Culture Compass: Guante, Kanye and 10 Thousand Sounds

A&E plans your weekend. You’re welcome, Swaghili-speakers.

Joseph Kleinschmidt

STUFF TO DO

 

FRIDAY:

 

“Speak Up and Get Down,” featuring Guante and the 2013 MN Brave New Voices team

 

Minneapolis underground emcee Guante is a busy man. As well as working with producer Big Cats on message-driven hip-hop albums like “An Unwelcome Guest” and his latest, “You Better Weaponize,” he’s also an essayist, political activist and teacher. Guante, a.k.a. Kyle Myhre, also happens to be a two-time National Poetry Slam champion, so Friday’s “Speak Up and Get Down” spoken-word showcase will reflect the multi-talented performer’s roots in the art. He’ll join the roster of the local 2013 Brave New Voices team, comprised of eight high school teens, for a night of poetry. Bring an open mind, and prepare for plenty of rhymes.

 

Where: The Coffee Shop Northeast, 2852A Johnson St. N.E., Minneapolis

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: Free

 

SATURDAY:

 

Zine Release Party

 

Know how to shade a perfect moustache with your pencil? Want to physically spread your thoughts on Marxism? Then head on down to Boneshaker Books to engage with fellow zinesters for an evening of trading comics, poems and rants. Even if you’d never consider pouring your soul into writing that will be Xeroxed by a pimply faced employee, you can revel in the weird local art collective this party should reveal. Get off your Tumblr, and hand-stitch the spine of your forthcoming manifesto. If you don’t have any zines to bring, feel free to abuse the event’s open mic.

 

Where: Boneshaker Books, 2002 S. 23rd Ave., Minneapolis

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: Free

 

SUNDAY:

 

10 Thousand Sounds Festival

 

End your weekend with City Pages’ annual downtown music fest, this year featuring national headliners The Walkmen. Coming off of 2012’s “Heaven,” the New Yorkers continue to show off an alternative contemporary edge to vintage instruments. Free Energy, the event’s other national act, also updates the sound of another era. The five-piece brings an ecstatic power pop to bombastic ’80s arena rock without sounding corny. If that’s not enough of a reason to attend, plenty of rising local acts are also in tow. Emcee Greg Grease, pop duo Strange Names and indie up-and-comers Prissy Clerks round out the Minnesota connection.

 

Where: 8th St. & Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis

When: 4-10 p.m.

Cost: $25 ($20 advance)

Age: 21+

 

CULTURE TO CONSUME

 

LISTEN TO THIS:

 

“Yeezus” by Kanye West

 

Scratch “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” — that kind of album’s not scoring a direct sequel. Stripped down to acid house music and occasional soul staples, “Yeezus” unleashes uncompromising anger where Kanye West’s landmark 2010 album strays into perfect fantasy. Kanye’s back to a blunt lyrical edge, imperfect and incensed by commercialism and a “new slavery.” Though “Yeezus” definitely takes more work to listen to, the pay-off is worth it. It’s not exactly an explicit social-commentary, but “Yeezus” shows Kanye at his most obsessive-compulsive and fearless. “Yeezus” marks a “Kid A” counterpoint to his previous work, a lot more spontaneous as ’Ye speaks “Swaghili.”

 

WATCH THIS:
 

“World War Z”

 

Really this recommendation stands as a placeholder to the millions of other post-apocalyptic movies out now. (See: “Elysium,” “After Earth” and “This Is the End.”) If you prefer your future-gazing without Neill Blomkamp’s pseudo-documentary style, Will Smith or stoner comedy, maybe “World War Z” is for you. Brad Pitt stars as the United Nations worker who travels the world’s zombie-ravaged environment, trying to stop the pandemic. Based on Max Brooks’ novel of the same name, the forthcoming blockbuster may not pack the same social commentary as the literature, but it’ll pack in the viewers as it racks up the corpses onscreen.

 

READ THIS:

 

“Black Hole” by Charles Burns

 

A primer into the alt-world of graphic novels, “Black Hole” gives a dark account of a group of suburban teenagers in the 1970s. Set in Seattle, the high school-aged freaks soon have to live out in the local town’s woods. The teens become social outcasts as they develop strange mutations via a sexually transmitted disease referred to as “the bug.” Think David Fincher or Franz Kafka — in a similar vein, Burns draws with a vivid clarity that makes the grotesque manifestations all the more uncomfortable. Try to read this one on a summer’s eve if you can handle nightmares that would make John Carpenter grin.