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Arcade Games at Modist, Record Store Day, a Bug Fest at the U: This Week’s Best Events

Plus MN Fashion Week parties, a makers' market bar crawl, and the Powderhorn 24 kinda returns.

Promo images courtesy of|

Clockwise: VGM Con, Anthony Jeselnik, Waxahatchee, Modist

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

Scenes from 'Sira,' "Swamp Dogg Gets His Pool Painted,' and "Fargo'Photos provided

MONDAY 4.15

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Fest

The Main Cinema

Now in its 43rd year, some say MSPIFF is the Cannes of the Midwest. (OK, I don’t know if anyone else says that, but I do.) This spring, Minnesota’s biggest film fest returns with over 200 screenings at the Main Cinema and other venues around town. There will be panel talks, cocktail parties, book signings, and, yes, films. There will be new Hollywood releases, locally made flicks, movies by Indigenous artists, documentaries, family-friendly fare, LGBTQ-focused works, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. Highlights include festival opener Sing Sing, starring Colman Domingo as a man who organizes a theater group while in prison; festival closer, Kelly O'Sullivan’s Ghostlight, is about an emotionally distant man who joins a community theater production of Romeo & Juliet (I’m sensing a theme here). Cinematographer Roger Deakins will also be giving a talk following a screening of Fargo, a little Minnesota film he shot in 1996. Check out the complete fest schedule online and check Keith’s feature on his picks for the fest here.115 SE Main St., Minneapolis. Through April 25—Jessica Armbruster

Fashion Week MN

TUESDAY 4.16

Fashion Week MN

Various Locations

After taking the fall season off to regroup and reorganize, Fashion Week MN is back with a runway-focused series this spring. That includes I AM FABULOUS, an all-caps evening featuring stylish models age 60 and up on the catwalk; Man Down, celebrating menswear and benefitting local men’s mental health groups; a West End party featuring sustainable fashion brand Citizen-T; and emerging Minnesota designer showcase La Rotonde. The celebration continues this week with Tuesday's Into the Studio, a showcase of local lines working in slow, sustainable fashion (think organic fabrics, equitable wages, upcycled materials, and other eco- and human-friendly approaches) and closes out next week with Evolve, a pop-up shopping event at Star Bar + Bistro. Ticket prices vary per evening, but tend to fall in the $30-$75 range. Find more details and the complete schedule online. Through April 20—Jessica Armbruster

WaxahatcheeMolly Matalon

FRIDAY 4.19

Waxahatchee 

Palace Theatre

One of my biggest “music guy” pet peeves is a tendency for knee-jerk exaltation when a favorite artist does… literally anything. Annoying levels of fandom often lead to critical blinders, which is why I constantly check my impulse to say Waxahatchee mastermind Katie Cruchtfield just keeps leveling up. With that self-conscious throat clearing out of the way, yes, I do believe the 34-year-old Alabama native is at the top of her astonishing career. The trajectory should be well-known to anyone reading this far: Crutchfield began with scratchy, lo-fi confessions, graduated to roaring indie rock, and, with 2020’s Saint Cloud, made an obvious-yet-skilled pivot to warm country-rock. No matter the arrangements, everything is undergirded by generational songwriting talent and a voice that merges Lucinda’s personality with Patsy’s technical beauty. Tigers Blood, the sixth Waxa LP that arrived last month, seems cut from similar cloth, and all three advance singles have been (I swear I’m checking myself!) breathtaking; hot-shit guitarist MJ Lenderman and one of indie's safest producer bets, Brad Cook, helped make sure of that. What an absolute treat to grow up with this discography and watch it grow. (Update: Now that I’ve heard all of Tigers Blood, since the original publication of this blurb, I regret to inform you that it’s simply pretty good—rock-solid songcraft, but not a whole lot to say.) Good Morning opens at the Palace. $35+. 7 p.m. 17 W. 7th Place, St. Paul; find more info here.—Jay Boller

VGM Con

Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West

It’s a three-day video game party this weekend in Plymouth with the return of VGM Con, a huge celebration of all the work and play that goes into gaming. There’s a special focus on the music of video games—a sometimes overlooked aspect that should never be underestimated. Much like a full-blown summer fest, each day VGM Con will feature three stages of music, ranging from 8-bit recreations to full out rock bands. If you’re a musician yourself, there are special clinics and jam sessions planned as well. On the gamer side, you’ll find rooms where you can play indie games from local makers, pros doing speedruns, open tournaments, and more. Or pull up to a table for an old-school tabletop session if that is more your speed. Cosplay fun, an artists’ alley, a makers’ market, and panel talks and workshops round out the weekend. Find the complete schedule and purchase tickets at vgmcon.org. $17-$35 day passes; weekend and VIP passes also available. 1 p.m. to 2 a.m. Fri.; 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Sat.; 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun. 3131 Campus Dr., Plymouth. Through Sunday—Jessica Armbruster

Modist is turning 8FB

SATURDAY 4.20

Modist’s 8-Bit Anniversary Party

Modist Brewing Company

For its eighth b-day party, North Loop brewhall Modist is leaning heavily into the 4/20 holiday by appealing to the inner stoner skater kid inside all of us (you know he’s in there!). In the taproom, folks will find a selection of arcade games, special beer and THC releases, and tunes from Mike Davis and Boombox. Starting around 5 p.m. it’s a skater gathering in their new(ish) event space. After Hours Skate Shop will be setting up with skate videos and a killer live music lineup featuring Crush Scene, Black Widows, and Gay Witch Abortion. Outside and in the warehouse? Well, that’s where you’ll find a THC market of sorts, with glass-blowing demos and local companies selling their wares. Other things on wheels at this party: food trucks and a beer truck offering even more beer. Free. Noon to midnight. 505 N. Third St., Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster

Powderhorn 4:20

Venture Bikes

The Powderhorn 24—a 24-hour alleycat race-slash-community hang in South’s Powderhorn neighborhood—hasn’t happened for several years now. (Since the pandemic? My old brain struggles to remember.) In any case, it’s coming back in 2024… sort of. The Powderhorn 4:20 will be a 4 hour, 20-minute long bike race that, like its daylong antecedent, finds cyclists completing as many laps as possible before time runs out. Register here, individually or as part of a team, and head to Venture Bikes on the Greenway this Saturday to ride, party, and pay homage to one of Minneapolis’s most iconic annual cycling events. Free. 2 p.m. 1000 Midtown Greenway, Minneapolis; more info here.—Em Cassel

Earth Day Cleanup

Various Locations

Generally during the winter, the piles of trash around the Twin Cities are covered in snow; they won’t reappear until it melts each spring, along with tulips and tree buds. But this warm, snowless winter provided no such reprieve—perhaps you too noticed far more trash along the roadways this year, with no snow cover providing a false sense of clean. We’re sick of looking at filth, in other words, and this year’s annual Earth Day cleanup can’t come soon enough. There are 44 park sites hosting volunteer cleanup efforts in Minneapolis, from Armatage to Webber (9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.). No need to register, or to BYO anything, just show up and grab the provided trash bag and gloves. Same deal in St. Paul: Find a site, pick up your materials, and get ready to beautify the neighborhood (9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.).—Em Cassel 

Record Store Day

Various Locations

Record Store Day may have started as a way to lure people into shops with collectable new releases, but in the years since it has also blossomed into an excuse for free outdoor spring parties. At Electric Fetus this year, big-deal local rockers Durry will play an acoustic set, and the rest of the day will be given over to DJ sets, including one by Kerry Alexander and Chris Hoge of Bad Bad Hats. Muun Bato and The 99'ers headline a day of music at Barely Brothers, while Know Name’s RSD event doubles as a celebration of their 47th anniversary, with music from July Fighter and All the Pretty Horses. There’s a whole lot more going on; here’s a complete list of participating Minnesota stores for you to search through.—Keith Harris

The Great Minnsect Show

U of M St. Paul Student Center

Folks, there’s no bigger date on the U of M Department of Entomology’s calendar than today. And, to hear department head Dr. Sujaya Rao tell it, the Great Minnsect Show gives curious and/or adventurous Minnesotans their best opportunity to eat bugs. She knows a thing or two about chomping insects, having presented the TEDx Minneapolis talk “Why We Should All Eat Bugs.” (We chatted with Dr. Rao last week, and she reported she’s baking batches of her famous cricket brownies for the bug, er, sorry, big event.) Beyond sampling tiny critters, the family-friendly bug bash will feature live insects, insect-themed games, crafts, prizes, and educational talks from the region's top entomologists. Channel your inner Timon and Pumbaa and get on down to the St. Paul campus. Free. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 2017 Buford Ave., St. Paul; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Anthony JeselnikPromo

Anthony Jeselnik

State Theatre

Few comedians are as unfailingly dark and funny as Jeselnik, whose psychopathic persona cooks up album titles like Fire in the Maternity Ward. Unlike some shock-value comics, Jeselnik dazzles with misdirection, sometimes arriving at punchlines that reveal noble truths (see: the closer to his 2015 special Thoughts and Prayers). These days, the 45-year-old comic hosts a podcast, The Jeselnik & Rosenthal Vanity Project, that focuses on lighter subjects like sports, which makes sense considering best friend/cohost Gregg Rosenthal is a longtime NFL reporter. Not much has been publicized about Jeselnik’s current Bones and All tour, though Redditors seem impressed. $59-$99. 7 p.m. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Spring Jam 2024

U of M Lot 37 

Gather ‘round as I regale you with the tale of Spring Jam '09. Back then, the University of Minnesota would book major national headliners—in that year’s case, poorly aged rapper Talib Kweli—to perform the annual boozy springtime blowout. But Mr. Kweli didn’t show which, combined with all that aforementioned booze, resulted in Dinkytown rioting, making national headlines. With that memory resurfaced, we’ll note that maybe this year’s lower-key affair is the correct way to ring in Spring Jam. This year will resemble something approximating a block party, with a trio of rising young music acts: locally launched rockers Why Not, plus L.A. hip-hop twosome Flyana Boss and L.A. indie-pop band Between Friends. The parking lot party will feature a battle of the bands, carnival rides, beer garden, food trucks, lawn and arcade games, and a whole lot more. Spring Jam obviously skews toward college students, though the general public is welcome to attend and feel impossibly old. $20 (free for students). 4:30-10:30 p.m. 1811 Fifth St. SE, Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Minneapolis Makers Market & Bar Hop

Various Locations

Malls? Pffft. These days you can do your window shopping at bars and brew pubs. For this spring installment of the Minneapolis Markers Market, you can shop from upcyclers, candle makers, jewelry artists, print artists, foodie artisans, soap makers, and so much more. We’re talking over 60 local businesses and artists in total. Visit all four stops or pick one or two and hang while enjoying a drink. Free. 1-6 p.m. Participating venues include: Indeed Brewing Co., 711 NE 15th Ave.; Padraigs Brewing, 945 Broadway St. NE; Tattersall Distilling, 1620 NE Central Ave. #150; Dashfire Distillery, 1620 Central Ave. NE Dock #10.—Jessica Armbruster

Co-Op Kidsfest

Broken Clock Brewing Collective

A kids’ fest at a brew pub? Yes, sometimes dreams come true, imbibing parents. This weekend, Broken Clock—one of Viraluae's picks for the best kid-friendly breweries in the Twin Cities—will be stacked with kiddo-approved things to do all while their taps will be fired up and ready to go. Activities include karate/self defense demonstrations, local children’s authors sharing and reading from recent works, make-and-take crafts for all ages, and folks from the Minneapolis Library and Parks and Rec teams. There will also be facepainting, visits from superheroes, kid karaoke, and more. Free. Noon to 4 p.m. Sat.-Sun. 3134 California St. NE, Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster

Food Truck Kickoff FB

SUNDAY 4.21

2024 Food Truck Kick Off

Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church

One of the best signs of spring? The return of food trucks. And you don’t have to work downtown to find a few good ones parked in one spot. Throughout the spring and summer, you only need to find this church parking lot, where 25 or so trucks will be parked and serving up eats. We’re talking about grilled corn, fresh waffles, BBQ, pierogi, samosas, and egg rolls from the Egg Roll Queen. Speaking of which, if you’re a fan of egg rolls you’ll want to stop by in June for the group’s Eggroll Festival, where vendors will be serving up 40 varieties of ’em. Check out the full lineup here. Free. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 1669 Arcade St., St. Paul.—Jessica Armbruster

Schmidt Spring Open Studios, which is part of this weekend's Saint Paul Art Crawl Clockwise, left: The Creative Artista, Serendipity, DC Ice and Steven Karl Krause, Heidi V Pottery, Maya Makes Stuff

ONGOING

Edible

Northern Clay Center

This ongoing exhibition at Northern Clay finds Asian-American artists incorporating the aesthetics of food into their (inedible) ceramic works. “Our relationship to what we eat is the most intimate possible: the food we consume literally constitutes our bodies, and the ways we consume it link us to each other, our loved ones, and our ancestors,” the organizers of “Edible” write. See artists explore that relationship in their work, from Brooklyn-based ceramicist Jacqueline Tse’s skull-studded porcelain desserts to Minneapolis-based multimedia artist Anika Hsiung Schneider’s dumplings and bai cai. Participating artists also include Ling Chun, Jennifer Ling Datchuk, and Cathy Lu. 2424 Franklin Avenue E., Minneapolis; find more info here. Through April 21—Em Cassel

Saint Paul Art Crawl

Various Locations

While Art-A-Whirl in Minneapolis packs everything into three days, sleepy St. Paul takes a more chill approach, spreading its big crawl across multiple neighborhoods over several weekends. Now in its 33rd year, this celebration of creatives features open studios, parties, performances, tours, demonstrations, and more at over 40 galleries, collectives, and pop-up spaces, showcasing over 350 artists working in just about every medium imaginable. Last week offered events across four neighborhoods (Summit-Grand, West Side, Merriam Park, Little Mekong Cultural District), this week keeps it relatively simple with happenings along West Seventh and Cathedral Hill (including the Schmidt Spring Art Crawl), and the final week is an outright blowout, with things planned throughout downtown, Lowertown, Como, Payne-Phalen, and Raymond Station. Whew! It’s all free, and while hours vary by venue, in general each weekend they are: 6-10 p.m. Friday; noon to 8 p.m. Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Find more details at ​​stpaulartcollective.org. Through April 28—Jessica Armbruster 

30 Days of Biking

Everywhere!

The premise is simple: For the month of April, hop on your bike once a day and go somewhere. It doesn’t have to be a big deal—once around the block counts—but the idea is to get into the habit of riding and enjoying the world around you via bicycle. The 30-day challenge started as a Minnesota thing, but quickly became a worldwide phenomenon, with folks from around the globe pledging to participate. Here in town, there’s usually a variety of events throughout the month, including weekly rides with the Joyful Riders Club. Watch the org’s Facebook page for updates on group rides, and sign up for the challenge at 30daysofbiking.com. Through April 30—Jessica Armbruster

The Other Four

Weisman Art Museum

Have you ever come across a tactile-looking piece of art at a gallery and wished you could reach out and touch it? Well, you can at the Weisman’s new group exhibition. “The Other Four” asks guests to rely less on sight and more on smell, taste, touch, and sound. So museum etiquette be damned, you’re welcome to sniff, listen, and grope these pieces to your heart’s content. (We’re not sure how taste plays into this show, but according to the press release that’s on the table as well.) The collection features 16 multimedia works by 21 contemporary artists, and that includes pieces exploring technology, performance, experimentation, and interactive play. “Most of us are so accustomed to the dominance of our sense of sight that we often forget it is operating… sometimes causing one to drift off into thought and miss the moment,” notes local artist John Scheurman, curator of the show. There will be an opening party this Thursday, February 8, from 7 to 10 p.m. with music, apps, and a cash bar (tickets are $20/free if you’re a U student). A free artists’ roundtable is also scheduled for 6 p.m Thursday, April 3. 333 E. River Pkwy., Minneapolis. Through May 19—Jessica Armbruster

Arctic Highways: Unbounded Indigenous People

American Swedish Institute

This winter, ASI is showcasing the work of 12 Indigenous artists from Sápmi, the Sámi people’s name for the arctic land they inhabit and travel, ranging from Alaska to Scandinavia to Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Russia. That may sound like a huge swath of land, but the connections are stronger than the miles here. “We are indigenous peoples who live in different countries and on different continents, and yet regard ourselves as peoples with kindred spirits,” the collective artist statement explains. “With this exhibition we want to tell our own story, through our own experiences, using our own forms of expression.” Pieces include photography, textile work, sculptures, and duodji handcrafts. The museum’s “first look” party this Friday, from 6 to 9 p.m. features live music, live reindeer, and hands-on art making. Tickets are $30 for the opening party, otherwise the show is free with admission ($6-$13). 2600 Park Ave., Minneapolis. Through May 26—Jessica Armbruster

Tetsuya Yamada: Listening

Walker Art Center

This winter, as performers from around the world will be heading to the Walker for its annual Out There Series, the galleries will be staying local, showcasing the work of ceramicist Tetsuya Yamada. For this survey, the Japanese-born, Minnesota-residing U of M prof will share over 65 pieces, including drawings, notes, and many, many everyday examples of ceramics–plates, vases, coffee mugs, and more. The title of the exhibition, “Listening,” refers to the instinctual choices an artist makes along the way to creating something. “The process might take me to places I didn’t imagine initially,” he explains. “This is the fundamental of studio practice for me.” There will be an opening reception this Thursday, January 18, with free admission from 5 to 9 p.m. and an artist’s talk at 7 p.m. (Stop by the Main Lobby Desk for tickets.) ​​725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis. Through July 7—Jessica Armbruster

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