Joe's Blog 7.16.10
It seems like we’re in that part of summer where all the great weekly events—9 Nights of Music at the History Center, Music in the Cafe at Landmark, Music and Movies at District del Sol, Music in Mears, and Ordway’s Summer Dance Series—are in full swing. So, even if none of the events I’ve found for this week (and I think they’re pretty good!) catch your fancy, there is always an alternative in the form of one or another cool weekday music series. Plus, for a fun quick stop, check out the Highland Park Water Tower: it will be open for free this Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Carnage The Executioner at Barrio - Thursday
Nelson Flavor, The “alternative/funk” artist, will get things started at 10:00 p.m., and he will then be followed up by our friend and headliner, Carnage The Executioner. You may remember Carnage, half of Ill Chemistry, from the Mayor's Inaugural party at the Depot this past winter. Carnage has been named one of the Top 5 Rappers in the state by the Strib, and his recent albums have been super successful. So stop by Barrio at 10:00 p.m. on Thursday to catch this show, or better yet, head over to Lowertown for Music in Mears (Martin Devaney tonight), dinner or a drink at next-door Bin or Bulldog first, on to Barrio for Carnage. Btw, don't let the severe name fool you - he's a really warm and generous guy!
Marv Dahlgren Quartet at Artists' Quarter - Thursday
Many artists would like to call themselves legends, but “Drum King” Marv Dahlgren is the real deal. Dahlgren spent 47 years with the Minnesota Orchestra, teaches at McNally Smith, has played with Bernstein, Stravinsky, and Copland, has recorded with Leo Kottke and Cat Stevens, and has a series of world-famous instructional books. His live performances in the Twin Cities are hardly a regular event, so I suggest you jump at this opportunity to see some real old school skill for only $5.
Paul Cebar at Wilebski BLues Saloon - Friday and Saturday
Wilebski’s has been trying to revive the blues scene in the Twin Cities, and with their very accessible show this weekend, they might take a step closer to their goal. Paul Cebar, a Milwaukee native, has been playing his mix of jazz and R&B since the late 70s—which means he’s had plenty of time to develop a distinctive sound that even those who’ve never really been into blues will appreciate. You can expect some nice covers in addition to his own music. City Pages wrote that Cebar has a “Sam Cooke-like” voice, but he also spices that up with soul and Afro-Caribbean influences. Everything comes together to make what should be a great show—sometimes mellow and sometimes exuberant.
Highland Fest and Rondo Days - Friday through Sunday
Once again, the weekend is claimed by two historic Saint Paul neighborhood celebrations: Rondo Days and Highland Fest, with an art fair, concerts, drill teams, and all-around chill neighborhood celebrations. If you’re interested in trying some food, there will be plenty of food vendors to choose from or go the other direction and participate in 5K runs. Highlandfest features the ever popular unlimited beer tasting with The Beer Dabbler on Saturday - these have been massive successes in recent incarnations. Shorties might like the petting zoo, and Rondo offers not only the parade, but the always impressive drill team competition. Plus, there’s live music all three days, including Ashleigh Still (who will also be at Music in the Café at Landmark Center on Wednesday) or Martin Zeller.
Little Locavores at Minnesota History Center - Sunday
The History Center has two great events planned for this week. The first, Little Locavores, on Sunday, is aimed at the kids. But you can enjoy yourself, too, when you sample healthy, local treats created by chefs including Seth Bixby Daugherty of Real Food Initiatives, who was called one of “America’s Best New Chefs.” When you can’t eat any more, relax with some lawn games, make a cookbook, or just sit back and unwind with some “kid-friendly” performances by groups like School of Rock.
"The Beatles: A One-Night Stand in the Heartland" at Minnesota History Center - Tuesday
The History Center is opening their newest, very cool exhibit with a big event this coming Tuesday. The exhibit, which features photographer Bill Carlson’s images from the Beatles’ only stop in Minnesota in 1956, runs from July 17 to September 12. However, if you head over to the History Center next week for the opening event, which coincides with the weekly “9 Nights of Music” event, you can take advantage of even more beatlemania. On Tuesday, cover band RetroFit will be playing on the plaza, there will be a book signing with Bill Carlson, screenings of “A Hard Day’s Night,” a costume contest, and of course, the chance to check out the exhibit. Plus as always with 9 Nights of Music events, if you head over early, you’ll get free admission to museum galleries.
Bear in Heaven, Twin Sister, and Mountain Man at Turf - Tuesday
This Brooklyn-based group should be a big draw, even on a Tuesday night. They will be fresh off of their appearance at the hipster Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago. As a town that seems to be producing some pretty talented synth pop acts of late, Bear in Heaven should find a pretty receptive audience at our own Turf Club.
Thanks for taking the time to keep reading my notes, and keep up the suggestions for your picks for weekend events! And just a reminder: if you want to subscribe, just head over to the ‘Arts and Culture’ tab at http://www.stpaul.gov and click on the picture of the guy with an orange slice in his mouth (me). Also, if you are interested in reading about how great I am, click here.