Journey to Mars at the Bell Museum with their latest animated show at the planetarium, or get a head start on your holiday gift giving at the Soo Art Mart. Also this week, a holiday show that makes fun of holiday shows, New Orleans jazz at the Dakota, and a new album highlighting Twin Cities’ shoe gazer bands. Finally, look out for a virtual artist talk next Wednesday featuring artists participating in “Between the Stripes, Under the Stars” at the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery.
Bell Museum’s Mars experience
NASA and the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center at the University of North Carolina team up with the Bell Museum for a new planetarium experience. The animated production is called “Mars: The Ultimate Voyage,” and it takes viewers on a journey to Mars. Or, at least, it explores what steps are necessary for humans to finally step foot on the planet. Various times, opens Dec. 3 at the Bell Museum ($8 or $17 combo with museum admission). More information here.
‘A Count Up to Christmas’
Nimbus takes on all the tropes of holiday shows with its satirical “A Count Up to Christmas.” Think Hallmark Channel holiday romance but with a tongue-in-cheek edge. Created by writer-director team Josh Cragun and Liz Neerland, it’s the kind of show that appeals to you if actual schmaltz is not your thing. Runs Dec. 3 through Dec. 18 at the Crane Theater in northeast Minneapolis ($5 – $45 sliding scale). More information here.
MN Art Mart at Soo Visual Art Center
It’s the time of year for thinking about that perfect gift, and Minnesota artists have got you covered. Whether you’re looking for that perfect piece of jewelry, a handcrafted item of home decor, a painting, or that perfect print, the Soo Art Mart is a great stop on your gift-giving journey. Located at Soo Visual Art Center, this holiday market features loads of local artists. From clever to sublime to thoughtful to smart, you’ll find items from the likes of Tara Costello, Amina Harper, Terrence Payne, Jennifer Davis, and many more. Sales support the artists and Soo’s ongoing programming. It opens Friday, Dec. 2, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 3, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. After that, it’s open Wednesdays-Fridays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Dec. 30. More information here.
Southside Aces: Christmas in New Orleans
Jazz up your holidays New Orleans-style when the Southside Aces hit the Dakota. The trad jazz group syncopates holiday tunes with horns and winds and rhythm to have you grooving your way through December. Thursday, Dec. 15, at 7 p.m. at the Dakota ($15/20). More information here.
Southeast Of Saturn Vol. 2
A new album put out by Jack White’s Third Man label offers a window into the shoegaze sound brimming from the Twin Cities underground scene. It follows up on Third Man’s 2020 album, called “Southeast of Saturn,” which collected music from Detroit’s space-rock/shoegaze/dream pop scene of the ‘90s. Volume 2 features bands from the Midwest, including five from the Twin Cities: Colfax Abbey, Fauna, Ousia, Shapeshifter and the 27 Various. Electric Fetus will have limited-edition copies on Full Moon & Great Lake colored vinyl available on Friday, Dec. 2 at 5 p.m., with original members of 27 Various (Bart Bakker and Mike Reiter) joined by Casey Virock (Porcupine), Kris Johnson (Two Harbors), and Janey Winterbauer (the Suburbs). A listening party follows on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 8:30 p.m. at Bev’s, headed up by DJ Christian Fritz (MPLS LTD). More information here.
‘Between the Stripes, Under the Stars’ virtual artist talk
An exhibition at the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery featuring 10 women artists — mostly from Asia, the Middle East and Africa — looks at questions of identity, multiculturalism, language, and colonialism. Next Wednesday, artists in the exhibition will be sharing about their work in a virtual artist talk. The artist talk takes place Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 6:30 p.m. (free, reservations required by Sunday, Dec. 4.) The exhibition runs through Dec. 11. More information here.