Linen is murdered
At age 56, Morrissey's still got it — and Monday at the Fitzgerald Theater he engaged in a bit of fan-service to prove it. Closing with the 1985 Smiths deep track "What She Said," Moz doffed his blue shirt, revealing all glistening pecs and abs. Then he tossed the shirt into the first few rows of adoring/rabid fans, producing a melee that someone caught on cellphone video. Eventually a member of security entered the fracas with a scissors to help divvy up the prize. One of I.W.'s pals, City Pages layout editor Caroline Royce, made off with a 3-inch strip of fabric.
SIMON PETER GROEBNER
It was not surprising that Nachito Herrera, the esteemed Cuban-American pianist who has lived in Minnesota nearly 15 years, received an invitation to perform at and attend the official opening of the Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C., on Monday. But he had to respectfully decline. He was committed to a two-night stand at the Dakota Jazz Club — "my second house," he says — with a new group, the Universals, featuring a bassist from Senegal (Cheikh Ndoye), a drummer from Cuba (Raul Pineda) and two Americans (saxophonist Mike Phillips and violinist Karen Briggs) who have played with Stevie Wonder and Yanni, respectively. "It couldn't be a better excuse for me not to be at the embassy for this historic moment than to be performing at the Dakota with world-class musicians," Herrera told I.W. "They are going to be celebrating in Washington, D.C., and we are going to be celebrating at the Dakota with my new project."
At first glance, the numbers for ReelzChannel taking over Donald Trump's "Miss USA Pageant" on short notice don't look good. Nielsen calculated that the show averaged about 925,000 viewers on Sunday, far fewer than the 5.6 million that tuned into NBC last year. But Reelz poobah Stan E. Hubbard of the Twin Cities broadcasting family was able to find a few positive spins. About 2.5 million people checked in for at least six minutes of the ceremonies over the course of two airings. "We're not NBC, but we blew away numbers I thought we'd hit," Hubbard told I.W. The broadcast was the second-most-watched program in Reelz's history, falling behind only the 2011 miniseries "The Kennedys." Hubbard, who attended the pageant in Baton Rouge, La., followed up Tuesday by watching his 10-year-old son play hockey in Stillwater. So which event was more spectacular? "I'll be careful," he said. "I always enjoy watching my son, but the Miss USA Pageant was more glamorous because my wife, Jennifer, looked so beautiful."
In-Store Next Door
In the music business, when a singer performs in a record store, it's referred to as an "in-store." Mill City Sound, a year-old record shop in Hopkins, does what it calls "In-Store Next Door." That's because next door is Mainstreet Bar and Grill and that's where Mill City presents its "in-stores." "It's got a stage, a real PA and sound system — and it's got beer," Mill City owner Rob Sheeley said of the bar next door. "It's not a couple of guys strumming guitars in the corner for a few songs." On Sunday, Mill City has hired Dwight Twilley, the Tulsa power-pop hero remembered for "I'm on Fire" and "Girls," to perform a full-on concert at 7 p.m. Last year, he put out a solo album, "Always," which oozes ELO and, of course, the Beatles. Not only will the Mill City in-store offer Twilley (free) and beer (not free) but pulltabs, too (not free).
Bring on the banners
ArtPlace, a national cultural philanthropy, this week picked the West Broadway Business and Area Coalition as the winner of a $250,000 grant to help the Minneapolis organization liven up its neighborhood with artist-designed benches, planters, banners and little greenspaces they're calling "parklets." The Minnesota group, which also hosts the West Broadway Farmers Market, competed against 1,300 applicants, only 38 of whom got funding in amounts ranging from $50,000 to $500,000. "We are especially thrilled that ArtPlace's announcement comes the week before we celebrate the 10th anniversary of FLOW Northside Arts Crawl," said WBC executive director Matthew Ides. The FLOW shindig kicks off with a block party Thursday, preview gallery openings and performances Friday and a daylong festival Saturday, which is expected to attract 10,000 visitors to studios and stages on W. Broadway, from the Mississippi River to Penn Avenue N.
Curated by Tweedy
Frontman Jeff Tweedy may have joked that the Basilica of St. Mary chose Wilco's set list for the Basilica Block Party last weekend. However, Tweedy himself curated the works in this summer's "Beyond the Fleeting Moment: Wilco Concert Posters 2004-2014." The 224-page coffee-table book features more than 200 posters by 50-some designers — including seven by Twin Cities Minneapolis designer/illustrator Paul Gardner. I.W. trusts that Tweedy will donate a copy of the limited-edition book to the library at the Basilica.