Culture Compass: pastiche, puzzles and pop-rock

by Joe Cristo

Friday: Melissa Jones’ Birthday with wetter, Sass, Absolutely Not and Mrs.

Melissa Jones — one of the Minneapolis music scene’s most promising young songwriters — is celebrating her birthday by curating a Triple Rock show. Her band — wetter — has graduated from a side project to a full-force, beloved live act. Sass, which is also on the bill, is my favorite band in the Twin Cities — I’m not exaggerating. Everything is catchy without being pastiche; everything is rockin’ without the cliches.

Where: Triple Rock Social Club, 629 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis

When: 9 p.m.

Cost: $5

Saturday: Mindbender Mansion

The Science Museum of Minnesota has always had cool tricks up its sleeve. While this event is supposed to be an exploration of neuroscience, it’s really just an interactive way to challenge your puzzle, trivia and logic skills —maneuver a flying machine, learn to use a tilt table or keep up with a conveyor belt. The event is included with a general admission ticket, so it’s well worth the price.

Where: Science Museum of Minnesota, 120 W Kellogg Blvd., Minneapolis

When: Museum opens at 9:30 a.m.

Cost: $18.95

Sunday: Intimate Gathering with Posh Lost, the Florists and 4th Curtis

Posh Lost is the brightest, loudest and spaciest band in the cities. They’ve experienced a surge in popularity, so catch them before they leave for fame and fortune. Freaky college-rock band, the Florists, is sure to have a theatrical live show that’ll teeter on anarchy. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who are fighting against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Where: Triple Rock Social Club, 629 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis

When: 8:30 p.m.

Cost: $5


Watch this: “Bad Santa 2”

When I was a wee child, I thought the original “Bad Santa” was the funniest thing on late night syndication. Of course, everything was basically bleeped or cut out. “Bad Santa 2” picks up where the original story left off — you remember, don’t you? Like a fine wine, Billy Bob Thornton’s comedy chops have only gotten better with age.

Listen to this: “You Want it Darker” by Leonard Cohen

The late Leonard Cohen wasn’t one to shy away from the bleak and hopeless. Cohen, who died in early November, wrote his last album as the informed elder of songwriting. This being said, Cohen was one of the few baby-boomer rockers who transformed his music with the onslaught of new technology and perceptions of art. This record is no exception.

Watch this: “The Edge of Seventeen”

“The Edge of Seventeen” centers around Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), a rude high school loner whose best and only friend ends up dating her reviled older brother. The plot doesn’t sound like it could hold up to the standards of a full-length feature, but somehow it works brilliantly. Not only is the film shot beautifully, auteur Kelly Fremon Craig wrote and directed a story that seems close to the chest.