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For serious night owls a 2 a.m. closing time is too cruel a rule. Although bars still have their normal curfew, one night per year Twin Cities culture junkies are encouraged to stay out until dawn.
The fourth annual all-night art festival Northern Spark, which last year drew 45,000 attendees, returns Saturday. From 9 p.m. until daybreak, artists of all mediums will perform and exhibit their work at locations across Minneapolis.This year's theme: “Projecting the City.”
While there is much to see and experience during the sleep-depriving arty party, anyone whose get-down urges extend passed bar close might head to Kim Bartmann’s coming-soon Loring Park restaurant, where the music won’t stop till the birds are chirping. The restaurateur behind Barbette, Bryant Lake Bowl, Pat’s Tap, the newly opened Tiny Diner and more is staying tight-lipped regarding her plans for the former Cafe Maude and Nick and Eddie space at 1612 Harmon Place. But Bartmann will open its doors starting at 9 p.m. for a late night of music and performance art.
“We’re excited to bring a little bohemian life back to Loring Park,” she said.
Presented by the Bedlam Theatre and DJ Rambo Salinas, indoor performers include singer/songwriter Brian Laidlaw, who’s teaming with literary rag Paper Darts for a vaudevillian music and poetry piece, rockabilly quartet L’Assasins, energetic soul rockers Black Diet, DJs Dan McAllister of Worldwide Discotheque, Soul Togetherness’ Brenda Hernandez and Kevin Jones, and more. Outside the restaurant Lea Devon Sorrentino and Forever Young’s Chris Cloud host a silent dance party, while the Independent Filmmaker Project MN screens silent films in the alley scored live by local bands. Plus an outdoor ping pong tourney and a sunrise yoga session (see full schedule below).
Though the unnamed restaurant is still under construction, food, booze and much-needed espresso will be available. Bartmann had hoped to open before Northern Spark, but had a hiccup with an energy-inefficient back door. The Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission denied her request to have the door replaced, so she essentially built a door within a door as a workaround. The restaurant is about three weeks away from opening and more details about the concept and her collaborators (which include a former Minneapolitan who’s returning after running a Brooklyn bar) will be announced next week.
Until then, tell the Sandman to shove it and enjoy the dusk-till-dawn art extravaganza.
Inside performances at 1612 Harmon Place:
9:10 p.m. Frank Theater
9:30 p.m. Paper Darts
10:20 p.m. DJ Tarik Thornton
11:20 p.m. L'Assassins
12:20 a.m. DJ Brenda Hernandez
1:30 a.m. Black Diet
2:20 a.m. DJ Dan McAllister
3:20 a.m. DJ Kevin Jones
4:20 a.m. DJ Rambo Salinas
Outside performances at 1612 Harmon Place:
9 p.m.-3 a.m. IFP MN presents Out of the Shadows - Movies & Music in the Dark (live score by local bands at the top of each hour)
9 p.m.-1 a.m. Happenstance...Negative Jam (Silent Dance Party!) by Chris Cloud & Lea Devon Sorrentino
9 p.m.-3 a.m. Ping Pong by Starlight - Register for tourney online at http://tinyurl.com/NSpingpong or sign up on site by 10:45 p.m. (open pong before & after tourney)
5:30 a.m. Sunrise Yoga in Loring Park (located on north side of the park, across from 1612 Harmon Place)
No formal announcements. Which is what you might expect from the Sullivan brothers, who ran the 400 Bar on the West Bank in its indie-rock heyday.
Their new 400 endeavor at Mall of America – part of the entertainment complex that includes the just-opened Midwest Music Museum – has several bookings, Bill Sullivan told me at a preview party for the exhibit “Ladies and Gentlemen, the Beatles” at the museum.
He said the first shows will probably be after July 4.
But they haven’t posted anything on their website yet – except to follow them on Twitter @400Bar.
And he said the new space is still under construction at 400 East Broadway at the Mall of America. A "400 Bar" sign -- which looks just like the one at 400 Cedar Av. S. -- has been painted on the outside of the new club.
Meanwhile, the only announced show is Aug. 1 with Denny Laine, former member of the Moody Blues (remember “Go Now” from his era) and Wings (Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles band). However, tickets haven’t gone on sale yet.
Tom Sullivan said it has been a “condensed” learning process with this new endeavor, which will also include a restaurant.
He promises that the new 400 won’t be dependent on a group of hard-core fans (like the old corner bar was) but rather draw from the entire Twin Cities as well as the millions of tourists who come to Mall of America each year.
Mason Jennings, a regular performer at the old 400 Bar, was at the preview as were Lori Barbero of Babes in Toyland and other members of the Minnesota music community.
A couple weeks in advance of the happy chaos that the opening of the Green Line will create, Bedlam Theatre opens the door on its new digs in Lowertown St. Paul (213 4th St. E.) on Saturday with a day-long party from noon till after midnight. The festivities begin with kid-friendly puppet activities, followed by cabaret performances, live bands and wee-hours dancing to vinyl spun by KFAI music director Miguel Vargas.
In keeping with Bedlam's philosophy of putting the community in community-based theater, the space will serve food and drink daily from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to encourage residents and visitors to stop in, share ideas and be part of whatever creative process might be going down at the moment. The same concept was behind their popular happy hour at the former West Bank location in Minneapolis, but they're opting for midday this time around because the lunch hour is more of a peak activity time in downtown St. Paul, said director John Bueche.
Bedlam's first Lowertown show opens June 13, the night before the new Green Line brings thousands of Minneapolitans who hate driving on 94 pouring into St. Paul's streets. Titled "The Beast," the play written by Ryan Underbakke follows events leading up to a fictional massacre of an immigrant family in northern Minnesota.
For now, the theater's website is calling for deep-pocketed beer drinkers to fork over $1,000 to help them stock up for tomorrow's party, with the payback being free beer through 2020. Good luck with that, guys -- we're guessing there might be a few takers. See more info here.
Palmer's Bar/ photo by Tom Wallace
When it comes to toasting great pubs and restaurants, national magazines tend to overlook the Twin Cities. Esquire magazine broke that tradition in 2006 when it named Nye's Polonaise as the best bar in America. Now they've dared to it again.
Palmer's Bar, a war-horse hangout best known for its hootenannys and generous pours, has made the list of "Best Bars in America." The mag praises the West Bank establishment's "dive" persona and recommends having a bourbon neat with a beer back.
The June/July issue, featuring Mark Wahlberg on the cover, is now available on newstands.
"Time, time. What is time? Swiss manufacture it. French hoard it. Italians squander it. Americans say it is money. Hindus say it does not exist. Do you know what I say? I say time is a crook," mutters Peter Lorre apropos of absolutely nothing in "Beat the Devil," John Huston's brilliant 1953 parody of crime-sex-comedy-adventure films.
With an all star cast (Humphrey Bogart, Gina Lollobrigida, Jennifer Jones, Robert Morley and others too numerous to mention), the movie is a cult classic that deserves its own little Northern Spark revival just for the delicious pleasure of hearing Lorre's daffy riff on time.
It would be the perfect accompaniment to Christian Marclay's "The Clock," a 24-hour-long work of genius that Walker Art Center plans to run June 14 -15 as part of Northern Spark, the dusk-to-dawn art festival that this year bounces back to Minneapolis after a season in St. Paul.
In "The Clock," Marclay splices together 24 hours of second-by-second images of clocks clipped from other movies, each of them moving inexorably and sequentially through a day and a night and a day again as time passes. There are wrist watches, digital alarms, tower clocks, train-station clocks and more snipped from murder mysteries, romantic comedies, adventure tales and every other type of cinematic encounter in which someone, somewhere glanced at a timepiece while marking time waiting for something to happen.
As "Beat the Devil" screen-writer Truman Capote said, through the lips of Lorre, "Time is a crook."
Walker has booked "The Clock" from 11 a.m. Saturday to 5 p.m. Sunday. That's a long 24 hours, perhaps broken up by popcorn and bathroom breaks?
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