Culture compass: spelling, house partying and jazz

Joe Cristo

Friday: Aaron Carter at The Pourhouse

This Friday, come dance with me to that one Shaq song. Aaron Carter, the child star we all know and love, will be playing his greatest hits for throngs of middle-aged women. Honestly, just give Aaron a few bucks because I heard he’s broke and could use the cash.

Where: The Pourhouse, 10 S. 5th St., Minneapolis

When: 7 p.m.

Cost: $20

Saturday: The Drinkin’ Spelling Bee at 331 Club

You read that right: An adult-themed spelling bee at one of the best venues in town. Even better, each word you spell right gets you a free beer. The winner ends up with an entire beer tab for the night. As a past spelling-bee champion, I’m reluctant to share the stage with amateurs — but with free booze involved I’ll probably be there.

Where: 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. N.E., Minneapolis

When: 7:00 p.m.

Cost: $8

Sunday: Boy Kisses Comedy at Universe Games

How many times must I say it? Do yourself a favor and see the best Minneapolis comedy group, Boy Kisses, for free this Sunday. Each show has a different theme and features some of the best unexplored comedy talents in the Twin Cities. Be sure to get there early though — seats run out fast.

Where: Universe Games, 711 W. Lake St., Minneapolis

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: Free


Watch this: “La La Land”

Ignore what everyone has been saying about this movie — the negative reaction is either baseless or impacted by how successful the movie has been thus far. It’s well-written, incredibly directed and one of the most original movies in recent memory. The movie is about jazz, but it’s still good.

Listen to this: “Oczy Mlody” by The Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips haven’t been good in years … if they ever were at all. I’m recommending this record so you can contextualize the fall of what’s considered one of the best rock bands of the 21st century. The album title is a joke, and — except for a few fleeting melodies and hooks — so is the music. Just look to the final song on the album, it features Miley Cyrus in her worst work to date.

Stream this: “Insecure”

Over winter break I managed to find time to watch the HBO television dramedy “Insecure” — it’s explosive. I usually don’t bite for things that are over-hyped, and the popular notion that something is good simply because it reflects diverse voices seems flawed. But then there are shows like “Insecure,” where traditionally-marginalized voices are emphasized with talented writing and even more talented directing.