If you're a Facebook user, you know the quizzes are out of control. (No, I.W. doesn't want to know which Barbie doll best represents us.) But "Which Minneapolis Bar Are You?" seems to have struck a chord. The quiz, which has attracted almost 20,000 users since going online a month ago, was created by Chris Pennington, who is behind such off-the-wall productions as the Ten-Second Film Festival and the Soap Factory's Haunted Basement. He was bored at home one day and just made it up. He admits it's "not terribly advanced" -- limitations in the application forced him to include only five possible outcomes: the Gay 90s, Nick and Eddie, Palmer's, Drink and Merlin's Rest. "Some people got really mad at me when they got the wrong bar," he said. "I almost wish I hadn't done it!"
TOM HORGENLong may he run
Pete Seeger's 90th birthday bash Sunday at Madison Square Garden will feature oodles of big names -- Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews, Eddie Vedder, John Mellencamp and Joan Baez, to name a few. On the list, somewhere between Kate & Anna McGarrigle and the NYC Labor Chorus, is Minneapolis' own Larry Long. While he may be one of the least known of the 47 advertised performers, he will make sure his voice is heard. He's written a new tribute song, "For Pete's Sake," a sweet ditty about Seeger's love of water, environmental action and sing-along songs. To hear it, go to www.larrylong.org.
JON BREAMIron Will
The all-day bus trip to Madison, Minn., to visit Robert Bly's home town last week drew a wide range of people: poets, translators, scholars, old friends, guys from the men's movement, the curious, the devoted, and Bly himself. In the afternoon, the group gathered at the Lac Qui Parle Historical Museum for a program about Bly and his work. Will Gustafson, an old classmate of Bly's (Madison High, class of 1944), got up to say a few words. He recalled how years ago he swapped 15 bales of hay for a subscription to Bly's magazine "The Fifties." And he presented Bly with a full, fragrant bouquet of yellow, pink, red and white roses. Bly draped an arm around Gustafson's shoulders and smiled. "You know we've made a little progress when men are presenting flowers to one another," he said.
LAURIE HERTZELTake me out
Anyone else notice Franz Ferdinand drummer Paul Thomson wearing a Matt's Bar T-shirt at Tuesday's show? He apparently has turned the tour into a Burger Quest, asking fans to suggest great hamburger joints. "Hopefully by the time the tour winds up I haven't got me a stomach ulcer," he posted on the band's blog. I.W. called Matt's -- home of the world-renowned Jucy Lucy -- and cook Tony Stanton remembered the guys being there Tuesday afternoon. He didn't know they were in a band, but the Scottish accents were unmistakable. They bought a T-shirt, and the bar threw in a few bumper stickers.
LESLIE PLESSERLighting up New York
A Minnesota product shed some ambient light this week at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York and got a little glow in return. SmartCandle, which makes flameless candles that flicker like the real thing, lit up the premiere party for Marcia Gay Harden's new movie, "Home." Fire safety has been a big issue for Harden since her niece and nephew died in a house fire started by a candle. The party's planner, Harden pal Jen Stone, said she plans to use the candles for parties in the Hamptons this summer. Safety aside, they come in handy for historic buildings where real candles aren't allowed. And they were particularly fitting for SmartCandle's other New York gig this week -- an FDNY Foundation awards dinner attended by New York City fire commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta.