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Valentine’s Day Fun, Monster Trucks, RXKNephew: This Week’s Best Events

Is this the most romantic Event Horizon of the year? Probably.

12:25 PM CST on February 13, 2023

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RXKNephew

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

MONDAY 2.13

Up-Down is for Lovers

Up-Down

With all due apologies to the white-tablecloth crowd, we can’t imagine a better Valentine’s Day date than the one being offered for $35 at this Lyn-Lake bar/arcade*: six domestic tallboys, 80 game tokens, a heart-shaped pizza, and a goddamn Up-Down fanny pack. That’s love, baby. You don’t need any reservations, and you certainly don’t need any pretensions. $35. Monday and Tuesday. 3012 Lyndale Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller 

*The lawyers at Barcade, which is apparently its own, trademarked thing shook us down for using their term. The copy has been updated.

TUESDAY 2.14

Box of Chocolates Flight Night

Indeed Brewing Co.

Looking for a fun date-night activity? Try sharing a beer flight. Whether you're on a first date and in need of an icebreaker or you’re just enjoying some quality time with your longtime sweetie, sampling your way through brews should give you plenty to talk about. Share which ones you love and why, hand off the ones you hate, and, if the mood is right, get a full pint of your favorite to extend your evening. This V-Day, Indeed is hosting an especially sweet flight night, offering four selections of candy-inspired brews: the maple/cacao loaded Moon Dance Dry Stout, the berrylicious and tart Lemon Wheel Cream Ale, a vanilla- and coconut-infused Cream Ale, and a classic Pistachio Cream Ale. Drink it at the brewery or get one in a to-go in a crowler. 3-11 p.m. 711 15th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.Jessica Armbruster

WEDNESDAY 2.15

Sugar in Our Wounds

Penumbra Theatre

Set in the antebellum South just before the start of the Civil War, Sugar in our Wounds tells the tale of queer love between Black slaves Henry and James. Henry is new to the plantation, sold and separated from his family (“Instead of hanging us, they tear us apart. That feels worse than being hanged, I imagine.”) It’s a tear-jerker of a play, but it also allows space for surrealism (there’s a singing tree), humor, and queer joy. Written by Donja R. Love, Sugar is the first in a trilogy, with other installments covering the Civil Rights Movement and Black Lives Matter. Find tickets and more info online. 270 N. Kent St., St. Paul. Through March 19Jessica Armbruster

That's brutal, baybee!Event Promo

THURSDAY 2.16

Brutal Utopias: Architecture as Archive in the Cedar-Riverside Neighborhood

Nicholson Hall 135, University of Minnesota

The official Racket position on brutalist architecture is: We love it. (Bite us, Lileks.) So we’re pumped about this talk from Macalester prof Morgan Adamson about her recent film, Brutal Utopias, a critical history of the Cedar-Riverside towers. When the buildings went up, their architectural design was considered progressive and, yes, utopian. They were later deemed a hideous mistake, and were finally claimed by East African immigrants as their home. Joining the conversation will be Adamson’s collaborator on the project, Sisco Omar, a Cedar-Riverside resident. Follow this Twitter account if you’d like to pregame for the event. OK, I’m gonna go be sad about what they did to Peavey Plaza now. Free. 4:30 p.m. 216 Pillsbury Dr. SE, Minneapolis; find more info here.—Keith Harris

"Astroturf"

FRIDAY 2.17

Astroturf

Gamut Gallery

Seventy years later, mid-century modern still has a hold on us. Why? Is it the promise of a clean, streamlined future? A reaction to the maximalist aesthetics of previous eras? The fact that it can be cheaply mass produced by places like Amazon and IKEA? Let’s be real; it’s probably that last one. But mid-century modern has more in common with our era than furniture. With it came implied consumerism, as these weren’t family heirlooms (though these days they sometimes are). An artificiality comes with it, too, as the style is often paired with plastics or Bakelite, synthetics like pleather, and fake versions of real things (think pink Christmas trees and fake grass). “Astroturf,” Gamut Gallery’s first show of 2023, will explore these aspects of mid-century modern through a variety of mediums, including monoprints (Genie Castro), pool pics and abstract works (Neal Breton), Palm Springs travel photography (Nicole Mueller), and installations using both real and artificial plants (Human Shape Animal). See it for yourself at the opening reception this Friday, February 17, from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $7 presale, $10 door (order them here). 717 10th St. S., Minneapolis. Through March 18Jessica Armbruster

TruAnon Live

Fine Line

This terrific podcast approaches everything conspiracy-adjacent from a zany leftist perspective, while rarely wading into tinfoil-hat territory. Co-host and “unlicensed private investigator” Brace Belden is funnier than most standups; his partner, Liz Franczak, dives deeper into their topics—Jeffrey Epstein, brat camps, oxycontin—than most anyone in the comedy pod landscape. Of all the branches to grow from the Chapo Trap House tree, TruAnon has built the most fully realized universe for itself. It’s one that fans are eager to support, as the show pulls in almost $100K per month via Patreon. $25-$40. 7 p.m. 318 N. First Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Rawr!Feld Motorsports

SATURDAY 2.18

Monster Jam

U.S. Bank Stadium

Time to put on your Grave Digger T-shirt and yell at the big trucks: Monster Jam is back at U.S. Bank Stadium this weekend. They’ve got the one that looks like a shark, the one that looks like Scooby Doo, the one that looks like a mean old bull… you know the drill. Watch ‘em all fly off jumps and do backflips and whip shitties in the dirt for as little as 15 bucks. Never been to a Monster Jam before? Check out this compilation of the best Monster Jam moments (it’s mostly crashes and explosions), fall in love instantly, and then get your tickets here. All ages. $15-$130. 7 p.m. Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. 401 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis.—Em Cassel

NE Makers Market and Bar Hop

Northeast Minneapolis

It’s the first NE Neighborhood Makers Market and Bar Hop of 2023! From Indeed Brewing Co. to BūCH - Hard Kombucha and Seltzer to 612 Brew to Tattersall Distilling, shop an array of jewelry, knit goods, home decor, soap, prints, candles, and more—and do it with a drink in your hand. It’s free to attend and family-friendly, and, if the forecast at the time of this writing can be trusted, it’s going to be a balmy 38 degrees. Can you afford not to walk around Northeast drinking and shopping during this extended fool’s spring we’re having? Free. 1-6 p.m. Find all the info here.—Em Cassel

Maggie Rogers 

The Armory 

Rogers named her current Feral Joy Tour as such because she thinks her latest album, July’s Surrender, sounds like, well, “feral joy.” Unclear why she didn’t give it the much better title Feral Joy, but that’s above our paygrade. In any case! The Tisch-schooled Marylander has exploded in recent years, writing relatable sad-girl songs with the propulsive vigor of an East Coast Haim. Like Weezer creep Rivers Cuomo before her, Rogers studied at Harvard as she prepped her sophomore album; unlike Cuomo, she emerged with an undeniably hooky pop-rock product that packs enough arty and soulful flourishes to keep things interesting. “Right now, the joy on the record feels like the greatest form of rebellion,” she recently told the New York Times of Surrender. “I think part of creating anything is having hope that there is something else that’s possible. I feel like I don’t have any other choice.” Del Water Gap opens. $87-$125. 500 S. Sixth St., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

RXKNephew

7th St Entry

Pay his fee and this Rochester, New York, rapper will rhyme over your beat, post the results to his YouTube channel, and possibly never think of it again. Nephew posted more than a track a day in 2021, and though he seems to have slowed down in 2022, he’s still prolific verging on profligate. His free flowing, aggro delivery is horrorcore in style if not always in sound, and with gonzo titles like “Unsubscribe Me & Don’t Buy My Music” he takes aim at any and all targets. (“Don't compare mе to Biggie, he was fat and ugly as fuck / My raps better than Pac without the rape case.”) If you’re down with his program, then his masterpiece is the truly loopy, nearly 10-minute-long “American tterroristt,” a mix of Biblical exegesis, conspiracy theories, and ornery cussing dedicated to the proposition that “It's a fucked up world with fucked up people.” Nephew is, as they say, just asking questions: “Explain to me why the fuck Benjamin Franklin stood his ass up on the roof/How he discover somethin' out the sky? If that's the case, T-Rex discovered it.” Yeah, smart guy, explain that! $18.50/$20. 9 p.m. 701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Keith Harris

SUNDAY 2.19

Margo Price

First Avenue 

Raised in small-town Illinois—a “Midwest farmer’s daughter,” as her debut’s title put it—Price headed south and became a fixture on the East Nashville folk-country songwriter scene. From the get-go, she’s articulated how Nashville exploits, excludes, and otherwise fucks over female artists, and how the moneyed elite do the same to all of us, particularly the small farmer. She’s continued to explore these themes, while also writing some sharply observed relationship songs on her most recent album, 2020’s That’s How Rumors Get Started, and her new memoir, Maybe We’ll Make It, released in October, finds her typically outspoken and well-spoken. With Lola Kirke. $30/$32. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; find more info here.Keith Harris 

Minnesota Ice Castle

ONGOING

The Minnesota Ice Maze

Viking Lakes

Getting lost in a pile of ice and snow in nature? Potentially deadly! Getting lost in an ice maze during this ongoing party in Eagan? Potentially a lotta fun! This year, Vikings Lakes has brought in over one million pounds of ice to create an epic maze that will take guests through a half-mile of disorienting twists, turns, and beautiful icy spectacle. Oh, and there’s also a slippery ice slide, of course. Once you make it out, you can enjoy the trappings of Winter SKOLstice, a free festival featuring a warming house with drinks and food from Omni, plenty of bonfires, and free ice rinks for skating, curling, and pond hockey (just bring skates). Special events scheduled during the winter include trivia nights, live music, a winter princess gathering, and a Cry Baby Craig’s hot sauce night where the maze will be lit red and orange and a special spicy menu will be offered. Find tickets and more info at minnesotaicemaze.com. $14.14-$26.14. 4-10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.  2645 Vikings Circle, Eagan. Open daily through February 19Jessica Armbruster

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 icecastles.com/minnesota. $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

Argentine Noir

The Heights

The amazing thing about film noir is just how damn much of it there is, yet lots of us keep watching the same dozen (admittedly great!) Hollywood examples over and over. That’s where this annual series, now in its fourteenth year, comes in, exposing us to the dark corners of cinematic crime we might otherwise have overlooked. The four movies this year emerge from postwar Peronist Argentina, a time and place whose films I’m sure no expert in. I’m a little tardy bringing this to your attention: The festival began last week with Hardly a Criminal (Apenas un delincuente). But that still leaves us with three more installments, each with suitably noirish titles, none of which you’re likely to have seen before: The Beast Must Die (La Bestia debe morir), The Bitter Stems (Los tallos amargos) and The Black Vampire (El Vampiro Negro). 3951 Central Ave. NE, Columbia Heights; find prices, showtimes, and more info here. Through February 23—Keith Harris

Funhouse Waiting Room

Rosalux Gallery

Artist Mary Gibney draws inspiration from a variety of sources: dive bars, old circus photography, the Hamm’s sign, old-school matchbooks, a 1959 Wards Catalog. Her latest collection of pieces, featured in “Funhouse Waiting Room,” includes paintings, drawings, collages, and prints filled with bartenders, giant martini glasses, deer heads on walls, and ghost patrons from previous binge drinking expeditions. Her portraits of circus strong men examine  homoeroticism, gender expression, and fluidity (sometimes she swaps the men for cats because, why not?). This joyous exhibition should be a little odd, definitely a good time, and won’t give you a hangover. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, February 4, from 7-10 p.m. 315 West 48th Street, Minneapolis. Through February 26–Jessica Armbruster

Black 2 the Future: An Afrofuturistic Experience

Artspace Jackson Flats

Does the future look bright or is it bleak and dystopian? That glass-half argument is up to the artist, but the future is definitely Black in this group show. Coined in the ‘90s, the term “Afrofuturism” is an art movement that speculates on the future while celebrating Black culture, history, and perspectives, be it through literature (Octavia Butler), movies (Black Panther), music (Janelle Monae), and more. See it in action at this gallery show, which will feature the artwork of Ron Brown, Christopheraaron Deanes, seangarrison, Shae Maze, Christopher E. Harrison, Dio.Mpls, and Jordan Malcom. Futuristic looks are encouraged at the opening reception, so if you have a sexy robot costume, now’s your chance to shine. $10 suggested donation. 5-9 p.m.; artwork will be up through February 29. 901 18th ½ Ave. NE, Minneapolis.Jessica Armbruster

Out There 2020: Sarah Michelson, /\ March 2020 (4pb)

Walker Art Center

For nearly 20 years, U.K.-born, NYC-based performer Sarah Michelson has created pieces often performed outside of traditional stages, tumbling about the Walker’s galleries and even the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. She works hard to create movements that may look impromptu or off-the-cuff, but are typically planned and practiced down to the breath. But her latest work, “Sarah Michelson: /\ March 2020 (4pb),” is an exhibition, not a performance piece. Here guests will be able to peruse a variety of ephemera, all laid out with the Walker in mind (the pieces are now part of the museum’s permanent collection). At the opening reception, which will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. during the Walker’s weekly Free Thursday Nights party, Michelson will discuss her work with Kristin Van Loon and Arwen Wilder of the two-woman dance troupe HIJACK. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis. Through April 23Jessica Armbruster

Message from Our Planet: Digital Art from the Thoma Collection

Weisman Art Museum

Good news, everyone—it’s spring. At least at the Weisman, whose spring 2023 exhibition, “Message from Our Planet: Digital Art from the Thoma Collection,” opens this week. Inspired by the Voyager 1 spacecraft, which was used as a repository of human culture on Earth, the idea is to offer a sort of time capsule from artists working in digital media to the people of the future. To that end, the exhibit gathers the work of 19 artists who use software, video, and light technology as their media. Among those featured are Hong Hao, Jenny Holzer, Lee Nam Lee, Christian Marclay, Tabita Rezaire, and Robert Wilson. The opening night party from 7 to 11 p.m. this Thursday, February 9, will include ambient projects, DJ tunes, and food from Vinai Bites at Union Hmong Kitchen. Tickets are $25; admission is otherwise, as always, free. 333 E. River Pkwy, Minneapolis; find more info here. Through May 21–Keith Harris

Fluidity: Identity in Swedish Glass

American Swedish Institute

Glass artist Jo Andersson doesn’t just want you to gaze upon her works. She wants you to experience them as a meditative tool for self reflection. “Being is a light installation which is intended to help bring individuals into the present moment,” she says via artist’s statement. “I wanted to create a safe space where viewers could lose themselves and fully experience the work as well as their responses to the work.” So, what does that entail? At ASI, you’ll enter a dimmed room full of glass sculptures filled with water. You’ll be encouraged to use camera phones to illuminate pieces and place with the lighting. From there? Take some time for self reflection. (If nothing else, this show should make for some good visual ASMR.) In addition to Andersson’s ambitious installation, the exhibition will also showcase pieces by female glass artists from the museum’s permanent collection. Friday’s opening night party will feature an artist’s talk, live music, an outdoor glass and fire installation, and a hands on glass activity from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $25. 2600 Park Ave., Minneapolis.Through May 28–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, nationalphilistine.com. 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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