April Arts and Entertainment Picks

Iggy Pop

Iggy Pop’s recent memorial to David Bowie in the New York Times illustrated Iggy’s many contradictions. Genteel and droll in interviews, the 69-year-old (this month) is an innovator in several genres of music; he’s also the guy who pioneered confrontational, sometimes lewd stage antics and now, in calmer days, still doesn’t seem to own a shirt. (In the Times piece, he referred to himself as “rustic.”) I love just about every one of his records, from the anarchy of the Stooges to the bleak poetry of The Idiot. He’s touring on Post Pop Depression, a collaboration with Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme that Pop says will likely be his last, and will be playing the classics as well. (I’m holding out for “Some Weird Sin” and “Funtime.” C’mon, Iggy.) northrop.umn.edu (Photo by Nick Helderman)

 

American Craft Council Show

This is the big one: more than 225 artists descending over three days at RiverCentre and representing the best in the country in the fields of jewelry, clothes, furniture, and home items (this is only one of four in the nation that ACC sponsors, and the only one in the Midwest). This is a chance to buy that one-of-a-kind item that you’ve just had this sense is out there waiting for you, and it’s also an opportunity to look for inspiration across mediums—with room vignettes and interactive demonstrations of craft creation, you’ll have the chance to see ideas collide in ways that you can take home with you and experiment with for years. craftcouncil.org (Photo by Devin Johnson)

 

Ira Glass: Reinventing Radio

It’s been just more than 20 years (!) since the premiere of the show we now know as This American Life. It was a groundbreaker, bringing the intellectualism of a literary magazine’s essays and personal stories to the radio. For a couple of years I timed every Sunday run around Lake of the Isles to the airing of that week’s episode, so great was my attachment. With Reinventing Radio, host Ira Glass goes through the looking…well, glass to tell the story of creating the show in the style, more or less, of the show itself. For those of us who kneel at the altar of narrative and live for the story, this is akin to hearing the good word from one of the apostles. hennepin-theatretrust.org (Photo by Jesse Michener)

 

Welcome to Night Vale

It’s been described as Wobegon through the lens of Stephen King by way of the X-Files, and that’s about right. I had no experience with Welcome to Night Vale last year when I made my way to the podcast’s live performance, but I had heard the buzz. And what a phenomenon: a wry, paranoid radio-play format in which the doings of the titular desert town are reported from its community radio station, oddball humor, a bit of music, and an ever-present sense of supernatural menace throughout its spider-web plot. I remember thinking: This could be a cult favorite in more ways than onehennepintheatretrust.org

 

“Very Eric Carle”

My own children are no longer children, but I still respond viscerally to the sight of an Eric Carle book on the shelf (The Very Hungry Caterpillar and many others)—the big colors, primal shapes, and remarkably evocative stories evoke countless hours spent reading them. It’s the essence of what’s good: connecting with the natural world, and telling stories of emotional resilience and creativity. This exhibit at the Minnesota Children’s Museum has a big web to climb, a butterfly to make with light, and music in a nighttime world. Hope, love, persistence: These are what Carle’s books give us, and the little ones can’t help but dig this immersive take on his world. mcm.org (Photo by Kristi Jan Hoover)

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