Art-A-Whirl, Skyline Mini Golf, Bike To Work Week: This Week’s Best Events
And more garage sales to explore!
11:17 AM CDT on May 15, 2023
Welcome to Event Horizon, your weekly roundup of the best events in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Bike to Work Week Kickoff
Wild Mind Artisan Ales
April might be when we celebrate 30 Days of Biking, but May is National Bike Month—hey, anything to get folks out there on two wheels—and this week, May 15-19, is Bike to Work Week. After work on Monday, meet up at Angry Catfish Bicycle Shop (2900 E. 42nd St., Minneapolis) for a short spin to Wild Mind Artisan Ales hosted by the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota. At Wild Mind, 10% of the evening’s sales will go to benefit BikeMN’s Learn to Ride program. It’s free to attend, but you can RSVP and find more info here. Don’t have it in you to be social on a Monday, or don’t live close to Angry Catfish/Wild Mind? On Friday, the St. Paul Bicycle Coalition will celebrate Bike to Wherever Day with a ride from Union Depot to Lake Monster Brewing Company; more info on that here. 6:30 p.m. Free. 6031 Pillsbury Ave., Minneapolis.—Em Cassel
Last August: First Ave. This May: the Palace. As Muna’s fanbase continues to expand on the strength of the trio’s third and self-titled album, Katie Gavin has gotten almost too good at songwriting. With an assist from the band’s new label boss Phoebe Bridgers (who’d never go so cheerily pop), there’s something sleekly advertorial (or maybe just TikTok-able) about the tactile ecstasy of “Silk Chiffon” that gives my sugar rush an aspartame aftertaste. Not that that stops me from coming back for another hit, or appreciating how elsewhere on Muna the band makes so much more of ye olde galloping synth bass than most new-wave fetishists. I’m charmed by the irrepressible but modest demands of “What I Want” (“I want to dance in the middle of a gay bar”), the prudent infatuation of “Solid” (“You can tell she made herself all by herself”), and this riposte to a lover who tells Gavin to get off her high horse: “I think my horse is regular size.” Most of all, I appreciate how Gavin’s expression of her desires don’t slot easily into her contemporaries’ favored personae. There’s a wide expanse between doomed yearning sobs and legs-wide-open hedonism, and plenty of room for one young adult’s coming of age stories. With Nova Twins. All ages. $39.50/$65. 7 p.m. 7 W. 7th Pl., St. Paul; find more info here.—Keith Harris
Xcel Energy Center
She’s goofin’ on Ryan Reynolds during the People’s Choice Awards in December. She’s duetting with Orville Peck on “Legends Never Die.” Yes, the Shaniassance is in full swing. Hot on the sparkly rhinestone-heels of her first full-length in six years, the Canadian country star is set to embark on the absolutely massive “Queen of Me” tour, which takes her to 49 cities around the globe between April and November. If you haven’t listened to Twain’s latest yet, it’s mostly just OK! This review from Slate, which frames her return, “There would be no Taylor Swift without Shania Twain. Who is Shania Twain after Taylor Swift?” mostly nails my feelings on it. But you don’t need to know the new record front-to-back—or, hell, do any homework reading—to know that when she sings the stuff off of Come on Over, that place is going to go wild. $178-$971. 7:30 p.m. 199 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; find more info here.—Em Cassel
Skyline Mini Golf
Walker Art Center
Are we a mini-golf town? Signs point to yes, as we have trendy bar mini golf (Puttery, Arts + Rec), campy mini golf (Can Can, Betty Danger), old-school mini golf (Big Stone, Golf Zone), and, yes, museum mini golf. For over 15 years, the Walker’s Mini Golf has been a sign of spring, whether it’s popping up in the sculpture garden or its more recent home on the skyline terraces. This year’s installation features 10 holes total; highlights include a Hmong textile-inspired hole created in collaboration with the Asian American Organizing Project’s Youth Action Team, and two holes from Native Youth Arts Collective. Returning hits include the hot dog hole, the one where you have to bounce off of ping pong paddles, and the one where you become the obstacles and hazards. Find more info at walkerart.org. $12. 725 Vineland Pl., Minneapolis. Through October 1—Jessica Armbruster
So look, I’m a big fan of Cursive, but I’m also a big fan of rock critic Robert Christgau and his effortless, cutting shittalking. Thus, I must share Christgau’s one-sentence review of Domestica, Cursive’s blistering, agonizing 2000 album about divorce that’ll be performed front-to-back at Fine Line: “Guitar rageboy marries too young, gets concept album out of it.” Perfection. The rageboy in question is Tim Kasher, who has led this celebrated Omaha emo institution since 1995, always making time for side projects (The Good Life, solo) yet never relenting with the flagship. Domestica, a fan favorite, wasn’t an easy listen almost a quarter-century ago, though we’re guessing the happily remarried frontman dials back the rage these days. If you fell off the Cursive train post-high school, I recommend checking out their mid- to late-era catalog; there’s a lot of good stuff there. Opening are longtime Saddle Creek Records labelmates Neva Dinova. $25/$40. 7 p.m. 318 N. First Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller
According to NEMAA’s Art-A-Whirl site, the event is the biggest of its kind. And boy, you can tell. Over the next three days the crowds will be out and about, and you’ll probably be part of it. There will be pop-up shows, special receptions, concerts, beer gardens, tents with… stuff, sidewalk vendors, food trucks, drunks, and free bus rides. It’s gonna be a lot of fun, guys. But, way more importantly, let your time at this mega-fest serve as a reminder that you should be enjoying this artsy area year round. Since the festival reached peak attendance, artists groups have started sharing the love, hosting regular open studio events. So stop by a Second Saturday sometime, do some early holiday shopping at Art Attack, or sign up for one of the many workshops scheduled throughout the year. Stayed tuned for our Art-A-Whirl mega-guide (Concerts! Performances! Beer! Fire!) in this week’s Freeloader Friday post. Also, find more info for AAW online. 5-10 p.m. Friday; noon to 8 p.m. Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Through Sunday—Jessica Armbruster
Walker Art Center
Trumpeter Akinmusire will show off his range this weekend by highlighting two different aspects of his music on his two nights at the Walker. Each night will feature his Honey from a Winter’s Stone ensemble: Mivos String Quartet, D.C. hip-hop artist Kokayi, underground producer/DJ Chiquita Magic, and regular Akinmusire collaborators Sam Harris on piano and Justin Brown on drums. Friday night is given over to improvisation, with those musicians joined by experimental saxophonist Cole Pulice and jazz guitarist Mary Halvorson. On Saturday, Akinmusire will premiere a lengthy composition for his ensemble. $26.50/$33.50. 8 p.m. 725 Vineland Pl., Minneapolis; find more info here. Through Saturday—Keith Harris
Oddities & Curiosities Expo
Minneapolis Convention Center
Boat Show one weekend, an expo full of steampunk carnival barkers hawking stuffed bats another weekend. That’s the rich tapestry of the Minneapolis Convention Center, which will host the latter type of event this week. The traveling Oddities & Curiosities Expo calls on "lovers of the strange, unusual, and bizarre…” to explore booths offering “taxidermy, preserved specimens, original artwork, horror/halloween inspired pieces, antiques, handcrafted oddities, quack medical devices, creepy clothing, odd jewelry, skulls/bones, funeral collectibles,” and, crucially, “much more.” (Click here for a video tour of last year’s expo.) For the full expo experience, you’re welcome to sign up for the $250 full-mount rabbit taxidermy class (jackalope antlers optional). $5-$7 (kids under 5 are free). 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 1301 Second Ave. S., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller
Linden Hills Garage Sales
As I said last week: Garage sales rock. Sadly, last week’s megasale in Lyndale was pretty wet and rainy. But when the weather warms up, you can find a neighborhood event pretty much any weekend. This Saturday, residents of the toniest ‘hood in town, Linden Hills, are preparing to unload their gilded knick-knacks and we, the hoi polloi, can hoover ‘em up at neighborly rates. Billed as “one of the city's largest neighborhood-wide garage sales,” Saturday’s event is best navigated by participating garage/yard map, which you can pick up at area businesses. Free. 8 a.m.- to 3 p.m.; find more info here.—Jay Boller
The local queens of bustiers and eggs benedicts, Flip Phone, have a musically diverse slate of ‘drag brunches set for this weekend. Running simultaneously Saturday are the WAP Drag Brunch at Union Rooftop (a thematic exploration of wet-ass pussy vibes) and Emo Drag Brunch at LynLake Brewery (a celebratory, nostalgic tour de angst). Things will skew slightly older Sunday for the Fleetwood Mac Drag Brunch, also located at Union. Click here to revisit our recent feature on the renaissance of Minnesota drag, and the right-wing shitheads who want to stop it. $16-$17; find more info here.—Jay Boller
Maggie Cheung, Luminescent and Dangerous
This four-film series nicely captures the essence of the Hong Kong-born star’s appeal, allure, and versatility. The two films in the series that show Cheung’s arthouse side are both essential. Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love isn’t just a movie about two really hot people (Cheung and Tony Leung) smoking sexily and wearing sharp outfits—but it isn’t not about that either. For Irma Vep (1996), Cheung played herself, donning the catsuit of the mysterious, iconic, titular French criminal for Oliver Assayas’s film about a troubled remake of the silent film serial, Les Vampires. I haven’t seen the two more action-based pictures, but the trailers (linked below) make them look like a hoot. Johnnie To’s The Heroic Trio (1992), which also features Michelle Yeoh, was an early showcase for Cheung’s martial arts skills, and in series closer The Iceman Cometh (1989), she teams up with a time-traveling Imperial guard to defeat a 16th century Chinese villain. $8. 2820 E. 33rd St., Minneapolis; complete schedule and more info here.Through May—Keith Harris
Message from Our Planet: Digital Art from the Thoma Collection
Weisman Art Museum
Good news, everyone—it’s spring. At least at the Weisman, whose spring 2023 exhibition, “Message from Our Planet: Digital Art from the Thoma Collection,” opens this week. Inspired by the Voyager 1 spacecraft, which was used as a repository of human culture on Earth, the idea is to offer a sort of time capsule from artists working in digital media to the people of the future. To that end, the exhibit gathers the work of 19 artists who use software, video, and light technology as their media. Among those featured are Hong Hao, Jenny Holzer, Lee Nam Lee, Christian Marclay, Tabita Rezaire, and Robert Wilson. 333 E. River Pkwy., Minneapolis; find more info here. Through May 21—Keith Harris
Fluidity: Identity in Swedish Glass
American Swedish Institute
Glass artist Jo Andersson doesn’t just want you to gaze upon her works. She wants you to experience them as a meditative tool for self reflection. “Being is a light installation which is intended to help bring individuals into the present moment,” she says via artist’s statement. “I wanted to create a safe space where viewers could lose themselves and fully experience the work as well as their responses to the work.” So, what does that entail? At ASI, you’ll enter a dimmed room full of glass sculptures filled with water. You’ll be encouraged to use camera phones to illuminate pieces and place with the lighting. From there? Take some time for self reflection. (If nothing else, this show should make for some good visual ASMR.) In addition to Andersson’s ambitious installation, the exhibition will also showcase pieces by female glass artists from the museum’s permanent collection. Friday’s opening night party will feature an artist’s talk, live music, an outdoor glass and fire installation, and a hands on glass activity from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $25. 2600 Park Ave., Minneapolis.Through May 28—Jessica Armbruster
Paul Chan: Breathers
Walker Art Center
Can those inflatable tube guys used to drive people to sales be art? If it’s in the Walker Art Center then, yes, it can. But that would be oversimplifying the work of Paul Chen, a Hong Kong-born, Nebraska-raised, NYC-based writer, publisher, and artist. In the ‘90s and ‘00s, Chan garnered attention releasing videos, animations, fonts, and more, often for free on his website, nationalphilistine.com. These pieces explored pleasure, war, politics, and human interactions. But by 2009, he had burned out, tired of looking at a screen. Relatable. Five years later, after a brief, you know, “breather,” he found a new way to explore movement and meaning without a computer, instead using physics, fabrics, and fans to create shapes that move about in interesting ways (and, thankfully, won’t try to sell you a car). You can see these kinetic sculptures at the Walker; the show will also include some video installations as well as pieces from his publishing company, Badlands Unlimited, which releases poetry, erotica, artists’ writings, and more. 725 Vineland Pl., Minneapolis. Through July 16, 2023—Jessica Armbruster
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