Awards shows tend to come and go in the Twin Cities. (Remember the Minnesota Music Awards?) Now comes a new one dedicated to our strong spoken-word community. Who knows if it will last, but Saturday's inaugural Urban Griots Spoken Word Awards Celebration at the Varsity Theater has an amazing lineup of performers, including nominees J. Otis Powell, Truthmaze, Bao Phi, Edupoetic, the Palabristas and Ed Bok Lee. It will hand out more than 20 awards and name inductees into a Spoken Word Hall of Fame. Awards include everything from artist of the year to arts activist of the year. The show is produced by e.g. bailey and the MN Spoken Word Association.
8 p.m. 1308 SE. 4th St., Mpls. $3 before 9:30 p.m., $5 after. 612-604-0222. www.varsitytheater.org
Take your blankie to the bar
If you thought the Zombie Pub Crawl was weird, check this out. The first Snuggie Pub Crawl will hit Seven Corners today at 6 p.m. What's a Snuggie? Well, as the infomercial says, it's "the blanket with sleeves," and for this event, participants must wear one. The bars involved include Grumpy's, Maxwell's, Bullwinkle's, Corner Bar and Preston's. For more info, check out getsnuggie.com or the crawl's Facebook group (type in "Snuggie Crawl MSP 2009"). What's next, a ShamWow crawl?
Martinis and manicures
Does anyone remember the "martinis and manicures" scene at Mell's Beauty Bar, where women could sip cocktails while they got their nails done? Since Mell's closed in 2006, several bars have replicated the combination to much success. The Hotel Minneapolis will host its version on Thursday. It all goes down in the Lobby Bar (which they call the LB); women can get a martini and a manicure for $18.
4:30 to 9 p.m. Thu. 215 S. 4th St., Mpls. $18. 612-340-2000. www.thehotelminneapolis.com
331 to 501
Jon and Jarret Oulman, the guys behind the 331 Club in northeast Minneapolis, will open their new downtown 501 Club Tuesday -- or possibly Monday, which is the Twins opener. The 331 is famous for its commitment to free live music and an assortment of kooky promotions, like the Grown Up Spelling Bee. Expect the same at the remodeled former Matty B's.
501 Washington Av. S., Mpls. 612-338-3848. www.501.mn
The Rail will return
Longtime Hennepin Avenue gay bar the Brass Rail, which closed in late January when its then-owner fell months behind on rent payments, will reopen by Pride Weekend in June, according to the building's owner. Peter Hafiz, who also owns the Gay 90s and Sneaky Pete's, said the bar will stay gay. He plans to make a few cosmetic changes in the meantime: "It needs some new life pumped into it."