Hey 1998, it's good to hear from you again! And hey, Offspring, thanks for making the soundtrack to Crazy Taxi, which stuck in my head for about six entire months after playing it for hours with my brother. Well, add yourselves to the list of popular '90s bands currently touring (also including: The Wallflowers, Counting Crows, Third Eye Blind).
Roy Wilkins Auditorium
175 Kellogg Blvd. W., St. Paul
$39.50 - $42.50
Music - St. Paul Jazz Festival
Holy smokes! Allen Toussaint is appearing this year at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, and he did an album collab. with Elvis Costello in 2006. There are tons of talented musicians appearing at this free event, including Semisonic member John Munson's three-piece, The New Standards. They do jazzy covers of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Velvet Underground, and I once ate Polish dinner with Munson, who basically stole my heart. Jazz musicians will be appearing all over St. Paul during the weekend, from Senor Wong to Camp Bar and back again.
Mears Park & Various locations, St. Paul
12:00 PM, free
Drinking - 501 Club
The 501, sibling to the 331 in Northeast, opened its doors not too long ago and showcases local musicians and a fabulous array of drink specials. A musician of some sort plays every night of the week, and their Monday deal of two PBR tallboys for $5 can't be beat.
501 Washington Ave. S.
Eating Out -
Late Night at Senor Wong
Senor Wong is sort of like Chino Latino, serving up Asian/Mexican fusion. But it's much less douchey, and way more hip - sort of how Chino wanted to be - with clever cocktails and creative entrees. Their happy hour, only available in the bar/lounge/patio, goes from 4-7 p.m. and adds another late night installation from 10-close, Monday-Friday. Get $2 off their specialty big drinks; the Donkey Punch will knock you out, as will the Angry Dragon. And if you feel like going on a Thursday night, they screen kung-fu movies!
111 Kellogg Blvd.
Saturday isn't offering a ton in the way of events, but there's another night of the Jazz Festival and, as always, Saturday night dancing at Too Much Love. If you're looking for something to do, why don't you check out one of the movies A&E has recently covered, like "Up" or "Away We Go." Or, if the humidity gets to be a bit too much in your house sans AC, go to the beach! (Or, buy a sprinkler to run through for approximately five minutes before it becomes not fun.) Have your friends over for drinks and board games - LIFE is much more fun when you're tipsy.
Music Festival - Rock the Garden
I love the Decemberists, but I didn't love "Hazards of Love." However, that doesn't mean that the Walker/Current-sponsored day-fest, also featuring New Yorkers Yeasayer, folk-country Calexico, and local darlings Solid Gold won't sell out, because it already did. But fear not! The Current is giving away tickets on air/online, so listen for your chance to win. If you don't win, fear not, you can probably hang out within a reasonable distance of the Sculpture Garden and hear the music.
Dancing - Too Much Love
Yeah, yeah, this has been around forever and ever, but its longevity must be testament to its success. Since there's nothing going on at its parent First Avenue prior, why not shimmy into your American Apparel leggings and go dance all night to Peaches remixes?
First Avenue, 701 First Ave. N.
Drinking - The Nomad
Not that A&E advocates smoking (we're more "laissez-faire" sorta folks), but we love the Nomad's "Prix Fixe" special. For $5, you get a PBR tallboy beer, a whiskey shot, and a cigarette. Do the shot, drink the beer, and smoke that cig on your walk home from the West Bank. Plus, the Nomad's either hosting surprisingly cool musicians, from indie kids to rappers, or playing a genius playlist blend of Wilco and the MC5.
501 Cedar Ave. S.
Book Readings - Lauren Conrad
Wait for next week's A&E to see if I actually get to talk to Lauren, who has just published her autobiographical first novel, "L.A. Candy." The now-former reality star has a three-book deal, a fashion line, AND landed the cover of Cosmo and a spot on Conan. Anyway, go and get your copy of the book signed (I'll be there) and see if Lauren has anything earth shattering to say. Ten bucks says she doesn't.
Mall of America Barnes & Noble, 118 Broadway E.
Things to See - Gap CDFA collaborations
While you're at the mall stalking LC, you might as well shop around. Gap has collaborated with CDFA award winners (that's a fashion award, duh) in the past; last year. It was a collection of white shirts whipped up by Philip Lim, and this year they're taking another Gap favorite, khaki, and letting emerging designers Vena Cava and Alexander Wang create something true to their aesthetic, but still accessible to the Gap's, for a limited-time run. I'm really thinking about the Vena Cava zip minidress ($88). Even though I hate khaki, the designer collaborations have me seeing it in a whole new way.
I don't much like electronic music, but when I read that Annabel Alpers, the woman behind Bachelorette, is like Nico for the electronic-indie set, I was intrigued. And yes, that was the perfect description - dancey synth-pop melts with Alpers' smooth, deep croon. She stops at First Avenue's 7th St. Entry tonight.
7th St. Entry, 701 First Ave. N.
Summer clearance sales are in full swing. H&M's offering a ton of clothes for under $15, including some cute bright bandage minis for $5, and Abercrombie underwear brand Gilly Hick's clearance sale is first-rate. (I hate Abercrombie, but I love Gilly.) Urban Outfitters is always hit-or-miss, but there's some good stuff at their "yard sale" worth seeing. The middle of summer is perfect sale time, and stores are putting merchandise on sale more quickly these days since nobody seems to be buying summer clothes. Bummer. Well, more for me.
Culture to Consume
Read This:Kelly Kapoor's Twitter
"The Office" writer who also plays Kelly Kapoor, Mindy Kaling, has an endlessly amusing Twitter that makes me laugh at least once a day. She updates a lot and her tweets are always as witty and clever as can be. My favorite tweet is one where she proposes a Hollywood blockbuster called "Eyelash Wish," in which Kate Hudson's eyelash wish to fall in love with her boss (Dane Cook) may or may not come true. Haha!
Watch This: Heidi & Spencer
To further back up my claim that Heidi & Spencer are the worst people walking the planet, watch them here on the "Today" show. The worst part is, after the interview, Speidi claimed not to have previously known who Roker was. Um, duh.
Listen to This: "Headdress," Amazing Baby
I heard about Amazing Baby on the Current and was happy to see they were touring with French poppers Phoenix, who'll appear on Tuesday at the Varsity Theater. Then I found out Phoenix had sold out. Boo. Anyway, Amazing Baby is touring in support of its album "Rewild," a collection of shimmering rock 'n' roll fun.
Eat This: Cupcake
Head up University Ave. to Cupcake, a coffee shop that makes its own pastries and also serves up warm meal-ready food like paninis and hearty soups. The cupcakes have a thick, buttery frosting that could probably stand tall in the mightiest of winds. Serious stuff, and seriously delicious, too.
Drink This:< /b>Captain and lemonade
Every summer I spent a huge amount of time on my uncle's pontoon on Detroit Lakes and every visit we mix up a thermos of Captain Morgan rum and lemonade. Sounds weird, right? I was a little wary at first too, but it tastes just like summer should: smooth and sunshiney, with a citrusy tang. I don't recommend using Minute Maid lemonade in the liter, though. Instead, try the Newman's Own version.
Click This: St. Paul Staycation
St. Paul always seems to get the shaft when compared to its sibling city, but the folks at St. Paul Staycation want to do away with that idea completely. They created the site, with different categories for nightlife/culture/families/etc., to shed some light on the storied city's best and brightest.
UMN students have traveled to Florida colleges to collaborate with students on various projects.
When UMN students plan for a vacation, having trip cancellation travel insurance is a worthwhile commodity to check out.
Minneapolis Used Cars
Give back to the Minnesota community with a boat donation at boat4causes.org.
If you have been involved in a car accident call a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer for a free consultation.