Thursday, July 22, 2010

Weekend What's What 7/22-7/25


We're all for summer, but it's been a little too steamy for our taste this week! However, we think every cloud (or in this case, blazing sun) has a silver lining: the heat and humidity is simply a great excuse to be a little lazier than usual! This weekend brings along with it an exciting cache of fantastic events, but no one's going to be the wiser if you move a bit slower, or maybe take some time to old-school kick it on a stoop with some pals. Just be sure to make it out and about for at least a couple things -- summer only lasts so long and you're not getting any younger!

Photo by Eric Eul for l'etoile


Madras Plaid Summer Social

@ OM Restaurant
401 N. 1st Avenue

6-9pm / Free

No longer is plaid just for kilts and lumberjacks. This week, l'etoile has teamed up with contemporary Indian restaurant OM to show off the summery side of the familiar pattern. Celebrate the colorful styles of Indian Madras plaids by stopping by OM in your checked best (Madras specific plaid not required!) to enjoy some Indian inspired yummies and sip on a few chilled Madras cocktails. To make the night even better, the plaidest person will win tons of prizes, including an OM gift card, tickets to the Guthrie and all the bragging rights they can muster.

Click HERE for the Facebook event


An Evening with Wil Natzel:
Closing Reception & Artist Talk

@ Soap Factory
518 2nd St SE


For the ongoing exhibit, What Remains The Soap Factory elicited artists to showcase pieces made from objects otherwise seen as art leftovers. What resulted was cities made from zip ties, candy chandeliers, a meteor strike from mere scraps and architect/artist Wil Natzel's dramatic installation, “Suspended Cardboard Domes with Giant Squid.” A mix between a War of the Worlds space ship and a mythical sea terror, the piece was made from CNC laser cut cardboard and hot glued together. His impressive work is so innovative, Natzel's eclectic constructions will soon be featured in an upcoming book, “Outside the Box: Cardboard Design Now.” Don't miss a chance to meet the artist and peep the famed squid and other pieces from the collection during tonight's closing reception. Snack on beverages and nosh from Aster Cafe and stick around for an engaging artist talk with Natzel about his concept and design. After the show, head over to St. Anthony Main's Aster Cafe for cocktails, dessert and great convos with fellow art lovers.

Click HERE for this art event and more at


Check out what l'etoile's been looking at this week!

We first discovered artist Richie Culver on UK's online gallery hodgepodge, Saatchi Gallery, where a black and white photograph of a woman's battered legged in high heels seared into our memories as both horribly disturbing and beautifully raw. Rifling through his site, more haunting photographs popped up, some following that same “scar/batter” theme, others just plain creepy – like a plastic clown mask lying next dirtied night stand of ashed cigarettes and empty glassware titled “Bedtime Story,” or the photo of an elderly gentlemen typical in every way except for his tattoo-covered face. Each image is provocative and emotive, an unapologetic take on secret truths, intimate moments and social taboos. His other art pieces are just as riveting featuring vintage photographs with tagged on ironic phrases and distorted imagery. Fall into his artwork and you just may never fall back out.

Click HERE for the Richie Culver site


MN Original Party in the Park

@ Mears Park
221 E. 5th St.
Saint Paul

5 p.m.-8 p.m. / Free

If you've yet to check out the new-ish TPT arts show MN Original then we suggest you go to their website now and catch up on all the episodes you missed -- because tonight we celebrate! The soiree in Mears Park will mark the social coming out of the television series, which has been diligently plugging away since April, showcasing numerous local artists of all shapes, sizes, colors and mediums. Happening rain or shine (fingers crossed for the latter!) you'll see a bevy of area creatives who've been featured on the program, including musicians Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps, Nachito Herrera, and the Mad Ripple Hootenanny, as well as visual artists Calpurnia Peach, Andy Ducett, Doug Padilla, Mary Griep, and others who will be on hand for the Drawing Club. DJ Scott Stulen will be mixing some beats, and Barrio will be providing the eats. So be there. Who knows, you might just get yourself on TV!

Click HERE for the MN Original site


Ron Brown: I Used to Love Her

@ Homewood Studios
2400 Plymouth Ave N

6-9 p.m. / Free

When artist Ron Brown set out to take a trip down hip-hop memory lane, he didn't realize that the ideals that originally inspired him to create his pieces would be the same ones challenged by the final product. His first art show, I Used to Love Her, is a visual collage of hip-hop jargon, vivid imagery, historical context and fashion which create a social commentary on times the culture has evolved and times it's seemed stagnant. If hip-hop is dead, Brown's art is the little kid poking it with a stick in the street, the proverbial ER paddles attempting to charge it back to life.

Bonus: Pop back into Homewood Tuesday night (7 p.m.) for an in-depth discussion with the artist on hip-hop culture past, present and future.

Click HERE for more art events at


Outspoken: Beauties, Bikes & Beats

@ Red Stag Supper Club
509 1st Avenue N.

8 p.m. / donations of $5-$10

Minneapolis is one of the best biking cities out there and we think that is reason enough to celebrate! Hot off Bicycle Magazine's nod to Minneapolis as the #1 bike-friendly city in the U.S., LEED-certified eatery Red Stag sets the stage for a totally bike-centric event this weekend, complete with fashion, photos and more. Stop by to support local biking and art by watching some recycled bike fashion from local line CounterCouture waltz down the Red Stag runway, dirty dancing to the beats of MelloRoar, and sippin’ on some specially crafted bike-themed drinks at the bar.

Click HERE for the Facebook event


Let’s Dance (Flugtag Pre-Party Edition)

@ Half Time Rec
1013 Front Ave
Saint Paul

21+ / 10pm / Free

To kick-off a weekend full of homemade flying contraptions and a neverending Red Bull buzz, the usual Let’s Dance crowd is takin’ things up a notch with a super exclusive, super awesome dance night. This Friday, the dudes and dudettes of Let’s Dance are moving their location to a more Flug Tag friendly stop in St. Paul. This time around, stop on by Half Time Rec for your familiar DJ friends, Millions Billions and Tendercakes as well as some new surprises, drink specials, and Red Bull additions.

Bonus: Saturday's Flugtag main event will be held at Harriet Island, details HERE.

Click HERE for the Let's Dance Facebook event


Estate DJ set

@ Clubhouse Jager
923 Washington

10pm / 21+ / Free

Looking for some totally tasty, synthtastic beats tonight? Head to the Clubhouse for a dance throw down with electronic wonders, Estate. The beat-making duo will dish out sparkly jams all the live long night for your twirling pleasure. Expect lots of synth, electro and sexy sounds to throw you into a tizzy - not to mention, Jager's epic cocktail list (we recommend the "Crushed Violet").

Click HERE for the Facebook event

Estate - In The Red from Estate on Vimeo.


Bearded Lady Pre-Party Art Show

@Rogue Buddha Gallery
357 13th Ave NE

8 p.m. / Free

You know it’s going to be a kick-ass event when it has “bearded lady” in the title! Stop down Friday night to the always entertaining, never boring Rogue Buddha Gallery, featuring artists Adam Turman, Aaron R. Connor, Kyle Franklin, Marx Barry, and Josh Edwards. The Show also includes Motorcycles and Mopeds built by Kevin Bass, Crazy Carl, Kevin Fitzke, Atom Pechman — but you don’t have to be a motorcycle aficionado to fit in here. This event preludes the main “freak show” the following day at 331, with live music all day, performances and hotness from le Cirque Rouge Burlesque, and a motorcycle contest ($10 entry for your bike!). If you’ve never been to a motorcycle event, know that you’re missing out—and this is your opportunity to become inundated into the bike culture and live the dream your parents never let you have. Friday's pre-party runs from 8pm-Midnight and the main event happens at the 331 Club on Saturday from Noon-6pm.

Click HERE for the Facebook event


This month l'étoile teamed up with our theatrical friends, The Strange Capers, for a photo shoot based on their Shakespeare in the Park production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at Powderhorn Park! The Capers' reimagining of the classic comedy takes a fun, gender-bending twist, swapping in women for male characters, depicting mechanicals as park workers and bike punks as fairies - a concept we were especially enamored with. In this spread - shot by Stephen Stephens - creative directors Chris Larson and Beth Hammarlund collaborated on a whimsical, design-heavy concept that focused on these magical yet gritty characters, playing off of the natural elements of beautiful Powderhorn park. Costume designer Sondra Veldey lent actual garments from the production while l'étoile pulled in D.I.Y. designer and artist Bill Beekman, designer Danielle Everine and accessory guru Amiee Dukes a.k.a. Ferociter to fill in the blanks.

The Strange Capers' performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream runs Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm through August 1st at Powderhorn Park and is free and open to the public (donations gladly accepted). For more info visit

Click below to check out the spread!



@ Palmer’s Bar
500 Cedar Avenue

1 p.m. / 21+ / Free

There’s nothing quite like a night spent amongst the smoke, whiskey, and neon of a really awesome dive bar. But an entire day at said hole-in-the-wall? Now that’s just plain epic. Enter Palmfest, the rowdy, 14-plus-hour local music throwdown at Palmer’s this Saturday. As part of The West Bank Deep Blues Festival weekend, Palmfest features a mixture of legends including Spider John Koerner and Willie Murphy -- who was recently honored by the city of St. Paul with an official Willie Murphy Day. Also on the bill are legends-to-be Fuck Knights, Chooglin’, and The Book of Right On. This fest is certainly one to raise a glass (or three) to – just please, try not to get all weepy over “Running, Jumping, Standing Still.”

Click HERE for the Palmer's Myspace


Well Done

@ Nicademus Art & Framing
225 N. Snelling Ave
Saint Paul

7 p.m. / Free

When they’re not sporting some of the snazziest frames in the cities (and even when they are!), the walls of Nicademus Art & Framing play host to hoards of local art masterpieces. Starting Saturday, the space will be decked out in all things burlesque – Burlesque of North America, that is. But before you go digging around for your tassels, might we remind you that Burlesque of North America is actually a screen print collective – and a darn good one at that. The small but
endlessly creative group has created a sea of posters for tres cool bands (Grizzly Bear, Gayngs) and music festivals (Bonnaroo) worldwide. The show at Nicademus, Well Done, brings together a bunch of Burlesque’s favorite pieces, many of which will be printed in color palettes different from their original designs. And as the only thing better than one-of-a-kind prints is free food and good music to go along with them, Nicademus will be firing up the BBQ behind the gallery, and BRLSQOTHEQUE DJs (members of the collective also engage Twin Citizens in some of the spiciest dance nights around) will be cranking out beats. Glitzy pasties may not be abound, but this event is apt to dazzle anyways.

Click HERE for the Nicademus site


K.Jurek 5 Year Anniversary Fashion Show

@ Arctic Studios
2538 Hennepin Avenue

8 p.m. / $20 in adv

To celebrate five years as Kjurek Couture (now re-branded as K.Jurek), boho designer Kimberly Jurek is showing off her fall 2010 collection - and launching a new handbag line with fellow designer Amanda Christine. The longtime local designer has come a long way since she conceived her line back when the term "local fashion" was an anomaly. While Kjurek Couture debuted at Cliché, it's now carried at four other local shops, 14 shops across the country and even a couple of shops in Japan and Canada. The show is rounded out with accessories by Cocoquette and Twisted Groove, art by John Alspach, and live Bomba music from Oso and DJ Ken Hannigan. $20 advance tickets are available at Cliché, Drama, Gallery 360, Karma, Parc, and Fresh Face Loftique; $25 at the door.

BONUS: Check out Tara Sloane's interview with Kimberly Jurek HERE

Click HERE for the K.Jurek site


Racktacular II

@ Turf Club
1601 University Avenue W.
St. Paul

9 p.m. / 21+ / $10

Ta-tas, bonkers, boobies, the goods – whatever you like to call 'em, this weekend is all about those lovely lady lumps. Racktacular is back for their second edition of this fun breast cancer benefit, a follow up to its successful debut last year - a debut that actually inspired a wave of well-meaning copycats. Make your way over to the Turf Club to enjoy "titillating" tunes from Communist Daughter and Alpha Consumer as well as a "peep" at the brilliantly handmade bras in the ever-popular Art Bra Contest worn by saucy dancers from Lili's Burleseque. While the tassels twirl, you'll be invited to bid away on your favorite scandalous brassiere.

Click HERE for the Racktacular site


Paper Tiger CD Release

@ Sauce
Lyndale Ave S

9 p.m. / 21+ / $8

Paper Tiger, the sunglass bespectacled hip-hop sound sculptor behind Doomtree's most epic singles, is set to receive his proper shine with the release of his debut record Made Like Us - a multilayered, beat-heavy production which combines crafty samples with piercing keys and gritty bass lines, forming a truly cinematic affair reminiscent of classic RJD2. Paper Tiger will be joined by Seattle Beatsmith Budo, special performances by the entire Doomtree crew, and a rousing session of Doomtree Karaoke - there isn't any place we'd rather be on a Saturday night than rapping along to "Low Light".

Bonus: Pre-order-ers of the new Paper Tiger album will receive a free pair of Paper Tiger's signature sunglasses, perfect for a day at the beach or an evening in stage lights.

Click HERE for the Doomtree site


Jimmy2times Going away Jam

@ 7th St. Entry
701 First Ave. N

10 p.m. / 18+ / $5 advance, $6 door

Joining the hoards of creatives who flock to the gritty, art-laden streets of Brooklyn seemingly every other day is Get Cryphy DJ Jimmy2times. But before you start cursing the Big Apple too loudly, take note: Jimmy, Bill, DJ Fundo, and Last Word are bringing us a night of dance floor melting, ridiculously buck beats to send Jimmy off in style. Cryphy fave PROF will be doing an utterly booty-shaking set of hands in the air party rap, and some other unknown (but likely awesome) special guests will also be making an appearance. Who knew saying goodbye could be so fun?

Click HERE for the Facebook event


Check out what l'etoile's been listening to this week!

Before Konono no 1 released their debut album six years ago, Americans only thought we knew Congolese music (if we even thought about it at all, that is). But far from the snaky desert guitars, disco-ey afro funk, or mbanqua (township rock that inspired Paul Simon’s “Graceland” and parts of Vampire Weekend’s “Contra”), Konono no 1 makes powerful, intoxicating music – out of junk. Percussion instruments crafted from old car parts, megaphones, scrap metal, and discarded amps combine with three eclectic likembé (traditional thumb pianos) to create Kunono no 1’s high energy, impossible-not-to-dance-to sounds. Equally rudimentary, but no less effective, are the groups amplification equipment, which includes a microphone carved out of wood fitted with an automobile alternator magnet. The group’s latest album released in May, was recorded at home in Kinshasa, DR Congo and features guest appearances from other Congotronics (a music series devoted to the strange and spectacular sounds of this region) artists. Both grandma - and hipster - friendly, Konono no 1 is unlike anything you’ve ever heard before, and its atmospheric ingenuity is sure to leave you transfixed.

Click HERE for the Konono no 1 myspace


Chaing Banger 2010

@ Chiang Mai Thai
(in the alley behind Calhoun Square)
3001 Hennepin Avenue South

Noon-8 p.m. / 21+ / $2

Following in the awesome tradition of so many before them, Chiang Mai Thai will be hosting a block party with one of the most promising lineups a Twin Citian could hope for, featuring our local and beloved Birthday Suits, Pink Mink, The Red Pens, Bight Club, Fuck Knights, Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps, as well as the worthy and wonderful Silverghost, the Hounds Below, and Marco Polio and The New Vaccines (and with a name like that, we already love them). The most mysterious part about this block party, though, is the after party at a super secret as-yet-undisclosed location, with Shane Shane, Marijuana Death Squad, Fizzy Dolphin, DJ Mink Stole and DJ Skeleton Hands.

Click HERE for more info

We can't get enough of this Pink Mink tune: Seekin' Scott Seekins


Black Dog Block Party

@ Black Dog Cafe
4th & Broadway
St. Paul

2-9pm / all ages/ free

Now in its 5th year, the Black Dog Block Party continues to be one of St. Paul's most eclectic outdoor arts and music fests of the summer, and well worth the hop for MPLS residents. Despite construction, this weekend the art savvy, entertainment-charged Lowertown district plays host to a diverse line-up of live musicians including Americana trio, Long Straight Forever; indie hip-hop mistress, Desdamona; blues-rock artist Jimmi Langemo and the Band of Souls; Brazilian percussionists, Batucada do Norte; hip-hop lyric slinger, Kristoff Krane and many more. Plus, a huge outdoor art fair and the premiere of a community-themed exhibit inside the cafe. Enjoy delicious treats from Black Dog Cafe's organic and local menu and sip down tasty domestic and imported beers all day long.

Co-Sponsored by l'etoile!

Click HERE for the Black Dog site

Photo of Kristoff Krane by Stacy Schwartz


Rockstar Storytellers Season Three Greatest Hits

@ Bryant Lake Bowl
Lake & Bryant
Uptown Minneapolis

doors 6 p.m., show 7 p.m. / $12 ($10 l'etoile discount in adv - see below)

Our pals the Rockstar Storytellers are wrapping up their 2010 season this Sunday, with an epic lineup of clever tales and high-brow/low-brow literary stylings. Ten rockin' readers will be on hand along with a film crew and audio crew to capture the awesomeness in its raw form. Featuring Laura Bidgood, Allison Broeren, Mike Fotis, Allegra Lingo, Curt Lund, Courtney McLean, Dave Monday, Amy Salloway, Den San Del, Joseph Scrimshaw and more! Get your tix before they're sold out and snag a sweet discount while you're at it! Call the BLB ticket office at 612-825-8949 and mention the promo code "l'etoile" to score $10 tickets.

Click HERE for the Rockstar Storyteller's site


Mad Men Premiere Party

@ Jax Cafe
1928 University Avenue NE

6:30 p.m. / $10 for after-party only; $20 for screening & after-party; $45 for dinner, screening & after-party

Classy retrophiles of the Twin Cities, it’s time to pull out those retro suits and vintage dresses for a night of brandy sipping, cigar puffing, steak eating and, of course, Mad Men! That’s right, local mag and DJ Jake Rudh have teamed up to bring you the ultimate party to kick-off the new season of the hit show Mad Men. Start your night off with a showy dinner at the Jax Café then make your way downstairs for an after-party of music, brandy beverages and cigar puffing. Finally, join other Maddicts as the first moments of Season 4 unfold before your very eyes. But, be sure to dress to impress: the chicest couple will receive a prize. (Check out official event sponsors Lula’s Vintage Wear and Spinario Design if you’re in need of vintage threads.) BONUS: Now through Sunday, July 25, St. Paul vintage shop Up Six is offering 20 percent off all clothing if you mention code word “Sterling Cooper!"

Click HERE for the Facebook event


Win a Pair of Tickets to the Lowertown Music Fest!

We're giving away a pair of tickets to the Lowertown Music Fest happening Saturday, July 31st! Featuring live music from Mason Jennings, Tapes n' Tapes, Cloud Cult, Peter Wolf Crier, and Frank Turner. An epic line up, if you ask us! Want to go? We know ya do. E-mail with the word "LOWERTOWN" in the subject line to enter to win. Enter to win through Saturday, July 24th. The winner will be notified on Sunday. For more info or to purchase tickets to the fest, click HERE.

Register now for the 1st Annual High Heel Dash!

The first ever Aegis Foundation High Heel Dash invites both men and women to show off their glamorous athletic prowess for a good cause! On Wednesday, August 11th at Peavey Plaza in Downtown Minneapolis contestants will compete against each other in 25-yard dash heats wearing heels 3 inches or taller. MyTalk 107.1's Lori & Julia will begin broadcasting live with emcee Foxy Tann at 3pm! Heats will start at 5:30pm to give you time to leave work and dash to Peavey Plaza for a great cause. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place dashers! The top fundraisers will get Spectacular prizes too!!

Participants are encouraged to raise a minimum of $100 to dash (tax deductible). Contestants will receive an official High Heel Dash t-shirt. All proceeds benefit Soles4Souls and the Emergency Foodshelf Network. REGISTER NOW!

High Heel Dash 2010 is proudly co-sponsored by l'

Editor in Chief: Kate Iverson // Contributors: Juleana Enright, Tara Sloane, Lauren Gantner, Natalie Gallagher, Kate Iverson, Robyn Lewis, Jahna Peloquin

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