Culture compass — Abilities, controversial block parties and Katy Perry

A&E plans your weekend. You’re welcome.

Mark Brenden



DJ Abilities


917 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis

9 p.m.


Seeing DJ Abilities after the tragic loss of his music partner Eyedea is not like seeing Art Garfunkel solo. Unlike Art, Abilities doesnâÄôt completely suck without someone holding his hand. In fact, Abilities is extremely deft behind the turntables, and he has the wherewithal to exist on his own. I Self Devine, Carnage and Kids Like Us also play.


Basilica Block Party

Basilica of St. Mary

88 N. 17th St., Minneapolis

5 p.m.


Yes, some are participating in the grassroots snubbing of this event due to the churchâÄôs support of a constitutional ban on gay marriage. No, that doesnâÄôt mean that you are a homophobe if you go. Ray LaMontagne isnâÄôt a homophobe. Neither is Michael Franti or Zoo Animal. We havenâÄôt looked into whether or not Drive-By Truckers are homophobes, but we assume they also are not. Just go âÄî itâÄôs rock âÄònâÄô roll, God damn it. (Oops, sorry St. Mary!)


Katy Perry

Xcel Energy Center

199 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul

7:30 p.m.


Katy Perry takes some heat, as all pop stars do, for producing thoughtless, big-studio party anthems. But the truth is, while Perry is no Ella Fitzgerald, there could be worse ladies at the helm of pop music (see: 1998-2004).



Listen to this âÄî Action BronsonâÄôs âÄúDr. LecterâÄù

ItâÄôs hard not to make a Ghostface Killah comparison within the first five minutes of listening to Action Bronson. Lauded for his intricate rhyme schemes and razor-sharp wit, the Queens-bred emceeâÄôs new album âÄúDr. LecterâÄù has garnered plenty of blogosphere buzz in the last few weeks âÄî which, in the indie culture, is just as good as American currency. Too bad itâÄôs not enough to warrant quitting your day job.

Drink This:

TonyâÄôs Diner 2-for-1âÄôs, 10 a.m.-2 a.m.

TonyâÄôs Diner isnâÄôt exactly the ideal spot to get blotto on a Friday night, but it is a place that doesnâÄôt totally suck. And theyâÄôll give you two beers for the price of one, no matter which 10 oâÄôclock you are looking at.

Watch This

Mark Halperin calling President Barack Obama a part of the male anatomy

In a shockingly public display of brutal honesty, Time MagazineâÄôs Mark Halperin went on MSNBCâÄôs Morning Joe recently and, er âĦ spoke his mind about President ObamaâÄôs address to the House Republicans last week. This sounds like typical pundit banter, but the kicker here was HalperinâÄôs word choice (clue: starts with D ends with ick). The comment was immediately followed by an (obligatory) apology, making it one of the most awkward moments in national television history.

Eat This âÄî Hot Dogs.

Look, I know the 4thof July is over, but it doesnâÄôt end there, fellow patriots. That was just the preamble. A&E officially declares July to be Pride Month âĦ Er âĦ U.S. Pride Month! It shall be a 31-day marathon of nationalistic brouhaha that can only be celebrated through incessant BBQâÄôs and shameless flag sucking.

Read This âÄî âÄúRolling StoneâÄôsâÄù: The Neverending Nightmare of Amanda KnoxâÄù

Just a few years ago Amanda Knox was nothing but an innocent Seattle college student âĦ or so it seemed. Rolling StoneâÄôs Nathaniel Rich delivers a thoroughly devastating look at the international murder mystery thatâÄôs had tabloids frothing at the mouth for years.