Joe Brandmeier's book signing party for "Up North" came with its own movie moment when "The Tree of Life" co-producer Bill Pohlad walked in.

"Last week I was watching him on TV at the Cannes Film Festival with Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, and then a couple days later he's sitting at this party at Theodore Wirth Park for my book release," said Brandmeier, a producer and director who might have a career in politics ahead of him as he added, "I am, of course, honored Bill, his beautiful wife, Michelle, and everybody else showed up." In addition to Pohlad, the other unexpected media sighting was that of Charlie Boone, WCCO-AM legend.

In "Up North: Reflections, Moments & Memories" Brandmeier uses lush photographs he's taken and quotes he's collected to illustrate his great love for this part of the planet.

"It's a book that was created through my passion for Up North, which started a long, long time ago. It's 80 pages of awe-inspiring images of anyone's Up North, mixed with wildlife, sunsets and all kinds of miracles of Mother Nature," said Brandmeier, who sprinkled in observations about the outdoors from "some really incredible thinkers like Albert Einstein and then some simple thinkers like Frank Vascellaro."

As you will see on startribune.com/video, it took about five seconds for Brandmeier's playful swipe at his buddy, the WCCO-TV anchor, to register with me. Look at it this way, Vascellaro, how often do you see your name in the same sentence as Einstein's? (FYI, Frankie V, this isn't even the most interesting sentence with your name in it from Brandmeier.)

I asked Vascellaro, KARE 11 meteorologist Belinda Jensen and MyTalk107.1 FM's Joan Steffend, who also has an identity as Brandmeier's wife, to read their quotes from the book for my video. Steffend, formerly of HGTV and KARE 11, where she met Joe, has TWO quotes in the book, but I had her read only one for video.

What did Joan have to do to merit two quotes?

"You don't want to know," said Brandmeier.

Brandmeier said the friends quoted are "great friends" with whom he's shared experiences Up North, along with family.

In his real job of late, Brandmeier has produced and directed Rocket Club's music video for the single "North Country," Alison Scott's video for "Smash and Grab" and a multi-camera theatrical release for Minnesota Opera's "Wuthering Heights."

As topical as he is colorful, Brandmeier weighed in in a strange way on the hot topic many are scratching their heads over: Arnold Schwarzenegger's torching his marriage to Maria Shriver by having sex with the housekeeper and conceiving a child whose existence he kept secret for 13 years.

A character with some genuine character, Brandmeier would never engage in the despicable behavior demonstrated by Schwarzenegger and Mildred Beana, who looks like a member of Shriver's family based on the photos in People mag (with Kim Kardashian's and Kris Humphries' engagement news on the cover). However, fun of Arnold's predicament was made by Brandmeier when he gave me the scoop on his "love child," who can be seen in my video, which also divulges the identity of the other "father."

Were it true, it'd be an astounding movie, and I know just which Palme d'Or winner Brandmeier would like to produce it.

Will Prince whirl in?

Prince is high on the wish list of organizers of the fundraiser concert at the State Theater for tornado-ravaged north Minneapolis.

Soul Asylum, Robert Robertson, Larry Long and Billy McLaughlin are among the acts confirmed at the June 12 benie concert, where it appears that a former newswoman and lieutenant governor candidate, Robyne Robinson, is scheduled to emcee. "Invitations are out to: Prince, The Time" and many others, according to the media release.

Prince is really contrary, so there is doubt he'll show, even at the last minute. But there's hope.

Of course, the way Prince paid his last big Carver County bill made it look as though Symbolina needed to do a benefit concert for himself.

Pawlenty's state of mind

On Friday, while in NYC for a "FOX & Friends" appearance, Tim Pawlenty had Famous Dave's BBQ for breakfast.

Famous Dave's -- which is based in Minnesota -- is supplying the food for the national morning show's summer concert series.

Pawlenty snubbed Minnesota, the state of his birth, when the time came for him to announce his presidential candidacy, apparently because our caucuses don't matter as much as Iowa's. Or could there be more to this?

In other semi-related food tidbits, MSNBC's Chris Matthews said Pawlenty is about as exciting as polenta.

C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or cj@startribune.com. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on FOX 9 Thursday mornings.