This Week’s Best Events: Books, Cider, and Halloween Festivals
Here’s your weekly guide to the best Minneapolis and St. Paul events.
7:41 AM CDT on October 11, 2021
“The Fall, but prog” isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time—and if that description feels cryptic, you can be fairly sure it’s not yours. On album #2, Cavalcade (Rough Trade), this London band has softened some since its debut, Schlagenheim, without sacrificing any of their twitchy eccentricity. They’ve gotten dreamier, and on tracks like the stylishly freakish “Marlene Dietrich,” lead word-mutterer Geordie Greep reveals an unexpected sense of restraint. Still, the album opens with five minutes of Greep in full greepy glory and drummer Morgan Simpson solving quadratic equations on his snare—“John L” focuses on a nationalist demagogue and promises/threatens “In all the world there's no escape from this infernal din.” With L'Rain. 18+. 7:30 p.m. $22-$37. 318 N. 1st Ave., Minneapolis. More info here.—Keith Harris
Badu had a helluva lockdown last summer. With clubs closing and live gigs canceling she immediately went online with her "Quarantine Concert Series: The Apocalypse," its production values damn near unmatched in the livestream economy. And when she squared off against Jill Scott on Verzuz, part of a series of streams where performers set their catalogs in competition with each other, the two neo-soul queens instead just vibed for three hours to each other’s greatest hits. Badu’s albums, as infrequent as they are brilliant, only give you a taste of how her personality fills the room live, where she free-associates over woozy but intricate grooves. All ages. 7 p.m $47 and up. 500 S. 6th St., Minneapolis. More info here.—Keith Harris
The Front Bottoms
By the middle of the last decade, it was easy to imagine that this Jersey indie?/emo? (get outta here with “folk-punk”) duo had blown its wad. After all, how many hungover autopsies of young lust gone bad did one band need to fill your DMs with? But on their 2020 album In Sickness & In Flames, neurotically self-reflective lead enunciator Brian Sella appeared to have grown up without ditching his anxiety, and the synths that sounded a bit desperate on Going Grey in 2017 now fit more holistically into their bigger, poppier sound. Miffed longtime fans who wish they lived in an era where they could just yell “sell out!” and won’t just admit that they’ve outgrown the band will tell you choruses like “Wherever you are, don't worry/You're gonna be fine, fine, fine/'Cause everyone blooms in their own time” are a little corny. But I thought that was the whole point with these guys? With Oso Oso and Sydney Sprague. 18+. 6:30 p.m. $27-$32. More info here.—Keith Harris
Before the pandemic, one of the world’s top comedians who happens to “work clean” (no swearing or sex-talk)—Brian Regan—performed at the State Theatre. Now, as the pandemic chugs right along, the other titan of family-friendly yuks—Jim Gaffigan—will perform that very stage. And here’s the thing: In terms of peer respect, both comics are elite-level, cussing policies be damned. Gaffigan exploded on the scene in 2006 with a bit about Hot Pockets that would become his signature. The good-natured Midwesterner has since released seven albums (six of which earned Grammy noms) and starred in his own TV Land sitcom (The Jim Gaffigan Show), all while raising five kids and road-dogging across the country doing standup. Likely hilarious, Gaffigan’s current Fun Tour hits on familiar themes like food, family, and self-deprecation. 7 p.m. (Thu.-Sat.) 9:30 p.m. (Fri.-Sat.). $49.75-$89.75. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis. More info here.—Jay Boller
Walker Art Center
The abstract paintings of Julie Mehretu are a tornado of movement, filled with shapes, textures, and colors that draw you into their whirlwind as you take a closer look. The Ethiopian-born, Harlem-based artist is coming to the Walker for a mid-career retrospective with over 75 drawings, paintings, and prints from 1996 to present. Like many abstract pieces, guests may derive a variety of meanings and references from these pieces, including bits of architecture, technology, human migration, and bold colors. The exhibition kicks off with a Walker After Hours on Friday, where revelers will drink cocktails, try art-making activities, listen to live music, and more for $20 admission. Or hear from Mehretu herself at Saturday’s artist’s talk. Score free tickets at the Main Lobby desk beginning at 3 p.m., or sign in to the livestream and watch remotely. This exhibition runs through March 6. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster
Okay, this event caught our attention because the name is freakin’ adorable. That said, BOOnion Depot also looks like it’s going to be a pretty good time. This event is part party, party Halloween-themed double feature. Things kick off at 5:30 p.m. with a haunted happy hour. Ghosts and ghouls will find snacks and cocktails. Come in your spooky best and pose at a creepy photo op, enter the costume contest, and have your fortune told via a tarot reading. A DJ will spin classic creepy tunes, and kids can get artsy with hands-on crafts. Then, the space becomes a movie theater, starting first with camp classic Hocus Pocus (7:30 p.m.) and followed by stop-motion animation masterpiece The Nightmare Before Christmas (9 p.m.). 5:30 to 10 p.m., 214 Fourth St. E., St. Paul.—Jessica Armbruster
This New Yorker is from the latest generation of female rappers who blur pop and hip-hop effortlessly, her flow as impeccable as her taste in hooks. She integrated both styles into such a personally distinctive sound on the autobiographical 1992 Deluxe that it was a little disappointing to hear her split her moods into the two short (but still excellent) albums Everything Sucks and Everything Is Beautiful last year. Her current tour is in support of Bloom, an EP we haven’t heard yet, though its lead singles “It’s Not My Fault” and “Boys Are From Mars” (featuring Yung Baby Tate) are catchy enough, in character with “Slumber Party,” the girl-on-girl Ashnikko song she guested on earlier this year. With Dounia. 18+. 8 p.m $30-35. 701 N. 1st St., Minneapolis. More info here.—Keith Harris
Comedy Corner Underground
It’s easy to root for Chloe Radcliffe. Conan O’Brien and Thrillist began teasing her as a comic to watch around 2018, and in 2020 she landed a job on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show writing staff. For local comics who slugged it out with Radcliffe on Comedy Corner Underground’s basement stage, this felt like a victory for the scene. Radcliffe is a breezy, charming storyteller who lands big laughs throughout her slice-of-life bits, all delivered with a Minnesota accent that must sound downright exotic in her new home of New York City; the locally launched stand-up talks about her occasionally viral birthmark “too much… or, just enough? Whatever’s correct.” CCU recently endured a fire and a pandemic, so this homecoming show should feel special. Fri.-Sat. 8 & 10 p.m. $12. 1501 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis; more info here.—Jay Boller
Twin Cities Book Festival
Minnesota State Fairgrounds
It’s no longer beach-read season, but fall in the Twin Cities always feels like the best time to curl up with a good book. The Twin Cities Book Festival—which has hosted virtual events leading up to this weekend—at last hosts its in-person fest at the fairgrounds this weekend. Dozens of publishing houses and bookstores will be there, and lots of authors are doing signings and giveaways. With discussions from writers including Margaret Hasse (Summoned), Diane Glancy (A Line of Driftwood), Kaveh Akbar (Pilgrim Bell), and Bill Campbell and Matt Madden (Ex Libris and The Day the Klan Came to Town, respectively). Check here for a complete list of happenings. Free. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Progress Center of the Minnesota State Fairground, 1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul. —Em Cassel
Third Anniversary Party
La Doña Cervecería
Like lots of us, La Doña missed out on their chance to celebrate turning two during the pandemic, and it sounds like they’re planning to double the party this year to make up for it. It starts at noon with a BIPOC craft vendor market followed by free salsa bachata with DJ William and K-Libre24. All day long, you can expect merch discounts, food from La Tiendita and Que Tal Street Eats, games, and prizes. And of course, you can enjoy La Doña’s lineup of Mexican beers all afternoon long. ¡Feliz Cumpleaños! Noon to 2 a.m. La Doña Cervecería, 241 Fremont Ave. N., Minneapolis. —Em Cassel
Eat Street Fall Arts Fest
Empty Lot on Nicollet
Whittier Alliance is celebrating the neighborhood this weekend with a daytime block party in the vacant lot the group purchased not too long ago. The event will highlight a variety of local talents, including the live creation of a new mural by Juxtaposition Arts. Live music will be provided by Douala Soul Collective and Red Hot Django Peppers, with flamenco dancing by SACHIKO "La Chayí." There will be plenty to do as well, whether you’re a kid or an adult. That includes activities with Children's Theatre Company, screen printing opportunities with Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and hands-on fun with Minneapolis Institute of Art. Noon to 5 p.m. 2116 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster
Minneapolis Cider Company
It’s apple season, baby! This Saturday, the Minneapolis Cider Company is all about the delicious apple, from Minnesota’s honeycrisp to pints of fresh cider. Things kick off in the morning with a special barre class (sign up online) as well as a new menu featuring crepes (yes, there’s a pumpkin spice one) and “cidermosas.” During the day, guests can shop for treats from Aamodt's Orchard Market, which will have bags of apples, honeys, jams, and more for sale. Hazy Apple, a cloudy cider made from fresh-pressed unfiltered juice, will debut. The crew will be giving production tours of the cidery, hosting pickle ball and ping pong gaming, and serving up mulled cider and s’mores ‘round the bonfire in the evening. Free. 10 a.m. to midnight. 701 SE Ninth St., Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster
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