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Thai New Year, Vegan Meat Raffle, Queer Bazaar: This Week’s Best Events

Plus the world's largest bounce house is coming to town.

Minnesota Songkran Festival

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

MONDAY 5.23

Vegan Meat Raffle

Falling Knife Brewing Company

Meat raffles are iconic midwestern happenings—there’s something special about taking a chance on winning an insane amount of meat. But most of the time, if you don’t eat meat, you’re SOL if you want to partake in this time-honored tradition. Not so at Falling Knife’s Vegan Meat Raffle: This Monday, folks who buy raffle tickets have a chance to take home something super tasty from animal-free artisans Herbivorous Butcher. Tickets are $1 each, with 100% of the proceeds benefiting Herbivorous Acres, a nonprofit farm sanctuary. This feel-good food event will be fed by XmarX food truck, which will be serving up vegan sammies. Free. 6-9 p.m. 783 Harding St. NE, Minneapolis. –Jessica Armbruster

Credit: Diego Luis
Julian Saporiti aka No-No Boy

WEDNESDAY 5.25

No-No Boy

Cedar Cultural Center

It’s hard to describe Vietnamese-American academic Julian Saporiti’s historically rooted album 1975 in a way that doesn’t make it sound like the soundtrack to a book report. But even if Saporiti (his moniker derived from the name given the interned Japanese-Americans who resisted the draft in WWII) wasn’t drawing on Asian-American perspectives significantly underrepresented in U.S. pop, the way he reworks historical anecdotes, diasporan longings, and crosscultural images into actual songs—warm, funny, tender, catchy songs—would be something special. You have no idea how much you need to hear from the immigrant who returns to his homeland with mixed feelings in “Tell Hanoi I Love Her” (“sometimes I think the most Communist things.”), the Chinatown kid who loves the Ramones, and most of all, “The Best God Damn Band in Wyoming,” where bandleader George Igawa puts together a world-class swing band in a concentration camp. With Alicia Thao. All ages. $15 advance/$20 doors. 7:30 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S. Minneapolis; more info here.—Keith Harris

Makaya McCraven

Fine Line

Few noteworthy jazz musicians under 40 have fully escaped the pull of hip-hop—how could they? But even in a particularly wide-ranging moment of hybrid jazz innovation, French-born, Massachusetts-raised drummer Makaya McCraven stands out. As a producer as well as a musician, earning the title of “beat scientist” he flaunts on his website, McCraven has made some of the greatest advances in post-performance jazz editing since Teo Maceo and Miles Davis set the gold standard decades ago. His 2017 mixtape, Highly Rare, rearranged a single live show into something new; a year later, his breakthrough, Universal Beings, reconstituted a year’s worth of recordings into a dense set of compositions that confounds the categories of “arranged” and “improvised.” While I’ve been still trying to wrap my head around it, McCraven’s released two remix projects: We’re New Again, another take on Gil Scott-Heron’s final album, and Deciphering the Message, for which Blue Note Records set him loose in its archives. With Dosh. $20-$40. 8:30 p.m. 318 N. First Ave., Minneapolis; more info here.—Keith Harris

Credit: Photo by Richard Foreman/20th Century Fox/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock
Friendship!

THURSDAY 5.26

Point Break

The Parkway Theater

Forget The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty. Oscar Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow’s real masterpiece is Point Break, a magical cheeseball of a movie. The plot is simple: An F.B.I. agent (baby Keanu Reeves) suspects that a group of surfers are also bank robbers. So he goes undercover as a surfer, and befriends the gang’s leader, played by peak-form Patrick Swayze. They soon form a bromance for the ages, bonding over surfing, skydiving, and beach bonfires. Will Keanu betray his bud? Wouldn’t it be hard to rob a bank in one of those rubber Ronald Regan masks that are so hard to see in? Find out at this screening. $9-$12. 7 p.m. 4814 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis.–Jessica Armbruster

FRIDAY 5.27

Caterwaul Fest

Multiple venues

“Noise, electro-punk, punk, garage, metal, hardcore the list goes on… How bout we just refer to it as the ‘subgenre fest?’” Caterwaul organizer Rainer Fronz told New Noise of the fest, which was originally scheduled for 2020 before… well, you know. Now, finally, around 50 bands from across the country will descend, amps cranked, for a four-day marathon of noises that fall somewhere under the broader punk umbrella. Among the local notables: ’90s punk faves Arcwelder on Saturday and the inimitable, ear-drum-bursting Gay Witch Abortion on Sunday. Be sure to catch hardcore act Murf on Monday, the recent Racket profile subjects happen to be Shaq’s favorite Minneapolis punk band. Ditto for Scrunchies on Sunday. The noisy weekend goes down at Mortimer’s (Fri.) and Palmer’s (Sat.-Mon.). $30-$35 per day; find more info here.–Jay Boller

Belle & Sebastian 

Palace Theatre

It’s easy to take Belle & Sebastian for granted. There’s enough distance from their classic albums—including one of the best hat tricks in indie history, 1996’s Tigermilk and If You’re Feeling Sinister into 1998’s Boy with the Arab Strap. Plus, the clever Scottish group’s twinkling, twee indie-pop isn’t an ideal soundtrack for the current End Times. But, at the same time, throw on “I’m a Cuckoo” and try not to smile. Stuart Murdoch’s crew keeps churning away, having released three albums during the last decade. Their upcoming one, A Bit of Previous, is due out via Matador in May. It’s being billed as a return-to-form B&S album, and the video for single “If They’re Shooting at You” carries a pro-Ukraine message. Divino Niño opens. $39.50-$65. 7 p.m. 17 W. Seventh Place, St. Paul; find more info here. –Jay Boller

Credit: Minnesota Songkran Festival
Mmmmm, Thai food.

SATURDAY 5.28

Minnesota Songkran Festival

State Capital

สุขสันต์วันสงกรานต์! For Racket’s vast English-speaking readership, that means “happy Songkran day,” the celebration of Thai New Year. The Thai Cultural Council of Minnesota expects up to 25,000 attendees at this year’s event, which will aim to spread “Asian joy” during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month amid an atmosphere of increasing intolerance. Among the festivities set for outside the Capital: a whole lotta delicious Thai food, a papaya salad eating contest, cultural performances on a stage imported from Thailand, arts ‘n’ crafts, Thai boxing, Tuk-Tuk vehicles, a blessing booth for the soul, and a photo booth for the selfies. Free. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sat.; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sun. 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul; find more info here.–Jay Boller

Queer Bazaar: Sexy Spring Edition

The Aliveness Project

This afternoon, the Aliveness Project hosts a festival filled with artists, makers, health resources, queer vibes, and a marketplace featuring around 30 queer owned and operated businesses. That includes cool visual art such as intricate drawings from Casper Warren Art, beauty products from Hannah’s Paradise, and leatherwork from Datura Leather. Free health services include STD screenings, info on HIV programs, and acupuncture. There will also be podcasters, advocates, and some people who want to turn a golf course into a public sex forest. Sounds like fun! Free. Noon to 5 p.m. 3803 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis. –Jessica Armbruster

Bayou, Beer, and Booze Crawfish Boil

Bent Brewstillery

Roseville is transforming into the Big Easy, at least outside the state’s first microbrewery/distillery. “We’re boilin’ hundreds of pounds of crawfish with corn and taters and more spices than you can shake a craw daddy at,” Bent Brewstillery owner Bartley Blume assures us. Also on the menu: chicken/sausage jambalaya (“for those not ready for the mud bug experience”) and the Minnesota Hurricane–a twist on the notorious NOLA cocktail made with Bent’s Storm Bringer spiced rum. Live tunes will come courtesy of local Cajun boogie/blues band the Swamp Kings. Reservations are required and can be made until Wednesday; the tented event is going down come rain or shine. $10-$13 for food. 2-9 p.m. 1744 Terrace Dr., Roseville; find more info here.–Jay Boller

The Big Bounce America 2022

Aquila Park

When you’re a kid, bounce houses and ball pits are the most amazing things ever. Then, we grow up and stop bouncing and balling. This traveling bounce city, however, invites folks to try bouncing again as a grown-ass adult. The Big Bounce is the biggest of its kind in the world. A ticket scores you three hours of wobbly, jumpy chaos in a variety of situations. There will be obstacle courses, giant slides, and ball pits, a sports zone where you can try your hand at a variety of games, and a chill alien-themed calmer bounce zone. Yes, in addition to adult bounce house sessions, there are also times set aside for toddlers, big kids, and teens, but the chance to bounce around without fear of crashing into a child and killing them is priceless. Find tickets and more info at thebigbounceamerica.com. $20-$40. 3110 Xylon Ave., St. Louis Park. Through June 6–Jessica Armbruster

Credit: The Big Bounce America
This balloon city is coming to town.