We thought the Rolling Stones’ return to Minneapolis on Oct. 24 was a big deal. Well, it is; they are the Stones, and they’ll rock U.S. Bank Stadium during their “No Filter” tour. Get tickets here, complete with sticker shock.
But the Aug. 18 concert at Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth, announced yesterday, looks like a once-in-a-lifetime affair. More than a concert, “Water Is Life: Stop Line 3” is a music, art, and cultural festival to celebrate water and protest the Line 3 tar sands pipeline making its way through Northern Minnesota’s waterways and Anishinaabe lands in a time of climate crisis and drought.
Hosted by Winona LaDuke, who recently spent three days in Aitkin County Jail, the concert will feature Bon Iver, Lissie, Low’s Alan Sparhawk, Charlie Parr, David Huckfelt, Annie Humphrey, Mumu Fresh and Ojibwe Nation singer Dorene Day Waubanewquay, among others, with more TBA.
The artists will donate their time, First Avenue will handle the production, MPR’s the Current will provide promotional support, and all proceeds will benefit the indigenous women-led Honor the Earth nonprofit in its fight against Enbridge’s Line 3 construction in Native treaty lands. Local organic food vendors, regionally sourced food and beverages, and organizations working for sustainability, Indigenous rights and clean water will be onsite.
For many participating artists, this event will mark their first concert performance in more than a year.
Because there’s so darned much going on. V is for virtual, L is for live and in person.
V Today (Thursday, July 29) at 2 p.m. CST: Gao Hong and Issam Rafea Duo on Tiny Desk Contest Top Shelf. Will you be near a streaming device this afternoon? (Won’t we all?) Go here to see a music video by Chinese pipa player and composer Gao Hong and Syrian oud player Issam Rafea, one of five chosen from more than 3,000 from all 50 states to be part of a livestreamed NPR listening party. Their video will appear in episode 2 of the Tiny Desk Contest Top Shelf series, co-hosted by Phoebe Bridgers and Tiny Desk creator Bob Bollen, that will also include a live YouTube chat. Note: Gao and Rafea were scheduled for a CD release concert at the Cedar on April 24, 2020. The cancellation was a big disappointment all around. That concert will now take place on Oct. 10. FMI.
L Today (Thursday, July 29, through Sunday, July 31) in North Minneapolis: FLOW Northside Arts Crawl 2021. The non-juried, self-guided tour of studios, galleries, theaters, and spaces along West Broadway and satellite locations starts Thursday with a virtual artist talk moderated by northside artist and activist Yonci Jameson. Register here. Pick up a map and guidebook from K’s Deli and Grocery on Broadway and Emerson Ave. N. and plan your weekend. On Friday, Broadway’s west end will feature the AFC Farmers Market at the Capri Plaza, pop-up parties and performances at Freedom Square and the Glow Roll (Slow Roll) bicycle ride. Saturday’s FLOW will include arts events and art-making at JXTA, Sanctuary Covenant Church and North High Field and a Youth and Art Market produced with MN Black Box. There’s a new art exhibition, “The Absence of Justice,” at Minnesota African American Heritage Museum & Gallery (MAAHMG) and a show of local artists at Homewood Studios on Plymouth Ave. This will be FLOW’s 15th year. Follow FLOW on Facebook and Instagram.
L and V Friday, July 30: the 2021 Lakes Area Music Festival begins. The scene: Brainerd’s shiny new Gichi-ziibi Center for the Arts. The theme: New Roots. The cost (except for Friday’s opening gala): free. If you’re in or around Brainerd, check the schedule and reserve your tickets. If you’re elsewhere, you can livestream the concerts on LAMF’s Facebook page or YouTube channel. (Last year, the festival drew 60,000 viewers from around the world to its virtual concerts.) LAMF runs Saturdays, Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays through Aug. 22. Founded in 2009, led by Brainerd native Scott Lykins and John Taylor Ward, it has become a world-class festival with world-class artists and (new this year) a rising star music director, German conductor Christian Reif. FMI.
L Friday, July 30, 10 p.m.-4 a.m. at North Loop Studio: Mark Farina. You read that right: 10 p.m. until 4 a.m. Farina won’t start until midnight. An internationally known DJ, creator of Mushroom Jazz (“dance music’s chillest genre ever” – Vice), he doesn’t come to Minneapolis often enough. (The time before this was on the rooftop of the Hewing Hotel in July 2019; the time before that, at REV Ultra Lounge in October 2018.) We’ve written several Artscapes to Mushroom Jazz, probably the spacey ones. Farina will start with a Mushroom Jazz set, then move into deep house as night heads toward morning. Chuck Love, Monte Hilleman, Jake Encinas and Matt Esse will open. 21+. FMI and tickets ($75).
L Saturday, July 31, 12-3 p.m. at Open Eye Theatre: 8th Annual Ice Cream Social. If you don’t have a child or two, borrow a friend’s? Outside the theater, find carnival games, music, make-and-take crafts and ice cream treats, all individually wrapped. Inside the (air-conditioned) theater: “The Amazing Cowboat” puppet show at 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. and “Penguin in My Pocket” at 2:30 p.m. The Open Eye team is fully vaxxed. Unvaxxed kids and adults will need to wear masks in the theater. Use the mask-decorating station outdoors to make masks more fun. This all-ages community event also signals the reopening of the theater after the long closure.
L Saturday, July 31, 7:30 p.m. on Nicollet Island: Patrick’s Nicollet Island Cabaret. For the first time since the pandemic began, Patrick Scully will present a cabaret live, not online. He’ll host it on the magical, mysterious island in the city where he lives, and the performers will all be summer residents: Maria Benson, Oliver Case, John Chaffee, Prudence Johnson, Ross Sutter and Laura MacKenzie, and Scully himself, who will screen a 6-minute edit of his 2015 Mississippi River Boat Ballet on its 6th anniversary. In “Central Park” on Nicollet Island at the corner of Maple Place and Nicollet Street. Bring a blanket or lawn chair. $15/pay-what-you-can honor system by Venmo, PayPal or check; cash and check only at the park.
L Saturday, July 31, 5-8 p.m.: NewStudio Gallery with the Minnesota Museum of American Art: Opening reception for “Many Waters: A Minnesota Biennial.” With the M’s indoor space in St. Paul still temporarily closed, NewStudio has stepped in to host a juried show of work by more than 55 artists, all on the topic of engaging with water. The exhibition of art in a variety of media is informed by the M’s proximity to the Mississippi River. If you plan to attend the reception, RSVP here. The show will stay up through Oct. 2. Hours Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. FMI.
L Saturday and Sunday, July 31 and Aug. 1: Loring Park Art Festival. With Edina canceled, Uptown canceled, Powderhorn online only (next weekend, Aug. 7 and 8) and Ely’s 40th Blueberry/Art Festival smashed last weekend by a storm, art fairs are having a hard time this year, which means that artists are having a hard time. For many, fairs and festivals are their main source of income. It was great to see so many people downtown last Saturday for the Aquatennial fireworks. Let’s fill Loring Park with fun-seekers, wanderers, shoppers, well-behaved dogs on leashes and parents pushing babies in strollers. This year’s festival will feature 140 juried artists, some 20 food vendors, a beer garden and entertainment. Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free.
V and L Thursday, Aug. 5, through Sunday, Aug. 15: Minnesota Fringe Festival. The 2021 Fringe will be a combination of live and in-person performances, livestreamed performances, and prerecorded performances – a true hybrid, with more than 125 shows over 11 days. Purchase a Fringe button ($5) to get access to the festival, buy tickets and watch shows. Study the schedule and make your plans, just as you would for a “normal” Fringe. A few things we noticed when scanning the list: Full Circle Theater’s “Glass & Lady M”; The Bearded Company’s “Break the Dice: The Improvised Campaign”; Emily Michael King’s “DIGITAL”; Daniel Hertz’s “Everything Is a Little Bit Alright,” winner of best Family Show at the 2021 Tucson Fringe; TransTheatreFest and Water Horse Collective’s “GenderTalks,” with a 100% trans and nonbinary cast and production team; VHRP Live! Inc.’s “Heart O’Mine” (VHRP = Victor Herbert Renaissance Project Live); Off-Leash Area’s “I Want to Change the Subject, Again,” in which Paul Herwig creates a live performance using the figure of Andy Warhol as an avatar; and Theatre Pro Rata’s “The Convent of Pleasure.” Now go pick some of your own. Ticket prices are $10 for a virtual show, $13 for an IPIP (in-person independently produced) show.