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January Music Residencies, a Tattoo Convention, the Ice Castle Cometh: This Week’s Best Events

It's also beer poking season.

Minnesota Ice Castle|

Ice tunnels and more!

Welcome to Event Horizon, your weekly roundup of the best events in Minneapolis and St. Paul.


Minnesota Ice Castle

Long Lake Regional Park

Folks, this is the big one. This is the ice castle that has more square footage than your own home. It starts as a single icicle, but by the end of construction it becomes an epic thing you can wander through and enjoy. There are architectural marvels, sparkling caverns, slick tunnels that funnel you to more adventure, and slides made of ice. In addition to the big frozen structure, there’s also an illuminated trail to explore and an ice bar serving up wintery adult beverages. The castle was supposed to be ready in mid-January, but our weather sucks so hard this year that the event was able to open a few weeks early. Lucky us! Find dates, times, and tickets at $11-$15 weekdays; $15-$20 weekends. Wednesdays through Mondays in January; Thursdays through Sundays in February. 1500 Old Highway 8, New Brighton. Now through February 23’ishJessica Armbruster

January Music Residencies 

Various venues

‘Tis the season for residencies. In the fallow winter nights, when coastal cowards are spooked by our robust climes, local musicians pick up the slack, settling in at local clubs for a month at a time, with special guests every week. As usual, the Turf Club hosts weathered troubadour Charlie Parr (on Sundays) and harmonizing sibs the Cactus Blossoms (on Mondays). If your tastes are less rootsy inclined, you can check out the restlessly experimental Dosh at Icehouse; he’s been entrusted with January’s “Jazz Mondays” series, which the venue sets aside for one artist each month throughout the year. Next week, on January 12, Alex Schaaf’s Yellow Ostrich starts its own Thursday night residency at Icehouse. And the White Squirrel, which hosts Tuesday night residencies every week, turns its stage over to Labrador Wild in January. Did I miss anyone? Possibly—there’s a whole mess of these out there. Check our music calendar every Tuesday for the full picture.Keith Harris

Into the 21st Century Dystopias


What’s dystopia like these days? The Trylon is offering up 12 variations on that theme this month, with a look at the grim futures some 21st century films have imagined. The series started yesterday with briskly selling anime standout Ghost in the Shell, which continues through tomorrow. From there on in, they’ll cover Japanese horror (Pulse), contemporary classics (Children of Men, Mad Max: Fury Road), a couple Spielbergs (War of the Worlds, A.I. Artificial Intelligence), and plenty more. Looks like they’ve got a punch card for anyone who plans on catching the whole series, with unrevealed prizes for the diehards. (Perhaps a ticket to the off-world colonies, where a new life awaits you?) Depending on your outlook, this series can be an opportunity to look on the bright side: Things could be worse! Or you could look on the darker side: They probably will be! $8. 2820 E 33rd St, Minneapolis. See here for full schedule and showtimes.—Keith Harris

Tattoo in the winter to be healed by summer.Gino Castillo via Unsplash


Minneapolis Tattoo Arts Convention

Hyatt Regency Minneapolis

For the past 14 years, in the dead of January, tattoo artists have convened in Minneapolis to dish about the industry, teach classes, and, of course, do some tattooing. The list of attending artists and shops is epic, and includes local businesses, folks from all around the world, and quite a few talents from Ink Master (Cleen Rock One, Emily Elegado, Aaron Is, and more!). Tattoo competitions allow attendees to show off their new art or flash some enduring pieces they’re especially proud of. Categories can change depending on entrees, but usually include back pieces, healed work, sleeves, and portraits. A variety of circus-style acts will also take the stage, including burlesque artists, contortionists, and suspension experts. Guests, be they tattooed friends or those who are simply tattoo-curious, can peruse artist’s books, schedule sessions, and explore the vendors’ mart, which features merch, tatt healing products, and Delta-9 edibles–what a trinity! Find more info online at $25 one day; $50 3-day pass. 2-11 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to  8 p.m. Sunday. 1300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.Jessica Armbruster

Scream It Off Screen

Parkway Theater

At Racket’s favorite monthly short film competition, the rules are simple. Watch the start of each film. (Easy.) Decide if you love it or hate it. (Easy.) And when the organizers hit pause? Scream at the top of your lungs. (“Let it play,” if you love what you’re seeing; “gong” if you can’t stand it. Don’t be shy!) If the gongs have it, organizers move on to the next entry and eliminate that film from the field. Nothing’s pre-selected or pre-screened, which means you can expect delightfully unpredictable chaos and some utterly weird shit every month. Wanna submit your own short? There’s still time! They’re accepting entries for tonight’s show through Tuesday. 18+. ​​$10 advance/$13 door. 7 p.m. 4814 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Em Cassel

Jeff Pfoser

Comedy Corner Underground

Prolific dad Jeff Pfoser brings a warm, fatherly presence to his standup, which comes across more like funny midwestern storytelling than punchline-joke, punchline-joke. The veteran local comic might sound wholesome, but he’ll sneak in wisecracks about wishing his eldest had never been born. Pfoser, who works as an ad man during the day, is currently prepping his debut album for Stand Up! Records. $15. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 1501 S. Washington Ave.; find more info here.—Jay Boller

It's always drinking outdoors season.Northbound Smokehouse


Eisbock Outdoor Hot Poking

Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub

Who was the first person to realize that jamming a searing hot poker into a pint of beer makes it even more delicious? Whoever you are, we thank you for your contribution. The practice dates back more than 400 years, originating as a popular thing to do to beer in colder climates. So what’s the big deal? Basically the hot poker causes the sugars in the beer to caramelize, giving it a completely transformed, often smokier flavor profile with a thicker, creamier mouthfeel. Also, sticking red-hot iron into a pint is kinda fun. You can get your beer poked this afternoon at Northbound, where they will be day drinking outside by the fire. 11 a.m. 2716 E. 38th St., Minneapolis.Jessica Armbruster

Minneapolis: Guided History Bar Crawl

Various locations

Before John O’Sullivan created his dream job in Minnesota, he established a historical TikTok template on the other end of the Earth. In 2017, he launched Depot Adventures, a walking-tour company whose 13 employees would guide 15,000 guests per year around Melbourne and Sydney. Then COVID-19 happened, and O’Sullivan returned home with hopes of recreating that magic in the Twin Cities. He has already drummed up a following at @DepotMN, a source for bite-sized, localized historical tidbits that occasionally blows up on TikTok and Reddit. “I’m more and more sure a walking tour would indeed work in the Twin Cities,” O’Sullivan told Racket last year. “I’d been fantasizing about it for years.” Now, the 37-year-old history buff is back on the IRL walking-tour beat, offering up three-hour bar crawls that reveal insights into Minneapolis’s past.  $69-$119. 3 p.m. 123 N. Third St., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Paul Chan, 'Khara En Penta'


Gingerbread Wonderland

Norway House 

The biggest cookie village in town returns this winter to Norway House. Each year, 250 or so pieces come together, creating a sweet-smelling wonderland for all to explore. Creations range from cozy cabins in the snow to multi-story abodes topped with icing, to familiar Twin Cities structures, to incredibly complex recreations of historical landmarks. The neighborhood includes submissions from creative kids, artsy hobbyists, and professional bakers, making it a really cool variety of skill, technique, and imagination. Find tickets and more information at $10; $5 members; free for kids under 12. Noon to 4:00pm Sun. and Tue.; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wed.-Fri.; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sat. 913 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis. Through January 8—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, 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 Place, Minneapolis. Through July 16, 2023—Jessica Armbruster

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