Art-a-Whirl, Gayngs, Visqueen and more must-see events this weekend

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Holy Crap! It's Art-a-Whirl weekend! Non-stop art and rock and roll takes over NorthEast this weekend with art shows, all-day indoor/outdoor performances, some bands floating down the river in houseboats, and general festival madness for 72 straight hours. This annual tradition is so broad and all-encompassing of the Twin Cities local music and art scenes that we've dedicated an entire piece to it here, but it's not the only game in town. If you need a break, here's some other not-to-be-missed events shaking up the rest of the Twin Cities:

Friday

Plenty has been said about Gayngs in these pages (both virtual and the crinkly kind that leave ink on your fingers), but the combination of skills, bravado, and hype that Ryan Olson and his indie superstar crew have created in their utterly non-ironic homage to smooth 80's jams and R&B cannot be ignored. Tonight at First Ave they're throwing not one but two shows--excuse me, PROMS--to celebrate. 5 PM All ages and 10 PM 21+, both shows are $15.00.

Want to skip prom but don't want to sit at home playing D&D? Criminally underappreciated Seattle indie/powerpop superstars Visqueen are rocking the house at the Triple Rock Social Club. Guitarist/vocalist Rachel Flotard has spent plenty of time the past few years as a backing vocalist to Neko Case, so it's great to see her back in town fronting a band. With the Softrocks and Battle Royale. 9:00 PM, 21+, $10.00.

Back in Saint Paul, the Turf Club features a great show with Oakland grage/punk weirdo NoBunny, with the Blind Shake and Teddy and the Turks opening.

If you're in the mood for someone telling lighthearted stories to cheer you up, former Black Flag frontman/actor/agent provocateur-raconteur Henry Rollins probably isn't number one on your list, but his performances are a not-miss combination of humor and pathos via stories collected through his years slogging it out in the punk rock trenches and beyond. Pantages Theatre, all ages, 8 PM, $26.50.


Saturday

As Art-a-Whirl hits full steam ahead and the streets are still filled with bleary-eyed prom-goers, there's still plenty going on!

Hardcore heroes and champions of all things related to tacos In Defence kick off their tour at the Hexagon with Children of Euler, Suspect, and Iowa's An Airbag Saved My Life at an always free, always 21+ show that starts about 10.

Tarlton throws a CD-release part at the Turf Club featuring Dark Dark Dark and Hildur Victoria. @1+, $5, 10:00 PM.

Memory Lanes hosts a benefit show for local bartender Tattoo Bob, whose battle with cancer has frequently been helped by loyal friends and music fans in the Twin Cities. (The Turf Club hosts a similar benefit show Sunday night.)


Sunday

You know, it's not rock and roll unless the Minnesota State Lottery gets involved, which is the only reason I can imagine that they're sponsoring a Sunday night rock and roll show. I can't say much about this absurd promotion, but I can say plenty about the bands: go see Red Pens, BNLX, and my new favorite horde of garage rock and whiskey fueled goofs Voytek playing a free 21+ show at the Triple Rock.


 
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