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Culture Compass: “Elysium” and Economopoulos

A&E plans your week.





If you’ve never heard the banal pop-rap stylings of Shwayze and his sometime collaborator Cisco Adler, I don’t know if you’re unlucky or blessed.  He’s the kind of walking train wreck of mediocrity that makes for mesmerizing entertainment, a fact recognized by MTV — they gave him a reality show in 2008. 

His hits, “Corona and Lime” and “Buzzin’,” are two ever so slightly different versions of the same tripe, a (hopefully inadvertent) homage to Nickelback. 

The Pourhouse
10 S. 5th St., Minneapolis
8 p.m.



Costaki Economopoulos

Costaki Economopoulos markets himself as the biggest name in comedy and he’s probably right.

The homepage of his website currently sports an anecdote about how Adrian Peterson makes Economopoulos feel better about himself. Peterson has a severe allergy to shellfish and Economopoulos doesn’t, so for all of the things that Peterson can do that make Economopoulos feel like a schlub, at least he can eat shrimp! I relate this particular bit of writing because it’s probably on the lower end of what Economopoulos is capable of. 

Acme Comedy Club
708 N. 1st St., Minneapolis
8 p.m.



Summer Set

Summer Set festival, with a lineup of rap, rock and electronica, goes from Friday to Sunday.  Really you can pick any one of these days — or blow a wad of cash on a weekend pass — and have a blast.   

Besides getting to soak in the music of Big Gigantic, Big Boi, Common, Diplo and Passion Pit, you get the chance to camp!  There’s an exclamation point there because the forecast looks like nature will comply with the festivities: three days of partly sunny skies and temps in the mid-70s. 

Somerset Amphitheater
715 Spring St., Somerset, Wis.
Music starts at 3 p.m. Friday




Watch this: “Elysium”  

The phenomenon of Hollywood déjà vu has been pointed out numerous times, but each time it happens I’m surprised.  In 2006, it was “The Prestige” and “The Illusionist”; in 2000 it was “Mission to Mars” and “Red Planet”; in 1998 it was “Deep Impact” and “Armageddon”; the list goes on. 

But this year, audiences are being treated to not two, but three similarly themed movies.  First was Will Smith’s epic bummer “After Earth,” followed by Tom Cruise’s “Oblivion” and this Friday, audiences get “Elysium.”  This time Matt Damon helms the post-apocalyptic plotline clad in a bionic suit.

It looks to rehash a none-too-subtle version of the poor vs. rich trope.  Sign me up for the “yeeech” ride.


Eat this: Popsicles

This is the last Daily issue of the summer, which means it’s my last chance to remind you of the delectable presence of popsicles on this planet. 

True, they don’t have to be a seasonal treat for the iced faithful, but let’s be honest, there’s a reason why some Dairy Queens close in the winter. 

So get ‘em while the trucks are still roaming the streets playing nostalgic, out-of-tune melodies.  Hell, just fill up an ice-cube tray with whatever sweet liquid concoction you can think of and throw it in the freezer.  Once they’ve begun to ice up a bit, throw a halved skewer in it.  In a few hours you’ll have your own brand of ice. 


Listen to this: Hugh Laurie’s “Didn’t It Rain”

Yes, we’re talking about the incorrigible star of “House,” Hugh Laurie.  Maybe you didn’t know he was a blues musician on the side, but Tuesday marked his second studio release, “Didn’t It Rain,” the follow-up to 2011’s “Let Them Talk.”

It’s refreshing to see such a talent be so comfortably average in a different setting.  I think it’s because it’s hard to divorce the image of actor Hugh Laurie from musician Hugh Laurie.  Either way, the album is good primarily because of the Copper Bottom Band, Laurie’s backing group. 

Reasons it’s worth a peek: “The Weed Smoker’s Dream,” which doesn’t have Laurie’s vocals on it, and his cover of Dr. John’s “Wild Honey.”  His rendering of lyrics like “I’m a jack-of-all-trades” and “I am the one who’s gonna get all the fun done,” are so marvelously amusing. 

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