Culture Compass: Hamburger Smog Harvest in a Satanic Sweater

Vaguely fall-themed cultural choices for you and yours

Thom Q. Johnson



What: Neil Hamburger

Where: The Turf Club; 1601 University Ave., St. Paul

When: Doors at 9 p.m.

Price: $12

If you want to get stupid drunk, you go to the Turf Club. If you want to listen to stupid, good humor, you go to a Neil Hamburger show. So if you want to have a stupid good time while skipping the Father John Misty show at the  First Avenue Mainroom (8 p.m., $25, 18+), you know what you gotta do. This Friday, the king of self-deprecating humor Mr. Hamburger takes the stage joined by Major Entertainer Mike H. You may remember Hamburger from his appearance on the Adult Swim favorite “Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job!” as the greasy taxi driver from the first season. His brand of agonizingly uncomfortable delivery is not for everyone, but once you’ve had the taste for it, it’s hard to get enough.


What: Grand Harvest

Where: Grand Avenue in St. Paul between Fairview Avenue and Dale Street

When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Price: Free

As the event’s literature suggests, fall “is one of the most beautiful seasons to enjoy St. Paul.” And Grand Avenue is quintessential St. Paul. The Grand Harvest features more than a dozen blocks of food, deals and activities to support local businesses. The festivities are admittedly family-oriented — a bounce house, petting zoo (which actually sounds pretty cool), scarecrow competitions and a pumpkin decoration station — but it’s a good excuse to go out and visit the area.



What: Bill Callahan

Where: Cedar Cultural Center; 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis

When: 7:30 p.m.,

Price: $16-18

Bill Callahan first rolled onto the Cedar’s stage in 1991 under the guise of Smog. Over the next two and a half decades, the low-throated, stoic singer has grown steadily as one of the great American storytellers. His visit this weekend is part of a promotional tour for his new “Dream River,” released last month. The album features some of his deepest, most deliberate material to date. “Dream River” is a treat for long-time fans of Callahan who have watched him mature over the years and new listeners alike. Like a visit with an old friend over a glass of wine (or a couple of tallboys), checking out Callahan will be a warm way to end what may be a dark and chilly weekend. Fun fact: Did you know that Bill used to date Joanna Newsom?


Wear this: Satanic sweaters

Celebrate the darker side of the colder seasons with the hardcore knit designs currently offered by Shredders Knit Apparel. They’re a little pricy at around $80 a pop, but selections such as “Black Metal Knit Upside Down Cross Church Burner Snowman Sweater” or the “Krampus Knit Christmas Devil Sweater” your pullover will be scaring children and making you the dinner-table discussion of all who see it walking down the street! Check out the full collection at


Drink this: Pumpkin Beer

With all the hoopla about the dang Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks, it’s important not to overlook our favorite orange squash’s other delicious contribution to the world of beverages: craft beer. A pumpkin beer is like a shandy (beer with lemonade) but the tastes come together in a rich and spicy flavor like a medium-weight jacket when it gets to 45 degrees at night. Most liquor stores worth their hops have a few varieties on the shelf, like the Pumple Drumkin Spiced Ale by Cisco Brewers that’s been popping up around town.

Click this:

Ignite Minneapolis is the area’s premier idea jam-fest. Later this month (the date hasn’t been set yet), Ignite will invite 20 of the most interesting speakers to “ignite” a packed house. So why should you click on First, you can browse their hella cool archives and get educated quickly, and second, you should submit a talk. If you read A&E, you’re already a smart cookie who has demonstrated the appreciation for original thought it takes to make it into Ignite. What’s more, the organization could use some more college student voices. Get together a five-minute talk, fill out a form, and make us proud. You have from now until Oct. 20 to throw your hat in the ring.