Culture Compass: Sea Wolf, unholy monsters and ghost stories

A&E plans your weekend. You’re welcome, ghouls.

Joseph Kleinschmidt

CULTURE TO CONSUME

Album:

“Allelujah! Don’t bend! Ascend!” Godspeed You! Black Emperor
 

Ten years have passed since this Canadian post-rock instrumental band has released an album, long enough to perfect an altogether surreal orchestration. The album here requires multiple listens, more inward and intense than fellow instrumental contemporaries Explosions in the Sky. The found sounds, ethereal distortion and rhythmic melodies add to something undeniably original, if strangely cryptic. Expect to leave the listening experience as an introvert — God Speed You! Black Emperor sounds as if hardcore thrash’s cacophony mated with a creepy form of meditation or new age music.

Podcast:

“Getting Away with It,” “This American Life” episode 477

 

Cheating on tests, lying to school administration, faking college graduation — these are all confessions Ira Glass airs on the latest episode of “This American Life.” And they all got away with it. Glass and his staff set a phone line for strangers to call in and tell stories of various ways they got away with nefarious activities, usually pretty harmless. The messages are both hilarious and cathartic — one man explains how his parents still think he graduated from college. Within the context of the hour-long show, a reading from Domingo Martinez’s new memoir “The Boy Kings of Texas” adds another side of getting away with “it” — getting away with crime.

Video:

“Ball Champions,” on YouTube, by Kyle

 

Meet Kyle. He’s a stuttering, ill-informed Andy Kaufman-esque character with good intentions nonetheless. A year ago, the uncomfortable YouTube star went to a San Francisco Giants baseball game where he witnessed the “Giants and Dodgers winning against each other,” as the description to his video reads. Cringe, laugh, try to decode his cryptic questions for passersby and baseball players alike — maybe you’ll see some “long bombs away” after all. The true ball champion of the video is Kyle, whose other works include a visit to a reptile convention.

 

THINGS TO DO

FRIDAY

Sea Wolf

Cedar Cultural Center

416 S. Cedar Ave., Minneapolis

8 p.m.

$12 advance/$15 day of show

 

In the indie realm of animal band names, Sea Wolf uses a canine quite overused. But hey, at least it’s not another bear name. The folk band fronted by Alex Brown Church crafts some intriguing melodies even if using some trite animal-themed conventions. Don’t look for anything revolutionary in Church’s music — it’s all quite calm, along the lines of a Sufjan Stevens without all the pizzazz. That still leaves some quality infectious tunes and Sea Wolf’s new single “Old Friend” proves this point.

SATURDAY

God and Monsters 4: The Return of the Unholy Terror

Cult Status Gallery

2913 S. Harriet Ave., Minneapolis

7 p.m.

Free

 

Seventy-five artists display tributes to gore, horror and more with more than 100 pieces sure to make your skin crawl. The theme of this year’s installment is classic horror films. So let the guessing begin. “The Evil Dead,” “Child’s Play,” “It” — which Hollywood splatter-fest will be immortalized in blood and paint? Which one will be scary enough to haunt your dreams? Surely none of these as you become too frightened to even leave your apartment and remember watching Chuckie wield an ax on TV as a child.

SUNDAY

 

Victorian Ghost Stories

James J. Hill House

240 Summit Ave.,
St. Paul

6 p.m.

$12
 

Follow a trio of costumed actors around an old-time parlor as they narrate stories from Edgar Allan Poe, Edith Wharton and the Brothers Grimm. Leave your pulp horror attitude of yesterday at the door and marvel in the psychologically chilling works of these legends. The whole affair concludes with a tour of the house, sure to scare your senses after the literary yarns of yesteryear. Don’t let your thoughts derail you into a crying fit — the performers probably aren’t paid to handle such trauma. Maybe just ask one of the actors to set a safe word early on. You wouldn’t want to wet yourself.