Odds and Ends


The peak time for fall colors in the St. Croix Valley is typically the second week of October, but don’t forget to eat while you look at the leaves. Tangled Up in Blue in Taylors Falls has an eclectic, contemporary menu—and yes, cobalt walls. In Marine on St. Croix, Brookside Bar & Grill serves great burgers and beer. The newest restaurant in Stillwater is Stone’s Restaurant & Lounge, with American favorites and a spacious garden patio. In Bayport there’s the always-excellent Bayport Cookery. Or celebrate Oktoberfest at Winzer Stube in Hudson. Justin Grecco, formerly of Bellanotte, now heads the kitchen at the historic Afton House Inn. And don’t forget Confluence, in Prescott, Wisconsin, where the gourmet dishes are as pretty as the St. Croix scenery. —RACHEL HUTTON

Once a staple of the Twin Cities art (or was it dating?) scene, Walker After Hours is back—with live music, film, art projects for adults, and, of course, cocktails. The Walker Art Center’s first new After Hours event happens at the stroke of happy hour on October 20 in conjunction with the exhibit “Heart of Darkness.” With any luck, the “dating bar”—a personality-matching gizmo—will be up and running. Cheers! —TIM GIHRING

O Bioneers! The first Northland Sustainable Solutions Conference gathers proponents of environmental and social change at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College from October 20 to 22. Hear Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Association and live-from-California satellite broadcasts, including Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Details at www.nbconference.org. —LISA GULYA

The Depression. World War II. The Baby Boom. One generation was at the heart of all these major events—the Greatest Generation, as they’ve been dubbed. On October 8, the Minnesota History Center will host Moving Pictures: Shared Stories of Minnesota’s Greatest Generation, a film festival of short documentaries about the lives and legacies of locals who shaped the defining events of the 20th century. See www.mnhs.org for details. —T.G.


The athletes aren’t the only ones knocking themselves out on high school football fields—the marching bands are putting on moves that, for aficionados of high-stepping musical synchronicity, rival any touchdown run. On October 28 at the Metrodome, 25 bands from four states will square off in a battle for the Youth in Music Marching Band Championship. Among this year’s competitors are teams from Apple Valley, Coon Rapids, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Grand Rapids, Hastings, and Rosemount. “The bands will prove that grit, determination, and talent don’t leave the gridiron at halftime,” says Youth in Music president Brent Turner, in a tongue-in-cheek appreciation of the marching band subculture. “No member of a marching team sits on the bench—everyone takes the field, everyone is expected to give 110 percent.” Think of this: one false move and someone’s taking a cymbal to the shoulder or a flag to the face—and they don’t even wear pads. How do you spell hard-core? M-A-R-C-H-I-N-G B-A-N-D! —T.G.

Minneapolis-based Gryphon Press publishes its first titles this month. The new venture of Milkweed Press founder Emilie Buchwald will address her long-time interest in animals—through a series of picture books for children. Buddy Unchained and At the Dog Park with Sam and Lucy, both by Daisy Bix, are informative and inspirational. The former tells the story of a rescued dog who was abused and neglected by a previous owner; the latter celebrates dog parks. Each concludes with a page that offers additional resources for parents. Unlike most “issue” books, these are beautiful, with artwork by Joe Hyatt and Amelia Hansen, respectively. (Hansen modeled Sam after Buchwald’s own American Eskimo.) “I wanted to show people what fun it is to be with a dog and strengthen that human-animal bond,” says Buchwald. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to animal-rescue societies and shelters. (The Gryphon Press, $15.95 each)

Live at the Cedar: Visionaries
The Cedar Cultural Center’s importance as a Minneapolis showcase for both legends and groundbreakers is unquestionable. Old friends Ani DiFranco, Loudon Wainwright III, Cesaria Evora, Baaba Maal, and 11 more artists are represented on these live recordings, which underscore the Cedar’s value as a temple for presentation. Local music landmarks come but mostly go these days; this benefit disc should help ensure the Cedar isn’t one of the losses. www.thecedar.org

The Cleophone
Even in his garage-rock days, playing in the psychedelic band Green Machine, Dave Krejci established a unique bent. Now, a decade later, the electronic-effects wizard has invented the Cleophone, a 12-string instrument that sounds like a piano with endless sustain and objects stuck in the strings. His debut Cleophone composition crawls through various movements as the instrument is bowed, plucked, and struck like a dulcimer to create vibes and overtones resembling a faint buzz saw, dark wind chimes, and church bells on acid. www.cleophone