Also Good Bets: Today-Feb. 3

Jeremy Messersmith and his Casio from his show at UMD in Dec. 2008. Photo by Barrett Chase.

Jeremy Messersmith returns to the Kirby Rafters for a show with Dave Mehling at 9 p.m. Saturday at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Here’s what happened last time Messersmith played the Rafters.
That was a good show. And those who follow Messersmith on Twitter know that he had a song featured on MTV’s reality show “Jersey Shore” — which is really about as famous as a person could get while that reality train wreck of awesome took over the universe. As for Dave Mehling … You never know what to expect. This is how he billed his show at the Twin’s Bar during last year’s Homegrown Music Festival: In addition to his new band, which was then unnamed and is now called the Fontanelles, Mehling said he was including “10 to 12 other Duluthians that will join us on stage playing tambourines and shakers and a choreographed dance for a tune that is like the Macarena, but a little more robotic and funky, and backup vocals.” This one is being billed as a solo show, but again, who knows. Free for UMD students; $5 for everyone else.

“Wilco: Ashes of American Flags,” is an 88-minute road trip with the Chicago band filmed in the spring of 2008 (and released to indie record stores in the spring of 2009) as they tour old-school Americana venues in Washington, D.C.; Mobile, Ala.; Tulsa, Okla.; Nashville, Tenn., and New Orleans.
If you’re looking for a little Wilco fix before they perform at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center in February, Zinema 2 will host a screening of this live performance documentary. It plays at 7:15 p.m. today, and tickets are $6.50. (Word on the street is that your friends at 222 E. Superior St. will be giving away two free concert tickets.)
Michael Franco reviewed the film at PopMatters and liked the way Wilco keeps it real:
“In ‘Ashes of American Flags’ … we see what it really looks like for the band before and after the show, and it’s often lonesome. There are ample shots of the band emptily staring out the bus window, the evening sun flickering out across their faces. And during one sequence, the band is captured behind the stage after the show. There are no groupies, no bottles of alcohol and no glamour.
“Instead we see Nels Cline icing his neck, Glenn Kotche icing his hands, and Jeff Tweedy having his throat examined by a doctor.”

Reverend Raven and his Chain Smoking Altar Boys performs at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Hayward’s Park Theater. The band is known for its Chicago-style of Blues. Tickets are $15 at the door and can be reserved by calling (715) 634-4596.

The Edge Center for the Arts is doing a staged reading of "The Laramie Project" at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday at 101 2nd Ave., Bigfork. After Saturday’s show, there will be an audience talk-back. "The Laramine Project" is based on conversations that a New York City theater company had with the people of Laramie, Wyo., after Matthew Shepard, a gay college student, was killed. The Edge Center’s production is directed by Aaron Gabriel, and includes Barbra Berlovitz and Tod Petersen, from Theatre de la Jeune Lune in Minneapolis, as well as Andrea Cole, Patricia Feld, Pastor John Hanson, Zachary Madsen, Gregg Peterson, and Kimberly Powell. Music by Jim Patrow, Mike Patrow, and Curt Snyder. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students.

The St. Paul folk/psychedelic/visual (visual?) band Emot plays at Beaner’s Central at 8 p.m. Saturday. Also: Ian Alexy and Emily Hysulide. Emot cites among its influences as Low, Radiohead, Wilco, Bon Iver. Show starts at 8 p.m., $5 cover.

The Northern Lights Foundation wants more cowbell. The Celebrity Cowbell Competition from 6-9:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, at Grandma’s Sports Garden in Canal Park. Proceeds from the evening’s events will benefit the Northern Lights Foundation. Admission is $10 and you must be 21 or accompanied by a parent or guardian. There will be pizza, a live and silent auction, a raffle with prizes including sports tickets and a Canal Park vacation, and live music by the Lake City Smokin’ Section. The mission of the Northern Lights Foundation is to grant wishes and distribute money that address the needs and wishes of Northland children – and their families – with life threatening conditions.

Also Good Bets, a companion to the Wave’s Best Bets section, is a weekly feature that includes additional ways to fill your entertainment schedule for the next week.