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Weekend picks: ‘Naive. Super’ at Norway House, Mati’s EP release at 7th Street and 5 Minute Film Fest at Franconia

Plus: Connie Evingson celebrates the horn at Crooner’s; Cindy Lawson and her band at Palmer’s, and Sophia Chai photography at Hair + Nails.

Cindy Lawson and her band perform at Palmer’s Bar this Friday at 9:30 p.m.
Cindy Lawson and her band perform at Palmer’s Bar this Friday at 9:30 p.m.
Courtesy of the artist

From art inspired by the Korean alphabet to a play adapted from a Norwegian classic novel, Labor Day weekend is full of surprises. Great music can be found at 7th St. Entry for Mati’s EP release, and at Crooner’s when Connie Evingson highlights horn playing. Cindy Lawson will be kicking it at Palmer’s, and Franconia Sculpture Park hosts its 5 Minute Film Festival.

‘Naïve. Super,’ novel that took Norway by storm, on stage

Kurt Engh
Photo by Nathan Johnson
Kurt Engh
In 1996, Norwegian author Erlend Loe published a book that would take Norway by storm. “Naïve. Super,” is about a young man who quits his university studies and engages on a metaphysical quest for meaning. Since publication, the novel has been translated into 30 languages and is often used in Norwegian language curricula. Now theater maker Kurt Engh has turned it into an unconventional play, with a different actor performing each night who has never performed the role previously. That actor is supported with a sound score, video projections and a fax machine as they unravel the questions the narrative opens up. It runs for three weekends, Sept. 1-17, with opening Friday, Sept. 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the unfinished basement of Norway House’s new addition ($15-$25). More information here.

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Mati ‘Thoughts in Cursive’ EP release

South Minneapolis’ own Mati, the Ethiopian-born rapper/singer brings vulnerability into his music, weaving introspection and imagery with a beat that kicks. He’s releasing a new EP, “Thoughts in Cursive,” at the 7th St. Entry with openers GR3G and Say Sa’Je. Friday, Sept. 1, at 9 p.m. at 7th St. Entry ($15). More information here.

Connie Evingson Presents: Hornucopia

Jazz vocalist Connie Evingson celebrates the art of the horn in an evening of music by greats like Dizzy Gillespie, Clifford Brown, Miles Davis, Benny Carter, Benny Golson, Sonny Rollins and more. Evingson, whose voice recalls the great Julie London, performs with Jake Baldwin on trumpet as well as Tanner Taylor playing piano, Gary Raynor on bass and Jay Epstein on drums for this horntacular evening. Friday, Sept. 1 at 6:30 p.m. at Crooners ($30-$40). More information here.

Mad Mojo Jett, Cindy Lawson and Holly & The Nice Lions

Watching Cindy Lawson sing has a way of putting a smile on your face. A charismatic performer, she exudes a love of the music and it rubs off on you as you watch. This Friday, her band teams up with garage punk band Mad Mojo Jett and Holly & The Nice Lions from Green Bay. Friday, Sept. 1, at 9:30 p.m. at Palmer’s Bar ($15). More information here.

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5 Minute Film Festival at Franconia Sculpture Park

Hey, short attention span folks — you may want to head to Franconia this weekend. The sculpture park is hosting the 5 Minute Film Festival, featuring quick but engaging films by 18 filmmakers based in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Franconia has a gorgeous outdoor screening area to enjoy the Labor Day weekend, and you might as well get there early to take in the beauty of the incoming fall as you walk the grounds. Saturday, Sept. 2, at 8 p.m. at Franconia Sculpture Park (free, $5 to park). More information here.

Artwork by Sophia Chai
Courtesy of Hair + Nails
Artwork by Sophia Chai

Sophia Chai at Hair + Nails

Rochester (MN)-based photographer Sophia Chai delves into the inner-workings of the Korean alphabet, Hangul, for her most recent body of work. The hangul alphabet corresponds the shapes of the letters to the shape the mouth has to make to create the sound. For vowel sounds, each letter indicates whether the person’s mouth is open or closed, for example. And consonant letters mirror the way you shape your tongue for each sound. To create each piece, Chai, who was born in South Korea, assembles a large-scale installation made of paper which she then photographs with an analogue camera. The camera itself creates bends in the lines of the image, which the artist accounts for as she creates the visual image. The exhibition is a kind of crash course in the visuals of sound and how we see. The exhibition runs Sept. 2 through Oct. 8, with open hours Thursdays through Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., with an opening reception taking place Thursday, Sept. 7, from 7-10 p.m. at Hair + Nails  (free). More information here.