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Best of the Week (Jan. 5-12): Charlie Parr, Cactus Blossoms, Gigawatt residencies; plus Out There, Minnesota Boychoir, music trivia, Buck Hill and more

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Jan 3rd 2020 · 3 min read
Best of the Week (Jan. 5-12): Charlie Parr, Cactus Blossoms, Gigawatt residencies; plus Out There, Minnesota Boychoir, music trivia, Buck Hill and more

Charlie Parr kicks off a month of residencies at the Turf Club

Two of Minnesota’s best-loved and hardest-touring roots music acts are once again staying put in the coldest month of the year for residency gigs at one of the warmest music rooms around, starting with Duluth folk/blues hero Charlie Parr. He kicks off four Sundays in a row, fresh off a varied and vibrant eponymous album that includes loving remakes of Grant Hart’s “2541” and Spider John Koerner’s “Running Jumping Standing Still.” A “surprise guest” opens Week 1’s sold-out show. Chris Riemenschneider

8 p.m. Sun. (sold out) and Jan. 12, 19 & 26. Turf Club, 1601 W. University Av., St. Paul. $12-$14,

Twangy harmonizers the Cactus Blossoms follow Parr to the Turf for four blue Mondays at the club where they cut their teeth and are emblazoned in mosaic on the outside wall. Brothers Page Burkum and Jack Torrey spent the year touting their second studio album, “Easy Way,” with an adventurously neo-twangy band. Their residency gigs usually find them revisiting classics and trying out new stuff. Different openers each week start with country duo Dusty Heart.


8 p.m. Mon. and Jan. 13, 20 & 27. Turf Club, St. Paul. $22-$25,

January is an exciting time for experimental performance, with the Walker Art Center’s “Out There” series bringing in inventive artists each weekend. First up is Tina Satter’s company Half Straddle. In “Is This a Room: Reality Winner Verbatim Transcription,” Sattler highlights the verbal gymnastics of former U.S. intelligence specialist Reality Winner being interrogated for leaking classified documents. Using the actual transcript of the interview, Satter creates a work of art.

Sheila Regan

8 p.m. Thu.-Sat. Walker Art Center, Mpls. $26, 612-375-7600,

Katha Dance Theatre’s work-in-progress performance of “Shaamya — Of Equality” fuses North Indian, East African and African-American styles in a piece about fighting oppression. Rita Mustaphi’s contemporary Kathak choreography will find a groove with original songs by J.D. Steele as they explore the life of Bengali writer and activist Kazi Nazrul Islam, who died in 1976. Somali performer Ifrah Mansour will share her poem, “I Am a Refugee.” A Q&A follows.


2 p.m. Sun. Southern Theater, Mpls. $10, 612-326-1811,

The Minnesota Boychoir’s membership extends from age 7 to high school and alumnus status. All four ensembles from the organization will sing at its annual Winter Concerts, including the 50-voice flagship choir. Artistic director Mark Johnson leads a program packed with seasonal favorites.

Terry Blain

1 & 3:30 p.m. Sun. Landmark Center, 75 W. 5th St., St. Paul. Free,

In the vein of the Best New Band Nights that energized 7th Street Entry in the ’80s and ’90s, University of Minnesota student station Radio K is hosting a new Sunday night Gigawatt residency series in January to spotlight exciting, young and/or experimental acts. Week 1 is an ambient affair featuring dream-pop group Sister Species, droning synth-rock band IE and sonic collagist Iceblink. Future weeks include Sass, Buildings, the Controversial New “Skinny Pill” and Dr. Goon.


8 p.m. Sun. 7th St. Entry, Mpls. $7,

Think you know everything about rock history? Ryan Cameron of Let It Be Records hosts Music History Trivia, where teams of music geeks will answer questions with clues including audio, video and photos. The top three teams will win coveted prizes including First Avenue tickets. Losers will walk away with door prizes. Folk rocker Dan Israel is the musical guest for the first installment, playing songs from his latest album, “Social Media Anxiety Disorder.”

Melissa Walker

7 p.m. Tue.; also Feb. 11 & March 10. Minnesota History Center, St. Paul. Free,

Proudly declaring themselves progenitors of the “progressive Francophone folk movement,” the accordion-, violin- and hurdy-gurdy-fueled roots music quintet Le Vent du Nord from Saint-Antoine-sur-Richelieu in Quebec just earned a Canadian Folk Music Award nomination with its 2019 album “Territories” and is venturing to warmer territories on tour in January. Local Turkish and Balkan folk trio Uskudar Eclectic opens.

Jon Bream

7:30 p.m. Thu. Cedar Cultural Center, Mpls. $18-$22 (all ages),

Those with the competitive spirit to win at all costs can channel their drive during the Seek and Destroy scavenger hunt at Buck Hill. With the issued passport and map of the ski area, visit vendors scattered around the half-pipe, park and hill for clues during the all-mountain hunt. Solve clues and complete challenges to get your passport stamped, and earn free swag and raffle tickets that can lead to even bigger prizes.


2-7 p.m. Sat. Buck Hill, 15400 Buck Hill Road, Burnsville. Register at

last updated: 2020-01-03@20:01