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Otoboke Beaver, Free Arcade Games, and a Black/Queer-Owned Bar at WAC: This Week’s Best Events

Plus Jenny Lewis, a dessert showdown, and Ronny Chieng from 'The Daily Show.'

Walter Wlodarczyck|

The New Eagle Creek Saloon

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

'Tigre Reale'

TUESDAY 3.5

Tigre Reale

The Women’s Club of Minneapolis

If you enjoyed the Italian Film Festival at The Main last week, here’s a nice little digestivo to cap things off. The Italian Cultural Center and Archives on Screen are teaming up to present this 1916 Italian film from director Giovanni Pastrone, starring the silent screen diva Pina Menichelli. It’s a love story between a Russian countess and an Italian diplomat, and do not expect things to end happily. You should, however, expect a florid, emotional affair, to be heightened by accompaniment from Italian musicians Stefano Maccagno on piano and Furio Di Castri on double bass, performing an original score. Free. 8 p.m. 410 Oak Grove St., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Keith Harris

Otoboke Beaver Jumei Yamada

THURSDAY 3.7

Otoboke Beaver 

First Avenue

These four hyper-stylish Japanese women blew my damn mind when they played the Fine Line last February, and here they are again barely a year later in a bigger room—let’s hope this becomes an annual late-winter tradition. Excuse me for quoting myself: “Otoboke Beaver frolic with the collective ferocity you can only harness when you know, you just know, that what’s best in life is to be way cooler than the losers you hate,” I wrote in my review, and that’s just a hint of what their thrashy noise-punk does. Their lyrics and song titles are a giddy bilingual mess; here’s a bit of the translated Japanese lyrics to the English-titled “I Am Not Maternal”: “Having let my parents meet their grandkid/Their grandkid, their grandkid/I immediately put it back in my belly." My only regret is that I couldn’t see as much of drummer Kahokiss as I should have. (Look. At. Her.) Learn from my mistake and get there early to secure a good spot. As a bonus you’ll also get to catch the openers, Korea’s fun-as-hell Drinking Boys and Girls Choir and great local punks Scrunchies. $25. 8 p.m. 701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Keith Harris

The New Eagle Creek Saloon

Walker Art Center

For the next few months, the Walker is turning one of its galleries into a bar. No, it’s not a new hotspot or an extension of Cardamom; it’s a new installation by Oakland-based artist Sadie Barnette. From 1990 to 1993, Rodney Barnette, Sadie’s father, ran the New Eagle Creek Saloon, San Francisco’s first Black-owned gay bar. In celebration of this moment of queer history, Sadie has recreated her dad’s business, complete with neon lights, booze, and glitter. And yes, this actually is a working/stocked bar. Or, at least, it will be one every Thursday through its run, serving up cocktails, hosting special events, and bringing Black queer joy to the space. New Eagle Creek opens this Thursday with a talk from father and daughter, followed by vinyl tunes from DJ Jam E.Z. and craft cocktails from local collective Mama San. Special events hosted at the bar each week include DJ sets, happy hours, performances, and other fun. Free (gallery admission is always free during Thursday night events). 6-9 p.m. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis. Through May 16—Jessica Armbruster

Jenny LewisPromo

FRIDAY 3.8

Jenny Lewis

Palace Theatre

Last month the Minnesota Daily’s Sommer Wagen profiled three “non-men” local music acts, focusing on how one band in particular, pop-punk heavyweights Paramore, influenced them all. I’m betting you could write a similar piece about the profound influence of Jenny Lewis, the Rilo Kiley frontwoman/solo artist whose crystalline voice and elite songwriting have surely impacted multiple generations of indie musicians. And here’s the thing: Lewis, 48, remains as artistically vital as ever. A former child actor who enjoyed critical plaudits (in addition to gross salivating) from the earliest days of her music career, Lewis now has a five-album solo discography that matches the output of her indie-rock band from 1999 to 2007. The latest release, last year’s Joy'All, is the weakest of the bunch, but that’s not saying much; the breezy, Beck-inspired LP still boasts a handful of classic tracks like “Psychos” and “Cherry Baby.” This woman’s hit rate is simply staggering. Hayden Pedigo opens. $35-$65. 7 p.m. 17 W. 7th Place, St. Paul; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Arcade Day

Boom Island Brewing Co. 

This one is pretty easy to wrap your head around: Retro video game supplier Midwest Custom Arcades is setting up shop all day long at Boom Island Brewing Co. to create “the ultimate arcade haven,” per promo materials. That means, and here’s the important part, free gaming on generation-spanning cabinets, plus a high-score tourney that includes (possibly) fabulous prizes. Prefer buzzed gaming? Happy hour deals running from 3 to 5 p.m. should loosen you up on the joysticks. Free. Noon to 10 p.m. 5937 Baker Rd., Minnetonka; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Ronny Chieng 

State Theater

Senior Daily Show correspondents reliably fill theaters in our town, and this Malaysian-born talent who came up alongside Trevor Noah is no exception. Chieng’s current Love to Hate It Tour follows two Netflix specials2019’s Asian Comedian Destroys America! and 2022’s Speakeasy—that showcased the smirking, playful skepticism that wins over Daily Show loyalists. Chieng stays busy as hell when not reporting the fake news; you might recognize his work from screens big (Crazy Rich Asians, M3GAN, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) and small (American Born Chinese, Ronny Chieng Takes Chinatown). $54.50-$74. 7 p.m. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

SATURDAY 3.9

Bring Your Kids! 

HUGE Theater

Sometimes, on slower weeks, we like to remind readers of cool, affordable, regular entertainment that might fly under the radar during busier times. This family-friendly afternoon of improv, music, and “generalized silliness” is the perfect excuse to check out HUGE’s new digs; the institution recently moved three blocks from its longtime home. Last spring, leaders at HUGE announced the theater had signed a 10-year lease at the ol’ Art Materials building, which amounted to a sizable expansion—4,000 to 6,755 square feet—and a $750,000 remodel. “Unfortunately, in the last few years, we’ve seen the closure of a lot of performance spaces in our area—The Theater Garage, Intermedia Arts, ComedySportz—and we don’t want to be part of that culture drain. We love it here, and we want to be a part of keeping the neighborhood artistically alive,” HUGE managing director Sean Dillon said at the time. Kids $5; adults $10. 4 p.m. 2728 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller 

Global Dessert Contest

Midtown Global Market

More than a dozen Midtown Global restaurants are coming together for an afternoon of sweet treats—with a little friendly competition in the mix. Swing by on Saturday afternoon to try desserts from Indigenous Food Lab, Soul to Soul Smokehouse, Momo Dosa, and more, then cast your vote for the best. Doesn’t get much easier than that, unless of course you’re worried about the feasibility of cramming down 10+ desserts over the course of a few hours. We believe in you. You can do it. $10 (benefits Friends of Global Market). Noon to 2 p.m. 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Em Cassel

Mary GauthierAlexa Kinigopoulos

SUNDAY 3.10

Mary Gauthier

Cedar Cultural Center

Addicts like to tell themselves (and anyone who’ll buy the next round or share the needle) that substance abuse fuels their creativity, but the career of Mary Gauthier, which only got underway after she got clean, is closer to the truth. And as proof that self-knowledge can’t be rushed, it took 15 years of sobriety before her breakthrough album, Mercy Now, truly captured what it was like before for her and what happened to make her life better. Gauthier got a bit writerly in subsequent years, as much-praised lyricists will do, but then she released the bracing Rifles & Rosary Beads, a collaboration with Iraq war vets and their families, which transcended the writing exercise it began as. Gauthier’s most recent, Dark Enough to See the Stars, is a straightforward collection of love songs and mourning songs. “You’re my girl/In this broken heart, fall apart world,” she sings on the lead track to her partner, singer/songwriter Jaimee Harris, who not only harmonizes there but will be opening tonight. $27/$32. 7:30 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Keith Harris

Just men being manly together. Jürgen Wittdorf

ONGOING

Multiple Realities: Experimental Art in the Eastern Bloc, 1960s–1980s 

Walker Art Center

What does subversive art look like when the artist knows the government is watching? For a sampling of the creativity that arises under oppressive circumstances, take a cruise through “Multiple Realities,” an exhibition spanning two decades of work by artists from East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia. The collection, not commonly seen in the U.S., includes underground club photography, found objects turned into statements, witty scribbles, and images from performances with heavy nods to queer life, ironic humor, political dissonance, and, perhaps most important here, interpretative deniability. The exhibition opens on Friday with a Walker After Hours Party, followed by a free opening-day talk with pop-up performances in the galleries on Saturday. For a complete schedule of related events, check online. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis. Through March 10, 2024—Jessica Armbruster

Untitled 18

Soo Visual Arts Center

Now in its 18th year, “Untitled” is a curated gallery show where any artist is welcome to submit, regardless of medium, career level, or experience. What results is a curious collection that’s a joy to explore. This year’s show will feature 30 artists, all selected by curator Danielle Krysa. “For me, the connecting element is this: Whether the work is on the floor, suspended from the ceiling, or hanging on the walls, everything in this show makes me want to touch it,” she says of her selection process here. “I won’t, but I want to. You’ll see what I mean—there’s just so much TEXTURE." There will be an opening reception this Saturday, February 17, from 6 to 9 p.m. 2909 Bryant Ave. S., Minneapolis. Through March 24—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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