Snap judgment

Don't blame local concert photographers for Tuesday's mess of a concert by Cat Power at Mill City Nights. The indie-rock heroine alternately known as Chan Marshall singled out a couple of authorized lens men shooting near the stage two songs into her set. She muttered some commands to them before finally stopping the music altogether to inquire about their passes. It's up to artists' handlers to decide if and where photos are shot, mind you. "I'm not trying to be rude, but I want to see what is on that badge," she said to photographer Ben Clark, taking pictures on behalf of a little radio station called 89.3 the Current -- which was probably responsible for, oh, maybe at least half of the 1,000 fans being there. "There's no [expletive] press at this show!" she added in a huff. Oh yes there was, and the blog posts all agreed that Marshall never entirely got on track after that.


A piece of The Rock

Want a chance to smell what Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is cookin'? Casting agents will be at the Mall of America Saturday scouting for TNT's "The Hero," a new competition series to be hosted by Johnson. Producers are looking for people who display the physical, mental and emotional strength to engage in a battle of brains, brawn and morality. You must be 21 or older by January 2013 and own a valid passport since the show may take the chosen outside of the country for up to three weeks. Interested parties should visit the MOA's Executive Center between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday. Bring a recent photo of yourself, as well. Can't get out to the mall? You can send your name, contact info and a photo to


An open book

Opening for Jackson Browne Sunday at the State Theatre, sweet-voiced Sara Watkins reminisced about her many visits to the Twin Cities, with her old band Nickel Creek, with the Decemberists (she was a hired fiddler) and for "A Prairie Home Companion." Since she's spent recent summers touring with Garrison Keillor's crew, she left tickets at the State for Rich Dworsky, Pat Donohue, Peter Johnson and Tony Axtell of the PHC band. Watkins also mentioned that her favorite thing to do since her first visit to Minneapolis is to shop at James & Mary Laurie Booksellers on Nicollet Mall. I.W. is wondering if she's ever made it to Keillor's bookstore in St. Paul. Maybe next trip.


Honoring the Boss

Park Square Theatre will name its new stage for Andy Boss, a St. Paul civic leader who has been a longtime donor to the troupe. The 200-seat Andy Boss Thrust Stage is nearly ready for construction in the basement of the Hamm Building in downtown St. Paul -- below Park Square's 350-seat auditorium. The new stage is part of a $4.2 million expansion campaign that has reached 89 percent of its goal. Boss has served on several boards, including the Minnesota Museum of American Art and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He was founding president of Northern Clay Center. For 30 years, Boss was part owner and CEO of St. Anthony Park Bank (now Park Midway Bank).


Twist and shout

Invitations to the Weisman Art Museum's shindig last weekend promised a "BIG BASH. REALLY!" And the University of Minnesota museum delivered, starting with the weird fake topiary "!" and "?" on the front terrace. Art collector Dolly Fiterman held court in her namesake Weisman gallery, which was stripped of art and disco-ized with colored lights, curvy banquettes and a bar at which celebrity mixologist Ryan Ecklund and crew poured lethal-looking pink cocktails. U of M physicist Marvin Marshak shouted science tips to David Rhees, director of Minneapolis' Bakken Museum of Science and Electricity, while John Munson's all-star band of local musicians blasted and Weisman director Lyndel King, just back from Italy, hugged arriving guests, including photographer Cy DeCosse and his wife, writer Paula DeCosse. The noise level? BIG. REALLY.


Vote for arts

The arts aren't high enough on most political-campaign agendas to warrant a mention. It's sometimes hard to gauge whether and how much incumbents support arts funding, because arts appropriations are usually parts of larger bills. But if you want to see who responded to a survey by the advocacy group Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, and find out who MCA considers to be "arts all-stars" before casting your ballot, check it out here:


P.O.S. under duress

While he seemed dead-set on keeping his hometown release party festive, P.O.S. did briefly acknowledge the dramatic circumstances surrounding last Friday's sold-out concert at First Avenue. The real-life Stefon Alexander, 31, had to cancel his fall tour due to an ailing kidney and a needed transplant. Fans and friends, in turn, flooded a YouCaring site set up for him to offset his medical expenses, with the monthlong goal of $25,000 met in three short days. "I felt like I was on the verge of falling apart at the seams, and you guys put me back together," he told the gathering. The crowd had pretty much fallen apart in exhaustion by the time he wrapped up the new album, "We Don't Even Live Here." And then his Doomtree cohorts showed up and blew it all to pieces for three more songs. Fellow rapper Mike Mictlan might have said it best regarding the outpouring of support: "He deserves it."



The Minnesota Opera will live-stream excerpts from "Doubt," its upcoming January premiere based on John Patrick Shanley's award-winning play, on Facebook at 7:30 p.m. Sunday and Monday. The preview is part of a series called Works & Process at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. A discussion with the new opera's creative team -- including composer Douglas J. Cuomo, director Kevin Newbury and Shanley -- will follow. Watch it here: