Joe's Blog 8.13.10
One of the last big outdoor fairs of the season—the Irish Fair—is happening this weekend. In my opinion, outdoor fairs and festivals are really a great part of our local events calendar, so I would encourage you to take this chance to get out and enjoy one. But if the heat is not quite so tempting to you, check out one of the many indoor shows coming up instead. Also, this week's note is due, in large part, to the input of our wonderful Mayor's office intern Anna - great work!
Harper Blynn at Turf - Friday
So if you’re anything like me, hearing that a band is a new sensation from New York is no longer enough to pique your interest. But after hearing Harper Blynn described as having Simon and Garfunkel-esque harmonies and melodies worthy of Elvis Costello, I was intrigued. Harper Blynn is indeed from New York. It is the evolution of Pete and J, and the band is currently touring in support of their debut album, “Loneliest Generation.” If everything I’ve heard is true, this is one new sensation that can actually live up to the hype.
Irish Fair of Minnesota on Harriet Island - Friday through Sunday
One of my favorite of all the Harriet Island events gets underway this weekend. We all know that Saint Paul has a large Irish population—and an even larger population of those who wish they were Irish, at least for a few days each year. Great Big Sea may not have the same buzz as Flogging Molly or the Drop Kick Murphys, but don't be fooled. They will deliver a fantastic show w/ all the same chaos you hope to get from their better known brethren. When Harriet Island gets taken over by the Irish, with tons of live music, crazy celtic sports, a 5K, traditional Irish dancing (of course), a “Best Legs in a Kilt” contest and much more, you won’t need the luck of the Irish to have a great time.
Stone Temple Pilots at Roy Wilkins - Saturday
STP was one of the biggest bands in the 90s. When they separated in 2003, I was afraid I had missed my chance to ever see them live. Fortunately, they reunited in 2008, and this weekend, they’re going to be at Roy Wilkins. A few months ago, they released their first new album in a decade, so in addition to your old favorites, you’ll get a chance to hear some brand new songs—which Robert DeLeo says will have a “60s vibe.”
STP at Roy Wilkins
Dance film, Sabar Screens at the Central Library
Stop by Central Library in downtown Saint Paul for a spectacular close to the outdoor summer film series with the regional premiere of SABAR - LIFE IS A DANCE, featuring a pre-show talk with the film’s director, Chike C. Nwoffiah, inside the library in the former Zelda Coffee space. The film screening is at 9:30 pm, with the talk preceding at 8:30 pm. Premiering as the “Official Selection” during 2009 Film Festivals in Burkina Faso, Zanzibar, Toronto, New York, Oakland, and Los Angeles, and a two-time Winner at the 2009 Urban Mediamakers Film Festival, SABAR is the first feature-length narrative film of its kind, chronicling a San Francisco Bay-area love story set in the midst of one of West Africa’s most popular forms of dance, known by natives simply as Sabar. Filmed in Northern California and directed by Nigerian-born filmmaker Chike Nwoffiah, Sabar is a film that explores the intricacies of life, love, courage and friendship, but most importantly, dance. Set against the backdrop of the West African dance movement in the United States, this is a dramatic feature film about the triumph of the human spirit in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
Kelly Rossum Quartet at AQ - Friday and Saturday
One of the most beloved musicians from the Twin Cities jazz scene is returning this weekend. Kelly Rossum was a key presence in Saint Paul for years—founding and directing the jazz program at MacPhail, hosting master classes, and presenting a jazz series at the Minneapolis Public Library. He moved to New York a year ago, where he is still pursuing jazz in a new city, but luckily for us, Rossum and his trumpet are back home this weekend.
Kelly Rossum at AQ
Secondhand Serenade, The White Tie Affair, and Runner Runner at Station 4 - Wednesday
Although both The White Tie Affair and Runner Runner are great, fresh, and fun pop-rock groups, I suspect the focus at Station 4 this Wednesday will be on Secondhand Serenade. Their third album, “Hear Me Now,” was just released on August 3, so expect to hear a lot of tracks off the newest, and most upbeat, record from the band. After starting out as “one of the best MySpace bands,” Secondhand Serenade has really made a name for themselves, and are getting a lot of great buzz lately. With the release of a new album, and with what is sure to be a great show at Station 4, that buzz will certainly continue.
Secondhand Serenade at Station 4
Women's City Cabaret at the Fitz - Wednesday
I know you all have Wednesday marked on your calendars as the 90th anniversary of the 19th Amendment—I sure do. To celebrate, head over to the Fitz for MPR’s “Women’s City Cabaret.” Jearlyn Steele will host “an evening of outspoken music and uppity stories.” For music, you’ll see Andra Suchy, Connie Evingson, and Nona Marie Invie, among others. Poets Heid Edrich and Carol Connolly (Saint Paul Poet Laureate) will also be on hand. For a full description and a listing of everyone participating in this event, check out their website.
Women's City Cabaret at the Fitz
Thanks for taking the time to read my note—now go enjoy your weekend!