Spark Festival, Oscars and dancing horses

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

Javier Piñon's Medusa Source

Ashley Goetz

Javier Piñon’s Medusa Source

Friday Music BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet Southern Cajun cross-over savants BeauSoleil have been impressing audiences for over thirty years with their masterful mélange of New Orleans Jazz, Blues, and Zydeco music. With Michael Doucet at the helm as always, and with an all-star cast backing him, this tour is sure to be no different. If BeauSoleilâÄôs recent Grammy win fails to impress, then perhaps the French-language reworking of Muddy WatersâÄô âÄúRollinâÄô & TumblinâÄôâÄù will. The Cedar, 416 Cedar Avenue S. 7 p.m. $20, $23 Culture Gran Torino actors speak The Institute For Advanced Study will host a panel discussion starring five of the Hmong actors from the film âÄúGran Torino.âÄù In an attempt to flush out some of the ideas brought up by the film, the five insiders will talk about their feelings about âÄúGran TorinoâÄù as well as the production itself. The panel will include stars Bee Vang (Thao Vang Lor) and Ahney Her (Sue Lor), among others. The panel will be moderated by Rutgers University Anthropology professor Louisa Schein. The discussion will be followed by an autograph signing and is sure to be an interesting look into cultural diversity. Willey Hall, 225 19th Avenue S 4:30 p.m. Free Music The Pretenders The Pretenders much anticipated new album âÄúBreak Up the ConcreteâÄù is only the second record produced by the legendary group in the last decade. Band leader Chrissie Hynde and her crew of saucy Brits broke more ground than just concrete in 1980 when they exploded onto the U.K. and U.S. scene with their self-titled album. Now some 29 years later, few have forgotten The PretendersâÄô unique sound and powerful lead woman. The rare and celebratory occasion of a new album has got many rockersâÄô hearts a flutter and they can be sure that the show will be a memorable one. First Avenue, 701 First Avenue N. 8 p.m. $35 Art Javier Piñon: Medusa At first glance, artist Javier PiñonâÄôs serpentinely coiffed vintage models look so seamlessly put together that one almost forgets that their stark and supernatural hair wasnâÄôt always there. The 39 year-old Miami native composes his collages of found images of fashion models from yesteryear, supplementing their photos with sometimes writhing, sometimes tranquilly coiled snakes. Mounted on yellowed handmade paper and seeming to jump off the page, PiñonâÄôs women are strange and captivating. Franklin Art Works, 1021 Franklin Avenue E. Music Spark Festival The seventh annual Spark Electronic Music Festival is currently in full swing! Friday will mark day four of the event and will feature performances by an assortment of different innovative and tech-driven artists in a number of different venues. Although events will take place throughout the day, the Bedlam Theatre will play host to a number of musicians come nightfall including Puzzleweasel, Joshua FriedâÄôs RADIO WONDERLAND and Kendall Station. With a commitment to new technologies driving the performances and an ongoing strand of industrious creativity running throughout, the Spark Festival is by far one of the most exciting events the Twin Cities can call their own. Bedlam Theater, 1501 Sixth Street S. 9 p.m. Saturday Entertainment The World Famous Lipizzaner Stallions At the Lipizzaner show, it will be easy to relive the days when you saddled up your tiny My Little Pony (remember, the one with the glittery pink clouds tattooed on her behind?) and took them riding around the pasture of your front yard. For the show’s 39th anniversary, the stallions prance regally and practically leap over tall buildings. Target Center, 600 First Avenue N. 7:30 p.m. $25-$37 Theater Hunchback of Notre Dame This isn’t a screening of the anti-gypsy Disney movie of your childhood, but a spectacular theatre production of the original work. The performance is much darker than said glamorized romance flick, comprising a heartening tale of death and class war. Minneapolis Theater Garage, 711 Franklin Avenue W. 7:30 p.m. $12-$15 Music Cocaine; Soviet Machine Though each band touts a slightly subversive name, we can assure you that there will be no bloody noses or arms races at the 400 Bar. Arrive early to check out the railing bass lines and riffs from one of Minneapolis’ favorite upcoming bands, Soviet Machine. 400 Bar, 400 Cedar Avenue S. 8 p.m. $8 Music Spark Festival Along with even more electronic and dance bands to rock your exam-ridden booties, Saturday night is the night of the Spark party at the Regis Center for Art on West Bank. Its the ideal way to take in a little visual stimulation alongside the jamming beats of Dance Band and Beatrix*JAR. Check out the Daily’s video Regis Center for Art, 405 21st Avenue S. 6 p.m. Music The Talkers The post-punk/garage rock sensation The Talkers are tearing up the Triple Rock. As a contribution to the Spark Festival, Tony Gerard and Sam Ness (formerly of the musical collective Dick Wolff) are hailing their hometown. Put on your Converse kicks and catch the 16! Triple Rock Social Club, 629 Cedar Avenue S. 9 p.m. $5 Sunday Party Oscar Night Minnesota Ok, ok, this Oscar Night party comes with a ticket price that might incite a wince. But itâÄôs for a good cause âÄì the money goes towards The Minnesota AIDS project and DIVAMN. For those who do have the cash to spare, the Chambers Hotel is a more than accommodating location to celebrate. The night offers a chance to eat hors dâÄôoeuvres, watch the artsy fires that burn throughout the cozy, sleek lounges, and pretend that one is a celebrity just visiting this alternate Siberia. Chambers Kitchen, 901 Hennepin Avenue 6 p.m. $125 Art Clive Murphy: Almost Nothing Hopefully the Soap Factory has not yet classically conditioned most of the city to pee their pants at the thought of visiting. Sure, they throw one of the least predictable (and therefore most frightening) haunted HallowâÄôs Eve tours, but the rest of the year they feature some of the most up-and-coming, un-pretentious art around. This Saturday, Clive Murphy takes over the factory with his âÄúAlmost NothingâÄù exhibit. Consisting of geometrical shapes made of domestic trash bags, MurphyâÄôs array of sculptures will leave visitors feeling like Lego Land toys wandering around in the first dredges of 3-D existence. The Soap Factory, 518 Second Street S.E. Art Elizabeth Peyton âÄòLive ForeverâÄô Elizabeth Peyton likes to paint celebrities, and brings a similar lens to a multitude of faces ranging from Michelle Obama to Kurt Cobain. Her hand renders them gaunt and elf-eyed, sad and fragile, making them a captivating reflection of the heroes and anti-heroes that unite cultural dialogue. The Walker Art Center is featuring her âÄúLive ForeverâÄù exhibit, which, as a whole, depicts the gilded life with a soft stroke. Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Avenue 11 a.m. âÄì 5 p.m. $6 with I.D. Theater Happy Days In the slanted world of playwright Samuel Beckett, characters never travel very far. Instead, they find themselves perpetually stuck in place, their thoughts and observations fractalled into a thousand directions. In âÄúHappy Days,âÄù the main character Winnie is stuck in a mound of earth, but bound to remain optimistic nonetheless. Guthrie Theater, 818 Second Street S. 1 p.m. $22-$30 Party Oscars Those with cable and without can all rejoice and celebrate a year of notably endearing films. Here is a list of must-haves for any good Oscar celebration: -Champagne (how about Asti?) -A bit of the hard stuff (Clementine Svedka will delight all) -A âÄúdress up as favorite nomineeâÄù theme Voila. Take a shot every time there is product placement. (Er, did A&E suggest Asti out of subliminal brainwashing from the Grammys? Quite possibly.) Culture to Consume Watch This: âÄúTaxi To The Dark SideâÄù Alex GibneyâÄôs Academy Award-winning documentary tells the story of an innocent Afghani cab driver who is mistakenly imprisoned by U.S. forces and tortured to death. The film uses the story as a launch pad to show the deplorable turn torture policy the U.S. has taken since the onset of âÄúThe War On Terror.âÄù Listen to This: Le Loup âÄúThe Throne of the Third Heaven of the NationsâÄô Millennium General AssemblyâÄù D.C. based band Le LoupâÄôs first album is a surprisingly intricate and expertly woven collection of intimate, rootsy pop songs. Both electronic and organic sounding simultaneously, and with a sound which recalls both Animal Collective and Iron and Wine , one hopes that Le Loup will announce a tour sooner than later. Read This Jack Black: âÄúYou CanâÄôt WinâÄù The original Jack Black was, counter to popular knowledge, not the heavyset funny man we all know and love but instead a genius thief and hobo who lived out his life on the lamb until he settled down as a librarian in the late 1920s. His memoir âÄúYou CanâÄôt WinâÄù is a masterful and delightfully honest memoir depicting life as an outlaw in the late 19th and early 20th century. His no-nonsense prose and captivating highway life was so influential on the beat generation that William S. Burroughs admits to having lifted large sections of the book for his own memoir-esque novel âÄúJunkie.âÄù A vastly underappreciated work, âÄúYou CanâÄôt WinâÄù is an enthralling and breakneck-paced piece of non-fiction, which will have you longing to leave your cushy life for one of romantic petty crime. Eat This: The Pad See Iew with mock duck at Amazing Thailand in Uptown is absolutely deadly in flavor and portion. You’ll leave satisfied and with two more brown-bag lunches to spare. Drink This: The Washington Apple Equal parts Crown Royal, sour apple schnapps and cranberry juice will remind you that your favorite fruit is actually alcohol. Click This: Even CNN has been talking about the latest YouTube craze: “Kittens Inspired by Kittens,” wherein a young girl assigns completely unrelated scenarios to pictures of adorable baby cats. If you havenâÄôt seen it yet, you might as well join the mathletes and commit social suicide. (A&E doesnâÄôt really believe the mathletes are social suicide, weâÄôre just quotinâÄô âÄúMean Girls.âÄù)