Thursday, March 24, 2011

Weekend What's What 3/24-3/27


With the shocking dump of snow this week that covered up our beautiful, recently exposed concrete and grass, our hearts just about shriveled in our chests. But despite Mother Nature thumbing her nose at us (hopefully) one last time this season, that hasn't deterred the hardy brethren of the Twin Cities, who've got plenty of good times planned for this weekend. Don't let the snow spook ya--Spring is right around the bend (we promise)!


Photo by Nic Marshall for l'etoile


Blue Sky Blackout and Walker Fields Semi-Acoustic Shindig

@ Club Jager
923 Washington Ave N.

9 p.m./ 21+ / Free

You know Blue Sky Blackout for their heavy-duty rock ‘n’ roll, and you should know Brad Senne’s project Walker Fields, which features variety of local musicians and explores the grass-fed Americana sounds of acoustic guitar. The real treat, and the most exciting part of both of these bands, will be seeing them live at Jager as they merge musical forces. Blue Sky Blackout already rocks any venue they land, but seeing them unplugged and with the sensitive rootsy rock of Brad Senne will be a rare and delicious treat.

Click HERE for the Facebook event


The Hood Internet, Elite Gymnastics

@ Varsity Theater
1308 4th St. SE

8 p.m. / $12

The dance night dilemma: the DIY hole-in-the wall, PBR, indie rock/electronic and biking home or Lil’ Wayne, mixed dranks, inappropriate dance moves and pretending it never happened the next morning. But whether you generally opt for A or for B, The Varsity has you covered on Thursday, as they’re bringing in The Hood Internet. Yes, the one you’ve probably downloaded illegally. The Chicago mash-up duo whose indie rock and rap juxtapositions are to-die-for-fun and the best of both worlds. Think Asher Roth vs. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Ke$ha vs. YACHT, DMX vs. The xx, and even P.O.S.’ Minnesota Beatle Project track vs. La Roux’s “In for the Kill.” Um, yes. Even better, local chillwavers Elite Gymnastics are opening. Cancel your Thursday plans and be there.

Click HERE for the Varsity site


What's l'etoile looking at this week?

Rhode Island-born artist and ad re-interpreter, Ellen Gallagher, is no newbie to the art world. Featured in solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art and galleries in London, Gallagher’s subtle work of minimalist paintings, collages and films have earned her the prestigious, American Academy Award in Art. Using ad images found in archival magazines like Ebony and a collection of vintage advertisements, Gallagher puts a feminist/political take on the stories, characters and identities within the chronicles, obscuring the meaning and returning as “a suitcase full of forbidden history, dumped in the pure space of abstract minimalism.” As a former carpenter with a background in grid-making, Gallagher breezes through penmanship paper and found material with the ease of a minstrel of quilted backgrounds. Her eclectic work – which consists of paintings, sketchings, animations, posters and more – draws inspiration from the burst of colors she's experienced on her travels to Cuba, literary influences like Moby Dick and the intricacy of grid systems.

Click HERE for more info


Remnants: Work by J.M. Culver

@ Gallery 122 at Hang It
122 8th St SE

7 p.m. to 10 p.m. / Free

If the artwork in local artist J.M. Culver's latest exhibit invokes a touch of nostalgia in you, don't worry--you're not just feeling overly maudlin: her new work is specifically meant to draw out childhood memories. In Remnants, Culver showcases a series of colossal drawings, large-scale oil paintings on vintage fabric adhered to canvas to create an exhibit focusing on both the somber and the alluring parts of youth. Drawing from memory, relationships, symbolism and allegory, Culver's “portraitures” embrace the abstract glances of past moments, where little girls and green apples aren't as naïve as they may seem. Enjoy music from electronic hip-hop artist, DJ Dedmondson.

Click HERE for this art event and more at


What Follows What Came Before

@ Lerner Bindery Gallery
Minnesota Center for Book Arts
1011 Washington Ave. S.

6 p.m. / Free

What Follows What Came Before...Leave it to MCBA to have us thinking before we’ve even seen the exhibit. Opening Friday in the Bindery, a space completely dedicated to putting pieces together to form a whole, What Follows What Came Before follows suit. Forming a monolith from minuscules, if you will, it brings together 13 artists and their diverse work (from sound engineering to bead adornments to printmaking) to investigate the aesthetics of order. Mathematically, evolutionarily, musically, chronologically – the myriad of ways which one thing follows another is brought to light in this exhibit. So, really, it’s only logical that you put one foot in front of the other and get yourself there.

Click HERE for this art event and more at


Say You See It Too: A full year of onethirtyfive

@ Umber Studios
3109 E. 42nd St.

7 p.m. / Free

Say You See It Too is an event 365 days in the making. It started in the name of challenge--a daily dialogue between photographer Louisa Podlich and writer Christian Dahlager. She takes a photograph, sets a scene, starts a story, and he responds to it with thirty-five words, no more, no fewer. Abstract, poetic, puzzling, nostalgic, profound--a combination of these or something else entirely. The next day, they repeat the process, and three-hundred sixty-five repetitions later, they hope viewers will say "we see it, too." Or even better, that we will actually see what they saw, feel what they felt, hear what they heard, and be inspired as they were. Friday and Saturday only, Umber Studios will display all 365 conversations. Say you’ll be there, too?

Extra: This marks the final exhibition at Umber Studios, who had their official goodbye party in February. So don't miss this last chance to check out art in this space!

Click HERE for this art event and more at


Minnesota Beard-Off

@Turf Club
1601 University Ave W
St. Paul

8 p.m. / 21+ / $6

Chin straps, handlebars, fu manchus, garibaldis. Whatever your trim of choice, you better bring your best facial locks forward to the Turf this Friday for Yelp’s 2nd Annual Minnesota Beard-Off. Come together with all the local hair growers and admirers from across the Twin Cities to give snaps to the best face wigs every coiffed. Mingle with Minnesotan bearded folk and even create a new beard of your own. And obvi the night wouldn’t be complete without a plethora of prize gear, not to mention a golden ‘stached trophy for the beard that tops all beards.

Click HERE for the Facebook event

2010 Beard Off photo by David J. Turner / Bacon Beard by Nicky Stein-Grohs


Astronautalis with Sims

@ Triple Rock Social Club
629 Cedar Avenue

8 p.m. / 18+ / $10

Imagine a scrawny, blonde Scribble Jam veteran spitting urgent, stream-of-conscious rhymes through a gravelly, Jameson-drenched larynx that conjures Tom Waits via Henry Rollins over beats that range from rock to rap and back again, and you have Astronautalis. His current tour features a live backing band and was one of our favorite acts at SXSW this year. Paired on tour with our own Sims, whose addictive blend of hip hop and captivating performance has audiences all over the country dancing - they'll be landing together at the Triple Rock this Friday, and we can't wait!

Click HERE for the Triple Rock site



@ Nick & Eddie
1612 Harmon Place

10 p.m. / 18+ / $10 or $5 with RSVP

Right as we’re just getting over their two-year anniversary, Bomp is ready to go at it again with another night long dance melee. This Friday, get silly with the usual DJ bunch (The Moon Goons, Wezz Winship and Plain Ole Bill, of course) at their cozy party home, Nick and Eddie. This time around, they’ve got BOTH rooms on lock-down, so be sure to come early to secure your spot on the d-floor.
Click HERE for the Facebook event


What's l'etoile looking at on the web this week?

With the loss of a beloved fashion icon this week, this dainty little photography blog caught our eye – specifically it’s collection of icon-inspired photo shoots, with gorgeous lighting and outfits you’d swear belonged to Katherine Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis, and more. NYC photographer and vintage typewriter collector Jamie Beck is the keen eye behind “From Me to You,” which brings a whole new kind of pretty to the masses of street style photography blogs with behind-the-scenes access to the NYC fashion world. The coolest part, though, is that some of her photos really move; not in an aesthetic way, but in a .gif wizard kind of way – think batting eyelashes, hair moving in the breeze, the kinds of details that make (fashionable) people-watching such a captivating sport, but are easily missed in still photography. And we certainly wouldn’t be surprised if this one became a mover and shaker on the blog scene, too.

Click HERE for the site


Firkin Fest

@ The Happy Gnome
498 Selby Ave
Saint Paul

1 p.m. to 5 p.m. / $35

Just in case you're not up on your old English lexicon, a “firkin” is a fancy shmancy word for a volume of liquid. In beer terms, it's equal to 72 pints – think: wooden keg. Ok, so why do you care what this “firkin” we speak of is? Firkin Fest, of course! Hosted by New Belguim Minnesota and St. Paul restaurant beer gurus, The Happy Gnome, Firkin Fest features samples of some of the most amazing and delicious brewskis including a variety of samples from favorites Rush River, Fulton, Surly, Summit, Flying Dog, Schell's, Dark Horse, and many more, all in really awesome old school firkins. From hoppy and IPA to Stout and amber, there's something for every beer lover. We're especially intrigued by Tallgrass' “Buffalo Sex” brew, described as Buffalo Sweat with chocolate and cherries. Vote for your favorite to win the coveted “Golden Firkin,” plus enter to win tickets for a home-brew kit from Northern Brewer, tickets for the upcoming Schell's Beer Dinner and tickets to the Brooklyn Beer Dinner, both hosted at The Happy Gnome. Only 1800 tickets are being shelled out for this year's fest, so snag yours quick and don't bogart the beer, man!

Click HERE for more info and tix


Italian Film Festival

2501 Stevens Ave S

12 p.m. (continues throughout the day) / $5

Face it. No matter how Netflix, Hulu or pirate-savvy you are, there are just some films you can't get your cinephile mitts on. The acclaimed contemporary films screening at this weekend's 3rd Annual Italian Film Festival are most definitely on this list. Featuring 9 films – some not even available in the U.S. – the ICC is your ticket to some of the best movies modern Italian cinema is generating. Tonight, catch the heartbreaking “farewell” tale of a son and his art-obsessed father in L'uomo Nero, bond with a group of Roman misfits in La Febbre da Fieno, experience the vengeance of a 17-year-old mafia daughter in La Siciliana Ribelle, and witness the ten-day trek of a gang of musicians and a journalist in Basilicata. Films show through Sunday with English subtitles.

Click HERE for more info and schedule


Worst Friends Ever Bike Race II After Party

@ Cult Status Gallery
29th & Harriet

9 p.m. / $5

Even if you're too lazy to participate in Black Label Bike Club's 2nd annual Worst Friend's Ever bike race (or if they'll even let ya), there's no denying the allure of an after party. Rock out to the hardcore anthems of The Knotwells, Hurricane and more whilst mingling with bike punks, fixie aficionados, tall cyclists, and more. Not to mention, tonight's soiree doubles as the birthday party for Clubhouse Jager's bouncer with the mostest, Timmy Hansen--so you know things will likely get crunk.

Click HERE for the Facebook event

M.anifest, Muja Messiah, and The Usual Suspects

@ Cause Spirits & Soundbar
3005 Lyndale Ave. S.

9:30 p.m. / $6

Ghana-born hip-hop artist M.anifest, back from recording his EP amongst the guitarists, storytellers, and traditions of his home country, headlines tonight, no doubt with a few new tricks and rhythms up his sleeves. Also performing is Muja Messiah, known for loose, funny, and lyrically spot-on (read: oh-so socially conscious) hooks, and local 5-piece variety band The Usual Suspects, whose high-energy covers from the 70s and on will most certainly make you dance.

Click HERE for the Cause site


Attitude City

@ Club Jager
923 Washington Ave

10 p.m. / 21+ / Free

One of our favorite monthly dance jams is here! The bad ass boys of Attitude City are at it again with their installation of music and mayhem. Join the Jeff Dubois and special guest Daniel Paul (aka Ghetto) for a night of delicious dance beats and Clubhouse Jager’s tasty cocktails. Not only is it free, but we guarantee that you’ll have an awesome time mingling and dancing up on some of Minneapolis’ finest.

BONUS: Download a brand spankin' new Attitude City dance mix HERE.

Click HERE for the Facebook event


Menergy Presents: Panther Blood

@Kitty Cat Klub
313 14th Ave SE

10 p.m./21+/$5 or $3 with RSVP

We’re totally over the whole Charlie Sheen thing and all the tiger blood talk. This Saturday, we’re moving on to bigger and better things: Mark Mallman's panther blood, of course! Manly man Mallman is joining Menergy superstars Bach 666, The Nightstalker and Sweet Talk Radio at KCK’s monthly Menergy bash to lead a testosterone-fueled dance jam to end all dance jams. With the help of Playatta’s video genius and the Kitty Cat’s flavorsome selection of brews, we're quite certain the night will prove to be especially magnificent and man-filled.

Click HERE for the Facebook event


What's l'etoile listening to this week?
Truth be told – and mostly we're saying this so as to save our coolness factor – we've been listening to Little Dragon for quite some time. Years even. Yes, even before the totally gorg Swedish-Japanese lead singer, Yukimi Nagano, lent her smoky vocals to Gorillaz's Plastic Beach record. But we recently stumbled across this highly adorable video where – from what we can tell – Yukimi and the rest of the talented Little Dragon members pay a visit to an unknown grade school for an unconventional concert collaboration. Almost more impressive than Yukimi's husky, jazzy chops and the haunting piano melody is the attention span of these little tikes and their uncanny ability to remain on key AND harmonize. Let that be a lesson to you, American Idol contestants! Also hilarious is the enthusiasm of the random music teacher/conductor – he really likes Little Dragon, guys. Why we couldn't have gone to a rad, indie-music appreciating school like this when we were kids is beyond us. Lucky little bastards! Stay tuned after the performance as the kid's ask the band some pretty poignant questions regarding the song “Twice” and the band's concept. We smell a Rolling Stone journalist in a few of these kid's futures. Tugs at the heart strings, it does.

Click HERE for the Little Dragon site


Where All Lost Things Go

@ Shoebox Gallery
2948 Chicago Ave. S.

3 p.m. to 5 p.m. / Free

The space of the “betwixt and between,” or rather, what it is to exist in this space is explored in Where All Lost Things Go, the latest collection by United Kingdom-born, Minneapolis-based visual artist Elaine Rutherford. Opening Sunday afternoon at Chicago Ave street-side art space, Shoebox Gallery, the exhibit offers an intimate, highly personal take on life as an immigrant, on displacement and nostalgia, and on learning to find belonging in a place that is not one’s homeland. For Rutherford, painting is an “act of transcendence, of temporality, meditation and mediation,” a way for her to step outside herself and fully discover the in-between. We’re anxious to see what in being “lost,” she’s found – and what thing or two we Minneapolitans can learn from a non-native’s perspective.

Click HERE for this art event and more at

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

1 comment:

Lab geek said...

You must have been under a rock. That PS22 school choir has been all over the interwebs! or maybe just on ace of cakes.