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Culture Compass: Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Country Fest 2013, Femi Kuti

A&E plans your weekend.


Femi Kuti & The Positive Force

 Femi Kuti is the eldest son of afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, though when you’ve mastered the funky, dance-inducing rhythms from West Africa, it doesn’t matter whose kid you are. (Funny enough, Femi’s son — one of the artist’s six children with five women — has played with the band from time to time.) Perhaps the strangest thing about Femi Kuti is that sometimes when he sings, he sounds eerily like Wayne Brady doing an accented rendition of an afrobeat tune on “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” For those concerned about summer’s harsh onslaught, the Cedar sports a new air conditioning system.

The Cedar Cultural Center
416 S. Cedar Ave., Minneapolis
All Ages



Country Fest 2013

Four days out in the Wisconsin sticks with a cohort of Stetson-wearing, alligator boot-stomping, truck-driving country nuts sounds like a rollicking good time. Hunter Hayes, Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Toby Keith, Montgomery Gentry, Brantley Gilbert and Jake Owen are just a sampling of the names making the trip out to Cadott to perform. If the prospect of seein’ more stars-and-bars than stars-and-stripes leaves a nasty taste in your maw, swing by three weeks later for Rock Fest, featuring the likes of Whitesnake, KISS, Megadeth and Korn.

Amphitheater Concert Grounds
24447 S. County Highway, Cadott, Wis.
Thursday through Sunday
All Ages



Twin Cities Jazz Festival

From the open-air stage at Mears Park to the subterranean atmosphere of the Artists’ Quarter, the Twin Cities Jazz Festival shimmies and writhes into St. Paul like the soaring notes of a cornet. With previous iterations seeing the likes of Chick Corea, Dave Brubeck and John Scofield, you can rest assured that technical proficiency and professionalism will reign supreme at the 15th annual festival. Drop an ice cube down your shirt, and prepare to witness the real birth of the cool.

Downtown and Lowertown St. Paul
Thursday through Saturday
All Ages




Watch this: Movies in the Parks

As of 2012, there are merely 368 drive-in movie theaters left in the United States — at their peak in the ’50s, there were some 4,000. Now, events like Movies in the Parks represent rare opportunities to get the big-screen cinematic experience in the great outdoors. In Minneapolis, you can catch these flicks at the park:

Wednesday: “Little Women” at Lyndale Farmstead Park

Thursday: “Hunger Games” at Luxton Park

Friday: “West Side Story” at the Lake Harriet Bandshell

Saturday: “Here Comes the Boom” at East Phillips Park


Listen to this: Smith Westerns’ “Soft Will”

There’s a decent degree of indie-rock posing when it comes to Chicago’s Smith Westerns, affectedly affected and clad in the tightest of torn skinny jeans. Their new album is a charming release, rather different from the uncouth appearance of the three gentlemen. They managed to keep the garage-y attire, while shifting their music in a more mature direction with this third release. It’s a breeze to listen to, the kind of stuff that makes doing the dishes fly by.


Follow this: WW2 Tweets from 1941, @RealTimeWWII

If the timeline of the biggest conflict of the century confused you in elementary social studies, look no further than this ‘real time’ news feed of breaking events. Quotes from leaders, anecdotes, battles, troop movements: Everything is on the table. Right now, followers of @RealTimeWWII are being treated to the details of “Operation Barbarossa,” the codename for the German invasion of the Soviet Union, which began in mid-June. 

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