prints published by Burlesque of North America and printed by Ben Lafond. The exhibit runs through June 11th.

Click HERE for this art event and more at


Jeremy Messersmith CD Release

@ Cedar Cultural Center
416 Cedar Ave S

7pm / All Ages / $12

l'etoile friend and fave Jeremy Messersmith has come a long way since he burst onto the TC music scene in 2006 with that sweet batch of home-recordings known as The Alcatraz Kid. The critically lauded songsmith has since toured the country, played several high profile SXSW showcases, and even landed songs on MTV's awesome train wreck of a show Jersey Shore (lol!) not to mention My Life as Liz, The Real World, and Ugly Betty. His latest album, The Reluctant Graveyard, the third in a trifecta of perfect pop albums, solidifies his reputation as a masterful songwriter and lyricist with its catchy and satisfying Beatle-esque sunny-sidewalk melodies, and a friendly voice that invites listeners to sing along. Fans of Sufjan Stevens or Elliott Smith will eat this up! The Reluctant Graveyard will make its official live debut this Friday evening at the Cedar Cultural Center with supporting act the Mynabirds.

Bonus: Check out City Pages' awesome cover story on Jeremy!

Click HERE for the Cedar site


Bella Koshka CD Release

@The Bedlam Theatre
1501 6th Street South

10pm / 21+ / $10

Reigning as one of Minneapolis’ most hauntingly awesome alternative rock bands, Bella Koshka gives you absolutely no reason to miss out on their CD release party for Deception Island this Friday...especially considering the BK crew refuses to stop at simply music, adding in firebreathers, sparklers, cupcakes, a music video premiere for BK's "Matinee" and cool projection art from Demietoile to jazz things up. Between eerie melodies, heart-wrenching instrumentals, and Laura Boland’s sensuously tragic vocal style, this band gives you an earful of epic sound. They'll be joined on stage with a fantastic cast of musical characters including Renee Klitzke on cello (Me & My Arrow), Charles Sadler on piano (Stellar Vector), Sean O' Hea on mandolin & organ (Dearling Physique) and Adam Wirtzfeld on saw (Roe Family Singers). Not to mention, we’re pretty much in love with opening band the Alpha Centauri. Stick around for a late night dance party courtesy of DJ Kiera after the show.

Click HERE for the Facebook event


Listen up fashionista four-eyes, never sacrifice personality for Benjamins. Introducing Netflix for your eyewear wardrobe: Warby Parker. Forget Pearle Vision, Warby Parker features vintage-inspired, boutique quality eyewear for a fraction of the price - under $100! Try on up to 5 frames in the privacy of your own home, paying only the shipping price. Return the ones you don’t like, keep the frames you do. And for only $95, put your prescription into your favorite frames and never again compromise price for “look.“ Warby Parker’s aesthetic puts a fashion-forward twist one of the best - and necessary - accessories in your wardrobe, and every pair can be custom fit with anti-reflective, polycarbonate prescription lenses. Really, when you have your eye on those $300 Miu Miu espadrilles, you can’t afford to spend your money on over-priced eyewear, right? Awesome for both stylish men and women, Warby Parker even sports whiskey tortoise monocles -- the “perfect accessory for budding robber barons, post-colonial tyrants and super villains.” It’s safe to say, Warby Parker is not your average eyewear store, and thank god for that!

Click HERE for the Warby Parker site


PowderKeg Live!

@Ritz Theater
345 13th Ave. N.E.

1pm/$12 adv, $14 door

PowderKeg Live is back again in its final installment of the season with more variety show debauchery than ever! This time, hosts Geoff and Stephanie are supplying more music, witty antics, and hilarious lines to keep the show rolling. With the help of their Men’s Glee Club, a wacky local historian, the stereotypical Mexican neighbor and more, The Ritz will be showing off some of the funniest songs, dances, ramblings and complaints about the hard life in the Powder Keg neighborhood.

Click HERE for the PowderKeg Live blog


Gone Bye Bye

@Nicademus Art & Frame
225 N. Snelling Ave.
St. Paul

7-11pm / Free

Local artists Christopher Bowman and DWITT are at it again for their second mixed media collaboration at the Nicademus Gallery! The blend of Bowman's neurotic illustrations with DWITT’s signature rock poster style creates a simply spectacular showcase of art. With over 200 prints at their first show, this one promises to be even better! The night will be filled with one-of-a-kind pieces of art including typical screen prints and paintings, obscure drawings on cookware and tiny illustrations on big panels. The night will be rounded out by the Burnsvillian beats of 20 Dollar Love and the tasty fizz of PBR.

Click HERE for this art event and more at


Fresh Prints

@ Cal Surf
1715 W Lake St.

6pm-10pm / Free

With the amazing art museums and galleries glittering all over this city, it’s easy to glaze over the fresh talent that’s practically spilling over at smaller venues and specialty shops that support the scene by showing local artists on their walls. This Saturday at Cal Surf, check out a show from a number of College of Visual Arts students, who will be showing off the prints they’ve poured their blood, sweat and tears into this semester. Come. Be wowed. Be nice.

Click HERE for this art event and more at


Urban Disturbia

2201 2nd St NE

2pm-Midnight / Free

Come check out some fresh art at the so-cool-you-probably-haven’t-even-heard-of-it-yet Studio 22 this weekend for the opening of Urban Disturbia! The show is a collaboration between local artists Sam Creighton, Matthew Jenkins, Bacon Teeth, Liseli Polivka and Studio 22 who united with a vision of digging a little deeper, beyond the images that bind us to reality. The show will feature art of various media, including photography, drawing, scultpure, and painting. Check out this cool spot and rub elbows with the artistic underground! The exhibit also runs 7pm-Midnight for a "soft opening" on Friday and from 3-6pm on Sunday. And, despite you may construe from the promo image (see below) the show's curator insists the exhibit has nothing to do with S&M. Sorry, ya'll! (wink)

Click HERE for the Facebook Event


Dada Trash Collage CD Release

@7th Street Entry
701 North 1st Avenue

9pm/ 21+ / $7

Join Dada Trash Collage for a night of noisy pop sounds and experimental jams! This Saturday, the Dada is hosting a CD release soiree at the 7th Street Entry and everyone who shows up is guaranteed a copy of the brand new disc. Plus, special guests like the ever-stylish Dearling Physique, rockers Hunting Club and crazy catch pop artists Netherfriends will keep the tunes flowin' throughout the night.

Click HERE for the Dada Trash Collage Facebook


Blue Sky Blackout EP Release

@ Sauce Spirits & Soundbar
3001 Lyndale Ave S

9:30pm / 21+ / $6

The boys of Blue Sky Blackout were turning heads at Voltage: Fashion Amplified last month not only for the macho pastels they were sporting, but for the even manlier powerhouse rock sounds oozing from the stage. A collective rock n' roll dynasty that features members from notable bands like Astronaut Wife, Landing Gear, Medication and more, BSB have been setting the benchmark for Minneapolis rock since late ‘09 with their triple guitar-infused jams. The recent mini-release, Clear from a Mile Away, features three of the band’s most memorable tunes including “Somebody Said That You Loved Me,” “Libertine” and “The Drugs Don’t Work.” We'd describe Blue Sky Blackout as Brit-inspired, driving rock doused in catchy riffs; delicious anthems rung out by a fleet of well-seasoned local staples who just want to do one thing: Rock. And rock hard. Celebrate BSB’s latest release tonight at Sauce with Susstones label mates BNLX, as well as You, You’re Awesome (Ohio) and an acoustic set by Chris Pavlich of Two Harbors.

Click HERE for the Facebook event

Click HERE to download the 3-Sided Single for Free!

Photo of Blue Sky Blackout by Kate Iverson


JagerCon: Sci-Fi Tuesdays

@ Clubhouse Jager
923 Washington Avenue N.

Every Tuesday
10 p.m. / 21+ / Free

Join hosts Kate Iverson (l'étoile magazine, Secrets of the City) and Beth Hammarlund (l'étoile magazine, A Tiny Machine) every Tuesday Night for JagerCon! JagerCon is a weekly sci-fi party featuring screenings of classic nerdy movies and television shows -- topped off with 2-4-1 cocktails all night served by Star Captain Paul!

Mingle with like-minded sci-fi geeks, discuss D&D strategies, and use that Captain Picard impression you've been perfecting to pick up chicks at the bar. Snort-laugh the night away while bragging about your MMORPG addiction and enjoy a cozy, nerd-friendly environment.

MAY 11: Ghostbusters
MAY 18: Pontypool
MAY 25: Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
JUN 1: The Neverending Story

L'ETOILE NEWSWIRE gets an iphone app!

Our pals at just got a fancy iPhone application! Now, you can keep up with what cool art openings are happening each weekend while you're out and about -- just pull out your iPhone, tap on the shiny pink button and get an exhibition listing. You can also take advantage of a fun draw capability to view current exhibitions! And at a mere $1, how can you go wrong? Click HERE to snag the app, and visit to check out the site online.

Refuge Magazine hits the stands!

The U of M’s magazine editing and production class -- filled with aspiring local journalists and designers -- has been working all semester to create a fresh new magazine and website. This Thursday, their hard work hits the stands! Refuge Magazine covers an array of topics from tasty comfort food to the social networking of stay-at-home moms to the secret life of WCCO’s man, Jason DeRusha. Keep your eyes peeled around campus and downtown Minneapolis for color copies of Refuge Magazine or check out the website HERE for cool multimedia, awesome articles and even a downloadable .pdf of the pretty magazine pages (designed by one of our own l’étoilers, Lauren Gantner!)

Show your support and VOTE for MNFashion!

MNFashion has been accepted in to the Pepsi Refresh Challenge and are in the running to get a $50K! This amount of money could change the spectrum of the fashion community in the Twin Cities in a BIG way! You can vote for MNfashion every day through the end of May. The money will allow Mnfashion to better support the local design community through a sewing co-op and to provide designers networking and access to resources that will help them with their business. This means that designers can produce product at a lower cost (which also means a lower cost to you!). Currently MNFashion is ranked 138th among 1300 or so canidates vying for about 40 or so grants. SO, if you make an effort to vote everyday it could really make a huge difference. VOTE HERE it takes but a minute!


Excuse us while we gush. l'étoile's own advertising manager, Brian Gioielli is one of the finalists for the annual One Man Minneapolis contest! The competition identifies the one man in the Twin Cities who represents the best of the best from the perspectives of community involvement, personality, intelligence and fitness. Well, if you ask us, Brian embodies all of these! Our boy not only volunteers his time for l'étoile, but also does a ton of charity work including being the Vice President on the St. Paul Festival Association board, 12 Bars of Christmas charity event co-organizer, and YMCA volunteer. He's also hilarious, adorable, and one of the most kind-hearted and fun dudes we've ever met.

The best part? If Brian wins, he gets to donate $2500 to his choice of charity, and has even committed $1000 of his personal winnings to l'etoile, so we can put together outfits to donate to another great non-profit, Dress for Success! Isn't he sweet? Vote for Brian every day starting this Friday at!!!!

Editor in Chief: Kate Iverson // Contributors: Juleana Enright, Lauren Gantner, Natalie Gallagher, Kate Iverson, Robyn Lewis, Rob Callahan, Beth Hammarlund, Jahna Peloquin

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