Diablo, Matt Wilson, swinging Christmas

Man, where you guys been? Oh yeah, I was the one who was gone–in Mexico, amigos. And who knew that in the 11 years since I’d last been down Mexico way, the country has hatched a cool culture of solo-‘stache-wearing, techno-obsessed hipsters? Anyone who saw Y Tu Mama Tambien, I suppose. Anyway, in case this hasn’t inspired you to head south, there a couple of notable hipsters here doing cool things, too.

Diablo Cody: What can I say (that she hasn’t said, and much more graphically, already)? I’d like to dislike her, because I can’t tell if she’s being provocative or ironically provocative and that bothers me. But it would appear she has a genuine talent for storytelling, which I can’t help admiring, and if two of my favorite actors from one of my favorite shows of the past few years (“Arrested Development”)–Michael Cera and Jason Bateman–have bought into her new movie, “Juno,” along with Jennifer Garner, what’s a critic to do?

See what you think Dec. 13 at the Walker Art Center, where a special advance screening will be followed by an audience discussion with Diablo (at which I’ll be cringing, I’m sure, far more in anticipation of the audience questions than Diablo’s typically measured responses.)

This Friday marks the return of Brilliant Corners, the cool but short-lived all-night jazz club in St. Paul. Sort of–the project has evolved into a nonprofit called Jazz is NOW! And it kicks off a new performance series on Dec. 7 with New York drummer Matt Wilson and his Carl Sandburg Project (a meld of the poet’s works with Wilson’s compositions) at the Minnesota Opera Center. Tickets just $15. Call the Minnesota Opera’s Ticket Office at 612-333-6669.

I recently attended a press lunch regarding a new jazz series kicking off at the North Side’s Capri Theater this month. The Capri is the last live theater left up there, and was where Prince supposedly played his first gig, as a teen. It’s now developed a full slate of top-flight shows, called Legends, put together by a legend himself, Dennis Spears, and his fellow artistic associate there, Kevin West. “A Copasetic Christmas Carol” kicks things off with chanteuse Charmin Michelle and Doug Haining with his Twin Cities Seven performing this swinging take on the holiday classic. With narration written by MPR’s Marianne Sullivan, and performed by KBEM’s Craig Eichhorn, it’s not dissimilar to the Christmas parties Eichhorn used to organize at the Dakota–funky, fun, with great jazz. Call 651-209-6799 or visit www.thecapritheater.org for tix.

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