daily scene

the daily scene  

Through May 12



Vital Forms: American Art and Design in the Atomic Age, 1940-1960. Have you watched 2001: A Space Odyssey lately? Have you noticed how the designs for the movie were so damn Sixties, and how, well, un-Sixties our current world is during our own earthbound odyssey of 2002? Well, there’s a reason, as you might imagine, because there was a brief flourishing of design in the middle part of the last century that still looks astonishingly futuristic. Because designers from this time period, experimenting with new, more pliable materials (plastics, plexiglass, etc.), began to play with shapes. They drew their inspirations from nature, and so, suddenly, evening started looking like it was shaped after an amoeba, or a teardrop, or a rippling pond, and you’ll see a selection of some of the funkiest designs from this 20-year period at the Walker in this current exhibit. We’ve always liked looking at our televisions sets, and now, thanks to the Guthrie, we can find reasons for staring at the thing when it isn’t even on. Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Place, Mpls.; (612) 375-7622.


February 26



Judith Katz. University of Minnesota students may already be familiar with Katz, as she regularly teaches classes through the Women’s Studies department. But Katz is also an author of some note, having written two marvelous novels, both skittering wildly between high comedy and profound melancholyñnot so surprising, as she identifies herself as a Jewish Lesbian writer, and both identities have long traditions of mixing outrageous humor with great bathos. (The books are titled The Escape Artist and Running Fiercely Toward a High Thin Sound, and you would do well to check them out, buster.) Katz will be reading from her work, which we can expected to be punctuated with her own surprising commentary; The Loft’s Web page, rather than going into detail of Katz’s reading, instead offers a poem by Murial Rukeyser, offered by Katz as a meditation on the September 11 attack on New York, which includes the lines “the tall towers bookshapes, crushed together in greed,” which is not the sort of thing you expect to read in an online promotion, and neither is it the sort of commentary usually offered on the collapse of the Twin Towers. But what should we desire from an author but the unexpected? Free. 7:30 pm. The Loft, 1011 Washington Ave. (Open Book), Mpls.; (612) 215-2575.

February 27




Punk karaoke. From what I am told, the word karaoke means “empty orchestra,” and somehow that seems utterly fitting when dealing with punk musicñif there has ever been an emptier orchestra, I can’t name it. Why, if punk starts playing more guitar chords than three, there are some who would argue it has ceased to be punk altogether. So forget the string section, the bassoons, the timpani; and while you’re at it, forget weepy country songs, hard rock ballads, Broadway standards, and everything else ordinarily associated with karaoke. If you can scream, you can be a star, thanks to Tubby’s Bar and Grill. Their most recent song list, according to their Web site (punkkaraoke.com), includes bands such as The Cramps and Agent Orange, and the songs include titles such as “Butcher Baby” and “Love Comes in Spurts.” And to think they said that punk is dead. Tubby’s Bar and Grill, 2500 4th St NE, Mpls.; (612) 789-7301.



February 28


Easy Listening


The Live Lawrence Welk Show. We offer this without much comment, as what needs to be said? Champagne bubbles, mellow gospel, russian dancing, accordions and old peopleñhere is your chance to see such Welk celebrities as Mary Lou Metzger, Jack Imel, Ralna English, and Ava Barber. It’s odd that those lounge junkies never rediscovered Welk and his cronies, as this is the dictionary definition of the word “easy listening.” But then, here is the world of lounge sans sex or alcohol, but I maintain that Welk also defines geriatric coolness. A-one and a-two! $35-$39.50. 7:00 p.m. The Fitzgerald Theatre, 10 E Exchange St., St. Paul; (651) 290-1221.