At first, fans thought it might be a ruse: Wily Scottish pop-rockers Belle & Sebastian took to Twitter on Tuesday morning with claims they (unknowingly) left their drummer Richard Colburn in North Dakota en route to that night's Palace Theatre concert. "Anyone want to be a hero and get him to St. Paul somehow? The gig weighs in the balance," frontman Stuart Murdoch tweeted. The singer later revealed on air at 89.3 the Current that it was all true and happened when their bus stopped at a Walmart in Dickinson, N.D., after which everyone on board went to sleep in their bunks. They got all the way to St. Paul before they realized they were missing Colburn, who only had a credit card on him and was allegedly wearing pajamas. He was able to get a ride to Bismarck and hopped on a plane to make it to the show on time, where the band humorously flashed the note, "Somebody is not on the bus," as part of the video backdrop on stage. Murdoch actually didn't seem too amused by the incident on air, but he did crack wise to Current jockey Mary Lucia about how Colburn was able to hitch a ride: "He won't seem much of a threat, I think, when you're in your jammies."
Mpls. crime story
One of the TV season's most hotly anticipated series will be partly set in Minnesota. "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story" opens with Andrew Cunanan (played by former "Glee" star Darren Criss) killing the famed designer, but the story will move backward with two of the 10 episodes taking place in Minneapolis, where Cunanan's killing spree began. Co-producer Brad Simpson said film crews were scouting areas of Los Angeles that could double for downtown Minneapolis. The research team behind the series pored over 400 pages from the Minneapolis Police Department. "Minneapolis was hugely important," said Tom Rob Smith, who wrote every episode. "It's a key part of our story." The series will premiere in January on FX.
His big 'Adventure'
Open an "Adventure Time" comic book in the next few months, and you'll find the words of Minneapolis cartoonist Kevin Cannon. Cannon will be the creative mind behind the antics of "Adventure Time" characters Jake and Finn in issues 70 to 73 of the comic based on the Cartoon Network series. The opportunity "came out of the blue," said Cannon, whose illustrations have frequently run in the Star Tribune. Publisher Kaboom! approached him after an editor read Cannon's graphic novel "Far Arden." The cartoonist said he binge-watched the show for research: "You get to be the mouthpiece for these characters who are so beloved. You want to be an accurate voice for them."
Durant's $25K prize
It seems only yesterday that Sam Durant's sculpture "Scaffold" set off an uproar in the Twin Cities, followed by its dismantling and removal from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. So what's Durant up to now? Last month, he won the $25,000 Rappaport Prize, presented annually by the deCordova Sculpture Park in suburban Boston (Durant was raised in the nearby South Shore area). Durant also is participating in the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation's annual art charity auction in St. Tropez to combat climate change. He contributed a piece called "Together and Ocean (Mirror)" — a 3-foot-wide mirror, mounted on plywood, spray-painted in blue with the words: "Alone, we / are a drop / together, an / ocean." Starting bid for the piece is $20,000 in an online auction that continues through Aug. 23.
Two Twin Cities writers are in the mix for PEN Center USA's annual Literary Awards. Kao Kalia Yang of St. Paul is a finalist in creative nonfiction for her memoir, "The Song Poet," and Sun Yung Shin of Minneapolis is a poetry finalist for "Unbearable Splendor," published by Minneapolis' Coffee House Press. Graywolf Press also has a book in the running with Solmaz Sharif's "Look." The list generated controversy for one of the picks: "Stealing Indians," a young-adult novel by John Smelcer, whose claims of Native American ancestry have long been in dispute. Minnesota writer Marlon James, who went to grad school with Smelcer, called him a "living con job."
Find more coverage of the arts at startribune.com/artcetera and follow us on Twitter @entertain_mn.