Best of the Twin Cities®

Best Of 2010

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Best Of :: Arts & Entertainment

BEST MOVIE THEATER
Riverview Theater
Photo by Riverview Theater

We have just one complaint related to the Riverview: Why can't more theaters be like this? From its 1950s-style art deco lobby and lounge, to its small but complete concessions stand where you can buy (reasonably priced!) popcorn topped with real butter, to its comfy (non-vintage, cup-holder included) seats perfectly placed for viewing the screen in the large auditorium, the Riverview is special. No one can believe regular tickets are still only $2 for the second run of blockbusters like The Blind Side and the Twilight films, smaller Hollywood efforts like Drew Barrymore's Whip It, and the occasional well-chosen documentary like Man on Wire. Kids' movies are screened during the day whenever appropriate—weekends, summers, even Minneapolis schools' odd days off—and they have recently including Up, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and The Princess and the Frog. On Fridays and Saturdays there are late-night showings. The theater even opens its doors for free to neighbors and sports fans so they can watch Minnesota teams compete on the big screen for important games. And then there's the special film programming: classics, Oscar-nominated shorts that you can't see anywhere else, premieres of locally produced projects. Currently the Riverview is teaming up with the Trylon microcinema to present a series of Hitchcock films, which continues through May 3. Like the cliché says, the Riverview has something for everyone, and that could be the key to its not only surviving but thriving in this movie-going-challenged era.

3800 42nd Ave. S., Minneapolis, 55406
MAP
612-729-7369
BEST LOCAL RECORD LABEL

There's no denying that Rhymesayers Entertainment is the biggest and most well known record label in the Twin Cities. But it's not the best local record label based on reputation alone. Over the past 12 months, we've seen P.O.S. become a breakout star and the sleeper hit of last year's Warped Tour, Brother Ali rapping alongside the legendary Roots crew on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, the wildly successful second installment of the Soundset festival last summer, and a slew of new releases, including the long-awaited Felt 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez by the supergroup of Slug, Murs, and Aesop Rock. Never content to rest on its past success, the Rhymesayers crew is already putting the pieces in place for 2010, making it clear that it also intends to compete for next year's Best Record Label.

2409 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 55405
MAP
612-977-9870
BEST DANCE CLUB
First Avenue

Except maybe when the Quest was around a decade ago, has there ever been a better dance club than First Avenue? This year alone the place not only revamped its popular ass-shaking crevice formerly known as the VIP Room (now titled the Record Room), but it also housed the most successful dance nights in the city. Among them: Get Cryphy, Too Much Love, Ritmo Caliente, Hot Dish, Black, and more. If this club is any indication, the Twin Cities most certainly like to get down.

701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis, 55403
MAP
612-338-8388
BEST DANCE NIGHT
Get Cryphy at First Avenue's Record Room

There were certainly major contenders for this category this year, like Bomp! at Bedlam and Too Much Love at First Avenue. But Jimmy2Times and Plain Ole Bill's Get Cryphy hip-hop monthly at the Record Room surpasses them both when it comes to character. Packed to the gills by midnight with a diverse array of folks getting wild to the behind-the-decks skills of its founders (and occasional blog-famous guests), these fans aren't really concerned about outfits, party favors, or posturing. In fact, a lack of concern can sometimes take the form of a stray elbow here and there, so hold your ground as you bob and weave to the beat at this party, which recent guest EMYND from Philly called "one of the country's best dance nights with one of the most unfortunate names."

701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis, 55403
MAP
612-332-1775
BEST CLUB DJ

Mike Davis, a.k.a. Mike 2600, is the epitome of a DIY dude. His résumé includes contributions to both the music and art scenes, which, in Davis's life, "really inform one another," he says. The St. Louis import co-founded Burlesque of North America graphic art and screenprinting company in northeast Minneapolis in 2003, which later gave rise to the First Amendment art gallery housed in the Burlesque studio's foyer. When Davis was starting out as a graphic-design major in college, he would sneak into the campus radio station between classes and teach himself to spin records—a resourceful move that led to a passionate record-collecting hobby. He went on to make memorable flyers for festivals, DJs, and other artists, while also proving his prowess in the DJ booth. Aside from making some of the most crucial posters and street-art emblems in the city, Davis holds several high-profile DJ residencies: He runs the successful two-for-one night Triple Double every Tuesday at the Triple Rock, plays Street Sounds and Get Cryphy nights in First Avenue's former VIP Room, and hosts Bomp! at the Bedlam. At a recent surprise party for Get Cryphy founder Jimmy2Times, Davis presented the birthday boy with a stack of carefully selected vintage records thoughtfully wrapped in paper he illustrated himself, a perfect snapshot not only of what kind of guy Davis is but of how he has braided together his passions. Minneapolis has always been pretty DIY, but Davis, with his supreme taste spanning from old funk classics to grimy hip hop to lighthearted house, is its king.

BEST JUKEBOX
Sauce Spirits and Sound Bar

Nothing can ruin a good time like bad music. You've been there: You're sitting in a bar tipping back a few pints with your buddies, and suddenly "Higher" by Creed comes blaring through the speakers. It's a mood killer. This won't happen at Sauce Spirits and Soundbar. They have the best jukebox in town. First, the machine is free. As for the selection, good music is really in the ear of the beholder, but you likely won't be disappointed. Sauce's jukebox offers a wide selection of both classics and great albums you wouldn't expect: Aesop Rock to Talking Heads. David Bowie to Mastodon. Björk to the Doors. The Pixies to Why? Even better, the machine won't ever subject you to the torturous output of Creed singer Scott Stapp's horrendous vocal chords.

3001 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, 55408
MAP
612-822-6000
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BEST MOVIE THEATER: Riverview Theater

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