Chatterbox Turns 100, Owámni Water Fest, Wu Tang: This Week’s Best Events
Plus horror movie season is now in full swing.
12:32 PM CDT on October 2, 2023
Welcome to Event Horizon, your weekly roundup of the best events in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and beyond.
The Nightmarish Nineties
From The Heights’ “How Do You Talk to an Angel?” to Joe Lieberman droning sanctimoniously on about video game violence, the ’90s were truly nightmarish in many ways. But this month the Trylon is focusing on the good kinds of nightmares that decade dreamed up, and their selection of films make a strong argument for the ’90s as a hotbed of horror invention. There was innovation in the multiplexes, as represented by Candyman and the meta-slasher pop of the first two Scream movies. Truly disturbing films came from Japan and Europe, such as Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Cure and George Sluizer’s The Vanishing. (Yes the second one is from the late ’80s but shh.) There were low-budget sleeper hits like The Blair Witch Project and Oscar-approved films like The Silence of the Lambs. There’s also Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which I thought was kinda silly at the time but has won a following over the years for its lurid imagery (or maybe you pervs are just there for the pale, heaving bosoms). 2820 E 33rd St, Minneapolis; find complete dates, showtimes, and more info here. Through October 29—Keith Harris
Cedar Cultural Center
I’ll admit it—like a lot of musical acts I fell for 20-plus years back, I haven’t been keeping up with the husband-wife team of Brett and Rennie Sparks much recently. I should have been! Their 2016 album, Unseen, is a bit doleful even by their melancholy standards, but tell me, exactly how lively were you that wonderful year, pal? For evidence that Rennie’s pen is as sharp as ever, check out this stanza from “Good Old Days”: “There was no time or space/When I was growing up/We had summer all winter/The moon rose with the sun/And music sounded better/We recorded on rings of ice/And as the songs turned to water/We couldn't help but cry.” And Brett’s stolid baritone hasn’t exorcized a single ghost that haunts it. The Sparkses’ 11th studio album, Hollow, out later this week, offers even more spectral but wittily grotesque Americana. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the Handsomes, you might recognize “Far From Any Road,” which served as the theme song for True Detective. And if you don’t trust me, well, Phoebe Bridgers covered “So Much Wine” last Christmastime, and you think she’s pretty cool, right? With Paul Fonfara. $22/$27. 7:30 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Keith Harris
Sound Unseen Kickoff + Preview Party
Pryes Brewing Company
Racket is excited to sponsor Sound Unseen this year because we love what they do. (Don’t get me wrong—if you suck we might still take your money, but we won’t say nice things about you.) Sound Unseen set up shop at the intersection of movies and music 24 years ago, presenting films throughout the year and, most notably, at their annual Film + Music Festival, which takes place from November 8-12 this year. Having glimpsed the as yet publicly undisclosed schedule, I can say (in my professional, critical capacity and not in my promoter of a Racket-sponsored event role) that there’s some great stuff on tap for the 2023 fest. Sound Unseen will announce the full schedule on Wednesday, but you can get a sneak preview tonight, and you can also meet with “the Sound Unseen team, local filmmakers, and festival sponsors” (hey, that’s us). In addition, Ian Rans will present Triviasco, and there’s also free beer and pizza. While my drinking privileges were revoked many years ago, I devoured an inordinate amount of Pryes' underrated pizza last year. Free. 6:30 p.m. 1401 West River Rd. N., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Keith Harris
Bauhaus Brew Labs
If you know jack shit about plants, nurseries can be super overwhelming. A plant sale at a brewery? That’s a much easier lane to drive in. With that in mind comes Haus Plants, a monthly event where folks can get a buzz via beer or THC bubbly and come home with some greenery. Much like a clothing or jewelry shop pop-up, Vida Plant Co. has eschewed ye olde brick-and-mortar in lieu of traveling to locations and setting up business. At this monthly series, they’ll play matchmaker, pairing folks up with flora with each person’s lifestyle and skill level in mind. Also “green” these evenings? Bauhaus’s Tetra, a canned bevvy with THC and CBD, available at a discount these evenings. Free. 6-9 p.m. First Tuesdays of October, November, and December. 1315 Tyler St. NE, Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster
You could rightfully assume Wolf is a political comic: She made a name for herself by fileting President Trump at the 2018 White House Correspondents' Dinner, and was named as a guest host for the hostless Daily Show earlier this year (the Strib’s Neal Justin believes she’s the ideal candidate for perma-host). But on her excellent new Netflix special, the three-part It’s Great to Be Here, the 38-year-old Wall Street worker turned comic instead exudes the deadly precision and rapid-fire pace of a veteran club act. It’s personal, with bits about leaving the U.S. to live in Spain, and button-pushy, with feminist critiques of the #MeToo movement. $33-$43. 7 p.m. 710 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller
I was glad to see the glowing Pitchfork review of The Window, the just-released new Ratboys album, deployed the exact phrase that had been bouncing around my head: This is a level-up record. The twangy Chicago indie-rock band had already dropped four serviceable LPs, but this Chris Walla-produced effort unlocked something special. Vocally, singer-songwriter Julia Steiner is a dead ringer for Kerry Alexander of local group Bad Bad Hats, and she spends all 48 minutes of The Window bouncing between tender ache and melodious wail; her skillful, riffy, and increasingly muscular band is tighter than ever throughout. Free Range opens. $18-$20. 7 p.m. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; find more info here.—Jay Boller
Ben Schwartz & Friends
If you’ve never witnessed Mr. Schwartz (Parks and Rec, House of Lies, Comedy Bang! Bang!) perform live longform improv, fix that ASAP. The great Conan O'Brien was audibly in awe of Schwartz’s talent when he appeared on Conan’s podcast… alongside some other guy we don’t talk about anymore. In any case! These shows begin with an audience prompt, and everything that follows is pure livewire improv from Schwartz and a rotating cast of super-quick guests; no show is like any that preceded or follows. “It’s [like] hanging out with that gang you joke with effortlessly,” reads a review from Paste. “The spontaneity, that excitement when you know you struck comedy gold and everyone is adding to the pile.” Schwartz even assigned some homework for his Minneapolis gang—help Jean Ralphio find dinner! $49-$79. 8 p.m. Friday. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Hidden Falls Regional Park
Now that it’s October, there’s no holding back on all things fall and Halloween. But what about Christmas? Is it too soon for some Christmas fun? I don’t think so. At least, not when you mix the two together. This Friday, Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul is hosting a free movie night featuring the stop-motion animated The Nightmare Before Christmas. The holiday mashup follows Jack Skellington, king of Halloweentown, as he attempts to spice up his life by taking over another holiday. Get there early for food truck eats before the movie screens. By the time Friday rolls around, the recent heat and humidity will likely be gone, so embrace that bit of chill in the air. More information can be found at All Events. Free. Dusk. 1313 Hidden Falls Dr., St. Paul.—Makenzi Johnson
Schmidt Fall Arts Crawl
Schmidt Artists’ Lofts
This weekend, Schmidt Artists’ Lofts are hosting a good ol’ epic art crawl through its space. Over 80 artists will be on hand, sharing what they’ve been up to this summer. That includes painters, jewelry makers, clay artists, and more. Up on the rooftop folks can watch artists work live on projects throughout the weekend, while on ground level they’ll find sustenance with food trucks parked out front. Folks looking to cap off their explorations with a brew can do so at Keg & Case next door. Free. 6-9 p.m. Fri.; noon to 7 p.m. Sat.; noon to 5 p.m. Sun. 900 - 876 West Seventh St., St. Paul.—Jessica Armbruster
Recovery Riot! A Night of Sober Comedy
Alano Club of Minneapolis
We love a good comedy show, but they tend to be… well, not the most sober places on earth. From two-drink minimums to the enduring myth that you can only be funny/creatively stimulated with substances, alcohol often flows freely and excessively in standup. Enter Recovery Riot!, a night of sober standup at Minneapolis’s Alano Club. Last week, organizer (and Racket contributor) Patrick Strait, who’s coming up on eight years of sobriety himself, told MPR’s Cathy Wurzer about the challenges of acclimating to “normal” life after quitting drinking. “For quite a while, I was really kind of nervous or uncomfortable with the idea of getting out and going to those places that I used to go when I was drinking… so the idea of starting a show like this, this Recovery Riot, was to give people a little bit more runway, right?” he explains. The lineup includes Lily Meyer, Aidan McCluskey, Karen Pickering, and headliner Elise Cole, whose debut album Real Hot Dumb Dumbs just landed this July. The event is sold out online, but a limited number of tickets will be available at the door on a FCFS basis, according to organizers. $15. 8:30-11 p.m. 2218 First Ave. S., Minneapolis. More info here.—Em Cassel
Borough Block Party
The time really does fly, doesn’t it, folks? This is the 10th annual Borough Block Party, an all-day affair with a killer lineup of local live music, giveaways (you can win a Fender Stratocaster thanks to Twin Town Guitars and Green Room), and of course, food and drinks from Borough and Parlour. The music lineup kicks off with Private Oates at 1 p.m., followed by Dylan Salfer Trio, Faith Boblett, Nur-D, and headliner Viva Knievel. It’s all-ages, dog-friendly, outdoors, and still free—plus it’s on a Saturday, so as not to conflict with your Vikings-watching plans. (Hey, they finally won one!) Free. Noon to 10 p.m. Eighth and Washington, Minneapolis; find more info here.—Em Cassel
The Eric Andre Explosion
With regard to punk-rock outrageousness, it’s hard to think of a more fearless performer than Andre. The 40-year-old Floridian burst onto the comedy scene in 2012 with Cartoon Network’s Eric Andre Show, a surrealist clusterfuck of internet-stewed irony and combustible prank energy; it’s possibly the weirdest thing on basic cable and, remarkably, still draws A-list guests despite a four-year gap in production. The underrated 2021 movie Bad Trip offered Netflix viewers a look at everything Andre, and HBO audiences enjoyed his run as a Texas megachurch pastor on the latest season of Righteous Gemstones. His in-your-face comedy is perhaps suited for IRL settings. Pray for the Palace. $55-$95.50. 6 p.m. 17 W. 7th Place, St. Paul; find more info here.—Jay Boller
Wu Tang & Nas with De La Soul
Why are arenas flooded with rock nostalgia tours while middle-aged rappers tend to get consigned to state fairs and clubs? You’d think 50-somethings would have the disposable income to make tours like this an inevitability, but even when they do happen they’re not guaranteed attendance. Which is especially odd when you consider that tickets for this show start at $24, which is like three bucks a Wu member. While members have had their differences over the years, Staten Island’s finest kung fu rapper collective puts on a surprisingly un-chaotic live show when they’re in the mood. Nas will never quite recover from the misfortune of beginning his career with an all-time classic rap album, but on his King’s Disease and Magic series of albums, he’s demonstrated those qualities that rap cherishes in a veteran—he enjoys rapping and he rarely embarasses himself. (I contend that the sometimes clumsier and always more adventurous albums he released in the era that preceded his ascent to elder statesman are more interesting—and often better—but that’s a topic for another day.) Catching openers De La Soul will be bittersweet—our first time to see the Native Tongues crew since their music hit streaming services, but also the first since the death of Dave “Trugoy” Jolicoeur in March. $24-$675. 8 p.m. 600 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Keith Harris
Owámni: Falling Water Festival
Mill Ruins Park
Now in its 10th year, this festival showcases Indigenous Minnesota cultures near the sacred waters of St. Anthony Falls, or Owámni, the Dakota word for the area, which also means “whirling/falling water.” Throughout the day, guests who visit Mill Ruins Park, Water Works, and Father Hennepin Bluff Park will be treated to a variety of music and dance, as well as tasty eats, makers’ booths, and visual arts. Free. 1-5 p.m. 102 Portland Ave. S., Minneapolis.–Jessica Armbruster
Chris Rock helped discover this New York City comic who has worked in writing rooms at Saturday Night Live and A Little Late with Lilly Singh. As a performer, Patel is a brawny, charismatic Jerseyite who’s a regular at NYC’s legendary Comedy Cellar. In 2018, he addressed the loaded topic of what jokes are acceptable these days via the New York Times, and, thankfully, refused Tucker Carlson’s invitation to become yet another hacky, anti-woke comic who defines themself by what they are, in fact, allowed to say. For a crash course on what Patel likes to say, consult his booming TikTok account. $35-$49.50. 7 p.m. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller
100 Year Anniversary Block Party
Yep, that Chatterbox Pub is turning 100 this year. The pub and restaurant opened as a speakeasy in 1923. A century later, it’s still one of the few south Minneapolis pubs in the Powderhorn neighborhood, though a few new spots have popped up more recently (like Northbound Smokehouse). In celebration, they’ll be partying all day, with special menu items, a beer tent hosted by Pryes for brews, and Kabomelette Food Truck parked outside. Live music all day will include headliner Martin Zellar from the Gear Daddies, Chatterbox’s new Jukebox Heroes led by Vic Volare, Jackie Kean, Vittorio and The Bridges, Joan of Profile, and The Tire Fires. Free. Noon to 8 p.m. 2229 E. 35th St., Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster
Open Streets Minneapolis: Lyndale Avenue
Road closings kinda suck… unless we’re talking about Open Streets, where the lack of traffic just means there’s more room to party. For Lyndale Avenue celebration, the final installment of 2023, the main south Minneapolis drag will be closed to cars, but open to people on foot, on bike, or on other non-motorized modes of travel. Along the way you’ll find a variety of stuff to see and do, including parking lot concerts, sidewalk sales, middle-of-the-road yoga sessions, and pop-up beer gardens. Free. Events begin at 11 a.m. and run until 5 p.m. Lyndale Avenue, from 22nd to 42nd Avenues, Minneapolis; find more details at openstreetsmpls.org.—Jessica Armbruster
Sever’s Fall Festival
Getting lost in a corn maze? Sounds like the start of a horror movie. But in reality it’s just wholesome fun. Since 1997, Sever’s has hosted a huge maze meant for you to get turned around and confused in. They’re not just about large-scale crop art though—this festival has all kinds of fall activities. There’s a petting zoo with feisty goats and playful pigs, there are hay rides, there are hay sculptures, there’s a live music stage, fields of pumpkins, zip lining, and not one, but two corn pits (one is labeled as an “extreme” pit!). Bring the fam or your friends. Find tickets and more info at seversfestivals.com. $19-$22 online/$23-$26 at the gate; $45 season pass. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sat.-Sun., plus Thu.-Fri. Oct. 19-20. 3121 150th St. W., Shakopee. Through October 29—Jessica Armbruster
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