'Nihilist' at Nautilus

Nautilus Music Theater's Rough Cuts workshop opened on Monday and Tuesday nights with a short film, the result of seven years of brainstorming and two years of production. A trio of directors created a 20-minute swirl in time, place and context that follows a young World War I soldier who, despite his best efforts to the contrary, finds himself alive and alone in battle. Well-known composer and jazzter George Maurer composed the score and soundtrack. The Minnesotan has worked with theater and ballet companies, St. John's University football team and even played at the White House during the Clinton years, but "The Nihilist" is his first film. To make the cut, he had to be willing to go all out with finding period instruments -- including a 1901 portable pump organ -- and his manipulation of cello, clarinet and piano makes for an eerie and disembodied sound that seems to fit the physical and emotional disconnect facing soldiers in trench warfare. Said Mavis Voigt, a regular at Nautilus' Rough Cuts for five years running: "I think George is a genius."

PATRICK LEE

Wake me up before he goes on

Many George Michael fans whined about the tickets declaring a "prompt" 8 p.m. start and the Whamster not taking the stage Monday at Xcel Energy Center until 8:40. I.W. has learned that the delay was necessary so Xcel staffers could relocate people with nosebleed seats to a lower level because the upper deck was closed due to slow sales. Of course, GeoMike knew you fans were waiting for him, but he just didn't bother to apologize.

JON BREAM

Truckers' lemons squeezed

The Drive-by Truckers took time out of their otherwise nonstop 2 1/2-hour set to bash U.S. border agents, a complaint that's heard more and more from touring bands who come our way via Winnipeg. "I thought I was going to have a finger up my butt at one point," singer/guitarist Patterson Hood said, alleging that the agents spent four hours searching through the band's gear. "They harassed us because they found one lemon in our refrigerator. We're living the rock 'n' roll lifestyle, we didn't keep the right sticker on our lemon. ... Thank you, Homeland Security, for keeping us safe from lemon terrorism." Added Hood's cohort Mike Cooley, not kidding in the slightest (they're way-southern boys), "They didn't find the illegal moonshine that was next to the lemons."

CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER

Caution: Art ahead

Wondering what's up with those big boxes on the Stone Arch Bridge? They're part of the Red Bull Illume tour, in town through July 20, featuring "action and adventure sports imagery" by contest winners all over the world. Previous stops include Aspen, Atlanta and Portland, Ore. Minneapolis was chosen for its "high culture, progressive thinking and art persuasion." The photo-boxes, which are lit up from dusk until midnight, are breathtaking -- it's just too bad they're in the bike lanes.

MARCI SCHMITT

Horst drinks hairspray

At an event in New York last month touting his new line of organic hair-care products, Horst Rechelbacher poured a bottle of hairspray into a wine glass, topped it off with Pellegrino and drank it. Looking at the list of ingredients, which include certified organic grain alcohol and red raspberry and cranberry seed oils, it could show up on Lurcat's bar menu. The Certified Organic Perfect Hold Hair Spray "cocktail" will be available at Intelligent Nutrients in September. At $39 for a 6.7 oz. bottle, it should taste good. It might be worth going to one of the book signings for the Aveda founder's upcoming tome, "Minding Your Business." If you swing by Common Good Books (7 p.m. July 22), maybe he'll tear out a page for a snack.

SARA GLASSMAN