Jillette Johnson opens for Mary Lambert at the Fine Line Music Cafe on Saturday, November 1

Saturday, November 1st, burgeoning singer-songwriter Jillette Johnson will be opening for Mary Lambert at the Fine Line Music Cafe in Minneapolis. Johnson's debut album, Water in a Whale, was released in June 2013 on Wind-up Records. The album features catchy pop songs like "Torpedo" and "Heathen," as well as the poignant "Cameron" which tells the story of a young boy grappling with his transgender identity. Johnson's lyrics are honest and self-reflective, which sets the stage seamlessly for Mary Lambert's fearless authenticity.

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Before the museums came: A virtual tour of the Twin Cities' arts heritage

Open Access Week (October 20-26) just wasn’t long enough to explore all the permutations on the theme. And so we saved the best for last with celebration of a most wonderful open access book. Before the Museums Came: A Social History of the Fine Arts in the Twin Cities, is the brilliant and beautiful creation of publisher, social historian and attorney Leo John Harris. The book and the creator deserve a bonus day of celebration.

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MUSIC PHOTOS | Mayda at New Century Sessions

Photos by Emmerlee Sherman

The New Century Sessions on October 29 opened with Mu Daiko, an innovative Japanese-style taiko drumming ensemble based in the Twin Cities. The ensemble plays new compositions, and infuses traditional melodies into its ever-expanding repertoire. Different members of the ensemble performed with Mayda for a few songs throughout the evening.

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Courage under fire: Girls on film

The Twin Cities Jewish Film Festival is spotlighting two female driven, award-winning films this week.

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Chick flick

I have to be the least likely writer anyone would peg as the author of a chick-flick novel. But, Black & Singles Blues (Indie Gypsy Press) is, cross my heart and hope to eat a dead frog, that very thing.

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TC Weekend | Free Ink Day, Free the Beast, Día de los Muertos celebrations and more!

My, how time flies! We’ve had a gorgeous fall, with sustained colors and above average temps. Now here we are at the cusp of November, which brings cooler weather and the close of TC Weekend for the year. The good times will roll on, however, with seasonal/holiday events and arts coverage!

Naturally, this weekend’s roster is heavy with Halloween and Dia de los Muertos happenings, and a few other fun events sprinkled in for good measure. In the midst of all the spooky revelry this weekend – don’t forget to set your clocks back an hour (2 am on Sunday) for Daylight Savings Time! 

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Dylan, Spider John, and the Purple Onion

I got to know Saint Paul and I got to know Bob Dylan because I got to know Bill Danielson. Bill owned the Pink Pizza Shack at Hiawatha and Lake in Minneapolis. In 1957 it was a hangout for me and my friends. Bill and his wife, MaryAnn, did pretty well there, but he wanted to be in Saint Paul, his hometown. He sold the Pizza Shack to brothers Duane and Lonnie Anderson, who changed the name to Dulono’s.

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THEATER REVIEW | The Importance of Being Fotis' "Farmhouse" at the Twin Cities Horror Festival

Robert (Mike Fotis) and Joyce (Debra Berger) have an awkward first (and last) meeting in Farmhouse as part of the Twin Cities Horror Festival; photography by Dan Norman

The publicity for the play Farmhouse from The Importance of Being Fotis for the Twin Cities Horror Festival makes things pretty clear:“On the morning of December 28, 1949, Joyce Slorjen, Robert Huxton and Ruth Huxton (formerly Slorjen) were found murdered in the home of Jack “Buddy” Slorjen. Come witness the hour before they were murdered.” The flyer purportedly from the Ashburg Gazette which audience members are admonished to read before attending the play gives the further detail that Robert and Ruth will die of gunshot wounds while Joyce will be strangled to death.

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REVIEW | "Panacea" with The Poor Nobodys at the Twin Cities Horror Festival

The music of The Poor Nobodys gives context to the modern silent film Panacea in the Twin Cities Horror Festival; photography by Dan Norman

When they described the film Panacea in the publicity materials for the Twin Cities Horror Festival as being in the style of David Lynch, it was a very apt way to sum it up. I recall being in the middle of watching Lynch’s Inland Empire and feeling like I was dreaming, even though I knew I was still awake and aware of being seated in someone’s living room watching something on a television screen. The combination of visuals and the soundtrack were so hypnotic that I began to lose track of the boundary between the thing on screen and in my ears, and the context of me and my place in reality. The work the musical group The Poor Nobodys do with Panacea elicits the same response.

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THEATER REVIEW | "Busytown: The Musical" at Children’s Theatre Company: Appreciation overflows at the sensory-friendly performance

One of the book scenes on which Busytown: The Musical is based. Illustration by Richard Scarry.

How do you express appreciation for a performance that you see? The Greeks of classical antiquity clapped at theatrical performances, certainly, but also shouted, stamped their feet, hissed, and hooted–both to show approval and disapproval. The ancient Romans were more likely to snap their fingers or wave part of their togas when at the arena; for a play, they normally withheld their acclamation until the phrase “Valete et plaudite” was intoned, indicating that the performance was over. In other contexts, silent appreciation was more of the norm–as accurately depicted in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette (2006), where the Austrian princess-cum-French queen discovers that applauding was a distinctly foreign concept at the royal opera house. In Deaf Culture, a common practice is to show appreciation by raising hands, stretching out the fingers, and quickly twisting the wrists. There are myriad ways of showing appreciation, some driven by ability (few of us can muster the toga wave outside of Halloween and select college parties) and some by convenience (e.g., orchestra musicians stomping their feet because their hands are full).

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