Seven sec­onds with Hil­la­ry

Hil­la­ry Rod­ham Clinton brings her trav­el­ing book show to St. Paul this month when she — and her en­tou­rage of Secret Service — will spend two hours at Common Good Books on July 20 auto­graph­ing her mem­oir, "Hard Choi­ces." Clinton has faced a lot on the book trail so far, in­clud­ing per­sist­ent ques­tions about high speak­ing fees and low book sales (she was No. 1 on the New York Times bestsell­er list this week, but re­port­ed­ly is nowhere close to earn­ing back her $14 mil­lion ad­vance). She also en­dured a per­son dressed up like a gi­ant squir­rel, who fol­lowed her from sign­ing to sign­ing in Washington, D.C. Clinton fi­nal­ly gave the squir­rel — who was wear­ing a T-shirt that said, "An­oth­er Clinton in the White House is nuts" — a free copy of her book, ask­ing the squir­rel to make the hard choice to read it. In St. Paul, dressed as a squir­rel or not, you'll have to buy the book in ad­vance. Tick­ets for her sign­ing go on sale Sat­ur­day at Common Good Books and cost $35 (the price of the book). There will be plen­ty of pre­cau­tions in place for the form­er secretary of state, who, as a form­er first lady, quali­fies for Secret Service pro­tec­tion. The store will be closed that day to oth­er com­merce; peo­ple with tick­ets are not al­lowed to bring in bags or cam­eras (but cellphones and wal­lets are OK) and might have to en­dure a metal-de­tec­tor wand. The line will move swift­ly, since Clinton plans to auto­graph 1,000 books in two hours, which trans­lates to about 7.2 sec­onds per book. No selfies al­lowed. Not even for squir­rels.


Finn a­gain

Even though he's been drop­ping fewer and fewer re­fer­ences to home in his songs, Edina na­tive Craig Finn still of­fered plen­ty of lo­cal­ized shout-outs dur­ing the Hold Steady's de­but at the Minnesota Zoo last week­end. Af­ter sing­ing the line about Joe Strum­mer be­ing "our only de­cent teach­er" in "Con­struc­tive Summer," he point­ed out Breck School math teach­er Brad Peterson in the audi­ence. "He was a re­al­ly good teach­er, too," Finn said a­pol­o­get­i­cal­ly. The Brook­lyn res­i­dent also dedi­cat­ed a new song to a first-time con­cert at­ten­dee: his 3-year-old niece, Stel­la, there with head­phones on. Ap­pro­pri­ate­ly, the song was "I Hope This Whole Thing Didn't Fright­en You."


China call­ing

The St. Anthony Brass Quin­tet, a Minneapolis-based group, gets the rare op­por­tu­ni­ty to rep­re­sent Minnesota and the Unit­ed States at the 32nd Har­bin Summer Music Festival in Har­bin, China, this Au­gust. The quin­tet is the first per­form­ing group from Minnesota to be in­vit­ed to China through the Sister Cities Program. Har­bin and Minneapolis, if you ha­ven't heard, are sis­ter cit­ies. Pre­vi­ous ex­chang­es have fo­cused on busi­ness and gov­ern­ment.


Movie up­grades

Local theaters are keep­ing up with the Joneses, and with the lat­est tech­nol­o­gy, in a round of sig­nifi­cant im­prove­ments. The Science Museum of Minnesota is pre­par­ing to con­vert its Omnitheater from film to Imax's next-gen­er­a­tion dig­i­tal la­ser pro­jec­tion. The 370-seat St. Paul ven­ue will be the first Imax la­ser dome theater in the world, prom­is­ing im­ag­es with great­er bright­ness and clar­i­ty, a wider color spec­trum and inki­er blacks. The Omnitheater will close Sept. 2-Oct. 3, re­open­ing with "Flight of the Butter­flies." The St. Anthony Main Theater is in the midst of on­go­ing reno­va­tions. With new rock­er seats and add­ed aisle space, the five-plex's ca­pac­i­ty drops from 1,000 to 790. The humongous Imax the­ater at the Minnesota Zoo is also up­ping its game. It re­cent­ly add­ed Imax's in­can­des­cent-bulb dig­i­tal pro­jec­tion tech­nol­o­gy to complement its ex­ist­ing Imax 70mm film pro­jec­tion sys­tem, a set­up that will re­main at least through No­vem­ber for the re­lease of cel­lu­loid pur­ist Chris­to­pher Nolan's "In­ter­stel­lar."


Fast-mov­ing Turtles

Right on cue for next week's re­lease of their sev­enth al­bum, "Wild Animals," Tram­pled by Turtles are pre­dict­a­bly pick­ing up steam. The Minnesota string band will re­turn to "The Late Show With David Let­ter­man" on Tues­day night, the day the re­cord comes out. That's in ad­di­tion to oth­er East Coast me­di­a gigs next week in­clud­ing a CBS' "Ear­ly Show" ap­pear­ance (air­ing July 19), a WXPN/World Café Live noon­time broad­cast on July 18 and a "Tiny Desk Concert" at National Public Radio head­quar­ters in Washington, D.C. The Turtles also took care of their own first, by play­ing a home­town re­lease con­cert Thurs­day at the Cedar Cul­tur­al Center. They'll cele­brate in grand­er style lo­cal­ly with their Festival Pal­o­mi­no — fea­tur­ing the Head and the Heart, Low and oth­ers — on Sept. 20 at Can­ter­bur­y Park.


$$ for Spring­board

National at­ten­tion for Spring­board for the Arts is start­ing to snow­ball. In June, the St. Paul nonprofit that fos­ters com­muni­ty to­geth­er­ness and eco­nom­ic de­vel­op­ment through the arts re­ceived a $100,000 grant from ArtPlace America for its Fer­gus Falls of­fice to help with a pro­ject that will so­licit resi­dents' in­put on what to do with their city's be­he­moth of an old men­tal hos­pi­tal known as the Kirkbride. Last week, the New York-based Surd­na Foundation pledged $750,000 over the next three years to ad­vance Spring­board's art­ist-or­gan­iz­er program, which trains ar­tists to make strong­er con­nec­tions be­tween resi­dents and busi­ness own­ers in the neighborhoods where they live.

kristin tillotson