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Tattoo Arts, Godzilla Science, and a Shrek Rave: This Week’s Best Events

Oh, and one of the few ice fests that isn't canceled this winter...

11:09 AM CST on January 2, 2024

Monsters, comedy, and tunes this week.

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

TUESDAY 1.2

Last Week: 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. There will also be familiar Twin Cities structures and incredibly complex recreations of historical landmarks. The neighborhood includes submissions from creative kids, artsy hobbyists, and full-time professional bakers, making this wonderland a really cool variety of skill, technique, and imagination. Find tickets and more information online. $15; free for kids under 12. Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday and Tuesday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. 913 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis. Through January 7—Jessica Armbruster

Jeremiah WatkinsPromo

THURSDAY 1.4

Jeremiah Watkins 

Acme Comedy Co.

According to the L.A. comedian’s bio: “Jeremiah Watkins is heralded as the comedian for making Judd Apatow fall in love with comedy again, and that’s a direct quote from Judd himself!” Commendable if true! Born in Kansas, Watkins has toed the line between standup and improv through his career, having trained with Second City and The Groundlings while working the club circuit. His second hour-long special, Daddy, came out earlier this year. It’s sharp, tight, playful, and packed with slice-of-life bits that feel fresh—real pro’s pro stuff. $25-$40. 8 p.m. Thursday; 7 and 9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday. 708 N. First St., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller 

Monster Science First Thursdays: Dragon Scale

Bryant Lake Bowl & Theater

We’re noted fans of Rev. Matt’s Monster Science, an ongoing live show that’s like The Twilight Zone if it was hosted by Bill Nye. So what better way to kick off the new year than by joining the good Reverend for an evening all about monsters and measurements? This month, Matt is joined by Minneapolis comedian Danna Sheridan (who’s also an actual engineer) to talk about the “bizarro ways” in which real things are measured, and, on the more fantastical side, the reasons certain monsters have the measurements they do. $12. 6 p.m. 810 W. Lake St., Minneapolis; find tickets and more info here.—Em Cassel

David Berman Tribute Show

The White Squirrel Bar

I was one of the last people to interview the late, great David Berman. As I wrote in a Q&A published the day after the Silver Jews/Purple Mountains mastermind died in 2019 by suicide at 52: “In both his songs and his poems, Berman snugly fit dazzling imagery, razor-sharp wordplay, effortless humor, and world-weary melancholy into deft couplets, all delivered through his drawling, unmistakable deadpan growl. The musical arrangements that showcased his lyricism ranged from cowboy shuffles to mournful twang to herky-jerky psychedelia… losing [him] hurts like hell.” Almost five years later, fans still miss the hell outta the singular singer-songwriter/poet, as this tribute showcase featuring Twin Cities musicians makes clear. Among the locals tipping their caps to Berman via his timeless songs: Emmy Woods, Dot Operator, Stressica, the Cottonwood Shivers, Cara Lillian, New Seven, and Gabe Berkovski. If nothing else, the free show is a great excuse to check out St. Paul’s White Squirrel, which we hear is a real hoot. Free. 8 p.m. 974 Seventh St. W., St. Paul; find more info here.—Jay Boller  

Shrek Rave: Definitely not the stuff of nightmares. Noooope.Instagram

FRIDAY 1.5

Shrek Rave

First Avenue

“It’s dumb just come have fun.” So reads the promotional pitch for Shrek Rave, a dance night themed around everyone’s favorite Scottish ogre. For irony-soaked millennials who spend too much time online (hello!), the 2001 animated film has sprouted a cottage industry of memes and in-jokes, a phenomenon that L.A. host/artist Jordan Craig first translated into a dance night few years ago. By 2022, the Grey Lady was writing about his lime-green party. “When people say there’s a Shrek rave, where else are you going to go?” Nick, a 28-year-old raver, told the New York Times. “I found out about this a day and a half ago. I wish I knew earlier, I would have brought earwax.” In what trippy, bass-throbbing ways will Shrek, Donkey, Lord Farquaad, and the gang manifest in the Mainroom, which’ll be rebranded as “The Swamp,” tonight? You gotta see for yourself. (P.S. Did you know the late, great Chris Farley was originally planned to voice Shrek? Check out these fantastic early recordings.) Another themed party, RaveQuest⏤A Medieval Dance Night, takes over First Ave on Saturday. $32-$37. 9 p.m. 701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Minneapolis Tattoo Arts Festival

Hyatt Regency Minneapolis

Tattoo who?! Tattoo you! Racket is a tat-friendly website, despite the fact only 25% of its ownership group “has ink,” as they say. (Can you guess whether the author of the previous sentence has any?) This annual celebration of tattoo culture brings nationally known artists (Penny Boy Tattoo, Alexandra Fische, Jack Hatchet, Fong Vang, Cleen Rock One, Emily Elegado), live entertainment (Robert Mukes from House of 1,000 Corpses, circus sideshow star Reggie Bügmüncher, skin-stretching Cenobyte Suspension), educational seminars, vendors, contests, and a whole lot more to the ol’ downtown Hyatt. $25 daily; $50 three-day pass. 1300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; find more info here. Through Sunday—Jay Boller

Why KhaliqPromo

SATURDAY 1.6

Why Khaliq 

Icehouse

This prolific St. Paul rapper hasn’t headlined a show in five years, but he’s been plenty busy during that time. His new eight-track EP, Road Runner, dropped at the end of September, just a year after he released the album NORTH BABY, a collaboration with producer Smokey Visions. On his latest release, Khaliq remains smooth as ever without being slick, and the vibey tracks match his sensibilities, with synths washing unobtrusively over the beats. Album highlights include “Brodies,” with its ping-ponging “wassup”s, and the fast-paced “Speed Bumps,” with an assist from fellow MN MC Knucky. With Cashinova and JakiBlue. $16.17. 9 p.m. 2528 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Keith Harris

SUNDAY 1.7

Radio K’s Frostbite Residency

7th St Entry

Everyone’s favorite umm-ing DJs are taking over the Entry for two Sundays of local music to kick off the new year. This week, that means TABAH, Carnage The Executioner, student 1, and SoulFlower; next week, it’s Gramma, RiGBY, Mold, and Psylo. (And hey: We’ll take any chance to re-share last year’s excellent, extra-long Racket oral history on Radio K in honor of its 30th anniversary.) Don’t get frostbite—do enjoy two nights of live music for the bargain basement price of 12 bucks. 18+. $12. 7 p.m. N. 7th St., Minneapolis; tickets and more info here. Also January 14—Em Cassel

Winter Ice Festival

Centennial Lakes 

To divert you from the omnipresent dread that accompanies a mostly iceless Minnesota winter, let’s all enjoy every “ice” pun from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s portrayal of Mr. Freeze in 1997’s Batman & Robin! Feel better? No? Not really? Um, well, uh, here’s hoping our new climate reality provides ample winter conditions for the Winter Ice Festival, a free family-friendly party that’s hitting Centennial Lakes. You can expect appearances from Frozen characters, horse-drawn carriage rides, and DJs providing an ice-skating soundtrack at Edina’s idyllic public rink. Free. 1-4 p.m. 7499 France Ave. S., Edina; find more info here.—Jay Boller 

Cara Romero, 'TV Indians,' 2017. Courtesy of the artist.Provided

ONGOING

In Our Hands: Native Photography, 1890 to Now

Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Native photography past and present are showcased in Mia’s latest exhibit, “In Our Hands.” The collection, curated by Indigenous artists and scholars, covers over 130 years with imagery from First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and Native American photographers, from early historical documentation to thoroughly modern photoshoots. “I truly believe that it is important for the legacy of all photographers to know this history, and it is the history of the land you are more than likely standing upon,” says consulting curator Jaida Grey Eagle. With over 150 images on display, the exhibition isn’t tied to time and place, rather in themes. The first section explores Indigenous connections to the natural world, with highlights from foundational, mid-century, and female photographers. The second collection explores Native leadership, past present, and future, while the final section celebrates perseverance. Related events include an opening party, group discussions, an educators’ evening, and meetups. $20; 17 and under are free. 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis. Through January 14, 2024—Jessica Armbruster

Winter Warmup

U.S. Bank Stadium 

Back in 2020, we made a pretty convincing—though logistically slight—case for bringing back the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The need has never been greater. Consider this column from reliably great Strib columnist Jennifer Brooks. In it, she waxes nostalgic for the era of the Rollerdome, when Twin Cities families could zip around the Dome’s ol’ concrete concourses on the cheap. A true hoot! Then, Brooks revealed the pricing for U.S. Bank Stadium’s so-called Winter Warm-Up skating/running hours—$15 fuckin’ dollars after fees! Through Ticketmaster! At the risk of editorializing, what absolute money-grubbing, deranged horseshit. Brooks notes that state and Minneapolis taxpayers collectively coughed up about half the cost to build the (already crumbling) $1 billion shrine to concussions and dead birds, which is still, somehow, laughably billed as “The People’s Stadium” by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. Minnesota’s all-time greatest photo proves more prophetic by the year. In any case, scooting around the stadium might be fun if you can afford it. $15. 5-9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. 401 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here. Through January 25—Jay Boller

The Fifteenth Film Noir Series: Neo-Noir

Trylon & The Heights

Noir is a pretty expansive genre to begin with, and neo-noir can be even more capacious. The 18 films that make the Trylon’s 15th annual noir festival seem chosen to highlight this genre’s elasticity. The series began last night with William Friedkin’s To Live and Die in L.A., which continues through Tuesday, and wraps up on February 29 (oh hey, 2024 is a leap year) with the unconventional Steve Martin musical Pennies From Heaven. The other selections stretch back to 1967 for the New Hollywood jumpstarter Bonnie and Clyde and Seijun Suzuki’s avant-yakuza flick Branded to Kill; the most recent film is Bi Gan’s slow cinema landmark Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Chinatown, maybe the most perfect neo-noir of ’em all, and the Coen Brothers’ Irish gangster flick, Miller’s Crossing, will show at the Heights. Don’t miss Bob Hoskins in The Long Good Friday (British gangsters are so grubby). Or Kathryn Bigelow’s sci-fi tale of police brutality, Strange Days. Or—dammit I knew I shouldn’t have started making recommendations, now it’s hard to stop. 2820 E. 33rd St, Minneapolis; find times, dates, prices, and more info here. Through February 29—Keith Harris

Multiple Realities: Experimental Art in the Eastern Bloc, 1960s–1980s 

Walker Art Center

What does subversive art look like when the artist knows the government is watching? For a sampling of the creativity that arises under oppressive circumstances, take a cruise through “Multiple Realities,” an exhibition spanning two decades of work by artists from East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia. The collection, not commonly seen in the U.S., includes underground club photography, found objects turned into statements, witty scribbles, and images from performances with heavy nods to queer life, ironic humor, political dissonance, and, perhaps most important here, interpretative deniability. The exhibition opens on Friday with a Walker After Hours Party, followed by a free opening-day talk with pop-up performances in the galleries on Saturday. For a complete schedule of related events, check online. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis. Through March 10, 2024—Jessica Armbruster

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