Culture compass — Umami, Oscar shorts and Nicki Minaj

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

Dylan Hester

 

Thursday

Hot Dish 3

The Trylon Microcinema

3258 Minnehaha Ave.

7:30 p.m.

This is the third edition of a series in which six local storytellers tell their tales. Tonight’s theme is âÄúStrangers in a Strange Land.âÄù A seventh story will be told by an audience volunteer. Expect a river of emotions to ripple throughout the theater as the storytellers open their hearts and/or clean out some closet skeletons.

Friday

UMAMI, Phantom Tails, Sexcat, Claps

Triple Rock Social Club

629 Cedar Ave. S.

9 p.m.

They may not have the same level of local hype behind their name as headliners Phantom Tails, but that won’t take long. The Minneapolis quartet Umami is a purveyor of a certain brand of messy psychedelic dance music. ItâÄôs a sonic assault of weirdo-funk with a liberal dose of synth fuzz to top it off. Dig in.

Saturday

The Oscar Nominated Short Films

Lagoon Cinema

1320 Lagoon Ave.

7 p.m. Animated, 9 p.m. Live Action

Most of us don’t have the time, money or endurance to see all other Oscar-nominated films. But you can catch all of the short films âÄî both animated and live-action âÄî in a single night at the Lagoon. With a showcase of so many films, even the snobbiest film junkie will inevitably be satisfied with at least a handful of them.

CULTURE TO CONSUME

Listen to this: Mickey Murray, âÄúPeople Are TogetherâÄù

The fine folks at MinneapolisâÄô Secret Stash Records regularly reissue superb out-of-print records, giving once-lost music a second home. Their most recent offering is a soul gem from 1970 that was never given a fair shake in its day, as radio DJs feared losing their jobs because of the racially provocative lyrics. Thankfully, Secret Stash has brought these tunes back to life.

Eat this: Homemade Quesadillas

Need a good reason to face the day? In February, we all do. Stuff some beans, rice and cheese between a couple of tortillas in a frying pan. Try it late at night when youâÄôve given up all hope of finishing that essay. Together with your beverage of choice and a few reruns of âÄúSeinfeld,âÄù youâÄôve got yourself a reminder of just how sweet existence can be.

Read this: âÄúZen HabitsâÄù

Over the past half-decade, blogger Leo Babauta has kicked a smoking habit, run several marathons, gone vegan and ditched his car. His blog, ZenHabits.net, contains a wealth of simple ideas and philosophies that actually work. The idea is to decrease stress, enjoy each moment and be a happier person, one simple step at a time. Go to the âÄúStart HereâÄù page, and try reading just one article âÄî you may find yourself a dedicated reader in no time.

Watch this: Hype WilliamsâÄôs video for âÄúStupid HoeâÄù by Nicki Minaj

WilliamsâÄôs âÄúAll of the LightsâÄù video made the strongest case for pop music as high art since Michael Jackson, but âÄúStupid HoeâÄù is another beast entirely. The widely banned video combines the songâÄôs relentless beat with strobing visuals that are equally bewitching and terrifying. The bizarre costumes and make-up put Minaj in the same realm as Lady Gaga. But unlike GagaâÄôs videos, there isn’t any art-school brooding here âÄî just one of the most basic and primal pop songs in recent memory. ItâÄôs stupid, no doubt, but stupid in the best possible way. (For the bass masochists out there: search for the chipmunk remix of the song. Dubstep sounds like Kenny G in comparison.)