Thursday, March 3, 2011

Weekend What's What 3/3-3/6


With a bevy of our most beloved local bands gearing up for the SXSW festival, the Twin Cities is buzzing with excitement. And what better way to express that excitement than with a couple of totally awesome kickoff parties? Music will be in abundance this time around, so put your pants on, come out of hibernation, and check out something new. After all, you want to be able to say "I saw them back when..." right?

Bonus: Follow our music editor, Robyn Lewis, on Twitter at @LOLOMGSXSW as she tweets all the down n' dirty details from SXSW March 15th-20th and this weekend's local showcases!



Beth and Jahna tweet the Oscars from the Hotel Ivy

Jahna and Lauren update our Guide to Sales & Shopping

Tickets for l'etoile night at the Guthrie now on sale!


LOL/OMG Social Media Meetup #7

@ 331 Club
331 13th Ave NE

9 p.m. / 21+ / Free

After a brief hiatus we're back--and at a new home, no less! Join l'étoile's sister site, LOL/OMG, at the 331 Club for the 7th edition of our social media meetup and music blowout! Socialize with your Twitter/Facebook/Foursquare/etc friends IRL, drink some cheap dranks, nerd out, shamelessly hit on people, whatever...just be sure to tweet it so we can LOL/OMG you later! In honor of our move to the 331 Club, we've crafted an all-star lineup for the occasion that will blow minds and ear drums. The night starts off with the beat oddities of The Craigslist Killer, followed by the artfully suave electronic stylings of Dearling Physique, and capped off with the live P.A. mischief of one Slapping Purses. A night not to be missed! Official hashtag: #LOLOMG.

Click HERE for the Facebook event


L'ecole de la mode

@ Hell's Kitchen
80 S 9th St

9 p.m. / $10 for 21+, $12 for 18-20, $20 VIP

It’s not every day you find an event that encourages attendance in your schoolhouse best. Cute pleated skirts, ruffled knee-highs, and otherwise homework-distraction-causing ware? Yes, please! Thursday at Hell’s Kitchen, designer Samantha Rei (the dame behind neo-Victorian line Blasphemina’s Closet) will be presenting her first solo show, “L’ecole de la mode” (a lesson in fashion). Her full spring 2011 collection, titled “Riot/Reform,” will be featured to new tunes by local folk-goth duo Skittish, with jewelry by Bionic Unicorn, hats by Apatico, and glasses by The Spectacle Shop. BC lookbooks will also be on sale, with all proceeds going to the Civil Society.

Click HERE for the Blasphemina's Closet site


What's l'étoile looking at this week?

Drawing inspiration and raw material from cinema, pornography, street culture and images sampled from the Internet, London-based artist Ian Francis synthesizes his muses into a quasi-literal vision of the “mediated” landscape. His mixed-media paintings and paper drawings are a mini-world of complex interactions amid high-color washes, jagged brushwork and cityscape fragments. From hardships facing the elderly and vulnerable to semi-clad female figurines and hedonistic fantasies, Francis' abstract works suggest a worldview blending the incongruities of modern life – a visual land where the beautiful and the grotesque dance hand in hand.

Click HERE for the Ian Francis site


Winter Wonderblast

@ Calhoun Beach Club
2730 W Lake St

7 p.m. - 1 a.m. / $35-$55

Humdrum winter got you down? Head over to the Calhoun Beach Club tonight as some of the cities' hottest entertainers perform, dance, mingle and fill the night with dynamic wonder. The evening kicks off with a fab ab fitness fashion show and segues into passion-ridden performances from Buckets and Taps, the Haute Hula Hoop Troupe, Elektra Cute and her Burlesque Babes and LED illuminated logo-Go-go dancers, plus a body painting contest by the Picassos of the flesh, fire dancers and tunes from DJs JD Havens, Jamez, Bryan Gerrad and Jesus Juice with live percussionist Winston. Not to mention all proceeds of tonight's extravagant event benefit the Special Olympics Minnesota, so bring on the neon colors!

Click HERE for the Winter Wonderblast site



@ Altered Esthetics
1224 Quincy Street NE

7 p.m. / Free

Few things are more troubling than histrionic, soul-searching fan fiction about the Cullen coven or an entire generation of impressionable preteens sporting Bieber haircuts. But starting Friday, Altered Esthetics will be shedding new, less annoying light on the notion of fanbois and gurls. For Fanboi 20 artists create work inspired by fandom and devotion to heroes, sagas, and icons in film, music, and gaming culture. Styles range from acrylic and watercolor paintings to charcoal and varnished crayon drawings. Expect appearances (in 2-D, that is) by R2D2, Marilyn Manson, The Good Doctor, and if we’re luck, a Mary Sue or two. You’d be a n00b not to be there.

Click HERE for this art event and more at


Are You Local? SXSW Send-off

@ Varsity Theater
1308 SE. 4th St.

6 p.m. / 18+ / $10

Once again, Minneap is sending a bevy of bands to the biggest fest in the west, representing a unique cross section of what our scene has to offer. Whether or not you'll make it down to South by Southwest this year, come out and help send our budding rockstars off in style. l'etoile faves Phantom Tails, the swoon-worthy Jeremy Messersmith, the lush, alt-country hymns of Ben Weaver, as well as the three finalists from's best new band search (our money's on 4 on the Floor) will share the Varsity stage. One lucky band will be crowned the "best new local band" and be sent down to Austin to play's showcase. PLUS, there will be live art by Chuck U, digital pic snapping by Playatta, and free Speed Blingo with Ellie throughout the night. The show starts early, so be sure to not to miss any of this outstanding talent before they hit the road for the Lone Star State.

BONUS: We're sending l'etoile/LOL/OMG correspondent and music editor Robyn Lewis to SXSW this year to report on and live-tweet ALL the action (including every bit of embarrassing debauchery). She'll be tweeting from tonight's "Are You Local?" showcase as well, so follow her at @LOLOMGSXSW immediately! Trust us, you won't want to miss out.

Click HERE for the site


Wizards Are Real Record Release Party

@ Cause
3005 Lyndale Ave. S.

9 p.m. / 21+ / $6

Wizards Are Real gets the l'etoile award for best awesomely geeky sounding band name ever. Tonight catch wind of the psych-jazz quartet, which features a pedal steel guitar, drums, bass, and--yes--a saxophone! Seriously, it's like the dying art of instrumentation. Tonight's album release is something you surely don't want to miss, because joining the lineup is another onslaught of supremely named bands with talent with which to melt your face off: Dragons Power Up!, National Bird and Seymour Saves The World.

Click HERE for the Cause site


Red Pens, Party House, Hollow Boys, Lillian & the Harveys

@ Hexagon Bar
2600 27th Ave. S.

10 p.m./ 21+ / Free

Ahhhh, the Red Pens. Nothing beats the crazy, manic sounds of the guitarist-drummer pair that is Howard Hamilton and Laura Bennett. They will probably end up shaking the dusty neon signs off the walls of the Hex, and don't you want to be there for that? The noise rock duo are joined by Party House, Hollow Boys, and Lillian & the Harvey for an evening of hell-bent sounds and strong drink swillin'.

Click HERE for the Hexagon site


Get Cryphy: Goin' Rambo

@ The Record Room
701 1st Ave N

10 p.m. / 18+ / $3 adv or $5 at door

So, we already get that Crunk + Hyphy = Cryphy. But, what about Crunk + Hyphy + Rambo? Well, we’ll find out this weekend with another round of the supa’ fly dance installation Get Cryphy at First Ave’s cozy-cool Record Room. Spend your Friday night shakin’ tush to some beats from DJs Plain Ole Bill, Last Word and Fundo while sippin’ down some strong dranks from the VIP bar. As always, be sure to show up in the early hours because their monthly sponsors will be handing out sweet swag for the pre-partiers of the night.

Click HERE for the Facebook event


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

L’etoile came to a shocking conclusion this week: we’re man repellers. But don’t go reaching for the Ben and Jerry’s just yet – we like it this way! Let us explain. Since last April, 22-year-old fashion blogger Leandra Medine has been publishing photographs of herself wearing the treasures of her closet: shoulder pads, drop-crotch utility pants, an ostrich-feather miniskirt, a cape, and other such enviable, utterly ridiculous “sartorial contraceptives.” Catch our drift yet? In that beloved realm known as fashion, it seems the most fashion-forward pieces are also the most sexually unappealing; they’re man repellers, and by golly, we can’t get enough of them. Guided by Medine’s irreverent, totally witty fashion musings, the Man Repeller will make you laugh just as much as it will inspire you. Sorry boys, this one’s definitely a keeper.

Click HERE for the Man Repeller site


Paper Darts Volume 3 Launch Party

@ Honey
205 E Hennepin Ave

7 p.m. / Free

Founded by the indie-focused three-headed octopus, locals Meghan Suszynski, Jamie Millard and Regan Smith, literary arts zine, Paper Darts, celebrates its third volume tonight, featuring awesome art, local interviews, music, fashion, comics and some of the best fiction, poetry and nonfiction to come out of the underground lit scene. Tonight's launch party features readings by John Jodzio, Matt Mauch, Michele Campbell, Robert Voedisch, and Maggie Ryan Sandford plus live music by The Chord and the Fawn, a digital art slideshow, giveaways, booze and – of course – a chance to get your paws on the latest killer issue.

Click HERE for the Paper Darts site


La Traviata

@ Ordway
345 Washington St N
St. Paul

7:30 p.m./ $35+

The decadence and consequence of Parisian high society is central to La Traviata, opening this weekend at the MN Opera. The story that inspired Moulin Rouge follows Violetta (played Saturday by Elizabeth Fural, who will alternate the role with Georgia Jarman), a courtesan who falls in love with Alfredo, a dashing younger man she must later give up. Full of romance, woe, and towering choruses, this classic opera is a must see. Following the performance, join the MN Opera's young patron group, Tempo, for an exclusive after-party at Kincaid’s, just a few blocks from the theater, complete with saucy hors d’oeuvres and drink specials, beats by Radio K, and more photo ops than Paris fashion week. Merveilleux!

Click HERE for the MN Opera site



@Eagles Club
2507 E 25th St

6 – 9 p.m./$10-$20 Donation

This Saturday is your chance to feast upon a tasty dinner while feasting your eyes upon pretty new art proposals...all with the group behind clever dinner party/art philanthropy project, FEAST. To help Fund Emerging Art with Sustainable Tactics (ya know, FEAST), this time around public and patrons are gathering at the Eagles Club to discuss new and emerging projects around the cities and figure out what they can do to make it happen! Not only will they be checking up on last round’s project winner "Falling Asleep Behind the Lens," but by the end of the night, all attending feasters will be given the opportunity to vote on their favorite new proposal--the night's winner will receive funds raised at the event to begin their new artistic endeavor.

Click HERE for the Feast site


'Life is Beautiful' EP Release Party

@ Nick & Eddie Restaurant
1612 Harmon Place

9:30 p.m. / 21+ / $8

Join veteran rockers the Idle Hands tonight as they celebrate the release of the latest EP Life is Beautiful off local label Pretty Kids Collective. Channeling their muse by splicing angular new wave and jangly Britpop, the Minneapolis five-piece has been dropping smartly written, well-produced catchy indie pop for quite a few years now and continues to awe fans with rock-ready tracks and an ever-evolving sound. With sets from fellow Brit-inspired electro-rockers BNLX and loud, synth-heavy rock of We Became Actors.

Click HERE for the Facebook event


Romantica, Martin Devaney Band, Cactus Blossoms, Jennifer Markey

@ Turf Club
1601 University Ave.
St. Paul

9 p.m. / 21+ / $8

Sweet tunes and lush harmonies will fill the Turf Club Saturday, as some of the best local folk artists convene for a show sure to warm your heart and treat your ears. Jennifer Markey & The Tennessee Snowpants start the evening with honky-tonk beats and booze-soaked lyrics as quirky as the band’s name might suggest. From The Cactus Blossoms, expect a wealth of little folk/blues standards so lovely they could make you cry, and from jazz sax-trained Martin Devaney, charming, bleeding heart paeans to the girls he’s loved. Rounding out the evening is the Belfast-influenced (frontman Ben Kyle was born there!), Americana quartet Romantica, whose organic, heart-to-heart tunes never fail to captivate.

Click HERE for the Turf Club site


What's l'étoile listening to this week?

Like the sound of waves crashing against a picturesque, putrid shore, Dirty Beaches' music epitomizes a relentless edge and calls to mind a cinematic montage of weary travel on a train car through dusky tunnels. Lead by one-man-band and Trans-Pacific nomad, Alex Zhang Hungtai, Dirty Beaches' slow motion, drum loop melodies yearn with a haunted enchantment draped atop melancholy. Part psychobilly, part lo-fi minimal rock, Hungtai's husky vocals evoke the croony style of minimalist synth provocateur, Suicide's Alan Vega, and the bluesy amour of Elvis. Throw in a little Buddy Long, Rick Nelson and a lonely mai tai cocktail and you'll get the lovelorn, post-retro sound of Dirty Beaches latest release Badlands. We imagine Hungtai's beach bum chic self on the stage of some dimly lit '50s prom, filling the room with tender falsettos, feeding the lusty appetites of star-crossed teens and swoony lovers with each twang of the bass. Ashed, salacious despair you can dance to--and we can get down with that.

Click HERE for the Dirty Beaches site


Gayngs Affiliyated Showcase

@ First Avenue & 7th Street Entry
701 1st Ave NE

6:30 p.m. / 18+ / $20

If you were dumb enough to miss Gayngs prom last Spring, well, we feel bad for you. However, you'll have a chance to redeem yourself this Sunday as the massive super group and all their friends take to the stages at First Avenue AND the Entry for yet another stellar blowout. A kick off for the group's highly anticipated stint at the SXSW Festival, tonight's mega-jam sesh is beyond words, so we'll just say this: if a meteor were to crash into First Avenue this Sunday, our music scene would be totally and utterly screwed. Featuring the epic stylings of Gayngs, Doomtree, Solid Gold, Megafaun, Leisure Birds, Alpha Consumer, DJs Plain Ole Bill and Jonathan Ackerman, Slapping Purses, Har Mar Superstar, Marijuana Deathsquads, Spyder Baybie Raw Dawg, Moonstone, Albert, Radical Cemetery and more. Plus, Doomtree solo sets in the Record Room (can you handle it?!). Presented by the cool kids at Gimme Noise, of course!

BONUS: We're sending l'etoile/LOL/OMG correspondent and music editor Robyn Lewis to SXSW this year to report on and live-tweet ALL the action (including every bit of embarrassing debauchery). She'll be tweeting from tonight's Gayngs showcase as well, so follow her at @LOLOMGSXSW immediately! Trust us, you won't want to miss out.

Click HERE for the Facebook event page

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

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