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Ren Fest, Racket Turns 1, Kielbasa at Utepils: This Week’s Best Events

Plus MSP Iranian Film Festival, Kendrick Lamar, Fat Beach Day, and so much more!

Renaissance Festival

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


Built to Spill

First Avenue

I had a good tweet last fall—“an emo sandwich shop called BLT to spill”—which inspired wonderful replies including “Carry The Gyro” and “There’s Nothing Wrong with Lunch.” And then, off Twitter, fellow Racket music editor Keith Harris chastised me, saying he would not call them an emo band. But… they kind of are, aren’t they? [Ed. note: No, they aren’t.] Maybe it has something to do with the era in which you were raised, but songs like “Carry the Zero” and “You Were Right” certainly sound like a lot of the emo I grew up listening to—a bit twangier and less angry, perhaps, but no less angsty or despairing, with references to manic depression and math. This could even be part of Built to Spill’s enduring charm: that regardless of the year in which they were released, the music seems both timeless and perfectly suited for whatever time you’re in. The songs are malleable that way, they’ll form to whatever it is your reference point is, they—ope, just saw Keith’s icon pop up in the Google doc, gotta go! Please leave your best Built to Spill sandwich puns in the comments. With Prism Bitch and Papas. 18+. $30-$32. 7 p.m. 701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here. —Em Cassel

Walker Art Center
Walker Art CenterPierre Ware for Sound for Silents


Sound for Silents: Film + Music

Walker Art Center

While the parks in St. Paul and Minneapolis are known to screen more commercial fare, the Walker Art Center offers something a little more original on its grassy lawn. During this special event, a selection of silent films from the museum’s Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection will screen, all set to a newly commissioned score performed live by Iowa indie-songwriter Pieta Brown and her ensemble. Food trucks and drink vendors will be on hand, and DJs will spin tunes. Best of all, the event is free. 8:30 p.m. Find more details at Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612-375-7600.—Jessica Armbruster

Kielbasa Fest


Kramarczuk's Kielbasa Fest

Utepils Brewing Co.

It’s a sausage party at Utepils this weekend, as the parking lot of the brewing will be giving us strong Oktoberfest vibes but with full-on summer weather. Eastern European-style deli Kramarczuk’s will be on site serving up sausages and other meats, which you can wash down with a cold brew from the beer garden. Friday you can sign up for the meat raffle, while Saturday is all about the pierogi eating contest. As for tunes, this is an oompah heavy event, with lots of polka, polka rock, and folk. Oh, and on Saturday Chase & Ovation will play us out with Prince tunes. We are in Minnesota, after all. Free on Friday; $5 Saturday. 4-10 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. 225 Thomas Ave. N., Minneapolis. –Jessica Armbruster

The Legalization Celebration

Hook & Ladder

Ever since Minnesota legalized THC edibles, I’ve had all kinds of people ask me where the heck they can buy some of the stuff. My answer? Where can’t you buy THC these days? Gas stations, online, headshops, glass-art shops, smoke shops, your brother-in-law Steve… and, on Friday, you can buy it at Hook and Ladder, where THCMinnesota will host a little happy hour. During festivities, folks will be able to sample beverages, shop from local vendors, nosh on some eats, and enjoy music. Two food trucks will be stopping by; one will serve Caribbean food and the other will dish up Creole/soul treats. Live music outside will include jazz tunes from Kevin Washington & Ra Spirit, hip-hop from iLLism, multi-instrumentalist Heatbox, and reggae from Innocent. If that ticket price is freaking you out, worry not: The gift bag you get to take home contains $42 worth of THC product. Find tickets online at $42. 4:20 p.m. 3010 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis. –Jessica Armbruster

Kehlani, Rico Nasty


For this fan, Kehlani has yet to top SweetSexySavage, her 2017 debut album, but that’s not to say the Oakland singer/songwriter/sorta-rapper has been slacking since that classic. If anything, Kehlani’s art has grown more subtle: On their latest, Blue Water Road, Kehlani claims to be “workin’ on bein’ softer” even when they mack on a stripper and instruct her to “call me daddy in front of all your bitches in the lobby.” The way they harmonize with themselves on “Everything” makes the hardly original sentiment “you are everything to me” newly seductive, and the way she toys over the title of “Wonderin/Wanderin” is a pure pleasure. Few rappers enjoy making a big noise as purely as Rico Nasty does; on her latest singles she’s teaming up with similarly destructive femmes Flo Milli and Bktherula, while on “Intrusive” she wilds out over some crazy-ass MTV Amp-style beats. All ages. $52 and up. 7:30 p.m. 500 S. Sixth St., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Keith Harris


MSP Iranian Film Festival

The Main

Glad to see this modest yet rewarding little fest thriving over at The Main. This year brings four new films in addition to Mohammad Rasoulof’s 2017 film A Man of Integrity, the story of a man who’s fled off the grid struggling against a powerful state-backed corporation. Ali Mosaffa’s Absence follows an Iranian man to Eastern Europe as he attempts to uncover the life of his expatriate father, Reza Dormishian’s No Choice looks at forced sterilization, and The Majority is Mohsen Gharaie’s take on Dürrenmatt’s The Visit. And I’m especially curious about Asteroid, the story of a 12-year-old boy growing up in a desert shack, because no one tells stories about children quite like Iranian filmmakers. Individual tickets: $9-$12. All access pass: $30-$40. 115 SE Main St., Minneapolis; find showtimes and more here. Through Sunday —Keith Harris

Smooth Talk (1985)


This is a real “how did I not know about this one?” movie for a lot of folks. Laura Dern fans (and who ain’t?) absolutely need to see her debut performance (at 18) as a flirty teen whose free-spirited ways are curtailed when she’s menaced by a stalker. As a bonus, you’ll get a hint of why people hyperbolically muttered “new Brando” about Treat Williams, who has an exceptionally creepy turn here as the seductive predator. Directed by Joyce Chopra, who’d largely focused on (great) feminist documentaries before this, and based on a Joyce Carol Oates story, back before she discovered Twitter. $8. 7 & 9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 3 & 5:30 p.m. Sunday. 2820 E. 33rd St., Minneapolis; find more info here. Through Sunday —Keith Harris



Racket’s First Anniversary Party

Fair State Brewing

Wow, a full year of Racket. The haters–of which we’ve mercifully had almost none–said it couldn’t be done. Join us at our favorite union brewery to toast to 12 months of Racket, the four-person spiritual successor to City Pages that managed to turn a profit without billionaire backing. Tell us what you loved. Tell us what you hated. Buy some merch. But, mostly, come to sip kickass drinks among fellow supporters of independent media. Finding an available food truck has been difficult, and I’m currently in talks with my favorite taco truck in town, so TBD regarding on-site eats. But! You can bring all sorts of delectable/nearby Northeast takeout onto the patio, which’ll be ground zero for the b-day hang⁠—just look for the Racket banners. We love our readers and can’t wait to meet more of y’all IRL. Free. 6-9 p.m. 2506 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Kendrick Lamar 

Xcel Energy Center

Yes, yes, “heavy is the head” and all that—we know, Kendrick. Those of us who don’t routinely get called the greatest rapper alive will have trouble relating to much of the pain and confusion K. Dot expresses on his latest, Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers. Like a lot of big shots, he worries about the fates, feelings, and reputations of other big shots too much. He gets tripped up on the potentially ground-breaking trans-sympathetic “Auntie Diaries” by stupidly thinking f-slurs add depth and color and accuracy to his verses. And unlike the jazz-hop experimentalism of To Pimp a Butterfly or the hard directness of Damn, the beats here won’t save Kendrick from himself. But! (You knew that was coming.) That just means his self-questioning stands out as more raw than ever, and, musically, his various tones of voice and cadence interact to create a complicated blur of perspectives. There are struggles with his masculinity, examinations of how pain is passed on through generations of Black families, and a vocal feature from Portishead’s Beth Gibbons. A hip-hop culture hero sounding less fucked up than this in 2022 would sound like a lie. Even when he puzzles needlessly over “cancel culture,” he doesn’t sound pigheaded, just confused. Who isn’t these days? With Baby Keem and Tanna Leone. $55 and up. 7:30 p.m. 199 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; find more info here. —Keith Harris

Renaissance Festival

Festival Grounds

Huzzah! Ren Fest doth returneth to Shakopee, land of Valleyfair, Canterbury, and this historically accurate 15th-century village. Spending the day at the Fest is a choose your own adventure kind of thing, with plenty to see, do, and explore. Theater ranges from pun-tastic comedy to full-on Shakespeare, while a variety of bards will take the stage to play tunes of yore. Jousting is always a must-see, and you can try your own athletic skills at the archery booth. Folks looking for a real metal sword, viking hat, cosplay items, or really nice pottery peruse a variety of shops. Theme weekends are worth considering as well, as many offer special events like free wine and beer tastings. And yes, this fest sells beer and wine, so bust out your drinking horn if you got one. Find tickets and more info at $15.50-$23.95 advance/$17.95-$26.95 at the gate; $63.95-$104.95 season pass. 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, plus Friday, September 5. 12364 Chestnut Blvd., Shakopee. Through October 2–Jessica Armbruster

Franz Ferdinand

Fillmore Minneapolis

If you were sad that streaming has largely killed off the old-school greatest hits album, well, Franz Ferdinand are here to help. The suave Scots who have collected 18 tracks (plus the customary two new add-ons) on a new best of Hits to the Head, most of which would likely make your own playlist, though maybe you’d be a little pickier about things as you entered their less spectacular second decade. But from 2003 opening track “Darts of Pleasure” till only working when they need the money and the diminishing returns of near-stardom take their toll, here’s a reminder of what a perky balm they were for those of us who found Julian Casablancas’s “give us nothing” poses enervating during the RockIsBack era. FF were sexy as advertised, with a swishy beat committed to the moment—neopostpunk for sure, but nobody’s throwback. And 20 years later, that Strokesy intro to “Take Me Out” is still a great head fake. $40. 7 p.m. 525 N. 5th St., Minneapolis. More info here.—Keith Harris


Fat Beach Day

Lake Nokomis Main Beach

From queer beach parties to Fat Beach Days, local organizations are celebrating all sizes and sexualities at Lake Nokomis this summer. This is the third Fat Beach Day that Cake Plus-Size Resale has hosted on Nokomis this year, as they’re hitting pause on their Fat Splash pool parties. Expect a casual, low-key hang—no formal RSVP or ticket necessary, BYO everything—where you can hang out with Cake’s staff and a whole bunch of fat babes while soaking up some sun or cooling off in the shade. While we’re at it, keep an eye on the body-positive consignment and thrift store’s website and/or Facebook to keep up with their other events, whether it’s the virtual “Fat Chats” series or their bi-weekly live sales. Free. 1-4 p.m. 5001 Lake Nokomis Pkwy. W., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Em Cassel


The Magic Flute: A Pickup Truck Opera

Various Locations

For the past 14 years, Mixed Precipitation has brought accessible opera shows to parks, gardens, and wineries throughout the metro and beyond. They used to go by “A Picnic Operetta,” but have rechristened themselves “A Pickup Truck Opera” as a nod to the 2011 Ford Ranger Pickup that serves as their ride and part of their stage. This year, they’ll be presenting their take on The Magic Flute, Mozart’s last production before he kicked it. The (modernized) plot follows a few young professionals facing burnout in their bullshit jobs, and explores the principles of Freemasonry. (Mozart was in the illuminati, y’all!) In addition to 18th century bangers, expect a few hits from Deee-Lite and Bjork. Make reservations at $10-$20 suggested donation. Through September 11 –Jessica Armbruster

Artist Designed Skyline Mini Golf

Walker Art Center

Now in its 15th year, Artist Designed Skyline Mini Golf returns to WAC for another season of putt putt played in the sky. No really: You’ll be heading up to the museum’s rooftop to play these 10 holes, which means you’ll see gorgeous city views in addition to the spectacle of the quirky course. The new hole this year, ​​Always Have Been Sewn, was designed by Asian American Organizing Project’s Youth Action Team, and was inspired by Hmong “story cloth,” a.k.a. a paj ntaub. Mini golf aficionado Tom Loftus also has two holes featured this year. $10. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday–Saturday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis. Through September 25 –Jessica Armbruster

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