Culture Compass: Bachelorettes and Backstreet Boys

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

Sarah Harper



Arj Barker

You might remember him from “Flight of the Conchords,” but chances are good that you don’t, actually: Arj Barker didn’t play one of the two main guys. He played their good friend Dave. A calm presence in the comedy world, Barker has made his red-eyed, shaggy-haired mark in other ways. He was in the off-Broadway laugh-fest “The Marijuana-Logues” with pals Doug Benson and Tony Camin. Barker has also made appearances on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and been featured on “Comedy Central Presents.”

Where: ACME Comedy Company

When: 8 p.m. or 10:30 p.m. (Running through August 3)

Cost: $15-30



“Oz” by Circus Juventas

Not enough scrilla for Cirque du Soleil? Creeped out by that high-falutin’ Vegas sham of flexibility anyway? No problem. Get the home-grown, fresh-faced version of it for a fraction of the price. Swing into the St. Paul youth circus’ annual summer show and marvel at up-and-coming Twin Cities talents — along with kids who are just doing this for fun. Circus Juventas is a community force, giving everybody under the age of 18 a chance to try their hand (and other hand, and legs, and torsos) at being the next Barnum and Bailey brothers (and sisters!)

Where: Circus Juventas; 1270 Montreal Ave., St. Paul

When: 7 p.m. (Running through Aug. 18)

Cost: $14-35



Red Stag Block Party

If you haven’t seen a good Minnesota cover band yet, you’ve been missing out: this state is home to a glorious motley crew of them. Take Saturday as an opportunity to get jiggy with All Tomorrow’s Petty, a band that sounds like what it is — the greatest. Take a peek at the lineup; you’re guaranteed to have a blast even if you’re not treating the block party like your own personal PettyFest 2013. Go for locals Gramma’s Boyfriend, Bad Bad Hats, Greg Grease, Actual Wolf and more.

Where: 509 First Ave. N.E., Minneapolis

When: 5-10:30 p.m.

Cost: Free





Backstreet Boys

Last summer, the whole world rejoiced with a cry of “Backstreet’s back, alright!” when the five greatest showmen of our time reunited to live in a house together and record a new album. But the real Streeters among us knew that the golden boys never left — for two decades, they’ve been producing a steady stream of scream-worthy pop. It may not be raking in the critical praise, but their 20th anniversary album, which came out Tuesday, is worth a few listens. Get ahold of “In a World like This” and convince your fab friends to help you make up some sweet choreography or maybe just turn out all the lights in your bedroom and bask in the glory of what was, is and forever shall be.



“The Bachelorette”

It’s the perfect time to jump into the all-time greatest ABC show — the second part of the season’s finale is scheduled for Monday at 7 p.m. Spend these remaining days catching up on Desiree  Hartsock’s hunt for a good man. You’ll be a full-fledged citizen of #BachelorNation just in time to watch the last rose giveaway live. Who will it be now that big, bad Brooks Forester has broken our artist’s heart? Who’s in it for the right reasons? The adorable Chris Siegfried? The adorable Drew Kenney? Maybe Des can skate away with both of them, and the producers can keep scheduling sweet group dates for the rest of their lives. Or are we thinking Chris Harrison will shuttle in a wildcard? Juan Pablo Galavis fans can only hope.




Alright folks, I hate to be the one to bring this up, but we’re coming right around into August here, and it’s time to get going on our overly ambitious “summer lists.” Have we gone on a road trip? Have we climbed a mountain? Have we brushed up on Portuguese? No, no and no—and we may not before the summer is over, but we can sure as heck get some charred meat going before September falls upon us. Fire up the grill or, better yet, head on over to one of the Twin Cities’ solid BBQ joints: A&E recommends Rudolphs (1933 Lyndale Ave S., Minneapolis), Market Bar-B-Que (1414 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis), Dixies on Grand (695 Grand Ave., St. Paul) and Scott Ja-Mama’s Restaurant (3 W. Diamond Lake Rd., Minneapolis).