Culture compass — The Current's b-day, Alpha Consumer and "Breakfast at Tiffany's"

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January 20, 2011


The Current’s 6th Birthday Party

First Avenue

7 p.m.



Minnesota Public Radio’s “The Current” radio station will celebrate its sixth year of bringing that beloved indie rock to local airwaves at First Avenue’s main room. They’ve put one hell of a bill together: the city’s favorite troubadour, Jeremy Messersmith, along with Rhymesayers mainstay Brother Ali. The big present, however, will likely be the St. Paul via Philadelphia pop rockers Free Energy. A lineup like this beats a “Happy Birthday” sing-along any day.



Alpha Consumer CD Release Show

7th Street Entry

9 p.m.



Minneapolis trio Alpha Consumer takes a pretty simple approach to their rock ‘n’ roll methods. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After a big year on the road that included some live stints with Andrew Bird, their style of garage rock composition and wandering guitars will be filling First Avenue’s 7th Street Entry. Not enough of a selling point? Fuzzed-out “Picked to Click” winners Pink Mink open up the evening, and that’s a reason in and of itself to be there.



“Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

The Loring Theater

2 p.m.



Blake Edwards’ cinematic rendition of the 1958 Truman Capote novella takes a bit of a sunnier approach to the original author’s story of Holly Golightly, the beautiful socialite for hire. And it is Audrey Hepburn’s iconic performance as that central role that has solidified the character in the pop-culture bedrock. Given the current time of year, when multiplexes are typically churning out their garbage prior to blockbuster season, taking in a classic is likely a better move for the cinephiles.





Listen to this: “Walking Far From Home” — Iron &Wine


Sam Beam’s next LP under his Iron & Wine moniker, “Kiss Each Other Clean,” doesn’t hit shelves until next Tuesday, but this opening track will give you a hint of how his group has been able to transcend earlier indications that he may be a one-trick pony. Beam continues to appear unquestionably brave in his instrumentation and effect decisions. The guitars are restrained to steady static, letting his layered harmonies carry the bittersweet lyrics — words that clearly come from an artist of journeyed experience.


Drink this: Psycho Suzi’s signature cocktails


It’s been a few months since Northeast staple Psycho Suzi’s upgraded to a more spacious abode. With plenty more room to luau, it’s the perfect time of year to take in some distractingly sunnier nightlife. Their signature drink menu, arranged by varied tiers of booziness, will surely have the cure for what ails you.


Eat this: Bean dip


Even the art kids should be excited about the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers going head-to-head in the NFC championship Sunday. It’s an afternoon of television that is sure to have the drama, dance and intrigue that will hopefully make “Black Swan” look like “Save the Last Dance.” Sure, bean dip may sound like a bit of a lazy suggestion. However, as the NFC North comes together for what will surely be a drunken communal experience, give guests what they want. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.


Watch this: “Skins”


Imagine this British gem as “Degrassi” meets “Trainspotting.” Creators Jamie Brittain and Brian Elsley have taken an unmatched visceral approach to teenaged life in Bristol, U.K. — one that continually offers an emotive odyssey from the heartbreaking to hilarious. With four series and two generations of characters already in the bag, (every two seasons follow a new group of kids) Elsley and Brittain plan to reach new hedonistic heights as series five kicks off next week. While getting your hands on new episodes of this import in can be tricky, it is not too late to check out the first few series on Netflix or MTV’s American version, which premiered Monday.


Read this: “A Practical Guide to Racism” by C.H. Dalton


As everyone continues to buy a small fortune’s worth of textbooks, most which will never have their spine cracked, pick up this much more affordable and jarringly politically incorrect read. The hilarity ultimately comes from “The Daily Show” alumnus Sam Means’ deadpan matter-of-fact approach as he embodies this fictional professor. The dense glossary of racial slurs alone has the capacity to widen the eyes of even those hardest to offend.

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