Archive for July, 2007

Neil Hamburger at the Triple Rock on Thursday


$10 at the door — the fun starts at 10 p.m.

For those of you who don’t know Neil Hamburger, he’s quite possibly the world’s premiere anti-comedian. This means that his act is so offensive, crudely conceived, artless and nasty that it actually wraps back around into sublime laughter. That’s the theory, anyway.

For anyone intrigued by this concept, here’s a nice clip of him in one of America’s finest TV shows, Tim and Eric Awesome Show: Great Job!

Community Blogging and Community Media

Two events taking place Thursday night:

  1. Dan Haugen of Northeast Beat will be presenting Your Neighborhood, Your News: Community Blogging 101 at the Minneapolis Central Library. You have to sign up and there’s a fee. (via Minnesota Monitor)
  2. Arise! Bookstore is showing Opening Access and hosting the producer, Tony Shawcross from Denver Open Media. “In a unique format which combines extensive archival footage with interviews and b-roll, Opening Access presents a compelling picture of an entirely new model for an alternative media system that could bring new communities and new voices into the media we see and hear.”

Southwest Journal gets with the times!

Not too long ago, Downtown Journal’s website got a major facelift. Sister publication Southwest Journal has completed the re-do as well.

RSS feeds! Web-only updates! Yay!

(I suppose a full-content feed would be too much to ask….)

The Alarmists blow the doors off First Ave.

I just got back from the Alarmists CD release show at First Ave, and I also picked up the freshly minted album “The Ghost and the Hired Gun” and goddamn if it isn’t as fantastic as the live show I just came from. I believe they played the new album through cover to cover, though a few Jack Daniels and Cokes prevent me from validating that, exactly. But I’m giving the new album a first listen right now, and I love it as much as the EP, “A Detail Of Soldiers”, which I couldn’t stop raving about when it came out,

It was great to see First Ave packed with their fans. Openers White Light Riot sounded great as well, and had a pretty decent crowd for an opening band themselves. I am most enthused with the general state of the local music scene here, which by my eyes is thriving in quite a well and alive state. I realize that we may have had periods where bigger things came up and out, especially in the 80s and 90s. But still, you can’t argue with an entirely local music show that sells out First Ave on a Friday night. You just can’t. I am so thrilled by all of this, in part because I’ve seen these guys all in bars with far fewer people. And to play the Ave. like that, well, that’s a seriously huge musical accomplishment. Best wishes to all of the bands that played tonight.

old = good. progress = good. So why can’t we do both?

This is likely semi-old news, but I think still worth mentioning…
MNSpeak has a short mention of Preserve Minneapolis.

Which actually quite nicely sums up something I have been ruminating on.
I drove by the old Ivy Tower (near the Orchestra Hall ramp) downtown this week, and was mildly appalled to see the giant new building which is beginning to encompass one of my favorite old buildings downtown. Got me to thinking how a) someone thinks the modern/ancient incongruency work together (sometimes they do… but definitely not in this case) and b) who’s balancing urban renewal and development (which I’m all for) with preserving some of the history around us?

I was really hopeful the Ivy Tower project would be a tick in the win column for working with existing period architecture, not just building something gargantuan around it. Sigh.

I may just join Preserve Minneapolis, after all. Max does mention they have cocktail soirees. I’m always game for that…

Related, does anyone know if there is (still) an organization dedicated to getting the Grain Belt sign lit up again?

It couldn’t have happened to a nicer company…

All over I’m seeing blog entries entitled “Shinders RIP”. The company has been going down in flames for awhile now, and all the stores have been closed for a few days, so I think it’s time for me to weigh in on it.

I feel bad for the people who lost their jobs, who weren’t getting paid, but Shinders was not a great company. They had a lot of really awful company policies, not the least of which was poor, bordering on abusive, customer service. (As an aside to that, some of the customers almost seemed a bit masochistic and enjoyed the abuse that they received from some of the employees.)

It’s tough when you want to support a small, local, independent business, over a large chain store. But what do you do when that small, local shop is run by people who treat their customers like crap, and is not a pleasant place to shop? Do you bite the bullet and continue to support local? Fortunately, here in the TC, we have many many choices for local companies, particularly for comics, games, etc. My hope is that another newsstand is able to fill the niche left by Shinders, for those wanting the magazine and newspaper selection, and hopefully, it’ll be run in a friendlier, more customer service oriented way.

Free concert: Mill City Live – White Light Riot

If you’re looking for something to do tonight, look no further than the Mill City Live series in the Ruins Courtyard right by the Mill City Museum.

Rockers White Light Riot will take the stage tonight in what is sure to be a great show. Full disclosure: two of the members of the band are my cousins. I’ve been to many of their shows, and these guys rock. I’m not just saying that because they are family, either.

The Mill City Live series has some great artists playing every first and third Thursday through September and all the shows are free.

I caught WLR at their recent CD release show at the Fine Line, and it was fantastic.

And if nothing else, this is a warmup for the mainroom show at First Ave on Friday, which is the CD release party for fellow rockers the Alarmists. WLR will open for them at that show. It’s worth catching as well!

The Mill City show starts at 6 pm tonight at the Mill City Museum, 704 South Second St, right near downtown Minneapolis.

Monitoring Metropolitan Minnesota Monthly Magazines in Minneapolis

Minnesota Monitor logoI am having the damndest time keeping these all straight, so I thought I’d write ’em all down in one place.

Minnesota Monitor – Goes mostly by MnMon. Political magazine. Content is most easily distinguishable from the rest. Because it’s political and doesn’t have a glossy print issue.

Minnesota Monthly logoMinnesota Monthly – Goes by MNMO. Also seen MinneMo. I always get this one confused with Minnesota Monitor when I see either of their abbreviated names in print. Of the four, I enjoy looking at their website the most. Their pretty website might be fooling me into thinking it’s hipper than it is, because this is the magazine you get with your MPR membership. (Yes, I’m an MPR member.)

Metro Magazine logoMetro Magazine – Goes by Metro. Sometimes by METRO (but maybe only they call themselves that). Their page always loads really slowly for me. Makes it damn near unusable.

MSP Mag logoMpls.St.Paul Magazine – Easily recognizable as MSP Mag. Target audience is richer and older than me (I’m 30-ish). Maybe some day, when I’ve bought my house on Lake of the Isles.

The latter three strike me as having pretty similar content. Cool, hip, in the know, finger on the pulse, the occasional new angle on the same perennial stories, what to do and where to be. The appeal, from youngest to oldest, goes Metro, then Minnesota Monthly, then MSP Mag.

I would even subscribe to Minnesota Monthly and Metro. As in, have the glossy print mag come to my house. If I subscribed to magazines. Which I don’t.

All three of these mags have bloggers, and their bloggers have RSS feeds, but no feeds for the articles. Boo! MSP Mag has the best multimedia offerings. In addition to their blogs, you can subscribe to their Daily Scroll. Their blogs have richer content (i.e., more like the rest of the mag’s content) than the other two. MSP Mag has podcasts as well, but those are not subscribable, best I can tell. Metro has this M-Club thing, but I get nothing when I click it, so I’m not even sure what it is.

So that’s my at-a-glance guide to these similarly named Minnesota publications. I know, know of, or have at least met someone that works for all four and they’re all good people who love what they do and work hard at it. I wouldn’t sneeze at any of these as a publication that provides something of interest. Just get the names straight first.

hot town, summer in the city

As a native Minnesotan, I feel like I have some sort of right to comment on weather regularly.
If you know me personally (or better yet, know my dad or grandma), you know this obsession with weather is actually a familial trait, something passed down to new generations in the Green genetic code.

That being said: good goddamn, it’s hot outside. The TCF tower flashed 75 degrees as I wandered into work at 7:30 this morning.

When it gets this sticky, all I want to do is sit in a lake. Thankfully, our fine city boasts a few of those. If you are thinking of playing hooky or otherwise heading out to the beach to cool off, I found some good information at the Minneapolis park and rec site (hours, rules, even water quality), and for my friends to the east, some places to swim in St. Paul, as well.

The Skeptical Diner: Common Roots

Common Roots, the new cafe over on Lyndale and 26th, has just destroyed one of my dreams. I was — I swear — 3-6 months away from creating a custom bagel-baking business out of my home. The bagels would have had a nice boiled exterior — but not too tough. The interior would have been flavorful and dense, but not too sour. The size would have been small, to preserve that perfect crisp-to-doughy ratio — rather than making those tire-sized things chain bagelrys often churn out.

But Common Roots has beaten me to the punch. Damn them. They’ve done an absolutely terrific job with their bagel selection — all classic flavors (plain, poppy seed, sesame seed), a real de-emphasis on flavored cream cheese, and a dedication to a really great product.

They even offer a fresh (and thus much creamier) cream cheese. If you live in Uptown and/or care about bagels, a visit is mandatory.

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