Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Weekend What's What 6/2-6/4


We've actually got a decent weather forecast behind us for once and it's none to soon: this weekend brings along with it the typical bevy of exciting art, fashion, and music events, but also the Northern Spark Festival, an all-night multimedia extravaganza of public art and performance spanning both cities, both indoors and out. We're calling it: Summer is officially here!



OUT Twin Cities Film Festival

@ St. Anthony Main Theater
115 Main Street SE

6pm tonight / Times and cost vary

This June marks the second annual OUT Twin Cities Film Fest, a weekend of GLBTQ movie mania featuring tons of special events, meet-n-greets with directors, and after parties. The theme this year is “Making it Better”, and comes complete with an impressive roster of films and shorts. Some highlights include the movie Bullied, showing on Thursday and followed by a reception honoring the Aaberg family, who lost their teenage son Justin to bullying. MN Representative Steve Simon will be speaking about the recent marriage amendment at 7 p.m. on Thursday, and on Saturday, a celebrity of a different genre, Buck Angel, will be speaking about empowerment through sexuality. Kink Crusaders will debut on Saturday as well, and director Mike Skiff will be around for a Q&A session, followed by an after-party at the Saloon with Buck Angel. On Sunday, you can meet the cast and crew from the Minnesota-made film Undone. The weekend wraps up with a huge after-party at the Red Stag Supper Club from 10 p.m. on Sunday, featuring music from the Ericksons, Mercy Kill, and much more. This is just a grazing of all the offerings for this event, so make sure you check out the website for the full list and lowdown.

Click HERE for the full schedule


Live Readings: John Jodzio + Dessa + David Philip Mullins

@ Magers & Quinn
3038 Hennepin Ave S

7:30 – 8:30 p.m. / Free

You've read them; you've heard her vocal stylings on the radio waves. Isn't it time now you see pretty lyrical meanderings spout from their mouths live? Tonight, don't miss a triple-header lit affair as Magers and Quinn welcomes three word-slingin' writers, John Jodzio, Dessa and David Philip Mullins, for an evening prolific with prose. Winner of the Loft-McKnight Fellowship, Jodzio's stories can be found in McSweeneys, The Florida Review and many more. In his latest collection of five flash chapbooks, They Could No Longer Contain Themselves, don't be surprised to find “warlocks, yoga stalkers, babies with iron stomachs” and other fanciful misfits. A grad of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, Mullins' work has appeared in numerous reviews across the country, including the prestigious Yale Review. His gilded collection of shorts, Greeting from Below, won the '09 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction. Most Minneapolians know Dessa Darling from her ongoing stint as the Doomtree Collective's lady queen, but what you may not know is the girl's got mad writing chops. Her collection of poems and essays, Spiral Bound, was heralded as a “dazzling literary debut” by the City Pages and dubbed “witty and desperately honest” by Alive Mag. Her “deus ex machina” is a force to be reckoned with. See you there!

Click HERE for the Magers and Quinn site


What's l'etoile looking at this week?

Before he moved to (conceptually) greener pastures, experimental artist Christopher Baker worked as a scientist developing brain-computer interfaces. But that’s not to say his new line of work isn’t equally as intricate and fascinating. Exploring the relationship between society and its technologies, Baker’s creations unite the physical and the digital, engaging the urban landscape in bold, evocative ways. Past work includes a visualization of 60,000 personal
emails and a kinetic sculpture formed from hundreds of mobile phones. For his latest project, “Waste Not,” Baker has generated a series of outdoor video projections exploring the scarily grandiose scale of waste production and energy consumption in Minnesota. The project is
part of Saturday’s Northern Spark festival, and we highly recommend you waste not your opportunity to see it.

Click HERE for the Christopher Baker site


I Like You: New Work by Adam Wolkoff & Liz Zimmer

@ The Fallout Urban Arts Center
2609 Stevens Ave S

7 p.m. / Free

Don't miss the stunning dual work of two local photographers in tonight's Fallout Gallery show, I Like You. Taking a little advice from his father that “film is cheap” and stretching it into a art form, Wolkoff's jaunt into photography started with a Instamatic and has evolved into an obsession exploring digital composition. Inspired by the “aliveness of art,” Zimmer's photos seek to expand on the ever-morphing flux of the environment, from “ruins, color, shapes and texture.” Peep their latest works while enjoying the soothing improv sax of Twin Cities music scene stalwart composer, John Devine.

Click HERE for this art event and more at


Bike Art IV

@Altered Esthetics
1224 Quincy St NE #4

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

It’s no secret that Minneapolis is one of the nation’s most bike-centric stops. Combining that with the Northeast neighborhood’s seriously artsy nature, the warehouse art haven Altered Esthetics is once again bringing back their coveted Bike Art exhibit for the sixth year running. Get the first peek at all the bicycle art debauchery this Friday at the opening reception Friday evening, featuring two-wheel themed photos, paintings and sculptures as well as rummage sales, art chats and even sudsy bike washes and fancy spruce-ups.

Click HERE for this art event and more at

Jim Walsh / "Bike Pot"

The Big Lebowski

@ Loring Theater
1407 Nicollet Ave S

8 p.m. / $7

Dude, you’ve spent too many nights at BLB drunkenly forgetting how to add your spares. Instead, spend Friday night watching the fools of “The Big Lebowski” on the Loring Theater’s big screen. No math will be involved – except figuring out many dollar bills you need to fish out for those PBR tall boys ($3 all night) – and there will be a Big Lebowski-themed giveaway at the end of the night. Here’s hoping it’s not a toe.

Click HERE for the Facebook event


Under the Cherry Moon 25! Prince Party

@Aloft Minneapolis
900 Washington Ave S

10 p.m./Free

Instead of cleansing yourself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka, break it down on the dance floor at the WXYZ Bar at the Aloft Hotel! The annual Purple One-inspired, glam-slam god Prince dance night is back again to throw a proper shindig to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the film Under the Cherry Moon. Come dress in your glittery best for all the Prince music, video footage and Cherry Moon centric martinis you can handle. Let’s get crazy!

Click HERE for the Facebook event


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

We won't tell you to get your mind out of the gutter this time – in fact, we want you to keep it there. All we're asking is that you add a little literary intellect to your lechery. Enter: the Naked Girls Reading Series. Started in Chicago as the nudist brainchild of International Showgirl Michelle L'amour and Franky Vivid, the Naked Girls Reading group is more than just a feminist combo formed out of a love for being in your birthday suit while reading a good book. The concept embraces the spiritual beauty of the state “la naturale” while encouraging one of our favorite things – reading. Already a hit in ten U.S. States and London, we just heard the famous series is launching in right here in Minneapolis this August. Headed by our own “sweet as honey; tough as nails” tassel twirler, Sweetpea from local troupe, Lili's Burlesque Revue, the series is sure have the same Neo-Burlesque flair Sweetpea flaunts at her hypnotizing cabaret shows not to mention be a delightful amalgamation/cast of bare & brainy beauties. Join if you dare!

Click HERE for the website


Sideshow Soo: Interactive Carnival
in Celebration of SooVAC's 10th Anniversary

@ SooVAC
2638 Lyndale Ave S

4 p.m. to midnight / Free

We can hardly believe that beloved Uptown gallery space, the Soo Visual Arts Center, is 10 years old! And like any other red-blooded American 10-year-old, the Soo is enchanted by mysticism, magic, monkeyshine mischief and – of course – unicorns. So, what better way to celebrate their decade-long art stint than in carnival-style, crammed with all the oddities, wonderment and curiosities a 10-year-old can handle. Rescue lost unicorns and spear stuffed animal wiener dogs with antlers, play an intense table tennis game, check out an awesome special appearance by fortune teller Zoraya, Lady of Mysticism (aka performance artist Jaime Carrera), and dine on hot dogs, bison burgers, tacos, nachos and other carnival treats courtesy of Chef Shack. And let's not forget the art! All night long sift through performance pieces and visual work from artists Amelia Biewald, Will Grant, Mark O'Brien, Liseli Polivka and more. If you're lucky enough, maybe they'll even let you take a unicorn home.

Click HERE for this art event and more at


Installation 7 – Scion Art Tour

@ CO Exhibitions
1101 Stinson Blvd NE #2

7 p.m. – 10 p.m. / free with RSVP

Scion's Installation tour returns for it annual mobile gallery show featuring a unique, mind-blowing visual exhibition for your pixelated pleasure focusing on an ever-evolving modern art form: video. Minneapolis' Installation 7 challenged 10 artists to create non-narrative video pieces, the result of which celebrates everything from experimental video to kinetic and interactive film manipulation including original work from hot, hot artists Franki Chan, Cheryl Dunn, Gluekit, The London Police, Souther Salazar, David Choe and more. This year's stops include LA, Brooklyn, Wichita and Austin – quite a trek if you miss the MPLS tour. So we suggest you don't!

Click HERE for this art event and more at


taj modé Fashion Show

6-8 p.m./$10 in advance, $15 day-of

Grainbelt Building
79 13th Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

Taj Salon and Spa are bringing their annual fashion show to the MNfashion space at the Grainbelt Building atrium and are taking things up a notch, it would seem. The deets on the Facebook page are all vague and sketch, but here’s what we do know: there will be bomb fashion, a seriously rocking band, a DJ to cast the mood and aid you in your shimmying, and even fab prizes. Plus, delish food and dranks from Tiger Beer. All tickets proceeds go to Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Click HERE for tickets


Northern Spark Fest
@ Various Locations

times vary / See site for details

The last time you stayed out until sunrise, you probably got up to a few shenanigans you aren’t so proud of. Fortunately, that won’t be the case on Saturday night/the wee hours of Sunday, when Northern Spark, the Twin Cities’ first nuit blanche (white night) festival, will be transforming MSP and the Mississippi River into one giant artscape. From dusk till sunrise, from the tip-top of the Foshay to the Black Dog Cafe, wander the streets, float the river, or catch one of the event’s tour busses to see installations and performances from more than 200 artists and performers. Multi-story projections and light sculptures, floating works on barges, audio environments, paddleboats, sewer pipes turned organs, lullabies, and bioluminescent algae are just a few of the wonders that await you. Create your own artventure and don’t forget your flashlight!

Click HERE for the full schedule of events

“Imagining Northern Spark” by Rasun Mehringer:


Night Shift

@ Walker Art Center
1750 Hennepin Avenue

10 p.m. – 6 a.m. / Free

Little kids aren’t the only ones who daydream about what spending a night in a museum would be like. Just ask Shawn Levy. But while it’s not promising any cavemen, the Walker Art Center is giving us a chance to live out that fantasy on Saturday with “Nightshift,” the museum’s contribution to the Northern Spark Festival. Pull an all-nighter at the Walker participating in a number of activities designed to explore notions of communal space and the quiet experiences we can have in them. To name a few: live headphone concerts in the James Turrell SkyPesher, stargazing, choreographed and impromptu sleep position performances, bedtime stories with local writers, poets, and songwriters, and a lullaby project by performance artist Marcus Young. Be there. Sleep is for suckers, anyways – and fresh donuts will be delivered at sunrise.

Click HERE for the Walker site


Mississippi Megalops: A Floating Chautauqua

@ Harriet Island
205 Justus Ohage Boulevard

Departs at 8 p.m., 11 p.m., 2 a.m., and 5 a.m. / Free

The dictionary definition of “Chautauqua” is a resort town in southwestern New York, the birthplace of definition part two: an institution offering popular adult education courses and entertainment, typically held outdoors in the summer. Well, fortunately for us, the Mississippi Megalops is much more fascinating than Mr. Webster makes it sound, bless his heart. Saturday night, hop on the Jonathan Padelford sternwheeler for one of four unique Northern Spark-inspired excursions down the Mississippi River, courtesy of Works Progress and Andy Sturdevant. More than a dozen artists, scientists, and storytellers will be on board to “enrich the mind and delight the senses” and otherwise make for a chautauqua to remember! (Okay, that was cheesy, but we really just wanted to use the word again. Chautauqua.) Tickets are free, but we recommend booking in advance to make sure you get a spot.

Click HERE for the Facebook event


4 on the Floor

@ Turf Club
1601 University Ave
St. Paul

In the mood for beards, beer, and bar bands? You're in luck! This Saturday at the Turf, join Taj Raj, the American North (both releasing CD's. Yay!) Chris Shotliff, and the 4ontheFloor in raucous, stomping, sweaty, drunken sing-alongs. If you haven't made it out to see 4ontheFloor yet, you're in for a real treat: 4 band members, 4 bass drums, 4/4 time, and a recently released album called 4x4 = a formula for awesome.

Click HERE for the Turf site

Mpls.TV, City Pages, and Dan Huiting's City of Music video for 4ontheFloor:


What's l'etoile listening to this week?

While his latest album Blood Bank incorporates more electronic, groove-able chops than it's down-tempo depressed sister EP, For Emma, we're still not sure we would pair the words “Bon Iver” and “dancefloor-ready,” unless that dancefloor was your living room and your dance partner the ghost of a past love. But London producer and provocateur of futuristic song melancholia, Deadboy, manages to morph a sample from Bon Iver's “Woods” track into a “discoid garage” jam so danceable, you'll forget all the sorrow and unabashedly shake it down to the floor. Enjoy now. You can always have yourself a good cry later.

Click HERE for the Deadboy tumblr

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

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