Culture compass — Wits, Danny Brown and early Easter candy

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Doug Benson

Where: Acme Comedy Co.

When: 10:30 p.m.

Cost: $20

For a comedian who has made a career out of his love of cannabis, Doug Benson has a surprising amount of work ethic. Since 2008, he has recorded a new comedy special on April 20 each year for release the following summer.

His performance at Acme will come a little less than a month before recording his fifth album, so the jokes should be tight and his performance should be sharp. As sharp as anyone expects Benson to be, anyway.

Benson is also well known for his Morgan Spurlock-a ping documentary “Super High Me” as well as his two podcasts, The Benson Interruption, a spin-off of his old Comedy Central show, and “Doug Loves Movies.” Benson will be holding a special live taping of the latter at Acme on Saturday.


Wits — Rhett Miller and Tim Meadows

Where: Fitzgerald Theater

When: 8:00 p.m.

Cost: $32

Minnesota Public Radio’s great “Wits” series brings comedians, writers and musicians together for conversation on stage at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul. The price is steep but you get what you pay for: The “Wits” 2012 season is full of big names, including St. Vincent, Andy Richter, Ted Leo, Fred Willard and They Might Be Giants.

It all kicks off Friday night when MPR’s John Moe sits down with 10-year “Saturday Night Live” veteran Tim Meadows. Rhett Miller, front man for the seminal alt-country band the Old ’97s, will perform.

Tickets aren’t cheap, but the whole event is available to stream online for free. Hopefully Meadows will do a Lorne Michaels impression.


Fanfarlo with Gardens & Villa

Where: The Varsity Theater

When: 7 p.m. doors open, 8 p.m. show

Cost: $15

Fanfarlo’s 2009 debut “Reservoir” was something of a sleeper hit, but their long awaited follow-up “Rooms Filled With Light,” is justifiably receiving more attention. The London-based band sounds like a more orchestral Arcade Fire, open to influence from folkier bands like Beirut or their buddies in Sigur Rós. Fanfarlo injects every song with a sense of grandeur and charm, even when moving into darker territory, as they do on “Rooms.”

Listen: Danny Brown — “XXX”

This weekend, Childish Gambino (aka “Community’s” Donald Glover was supposed to perform at Epic with Danny Brown, but Glover broke his foot a couple of weeks ago, and the show has been moved to May. This gives you more time to catch up on Glover’s debut “Camp” or, even better, Brown’s latest release, “XXX.”

Brown shot into the alt-rap consciousness last year after contributing a verse to Das Racist’s “Power.” Like Childish Gambino, Brown knows his way around a gloriously vulgar punch line, but it’s his voice that sets him apart. His unhinged yelp takes a little getting used to, but it perfectly complements his spazzy, drugged-out wordplay. Check out the mix tape and don’t miss out on this opener come May.

Eat: Easter Candy

Easter is in a little more than a week, which means there’s only a little time left before the remaining reserves of Cadbury Creme Eggs are gathered up and stored in a vault until next year. Spring is a time for exclusive foods (see also: Shamrock Shakes), and you have to grab at opportunities where you can. Go stock up!

Watch: “Community”

#sixseasonsandamovie. What were all those hashtags about back in November, “Sex and the City?” Not quite.

NBC’s critically adored college sitcom “Community” was yanked off the air last fall in the middle of its third season due to low ratings. The show’s cult following took to the web, attempting to save the show using animated GIFs and incessant tweeting.

Somehow, it all paid off; upon its return a couple weeks ago, “Community” actually beat out “American Idol” in viewers aged 18-34. Now the same archaic system that almost killed “Community” could very well save it but only if enough people watch. So give this brave, innovative sitcom a chance tonight.

Read: “B to the F”

Beginning in January, web cartoonist Ryan North began reading the novelization of the 1985 sci-fi comedy classic “Back to the Future,” which actually pre-dates the film. He started a blog, reviewing the book scene by scene.

This may seem dumb or boring, and it certainly would be if the novelization weren’t so wonderfully strange. It aims much higher than the film, attempting to turn it into something of an ensemble drama by getting inside the heads of little-seen characters while sucking the life out of the main cast and somehow becoming a little racist.

Anyway, the whole thing is a lot of fun to read, and this is what Tim Berners-Lee had in mind when he created the World Wide Web, right? Get reading!