California gurl

At times at Xcel Energy Center, it seemed as if Katy Perry was doing more talking than singing. At least she was singing live (no lip syncing like other pop tarts do). But sometimes her motormouth ways went into unplanned directions. For instance, when she mentioned Canada on Tuesday, she drew boos. Taken aback, she chided the sell-out crowd for being "not cool" and explained her newfound fondness for the Great White North: "When I cut my leg and had to get 17 stitches, I got them for free in Canada. They like hockey just like you." She could have quit there, but she went on (and on): "You're not all ice hockey and 'Fargo.' You're different. St. Paul is different than Minneapolis, and Minneapolis is different from St. Paul." Perry even knew that we were called the Twin Cities. Those California gurls sure are smart -- even the ones with Smurf-blue hair.


Chasing Minneapolis

Adele also showed a sense of place when she showed up Wednesday at Xcel Energy Center. After hanging her No. 21 Minnesota Wild jersey on a microphone stand ("I'm going to sleep in this. Is it too hot?"), she apologized profusely about canceling two shows at First Avenue, gave a shout-out to Minneapolis songwriter Dan Wilson, who co-wrote three songs on her blockbuster "21" album, and mentioned how singing Bob Dylan's "Let Me Feel Your Love" in Minneapolis gives her chills. She even gushed about her previous night's meal at 112 Eatery: "Quail with white truffles and honey. I went all out and had three cranberry juices. Rock 'n' roll!"


Three for the show

It's suddenly hot for Minnesotans to get "real." Minneapolis' Danielle Everine, who is participating in the ninth season of "Project Runway," will soon be joined by the Minneapolis gospel group Messiah's Men, which earned a spot on NBC's "The Sing-Off," and Edina's Keith Tollefson, a 26-year-old water treatment tech who will compete on "Survivor: South Pacific" despite the fact that he's on his third pacemaker. If this trend continues, we might find Garrison Keillor on "Dancing With the Stars."


One Moore thing

It's I.W.'s duty to know every little piece of trivia about "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." But here's a tale we've never heard before. It comes on the heels of Saturday's death of Reza Badiyi, who directed 430 television episodes, more than anyone else in TV history. His credits include the opening sequence of "MTM," shot in 1970 on the Nicollet Mall. According to Mediaweek, the hat that Moore flings into the air belonged to Badiyi's stepdaughter, Jennifer Jason Leigh.


Witchy woman

At her outdoor show Wednesday at Mystic Lake Casino, Stevie Nicks wore her trademark fringed shawls, along with fingerless gloves and chain-mail cuffs, but she was uncharacteristically chatty, introducing nearly every number in her 14-song set list. The Fleetwood Mac chanteuse and her 10-piece band performed oldies ("Rhiannon," "Dreams," "Landslide") alongside several tunes from her new solo CD, "In Your Dreams." Nicks welcomed her mostly baby-boomer audience, poking fun at her penchant for gypsies, white-winged doves and crystal visions. "Where would I rather be than Mystic Lake?" she quipped.


What's up, Docter?

Bloomington's Pete Docter ("Up," "Monsters Inc.") is a founding member of Pixar Animation Studios' Brain Trust, which oversees development on all Pixar films. So who better to make a movie that probes the frontal lobes? Docter will direct a movie set inside the mind, currently called the "Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside the Mind." It will take us on a guided tour of the human cranium and explain how thinking works (or doesn't) and how we come up with ideas. The film will try to answer such questions as "Why do songs get stuck in your head?" Docter told the film webzine Cinematical that thinking up delightfully weird new worlds is "the hard part, but it's also the exciting part. It's the part where you start to lose your hair and you wake up at 3 in the morning, but looking back, it's the part that's most rewarding."


No grandstander

Longtime Minnesota Public Radio newsman Gary Eichten began his final lap at the State Fair Thursday when he sat down at the mic for a "Midday" interview with Sen. Al Franken. Eichten announced this week that he's retiring in January. His history with MPR goes back all the way to its roots in Collegeville, Minn., where he was a student announcer more than 40 years ago. Considered one of the most thoughtful interviewers in the Twin Cities, he said, "I've been tremendously lucky. ... The opportunities I've had to interview so many state and national newsmakers and to moderate so many candidate debates are the kind of opportunities that every news host dreams of." Watch him in action at the fair, where his guests will include Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Aug. 29 at 11 a.m.) and Garrison Keillor (Sept. 2 at noon).