Weekend Culture Compass: Bob the Builder and more

A&E plans your weekend. You're welcome.
January 30, 2009


Event: St. Paul Winter Carnival

The Winter Carnival started in 1886 to prove that Minnesota was not “another Siberia, unfit for human habitation in the winter.” With a slew of parades and ice-related sports, the carnival is still proving that our state may still be another Siberia, but it’s at least fit for a medallion hunt.

Ends February 1st
Various locations

Event: Chinese New Year Celebration Midtown Global Market

Screwed up your first New Year’s celebration by drinking too many Jag Jello shots? Luckily,
Chinese New Year provides a ringing-it-in tradition with more to offer than the West’s trademark “lots of alcohol” practice. Head to Midtown Global Market for everything from cooking demonstrations to lion dances to free Chinese Calligraphy. They even promise little red envelopes.

Midtown Global Market, Lake Street and 10 Avenue
4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Music: Maria Isa at Lee’s Liquor Lounge

Combining raps that dip into Spanish and English and melodies of honey-dipped vocals, Maria Isa has a sound so accessible it’s hard not to imagine her career taking off. With a mission to spread Puerto Rican-inspired music and an indie film career in the works, don’t be surprised if she ends up gaining comparisons to everyone from J. Lo to Santogold.

Lee’s Liquor Lounge, 101 Glenwood Avenue
11:45 p.m.

Music: Cecil Otter and Dessa

Rhymesayers and Doomtree are the two extra-popular cliques that run together in the sandbox that is the Minneapolis hip-hop scene. That said, it’s not surprising that Doomtree members Cecil Otter (an Everlast clone with much more talent) and Dessa (a vibe-y female emcee) will be playing together at The Whole.

The Whole Music Club
Friday, 8:30 p.m.

Event: Rollerdome

Finally, we of the Ugg boot and North Face jacket can rollerblade in the winter. All that the Metrodome asks in return (other than a few bucks) for providing a perfect place to dust off your blades is that slower folks stay to the right, and faster folks stay to the left. No matter what lane you fall in, your glutes and quads will thank you.

Metrodome, 900 5 Street S
$4.50 - $6.50


Music: Vic Chesnutt

Vic Chesnutt once said, “Other people write about the bling and the booty. I write about the pus and the gnats. To me, that's beautiful.” And so is his particular brand of Prozac-addled, adventurous beat-packed folk rock.

400 Bar, 400 Cedar Avenue S
8 p.m.

Performance: Bob the Builder Live

It’s nice to see someone in construction services finally portrayed in a positive light. Now, the always amiable Bob the Builder comes to Minnesota in the live-action adaptation of the popular children’s show. Go with a kid or simply release your inner child; just don’t get on Bob’s bad side or you’ll be sleeping with the fishes. Fuggedaboutit!

State Theater, 805 Hennepin Avenue
1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m.
$23 - $29

Food: Global Soup Cook Off

It’s the Midtown Global Market’s Second Annual Soup Cook Off! You’ll get to dip into a variety of soups that are sure to tickle the taste buds and all donations go to the Perspectives' Kid's Café. So carve yourself a spoon from a bigger spoon and start slurping.

Midtown Global Market, Lake Street and 10 Avenue
12 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Art: “Changing Identity” preview party

The Weisman Art Museum continues its streak of excellent exhibitions with their upcoming “Changing Identity” series. The gallery features the works of Vietnamese women artists who utilize a variety of media forms, from ink drawing to video performance, to communicate their experiences. For those of us who are unacquainted with Vietnamese art this is a rare chance to absorb a new and foreign perspective in addition to some beautiful images.

Weisman Art Gallery, 333 East River Road
7 – 10 p.m.

Performance: “Faust”

The sordid tale of the elderly Dr. Faust and the infernal Mephistopheles comes to life in Gounod’s operatic adaptation of the Goethe classic. It’s as if “The Odd Couple” met “Paradise Lost” and the two had a musical wonder baby. The Stygian masterpiece comes in at a cool three and a half hours, so those of you with RLS should probably just stay home and watch SNL. I hear Steve Martin’s hosting … again.

Minnesota Opera
7:30 p.m.
Tickets start at $85

Music: The Guystorm EP Release

While the name might imply a tropical-themed party at the Gay 90’s, The Guystorm is actually a Minneapolis-based rock quintet hell-bent on melting faces with their slick riffs and frenetically delivered lyrics about robbing banks, taking pills and slitting throats. Sound like your cup of tea? Check out the free bash they’re throwing in honor of their recently completed EP and rock the night away.

Hexagon Bar, 2600 27 Avenue S
9 p.m.
No cover


Music: GLBT Barn Dance

Get down little doggies! All you cowboys and cowgirls who never felt quite at home on the range better dust off yer spurs and come down to this here Barn Dance. Get there early for the free two step lessons where seldom is heard a discouraging word and have a funky time feeling good about who you are.

Lee’s Liquor Lounge, 101 Glenwood Ave

Performance: The Flickering Wall at Illusion Theater

You can blur the lines of reality in many different ways this weekend and you should try to make The Flickering Wall one of them. Modeled after Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, the Illusion Theater puts on an interpretation of the laws of perception in a shadowy and confusing world. Unlike other ways to leave reality, chances are that you’ll remember this one.

The Illusion Theater, 528 Hennepin Avenue
5:30 p.m.

Drinking: Mystery Beer Night Triple Rock

It’s kind of like going to Hogsmeade to buy Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans except the mystery isn’t in the beans; it’s in the beer and you’re not going to Hogsmeade, but to the Triple Rock Social Club. Though you probably won’t find dirt or fingernail flavored beers on tap, you may find something you like as you delight in beer after mysterious beer.

The Triple Rock Social Club, 629 Cedar Avenue
9 p.m.
$2/mysterious beer

Performance: “Intrepid, Not Tepid!”

The James Sewell Ballet is a Twin Cities-based contemporary ballet company whose mission is to advance contemporary ballet. This Sunday will they will be performing “Intrepid, Not Tepid!,” a collection of works designed specifically for the cozy Southern Theater. With promises of aerial puppetry and other fantastical features, the JSB looks to please. When was the last time you expanded the bounds of ballet, anyway?

Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Avenue S
2 p.m.

Performance: “Spring Awakening”

Super mondo popular these days, “Spring Awakening” is a poignant blend of rock and roll and sexual frustration, all wrapped up into a compelling coming-of-age story. A little spendy, but students can get rush tickets for only $20 up to an hour before the show. This Sunday is the last performance at the Orpheum, so catch the boat before it’s gone. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait for the next production of “Hair” to get your youthful angst properly addressed on stage.

Orpheum Theater, 910 Hennepin Avenue
1 p.m.
$78 - $33

Culture to Consume:

Watch this:

The Superbowl is this Sunday and that means it’s time to get drunk and eat nachos. Be sure to tune in for hours of unnecessary pre-game banter, Bruce Springsteen’s soul patch and to see if Kurt Warner can outrun Death’s icy grip for just a little bit longer. Oh yeah, there’s a football game too.

Listen to this:

A.C. Newman’s got a new album out and it’s pretty dang tasty. “Get Guilty,” his sophomore solo album, shows Newman delving even deeper into pop territory, but somehow managing to stay true to his rock ‘n’ roll roots. Newman’s swaying vocals and the intricate musical arrangement make for an incredibly catchy album that is hard not to enjoy.

Read this:

The monumental success of “The Dark Knight” this summer should have proven one thing to mainstream America: comic books rule. So whether you are a likeminded nerdlinger or you just like Batman, start reading comics; it’s like a movie on paper! And big things are happening in the D.C. Universe, including (gasp!) the death of Batman? Check out the “Final Crisis” storyline as it reaches its universe-shattering climax.

Drink this:
We’re in the year of the ox now, so get it started right at The Red Dragon. Their most famous for their Wondrous Punch, a mofo of a mix that all U of M’ers must experience before they graduate. See if you can handle the somewhat indelicate mixture of juice, rum and ambiguously fruity flavors.

Click this:


If you haven’t seen this bad boy yet, you haven’t even seen what the powers of the internet can do. The rules are simple enough; the site allows people to display images over which a sound is looped. But like some demented chess game, the outcomes within these rules have exploded in creativity - with hilarity ensuing. For n00bs, check out the “Up and Coming” or “Top Viewed” sections and prepare to be initiated into a whole new kind of comedy.

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