Pizza slut

Ho-hum: Another night at First Avenue, another comment about "Purple Rain" from the out-of-town headliner. But what Sage Francis had to say Saturday was hardly typical. "I could give a [expletive] about Prince and 'Purple Rain,'" yelled the beefy Rhode Island-reared indie-rap star, who instead showed fondness for another Minneapolis institution, Pizza Lucé, where he apparently pigged out before taking the stage. In an improvised rap, he offered this Sage advice: "Don't eat before you perform/ I didn't need to bother/ I even invited Cecil Otter." Lucky for him, there's no Lucé out in Shakopee, where Sage will return Memorial Day weekend for Rhymesayers' second annual Soundset festival at Canterbury Park.

CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER

Rock 'n' roll high school

Wise-acre frontman Kurt Larson of the reunited Information Society was making fun of the 1990s electronica band's Twin Cities roots. After they played "Wrongful Death" during Saturday's reunion show at the Varsity Theater, he declared, "That was our song from Irondale High. How many people here from Irondale?" About two dozen folks acknowledged the New Brighton school that the InSoc boys attended. "Losers," Larson snarled. "Never admit that. That's the first thing we learned."

JON BREAM

Dü you remember?

The date of his concert Monday at the Varsity Theater was not lost on Bob Mould, who played his first show with Hüsker Dü exactly 30 years ago that night at the less-than-landmark venue Ron's Randolph Inn in St. Paul. "You gotta start somewhere," cracked Mould, who paid more attention to another anniversary, the 1989 release of his first solo album "Workbook." He played half of the songs from the disc. He finally showed a hint of sentimentality following a string of Hüskers numbers. "I feel like I should get a gold watch," he said, adding, "I do want to thank everyone for sticking by me through all the crazy periods."

CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER

The painted bird

What is it about Britney Spears? We're all obsessed with her, whether we admit it or not, but maybe none more than Minneapolis artist Scott Seekins, whose "Britney Cove" (viewable on YouTube at www.tinyurl.com/britneycove) houses more than 100 pieces of art inspired by the pop tartlet. Since 2001, he's created Gauguin-esque Britneys, pop-art cartoon Britneys, even Britneys camping in the Boundary Waters. Seekins said he's fascinated by Spears' life under the magnifying glass of a voyeur-driven society: "She's sort of like a JonBénet, this Mouseketeer grown up in a cocoon. [Yet] nobody knows the real Britney." Seekins -- who has a small degree of fame himself with a Facebook fan page detailing "Scott sightings" around the metro -- often includes himself in his fantasy images of Spears. What would Britney think of seeing herself lounging in the Garden of Eden with Seekins? We'll never know, but at least they'll be in the same room Friday -- Seekins has a ticket to Britney's concert at Target Center.

KARA NESVIG

A different kind of horn

Director Robyn Gray was giddy Monday as she accepted a Sally Award for the St. Francis Music Center, which operates out of the second floor of a nunnery in Little Falls, Minn., and was recognized for its 30-year service. "Being a part of the arts in 'greater Minnesota' is rather like being a Who from Whoville," said Gray. "We keep saying 'We're here! We're here!' and it seems like no one ever notices us." Not anymore. A roomful of arts bigwigs Monday at the Ordway Center honored Gray along with three Twin Cities stalwarts: actor Wendy Lehr, Jack Reuler's Mixed Blood Theatre and former St. Paul Chamber Orchestra president Bruce Coppock. Gray said that she was glad the Sally did not look like a hunting prize. "Usually when we get a trophy in Morrison County, it has antlers on it," she said.

ROHAN PRESTON